Saturday, November 1, 2014

Spiders and bats and ghosts! OH MY!

So, I don't know if you realized it or not, but it was Halloween yesterday! (I was very adamantly reminded by 17 bright scholars, so I thought I would share the message.) We had a blast with our pumpkin Olympics, but before I share any of that I want to rewind to the beginning of this week. I felt bad for not having introduced many informational texts. I know they have to have some exposure in kindergarten, but I had been dreading it since I unpacked my library back in September. This week I finally pulled out some of my science readers to read to the kids. These are scholastic leveled science readers and they kept the kids entertained while still teaching them all about their respective animals! 

With it being Halloween I planned on a bunch of different crafts for the kiddos. I figured bats, spiders and ghosts were pretty Halloween-y and, with my science readers I found a way to tie it in with an actual learning concept (double score!) Our song of the week is "Itsy Bitsy Spider" so I figured we'd do our spider craft first. I found some cheap black plates (Hello Halloween sale!) and decided on a craft. Armed with my trusty scissors, white yarn and my newly purchased black plates I got to work prepping and creating my example. 

The next day after we all sang Itsy Bitsy Spider I sat down on the rug with them and asked them, in a very serious voice, "Boys and girls...that poor spider has been crawling up the water spout all week, and he just keeps getting washed away. What can we do to help him?" Now I got many interesting answers, but one quiet little guy raised his hand and said "Ms. P...spiders live in webs. Maybe we could make him a web to live in." I could have cried because it was the most perfect answer. After we all praised him for such a thoughtful and awesome answer, we all got up and went to our desks. I passed out our plates, and the white yarn. I showed them my example and then I showed them how to lace the string through the cuts in the plates. The kiddos had a blast, and now our spider has a comfy dry place to live!

This week we were also working with our letter Gg so naturally...we made ghosts!! Another fine motor activity that the kiddos loved to do. I gave each of them a Styrofoam plate (this would work A LOT better with paper plates but I had Styrofoam on hand) and had them flip the plates upside down so the part you would eat off was face down and I put glue along the rim of the plate. Each kiddo got a square of white tissue paper that they had to rip into strips and then glue on the rim of the plate. I drew eyes, a mouth and the letter Gg on the front. Next year I will do this with paper plates and the students will draw/write everything on their own. Here is the finished product for this year:
The last craft we did was for our bat. I read our little science mini reader and we did our big can-have-are page as a class. Then we started out bat-lacing project. I prepped this project by cutting out a bat shape out of a manilla folder and tracing each bat individually before cutting them out. Then I hole punched each hole onto the bat. There may be easier ways to do this, but I couldn't think of any. (Please share if you have any ideas on how to speed up this process and not kill my arm/wrist with hole punching!) I cut orange yarn and laced it through the holes. 

I did not expect this craft to be so difficult for the kiddos but A LOT of them struggled with the up-down in-out of the lacing. As a perfectionist, I have had to learn to embrace and love the imperfections. They are adorable and my students are so proud of how they turned out. I can't NOT love them. Just to see their faces and how excited they are to show me makes me so in love with the product. 

We did do pumpkin Olympics on Friday. Each student got their own mini pumpkins, courtesy of one of my parents. We did a science experiment where we guessed, or predicted, whether our pumpkin would sink or float, and then we tossed (ok, placed gently) our pumpkins into a big tub full of water. The kids were SO surprised to see my big pumpkin floating right along side their little ones! I think every single one told their mom or dad about it when they were getting picked up. We also did Jack-o-lantern bean bag toss, decorated our pumpkins with stickers and markers, and did five frames with pumpkin seeds. 

Overall, a great week. I had a blast and I know my kiddos had a blast. I can't wait for weeks to come. That's all I have for now. I'm off to go finish some products for the classroom. 

Always remember: every moment can be a learning moment. 

Sincerely from TK,

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