Fall Festival

The last couple days in our classroom have been filled with excitement; not only are we only 2 days away from a week off, but we are about to have our Fall festival! Today, my little ones stuffed our bowling pins with fall items from their  Fall Huntskmtd

After we stuff all our bowling pins with leaves, acorns, and pecans we were ready for more Fall festival fun! Each student created their own invitation to give to their parents. The invitations read

Fall Festival

November 17

9-12

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Being my first year in PreK, I am so impressed with how well my little ones can write and draw! The fun for the day didn’t stop here! We had a pumpkin decoration contest as well! Each child was given the option to participate, only four kids did, but they were all so cute!

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After all this, we continued the day during rhyme time. This weeks nursery rhyme was “I’m Glad I’m Not a Turkey.”

“I’m glad I’m not a turkey, a turkey, a turkey.

I’m glad I’m not a turkey on Thanksgiving Day.

They stuff you and bake you and then they will taste you.

I’m glad I’m not a turkey on Thanksgiving Day.”

They absolutely love this rhyme! To go along with the rhyme, we had the students practicing rhyming words all week. We started the week with “Erase a Rhyme.” We drew turkeys on dry erase boards, and as we said a rhyming word for the turkey parts, the students erased the piece of the turkey that rhymed. (Ex: Our turkey loves some pumpkin pie, so you can go ahead and erase his _____!) To continue with the same theme, the next day I created a color a rhyme turkey. (Which can be found for FREE at my store!)  or you can download below:

Color a Turkey Download

Now, it was time for Fall festival! My kids were so excited! The morning of the Fall festival, the students couldn’t wait to show their parents all that they had learned! Surprise! They got to meet the animals in our community! For some of my little ones, this was the first time near real farm animals!

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After petting the animals, we played the games that each class made. There was pumpkin bowling, pumpkin roll race, football, cheerleaders, sac races, corn letter finding, bean bag tosses, apple tosses, pumpkin patch, pumpkin measuring, pumpkin decorating, sugar cane limbo, catch the leaves in the parachute, leaf rubbings, face painting, and more! We had a blast with all the things the classes made! Here are some of the pictures below! The Fall festival was a hit in our Fall clothes, Fall activities, and Fall weather!

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Leaf rubbings!

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Bean Bag Toss!

This Fall festival could not of been possible without the support of our PRE-K team, our administration, and the parents! So thank you to all who came and supported our little ones.

For more about our fall festival please read my other posts:

 Monday – 3 days before Fall Festival

Saturday Mornings – FALL Investigations PBL

Louisiana Fall Investigations Project Based Learning!

OR

If you would like to do Louisiana Fall Project Based Learning in your classroom, my store has all you need: Louisiana Fall PBL

Sincerely,

A Happy Teacher

Monday – 3 days before Fall Festival

Today was like any other morning. I woke up, put on a cup of coffee, and went to school. As I entered the classroom, I was excited to see what would be the result of the past month of learning about Fall. The children came in with smiles on their faces. As I pulled up the flipchart, we went over our calendar and the weather. In front of their eyes was a picture of the first Thanksgiving. I asked the students,

what do you see in this picture? What do you notice? 

The answers I got were absolutely perfect! The students noticed men with feathers in their hats.

Who do you think those people are?

I heard the answer right away! INDIANS! I told them you are right! They told me they knew because they have seen indians before!

What else do you notice?

They told me they saw a table, food, and people with funny hats on. I was smiling ear to ear. They were identifying the items from our first Thanksgiving! This lead into the discussion. Well,

What do you think they are doing?

They said, “EATING and SHARING!” Then I told them this is a picture of the very first Thanksgiving. This is where Thanksgiving came from! The students were excited to learn more. So, we watched a story on Thanksgiving. At the end of the morning message, I let the students know if they were really good in centers maybe we could go for a Fall walk and find Fall items we could place in our bowling pins for the Fall festival!

During centers, I took a few students out at a time and we went on a Fall Hunt! We went in search of things that represented Fall to put into our bowling pins and this is what we found! Below are pictures of our hunt!

sixpn Walking to explore what we can find!

sixvkFinding Leaves!

sixxfBig Leaves that fell from the tree!

sixavMs. Christina this is Fall plants we planted! Can we place them? Let’s let them grow a bit more! 😉

sixgsWe found nuts that Louisiana black bears can eat!

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This was truly an exciting Fall Day!

If you would like to see our Fall PBL flipcharts they are available at my Store at: Fall PBL which is on sale until Nov 17, 2016.

Come back to find out what we do tomorrow!

If this is your first time reading my blog: check out my past blogs about Fall PBL: Louisiana Fall Investigations Project Based Learning! and Saturday Mornings – FALL Investigations PBL

Sincerely,

A Happy Teacher

Saturday Mornings – FALL Investigations PBL

Saturday mornings are filled with coffee, sleep, and for me the realization that I have so much to do to prepare for the following week. As a new teacher, I am always working on my laptop or at school. I woke up this morning, brought my puppies outside, put on a cup of coffee, and opened my laptop. Like many of you I’m sure, I procrastinate all the time. I began wracking my brain, what will I need for next week to make sure this festival is a success? How can I make this something the kids will remember forever? How can I impact the lives of not only my students, but the community?

