Pumpkins & Short i: Visual plans for October 5th & Freebies

05 October 2014
I thought I would grab your attention with a little freebie.  This is my first year trying interactive science notebooks, so I am slowly adapting my old packets to add interactive science elements.  I thought I would give you these two freebies!  Just click the image above to download.  

Here are my plans for the week!  Just click to download. 

If you like my plan book format, you can purchase it here:

Again I am linking up with my pal Deedee for her Peek at the Week linky.

Short i is our phonic element of the week.  I have gotten so many compliments and kind words on the phonic center packets I created for my students.  Teachers love that the format stays the same but the focus changes.  This makes the centers so easy and time-saving to implement.  The students don't need directions each week, they just dive in.  The same goes for my Words of the Week Packet.  One less thing for this teacher to spend precious time on!!

I have added 33 more pages to my Pumpkin packet below!  Please, redownload if you have already purchased.  If you havent' purchase, I suggest checking it out.  You can get 136 pages for the limited time reduced price of only $7.50!

Here is a peek at some of the activities in this unit.

On Monday, we will do a Schema chart...this is a photo from last year, without my cute little signs included in the packet!

Here are some of the old and new Common Core math activities in the packet.  If you use Engage NY, you need to check these activities out! 

In addition to my unit, I will be using the following activities from fellow TpT sellers for our "Pumpkin Day."  Parents will be coming in on Friday to help with pumpkin themed centers. 
The glyph above is from Deanna's Pumpkin Patch Palooza.

Pumpkin Anchor Charts!
Last year, I immersed the students in all things pumpkin. We touched pumpkins on the inside and outside (Cara Carroll & Deanna Jump's ideas).  We created many anchor charts.


Then we focused on informational text features.  I plan on doing this next week.  I had the students label informational text features.  I did this by scanning pages from a couple of bat themed books.  I then printed and laminated the scans and taped them to chart paper.  Throughout the year, I have been trying to stop and point out text features during read alouds and guided reading.   I created text feature definition cards.  I mounted them on cardstock and laminated them.   Then for a lesson, I read the text feature cards (click here to snag yours for free) and had the students match the cards to the feature.   The completed anchor chart is now on display in the classroom for the students to use as a reference.
(The definitions cards are included in my free lesson plan download.)

For another lesson, we sorted books by genre.  I really wanted the students to see the differences between informational texts and realistic fiction.  We used Rachel Lamb's adorable genre posters as guides.  

We used Pumpkins (The Life Cycle Of) as a mentor text we went through as a class and used post its to label the informational text features.  

The students then worked in pairs to use post its to label the informational text features.  They struggled with "heading" and would often write the actual heading of the book.  This helped me plan my follow up lessons.  I will see how the kids do this year and tailor me lesson accordingly.
For my follow up lesson, we reviewed the informational text features and completed the anchor chart matching activity for a second time.  Then we applied our pumpkin learning to what we knew about informational texts and created possible headings for our own informational writing pieces on pumpkins.

The students turn-paired-shared the headings they wanted to write about.  Once at their seats,  they filled in their heading on their writing paper.   I walked around and reminded the students to stay focused on the topic of the heading.  I also encouraged the students to add other informational text features to their writing.  I was really impressed with the writing and the application of informational text features.  Check out some of my top writer's informational pieces from this lesson from last year. Notice we used folders instead of interactive notebooks for science.

I hope you enjoy these ideas and can incorporate some pumpkin fun into your teaching!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing your interactive pumpkin life cycle freebie - I love it!! Thanks for the book title suggestions - I love finding new books each year. Every thing looks amazing!!

  2. Thanks for sharing!

    Down the Learning Road

  3. Hi Erica,
    Our school (in Oregon) is using EngageNY for math. Everyone is pretty overwhelmed. Did you plan your pumpkin math unit skills to go along with your October EngageNY modules? They look great!

  4. Loved getting a glimpse at your plans. Thanks for sharing!


    The Teddy Bear Classroom

  5. Also, thanks for sharing so much. I am over-pumpkined just reviewing your post! I do have one item I found that can be shared with your math section. The Pumpkins for Primary page on http://monthbymonth.scholastic.com/teach.html has some really neat open-ended math that I think would be good K (with help)-5th.


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