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Getting to the Core

1-2-3 Come Do Some Sequencing and Retelling a Story Activities With Me 

pumpkin crafts, halloween crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities to go with Big Pumpkin, Halloween party ideas, Do you read the story “Big Pumpkin” by Erica Silverman? It’s one of my all-time favorite Halloween stories. My students love it too.

With that in mind, I designed 3 different “Big Pumpkin” storytelling craftivities, which are a quick, easy & fun way for children to practice the “retelling & sequencing” a story standards.

The gist of the story is that a witch has grown a gigantic pumpkin, which she cannot get off the vine. Even her spooky friends ( a ghost, vampire, and mummy) can't budge the pumpkin. So how does a little bat think he can succeed where the other stronger characters could not?

Read the story, then pick your favorite crafty option from these 3:

pumpkin crafts, halloween crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities to go with Big Pumpkin, Halloween party ideas, 1. A "Big Pumpkin" storytelling wheel, which is in the shape of a pumpkin. Run the pattern off on orange construction paper.

Students trim, then using a brass brad, attach their picture wheel, which they've colored to the back.

pumpkin crafts, halloween crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities to go with Big Pumpkin, Halloween party ideas, 2. A "Big Pumpkin" storytelling "slider" which is also in the shape of a pumpkin. 

Students color the graphics on the strip of paper, then insert it into the pumpkin to retell the tale, and finally  ...

pumpkin crafts, halloween crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities to go with Big Pumpkin, Halloween party ideas, 3. A 3 dimensional pumpkin "flip the flap" booklet.

This craft is not as easy as the wheel and slider crafts, so I recommend it for older students.

pumpkin crafts, halloween crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities to go with Big Pumpkin, Halloween party ideas, The pages of the pumpkin booklet fan out so the witch and her "Big Pumpkiin" are  free standing, creating a nice wow factor, which makes a cute Halloween centerpiece.

All 3 options have  full color patterns to use for an independent center, as well as a sample to share, plus black & white templates, so students can make their own.

When everyone is done, practice retelling the “Big Pumpkin” using the manipulative.

pumpkin crafts, halloween crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities to go with Big Pumpkin, Halloween party ideas, For the pumpkin "slider", children pull the various graphics through the "window".

pumpkin crafts, halloween crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities to go with Big Pumpkin, Halloween party ideas, For the wheel craft, everyone starts by turning their wheel so that the witch with her pumpkin, appears in the “pie-slice window”.

For the flip-the-flap booklet, children begin by flipping the first page to where the witch is seen with her big pumpkin.

pumpkin crafts, halloween crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities to go with Big Pumpkin, Halloween party ideas, Call on a child to begin the story by turning their wheel, pulling on their slider strip, or flipping a pumpkin page.

Continue turning, sliding or flipping, calling on different students to tell you that portion of the story, explaining the “picture prompt”.

After the sixth picture (a slice of pie) is revealed and explained:(The witch made pumpkin pie and everyone ate a piece. After her guests left, she went back into the garden and planted some more pumpkin seeds.) in unison have everyone yell “Happy Halloween!”

To  further reinforce the retelling, have students pick a partner and take turns sharing their wheel or slider with each other.

pumpkin crafts, halloween crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities to go with Big Pumpkin, Halloween party ideas,  october wirting promptsSometimes we do this with our older, reading buddies. This is a quick, easy & fun way to check comprehension too.

For writing practice, all three options include a “Here’s What Happened” writing prompt worksheet, which students complete and color.

There’s also a full color template so you can quickly & easily make an example to share, or do this activity as a whole group with little ones.

pumpkin crafts, halloween crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, moral of the story activities, moral of the story posters, activities to go with Big Pumpkin, Halloween party ideas, Since this story has a moral to it, I take time to define this language arts term.

I’ve included a poster in each packet for you to hang and use as a guide.

As you can see by the photographs, each packet's writing prompt worksheets and posters are different.

pumpkin crafts, halloween crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities to go with Big Pumpkin, Halloween party ideas, There’s also an additional writing prompt worksheet, where students explain the moral of the story.

Use the colorful pattern as a whole group activity, asking little ones what they learned from the bat, then write their answers down on the paper, which you’ve attached to your white board.

Today's featured FREEBIE is a candy corn-themed packet.

candy corn activities, candy corn fractions, pumpkin crafts, halloween crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities to go with Big Pumpkin, Halloween party ideas, Use it to reinforce circles, the concept of small, medium and large; or  have students write whatever you want them to practice, on the individual sections of the candy corn pieces. 

