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5-Day: More Learning with Pumpkins and Leaves

5-Day was busy this week with more pumpkins and leaves. Using the "Five Little Pumpkins" poem, we explored rhyming words, fingerplay, acting out a poem at meeting and number identification and sequence. Children's learning is deeper when attached to poems or music. If your child is saying the poem, ask him/her to show you the finger movements when reciting it or which pumpkin came first. They will be happy to show you. We also used the poem as an art activity. The children were asked to design their own gate with popsicle sticks. They came up with very creative and different gates. As they counted out 5 pumpkins each to put on their gates, we talked about where they would sit best; we also asked them if they would put happy, sad or scary faces on them and if they would place their pumpkins on or beside the gate. As we work with the children during activities, the goal is not just to have a finished product, but we always use discussion and language skills to engage in a thoughtful, individual project. Each child had the same materials, but each arrived at very different creations. It's ok to be different! These are hanging outside the classroom. Please stop by and take a look.

The class used the colors of fall leaves to explore color mixing with shaving cream. Paint

was dropped on trays of shaving cream, then carefully blended with a stick to create a swirl of color. A leaf shape was pressed onto the paint which was magically transferred to the paper. What made this activity especially fun was they got to do it with a friend. We now have many beautiful leaves decorating the classroom. At the science center, there were some leaves hidden under paper. The children enjoyed rubbing over them with different colored crayons. This was a cooperative effort lasting over a few days so the children could do it with many different friends whenever they chose.

We explored math concepts as the class played a pumpkin roll game. After rolling a die, each child counted out that number of circles to put on their pumpkin shape. Next, they rolled balls of playdough with their fingers, counting out the same number from the die to place that same amount of playdough balls on a mat. We also manipulated the dough into fall shapes and figured out how to put together tricky farm puzzles.

The art easel was very busy as the children used eye droppers, watercolors and paper towels to create lovely pictures as they watched the paper absorb the colors. There were mini pumpkins in the sensory table with various types of blocks to build gates with. We heard great use of language skills, comparisons, experimentation and fun as they explored, such as: "How many will fit?" "This keeps falling down." "The blocks yesterday were easier to build with."

As always, the writing table is full each day. The children love to color, glue, draw and write here. The block area is also very busy with cooperative building. Right now there are large wooden sticks and small plastic pumpkins in the area to help enhance their imagination as they work together. Face painting has been added to the dramatic play. The children take turns pretending to decorate a friend's face or their own. When they are waiting for a turn, they usually go for a bumpy hay ride or pick up all the leaves that have fallen!

Our week started off in a fabulous way with a visit from Steve the Science Guy. If your child came home with a clear plastic cup, it is more than just a cup. When you add water to it and put your thumb in, it becomes a gigantifier! Steve wanted to take his cup filled with water home in his pocket, but the children convinced him that was a bad idea.

Some of the books we read this week include:

Pete the Cat and the Five Little Pumpkins

In the Middle of Fall

Fall Leaves Fall!

Do I Have to Share My Ice Cream?

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

The Extraordinary Egg

I am a Leaf

I am adding the "Five Little Pumpkins" poem also, so you can recite it together at home:

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate

The first one said, "Oh my, it's getting late!"

The second one said, "There are witches in the air."

The third one said, "But, we don't care."

The fourth one said, "Let's run and run and run."

The fifth one said, "It's only Halloween fun!"

Ooooooo went the wind and out went the lights.

Those five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

Caroline and Cathy

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