Bats, Pumpkins, some freebies, and 1 tired teacher.

Why is it that short weeks sometimes feel way longer than regular weeks? I just finished a marathon day of parent teacher conferences (15 min conferences from 8am to 8pm with a few meal breaks in between). By about 6:30 I had parents walking in saying "wow you look tired"--always a great thing to hear ha!

This week was kind of a mish mash as we were finishing our bat unit and staring to learn about pumpkins -- two of my favorite units to teach. The kids just soak it all up and I love it.

Our ceiling is currently filled with our fact and opinion bats.

My kids did great with this. We used a sorting activity from this awesome bat unit by Kristen Smith at A Day in First Grade.

Then they wrote their own facts and opinions and glued them to the bats. (I don't have the patterns for the bat bodies because of course I left my jump drive at school, but you can get the fact & opinion page here)

We also started working with base ten this week. I made these mats with the numbers last year. This year I decided to add the grid for adding and subtracting 10 and 1. This is always such a hard concept so I wanted to make it very hands on this time around.

First we just played with building the number with the tens on one wing and the ones on the other.

After everyone was solid with building the numbers we moved on to using the whole mat. I had them pull a card and put it in the middle (funny fact: I made the cards last year, and without even thinking about measuring, I made the grid this year and it just so happened that the red cards fit PERFECTLY inside the grids haha. I love when things just work).

Anyway, I had them pull a red card and put it in the middle of the grid and then use the base ten blocks to model each step. So for adding one, they put another one on and wrote the number, then I kept telling them to always go back to the "red number" with their blocks before doing the next step.

 Obviously, this skill was still a work in progress when I took this pic ;)

This really helped them see the difference between adding and taking away 1 as compared to adding or subtracting 10. You can download the mats with the grids here and the number cards are in the original bat mat file here.

We finally started to talk about pumpkins yesterday. We've been working a lot on writing questions and statements so we made these little pumpkin patches to practice writing some questions AND activate our prior knowledge about pumpkins.

I'm such a sucker for these little "patches". I wrote a blog post on how to made the little pocket gardens here.  They just loved getting to move the pumpkins in and out of the patch when they were sharing their questions and pumpkin facts with each other.  You can grab the page for the pumpkins and labels here.

Finally we read Spookley The Square Pumpkin. Man I love this sweet little story.  I had them write the problem, the solution, and then think of what their own solution to the problem would have been if they were Spookley. Then they made a SUPER simple Spookley (literally no cutting or tracing involved, I just cut up a bunch of squares, stems and some eyes haha).  It's not the most creative craft in the world but I just adore some of the details in their drawings.

Her solution would have been to call for help--love the "illustration" hahaha.

And with that this tired teacher is ready to DROP. Time for some PJ's, my sofa and my trust Netflix account (Gilmore Girls here I come!!).  Have a great weekend friends!!


  1. I have been watching Gilmore Girls non-stop for the past week... lol... So glad it's on Netflix now!! Can't wait for Friends to come in January! ;)

    First Grade Garden