## Apple Math Mats

1-2-3 Come Play Some Math Games With Me

Just when I think I'm ready to move on to another theme, my brain shifts into overdrive and I come up with yet another apple idea that I just have to putz with.  Thus the apple math mats came about.

Who'd have thought they'd take 2 days to complete.  My husband always tells me that I have no concept of how much time will be involved when it comes to one of my projects.  I think it's the driven perfectionist in me that always has to have things "just so".

Any hoo, I hope you and your kiddos enjoy this apple math game as much as I did making it.  You can make a class set of apple math mats to use each year, or have your students make their own.

This apple "craftivity" is a super-fun way to reinforce addition and/or subtraction, and if you teach older students, I've also included a template to make a multiplication apple game.

To play, students roll a dice to see if they will work on their addition or subtraction skills.  If they roll an even number they will add and use that side of the apple mat.  (I made this side red.)

If they roll an odd number, they'll flip the mat over and use the subtraction side, which is yellow. (Note how the leaves and center ovals have to do with addition or subtraction.)

For their 2nd roll, they toss two dice to determine their equation, which they jot down on their recording sheet.

Students can either use the paper seed tiles, some sunflower seeds, or pom poms as manipulatives to show "how many" on their mat.

If students are making their own apple mats, I'd suggest having them color and cut out the seed tiles. This way they can continue to reinforce lessons by playing at home.  The paper "seeds" are pictured in the photographs.

If you want to have students do this activity as a whole-group and use your laminated mats, I'd use sunflower birdseed.  (As you can see by the picture, the sunflower seeds are just the right size!)

Make sure you explain to your kiddos that these are sunflower seeds and not apple seeds, as sunflower seeds are sold by the bag. Give each child their own Dixie cup full, or sprinkle them on a paper plate in the center of their table.

For more practice, make an extra set of apples and put the game in your independent math center, along with 14 black or brown pom poms in a Ziplock Baggie.  (I always add 2 extra pieces to my games incase a few get lost.  Saves a ton of time searching for materials to make more.)

Students place the correct amount of seeds on their mat according to the numbers that they roll with the dice. (See photographs.)

After they have written the equation down on their recording sheet, they count up the total number of seeds to solve the addition problem, and take away the appropriate amount, to solve the subtraction one.

Once they have jotted down their answer, they clear off their mat, and begin the game again by rolling one dice.

To help reinforce greater and less than, have students use the math symbol ovals, and place the < or > oval in the middle of their apple mat, which will now cover the plus or minus oval.

Have students write these equations down on their recording sheet as well.  Click on the link to view/download the Apple Math Mats packet.

Thanks for visiting today.  My grandson's up from his nap and it's time for a snack and stroller ride.  Have a blessed day!

"Learn as much as you can while you're young, since life becomes too busy later." -Dana Stewart Scott

## Shape Activities With An Apple Theme

1-2-3 Come Do Some SHAPELY Apple Activities With Me

Apple week wouldn't be complete without doing some shape activities.  I found that the most successful way to get my students to be able to recognize, as well as name the various 2D and 3D shapes, was to immerse them in all sorts of hands-on activities, where they could work with all of the shapes.  I had a variety of different activities to keep interest high, but it was that consistent repetition that helped turn the light bulbs on.

Since I've had a few requests for some more activities involving Johnny Appleseed, I thought I'd design some shape games using Phillip Martin's cute Johnny Appleseed character.  The first one is entitled: Where Is Johnny Appleseed?  It reviews the 2D shapes: circle, oval, triangle, rectangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, octagon, trapezoid, rhombus, star and heart.

Choose the shapes you want to work on.  Print, laminate and trim those apple cards and put them on your white board using a magnet, or on your flannel board using the scratchy side of a square of Velcro.

There are two Johnny Appleseed Card options.  Choose one, print, laminate and trim.  Before your students get to school, put Johnny behind one of the apples.

When students are gathered on the carpet, call on a quiet child to guess which apple shape they think Johnny Appleseed is hiding behind.  "I think he's behind the hexagon."  Lift up the card to take a peek and see if he's there.

If not, that child calls on another to take a guess.  Play continues 'til someone has found Johnny Appleseed.  The simplistic beauty of this game, is that it only takes a few moments of time, and reviews shapes and the shape word in an interesting and fun way.

I've also included a set of mini cards, so children can play Memory Match and "I Have; Who Has?" games.  Click on the link to view/download the Where's Johnny Appleseed Shape Game.

