Sunday, September 28, 2014

FALL IS HERE! (and I've never been happier)

Before I start I just want to apologize for my month long hiatus from my blog. This first month of teaching a new classroom has been crazy, but crazy in the best way possible! As you know I have a self-contained K-1 Autism classroom. Every day gets better than the day before! I love my kiddos so much and am so happy in my new place. Things are finally starting to come together! I'm hoping now that were into a routine I'll have some more time to focus on my blog :) 

Now onto the good stuff! Normally when fall comes I go into a slight depression. My gorgeous summer weather is out the window, the nights get longer, the weather gets colder (and of course we are back to work ;). Usually it takes me a while to warm up (no pun intended) to the idea of fall, but this year I'm embracing it both in and out of the classroom!!! 

Last week our theme was the four seasons since it was the first day of fall! We did some really fun activities that I wanted to share with you!

We started off the week with a two day group lesson! Our group activities usually last 20-30 minutes with short tasks to keep students focused and engaged. So we took Monday and Tuesday to do an awesome read aloud and create season wheels! 
We read the story "Old Bear" and made Season Wheels. On the second day we had the students change the arrow from summer to fall because it was the first day of fall! 

Since it was a short week and our Wednesday was really our fake friday we did a super fun sensory activity: Autumn themed sensory bottles! The kids loved these!! (almost as much as me) and we had a blast making them!

Empty Poland Springs Water Bottles
Red/Yellow/Orange Tissue Paper (cut up)
Unpopped Popcorn Seeds
Leaves (from outside)
(any other autumn themed materials)
Food Coloring (yellow/orange)
Duct Tape 

The lesson will begin by reviewing the information from the day before using the season wheels that the students created! We will turn our season arrows to the month of fall and discuss that September 23 (yesterday) was the first day of fall. We will look at the pictures of fall on our season wheel and review that in the fall the leaves fall off the trees, the colors of the leaves change and the colors of fall: red, orange, gold, yellow, ect, and the temperature gets a little cooler in the fall.
We will then be making fall themed sensory bottles using fall materials. First the students will place leaves into their water bottles to signify the leaves falling off the trees. Then they will put in seeds to talk about the different crops (pumpkin, corn, ect.) that grow in the fall. Then they will put in fall colored tissue paper and gold glitter to signify the colors of fall. Lastly they will blow air into their water bottles to signify wind! 

The teacher(s) will then fill up the bottles, put in autumn colored food coloring and duct tape them shut! TADA!