Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall Celebration Ideas

We start our fall celebration each year with a Literacy Parade.  Some children use their Halloween costumes and just find a book to match and others actually design a costume around a favorite book. As they arrive so full of excitement, we ooooh and ahhhh over the selections before we parade around the downstairs.
 We spend the rest of the day celebrating with fun activities that have a wee bit of academics.

We love "cooking" this year with our "Recipe for Success" theme so our first activity was making a ghost cookie.  The idea actually came from one of our mothers, that has her own cookie blog, that sent the teachers a few ghost cookies as a treat.  We simplified the cookie and the children loved this easy ghost - a Nutter Butter cookie covered with white icing and then two small chocolate chips for eyes and a larger one for the mouth.
When we did our Math Diagnostic earlier this year, we noticed that the students were really struggling with interpreting graphs so we took this opportunity to add some work with graphs. We looked for individually wrapped themed candies.  This year we found colored skulls and bones.  After each child graphed his candies and colored in his graph, we showcased different graphs, asking questions such as. How many more green bones than black skulls?  Which candies have equal amounts.  Make an equation using the red bones and green skulls.  Love that Math practice!

Also from our Math work, we put 10 candy corns and 10 candy pumpkins in a Ziploc for each child and then asked the children to make combinations of ten.  This is a play on our Math Investigations "peas and carrots" activity.  The children used these fun manipulatives to make the combinations and then shared their work in a typical math closing activity.
It seems like one of the things that often gets cut in our curriculum is art.  So... today we did our own version of pumpkin making.  Each pumpkin had its own personality!
After lunch we cut the traditional jack-o-lantern.  I am always amazed at the number of children who say they have never cut a jack-o-lantern. Every single child had a chance to stick a hand inside the pumpkin and pull out some "gunk".  Then we reviewed geometric shapes as we made a group decision on the shapes of the eyes, nose and mouth.  We lit the jack-o-lantern with a flashlight to shine tonight as the children came back to trick-or-treat during our annual school wide Fall Festival.  We saved the seeds to count and cook another day.
This year we also cut the top off one of the smaller pumpkins, cleaned it out, and replanted a few of the seeds inside the pumpkin.  The idea is to let the seeds sprout in the window and then replant the pumpkin (shell, soil and sprout) in a larger pot before the shell rots!  Will let you know how it goes.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

I love the idea of planting the pumpkin seeds in the pumpkin. As an interior teacher, I sure miss windows for things like this!