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Getting to the Core

1-2-3 Come Sequence & Retell a Story With Me

Activities to go with the scarecrows hat by ken brown, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow activities, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story acctivities, fall literacy centers,I guess a lot of teachers and homeschoolers read the book “The Scarecrow’s Hat” by Ken Brown because the flip booklet craftivity I blogged about last week, was a big hit. 

It’s one of my personal, all-time favorite scarecrow stories too. 

Because of all the “swapping” going on with the various characters in the story, “Scarecrow’s Hat” is perfect for practicing the “sequencing and retelling a story” standards.

Those of you who follow me, know that I enjoy designing storytelling "sliders" and wheels, which have also been very popular, as a super-fun way to practice these standards.

However, because the story has a lot of retelling parts to it, a slider would get too long, and the graphics on a wheel too small, so I wanted to think of a different kind of sequencing activity and came up with this “flip it over” 3D hat craft, that’s made out of a yellow bowl.

Run the hat brim off on yellow construction paper. Students assemble and glue the bowl face down, on top of the brim.

There are two options for sequencing and retelling the story.

Activities to go with the scarecrows hat by ken brown, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow activities, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story acctivities, fall literacy centers,Students can color, cut and sequence the “beginning of the story” graphics gluing them to the front of the hat; then color, cut and sequence the “end of the story” graphics and glue them to the “back” of the hat, which is now the chicken’s nest. OR …

Children can glue all of the graphics around the front, then simply flip the hat over to reveal the chicken on her nest to tell the end of the story.

Activities to go with the scarecrows hat by ken brown, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow activities, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story acctivities, fall literacy centers,I personally like gluing all of the graphics to the front, then for a “big finish” and “wow” of an ending, flip the hat over to reveal why the chicken wanted the scarecrow’s hat.

Activities to go with the scarecrows hat by ken brown, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow activities, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story acctivities, fall literacy centers,The chicken is 3-dimensional and “rocks” before you put her inside the base of the bowl.

For my sample, I ran 2 sheets of various shades of brown construction paper through a shredder, to make the lining for hen’s “nest”.

Activities to go with the scarecrows hat by ken brown, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow activities, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story acctivities, fall literacy centers,For some more 3D pop, you can also add a jute bow or small, silk sunflower to the base of the bowl, which is the “top” of the scarecrow’s hat.

Activities to go with the scarecrows hat by ken brown, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow activities, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story acctivities, fall literacy centers,I’ve included black & white patterns, as well as colorful ones, so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share.

When everyone is done, have children pick a partner and take turns retelling the story of “The Scarecrow’s Hat” to each other.
We sometimes do this sort of thing with our older reading buddies.

To further check comprehension as well as practice sequential writing, I’ve included a “Here’s What Happened…” writing prompt worksheet.

Thanksgiving Shape Up Packet Thanksgiving games, thanksgiving crafts, turkey activiteis, turkey crafts, 2D shape crafts, 2D shape activitiesThere’s a black & white template for students to fill in, plus a colorful pattern page so you can do this as a whole-group activity with little ones.

Today's featured FREEBIE switches from scarecrows to turkeys. Its titled, "Thanksgiving Shape Up!"  and is filled with a nice variety of games, activities & crafts, which all help reinforce 2D-shapes. 

Activities to go with the scarecrows hat by ken brown, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow activities, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story acctivities, fall literacy centers,Thanks for visiting. The scarecrow on my porch is watching the leaves swirl and twirl.

Even though it's a bit dreary, a brisk walk is in order.  Wishing you a warm and cozy afternoon.

"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.  Today I am wise, so I'm going to change myself." -Unknown

1-2-3 Come Make a Scarecrow With Me

Scartecrow's Hat book, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow activities, activities for the book scarecrows hat, retelling a story activiteis, sequencing a story activities, fall bulletin boardsDo you read the story Scarecrow’s Hat” by Ken Brown? Click the picture to check out a nice reading of the book on YouTube..

My Young Fives really enjoy this story. Personally, it’s my favorite scarecrow-themed book.

Here’s the gist:
A very clever chicken admires Scarecrow’s hat, who will gladly swap it for a walking stick for his tired arms. Chicken REALLY wants that hat, but doesn’t have a walking stick; however, she knows who does! Thus begins her quest…But why does the chicken want an old straw hat?

