1-2-3 Come Play Some Pumpkin Games With Me!
Games are a wonderful way for students to practice important life skills. They are also a quick & easy way to grab and hold children's interest, while they review and reinforce a variety of standards. One of my little ones summed it up: "We didn't even know we was learnin' cuz we was havin' so much fun!"
Because subitizing (being able to "know" how many there are, without counting) is extremely important; playing with dominoes and dice, are a great way to help students recognize these groupings at a glance. Before too long, I could flash 6 dots (in the pattern on a dice/domino) and my students would call out the number 6, without having to stop and count the dots.
Keeping this in mind, I designed 6 pumpkin-themed dice games + a listening and following direction activity, that will help review ordinal numbers. They are all in one Pumpkin Games packet. To view/download it, click on the link. Because the rules are pretty much the same, students feel empowered, as they know what to do, and can get down to business, and you aren't using up valuable minutes explaining things for the umpteenth time.
Because the apple basket counting game, was a popular download, I decided to revisit that concept using pumpkins. Print off the farmer's wagon on brown construction paper, laminate and trim. Do the same thing with the pumpkin tile master. Have each child take 20 pumpkin tiles, (or to expedite things, have 20 pre-counted and put in Snack Baggies. After children have played the game, to make sure that they have 20 pumpkins, have students count them one at a time into their bag.) This is great counting practice for little ones, and also ensures that you don't have incomplete games, because pumpkins fell on the floor.
Children choose a partner and share the wagon. The object of the game is to get all of your pumpkins into the wagon, by taking turns rolling the dice. Whatever number a child rolls, is how many pumpkins they pick up from their pile and place in the wagon. You can make the game more difficult, by having students roll an exact number towards the end of the game. i.e. if they have only 1 pumpkin left, they need to roll a one.
In the game "Roll and Color," children roll a dice. Whatever number they roll, is the matching numbered section on their pumpkin, that they color. The first child with a completly colored-in pumpkin is the winner.
"Roll and Draw" works with the same rules, only children draw a shape on their pumpkin to make a Jack-O-Lantern. This is a great opportunity to review a square, triangle, circle and rectangle, and possibly introduce the crescent shape as well.
Because 5 Little Pumpkins Sitting On a Gate, is such a popular rhyme/story in October, I thought it would be fun to follow it up with a game. To conserve paper, you can print, laminate and trim the gates. If copying is not an issue for your school, it's nice if each child can have their own "gate" so they can continue to practice at home.
Run off the pumpkin master. Students color and cut out their pumpkins and place them on the gate. When you are explaining the game, you have a great opportunity to review ordinal numbers as well. Children take turns rolling a dice with their partner. Whatever number they roll, they take the matching numbered pumpkin off the gate and have it go "rolling into the night..." The first child who gets all of their pumpkins off the gate is the winner.
Pumpkins in a Row on a Roll is similar. Children color the numbered pumpkin that matches the number that they roll. I also made an ordinal number activity with this same template. This is wonderful practice for listening and following directions too, as the teacher reads what (s)he wants students to do.
Finally, children trace the numbers and color their pumpkins as they take turns rolling the dice in Pumpkins On A Roll . Simply run off the template, trim and give each student a strip of pumpkins. Click on the link to view/download the Pumpkin Games packet.
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"A college degree and a teaching certificate, may define a person as a teacher, but it takes hard word and dedication to truly be one." -Evan Esar
1-2-3 Play An Alphabet Matching Game With Me!
The Dollar Store is one of my favorite stores. My mantra when I go in one is: "What can I do with this, that will help my students learn?" so when I saw that they carried clip-on clothespins, I designed all sorts of games that students could "clip and match." I did this for colors, numbers, upper and lowercase letters, shapes, and even glued my kiddos' photo on the front and back, so they could clip it to a yes or no answer for Question of the Day.
I used another photo clip for attendance. This clothespin could also be used on your behavior board. i.e. Children all start out on the green apple for "good" behavior, and move to a yellow apple when they've been warned, and finally to a red apple if there's a consequence.