The other Johnny Appleseed game involves spactial directions. As you know, part of the Common Core State Standards for shapes involves placement of the shapes

This "Where's Johnny's Apple?" game is a quick, easy and fun way to help reinforce that vocabulary, as well as whole-group assess students' understanding of the directional words

To play the game, run off the black line master of Johnny Appleseed.   (There are 2 on a page for easy printing.)  Children color their Johnny. (I've included a large one that's in color for teachers to use.) Print and trim the apple manipulatives and give each student one.

Choose a child to pick a direction card, (there are 21 + a blank one to fill in with whatever). Show it to the class and then read it together.

Children place their apple in the appropriate position (over, under, on, between, beside ...) on their Johnny Appleseed mat.  You can see at a glance who's having difficulty and jot a note to yourself.

After you have quickly assessed your students, place the teacher apple on your Johnny Appleseed poster in the correct position.  (I put my poster on the white board.)

Children look at their Johnny mat to see if they have the correct answer and adjust if necessary.

After the game, pass out a certificate of praise to help build self-esteem.  Click on the link to view/download the Where's Johnny's Apple?  Spatial Direction Game.

The Apple Shape Matching game provides a wonderful independent center for early finishers, or more practice for struggling kiddos.  Picking up and placing the various shapes also provides great fine motor practice.

For a sweet "oldie but goodie" apple shape easy reader, click on the link for The Shape of Apple Annie.  It was one of my first apple stories and serves up a nice lesson about being content and happy with who you are.

Annie, however, is not happy with her apple-shape 'til she turns into all sorts of other shapes.  Children trace the various apple shapes and then write the shape words in the spaces provided.

Finally, since all of the silly shaped animals (penguins, owls, chicks rabbits)  have been so popular, I decided to make some silly-shaped apples

They can be used as anchor chart posters, large flashcards, a bulletin board, and assessment tools.

Make extra sets and use them for independent centers and games.

Children can also choose their favorite shape and make a shapely apple of their own.  A shape attributes worksheet is also included.

As you can see by the photo, some of the apples have the various shapes as their "core" (I think they turned out really cute, if I do say so for myself.)

Others are big and the entire apple takes on that shape. The shape word is a little hard to see in the photos, but they appear on all of the apple shapes.

I've included all of the 2D shapes, as well as four 3D shapes.  There's also directions for a fun "Four Corners" apple game that my students just LOVE.  Click on the link to view/download the 41-page Shapely Apples packet.

Thanks for visiting today.  I'm about appled out.  If you'd like to see all of the other apple FREEBIES to help celebrate your apple week, simply scroll down.

It's time for a much-needed break.  I'm off to get some clothes on. (Don't you just love relaxing jammie days?) It's date night with my hubby, and that requires some makeup.  Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

"If it weren't for the last minute, I wouldn't get everything done!"

## Time For Some Apple Fraction Action

1-2-3 Come Have Some Apple Fraction Fun With Me

Since the Common Core rolled in, I've had several requests for some simple fraction activities that would be easy for a kindergarten child to wrap their head around.  Because so many teachers also study apples at this time of year, I thought I'd design some fraction fun with an apple theme.

A quick and easy way to introduce the new fraction vocabulary is with a visual.  You can make a fraction apple to help explain a whole, half and fourth, and then to  really reinforce the concepts, have each student make their own.

Because I also teach the fact that apples can be three different colors, I chose red, yellow and green construction paper to show the different fractions.  This really helps make them "pop" as well.

When students have completed their fraction apples, call out a fraction and have them flip to it, repeating the fraction word as they hold up their apple to show you.

You can whole group assess at a glance, and see who's having difficulty.   To review another day, have students copy the information that's on the templates, (fourth, 1/4, quarter) writing their answers on the back of each section.  Click on the link to view/download the apple fraction craftivity.

Another hands-on way to help students "see" and understand beginning fractions, is by cutting up an apple.

As you cut from whole, to half, and then into quarters, explain each fraction.

To further reinforce math vocabulary, students assemble their own apple fraction "flip up" booklet .

A trace & write mini apple fraction booklet is also included, along with matching apple fraction pocket or word wall word cards.

After they complete their booklets, read together to reinforce concepts of print. Click on the link to view/download the Apple Fraction Flip Up craftivity.

Another interesting fraction visual is done with an apple pie.

As with the above apple fraction packet, the apple pie fraction packet includes a flip up craftivity, mini apple pie fraction booklet, plus apple pie fraction cards to use in a pocket chart or on your word wall.

Finally, culminate your apple fraction activities with the apple fraction spinner game, which not only reinforces the fraction vocabulary, but graphing skills.

Children can play individually or in a group of 2 or 3.  They take turns spinning, and then mark an X under the fraction apple on their graph.

I've also included a whole-class graph to total up everyone's results.  Click on the link to view/download the Apple Fraction Spinner Game.