I've made examples to give you some ideas, such as CVC words, upper and lowercase letters, shapes, showing a number, counting to 30, color words, writing down examples of things that are those colors etc.

If you're also working on fractions, I've included pocket chart cards for a quick review that you'll find helpful.

pumpkin crafts, halloween crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities to go with Big Pumpkin, Halloween party ideas, Well that's it for today.  Thanks for popping in. 

It's going to be a chilly, rainy and damp day... perfect for creating some more Halloween activities.  

Wishing you a satisfying and snuggly kind of day.

"Acting is like a Halloween mask that you put on." -River Phoenix

1-2-3 Come Do Some Halloween Storytelling Crafts With Me  

halloween activities, halloween songs, halloween books, halloween stories, halloween crafts, the spooky wheels on the bus story, activities to go with the spooky wheels on the bus Do you read ”The Spooky Wheels on the Bus” by J. Elizabeth Mills?
It’s put out by Scholastic and a new favorite of mine.

Perfect for counting, introducing onomatopoeia, and practicing the “sequencing and retelling a story” standards.

Click on the book photo on the left, or this LINK, to see it being read by a librarian on YouTube.

Since my students are familiar with and really enjoy singing “The Wheels on the Bus”, having an alternate version for Halloween fun is particularly enjoyable.

Activities for the spooky wheels on the busWith these things in mind, I designed a quick, easy and fun ”Spooky Wheels on the Bus” “slider” craftivity, which will help your students retell the story in the proper order.

For educational fun on Halloween party day, read the story, sing the song, and make the slider craft.  Woo hoo for easy-peasy!!

halloween activities, halloween songs, halloween books, halloween stories, halloween crafts, the spooky wheels on the bus story, activities to go with the spooky wheels on the bus Choose the simple square cut pattern for little ones, or the "cut me out" bus template for children with better scissor skills.

Students color the story elements on the “slider strip” then cut and glue it together. There are two options for these as well. 

I use the numbered strip because my Y5s are learning number recognition, plus how to count and sequence

You could also use the strip with just the graphics, and have students number their own to get in even more practice.

As children pull on the end of the “slider-strip” the various pictures go through the “window” of their bus, so that children can take turns retelling the story to a partner or reading buddy, then take their craft home to share with their family, once again practicing these standards.

I introduce the lesson by reading the book ”The Spooky Wheels on the Bus”, then share my completed "slider craft” with my students.
So that you can quickly, and easily make an example, I’ve included a full-color slider pattern.

After I read the story, we retell the tale together, using the picture prompts on my slider. I have children guess which story element they think comes next, before I pull the picture through the “window”.

My students now know what’s expected of them, and are very excited to transition to making a “Spooky Bus” storytelling slider of their own.

halloween activities, halloween songs, halloween books, halloween stories, halloween crafts, the spooky wheels on the bus story, activities to go with the spooky wheels on the bus Storytelling sliders are also an easy & interesting way to assess comprehension.

I’ve included a "Let's sequence the story” activity for this, where students color and trim the picture “windows” then glue them in the correct order on their worksheet.

halloween activities, halloween songs, halloween books, halloween stories, halloween crafts, the spooky wheels on the bus story, activities to go with the spooky wheels on the bus There's also a colorful, bus answer key poster, which you can use in various ways, including as an independent puzzle center.

A Here’s What Happened…” writing prompt worksheet, is another way to check comprehension, plus practice sequential writing, hopefully using a variety of ordinal numbers and other transitions

storytelling wheels, halloween activities, halloween songs, halloween books, halloween stories, halloween crafts, the spooky wheels on the bus story, activities to go with the spooky wheels on the bus Since the story is about the WHEELS on a spooky bus, I also made a story wheel craft as well. 

halloween activities, halloween songs, halloween books, halloween stories, halloween crafts, the spooky wheels on the bus story, activities to go with the spooky wheels on the bus This option provides another way to sequence and retell "The Spooky Wheels on the Bus" story.

Like the slider craft, I've included a "Here's What Happened" writing prompt. 

There's also another fun writing option, where students continue the story by thinking of an 11th thing that might be riding the spooky bus. 

halloween activities, halloween songs, halloween books, halloween stories, halloween crafts, the spooky wheels on the bus story, activities to go with the spooky wheels on the bus They fill in the blank, compleete the sentence with some sort of onomatopoeia then illustrate their worksheet. 