Because of all the “swapping” going on with the various animal characters in the story, “Scarecrow’s Hat” is perfect for practicing the “sequencing and retelling a story” standards.

Scartecrow's Hat book, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow activities, activities for the book scarecrows hat, retelling a story activiteis, sequencing a story activities, fall bulletin boardsWith that in mind, I designed this flip-the-flap scarecrow craftivity, which will help practice those two standards. My students absolutely love creating their booklet.

Completed projects make an adorable fall bulletin board too.

Scartecrow's Hat book, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow activities, activities for the book scarecrows hat, retelling a story activiteis, sequencing a story activities, fall bulletin boardsI’ve included a “We can sequence & retell a story, and that’s something to crow about!” poster, for the center of your display.

Fittingly, the top of scarecrow’s hat flips up and tells the tale.

Students color, cut & collate the “hump of the hat” - shaped pages into a little booklet, which is sequenced and glued to the top of scarecrow’s hat.

Scartecrow's Hat book, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow activities, activities for the book scarecrows hat, retelling a story activiteis, sequencing a story activities, fall bulletin boardsI purposely did not number the pages, so you can check comprehension.

This also allows you to choose less pages for preschool students, who can easily sort beginning-middle-end, then retell the story with a limited number of “picture prompts”.

Scartecrow's Hat book, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow activities, activities for the book scarecrows hat, retelling a story activiteis, sequencing a story activities, fall bulletin boardsFor some 3D pop, add a jute bow to the knot on his neck, as well as some “straw hair”.

For my sample, I ran 2 sheets of yellow paper through my shredder, then glued just the end of a few strands under the brim of the hat, creating that finishing touch.

There are two booklet options.

TScartecrow's Hat book, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow activities, activities for the book scarecrows hat, retelling a story activiteis, sequencing a story activities, fall bulletin boardshe pages of the first version have only graphics, while the second option includes an unfinished “fill in the blank” sentence, which allows you to practice reading, writing, end punctuation, as well as check comprehension.

I’ve included black & white patterns, as well as colorful ones, so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share.

When everyone is done, have children pick a partner and take turns retelling the story of “Scarecrow’s Hat” to each other.
We sometimes do this sort of thing with our older reading buddies.

Scartecrow's Hat book, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow activities, activities for the book scarecrows hat, retelling a story activiteis, sequencing a story activities, fall bulletin boardsTo further check comprehension as well as practice sequential writing, I’ve included a “Here’s What Happened…” writing prompt worksheet.

There’s a black & white template for students to fill in, plus a colorful pattern page so you can do this as a whole-group activity with little ones.

Scartecrow's Hat book, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow activities, activities for the book scarecrows hat, retelling a story activiteis, sequencing a story activities, fall bulletin boardsToday’s featured FREEBIE also has a scarecrow theme.
“My Scarecrow’s 5 Senses” is a rhyming, emergent reader packed, with plenty of Dolch words, and helps reinforce lots of Common Core State Standards.

Students read, trace, write, add end punctuation, underline the adjectives and color the pictures.

Scartecrow's Hat book, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow activities, activities for the book scarecrows hat, retelling a story activiteis, sequencing a story activities, fall bulletin boardsWell that’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Time to put a costume together for party day.  Hmmmm I think I’ll be a nice witch.  Now where did I leave my wand…

Wishing you a magical day.

“If the broom fits, ride it!" - Unknown

1-2-3 Come Practice Place Value With Me

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, place value activities, place value crafts, october bulletin boards, math bulletin boards, halloween party day craftsPut some “Woo Hoo!” into studying place value, by creating a super-cute PVP (Place Value Pumpkin).
This is an especially fun activity for your students and a nice alternative to worksheets; making it that “extra special something” you can do on party day or for October math practice.

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, place value activities, place value crafts, october bulletin boards, math bulletin boards, halloween party day craftsCompleted projects turn out absolutely adorable and make an outstanding bulletin board or hallway display.

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, place value activities, place value crafts, october bulletin boards, math bulletin boards, halloween party day craftsI’ve included 2 posters to help decorate, as well as header cards that show the total value of the pumpkin.

You’re sure to get lots of compliments, as the results definitely have that “Wow!” factor.

