“Pump” up the Learning.

Wow that was lame.  I’m not sorry.  First graders love it so there it is.  I would totally say that too many times in class.  Lately this is my classroom.  The pumpkins in here are becoming like Wilson to me. {Cast Away}

These days I can’t get enough horizontal stripes.  I even bought a black and white long-sleeved striped T.  My shoulders are so broad they make linebackers jealous.  They should not be seen in a horizontal stripe….what am I talking about?

Back to “Pump”-ing up the learning… {Say it in the SNL voice}

Last week was all about apples so one way that I enjoyed making the transition to pumpkins was by comparing the two!  This is a cute and fun science and writing freebie I hope you’ll enjoy.  To see a ridiculously cute anchor chart that goes with it and a zillion other adorable ideas be sure to check out this post by Cara!!

We did this activity whole group, but I gave each group a pumpkin and apple for the center of their table.  This way they could really see the similarities and differences up close.

If you want to keep the price down on your produce, go for the little bags of each.

To get this fun apples and pumpkins comparison activity just click the picture above.

Here are some other pumpkin ideas to use this month.

This has been a big hit for the last couple of years.   Make a Jack-o-Lantern fact family!  Last year I got a little carried away modeling this one because it was so fun.  They were all, “We get it Mrs. Tunstall…Gosh.”

 I had students do this one with me in small group so I could check it before they wrecked it. 

The manipulatives I gave the students for creating and checking their fact families are called fall table scatter.  I got some at target, and I found some here on amazon.  The amazon links in this post are affiliate links.  I love getting deals on amazon so I wanted to share the convenience with you.  If you use the link I do get a portion of the sale.  I don’t know if you plan to go “nuts” on table scatter, but just in case, I wanted you to have it straight. 

All of the pumpkin math centers in my Plenty of Pumpkins unit also have corresponding journal activities.    Get your matchy-matchy happy dance going.  Are you feeling it?

Make sure students have manipulatives to check their thinking before it goes into the journal.  for-ever… ever…. ever….   This is how I talked to my students so they remember.  😉

Here are some pumpkin activities that help reinforce the math learning going on in class while being adorably seasonal at the same time! Hooray!   Score:  Novelty 1 Boredom 0

 The pumpkin units of ten help students to understand and begin to see ten as 1 unit.  Giving students something different yet similar to manipulate the ones helps connect the understanding of ones being different than units of ten.  I got the little pumpkins off of amazon here

Moving a pumpkin on a number line,  I mean what could be more fun?  (The number line goes to 20 and so do the equations)

Oh…such needed practice for my first graders.  These pumpkins came out over and over!  I love the glitter poms as ones.  Students can see the difference between tens and ones in order to compare value.

Let’s move on to some Literacy fun. These are from my unit, Fallin’ For You.  It got a major update last year.    I have my word work centers pretty set for the year based on our phonics and spelling, but I love to mix it up at the writing center or for fast finishers during guided reading so here are some ideas for that.

This is a really fun around the room hunt.  You can write your own words on the leaves or use mine. Students can record the sight words they have raked up in a journal or on this fun paper (more leaves on back)

Students color vowels a different color from consonants.  We find words together as we move around letters.   This is such an eye-opening activity.

We all build and write the words together.  Students raise their hands to share when they have found a new word and then we all build it and write it.

The unit includes more of these too.  

For the writing center I have 4 sets of picture cards and words. 
 Change them out weekly or every couple of weeks to keep things fresh. 

 ABC order

Different set of cards

 Fire safety, this post is about pumpkins.  Get lost.   Just kidding you are very important.   

Another version of writing paper.  Inside there is a picture box and writing lines. 

One of our favorite pumpkin studies of all was in our pumpkin science books.  We spent two weeks exploring all aspects of our pumpkins with these 10 activities.  We did some during math, some during writing, and some during science.

Next week I will be back with spiders and bats!

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  1. Hi Reagan, I have all of your writing units, but these thematic ones with the all about books and ABC order with the seasonal cards are not in those. Do you have these available? Thanks so much! They would absolutely help my kids be engaged in writing this time of year!!

  2. Hi Reagan.

    It's April from Chalk Talk. I looked all over for your email, but couldn't find it, so I had to post a comment here. My literacy coaches are presenting a session on phonemic awareness in about a week. I would love to share your alliteration iPhone activity and a pic from the post if that is ok with you. Of course I will give you and your blog a shout out in the process. Let me know if that's OK with you.