My example has 11 black bats, which go flap, flip, flap all through the town.  Students will enjoy sharing what they've come up with, and completed projects make a cute bulletin board. 

apple activities, telling time activities to the hour, telling time activities to the half hour, halloween activities, halloween songs, halloween books, halloween stories, halloween crafts, the spooky wheels on the bus story, activities to go with the spooky wheels on the bus Today's featured FREEBIE is a set of apple-themed time cards for practicing telling time to the hour and half hour

There are blackline patterns plus a cover, so that students can make their own "Itty Bitty" Telling Time Flip Booklet, along with two assessments I think you'll find useful.

activities for spooky wheels on the busWell that's it for today.  Thanks for dropping in. 

I'm absolutely loving the Indian Summer weather we've been having here in Michigan, so it's time to go rake a few leaves out of my flower beds, before the rain that's brewing changes my plans. 

Wishing you a fun-filled day.

"Autumn, the year's last loveliest smile." -William Cullen Bryant

1-2-3 Come Make A Glyph With Me

If you have never made a glyph with your students I highly recommend you give it a go with one of these quick, easy and super-fun fall glyphs.

apple glyph, scarecrow glyph, pumpkin glyph, assessing listening and following directions, back to school activities, apple activities, scarecrow activities, scarecrow crafts, apple craftss, getting to know you ice brekersMy latest creations are an apple glyph and scarecrow glyph.

apple glyph, scarecrow glyph, pumpkin glyph, assessing listening and following directions, back to school activities, apple activities, scarecrow activities, scarecrow crafts, apple craftss, getting to know you ice brekersNo matter what grade I taught, my students absolutely LOVED making glyphs, which is saying a lot because besides 4th, 6th & 7th grades, I've taught them ALL, beginning with PK all the way up through college freshmen!!

Glyphs are a quick, easy and fun way to practice listening and following directions.

They also provide a "hard copy" to use as proof that a child does or doesn't, which comes in handy during parent-teacher conferences, and selecting the yes or no box on a student's report card. 

Completed projects make an adorable bulletin board, as each one will be different.

apple glyph, scarecrow glyph, pumpkin glyph, assessing listening and following directions, back to school activities, apple activities, scarecrow activities, scarecrow crafts, apple craftss, getting to know you ice brekersI've included a colorful glyph poster in both the apple & scarecrow packets, to use for the center of your display.

apple glyph, scarecrow glyph, pumpkin glyph, assessing listening and following directions, back to school activities, apple activities, scarecrow activities, scarecrow crafts, apple craftss, getting to know you ice brekersGlyphs are also an interesting way to get to know your students and build a classroom community, so the apple glyph is wonderful for a back-to-school icebreaker as well.

apple glyph, scarecrow glyph, pumpkin glyph, assessing listening and following directions, back to school activities, apple activities, scarecrow activities, scarecrow crafts, apple craftss, getting to know you ice brekersBoth packets include several posters you can show to explain directions, which is particularly helpful for younger children.

To practice data collection & analysis, as well as process of elimination, have students pick a partner and try to figure out which glyph they made.

apple glyph, scarecrow glyph, pumpkin glyph, pumpkin activities, assessing listening and following directions, back to school activities, apple activities, scarecrow activities, scarecrow crafts, apple craftss, getting to know you ice brekersI’ve designed the glyph directions in such a way, that you can easily tweak them to fit your needs and levels of your kiddos, making things super-simple, or a bit more challenging for older kiddos in order to test their listening skills as well as comprehension.

Be sure and make a sample of your own, so your students can get to know you as well. 


apple glyph, scarecrow glyph, pumpkin glyph, pumpkin activities, assessing listening and following directions, back to school activities, apple activities, scarecrow activities, scarecrow crafts, apple craftss, getting to know you ice brekersAfter everyone is done with theirs, you can share yours and practice inference by asking them questions. 

Last fall I designed a pumpkin glyph you may also want to check out.

All 3 of these glyphs are part of "Diane's Dollar Deals".

Venn diagrams, apple pumpkin venn diagram, comparing apples with pumpkins, apple glyph, scarecrow glyph, pumpkin glyph, pumpkin activities, assessing listening and following directions, back to school activities, apple activities, scarecrow activities, scarecrow crafts, apple craftss, getting to know you ice brekersToday's featured FREEBIE also has an apple-pumpkin theme.