The packet is very versatile with lots of creative options for your students to choose from, which allows you to diversify your lesson.

Appeals to a variety of ages and abilities.
The versatility allows younger kiddos, as well as older students, to create a pumpkin that will have a two, three or even 4-digit number value!

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, place value activities, place value crafts, october bulletin boards, math bulletin boards, halloween party day craftsKeep things simple for little ones and limit the number of pieces and options, as they create a Place Value Pumpkin "head".

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, place value activities, place value crafts, october bulletin boards, math bulletin boards, halloween party day craftsChallenge older students to add arms and legs which will add to the total value of their pumpkin, as well as increase the cuteness factor. I’ve included hats, gloves and shoe patterns too.

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, place value activities, place value crafts, october bulletin boards, math bulletin boards, halloween party day craftsOnce children have finished their PVP they figure out the value of their pumpkin.

I’ve provided several worksheet options for students to complete, as well as a whole-group activity.

Pick which of the 3 worksheets is the most appropriate for your students. 

Each practices a variety of place value math standards.

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, place value activities, place value crafts, october bulletin boards, math bulletin boards, halloween party day craftsOn the one pictured here, students write the various forms of their number. Students also pick a partner and compare and contrast their Place Value Pumpkin Pal with another classmate's to practice even more math standards.

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, place value activities, place value crafts, october bulletin boards, math bulletin boards, halloween party day craftsPumpkin head patterns take up a full page, so there's plenty of room for creating a nice sized Place Value Pumpkin head.

To show you how tall these creations can get I took a picture of my husband's personal favorite next to a ruler.

Limited time? This makes a super-fun homework assignment, or another idea is to have students work with a partner or create one PVP in a small group of three, which will divide up the work.

Here’s a fun challenge: Give the small group a total pumpkin value, and see how close they can get to hitting that number.

Create extra pizzazz and 3D pop, by giving students the option to add wiggle eyes, glitter, a pipe cleaner vine, bow, rhinestones, or a pom pom topped cap.

I had an absolute blast using all of these "extras" in my samples.  They really added that "finishing touch".

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, place value activities, place value crafts, october bulletin boards, math bulletin boards, halloween party day craftsToday's featured FREEBIE is also perfect for Halloween party day. 

It's an "oldie but goodie" that I created a few years ago before I honed my computer graphic skills, but my kiddos absolutely love cutting out a "Spooky Spiral", which look pretty awesome swirling and twirling from the ceiling.

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, place value activities, place value crafts, october bulletin boards, math bulletin boards, halloween party day craftsWell that's it for today.  So happy to be done with this whopper of a packet chock full of so many fun options.

Time to take a much-needed break. Despite crashing temps from 70s to 50s it's a pretty day. 

The sun is shining and fall has definitely arrived.  Wishing you a joy-filled day.

"Piles of leaves; Crisp autumn breeze; Pumpkin pie; Oh My!" - Unknown

1-2-3 Come Do Some Activities For The "Room on the Broom" Story   

Room on the Broom story, room on the broom activities, room on the broom crafts, storytelling slider for room on the broom, halloween stories, halloween centers, literacy centers, halloween crafts, kids books for halloween, witch craftDo you read the story ”Room on the Broom” by Julia Donaldson?

Click on the book cover or this LINK to zip on over to YouTube to see a really cute animated version. (10-minutes).

room on the broom activitiesThe TV film was nominated for the Best Animated Short Film at the 2014 Academy Awards!

It’s one of my students’ all-time favorite Halloween stories and perfect for practicing the “sequencing and retelling a story” standards.

With that in mind, I designed this quick, easy and fun ”Room on the Broom”  slider craftivity, which will help your students retell the story in the proper order.

square room on a broom storytelling slider craft pixRoom on the Broom story, room on the broom activities, room on the broom crafts, storytelling slider for room on the broom, halloween stories, halloween centers, literacy centers, halloween crafts, kids books for halloween, witch craftThere are 2 outside slider options to choose from. One is a square for easy-peasy straight cutting, which is perfect for little ones. 

While the other choice is a "cut me out" larger witch, for more advanced cutters.

I made some "broomstick"  ends for the "slider strip" for the larger witch, as well as included a "broom straw" pattern to glue on, which results in the slider looking like a broom that the witch is riding on. 

