# Beans to Chocolate!

For thinking Thursday today, we will learn about how chocolate is made! Beans to Chocolate by Lisa M. Herrington shows the process of taking cacao beans and transforming them into the chocolate we love. Where Does Chocolate Come From? From SciShow Kids Jessi and Squeeks talk about the process of transformation. Take a trip to a chocolate factory with KidVision.

Have your child draw and/or write out the steps they remember in the processes. This is about looking at things step by step. If they miss a major detail, ask questions.

# Twizzlers Letters

Today we will listen to the story Twizzlers Shapes and Patterns by Jerry Pallotta. This story talks about a lot of math terms and describes shapes and other geometrical terms as well as making patterns.

Today we aren’t going to make shapes or patterns as it is Words Wednesday, but you are certainly welcome to try out some of this Twizzlers fun.

But, we will use Twizzlers for our learning today. If you don’t have Twizzlers, you can use chenille stems, yarn, wiki sticks or other long thin manipulatives.

Today use your Twizzlers to make letters and or words. Here are a few suggestions!

• Say a letter name and have your child make the letter
• Say a word and have your child make the beginning or ending sound
• Make word family cards and have your child add the beginning sounds with the Twizzlers
• Have your child make a letter with Twizzlers and then go on a beginning sounds hunt. You can search for objects around the house, in magazines or just draw pictures

Just notice, I had to hold the candy in shape while taking the picture. Twizzlers do not like to stay in a curved shape, but it is doable!

# Topic Tuesday More Candy… and sorting

Let’s start by watching this segment from Unwrapped on How M&M’s are made. I always like sharing this type of information with children as they often have no concept of how the items are created. This episode give a bit of the backstory as well as a tour of the facility where the candy is produced!

Now lets read another M&M book… yes, another fun math book using M&Ms! This one is called More M&M Math by Barbara Barbieri McGrath. In this book you will sort and then graph candy… so guess what we are going to do today!?! Sort and graph!

You can check out a post I shared in April for how to sort and graph M&M candy.

Instead, I sorted the collection of odd Lego pieces I have in my kitchen. Don’t you have an odd Lego collection somewhere? No? Well sort any odd collection you have. Maybe you can then convince your child to put them away when they are done sorting?

Help your child create a graph grid to fill in with the materials you are choosing to graph. I was lazy and didn’t get out a ruler, but doing it with straight lines helps a bit. Now sort! Talk about what you see. Which is the least? Which is the most? Are any the same? How many more gray than red? How many fewer gold than clear?

# M&M math

This week is all about math… AND CANDY!

Today we are going to listen to two M & M math books. The first book’s math skills are a lot simpler than the second book.

The M&Ms Counting Book by Barbara Barieri McGrath… this book uses a bag of M&Ms to count, pattern and makes shapes

The M&Ms Addition Book by Barbara Barieri McGrath… this book uses a bag of M&Ms to practice addition.

Ok… so let’s do some math with M&Ms (or Skittles, or Lego blocks, or… whatever colored items you have on hand!)

Today we will work on patterns. A pattern is something that repeats itself. When we start patterns we begin with simple AB patterns 1 green, 1 brown, 1 green, 1 brown. Then move on from there. ABB 1 orange, 2 blue, 1 orange, 2 blue or AAB 2 blue, 1 orange, 2 blue, 1 orange. We then typically add in a third color 1 red, 1 green, 1 blue, 1 red, 1 green 1 blue etc.

First have your child recognize the pattern. Talk about the pattern put words to what you see. Next have them copy the pattern, make it with their own set of materials. Then they can extend your pattern… can you add on to my pattern? What comes next? Finally have the child make their own version of that pattern. Can you make an AB pattern with your own color, material, whatever change in variable.

Notice that I showed the pattern broken into chunks. This helps your child see the repeat of the pattern. Once children get good at creating their own and understanding the concept of patterns, they can make more and more complex patterns.

# If you’re a Monster…

Today let’s listen to the story/song: If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca and Ed Emberley. This is to the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know it, but with a twist.

The illustrations in this story are very bold and on black. This is a great opportunity to create some paper art. In school, I keep a crate of construction paper scraps and we use them all the time for these projects. At home, just keep the larger scraps from art projects in a bin or bag and put them out whenever you want your child to cut up paper to do an art project… reduce, reuse, recycle.

Encourage your child to add the elements in the story on their monster so they can then retell the story with their monster!

# Monsters Puppets Love Words

Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley. This story will quickly become a favorite. I would encourage you to listen to it once and then the second time have your child create big green monster while listening to the story. It is a great story for retelling!

Today lets make monster puppets. For my sample I used both markers and construction paper. I love encouraging children to use mixed media. You could also add other items such as yarn, buttons, googly eyes etc… the key is creativity!

For Words Wednesday we are going to work on blending onset and rime. Onset is the first sound you hear in a word and the rime is the rest of the word.

One way to help your child see the pattern is to either work with word family words or words groups (animals, names, foods or other familiar groups of words)

Here is a simple chant to use with your child(ren)

• It starts with a /__/,
• And it ends with /___/
• Put it together,
• and you say __________. (your child needs to say the word)

It starts with a /c/ and ends with /at/. Put it together and you say “cat”

It starts with a /h/ and ends with /orse/. Put it together and you say “horse”

If your child is struggling still, I would provide visual clues. Provide a group of pictures or toys or other items and use words represented there, this helps the visual learner make the auditory connections.

It stars with a /c/ and it ends with /ar/. Put it together and you say “car”.

It starts with a /d/ and it ends with /oll/. Put it together and you say “doll”.

When your child gets good at this, switch the rolls. Have your child say the first part of the rhyme and you finish it with the answer.

