Pumpkin Candy Centers

October is one of my favorite months to teach.  The weather is usually beautiful with leaves changing color and cooler temperatures after a long hot summer!  My students always loved talking about pumpkins and of course every child loves Halloween. 
Lil’ Pumpkin Candy Math Centers is over 12 fun hands-on math centers that are perfect for your kindergartners to help build a strong foundation in math. All the centers are common core aligned and encourage independence. Most importantly all of the centers use little candy pumpkins as math manipulatives. This will make centers a blast all fall long!  

However, most school are no longer celebrating this Holiday with a party.  That is why I created Pumpkin Candy Math Centers.  This is a great unit to use during the month of October or November.  

Lil’ Pumpkin Candy Math Centers is over 12 fun hands-on math centers that are perfect for your kindergartners to help build a strong foundation in math. All the centers are common core aligned and encourage independence. Most importantly all of the centers use little candy pumpkins as math manipulatives. This will make centers a blast all fall long!
You will need 2-4 bags of Brach's Pumpkin Candy.  You can usually get a deal with 2 bags.  I think I paid $6.00 for four bags.  They do sell Brach's at the Dollar Tree, however I believe they are in smaller portions.  Also, the dollar tree brand of the pumpkin candy is too small for the centers.

Lil’ Pumpkin Candy Math Centers is over 12 fun hands-on math centers that are perfect for your kindergartners to help build a strong foundation in math. All the centers are common core aligned and encourage independence. Most importantly all of the centers use little candy pumpkins as math manipulatives. This will make centers a blast all fall long!
One of my favorite centers is "Pumpkin Weigh Off."  The boys and girls not only identify numbers 1-10, they use 1-1 correspondence and compare the numbers/weight and determine which number/weight is greater.  There are several different forms for this one activity.  In the activity above they use the greater/less than symbols.  In a simpler version, they circle the number that weighs more.  This a great way to practice using the balance.


Lil’ Pumpkin Candy Math Centers is over 12 fun hands-on math centers that are perfect for your kindergartners to help build a strong foundation in math. All the centers are common core aligned and encourage independence. Most importantly all of the centers use little candy pumpkins as math manipulatives. This will make centers a blast all fall long!
In "Lil' Pumpkin Measure Up," the boys and girls measure common school supply items with pumpkins.  Most of the students have these items in their desk or they are easily accessible.  These are items you most likely have around the house if you are using this unit from home.  Students  count the total number of pumpkin "units" long each item is and record it on the recording sheet.  


Lil’ Pumpkin Candy Math Centers is over 12 fun hands-on math centers that are perfect for your kindergartners to help build a strong foundation in math. All the centers are common core aligned and encourage independence. Most importantly all of the centers use little candy pumpkins as math manipulatives. This will make centers a blast all fall long!
To prep for "Pick 5"  I purchased little white stickers from Target.  Then, I placed the stickers on the bottom of the pumpkins and numbered the pumpkins 1-10.  Each child needs 10 pumpkins labeled 1-10.  The children place the pumpkins in a cup, or miniature pumpkin and shake (or mix-them up).  They dump the pumpkins on the desk and count out 5.  Then, they put the pumpkins in order from the smallest to largest number and write the numbers on one of the pumpkin rows.


Lil’ Pumpkin Candy Math Centers is over 12 fun hands-on math centers that are perfect for your kindergartners to help build a strong foundation in math. All the centers are common core aligned and encourage independence. Most importantly all of the centers use little candy pumpkins as math manipulatives. This will make centers a blast all fall long!
"Pumpkin Plus 1" is and easy one to prep.  Each child needs 7 pumpkins.  They roll the dice and count out pumpkins to match the number of dots on the dice.  Then, they add one pumpkin to the total.  Finally, they find a pumpkin with the matching number and color.  

Lil’ Pumpkin Candy Math Centers is over 12 fun hands-on math centers that are perfect for your kindergartners to help build a strong foundation in math. All the centers are common core aligned and encourage independence. Most importantly all of the centers use little candy pumpkins as math manipulatives. This will make centers a blast all fall long!
"Lil' Pumpkin Shapes" is a great activity to work on shape identification, formation and one to one correspondence.  The boys and girls choose a shape and build the shape using the little pumpkins.  Next, they find the matching letter on their recording sheet and draw the matching shape in the .  Then, draw the matching shape in the box.  Finally, they count how many pumpkins it took to build the shape and write the number in the pumpkin.


