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Friday, October 17, 2014

{Pumpkins} & {Spiders}

I have a disclaimer: this may be a realllyyyy long blog post. We did SO much over the last few weeks and we documented at least half of it. ;) This is my absolute favorite month of the year. Pumpkin lattes, cooler weather, hayrides and hoodies. Also, pumpkins, bats, spiders, & monsters at the ECDC. The peas seem to share my enthusiasm. We have had so much fun over the past few weeks and I'm just now catching up! So, I'll start with:
These are just a few of the pumpkin books we read. There are SO many incredible pumpkin books. If you have never read the Ugly Pumpkin and you are near a library, go get it, you won't be disappointed! Pumpkin Jack is one of my favorites and although we haven't introduced this year's peas to the compost pile yet, the peas did pick up on the idea to place our pumpkin in the garden and allow it to decompose after Halloween.

 Pre-K 1 began with a pumpkin morning message.
 Pre-K 2 started by making pumpkins sitting on a gate!
Here's a great video of the poem that goes with it.
 They also began a pumpkin investigation.
In Pre-K 1 we added pumpkins to blocks with a tractor, farm and pumpkin books. We also challenged the peas to make a hay maze out of blocks!
 Both classes did a pumpkin color word sheet, the beginning of our sight word work.
 Pre-K 1 added a new poem to our journals and illustrated it.
We added the weekly poem to our pocket chart so the peas could use pointers to read the poem. They may have it memorized by now! Here it is:
Pre-K 2 also added poems to their journals and illustrated them. 
Here is their poem: 
In Pre-K 1 we cooked up a pumpkin-pie snack. We added whipped cream to canned pumpkin mixed with vanilla pudding over graham crackers. It was yummy.
 In art, we made silly face pumpkins. First we finger painted the colors red and yellow to make a secondary color: orange! Later, the peas drew a big oval/circle on the back. I cut it out for them and they added a mouth, eyes, teeth, stems and grass. The peas experimented with cutting for this project, and after all the practice we've done they did a great job!
The project took several days, but it was worth it.
I really can't get over these pumpkins. I LOVE them. They each have their own personality and they shared on the carpet if their pumpkin was silly, happy, scary, etc. 
 Pre-K 2 opened up their pumpkin and counted their seeds. They had over 200! They sorted them into groups of ten because they are phenomenal counters! Afterwards, they carved their pumpkin.
 Pre-K 1 learned about voting. We could choose from different eyes, noses and mouths. Each pea could add their tally mark under the one they liked best. The ones that had the most tallies won and that's how we carved our pumpkin!
Pre-K 2 read this favorite story-
 and then the did a cooperative art project. It is one of my favorite things they do every year. The peas are broken up into groups and each group works to complete one part of the scarecrow's body. They brainstorm and collaborate to decide the best way to form their body part. Here they are in action:
At the end they assemble all of the parts into one giant scarecrow!
They also did a great counting activity after reading the book Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins.
 They used their fingerprints to make their own sixteen runaway pumpkins.
They also made a pumpkin with the life cycle. So cool guys.
 Both classes added pumpkins and spiders to our sensory tables.  
After pumpkins, we moved onto spiders!
Here's a few spider books we read.

Both classes made a K/W/L chart to start the week.
 We read some factual books and did some research on the ipads to get started.
 Both classes did an independent sequencing spider sheet for assessments. They did great!
In Pre-K 1 we learned a new poem called "The Silly Willy Spider". We used a bean bag to act out the poem.
 Pre-K 2 made marble painted spider webs and then created amazing spiders to live on the webs.
Pre-K 2 made webs, too! We made ours by weaving yarn around a plate and adding plastic spiders. We practiced our handwriting, too.

We began our week with a spider morning message. I love these little emergent readers and their sweet drawings and handwriting. Every time they do morning message they add their names, so we are practicing names often.
We added our silly willy spiders poems to our journal and illustrated them.
 In math we measured spiders with Cuisenaire rods, patterned spiders and matched numeric spiders.
 They are doing amazing in both classes with their numbers since we do daily work every day. We see them recognizing more and more numbers.

 The big event of the week in both classes was Miss Spider's Tea Party. We read this book-
Pre-K 1 graphed whether they would accept the invitation. 
 Everyone said yes! 
We had spider juice and spider tea cakes.
 It was delicious.
 Here's Pre-K 2's party. They made spiders out of oreos and pretzel sticks!
Over in Pre-K 1 we set up our home center with insects, a tea set and Miss Spider's book. Tea parties were held.
 Pre-K 2 rounded out the week making this giant spider web out of yarn. They threw the yarn across the circle to weave their very own web!
 Pre-K 2 got really tangled up in some spider web material Ms. Amy got us! We ended up hanging some of it from the ceiling over our circle time carpet.
 They also got tangled up in Pre-K 2!
 Pre-K 1 rounded out the week making oreo pretzel spiders that Pre-K 2 shared with us. We carefully counted out 8 legs, added them to our cookies and then ate our spiders. 
 So that's a wrap on our pumpkin/spider weeks. Next week we will be learning about bats. Until then...have a wonderful weekend!