Just like glyphs, my students really enjoy making Venn diagrams, which are a siimple, quick and fun way to practice comparison and contrast writing.  They too make an awesome bulletin board

apple glyph, scarecrow glyph, pumpkin glyph, pumpkin activities, assessing listening and following directions, back to school activities, apple activities, scarecrow activities, venn diagrams, apple & pumpkin venn diagrams, scarecrow crafts, apple craftss, getting to know you ice brekersThis Venn diagram compares apples with pumpkins and is an easy way to reinforce all sorts of science facts.

Children can do these individually or with a partner. If you teach younger kiddos, doing one together in a whole-group setting is beneficial.

Venn diagrams, apple pumpkin venn diagram, comparing apples with pumpkins, apple glyph, scarecrow glyph, pumpkin glyph, pumpkin activities, assessing listening and following directions, back to school activities, apple activities, scarecrow activities, scarecrow crafts, apple craftss, getting to know you ice brekersWell that's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by.

I'm watching 2 of my 9 grandchildren today, so we're going to visit Robinette's Apple Orchard and pumpkin patch.

One of the many reasons why I love fall here in Michigan. 

Wishing you a fun-filled day.

"Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadows of your wing." -Psalm 17:8

1-2-3 Come Do Some Apple Math With Me

apple games, apple centers, apple activities, seed counting, fall math centers, number recognition, counting, apple puzzlesI never mind putzing a bit to make a math center because once you’re done making your activities things are easy-peasy.

apple games, apple centers, apple activities, seed counting, fall math centers, number recognition, counting, apple puzzlesI designed this packet so students are empowered because they set up the center, do the activity independently, check their work via the answer-key posters, make corrections if needed, then put things back where they belong. 

No more prep for you, so you’re freed up while children are happily engaged.

Plus you can reuse this “apple-icious” math center every year. Woo hoo!

apple games, apple centers, apple activities, seed counting, fall math centers, number recognition, counting, apple puzzlesI keep my apples with a pipe cleaner stem in a large ZipLock Baggie and have included labels so you can separate the 0-10 apples from the 11-20 ones.

I created the patterns in such a way that you can easily diversify your lessons, while practicing a variety of standards such as:

* Sequencing, patterning, number recognition, counting forwards & backwards, +1 addition, -1 subtraction, groups/sets, subitizing, sorting odd & even, number word recognition, plus greater & less than.

There are so many independent center options that I've included a list of suggestions.

apple games, apple centers, apple activities, seed counting, fall math centers, number recognition, counting, apple puzzlesFor example, I have one set of apples where I've glued the number leaf and mathcing oval set of seeds to an apple, which is labeled with that number word.

For this math center students count and string that many beads on the pipe cleaner stem, which matches the appropriate numbers on the apple.

They can use all one color, or show me an AB-AB or ABC-ABC color pattern. 

apple games, apple centers, apple activities, seed counting, fall math centers, number recognition, counting, apple puzzlesFor another activity, the leaves and center options are laminated, then individually cut out. 

Children match the leaves and various centers to the appriate apple.

Even though I'm not teaching reading to my Y5s, I still put the number words on the leaves and apples.

They enjoy these games so much, that the continued repetition of seeing number words associated with a specific number, eventually sinks in by association, so many start reading those words on their own!

You can also use the patterns to make a set of apples without a pipe cleaner stem. I simply glued on a strip of brown paper.

apple games, apple centers, apple activities, seed counting, fall math centers, number recognition, counting, apple puzzlesWe use this set for sequencing the numbers from 0-20, as well as sorting them on the odd or even number mats. 

To reinforce the fact that apples can be red, yellow and green, I make a set of each color. 

Students can make matches with the apples, (great for "Memory Match" or "I Have; Who Has?" games) as well as showing a row of color patterns

apple games, apple centers, apple activities, seed counting, fall math centers, number recognition, counting, apple puzzlesFor another set of apples, I glue a blank white oval to the center. 

Children pick a number leaf, place it at the top then use black or brown pony beads to make a group of that many "seeds", which practices counting, making groups/sets, number recognition, plus one-to-one correspondence!

apple games, apple centers, apple activities, seed counting, fall math centers, number recognition, counting, apple puzzlesBesides using the variety of pattern choices for activities in your math center, you can laminate a class set of blank apples, as a quick, easy and super-fun way to whole group assess.

Call out a number. Using a dry erase marker,  students write that number on their leaf, and make that many "seed" dots on the center oval, then place that many "seed beads" on the pipe cleaner stem. 

