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    themes..long and jabbery!
    By teachingranny

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    I taught first grade for 6 years. I always loved October! The first week my theme was always SIGNS of FALL-We take nature walks then do interactive writing about what we saw. We read the book I Went Walking as a jump off for our own class book...We went walking. What did you see? We saw_______.Each child gets to tell and receives help to write one page in a class made big book, which was later illustrated by that child during centers.We make leaf texture rubbings and spatter paint a T-shirt. Then I write a sentence frame..and let them make their own sentence and illustrate.ex..My t-shirt has _______leaves.(orange ,brown,red,etc.)We make a torn paper collage picture of a fall tree on black paper.VERY pretty! Math is fun..." Lanaya has 3 green leaves in her hand. Devin, get two leaves and bring them to her. Let's all count the leaves. Oh, 5 leaves,right. How many more could we get to make that 10?"Practice would be a ditto sheet with leaves to add,numbers beside them. When finished ,students color leaves in fall colors.I use other Fall items like count the haystacks,squirrels, acorns etc. Mercy! I need to stop! Oh wait can't stop 'til I tell you....
    I don't want to bore you, but here is more ..... For the 2nd week of October-
    Black Cat, Black Bat, I see you! (I combine bats and cats. It's a real hit with the kids!We have tons of fun learning abot about bats and the color theme is black and orange that week.)
    3rd week of October- Fire safety this month!
    Pumkin unit- Lots of fun. This week in science we do a sink or float unit cuz pumpkins float! We learn to tally as we take votes on whether each item will sink or float. Math-We measure and record on each pumpkin the circumference. We estimate the number of seeds in a small pumpkin and record them on a chart. Then we count them by tens.(We will save them and plant in late spring)And of course we write and read about pumpkins!AND eat homemade pumpkin pie!
    4th week of October-Scarecrows and Haystacks. Come as a scarecrow day,estimate, record and count the straws in Mrs.________'s "haystack' made from peanut butter, powdered sugar, a bit of water and chinese noodles for the straws.Each child makes their own smaller haystack(ummm!) after we sequence the steps a few times in a pocket chart.When I taught second grade we liked to write about 'The Day the Scarecrows Came to Class'..but I'm thinking it would be more fun to make a class written Big Book.
    In November, I start with my 'Candy Corn" unit(Lots of great ways to hone math skills!Estimating ,recording,adding ,subtracting,counting by 5s and 10s etc.)followed by a two week Pilgrims and the MayFlower/Pilgims and the First Americans.
    In December, 1st week is Jingle Bells!(A bell unit, and we also experiment with sound in water glasses, read and learn the poem " Five little Jingle Bells ", the song Jingle Bells and gobs of winter poems for read alouds!)2nd week is our Rudolph unit. We visit a lot of Christmas websites.I run off the Rudolph story in a book format for each student and the kids learn to read it by singing it . They illustrate the book.....ADORABLE!Everyday we talk and write about acceptance and believing in yourself, relating it to Rudolph.I am allowed to show the video, which is a great springboard for our discussion. We discuss and write about needs and wants and what is really important.Many of my students don't get very many toys so we talk about seeing the cousins, the fun of family ,etc.The 3rd week is our "Traditions unit'...Hannukah,The Nativity, Santa, Christmas,stockings(we each bring an old sock and start filling it daily with treats to take home when we get our break)the sentence frame was' We put ____ in our stockings today!' We enjoy songs, stories, discussions, and writing about the tree trimming, wooden shoes,watch the ballet The Nutcracker,make a parade mural(Look! Here Comes the parade! What do you see? I see________!) We make fudge(short u, sequencing, liquid to a solid..). and other Christmas treats as well as gifts for the parents. The gift is usually made using magnets and then we continue magnet study in our science unit that week.December is wild and crazy..and exhausting , but I LOVE it! By now their journals are full of what's happening in the classroom. They've had plenty to write about! I take them home to read over the holidays. WHAT A TREAT!Better stop!I am WAY too Jabbery today!


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