Well, as I sat on my couch writing to you, the answers kept swirling around my brain. On Monday, I will have my kids create their own invitations, inviting a family member to come and learn what Fall means to them. But what else can we do, I asked my kids this yesterday. They were so excited, they wanted to decorate the pumpkins and bowling pins. I can’t wait to begin. So this morning, I am running to the store to buy some bowling pins, well not real ones! We are going to make them out of 2 liter bottles and stuff the insides with Fall items! I can’t take credit for this idea. The 2 liter bottles idea was my colleague, Hope. She is amazing! Always so supportive and helpful, I would be lost without her. I hope every new teacher has someone who will collaborate and help them as much as she does. But, stuffing the bottles with fall items was the kids idea! So, on Monday morning when it is nice and cool, we will be taking a Fall walk outside the school in search of Fall items we can stuff in our pins!

Last time we went on a Fall walk was at the beginning of the unit, this was before the kids actually understood what Fall really was! Now that the unit is almost done, it will be exciting to see how things have changed! I think I will create a slideshow showing their progress and how much they have grown!

In my next post, I will show you pictures of what the kids found that reminded them of Fall and what we will stuff in our pins! So stay tuned!

If you are wanting to do your own project based learning, I would love to help and give you ideas! My Louisiana Fall PBL is available in my store at: FALL PBL

Also if this is your first time to my blog, please read my first post! Louisiana Fall Investigations Project Based Learning!

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My Fall bulletin Board. All about the number five! 5 fingers and 5 pumpkins.

Sincerely,

A Happy Teacher

Louisiana Fall Investigations Project Based Learning!

To all my readers,

I wanted to share with you something special! This theme we are working on is Fall Investigations. So, in order to spice things up a bit our Pre-K team decided to do a project based learning (PBL) unit. Well, not to anyones surprise, we were totally scared to death to try something completely different and throw the last couple of years down the drain and start a whole new way of teaching and learning. Not only were we starting a new way of doing things, but we are also learning how to infuse all of our lessons with technology including google hangout, h@tch, google drive, promethean flipcharts, and much more. Well, given that I am a first year teacher, I was all for it! The first thing we started with was what was our driving question?

A driving question in project based learning is a question where a student cannot google the answer but is a series of answers and something that can not easily be answered. Well, if you have ever done project based learning. This is probably the hardest part, because I mean, what can’t you google now-a-days? Well, I thought about this a lot. The other teachers had some good ideas, but none of them really jumped out to me. Then, I had a break through, I was driving home, and I looked around. I live in a small town, where they grow sugar cane in the Fall. This was perfect, I finally had an idea! My question could be, “What is fall in Louisiana?” I googled the question. NOTHING.  I mean of course they had swamp pictures and stuff, but nothing that really resembled what Fall actually was in Louisiana. Our trees don’t always change colors, not everyone lives by a swamp like everyone thinks, and it really isn’t cold here just yet. So there it was, my driving question!

After finding my driving question, that was just the beginning. We found ourselves wondering well how do we do this? How can we let the children lead the lessons? How can we let them discover, if we don’t tell them what they are trying to look for? How can we prepare for the week, if we don’t know which direction it will go?  We were completely overwhelmed. But luckily, we had a mentor to help us with what to do next. Our school board was behind our team 100%. They took time out of their day to train us with PBL and the new technology. They even gave all of us webcams so we could hangout with people around the world and other classes! It was truly impressive how much support we received.

After all the trainings and discoveries, we were ready to start. I began my charts with my driving question. I let the children tell me what they thought fall was in Louisiana. I let them lead the way. I let them discover and tell me what they wanted to learn! This unit was truly eye opening.

Now let’s fast forward to now. We are one month into the PBL and next week is our culminating activity. For our activity, the students decided to have a fall festival! At the festival, we will have activities that let the parents know what fall means to the little ones.

This week, after the students decided to make their own fall festival, I asked the students, “Well, what will we do at a fall festival?” The ideas we heard were perfect. All around the room we had: pumpkin carving, pumpkin patch, pumpkin rolls, fall clothes dress up, leaf rubbings, etc! Fall to my kids was all about pumpkins in my class! They loved them. So naturally, what did we decide to do? A pumpkin investigation! We were going to have pumpkin races, pumpkin measuring, pumpkin bowling, and pumpkin carving! But where were we going to get all these pumpkins? Well, to help my little ones I bought a lot of pumpkins for my lower income kids, but most pumpkins were donated by parents.

I can’t wait to start our fall festival. I will let you know more when it happens!

Our Louisiana Fall Project Based Learning flipcharts, lesson plans, and activities are located in my TPT store available at this link! Fall PBL

sffhtSincerely,

A Happy Teacher