Estimation is a blast with "Lil' Pumpkin Estimation."  The boys and girls grab a handful of pumpkins and estimate how many pumpkins are in their hand.  Then they write their guess on the first hand.  Next, they count out the actual amount and write the number on the pumpkin.  I usually don't encourage them to circle or put a smiley face in the boxes where they make an accurate "guess"  because they tend to always have an accurate guess:)

Lil’ Pumpkin Candy Math Centers is over 12 fun hands-on math centers that are perfect for your kindergartners to help build a strong foundation in math. All the centers are common core aligned and encourage independence. Most importantly all of the centers use little candy pumpkins as math manipulatives. This will make centers a blast all fall long!
If your students are just learning how to tally, or you want to reinforce the skills, "Lil' Pumpkin Tally" will be helpful.  The boys and girls grab a handful of pumpkins and make a tally mark for each one in one of the boxes.  Then, they count the total number of tally marks and write the number in the pumpkin.

Lil’ Pumpkin Candy Math Centers is over 12 fun hands-on math centers that are perfect for your kindergartners to help build a strong foundation in math. All the centers are common core aligned and encourage independence. Most importantly all of the centers use little candy pumpkins as math manipulatives. This will make centers a blast all fall long!
We are really starting to work hard on the concept of addition and really want kids to visualize the idea that numbers represent objects.  The boys and girls love "Pumpkin Patch Flip."  I purchased binder ring stickers (but any colored stickers will do-dollar store has many mini-circle colors) and chose two colors to use.  I put ten of one color on one set of pumpkins and ten of another on another set of ten.  Place all twenty in a pumpkin pail and have the boys and girls shake the bucket to mix.  They choose ten and color one set of the pumpkins to match.  There is also a recording sheet that has students write out the number sentence.

Lil’ Pumpkin Candy Math Centers is over 12 fun hands-on math centers that are perfect for your kindergartners to help build a strong foundation in math. All the centers are common core aligned and encourage independence. Most importantly all of the centers use little candy pumpkins as math manipulatives. This will make centers a blast all fall long!
In, "Lil' Pumpkin Addition" the boys and girls roll two dice.  Then, they count out the matching number of pumpkins, count the total and then write the number in one of the pumpkins.  To hold students accountable have them draw the two sets of dots in the pumpkin as well.


Lil’ Pumpkin Candy Math Centers is over 12 fun hands-on math centers that are perfect for your kindergartners to help build a strong foundation in math. All the centers are common core aligned and encourage independence. Most importantly all of the centers use little candy pumpkins as math manipulatives. This will make centers a blast all fall long!
A few of your students may already have a good grasp on addition. I like to have students "rescue" the pumpkins and help them return to the pumpkin patch.  Children place one pumpkin over each addition problem.  After they solve each problem, they can return the pumpkins to the pumpkins patch.  They can also use the pumpkins to solve the problems.

I hope your students love Pumpkin Candy Math Centers as much as mine did!  Click here to check it out!

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Alphabet Activities and Skill Builders

Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.

School has been in session for a few weeks for some and a month for others.  Fall is upon us! In a previous post we looked at how we can set up activities to help students learn alphabet letters by using their names and the names of their peers.  We know that the more associations children can make with letters, the more likely it is that they will remember it.  
Now on to letters in general!
Most students in the state of Wisconsin come into kindergarten able to identify 10-15 letters.  A big reason for that is that we have 4K programs.  Students that know less then ten are in intervention programs where parents, title instructor or para-educator are working with the child on 5 letters at a time.  The letters are usually letters in their name or family member names.  Students that know more than 15 letters are starting to work on sounds and usually I would send supplementary work home with them to do as homework.  
So the majority of kids are ready to work with the alphabet as a whole.  Letters as a whole are the first set of center I place in ELA bins or at tables.  Another thing to consider when creating your center groups is that children learn best from other children, so it helps to have children working together that know different letters.
It is important to group children using a mixed-ability strategy.  
Build IT:
I am big into brain research.  As I stated above the more connections that students can make with letter the more likely they will remember them.  That is why I love alphabet building centers.  Students are not only looking at the letters, they are using their hands to shape them.  Alphabet building centers are great multi-sensory centers (think scented playdough as well:)



Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.

Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.

Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.

Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.

You can now find small circle stickers at the Dollar Tree!


Wikki Stix, stickers, playdough, pipe cleaners, straws, toothpicks and blocks are all fun materials to build letters with!