Because my little ones needed help recognizing and writing their names, I wrote them on clothespins for them to "find". These were kept in a bucket and were sometimes used when I graphed something. Children could also pick a clothespin out of the bucket and have that child be their partner.
My clothespin craftiness started 13 years ago. Creative minds must think alike, because I've seen clothespin activities all over Pinterest, with similar ideas. One gal used yellow alphabet clothespins as "rays" that were clipped around a sun. This gave me the idea to make several themed alphabet clothespin games.
I started with an apple and then made a pumpkin. I'll fool around with a turkey and its feathers for November. Hopefully by then, all of your students will be able to identify upper and lowercase letters.
Here are some tips to help you make the apple/pumpkin alphabet games. Directions for the pumpkin are similar and included in the packet.
If you are making multiple games, so that more students can play, make a template for the leaves and stem. Print, cut and trace onto an old file folder to make a pattern that’s easier to trace. Using the template, trace the leaf once on green construction paper and then cut several at a time. Do the same for the stem, only on brown construction paper. Glue to the back of your apples then laminate. Children will clip the Aa clothespins on the stem, and the Z or B clothespin on the leaf, depending on where you glue the leaves. Run off the apples on red, yellow and lime green construction paper.
I suggest you clip all of the clothespins onto the apples BEFORE you write the letters on. Since little ones are just learning about letters, it’s less confusing for them, if you print on the clothespins, so that a letter doesn’t appear upside down. i.e. I printed letters E, F, G, H, I, J, sideways with the “pinch” end of the clothespin going to the right, and letters Q, R, S, T, U , V and W sideways; with the “pinch” side going to the left. Letters A, B, C, D, Z, Y, X with the “pinch” side up,; and L, M, N, O, P with the “pinch” side down.
Another help for younger children, and allows for quick sorting, is to print the uppercase letters in red permanent marker, and the lowercase letters on the flip side, in black. Bag up this particular set of clothespins and mark them Apple Clothespins.
Children can also play with a partner, dividing the clothespins so that each child gets 13 to clip. Teacher chooses the partners, so that a stronger student can help a child who’s struggling. There's an apple and pumpkin alphabet anchor chart, so that children can self-check their work when they have completed clipping their clothespins.
Make a few extra games to send home with children who need more one-on-one help. Inform parents via a note (There's one included in the pack) that they may BORROW the game for one week and need to return it on a specific day. Jot yourself a note as to who has the game. I've also included a reminder note to send home, in case a child fails to return the game on time.
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"I was asked to memorize what I did not understand; and, my memory being so good, refused to be insulted in that manner." -Aleister Crowley
My Pumpkin Shape Booklet Easy Reader (K.G.2)
Since yesterday’s My Pumpkin Booklet was such a huge hit, I decided to continue with a pumpkin theme for the rest of the week.
The 14-page My Pumpkin Shape Booklet Easy Reader packet is a fun way to review the basic shapes and common Word Wall words with your students.
When students make these easy readers you can review concepts of print with them by asking simple questions: Where is the cover, where is the back page, what is the title? (RI.K5) They will delight in the fact that they are part author as well as the illustrator of the booklet. (RI.K6
You can point out to them that the first word in the sentence is capitalized (L.K2a) and ask them what the end punctuation is. (L.K2b) In my easy readers where they re-write the entire sentence this reinforces those standards.
Students are also following words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page. (RF.K3a ) They are seeing and understanding that words are separated by spaces in print as they trace and then write them. (RF.K3d)
I specifically choose common high-frequency words in the easy readers and repeat them through out the booklets so that simply via repetition students learn them. (the, of, to, you, she, he, my, is, are, a, do, does, it, etc.) This is also a Common Core State Standard: (RF.K3c)
Children TRACE the words in the sentences as well as the shape and then write the shape word and draw the shape on the oval pumpkin, which they also trace.
Because of the spatially placed shapes, the last page has the pumpkin turning into a Jack-O-Lantern.
