Sunday, November 17, 2013

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving!

A few years ago, I had a writing calendar for my students to use for homework.  One day in October, most of the class didn't complete an assignment because they didn't know what a Jack-o-lantern was.  In fifth grade.  I was floored.  Of course, I had ass-umed that upper elementary kids would know what a Jack-o-lantern was and of course, once I showed them a picture, they immediately recognized it.  Now I know better than to assume anything about my students and I make it a point to infuse the season into my classroom, just like my lower elementary colleagues do so well.

Another positive aspect of using seasonal practice is that it keeps the activities feeling fresh.  I am definitely guilty of allowing my centers to linger a little too long when they aren't seasonal.  As soon as Halloween was over, I knew I needed to begin refreshing all of the centers.

With our new literacy program, I find it a lot easier to celebrate the season during math than I do during our morning block.  {In literacy, we are currently reading nonfiction with a focus on ecosystems.  Certainly we can tie in turkeys into that discussion, but our book is about the rain forest!}  Check out what we are doing in math to celebrate Thanksgiving!

Self checking multiplication practice - putting two parts of the turkey together.  This is actually differentiated practice. You can't tell by glancing, but the two girls above are working on two different levels of multiplication practice.  One girl is working on the fourth grade standard, while the other girl is working on the fifth grade standard.  I also included the third grade standards for students who need remediation and for my third grade friends!

Mixed Review Poke - My students love this one :-) Makes me so happy to have spent so much time punching holes!

 Not specifically Thanksgiving, but fun fall practice nonetheless!
 We just started these centers last week.  We aren't ready for multiplying decimals just yet, so we are focused on reviewing addition and subtraction!

In art, we will work on disguising turkeys and then write a bit.  BTW, art is quickly becoming my favorite period of the week!  My class is SO creative!

Take a look at this multiplication table from my student's notebook.  She found one error and I found another.  Can you spot the error?  The first two people who leave a comment with the error and their email addresses will get a copy of the Fall Themed Math Centers emailed to them!

Tell me: how do you celebrate the season in your classroom?


  1. 9 x 4 is not 35-it's 36! and 5 x 12 is not 50 - it's 60!

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

  2. It's 4 x 9 = 35 and 5 x 12 = 50.

  3. 4 x 9 = 36 not 35 and 5x 12=60 not 50