Room on the Broom story, room on the broom activities, room on the broom crafts, storytelling slider for room on the broom, halloween stories, halloween centers, literacy centers, halloween crafts, kids books for halloween, witch craftRun these patterns off on brown construction paper, then add some shading details with a marker.

Room on the Broom story, room on the broom activities, room on the broom crafts, storytelling slider for room on the broom, halloween stories, halloween centers, literacy centers, halloween crafts, kids books for halloween, witch craftFor extra pizzazz you can tie on a jute bow.

I make the big one for myself, and run the square craftivity off for my little learners.

Students color the story elements on the “slider strip” then cut and glue it together.

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

Room on the Broom story, room on the broom activities, room on the broom crafts, storytelling slider for room on the broom, halloween stories, halloween centers, literacy centers, halloween crafts, kids books for halloween, witch craftI introduce the lesson by reading this rhyming Halloween tale, then share my completed "slider craft” with my students.
So that you can quickly, and easily make an example, full-color patterns are included.

After we read the story, we retell the tale together, using the picture prompts on my slider.
They 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 “Room on the Broom” craftivity of their own.

Room on the Broom story, room on the broom activities, room on the broom crafts, storytelling slider for room on the broom, halloween stories, halloween centers, literacy centers, halloween crafts, kids books for halloween, witch craftStorytelling 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. There’s a larger, full-color option so you can do this as a fun whole-group activity with younger students.

There’s also a “Here’s What Happened…” writing prompt worksheet, as another way to check comprehension, plus practice sequential writing, hopefully using a variety of ordinal numbers and other transitions. You can use the colorful template to do this as a whole group activity with younger folks.

Room on the Broom story, room on the broom activities, room on the broom crafts, storytelling slider for room on the broom, halloween stories, halloween centers, literacy centers, halloween crafts, halloween safety tips, happy halloween note card from your teacher,kids books for halloween, witch craftWoo hoo! There are two featured FREEBIES today. The first one is a set of Halloween safety tips

The tips are loaded with Dolch sight words, providing great reading practice and review.  Read the list together as a whole group, calling on different children to read a tip.  Afterwards, they can color the picture, then take it home to read to their parents. 

Room on the Broom story, room on the broom activities, room on the broom crafts, storytelling slider for room on the broom, halloween stories, halloween centers, literacy centers, halloween crafts, halloween safety tips, happy halloween note card from your teacher,kids books for halloween, witch craftThe second FREEBIE is a set of "Happy Halloween!" note cards, with 6 on a one-page template. 

They come in color as well as black and white.

Attach one to a treat bag, or tuck in a folder, lunch box or backpack.

Room on the Broom story, room on the broom activities, room on the broom crafts, storytelling slider for room on the broom, halloween stories, halloween centers, literacy centers, halloween crafts, kids books for halloween, witch craftWell that's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by.

It's dark, damp, dreary and raining outside, providing the perfect backdrop for creating some more Halloween "stuff". 

Stay tuned for several more activities to go along with the "Room on the Broom" story.  "Witching" you an easy-breezy day filled with lots of memorable moments.

"There is magic in the night when pumpkins glow in moonlight." - Unknown

1-2-3 Come Label A Pumpkin With Me

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, pumpkin centers, label a pumpkin activities, 3D paper pumpkin pattern, pumpkin science, fall centerpieces, fall crafts for kids, halloween craftsAlthough I’ve seen a variety of 3D pumpkin crafts using paper strips to form the sphere, I could not find a pattern anywhere.

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

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, pumpkin centers, label a pumpkin activities, 3D paper pumpkin pattern, pumpkin science, fall centerpieces, fall crafts for kids, halloween craftsFew 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 pumpkin 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 pumpkin, with the “skin strips” going all the way around the “core”, which is a toilet paper tube that's covered with a rectangular pattern sprinkled with pumpkin seed graphics.

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, pumpkin centers, label a pumpkin activities, 3D paper pumpkin pattern, pumpkin science, fall centerpieces, fall crafts for kids, halloween craftsThis is easy enough for little ones to make, as they simply use the 5-fatter “shell” strips for their open-looking pumpkin. 

If you want to make the pumpkin plumper, simply add 5 of the thin shell strips, which will alternate between the fatter ones, creating a fat-thin-fat-thin pattern. 

