Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Leaves Are Falling Down, The Leaves Are Falling Down...

Today was one of those magical days.  You saw the world through the eyes of your students.  You had fun.  You gave hugs.  You laughed.  You explored.  You learned.  You made mistakes.  You made messes.  You made memories.  Today was a day that I was reminded why I do I what I do. 

This week, we've been talking about fall - and specifically leaves.  We have learned SOOOOO much about leaves this week and my kids have been blown away by the information.  

Here is what we've been learning!  (Disclaimer - mini science lesson ahead!)  Did you know that there are actually many colors inside of leaves?  CRAZY!  We been learning why leaves change color and talking about a big word 'chlorophyll' - or tree food as we fondly call it.  :)  We learned that when fall comes, and the sun goes to bed earlier, the leaves don't have the sun they need to make food for the tree.  The food (or chlorophyll) is what makes the leaf green.  When it stops making food, the chlorophyll in the leaf goes away and the other colors are allowed to shine through - turning the leaf different colors.  We also learned that when a leaf stops making food, the tree doesn't need it anymore, so the tree stops giving the leaf water and its stem becomes weak (this is SO MEAN of the tree according to five year olds!) - which is why it falls off easily when the wind blows.  

To get some hands on experience with this information - we went outside today for some leaf exploration.  The tree in the front of our building was the PERFECT place to explore leaves.  There were leaves of every color on the tree and the kids got to see which ones 'still had food' and which ones didn't!  It was so cool to hear them notice and discuss information with their friends!

Each child collected five leaves (or more!) and we went inside.

We sorted our leaves by color and glued them onto butcher paper.  What great discussion!  They loved noticing all of the colors!  It was so heartwarming to hear "What a beautiful leaf!"  :)

Tomorrow, we are going to finish sorting the rest of our leaves by size!  I can't wait!

During guided reading groups, we had a chance to play my new sight word/letter game "Whoosh!"  My group had a BLAST!  The goal is to pull out a card and read it.  If you can, it goes in your pile, if not, it goes back into the bucket.  If a 'Whoosh!' card is pulled, the wind comes and takes all your cards.  We set the timer and played for a certain amount of time.  The player with the most cards wins!  So fun!

This game is part of a new fall game set that I should be posting soon! ;)

As a whole group, we practiced our sight words with a song and some movement.  I wrote words onto some leaf cutouts and placed them in a blanket.  

 We then walked in a circle and sang a fall song.

"The leaves are falling down,
the leaves are falling down.
Everywhere I look around,
the leaves are falling down."

We then popped the leaves in the air and each child had to find one and read the word.  Too fun!

To end the day, we did a little art project thanks to this idea from Pinterest!  I took some shaving cream, added some fall colored paint and swirled it around.

We then took leaves the kids cut out and pressed them into the shaving cream.

After letting it sit for a minute or two, I used a squeegee to take the excess shaving cream off.  The kids just LOVED how they turned out - I did too!  What a beautiful class tree we have now!

What a fabulous day of learning, fun and fall!



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