Ready, Set, Kindergarten!

Ready, Set, Kindergarten! — Pumpkins & Halloween

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To start, I went over our mobile classroom items of the week (Color: Orange [like a pumpkin]; Shape: Triangle [like a witch’s hat]; Letters: U & V; and Number: 13 [I explained to the kids 13 is considered unlucky and is kind of a spooky number]. Our concept of the week was syllables (which turned out to be way beyond their reach). 

Then we started circle time:

Song: Days of the Week (to the tune of The Addams Family)
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week. (clap, clap)
There’s Sunday and there’s Monday,
There’s Tuesday and there’s Wednesday,
There’s Thursday and there’s Friday,
And then there’s Saturday.
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week. (clap, clap)
Source: Ms. Brown’s Classroom

We looked at our calendar and discussed what day of the week it was, what month we were in, and what day of the month it was. Then we moved on to the weather:

Song: What’s the Weather? (to the tune of Oh My Darling Clementine)
What’s the weather? What’s the weather?
What’s the weather like today?
Is it sunny? Is it windy?
Is it rainy? Is it cold?

What’s the weather? What’s the weather?
What’s the weather like today?
Is it snowy? Is it cloudy?
Is it stormy? Is it hot?
Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/460563499387764713/

Then it was time for our theme discussion. 

Non-Fiction Book: Halloween Is … by Gail Gibbons

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Fiction Book: Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

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I love sharing this book during the Halloween season. I also had a STEM center related to this story so it worked perfectly!

When we were done with our theme books we talked about our letters of the month. We discussed the letter U first. We talked about the sounds U makes and some words that start with U. Then we reviewed letter V.

Letter U Book: Creepy Pair of Underwear! by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown

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This book was great for letter U AND for Halloween. It was a creepy story without being overly Halloween-y. After our story we did our letter V craft. I got the idea for our vampire bat from Megan Morris at Teachers Pay Teachers. Isn’t he cute?

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After our letter craft the kids went on a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt.

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I got the images and worksheets for our scavenger hunt from Clearly Primary at Teachers Pay Teachers. Most of the kids circled or checked the images instead of writing them and that was okay. When they were done with the hunt they got to pick a Pixie Stick and another treat from the basket (little notebooks, stickers, etc.). I also had pumpkin seeds for them to try. Most of the kids really liked them! They were pretty tasty … the rest of the bag might have followed me home.

Then the kids were free to roam the centers. I made all of the signs in Canva.

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I filled the tray with salt and lined it with an image from Canva. The number formation rhyme is from Teaching Mama. The letter instructions came from Worksheets to Print.

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The unicorn eraser came in a set from Dollar Tree. The UFO was borrowed from my kid. I found the umbrella at A.C. Moore as part of their Woodland Garden series. The spoon came from the library’s kitchen. And I tried as hard as I could but I just couldn’t find enough letter U manipulatives so I had to print out clipart of a unicycle and an umbrellabird! 

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The valentine was leftover from my son’s valentine set this year. The vase was mine. I found it years ago at a flea market. The vinegar was leftover from a Blue Apron recipe. The van and volcano were borrowed from my son. The volcano started its life as a rock in a set of dinosaurs but I grabbed a Sharpie and drew on the red lava. The vegetables came from A.C. Moore.

The foam letters for both bins came from puzzles I found at Dollar Tree. I created the tub labels in Canva.

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I got the alphabet and counting mats from Oriental Trading. I made the play-doh myself.

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This week’s sensory bin was filled with rice (that I meant to dye orange but ran out of time!) and black “bat.” The bats are bow tie pasta I painted black with two coats of tempera paint. 

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I buried 15 cards with Halloween words/images on them. The kids were supposed to fish out an image, use the skeleton hands to clap out the syllables, then put the card on the correct mat.

Turns out syllables were a little beyond them so they used the hands to dig and then just named each image. No biggie! 

I got the idea for syllable sorting from Tickled Pink in Primary. She’s a rock star and offers those cards for free but I wanted more of a Halloween theme so I created my own.

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I saw these masks at A.C. Moore and thought the kids would enjoy making one. They came in a pack of 12 and, with coupons, I was able to buy each package for less than $3 each!

A word of warning, I thought the foam pieces were peel and stick. They were not. These required glue. So I poured glue into little cups and told the kids to use Q-tips to apply the pieces. It worked like a charm and really minimized the annoyance for kids AND parents of having to sit there squeezing half-empty bottles and also the possibility of the kids squeezing out rivers of glue …

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I got this idea from mclennan1977‘s Instagram account. I found the Room on the Broom worksheet on Kindergarten Nana.

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And finally, our Little Learners table! 

The idea for a learning table along with some of the display ideas came from Pocket of Preschool (another brilliant site). I set out books, tweezers, and magnifying glasses. I cut open that little pumpkin in the picture so the kids could see and touch the insides. I scraped out the guts and put them in the zip lock bag so the kids could squish them without getting too messy.

I got the pumpkin life cycle mat from Mrs. B’s Beehive on Teachers Pay Teachers. I got the pumpkin part labeling from Mister Kinder. I also set out a bowl of pumpkin seeds that were NOT to be eaten, they were to be examined. I made the sensory bottle years ago. It’s full of black beans and rice along with little objects like erasers and candy and rubber bands and such for the kids to find as they roll it around.

Our session summary:

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I also handed out two letter/number of the week worksheets for them to color at home and practice their writing. I got the letter worksheets from Easy Peasy Learners and the number worksheets from Tot Schooling. Their homework this week was a color by number I found at Kindergarten Kel on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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