Thursday, August 16, 2012

Carrot Picking...or apple...or pumpkin...

One of my favorite activities to do at the beginning of the school year is to "pick apples from the tree."  I had a set of apples with numerals on them that had been handed down to me by a previous teacher; on one wall I had a big seasonal tree leftover from when I taught science.  The type you buy from a teachers supply store.  I put pieces of velcro on the tree, then on the apples.  Or leaves...which look like snowflakes in the winter when all the leaves have fallen off.  We used little pink flowers in the spring.

I used this tree for so many things; one of my favorite was to pick apples.  On the back of each apple there was a number up to 30.  The students would get a chance to pick an apple from a tree, then they had to tell me the number.  I had multiple apples with the same number on it, and would put up the appropriate numerals based on the age of the class coming in.

This is a great way for me to get a sense of numeral recognition at the beginning of the year.  I would keep a running record of which numerals they got correct and incorrect, and as the year went on I could add to it.  This helped me when assessment time of the year came; if they consistently recognized the numeral 3, I did not need to ask them that one.  I also used the apples to make sets; pick an apple then give me "that many" of something. 

Unfortunately my tree got destroyed and I cannot not locate a good picture of it to show you.  But I do have a picture of some young 3s (and visiting toddlers) "Carrot Picking" in our circle time area.  This was an activity I did in May, I think.

The kids had so much fun and did really well taking turns.  This is a simple shape to draw and copy onto colored construction paper.  I laminated a blank piece of green construction paper and made the tops, then taped them on.  Super quick and easy!  I know EVERYONE has an apple graphic somewhere in their files, and I bet everyone has a pumpkin too.  Fun hands-on activity, helps practice taking turns too.  My Kindergarteners had to pick two carrots and tell me the sum or difference, depending on the unit.  Great workstation if you have the space.  Let's those boys who need some movement in their learning get it out. you could have the kids order or group the numbers on  a clothesline... :)

Enjoy!  Kathy

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