Take this opportunity to ask your students how the shapes are placed. Is the circle nose ABOVE the triangle teeth? Are the square eyes UNDER the rectangle stem? You have then incorporated the Common Core standand K.G.1 where "Students describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to. "
Younger students can trace him, older students can draw their own. (There are 2 different pages.)
Also includes 3 skill sheets about shapes, a certificate of praise, and 8-word wall-flashcards including 6-shape picture cards.
Students can make these into an Itty Bitty booklet. Make a laminated set to use for a Memory Match game, where the students can match the words to the picture or the colored picture to the non-colored picture.
The booklet + worksheets make a great independent writing center or Daily 5 activity.
Click on the link to view/download My Pumpkin Shape Booklet Easy Reader packet.
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Do you have a pumpkin activity your students really enjoy? I’d LOVE hearing from you! firstname.lastname@example.org or take a moment and leave a comment here. Thanks in advance!
“What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul.” –Joseph Addison
Hi Ho it’s pumpkin time don’t ya know! At least that’s what my Y5’s tell me when I ask them what month it is. They come up with the cutest things!
NURSERY RHYME TIME:
I like to teach several Nursery Rhymes each month so I do Little Miss Muffet, Jack Be Nimble, and Peter-Peter Pumpkin Eater this month.. Did you know there really was a Miss Muffet? Her dad was a doctor and he supposedly crushed up spiders and made a medicinal concoction to give his patients that was high in protein. Maybe she was afraid of spiders because of that. Yuk! I choose a student to play Miss Muffet and we act out the rhyme with a black spider puppet named “Inky”. For Jack Be Nimble I make a pretend candle out of a paper towel tube, stuff it with some red, yellow and orange tissue paper “flames” and we take turns jumping over the candle stick. I also make my students promise to NEVER ever play with candles, matches, lighters or fire! It’s a nice lead-in to our fire safety week. Finally we have fun with the Pumpkin shell skill sheet. Click on the link to print a copy. I’ve also included answer keys to save you time.
If you’re looking for Pumpkin Crafts to do with your students check out my Arts/Crafts and Activities part of the blog for some great pumpkin fun. I’ve also got an entire book devoted to Pumpkin crafts, and an entire unit on Pumpkins. Click on the links. A few of my favorites are “Peekin’ in a Pumpkin” and a “Keepsake Pumpkin Bowl”. They are really simple and the pumpkin bowls make a dynamite bulletin board.
To make a “Peekin’ Pumpkin”,
To make a "Keepsake Pumpkin Bowl"
Mr./Mrs. _____________’s Pumpkin Patch.
We Keep Growing In Knowledge Everyday!
Need more? Fall Fun also has some great arts and crafts activities in it.
I don’t know about your students, but mine are “all about the costumes!” and what they will be wearing to the party! I designed a homework assignment around that topic where they DRAW a picture of what they will be for Halloween. They bring it back and share it with the class. This is a great substitute for regular Show and Tell that day and gives everyone a chance to practice their verbal skills. This page also goes in their Keepsake Memory Book. Click on the link to print a copy to do with your class. What Will You Be For Halloween?
I’ve even made up a song that we sing “Will You Wear A Costume?” along with several other fun October songs my students enjoy singing. . Click on the link to print them.
October Songs Two of their favorites are The Farmer In October. and Let's Go Trick or Treating. They both go to the tune of The Farmer in The Dell. This farmer picks a pumpkin, who picks some apples. The trick or treaters see a cat, rat, ghost, monster, etc. you get the idea. Of course it's Halloween!
I just finished a great activity booklet with a teacher's edition that matches the song Let's Go Trick or Treating. It's 28 pages long. Click on the link to check it out. It's perfect for Halloween Party Day! And if your school doesn't celebrate Halloween and you do a Harvest Time thing, the matching booklet The Farmer in October is for you!
