Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Turkey Pops! A Fun Thanksgiving Treat!

So we were at a Fall Festival and they had these adorable Turkey Pops at the bake sale.  My almost 4 year old wanted them to be the "kids only" dessert at Thanksgiving so we set out to replicate them last night and they came out adorable!  If you want to try this activity here is how I did it!

Materials Needed:
Chocolate Candy Coating
Round Cookie or cracker (1 per turkey)
Eyes (2 per turkey)
Candy Corn (6 pieces per turkey)
Cake Pop Sticks
Cellophane Bags
Ribbon or twisty ties

Bake your favorite cake!  We made chocolate (and we cheated and used a boxed cake mix!) Let the cake cool.  Once cool crumble the cake into a large bowl.  Mix in one recipe of your favorite icing.  Again, we used chocolate!  I found it easier to work with the cake mixture once it had chilled for about an hour.  Form the cake mixture into 1 1/2" balls.  If you have a cake pop pan you can use it to shape the balls but if you don't that is okay- just roll into balls with  your hands.  Freeze the cake balls for at least 1 hour (I froze mine overnight).

When you are ready to dip your cake balls melt chocolate coating in either the microwave or double boiler.  I found it easier to heat in a double boiler.  Take your cookie or cracker and cover one side with chocolate.  I used the chocolate side of a Keebler Fudge Striped cookie so I didn't need to cover the whole cookie- only the top half.  Arrange 4-5 pieces of candy corn around the top half of the cookie/cracker to make the tail feathers.  Next put a pop stick into your frozen cake balls.  Dip and cover the cake with chocolate.  Set the ball on top of the tail feathers so the stick is pointing down.  Add a candy corn for a beak and two eyes.  Repeat for each turkey pop.  Allow turkey pops to cool and put into cellophane bags.  To display you can cover a block of Styrofoam or aqua-foam with paper and stick pops in!  I will add this picture later today!  I have to run to the store to get the foam!  Hope you enjoy this project!!! It takes about an hour to make the cake balls and then another hour to put them together.  I found it easier to make all the tail feathers and then start dipping the cake balls and adding the eyes and beak!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Turkeys and Native Americans! The Perfect Thanksgiving Craft!!!

This craftivity was easy to prep and fun for any primary
grade student.  We made these years ago and remembered them yesterday when we attended a wonderful Native American Dance Show performance by the group, Red Thunder.

The turkey and Native American can be made and displayed separately or students can make both and glue them back to back. They match up perfectly! These look great hanging or you can add a stick in between them before you glue it and it would make a great puppet for acting out a Turkey Poem or Native American Song!  We opted for gluing ours back to back and they are hanging from our classroom ceilings! It will be perfect for our upcoming Thanksgiving feast.

We made our craft in small groups this year and let our students use pinking sheers to cut the feathers. We have done this craft whole group and students used regular scissors! It also looks great using scrapbook paper for the feathers.

If you want to try this with your class you can find it on our TPT store or by clicking here!  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

We Are Thankful... For YOU!

With Thanksgiving a week away we wanted to be sure to thank everyone who has taken the time to view our blog and decided that this was the perfect way to do just that!

We used this frame to teach our students how to use commas to separate items in a list.  First we had them draw one thing they were thankful for in each of the three leaf frames.  Then we had them write a sentence stating the three things they were thankful for using commas and the word and correctly to list them!  We worked in small groups so we were able to carefully focus on the proper use punctuation and penmanship!

After we completed the sentences we had our firsties make these easy Pilgrims to display their writing.  We hung some on our bulletin board and hung others from the ceiling to make our rooms more festive for our Thanksgiving Feast!  If you want to try this project the writing frame is available for free by clicking here.  You can also grab the Pilgrim craft templates by clicking here!  We hope you like the project!  We would be very thankful if you would follow our blog and/or our TPT store!  Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

We Love Dice !

Our obsession with dice began years ago...

One of our former grade level partners and still a wonderful 2nd/3rd grade teacher at our school, had a Casino Night company that she helped run on the weekends.  They had lots of dice and lots of playing cards!  We used them in class to enhance our math instruction!

Our cool dice collecting began ages ago at the annual Math Conference in Palm Springs, California.  Kim Sutton, a fabulous presenter, sold all kinds of dice at her booth...doubles dice, triple dice.  Now I buy dice whenever I see them...big, small, foam, etc!!!

A few weeks ago we began teaching the "Doubles" math fact strategy and pulled out some of our old favorites and added a new thematic game (including Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Stars) to our collection. Our kids love playing Doubles Dice!  It's fun and some of them really need practice mastering those facts! Our Doubles Dice packet is available at our TPT store or by clicking here.

We've also been inspired by other teacher bloggers and Pinterest to make our own cool dice holders! We've used small containers from the 99 Cents Store and mini snack containers (by Ziploc for example) to hold two or three dice for our games.  The containers have actually worked better than the more expensive dice within dice because our kids get so excited and roll them so hard that very often a side will pop out and they end up loosing the tiny dice :( .

We revamped our Dynamite Doubles Graphs
*Thanks for the cute clipart:
<a href="http://www.mycutegraphics.com" title="Clip Art"> Clip Art </a>

The easier version uses doubles for numbers 1 to 6.

The more challenging version uses doubles for numbers 1 to 12.
Click here to get both Dynamite Doubles Graphs free!

We also have a Turkey Math Freebie for you!  Click here for this fun math addition fact practice sheet!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Turkey Time !!!

Last week we dove into Thanksgiving even though we had barely recovered from Halloween and Fall conferences!

Turkey Math Glyph Bulletin Board

We began with our silly Turkey Math Glyphs...looking at them just makes everyone smile!  The kiddos had a great time completing the glyph worksheet and then creating their own original turkey that tells all about them!

Click here to get these happy turkeys from our TPT store!

Next we morphed last year's Thanksgiving Craftivity (click here) into a word families lesson! We actually did this in two sessions. First, we had the kids make the turkeys.  

Next, in small groups we handed out turkey pilgrim hats with word chunks (-at, -ell, -id) on them.  We focused on short vowels and gave every child a different word family to work on.  Students wrote their word family words on the worksheet. 

You can decide what works best for your class - sticking with one vowel sound might be appropriate depending on your students' ability levels.  Doing this activity in a small group (ours actually had 8 students, not so small!) worked well as we were able to give hints for some of the more challenging word families.  **I often google "words that rhyme with ___" if I can't come up with words and hints!**  After we checked the word lists, students wrote a word on each feather. 
One of our students came up with a fun, creative name for our project! He told his group, "We're making Word Birds!" Download this fun learning project as a free addition to our Thanksgiving Craftivity by clicking here or add it to your own turkey.

Pattern Block Turkeys

More turkey mania!! Next we began working on our Pattern Block Turkeys.  This year we put them on black plates...we think it looks a little better!  The black background seems to make the colors pop out more! Each child completed a tally chart and graph to show what shapes they used to design their turkey's tail feathers! 

Our Pattern Block Turkey is available at our TPT store or by clicking here.

We are also working on our First Thanksgiving Alphabet Book. We have students do a page a day...it's great printing practice and we do a directed draw which the kids love!!!  Everyone is successful!

To purchase our First Thanksgiving Alphabet Book click here.