That's it for today.  Thanks for visiting.  I'm off to water my flowers, to ensure it will rain later on.  Blessings to you and yours.

"Teachers who love teaching, help students to love learning." -Unknown

## More Apple Activities

1-2-3 Come Do Some Apple Investigations With Me

Yesterday's articles featured all sorts of apple craftivities.  Today's apples incorporate a bit of science and math.  Whenever I started a themed unit, I always began by reading some interesting books.

To cover all sorts of genre, I included fiction as well as non fiction stories, and sprinkled in some poems and songs too.  To get a list of my apple books, click on the link.  Another thing I did, was to do some research of my own.

One of my favorite things about the Internet, is the incredible amount of material on the web.  People have spent hours sharing their knowledge and ideas, and I'm grateful.

I absolutely LOVE doing research and finding out interesting information about the things my students will be studying.  I'm always amazed at the amount of "cool stuff" that I also learn along the way.

While doing research for my apple unit, I compiled a list of 125 interesting facts about apples, and thought I'd share it with you.

Highlight the facts you want to share with your students.  After you read the information, test students' comprehension, by having them write 3 facts down on the recording sheet that's provided.

They could also add facts to some of the art projects discussed yesterday, like writing information on a paper chain for the 3D apple "dangler" activity.  Click on the link to grab your copy of the 125 Interesting Apple Facts.

A quick, easy and fun way to get some science into your lessons, is to cover the life cycle of an apple.

For hands-on learning, I've designed 4 different "craftivities" to show the life cycle of an apple.

Completed projects make awesome bulletin boards, or decorations for your hallway. (Suspend them from the ceiling, as a border along a wall.)

The first packet features an apple, apple pie, and apple tree option.

You can choose which you feel is most age-appropriate, or give older students a choice.  Click on the link for the Life Cycle of an Apple packet.

This packet will be FREE for an entire year (!) after which time, it will be up-dated and rolled into my 33-page Life Cycle of an Apple Activities packet in my TpT shop.

The fourth option, is an apple "dangler" because once completed, it looks terrific dangling from the ceiling.

I made it 3 dimensional by doubling up on the tree and apple cut outs (folding and gluing them together) and making the apple blossom out of a coffee filter that I edged with pink marker.

Click on the link for the Life Cycle of an Apple Dangler craft.

Children measure height, weight, width and circumference of their apple. They trace and write vocabulary-building words, predict, answer questions, plus collect and analyze data.

As you can see, a lot of standards are covered in this simple booklet.  Click on the link above, to grab your FREEBIE.

Thanks for visiting today.  Feel free to PIN away.  For another fun writing prompt "craftivity" scroll down to the next blog article to take a look at the Johnny Appleseed packet.

I'm writing this early Saturday morning so that it will automatically go live on Sunday.  I really try to limit my computer time on the weekends.  Having family coming over for a day of swimming, certainly helps me "behave".  I'm off to get ready for some memory-making fun.

"You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can't count the apples in a seed." -Unknown

## Apple Icebreaker Craftivity

1-2-3 Come Do An Apple-icious Writing Activity With Me

Because many teachers decorate with an apple theme, and a lot of children study about apples in the fall, I decided to design a back to school apple icebreaker.

It's a quick, easy and fun way to get to know your new students.  Be sure and make a sample to help explain what you want them to do, as well as an interesting way, for them to get to know you too.

Students complete the writing prompts and then color their apples in an ABC pattern.

I chose this pattern, because apples come in 3 colors, and I wanted to toss in a bit of science as well as math, plus it helps younger students to use more than only one color, which they are notorious for.

By having them cut their apple out, you provide an opportunity for practice, and can see at a glance who is having difficulty with fine motor skills.

If you take a first day of school photo, make copies and trim, so that students can glue one to their leaf, for that finishing touch.

Completed projects make a sweet bulletin board. (A new crop of kids, Kindergarten is a bushel of fun, The apple of Mr(s). ______'s eye, apple-icious work are just a few captions.

I've included 3 samples to give you some ideas of what children can share.  An example will help jumpstart their minds and set them in the right direction.

There's also a blank apple for you to fill in with whatever information you'd like to learn about your students.

Thanks for visiting today.  It's Friday and that means garage sales! (Woo hoo.)

I'm off in search of more treasures to fill up my already too-full basement!  As a teacher, you can probably relate to suffering from the Pack Rat Syndrome.

"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow." -Anthony J. D'Angelo

## Apple Icebreaker Craftivity

6 pages.

This apple icebreaker is a fun way to get to know your students.  So that your kiddos can get to know you too, make sure you make a personal sample.  Packet includes the writing prompt template, plus a blank one for you to fill in with whatever. This actiity will be FREE for an entire year(!) after which time it will be up-dated and put into my 20-page "Fall Writing Prompts Craftivity packet."

