Thursday, September 26, 2013

Apples, Apples, and Apples

When I imagined being an elementary school teacher way back in the 1990s (Yes I know.. not that old, but I feel old)... I always pictured APPLES everywhere. Well my dream has become reality this week in my classroom. I decided, yes content is important, but if I could move around things here and there... shuffle curriculum up and make it apple friendly then SUCCESS.

I feel as though my students have been the most engaged this week since we started school. I used a lot of ideas from Kindergarten Smiles's unit Apples. I will be honest I am obsessed with Caitlin's units. They fit right in with my students' needs this time of the year.

For Math my students did an Apple Roll race with numbers. Most of my students can identify their numbers, but writing them is good practice. (Also bringing in graphing skills was a little scary at first and then they got it!!!) Another reason to bring in this quick easy "game" with my students was to introduce them to these types of activities. I want to be able to do this "games" as my main source of teaching, but I need to be able to make sure my students understand the procedures.


I will say I was surprised that my students were nice and kind during this game. I have a couple of "leaders" in my room, but all were bucketfillers with taking turns!
For Math we also completed a Ten Frame Hunt... Who knew that my students would eat up this idea. THEY LOVED IT. It was even quietly done. I don't understand that with my loud crowd, but maybe we should go on some more hunts. My curriculum wanted to students to practice writing numbers and counting up to 5 this week. Well 10 frames are a little different, but a connected topic. Along with the Ten Frames I added the number card and number word. This was to reinforce what each number would look like and for my couple readers (YES, readers!) I wanted them to write the number word as well.

This was a great activity....
For Math tomorrow I have a lot planned. We are tasting apples and graphing our results. My favorite activity is to measure each of ourselves with APPLES! I hope we can stay on task and not eat our apples. Ha
Math must have been my favorite planning activity... We also read Ten Apples On Top by Dr. Seuss and created a "pattern" (I did not fix students who thought they created a pattern and hadn't) with 10 apples and placed them on top of our head! We then needed to place numbers 1-10 on our apples.

For Literacy we worked on an Apple Book along with a Johnny Appleseed craft! I forgot to take photos of our pages inside. I might add some on my next post with my Apple Celebration tomorrow. The pages went along with our graphic organizer: Apples Have, Apples Are, Apples Make. We also included a diagram of an Apple and our favorite fact about Johnny Appleseed. Now these books were heavily prompted on my part and most of the students copied what I wrote for display, but all that I wrote came from students and a couple students wrote their own ideas.  

Lastly... All of my centers this week were apple related. We had a fun time playing CRUNCH with letter identification and letter sound; very easy to differentiate.  Students grab an Apple Letter Card and if they know the sound or letter name they get to keep it, but when they get a crunch all their cards go back into the pile. Our writing center was an apple poem... we traced out our poem, we could read our poem to others, or we could build our poem with cards. Our other center was an Apple Sight Word match! (Listening and Read to Self could not be made into apple themes sadly)...

I have been one happy teacher this week.

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