Thanksgiving in Kindergarten

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hi everyone!
Isn't it crazy that it is already almost Thanksgiving?
My absolute favorite time of the year is coming up and I can't wait! (Not that I haven't already started celebrating). I would be lying if I told you I haven't already watched hundreds a few Christmas movies, am about half way done with my shopping, and contemplated decorating the house three or four times. I decided to contain myself, I will decorate on Black Friday and Saturday, after my shopping. We are having Thanksgiving at my house this year, I am a perfectionist when it comes to decorating, especially for holidays, so I have been working hard on my Thanksgiving table (check back for pictures later).

We have been doing quite a few Thanksgiving themed activities in kindergarten lately. I think our kids are getting a little bit sick of turkeys!
We had cute jack-o-lanterns on the windows for Halloween and replaced them with these adorable turkeys! The turkeys are included in my Thanksgiving centers if you are interested in them. Click here to see my centers.

I just had to post a picture of this one, it makes me laugh every time I see it! This little cutie cut all of her feathers out and then we glued them to back so that she wouldn't have to do it over. It looks like the turkey is getting an electric shock!

We also made these cute handprint turkeys.
The poem is not mine. I am not sure who originally created the poem, but it is all over Pinterest and TpT. I just love the way they turned out. The best quote of the whole day was when I was painting a little boy's hand he says, "I've done this before, it was horrifying!". It was so funny! I don't know where he heard that.
The kids wrote their names on the line. I just couldn't include it in the picture. 

Every year we make Native American costumes with the class. This is something that is a lot of fun and looks really cute in the end. The kids each send in a pillowcase and we cut them to make it into a costume. Then, they use Sharpies to draw Native American symbols on them (not sure how accurate the symbols are, but we have a sheet with the symbols that are pretty age appropriate and easy to draw). Usually we made dyed macaroni necklaces, but this year decided not to.

We also made these cute turkey headbands this year. The idea came from Miss Kindergarten. They came out so cute! We will definitely be doing these again!

Do your girls add eyelashes to everything also? Our girls always add eyelashes!
We did all of these things this week so it wouldn't be too much next week. We still have Monday-Wednesday of school next week! We go all the way up to Thanksgiving every year. The good news is that I am done with my college classes until after Thanksgiving, so now I can focus on kindergarten and Thanksgiving!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Day!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I can't believe that it is already November, the year is flying!

One day a few weeks ago was our pumpkin day. This is the first year we have done this and it was really great!
The kids loved it and it was so different and fun.

We got 5 small sugar pumpkins for this lesson, one for each table. It was really great because the kids got to really get involved and it was not like anything that we have done yet this year.

First, we read the book "How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin", it was a great introduction for our exploration of pumpkins and their seeds.

After reading, we explained a little bit about science and making observations. We showed them how to use rulers and told them about all of the different parts of the lesson.

The first steps were to draw the pumpkin and count how many lines were on the pumpkins. Easy.
The next parts were a little more difficult, using rulers was completely new, so this was something that we had to help each kid with.

After that we did a sink and float experiment, the kids LOVED this part. Pumpkins are really cool because they actually float, which is not expected. I had a large tub of water in the back of the room, behind an easel so that it is hidden from the rest of the class. I made a big deal that they had to whisper what happens so it remains a surprise for the rest of the groups. I would take one group at a time to the back and ask each child what their prediction was. Then I would have each child place the pumpkin in the water, it floated every time! They were so excited!

The last part was a lot of fun! We had the kids estimate how many seeds were in their pumpkins (the book was an awesome introduction for this part). Then we cut each pumpkin open, they were able to pull all of the seeds out and count them. Some of the kids loved getting messy and pulling out all of the slimy stuff, and some kids wouldn't even touch it. I was shocked by how many seeds were inside each pumpkin, one of them had 400 seeds! I made pumpkin mats on the computer and had them put ten seeds on each pumpkin, I had 3 mats for each table, thinking this would be enough, I was way off! I ended up having to quickly make some construction paper ones for the rest of the seeds. I was so glad that I made these mats though, it made the counting process so much easier. We are also working on counting by tens so it was great for that too.

It ended up being a really great day, the kids loved it and even though it was a little bit stressful, it was so worth it. We will definitely be doing this again in the future.

Click the pictures below to get a copy of the observation pages, and pumpkin seed counting mats for free.

Graphics by: Kari Bolt, Little Red and KPM Doodles