## A Harvest of Apples and Pumpkins

1-2-3 Come Do Some Apple and Pumpkin Activities With Me!

One of the much-needed skills for little ones, is the ability to cut.  Just learning how to hold a scissors is quite an accomplishment for some.  To help my Y5's strengthen their hand muscles and increase dexterity, I incorporated cutting practice in some form or another every day.  To make this less tedious and frustrating, many of the activities revolved around creating a craft that included other skills as well.

Keeping this in mind, I designed "A-peel-ing Apples" so children could practice cutting in a circle.  This is a wonderful opportunity to add the term spiral to students' vocabulary as well.  Giving a red, yellow or lime green color choice for the apple, also reinforces that science fact.

To add a bit more pizzazz, older students can glue two different colors together.  The thicker paper lessens the drop of the spiral, and the double-sided colors add interest to the dangler.  Students glue a stem and leaf to the top.  Punch a hole; add a yarn loop and suspend from the ceiling, or as a border against a hallway wall.  Click on the link to view/download the A-peel-ing Apples activity.

Cutting on a straight line is also not that easy for some little ones. These apple and pumpkin "strip" puzzles, will not only give your students practice with that skill, but review and reinforce sequencing numbers from 1-10, skip counting by 10's, or counting backwards from 10-1. I've used a dashed-line font, for the numbers on the apples and pumpkins, so that students can get some writing practice in.  Encourage children to count quietly as they trace the numbers.

Simply choose a number concept you want to work on and run off the puzzles on construction paper.  Children choose a puzzle; trace the numbers; cut the strips, lay them in the proper sequence on a sheet of black construction paper, and then glue them down.

Remind students to keep a small space between the strips.  Students add a stem and leaf to the top.  You can make the pumpkin more of a keepsake, by having children, or a room helper, trace their hand, with their fingers spread, onto green construction paper.  They trim and glue next to their stem.  Completed projects make a sweet harvest bulletin board.

You may want to laminate one of each kind, to keep in your math center.  Each puzzle has its own Baggie.  Children can work indepently, or pick a partner to play "Speed" against.  The first one who completes their puzzle, is the winner.  Click on the link to view/download the Apple and Pumpkin Number Puzzles.

Thanks for visiting today.  Feel free to PIN away.  To ensure that "pinners" return to THIS blog article, click on the green title at the top; it will turn black, now click on the "Pin it" button located on my menu bar.  If you'd like to take a look at all of the wonderfully creative stuff I PIN for school, click on the heart to the right of the blog.

"Imagination is the highest kite one can fly." -Lauren Bacall

## More Back To School Helpful Ideas: Apple Art!

An Apple (Activity) A Day Keeps Boredom Away!

One of my favorite units that I did with my Y5’s was APPLES.

I think they really enjoyed it too, as visiting an apple orchard and picking 3 different kinds of apples was our first fieldtrip.

I feel it’s important to have lots of hands-on centers for little ones, to help them increase fine motor skills through cutting and gluing.

Doing centers helps with a variety of life skills and forces them to listen in order to follow directions.

As they become independent, they are empowered and their self-esteem soars.

Seeing their creations hung on our “Wall of Fame” in the hallway, also helped give them a sense of pride.

Knowing I was going to display their work, was a good incentive, to give their best effort.

Through art, I could also incorporate reading, writing, math, and science; sometimes all of them in one quick project, which covered a variety of report card standards.

The 92 – page Apple Art Projects Book has a large variety of activities in it and includes directions, patterns and pictures.

These make terrific center activities, something for students to do when they have completed other work, a nice home-school connection project to be given as homework, or something to tuck in your substitute folder.

The results are wonderful back to school bulletin boards, or hallway and door displays.  Some can be suspended from the ceiling.

The crayon-melt apple poem was one of my favorites.

The poem introduced my students to rhyme; the rhyme taught them the science fact they needed to learn about apples; twisting the 3 color crayons through a sharpener was a terrific fine motor skill, and the result after I put a sheet of wax paper over their shavings and applied a warm iron was awesome!

I also reinforced the 3 colors with this rip and tear apple, which strengthened finger muscles as well.

Students enjoyed making the Life Cycle of an Apple on a paper plate, which was a quick and easy way to get some science in.

Thanks for visiting today. I hope you can stop by tomorrow for more back to school ideas.

Do you have an apple activity that you could share with us?  I’d enjoy hearing from you! diane@teachwithme.com or take a moment and post a comment here.

Feel free to PIN anything you think others might find worthwhile.

“We should say to each [child]: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel.  You are unique -- you may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven.

You have the capacity for anything!” –Pablo Casals

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