On Halloween Party Day I take a picture of each one of my students just before our parade when they are all decked out. I make a class book with their photographs in a spin off of Brown Bear What Do You See? It’s one of my students’ favorite “Look At” Books. I keep every year’s books in a basket during October. To make one, use any Halloween Clip Art for the cover with your name in the title: Mr./Mrs. _________________’s Class What Do You See On Halloween? The inside verse reads: “Kitty Cat Kelli what do you see?” “ I see Princess Marah that’s what I see.” “Princess Marah what do you see?” “I see Police Man Jeffrey looking at me.” Continue ‘til you’ve gone through all of the children wearing their costumes. The last page is: “Costumed children what’s all the fuss?” “We see our teacher ________________ looking at us!” “ Teacher _____________________ what do you see that’s really keen” “I see my students yelling Happy Halloween!”
My students are less shy now. I thought a great way to encourage verbal expression, as well as reinforce listening and recall, would be to tell them a daily knock-knock joke. I bought a spooky Halloween prop that looks like a door with a knocker on it. When I tell a joke I let a child clank the knocker and a creepy voice spookily laughs. It’s great fun. They also get to press the doorbell which is also rather eerie. Then I say the knock-knock joke and they repeat it twice so they’ve got it so they can tell it at home. I send a copy of the jokes home so that parents can help prompt. If you want to join in the howling Halloween humor, click on the link for a copy of the Knock-Knocks.
MAGIC PLAY-DOUGH FUN!
I’m now teaching secondary colors and read the cute book Mouse Paint. A fun thing I do is give my Y5’s some “Magic Play-dough”. They know that Yellow and Red makes Orange. I do it as a math equation Yellow + Red = Orange. I give them a little “lumpin” of yellow, they squeeze it to make a pumpkin! I simply make up a batch of yellow Play-Dough, roll it into a small ball for each of my students, make a hole with my finger, insert 2 drops of red food coloring, cover the hole back up, and then put a ball in an individual snack baggie for each child along with the “magic poem” On the bag I put a sticker that says” Squeeze your “lumpkin” to make a pumpkin!” click on the links for the “Magic Poem” and “Stickers”. To make them into stickers, put a sheet of Avery mailing labels in your printer (30 labels on a sheet) and click print.)
FALL FUN FREEBIES:
Finally, “TRY IT! YOU’LL LIKE IT!” here’s your chance to try a few “pumpkin pages” from some of my brand new books. I just finished some more ABC activities and want to give you a chance to give them a try so click on the links and have some pumpkin fun.
All of my units have a slider included. They are a wonderful way to add a bit of art in your day or include as a center. Depending on what you want to review, you can make a letter, shape or number slider. Pictured here is an uppercase letter slider. “P” is for Pumpkin of course! Free Pumpkin Slider
Free Pumpkin Upper and Lowercase Trace and Match comes from two alphabet collections. Each book has 31 pages. Students TRACE the uppercase/lowercase letter then CIRCLE the matching lower/uppercase letter underneath. For an additional activity and cutting practice, children can CUT the cards apart and sequence them. These are great for a substitute to plug in, something to do when students are done early, a great review, nice to send home as a practice skill sheet for parents to work one-on-one with their child when you need a homework lesson, or use them as an assessment tool. Uppercase Trace and Match Book, Lowercase Trace and Match Book.
The Upper and Lowercase Alphabet Helper Strip Book has strips for September – June. + a collection of “What’s Missing?” skill sheets. Here’s what I do with them:
Finally, Monthly Skill Sheets TRACE, SNIP, & GLUE Matching Upper and Lowercase Letters, is a great book that has your students exercising fine motor cutting skills by snipping “stems” and adding them to a themed object like a pumpkin! I suggest running them off on two different shades of colored copy paper, snipping off the bottom and giving ½ your students orange tops and green bottoms and ½ green tops and orange bottoms so that the “stems” stand out. Free Pumpkin Trace Snip & Glue Skill Sheets.
Whatever activities you decide to do, I hope these help you have a pumpkin-licious good time with your own little punkins!