When they are done, they hold their apple in the air.  You can see at a glance who is having difficulty.

This is an inexpensive and easy enough craft, that students could also make their own apple, then take it home for continued practice there.

Today's featured, apple-themed  FREEBIE, is another fun way to help your students practice number recognition, counting  and sequencing

apple games, apple centers, apple activities, seed counting, fall math centers, number recognition, counting, apple puzzlesAs with my other math centers, I keep each one of the puzzles in their own ZipLock Baggie.  I hope your kiddos enjoy these apple strip puzzles as much as mine do. 

apple games, apple centers, apple activities, seed counting, fall math centers, number recognition, counting, apple puzzlesWell that's it for now. Thanks for stopping by.

I'm heading out to the farmer's market.  Mmmm mmmm I can just taste that apple cider.

Wishing you an awesome autumn.

"Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why!" -Bernard Baruch

1-2-3 Come Do Some Apple Crafts With Me  

apple crafts, apple centers, apple bulletin boards, melted crayon activities, label an apple activities, 3D apple craft, apple centerpiecesAlthough I’ve seen a variety of 3D apple and pumpkin crafts using paper strips to form the sphere, I could not find a pattern anywhere on the web.

After a few hours of diddling around, I came up with this simple “print & go” apple craftivity, complete with several pattern options and step-by-step directions using photographs of the various stages.

apple crafts, apple centers, apple bulletin boards, melted crayon activities, label an apple activities, 3D apple craft, apple centerpiecesFew teachers have the luxury of simply making a craft just for fun; so to incorporate some science standards, one of the options is to make a “label the apple” craft.

I’ve included labeled templates for little ones, as well as blank ones, so that older students can label their own pieces.

You can also opt to simply make an unlabeled apple, with the “skin strips” going all the way around the "core", which is a toilet paper tube. (Love recycling!)

apple crafts, apple centers, apple bulletin boards, melted crayon activities, label an apple activities, 3D apple craft, apple centerpiecesCompleted apples are free standing and make adorable centerpieces.

I’ve also designed the stem as a “looped handle”, so that the red, yellow & green apples look amazing swirling & twirling in the air, suspended from the ceiling on various lengths of yarn.

This craft goes perfect with my "Parts of an Apple Emergent Reader" packet. Click the link to have a look.

cov parts of an apple emergent reader apple crafts, apple centers, apple bulletin boards, melted crayon activities, label an apple activities, 3parts of an apple emergent reader, emergent readersD apple craft, apple centerpiecesThere’s a full-color copy for teachers, as well as a black & white version for your kiddos.
Choose the 6-on-a-page size, or the 12-on-a-page pattern to make Itty Bitty booklets.

* I’ve also included a set of 8 pocket chart cards, plus a colorful poster that labels the parts of an apple.

* There are 3, black line worksheet options, for students to color and label the parts of their apple too.

apple crafts, apple centers, apple bulletin boards, melted crayon activities, label an apple activities, 3D apple craft, apple centerpiecesToday's featured FREEBIE is one of my personal favorite apple crafts. Even though this craftivity is quick, easy & fun, it definitely has the "Wow!" factor.

"Apples can be red, yellow and green. These are the prettiest apples you've ever seen."  is the little poem that's in the middle of the apple.

I've included a large, full-size teacher's apple, that you can use as a sample to explain things to your kiddos, then later, place it in the middle of your apple display or bulletin board.

Using a crayon sharpener & broken peeled crayons, have students "shave" separate piles of red, yellow & green shavings. 

They pinch a bit and then sprinkle the 3 colors on top of their apple cut out. Both of these activities, provide super, fine-motor skill practice, that helps strengthen those finger muscles.

Cover with a sheet of wax paper, press with a warm iron for a few seconds, then gently peel off the paper.

My kiddos often squeal with delight at how awesome their apple turns out.

Take that teachable moment to explain secondary colors, as the red crayon melting into the yellow will create a nice orange color.

Each apple is different; which makes for an amazing bulletin board that never fails to get lots of ooohs and ahhhs, from students and staff who pass by.

apple crafts, apple centers, apple bulletin boards, melted crayon activities, label an apple activities, 3D apple craft, apple centerpiecesWell that's it for today. Thanks for popping in.  It's a beautiful autumn day in the 70s, so time to go crunch some leaves.

Chloe, my poodle pup is wagging her whole body in anticipation.  Wishing you a delightful day.

"If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour." - Victoria Erickson

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