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, pumpkin centers, label a pumpkin activities, 3D paper pumpkin pattern, pumpkin science, fall centerpieces, fall crafts for kids, halloween craftsFor that finishing touch that's wonderful fine motor practice, have students loop a green pipe cleaner around a pencil, marker or crayon, then gently slide off to make a "vine".

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, pumpkin centers, label a pumpkin activities, 3D paper pumpkin pattern, pumpkin science, fall centerpieces, fall crafts for kids, halloween craftsCompleted pumpkins are free standing and make adorable fall centerpieces.

For more pizzazz, using a protractor, punch holes in the TP tube prior to assembly, then place over a battery-operated tea light.

I’ve also designed the stem as a “looped handle”, so that the pumpkin "lantern" can be carried, or suspended from the ceiling on various lengths of yarn.

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, pumpkin centers, label a pumpkin activities, 3D paper pumpkin pattern, pumpkin science, fall centerpieces, fall crafts for kids, halloween craftsA fun surprise after lunch...

After children have made their pumpkin (leaving it on their desk to go to lunch), tuck a Snack Baggie filled with candy corn inside the hollow TP tube, providing a sweet Halloween treat when they return from recess.

Besides this craft, I also put together a little "Let's Label a Pumpkin" activity packet, that pairs nicely.   

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, pumpkin centers, label a pumpkin activities, 3D paper pumpkin pattern, pumpkin science, fall centerpieces, fall crafts for kids, halloween craftsDo you have a class pumpkin? We do. It’s an inexpensive and super-fun way to practice all sorts of science.

We carve our pumpkin the last week of October for our party’s centerpiece.
As we carve it, my students learn the vocabulary associated with the parts of a pumpkin, as well as what each part does, or is used for.

They absolutely love this activity. With that in mind, I made some activities to help reinforce “pumpkin parts”.

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, pumpkin centers, label a pumpkin activities, 3D paper pumpkin pattern, pumpkin science, fall centerpieces, fall crafts for kids, halloween craftsThe packet includes:
* A set of “definition posters”.
* A set of photo posters featuring pictures of real pumpkin parts.
* A set of pocket chart cards.

* A “Match the picture to the word” Memory Match or “I Have; Who Has?” game.
* “Label a pumpkin” posters and worksheets.
* Fill-in-the blank” comprehension worksheet.

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, pumpkin centers, label a pumpkin activities, 3D paper pumpkin pattern, pumpkin science, fall centerpieces, fall crafts for kids, halloween crafts* Match the word to the picture worksheet.
* “ABC With Me” alphabetize the words worksheet.
* Plus an emergent reader: “Pumpkin Parts”, featuring 30+ words from the Dolch word lists.

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, pumpkin centers, label a pumpkin activities, 3D paper pumpkin pattern,"how to make a pumpkin pie' transitional writing,  pumpkin science, fall centerpieces, fall crafts for kids, halloween craftsToday's featured FREEBIE also has a pumpkin theme.

Are your students working on transitions and "how to" "directional" writing?  "How to Make a Pumpkin Pie" is a quick, easy and fun activity to help them practice.

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, pumpkin centers, label a pumpkin activities, 3D paper pumpkin pattern,"how to make a pumpkin pie' transitional writing,  pumpkin science, fall centerpieces, fall crafts for kids, halloween craftsThe packet includes printable patterns, completed sample, recipe, list of transitions, transition poster, a graphing extension, Venn diagram activity, plus an adjective worksheet.

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, pumpkin centers, label a pumpkin activities, 3D paper pumpkin pattern, "how to make a pumpkin pie" transitional writing, pumpkin science, fall centerpieces, fall crafts for kids, halloween craftsWell that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by. 

pumpkin crafts, pumpkin activities, pumpkin centers, label a pumpkin activities, 3D paper pumpkin pattern, pumpkin science, fall centerpieces, fall crafts for kids, halloween craftsThe weather is in the high 60s here in Michigan, so the fresh autumn breeze is calling me. 

Time to go crunch some leaves and enjoy the awesome colors, while I walk my poodle pup Chloe. 

She never cares what the weather is, anything for a romp outside.

"Let your life lightly dance on the edges of time like dew on the tip of a fallen leaf." -Unknown

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