Saturday, November 7, 2015

Acorns, Leaves, and Squirrels!

 The perfect fall weather this week has lent itself nicely to our learning with acorns, leaves, and squirrels!  I'm link inking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to showcase it with Five for Friday.
Leaves were all round us, even in the classroom.  I filled my sensory table with fall leaves {for the sake of clean-up time, I chose artificial but real ones are super fun}.  I also have a small rake.  Little ones took turns spreading out the leaves and then raking them in a pile.
This was a favorite activity, plus raking is wonderful for a crossing the mid-line activity.  :)
'When the Leaf Blew In' by Steve Metzger was a favorite read this week.  I have fallen in love with this book, as well as my little learners.  It lends itself to some really great learning fun.  We retold the story several different ways.
Originally, this was to be a sequencing activity where we glued the animals in order coming out of the barn front and back onto a sentence strip.  That way the sweet peas could take it home and retell the story by themselves.  When we finished, several wanted to staple their strips to the barn to make a retelling headband!  I was like 'what a great idea'!  I love it when I learn from them.  :)  This whole retelling/sequencing activity was completed over a couple days because we colored the animals, which was the perfect opportunity to talk about using realistic colors and coloring in a defined space.  Next, they cut apart the pictures {this along with the coloring added a fine motor element}. And last, we retold the story when we glued on the pictures.

We also added a gross motor activity by using retelling pictures/necklaces to act out the actions of the animals.  To add more cognitive fun, little ones acted out first, and then the others guessed the animal.  I could have used this book alone all week and still not had enough time!  

 You can find these activities and more HERE.
Another fall favorite is 'There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves' by Lucille Colandro.

My little ones can't get enough of the old lady puppet! {Perhaps that is because she usually tries to eat their hand when they feed her the retelling pieces?!?}  They also did wonderfully retelling the story with these activities.
 They took home their own easy reader to tell the story to their families.  I love any opportunity to get any and all books in their hands at home.
A sequencing activity also helped retell the story.  Since my little ones are so young, we usually do these as a group activity, but for older learners this is a great literacy center idea.
You can find this retelling pack HERE.
 Since this week was 'all things fall' we also worked on specific skills with the help of colorful acorns, squirrels and trees.
We color matched and counted squirrels and trees.
Shapes were reinforced with the help of acorns and leaves.
Acorns helped us match upper and lowercase letters, plus work on letter sounds,
Trees and ten frames helped us with math skills.
These were just a few of the activities found in my newest pack.
Here's a closer look.

You can find it HERE.
{And it's half price through the weekend!}
Fall wouldn't be complete without some beautiful tree art.
These beauties were made by dropping liquid water color on coffee filters with droppers and pipettes.
After the filters dried, they were glued on light blue construction paper, along with tree trunks.
Then, to add some dimension, tissue paper was scrunched and glued to represent falling leaves.
 So beautiful!
What was your week filled with?

Thanks for reading!  Have a wonderful day.  :)

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