# Pumpkin Life Cycle

It’s Pumpkin Time by Zoe Hall— a family plants a pumpkin patch and watches it grow from seed to jack o’lantern.

How Do Pumpkins Grow by Inspired by Kinder— an easy reader about the life cycle of a pumpkin.

A Pumpkin Grows by Scholastic— great visuals of a pumpkin life cycle

Time Lapse of pumpkin growing: a pumpkin life, pumpkin time lapse (up close)

So now you have seen how a pumpkin grows! Let’s put it down on paper.

Typical steps stages focused on: seed, sprout, vine, flower/blossom, green pumpkin, orange pumpkin

I made a paper pumpkin and drew the life cycle on the pumpkin. You can do this or vary it many different ways…

Have your child make a pumpkin and print out the stages having your child glue them in order on the pumpkin

Draw/color the steps on green leaves and glue them onto a green piece of yarn to represent a pumpkin vine

Draw/color out the steps and place them on a long strip of paper such as a sentence strip

Draw/color each of the steps on small pumpkins and make a pumpkin patch

Or any other representation you want!

# Pumpkin Bump Game

This week we will be looking at pumpkins! Who doesn’t like to learn about pumpkins? Here is a fun pumpkin story to listen to: Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White. What would you do if you had too many pumpkins? Well listen to what Rebecca Estelle does with all the pumpkins she finds!

Today you are getting two stories… How Many Seeds in Pumpkin by Margaret McNamara. The children in Mr. Tiffin’s class learn about estimating, sizes, counting and more by counting the seeds in three different sized pumpkins.

Time for some pumpkin math! I encourage you to do some math/investigations with real pumpkins at home.

• How much does your pumpkin weight? How much does it weigh after you take out the seeds and the pulp? After you carved it?
• How many lines are on your pumpkin?
• How tall is it?
• What is the circumference of your pumpkin?
• How many seeds are inside?
• Will it sink or float? Does it sink or float after you took out the seeds and pulp?

Now lets play a game!

Bump is a fun dice game to play with kids. I will teach you how to play and then share how to easily alter the game to work on different skills.

I will show you the simplest version first. Create a gameboard, I drew pumpkins (sad looking pumpkins I admit!) for mine. On the gameboard write the numbers 1-6 since we will only use one die for this version. Each player needs 10 counters, transparent counters work best, but aren’t necessary.

Directions:

• roll the die
• put your marker on that number
• next player rolls and they put their piece on that number
• if you roll a number that the other player is covering, you can bump them off that space
• if you roll a number that you are already covering you can double cover and lock the space.
• First person to use all 10 counters wins!

Easy and Fun!

Variations on the game:

use two dice and add them together

use one die and have the children add one (I would write _____ +1= on the board and have the children put the die in the blank space to remember to add one

double roll one die but cover it’s double (roll 2 but cover 4, roll 3 but cover 6)

use three dice

older kids you can use the dice to multiply or practice place value… so many options!!

story

# The Scarecrow’s Hat

Today for Thinking Thursday, we will use the story The Scarecrow’s Hat by Ken Brown to see the roll of problems and solutions have in stories.

In the story, The Scarecrow’s Hat, chicken decides he really likes scarecrow’s hat. Scarecrow is willing to trade for a walking stick, but chicken does not have one. Follow along to see how one person’s problem is solved by another person.

Here are two examples of how you can work through the retelling of this story focusing on problems and solutions.

Create a story map. Have your child draw 7 boxes connected by arrows. In each box, draw a picture of the character you meet in the story starting with chicken. Under the picture write what that character needs and has to give. You will see as you work through the connection between the need of one character with the object the next one is willing to give away. Make sure to retell the story in total getting all the way back to chicken getting scarecrow’s hat.

Or, you could create a table of problem and solution. What problem does each character have? In this context I would encourage your child to see that the problem is NOT the missing item, but what the item would be used for. Scarecrow’s problem is he is tired of standing. The solution is to use badger’s walking stick to stand up. Badger’s problem is his door will not stay open. The solution is using crow’s ribbon to tie it open.

When we start talking in terms of problem and solution, using terms such as character, setting, plot, author, illustrator, etc… we are setting the children up with facts and knowledge that will help them in later grades.

Want to extend the challenge?? Have your child write their own story in a similar context… I want ____ but I don’t have ____. So and so has _____ that I need, but they need ____ etc. until you loop back around to everyone getting what they need!

phonemic awareness

# Key to the Code– phoneme blending

Today for Words Wednesday we are going to work on some phonemic awareness, the understanding of how sounds (phonemes) work in words.

The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry– this is the story of a very unique friendship. A baby crow finds itself cold and lost until a kindly scarecrow helps.

Lets use some of the images in this story to work the Key to the Code game. Provide your child with 5-10 keys, real or ones made of paper.

Tell your child that you are going to tell him/her a word in secret code! The key to unlock the code is to blend the sounds together. For example you would say /b/ /ir/ /d/ and your child will say bird. If your child gets the word correctly with little to no support, they get to take a key. When all the keys are collect, switch roles.

Few tips!

Start by play I-spy style… you can use images from the story– bird (/b/ /ir/ /d/), hat (/h/ /a/ /t/), crow (/c/ /r/ /ow/), hay, (/h/ /ay/). The key to this format is having the visual for your child to refer back … so if you do not want to use the pictures from the story, then pick items around you book, apple, etc…

Choose words with two or three phonemes to begin with, then move onto longer words.

Say the sounds with a distinct break to start. They do not get the word, then say the sounds a bit faster to see if they are able to make the connections.

If your child is doing awesome with this skill… then move onto longer words! You can also transition to having your child write the word as they sound it out to make the phonics connection as well! (remember at this age the goal is to get all the sounds but they might miss some and not know the correct phonics skill yet– they may write cro for crow or brd for bird…. this is fine)