Games and Puzzles:
Games and puzzles are also a fun way to teach alphabet letters.  One of my favorites is Candyland.  Every child loves this game and they can easily be found at goodwill.  I write the uppercase or lowercase letters on the board.  Each child has a recording sheet of paper.  Students write down each letter that they land on.  If they know the letter they circle it.  At the end of the center, they share with the class the letters they landed on (writing letters adds another element as well).

Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.

Alphabet Train by Melissa and Doug is a classic.  Students can use the box to find the letters and place them in order-they love singing the ABC's after they complete it!
Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.


Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.

Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.
 Have children search through colorful rice for alphabet beads and sort the beads into letter cases (bead or tackle boxes with letter stickers in each compartment).
Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.
Children can search through water beads for magnetic letters.
Kids love games-and if you can make those beloved games more academic, the more likely students are to fully engage in them.  For example-we have all seen the game twister used for academic purposes and card games like go fish...be creative, you can't lose with games!
Arts and Crafts
Most kids love art.  Unfortunately art is not as common in kindergarten as it should be.  Many teachers feel pressure to keep things more academic and find messy painting activities distracting for the kids.  However, what administrator is going to complain when they enter a classroom and see kids completely engaged with letters while crafting?


Look at what I found at the Dollar Tree!  This will save you hours of cutting out squares! 
Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.


Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.

Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.


Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.

Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.
Painting, dabbing, punching stamping and beading are fun activities to use.  I usually prefer to work with letters a whole-like looking through a book and adding matching beads.  However, as you know there are always 5-8 letters that a majority of the students struggle with, like G, Y, L etc.  Those are great letters to spend extra time with!

Writing Letters:
There are so many fun ways to work on writing letters with students.  Try to have them write using their fingers first with activities like writing letters in sand, shaving cream and finger paint.  Then, move on to writing with crayons, markers and pencils.  I love to mix up the art mediums to keep it fresh and exciting.  Have students use expo markers to write letters on white boards.  You can have them use window markers to write on the windows.  An occupational therapist would love it if you have children practice writing letters with chalk on a chalkboard of some sort! You can also work on specific letters using a rainbow writing center like the one shown below.

Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.
Variety is the key!  The bigger the variety and the higher the quality the greater the gain!  

As a side note, make sure to incorporate the alphabet into your beginning of the year routine.  Place your alphabet posters near your morning meeting area and have the star of the week point to each letter using different alphabet songs (check out youtube for a variety).  You could also have students say the alphabet using different voices like a giant or a mouse.  
Hand students pointers and have them find the matching letter...I could go on and on!  I hope you have found at least one activity that will help you in your classroom or homeschool:)

If you liked the printable activities above you will love this freebie! Click here to check it out!
Are you looking for fun alphabet activities that feel more like a craft and less like a worksheet?  Check out Alphabet Printables.
***A big thank you to Jen Lium of Teaching in the Tongass for the cute graphics!

**If you want to check out our Alphabet Printable Superpack click here.

I Teach K-2 Linkys is also having a huge giveaway.  Make sure to visit each blog for a freebie and a chance to win!






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Apples

Are you looking for a fun apple unit with a lot of options for differentiation for your preschool and/or kindergarten students?  You will love our new apple unit!  Students will learn everything they need to know about apple parts, life cycle, the seasons of apples and apple products, they will also build math and literacy skills with the fun hands-on centers! Click here to check it out on TPT)


Anchor charts are great for introduction and review of important concepts like the life cycle of an apple, apple parts and the seasons of apples.

Graphic organizers will help students clarify and store the information they have learned about apples, like: apple products, colors, types, parts and life cycle.
After learning about the parts of an apple, the boys and girls will love these cute apple part labeling crafts.

After learning about the life cycle of an apple using anchor charts and a large group life cycle building activity, students will enjoy either of the life cycle crafts and kindergartners can work on their writing skills with this life cycle labeling.

How could they forget the seasons of apples with this cute anchor chart and hand print keepsake?

Apples have Feelings is a great activity to use to help students identify feeling words and situations that make us feel certain ways.  Children will get super creative with this yummy project!

This activity is perfect for the beginning of preschool and/or kindergarten.  Students will shake 10 chips in a cup and drop the chips on their apple tree.  They will count the total number of yellow and red chips and determine which color they have more of.  To make it more challenging add one of the recording sheets.
Counting and using thongs is a perfect combination!  Students will use their fine motor skills picking "apples" and placing the matching number into the basket.  Identifying numbers and one-to-one correspondence reproducible and printable will compliment this activity.

Patterns are more fun with colorful apples!


       Matching colors and identifying color words                      are fun with hands-on centers!