Monday, December 26, 2016

Nonfiction in First - Thanksgiving

One of my 2017 goals is to blog more.  Most of the time it feels like I need to ignore my kids to write so, my posts often get left in the dust. I have got to figure out how to stay up past my bedtime - and my son needs to figure out how to fall asleep before 11pm! Anybody else have kids that just don't sleep!? Currently, I am writing my month-late Thanksgiving post while my kids run in and out of the room leaving messes in their wake! We just returned from Disney World and their Christmas high is still lingering even in the aftermath. At this point I'm just following them around with a dust pan and broom. So, about November...

My class and I did some fun activities centered around the Wampanoag this year. We crafted Wetus (after using this amazing resource by AisforAdventuresofHomeschool to read about them and how they're constructed in a kid friendly way) and we "planted corn" the way Squanto taught the Pilgrims, and we made Thanksgiving timelines too. I used this resource by First Grade Wow to teach about The Five Kernels. I had never heard about this legend before and the entire resource is great. And free! Go download it now! For the timelines, I used an activity from a pack I bought my first year teaching. It's also awesome. Teachers are some of the most creative people!

We enjoyed our candy corn, Goldfish, and Oreos after we planted them.

Hosting Thanksgiving at my home has become tradition and I had fun this year decorating with my mom. We cut some greenery from our yards and found Styrofoam gourds and pinecones at the dollar store to create centerpieces. I also used some authentic falls leaves my aunt sent me from Massachusetts a few years ago that I saved. I'm from Florida so an authentic fall leaf is a thing to me! Haha!

I also love to use the leaves during the Fall season in my classroom. I usually read There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves and Fancy Nancy Fall Foliage before we explore the many shapes, sizes, and colors, of these strange alien objects known as oak tree leaves.

I also made a Cookie Butter Pie for Thanksgiving. It was insane! Here's the recipe I used and I would encourage you to try it for sure. Next time, I think I would do mini pies instead! My daughter made a very cute apple pie. Check out the cute leaf cut-out crust!

I love teaching nonfiction during the months of November and December because between Thanksgiving and winter, there are so many interesting topics. Our December was packed with polar bear and penguins and we also learned a lot about the Arctic. We did tons of KWL charts to anchor our learning, fun experiments, and constructed igloos with icing and marshmallows. I'll be posting those pics soon.

I hope everyone is enjoying their break so far. Happy Holidays!

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