Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkin Day Activities

Next Friday will be our 4th annual class Pumpkin Day. The ideas came from a colleague and friend of mine who served as my adopted mentor teacher during my first year of teaching kindergarten. During Pumpkin Day the kids will complete several reading, math and science stations that involve pumpkins. As the children rotate through the stations they will record their observations and results from their experiements. Since this is such an involved day, parent volunteers are a real asset. By having several adults in the room the kids stay on task more and the transitions run much smoother.

Reading Activities
  • Read and color the book One Little Pumpkin (to the tune of Ten Little Indians)
  • Act out the felt board story Five Little Pumpkins
  • Listen to stories about pumpkins (both fiction and non-fiction).
  • Use words cards to build informational sentences about pumpkins (ex: A pumpkin is orange. A pumpkin has seeds. A pumpkin can grow. )
  • Write describing words about a pumpkin

Science/Math Activities
  • Use your five senses to learn about the pumpkins (feel the inside and outside and tell how they are different, look at the color, smell the inside, and taste the roasted pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pie)
  • Estimate who weighs more: You or the pumpkin. Test your hypothesis by using a scale. Have a grown up at the station help you write the number. Then circle the number that is bigger. You can use a hundred chart to help you "see" which is bigger.
  • Measure how big around a pumpkin is and compare it to your waist. First use a string to measure around each. Then use pop cubes to measure each string. Record the number and circle the number that is bigger.
  • Use a balance beam to compare the weight of a small pumpkin to manipulatives (teddy bear counters, pop cubes, crayons, etc). Put one small pumpkin on one side of the balance beam and fill the other side with a manipulative. Make them balance. Then write the number to show how many of each manipulative you used to equal the weight of the pumpkin
  • One to One corresponce counting game (making your bear counter hop a select number of spaces on the pumpkin patch game board.
  • Counting Seeds (looking at a number and counting out that many seeds to match)

  • Pumpkin Sun Catcher

Please be aware that Pumpkin Day is not about Halloween. The focus will be on the fall harvest food. We have been studying about where pumpkins grow, the stages of growth, and what we can use pumpkins for. We have also talked about how the pumpkins that we generally see on Halloween night have been changed into a Jack-o-Lantern by carving or painting them.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I know this is totally unrelated to school, but I am soooo happy that the weather will be cooler for at least a few days. I've been living in Florida since I was 5, and this October is probably the hottest one I can remember.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Class Mascot

This Friday we are going to make a list of possible names for our new class mascot. Voting for the new name will take place on Monday so that the kids can have enough time to think about the best name. The gorilla was donated by our ESOL teacher and I splurged and bought the astronaut costume at TJmax.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Book Buddies

Every year my class has been paired up with either a 4th or 5th grade class at our school. This year I decided to pair up with Mrs. Raimundo' s 4th grade class. The older students will be our Book Buddies. Twice a month, usually on a Friday, we will meet in our classroom to practice reading. Each kindergarten student will be paired up with a 4th grader. The 4th grader will be there to listen to the children read or read to my students. There may also be times when the 4th graders will assist the children with a fun science experiment that is more hands on and needs more supervision. This Friday will be the first time that the children will get to meet each other. It will sure be an exciting afternoon on Friday!

Pen Pals

Just last week we received our first letter from our Pen Pal class in Hatfield Pennsylvania. The kids were so excited when they realized how far away they live. This week we worked together on a class letter that we will send on Friday. Each month our two classes will exchange letters and pictures. Hopefully by the end of the year each child in our class will write their own letter to a student in our pen pal class.

Pen Pal projects like these not only provide the children with a fun experience, but it also teaches them many things.

This project will help our class learn:

  • Children in our country have many things in common
  • Map skills, such as finding where our pen pal class lives
  • The purpose and format of a friendly letter
  • How to write asking and telling sentences
  • Most imprtantly, that letters are a form of writing that can connect you with other people.