Thursday, 27 September 2012

5 Reasons I Love Fall....

Reason #1-Pumpkin Spice Latte. Salted Caramel Mocha. Pumpkin Steamer. Salted White Hot Chocolate. It's the season I return to drinking hot beverages at Starbucks instead of the iced coffee drinks.

Reason #2- Crisp. Cool. Amazing. Air.

Reason #3-The fair. Where I am from. We have a fun little fair. The schools in our county are all closed for the day. The kids get free passes to the fair. It is called Young Canada Day. They can go to the fair, experience the culture of our area, ride rides, show school spirit. There are teams from each school that compete in various sporting events like cheerleading, road races, tug of war. The fair lasts a week but the excitement of Young Canada Day resonates for months.

Reason #4-We are only 1 season away from Christmas.

Reason #5-Opportunity to Learn. As school starts, the temperatures are still generally very warm here. So fall tends to be the first real change of temperatures that the kids experience during the school year. It's sometimes a gradual change, sometimes not. It gets them talking about the weather because it is different from what it has been.

A lady bug found by one of the other kinders in another class during our outdoor play period.

There is also such a noticeable change is surroundings. The leaves change colour and then begin to fall off. The kids notice these things, and therefore want to talk and learn about them. This idea works perfectly with the ELK program. Child directed. Child guided. Child initiated learning.

This season change has done just that for our kinders! The first cool day turned out to be a COLD day. 2 degrees!! We went from shorts to winter coats for that day! Insanity!

It did get them asking questions and got us answering questions. At the end of each school day we have about 25 minutes of outdoor play. Sometimes we just play on the climbers. Sometimes we have outdoor tasks. Their outdoor task this particular day was to find some fall items. Like a scavenger hunt only we didn't tell them what they had to find. They just had to tell us what they found that was fall-like.

Most of them brought us leaves. Some of them pointed at the trees and said things like "I see signs of fall because some leaves on that tree are green, and some are red." or "I see leaves on the ground that fell off the tree."

The next day-many of them collected leaves that they brought in and set on our discovery table. This made for a good sensory exploration which many of them documented in their discovery journals. We also have some milkweed and cattails on our discovery table right now. Some drew those. Some traced their leaves!

We decided to read them a book about textures. It included some descriptive words about textures (soft, hard, rough and smooth). It also had a portion on rubbings. We put rubbing materials out and many of them got right to making their own leaf rubbings.

Their abilities amaze me. Sitting watching them do the rubbings, listening to their conversations amazes me. I don't know why. Because I know they are smart. They outsmart me everyday. I loved hearing them helping their friends. "You aren't pushing hard enough to make a leaf. Push harder. You did it!" I love hearing them encourage one another. They take such pride in their work. I love that too. We are really encouraging them to write their name on all their work. All we ask is they try. Even if it's only the first letter and doesn't end up looking like anything. Everyone gets A for effort. Today one of our JK kids wrote his whole name. All 5 letters. PROUD EDUCATOR MOMENT meets PROUD CHILD MOMENT! great. super.wicked. feeling. I love my job.
Another leaf activity we have done already was our leaf creations at our production center. I glued one leaf on each piece of paper I had, and set them on the production paper along with some pencil crayons. I showed the kids what would be in the production center and told them they could turn their leaf into anything they wanted.
This one was a firefighter. Amazing detail. The red on top (his hard hat of course) The black squiggly lines on the right hand side (his fire hose). You can't see it but around the stem of the leaf-there is one red boot. He also has hands and arms, and of course those big eyes and a smile! :) All of this from one of our JK students. I love this one a lot because as a quick observation for this child I was able to jot down in the Social/Personal domain of the E.L.E.C.T. Document: 3.1-recognize people in their community and talk about what they do.
Easy Peasy. Lemon Squeezey. Observation noted, and can be looked back on for future reporting. (perhaps one day i'll blog about how I document observations.)
This one was a boyfriend. HA HA. The girl sitting next to this child drew a Princess, and so this little girl drew a boyfriend for the princess! :)
This one is a butterfly. Some of them are still very interested in the butterfly life cycle that is a part of our discovery center right now!
A leaf found by one of our SK boys that had him thinking hard about what made those little holes.
Ramble. Ramble. Ramble.
Sorry. Just wanted to squeeze in a bunch of fall ideas. It's so easy to get caught up in all the learning that is to be had during the most wonderful season.
Sidenote. If you came here looking for fall programming ideas I hope the rubbings helped. There are so many avenues you could explore. Our class is just beginning so I will be sure to post more as they occur! This blog post is part of a Fall Blog Hop over at the Teaching My 3 Blog. You could hop over there to gather more fall planning ideas! Enjoy! :)



  1. Just found your blog on the fall blog hop.
    You have beautiful big colourful fall leaves in Ontario - much better than our BC ones. Loved seeing the kids' learning in your leaf exploration.
    I am a new follower.

    rubberboots and elf shoes

  2. Found your blog through the hop! I'm a fall lover too:) The colors during this time of year are my favorite!! Newest follower here:)

    1...2...3...Teach With Me
    Dots of Fun!

  3. Cute blog! I'll be back


  4. Thanks Sue! Ill be sure to check out your blog! :)