Pumpkin Fun with Grade 1

Sunday, October 20, 2019

My favorite season is Fall...not because I like pumpkin spice {gag} -- sorry to all my psl fans.  But I love when it gets cooler and the leaves change color.  I love when the wind picks up and I can pull out scarves and boots.  I love decorating for Fall and seeing all the cute pumpkin decorations.  Mostly, I love when the weather cools down after a long, hot summer.
Any season though is a great time for student engagement...am I right?!?  I love looking at pumpkin cut outs and witch hat finger puppets - there always seems to be something I can do with those things.
Here are a few fun ideas that I'm using this month to keep my students engaged and having fun while learning.
I found these beautiful, bright pumpkins on line as a FREE printable.  Once I printed them out and cut them out ( they have yet to be laminated....busy much!?! ) I added letters and words to them.  I added both for a couple of reasons.  I teach reading all day and have a variety of levels in those groups.  I offer free tutoring on Friday mornings for a small group of kiddos that are still struggling with letter recognition and sounds...although they do know some sight words.  

pumpkin sight word game

I got this idea from a teacher that Jen Jones was visiting on one of her trips.  She used a mummy wind up toy - HOW SMART is she?!?!  I just happened to have one of those squishy light up toys handy so I used that instead.  I let the children take turns tossing the alien.  They had to tell me if what they landed on was a word or a letter.  Then based on that they had to tell me the letter name and sound(s) or read the sight word to me.  We had so much fun playing and the time flew by!

pumpkin sight word game

This little guy did his own differentiation.  He is proficient on his letters and sounds so he was sure to hit a sight word, love that about him!
pumpkin alien toss game

Another fun thing I have planned for a read aloud with engagement on Halloween is this:
I will be reading a Halloween picture book that rhymes and whenever the students hear a rhyme they will hold up their witch  hat pointer.  I just printed out witch hats and hot glued them to pipe cleaner, you could also glue them to a straw.  Thanks for the fun idea: Leigh @ The Applicious Teacher


Halloween ideas for student engagement

Hoping this is the last week I see 93 degrees on my phone - ready for some of that cool Fall weather.
Happy teaching friends,
xo


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Colored Salt Trays

Saturday, October 5, 2019
We've all read, seen or heard the research over the years...kids need to use several modalities while learning.  I know I'm a visual person so I tend to like to see things modeled and watch a how to video.  I have had students over the years that need to touch, move, manipulate numbers, disks, beads, counters etc.  

using salt boxes in the primary classroom

In my new role as a literacy specialist I have been working with a group of kiddos on the alphabet: recognition, sounds, letter formation etc.  I started thinking about creating salt boxes but in my typical 'vicky' way I wanted it to be a bit different for my students.  So I started researching colored salt....on Amazon one of my favorite images popped up  - a margarita.  HAHAHA
So, the salt rim on the glasses you get a restaurants...well that salt is sold on Amazon and it's COLORFUL!  I thought how fun for my students in this small group to pick out the colored salt box they wanted to use I mean why not.  I am such a proponent of making even the little things at school fun. #letthemstaylittle
So, I purchased a bag of bluish/turquoise ( to  match my room of course ) salt.  I will say :  It's NOT cheap.  I also purchased a huge box of regular salt which was $8.86 for a 4 lb box.  The colored margarita salt was $16.95 for a 16 oz bag. ( insert big eyed emoji here )  
Now, if you have time you might want to visit Ana's blog, she explains how to save a TON of money by making your own colored salt here on this post:  https://babbledabbledo.com/diy-art-materials-colored-salt/

I know sometimes you are doing #allthethings, especially if you are a mom of young ones so it's just easier to drop the cash.  But, you can make the colored salt as well, OR even better print out the directions from Ana's blog and leave it for a parent helper! #winning
Now another thing to take into consideration is your little friends that have sensory issues.  This works best with their finger tracing the letters in the salt but you could give your student(s) an object - like a colored pencil or thin pointer to use.  One of my students has sensory issues and didn't want to use their finger directly on the salt as the texture felt strange to them.  
I just used the Michael's storage boxes that look like this:

salt box storage

This is what our time looked like, they asked if they could use the salt boxes at our next session!  That's a win I'd say.


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colored salt boxes for alphabet tracing and writing

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salt boxes in the classroom


I hope this idea is something you can use in your classroom with your littles to help make them more successful future readers.  If you have any questions email  me and don't forget you can find lots of fun ideas if you follow me:


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{ Happy teaching }
xo,



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