Recently, our class started reading a new story entitled, Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White. The story begins with a young woman who does not like pumpkins, based on a childhood memory where she had to eat pumpkins for every meal for two weeks straight. As the woman gets older, she vows never to look at a pumpkin again! Until, she unwillingly finds herself with a whole crop of giant pumpkins in her front yard!
At this point in the story, we decided to pause our reading to ask, “How do you think she will get rid of all the pumpkins?” The students had so many wonderful ideas, we made a journal entry about it! These were their ideas.
The children can practice reading the little books, Spider on the Floor and Pumpkins for Sale, they are bringing home this week by reading them aloud with you. As you (or your child) reads, please encourage them to point to one word at a time as it is read. This helps them establish 1 to 1 correspondence, an understanding that the marks on the page represent the individual words that we say as we read. This is helpful especially as children are just in the beginning stages of reading which include retelling the story through the use of the pictures and through memorization. Even though they may not be “sounding out” the words on the page, they are learning more about reading and our language as they practice this skill. Those that can already read many of the sight words in the story should use picture and first letter cues when they reach an unknown word. When they attempt a word, usually in a questioning voice and looking at you for approval, ask them, “Does it make sense?” Good readers use many types of cues to help them decipher an unknown word.
Our current math unit introduces and reinforces the concept of pattern creation and continuation. Luckily, Halloween provides us many opportunities to practice and play with these ideas. We were inspired while reading Six Creepy Sheep, by Judith Ross Enderle and Stephanie Gordon Tessler, and created some creepy decorations of our own. In the picture on the left, one of the students is preparing wooden beads in an orange paint bath. We also mixed up some lovely green, goblin beads. When they dried, we drew faces on them to give them a bit of character. Next, we strung them in an ABAB pattern on some skinny, wooden skewers. To keep the beads from falling off, the students used Model Magic to fashion a pumpkin and a round cap for each end of the stick. (Note: If either end pops off, simply add a bit of white glue, stick it back together, and let it sit over night to dry.) Finally, each child sorted through a large pile of wooden letter beads and found the blocks needed to make their own names. These were strung on ribbon and laced through the pumpkins so that the project could be hung from a door handle.
Much earlier in the week, the children became very excited over some cobwebs we found outside. We decided that, for the upcoming holiday, a web would make a lovely addition inside our room, as well. I prepared the weaving area by making a large X with an additional center line out of yarn on our play awning. The children we then each given a turn with the roll of yarn and off they went! I’m actually quite impressed with how it turned out. They each took their time planning where they wished to place their string. The result is nicely spread out and surprisingly “webby”. On Friday, we made spiders out of pipe cleaners to adorn our creation. I’m interested in seeing if the spiders will become a popular plaything next week.
Here are a few captured moments from our trip to Harvest Valley Farms today.