Thursday, September 25, 2014

Getting to the 'Core' of our Apple Unit!

This (short) week we finished up our apple unit!  We only had 3 days of school this week, but it was full of tasty fun and learning!

We continued this week with one of my favorite apple 'go-to' poems:
We have been working on finding our sight words in our poems with highlighter tape!

I also had the poem in the pocketchart where we changed the quantity and size/color of the apples for some fun re-reading!  I didn't get to take a picture of it though!  Sorry!

Last week I shared how to make the apple core labeling project (click the hyperlink to find the how to!) that I had prepped and ready to go!
I made a really large version so that we could use it for interactive writing.  This is our 3rd week of interactive writing and they are really starting to get it!

For those students not coming up to share the pen, I had them draw the 'core' and label along with us:

When we were all done I had them decide if they wanted to make a red, yellow or green apple and handed out the pieces.  Once they 'built' their apple they used our large apple core model to help them label their own core.

Our display is 'apple'-solutely delicious!!

Last week we tasted apples to graph which we liked best.
This week we used the rest of the apples to make applesauce!

We read Who Will Help? 
which is a 'Little Red Hen'-ish version about making applesauce!

We went over plastic knife 'safety' and then they all got to work!
They knew that if they did not use the knife correctly they would lose it...and if they didn't help make the applesauce, they wouldn't be able to eat it (from the book!)!

I cooked it with skins on...there was no way to peel and get them all set for my cherubs with my 'solo act'!  The sauce was a bit chunkier than in the past, but was just as delicious!

I added some water, cinnamon, sugar and a dash of apple pie spice!
It boiled and then simmered for about 2 hours...our room was the talk of the hall!

While they were at their special, I spooned it out so it could cool and it was waiting for them when they returned! 

A few were skeptical because of the brown color, but most ate it all up!

Since our school is out on Thursday and Friday this year for the Rosh Hashanah, we 'celebrated' Johnny Appleseed's birthday on Wednesday by making some apple pie playdoh!

I used my 'go to' no-cook playdoh recipe from Imagination Tree and added a container of apple pie spice to the dry mix (I doubled the recipe and used 1 container of spice for the double batch) to turn it into apple pie playdoh!

I don't have any pictures of the process of making it because we were in a rush, but it is similar to how I made the coconut playdoh and magic playdoh just with the added container of apple pie spice!

It was a HIT!  We had apple pies, apple pie rings, apple pie bracelets, apple pie snakes, apple pie snowmen, apple pie baseballs and so much more!

And even an apple pie unicorn!!
They were so excited that they were able to take it home too!

We will use that playdoh again next week in centers!
I just made another batch at home for my sons to play with, so we will have some extra for school!

We use Fundations, so we have covered t, b and f so far.  Next week we will work with n and m, but I am having them work with t, b, and f in playdoh center.

Two years ago I wrote a Donor's Choose project for playdoh stampers from Lakeshore and it was fully funded!  I have 3 sets of lowercase, 1 set of uppercase and 1 set of numbers.  I also got their rollers which are PERFECT for little hands!!
The only problem was my husband made me these stands!  

 There are several ways I plan on having the students use the dough and mats!

They will match the uppercase letter to the lowercase playdoh stamp...

They can also use the playdoh to form the letters they need (and if you don't have stampers, this is a perfect way to do this activity too!)...

Since I have all different levels, I am able to use the same mats to differentiate my instruction:
They will all appear to be doing the same activity, but I can guide it to match what each one needs to work on right now.

 So what if you don't have playdoh stampers?
Regular 'paper' stamps work just as well...

And you can also use magnetic letters pressed in the dough... 

 And if you don't want to venture into playdoh center yet, you can use the mats without dough: 

My kids will also record the letters they stamp for a bit of 'handwriting' practice using this recording sheet: 

And I will have this available as a center extension/early finisher activity.  I doubt many are going to choose to do this when there is playdoh out for them to work with!  If I see no one has completed it, I will use it as a morning work activity the following week!

All of the mats, recording sheet and printables can be found in my Apple Playdough Pack:

I just finished my Fall set too- perfect to use with pumpkin pie playdoh!

Both the Apple and Fall sets are 50% off until Saturday morning to celebrate Johnny Appleseed's birthday!

I'd love to give one apple set away as a Johnny Appleseed birthday gift!
Leave a blog post comment about your favorite apple activity, project, craft, etc!
I will randomly select a winner the evening of 9/26 (Johnny's birthday!)

My boys and I were supposed to go apple picking today, but Mother Nature has planned an indoor day of fun for us, so I am off to go make some apple pie playdoh creations with the 'apples of my eye!'

The adorable apple images you see on my pictures are from My Happy Place's Apple Clip Art set!

Until next post,
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  1. Wow, such awesome ideas, as usual! I love the play - doh activities. Perfect for my struggling students who need tactile lessons. My favorite apple activity is an experiment to see what happens to a peeled apple. Now, most kids know it'll turn brown, but at the end of the experiment I tell them that scientists often have new questions to test out. They come up with some pretty good new questions and get to experience being little scientists :). So we brainstorm 'wonderings.' "I wonder if..." This year I got, "I wonder if we put tape around an apple if that would stop it from turning brown, since the tape would cover the apple just like the skin. " I thought this was a great question so we are doing this experiment next!

  2. I love all of your ideas! Thanks for sharing how the applesauce worked with leaving the peel on. That concern has kept me from making applesauce with my class and now I know I can just do it with the skin on! Thanks!

  3. What a great apple-filled post!! I found you via Pinterest and I've already pinned it for future reference! One of my favorite things to do with my class is make applesauce! I take my apple peeler/slicer to school along with my crock-pot. They love helping turn the slicer and adding all the ingredients in. (My favorite part is that is makes our entire hall smell heavenly!!)
    I'm in LOVE with your playdough stamp holders....that is genius! My students are always searching in the pile for the letter they need (and it's SO noisy!) I'm definitely going to have to recruit my husband to make some for me. You could even add letters by each hole so they always put it back in the same spot. That would make it even easier to find the desired letter! How wide/deep are the holes for it?
    I love your cute labeled apple and I'm going to have to try this apple playdough too...I can smell it already! lol. Your playdough mats look amazing! I love how versatile they are! Thank you for sharing all these wonderful ideas with us! I'm your newest follower!

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  4. Wow, an axing unit. Apples used to be one ofy favorite themes. Sadly with all the dictated schedule constraints and demands, we have had to scale it back a lot Your ideas are great and could easily be pushed in to help balance things.
    I used to love when the students would bring in there own apple and we would do several math activities with them and then find the magic star at the end. The kids loved it.

  5. My favorite apple treat is fried apple pies:-)

  6. Love your ideas! Our favorite apple activity is to count the number of seeds inside our apples, and have an apple tasting afterwards!

  7. Love the apple mats! We enjoy making applesauce and pan hats in honor of the big birthday!

  8. Thank you for all the great ideas. I will be adding them to my plans. This year we are doing 2 weeks of apples rather than 1. We love making applesauce. The room smells amazing.

  9. I really love those play doh mats! What a great idea :) I think my students and I will have to make that play doh with a fall smell. Thank you for the great ideas :)

    1. Congratulations Annie! The random number generator selected '9' and you are commenter number 9! Please email me with your contact information!

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