Tuesday, October 12, 2010

OCTOBER~ Teddy bears, changing leaves, and pumpkins, oh my!!

O-C-T-O-B-E-R, October is in the fall!

Wow, we've been in school for 38 days today. It's hard to believe the first 9 weeks of school is almost over! The K kids have been enjoying the changes of fall here in Oklahoma. We've been watching the leaves begin to change and we are enjoying the cooler fall weather! We've also been working hard at school. We've been making lots of fall crafts. Today we started making a paper plate pumpkin. We use the small paper plates and then use our fine motor skills to squish up little pieces of tissue paper to cover the pumpkin. Then we cut out a stem to finish our pumpkin off. On Friday, we are going to do a BIG task, painting leaves for our fall leaf wreath. This is one of my favorite fall crafts! One of our great Mom helpers cut out 8 leaves on the ellison die cut per child. We are going to set up at the table in our "Learning Corral". In trays we are going to have several different fall colors of paint. I have some really cool rollers from Lakeshore that the kiddos can roll into the paint and roll onto their leaves. :) The same great helper Mom is cutting out the middle of a regular sized paper plate. The kids will glue their 8 leaves onto the plate once the leaves are dry. It makes a very fun colorful fall leaf wreath! I posted some pics of the ones we did last year last Nov. too, so you may have seen them before. :)

At the beginning of this month, we had a Teddy Bear Picnic! Such a fun time! Each child brought their teddy bears and we went outside on a BEAUTIFUL fall day and had yummy snacks with our teddy bears. The kids made teddy bear ears so they would be in disguise. For the teddy bear ears, we cut the circle out of the middle of a small paper plate and left a sort of tail on the bottom so we could glue it around a headband. Then the kiddos colored the background of their ears and glued yarn pieces all over the ear. We use Aleen's tacky glue for our craft projects, and I love it!! Their headbands turned out cute. :)

Well, I said last time that I would share my love for phonics! :) I've taught 3 grades at our school, Pre-K, K, and 1st. 1st grade was my longest trek, and I saw SO many benefits from a strong phonics curriculum. We use ABeka phonics at our school. It starts with the basics in Pre-k and then builds each year. In K we begin using blends to make and read words. We drill those blends each day! In Jan., we will begin doing reading groups and the blends they have drilled really begin to hit home. :) I'm already so impressed at how well my students are making and reading words. In first grade we build a little more. They have phonics charts with special sounds for words to help them read and spell. Many of these special sounds help us to even read sight words, so the Dolch word list becomes very small! It's exciting to see these kiddos take off and use the rules and sounds they practice. It's even more exciting to see them become GREAT readers and spellers. I LOVE phonics!!

Okay, another soap box this month. We work hard in our K, but we play even harder, and that balances it all out. :)

Enjoy the changes in your seasons wherever you are!!

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