Friday, November 11, 2016

Let's Talk Turkey...and Pie!

This year I have started incorporating morning explore tubs into my classroom.
It gives my students the extra practice they need- hands on practice- that we unfortunately don't have enough time to do during the day.

I have been trying to keep some of them 'seasonally' based because the kids really enjoy the added holiday/seasonal fun!

Here are two we started using this week!

This first one was inspired by a pin I saw where someone used a paint chip to make a slice of pumpkin pie.  I thought it was so cute- but wanted a way to make it more 'educational!'

So I headed to the hardware store and grabbed some paint chips

The pin I saw had you add burlap as the 'crust' but I opted for some of the brown chips!

Making the pie was- well- as easy as pie!
I cut/taped the brown chips to the orange ones.
I found the middle of the chip and drew a line from each side to the middle point and then cut:

I used a sharpie to add words we have been working on.
I also numbered each slice so that I could have different pies out the on table.  The number on the pie matched the number I put on the spinner!

You can grab the spinners for FREE HERE!
(I even included a blank spinner so you can write in the words you are working on- just don't forget a number in the 'dollop' if making different sets of pies/spinners!)

I found some real cute white pom-poms in the Target Dollar Spot (I originally bought them for a fun winter station I have yet to make, but realized they would work great for this too!)
If you don't have white pom-poms, cotton balls will work the same!

Here is how they will play:

They continue to spin, read, cover...

They then clear the pie and can play again, try another slice/spinner and/or record the words on a white board and/or use one of the words in a sentence!

But that wasn't the end of the paint chip fun!
I also found these color chip 'mini books'
I chose the 'pumpkin' colors

And then used a sharpie to write the numbers 0-5 on the squares (we are in our 0-5 unit)

I made these 'count' cards to go with them:

Print/laminate/cut the cards and then place them face down on the table (I like to print on patterned scrap book paper for things like this- you can read about it HERE).
Students draw a card, count the number of objects and then take a dollop of 'whipped cream' and cover that number on the board.

Continue until all the numbers are covered.

You can also use dice in place of the cards.
Give students 2 dice for addition practice!
You can program them with any numbers you are working on!

The next one was inspired by this pin:

I had purchased 'build a turkey' clip art and was itching to use it, so I made these:

Students roll the dice, count out that many beads and drop it into the bottle! 

If you're visual like me, this might help:

I originally thought the tweezers would be great to use for extra fine motor practice BUT they wound up being too hard so I just had the kids use their fingers (thumb/pointer so we were practicing that 'pinch' grip!) to put the beads in.

You could have a whiteboard there for them to practice writing the number and or use for addition and have them write the number sentence for what they added to the turkey!

The kids had SO much fun with this one!
They said to me 'Mrs. Drake can we use these even after Thanksgiving is over?!'
Now my wheels are turning....feed Santa maybe?! 
Must save more bottles!

You can find the turkey bodies/feathers to tape onto your water bottles for FREE HERE!

Here are a few of the other fine motor stations we worked with this week:
Ordering numbers 0-10
Although we have only covered 0-5, I left 6-10 in there and told them to reference the number line if they needed help.  This one was super popular (and quiet)...a lot of concentration to get those links on!
You can download the number cards HERE for FREE!

Number Ordering Puzzles from Melony White:

They really liked these!  You can find them HERE.  She has a fun Thanksgiving set too!

Build and Record A Turkey's Feathers:

I saw a cute FREE idea like this from Mrs. Plemons Kindergarten but I wanted something that had both the building and recording all on one paper, so I made these.
You can grab them for FREE HERE.

'Clothe' the Turkey:
This was super simple...just printed 'naked' turkeys on cardstock and laminated.
Put out a bucket of feathers and they had to 'read' the number, count out that many feathers and put them on the turkey.
They really liked that these were 'real' feathers!

You can grab that mat for FREE HERE!

Build A Turkey Tower:
Students look at the number and build a tower with that many blocks.
Then place the tower on the turkey.

Count and Slide Cards:
These are side has the pumpkin with seeds and the other scarecrow with the number.  
If students can't recognize numbers yet, the pumpkin side supports them so they can count to ID the number of beads needed.
I simply printed both, glued them together, laminated and then put a hold punch in the side to attach a pipe cleaner.
You can grab the cards FREE HERE.

We will bring out this guy next week:
You can read all about him HERE!

I don't have any pictures of us using this fun pasta yet, but I made a few things to go with it for counting, sorting, same/more/less and number ID that I hope to post soon!
And while I was at The Christmas Tree Shoppe I grabbed the Hanukkah and Christmas versions of the pasta too!

Hope some of these ideas help you make your classroom exciting and fun over the next few weeks too!
You can grab each FREEBIE from the links above or find them all HERE!

If you need additional Thanksgiving Resources, be sure to check out what I have in my TpT Store:

Here are a few of my favorite things to do in my classroom this time of year:
Thankful Crown/Hat
We wear these at our Thanksgiving 'feast' on the day before Thanksgiving.

Pilgrim & Native American Readers
A lot of books about Pilgrims and Native Americans are WAY above my students' reading levels, so we make/read these and keep them in our book baggies all month.

Thankful Mat
We make these, I mount them to construction paper, add a handprint turkey to the back and then laminate.  We use them as our placemats for our class party and then they take them home to use as placemats for Thanksgiving dinner.  Parents LOVE them!

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Turkey 
The newest book in the series...I am so excited!  We have already read There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat and There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves, so I know they are SURE to love this one!  I have always done There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Pie for Thanksgiving, but now get to add this one in too!

And FOLLOW THIS LINK to all my Thanksgiving themed posts on my blog:

that the kids LOVE to make for FREE 

and a
Stained glass turkey project that makes windows and doors festive to name a few!

Until next post,


  1. OMG, these are so cute! Thanks so much for sharing. I love the turkey water bottle count, but I don't think the link you shared is active.

    1. Thanks! I will take a look later- I might've forgot to hyperlink one! But there is a link at the end that has all of them in one spot so you could grab it there!

  2. Many thanks for giving us the wonderful ideas. I love yhe "paint chip" ideas for sight words!! On my way to the paint store. You are amazing. Aldo, will you be making scarves this year for your kids? I hope to try this project. How long did you cut the material (the gleece). Many thanks again. Going to get pasta at Christmas Tree Hill! Have a great weekend.

    1. Your comments always make me smile! I am hoping to try the scarves again but depends on time! I looked back in the post & I didn't specify size- if I remember correctly it was just the length of the fleece as it was (45 in maybe?) Here's original post if you need it to reference!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Today, I was preparing to go back to my ESE pre-k classroom after Thanksgiving break and I was searching for new Christmas tree activities on Pinterest. While I was searching I saw your Thanksgiving story emergent reader and checked it out. I have never come across your products until today. I already put several of your products on my TPT wishlist, including the Reindeer Superpack. We still theme teach in preschool. I can't wait to try your products with my little ones! Look forward to reading more on your BLOG.


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