Pumpkin Investigations in Kindergarten

Ever get that overwhelmed feeling? Like no matter how hard you try you just might not be able to get it all in, reach every kid, pass every assessment, or even just finish the darn paperwork that is on your desk. That was my day today and I came home super frustrated. Then I realized that tomorrow is the start of our pumpkin unit and I'm ready to leave all those feelings of inadequacy behind and have some fun tomorrow!
We do our science units on Wacky Wednesday because we have a mixed up schedule because of an early release on that day and every other day is packed full. Oh the joys of half day kindergarten. I mix in things all week that relate back but our big investigations happen on Wednesday. 

Where do we start? 
Tomorrow is day one and we are going to get started with the life cycle of a pumpkin. 
We will compare/contrast different types of pumpkin seeds, read books about the life cycle, and plant some pumpkin seeds. I've never done that before but I saw a picture on Pinterest so I figured I would give it a try! You never know if you don't try.  

Next week we will start our science notebooks which take us into a 5 senses investigations, measurement activity, and a fun float or sink activity. I love that one because we do the same thing with apples but looking at the much larger pumpkin they are convinced that it will sink. Fun to see the surprise on their faces! 
Counting Lines 

Counting Lines
Sink or float predictions

 I've added these fun math centers to our math tubs for the next couple of weeks. We roll the dice and fill the 10 frame with that number and then count out how many more to make 10. The jumbo tweezers make it that much more fun! All of these items were purchased at the Dollar Tree. 

 If you would like to see the science journal click HERE or on the pic!
Want to pin this for later? Here ya go! 
Thanks for stopping by today! I can't wait until tomorrow! 

What are you teaching? October 17

This is my first time in a LONG time I can say I am not ready to go back to school after a break. Normally I am good and bored at the end of a week off of school and I am itching to get back. This break I spent visiting my daughter in Norfolk, VA and while it was AMAZING to see her and do A LOT of sight seeing I am tired!! I am not refreshed at all! Here are a few pics from our trip before I get started...
Air and Space Museum

Walked the entire National Mall, our feet were killing us! 
Virginia Beach and King Neptune. So cool!

Exploring Jamestown. I learned so much! 
It was 6 days of excitement and fun (we landed in VA the night Matthew decided to hit Norfolk...scary stuff!) and I feel like I need a couple of days to get ready for my kiddos. No rest for the weary...a girls got to do what a girls got to do! 

Here is a peek at what we have going on this week! 
Morning Work: We are on week 4 of unit 2 and we are focusing on the letter C, the sight words my, like, and we, and introducing numbers and words that describe size as adjectives. Here is a preview of our morning work. 

Centers: SO MANY new centers! We are using our regular centers for the week for write the room, our ABC centers, cut and glue, and the listening station from BEAR SNORES ON centers. I've added in a BIG BOOK center that you can grab for free HERE. I am also still using quite a few centers from my ABC CENTERS unit and a couple of new ones I just created. I'm testing them out this week to see how the kiddos like them. 

First one is an ABC clip activity: 

And the second is a "rainbow" letter recognition activity: 

I still have some tweeks to make to these but I want my students to try them first.

Another fun center I made from the Dollar Tree this week are these fun eyeball activities. I'm sure you have seen them on Pinterest. They are so fun! 
I watched this VLOG from Adam at Teachers Learn Too with Kim Adsit. I had to run out to Dollar Tree and get the materials to make these. They have jumbo tweezers that fit these ping pong ball eyeballs just perfectly. I think my kiddos are going to go crazy over these!

I also made a couple more of the centers they suggested from the Dollar Tree, you have to check it out! 

Reading: We are working HARD on LETTER NAMING FLUENCY and that is our focus right now during  our fluency time. Our comprehension focus is fantasy vs. reality and our accuracy focus is stretching the sounds in words. SO MUCH happening in reading this week! 

Writing: Hand in hand with stretching and blending sounds in reading we are doing the same thing in writing. This is the magical week when we start adding words to our stories. We prepared for this before break by adding labels to our stories (and everything in our classroom). We have built our confidence in writing (no more...."I can't spell that" or "I don't know how to write that") and we are ready to say the words and write down the sounds we know. It's my favorite week in Writer's Workshop!! I introduce this week by reading ABC books and our writing focus is words are made up of letters. 

Math: We are on Unit 3 of Guiding Kinders (which I just realized I left off of my plans) and this week we really dive into composing and decomposing numbers. I am not going to sugar coat this....this is a really difficult week to teach. Not the hands on stuff, it's really fun to create numbers in different ways with blocks but the recording on paper was HARD last year. I am going to come at it from a different angle this year. Ok....that was a bit of a rant.....I am all set now. 

Math Journals: We are also into our math journals now. We started them out right before break and they were so excited to get started. I have my lessons in detail HERE and blogged about them HERE 
That's our week. See why I am already tired? Lots going on!! I haven't even touched on the kick off of our pumpkin week but I will be back later in the week to talk about that! Have a great week friends!