Sunday, October 27, 2013

From Seed to Pumpkin ( A Common Core Retell)


I love this time of the year but for me I am busy working on writing units of study with my team at the district office. We just finished a Thanksgiving packet and I am so glad to move on after looking at curriculum maps, content and language objectives, informational text, and still slamming in some games to make all this look like fun to the kids! The rigor is going to kill me (just sayin").

So what have I learned in all of this? Materials for teachers need to be simple and easy to put together. So here are my "famous" retelling cards that form a flow map in a pocket chart. Teachers in my district are probably sick of seeing these for all kinds of topics. This time I did it for the growth of a pumpkin. How are these different? Let me share my thinking.

I did not include the transition words because I want students to practice this orally. They need to use words such as first, next, after, last, finally... you get the idea. Some of your students might be reading by now and that's why sentences have been provided to challenge them.  Common Core is all about offering differentiation. The language is still simple and repetitive.Be sure to model the language you want them to use and do this over several days. Now you can hand out the cards so students can have an opportunity to retell the growth story while the others watch. I often do this during my morning opening. Listen for those crucial transition words. Can they do this? This can be a great assessment for oral language, but teach it first! 
Retelling is an important skill and is part of the CCSS. However, what makes this truely a Common Core activity? Yup, doing it in collaborative groups of four, practicing academic language. Run the cards off  so that each group is provided with a set and store in a baggie. Students sit in a small circle and each one finds the next part of the sequence and continues to tell the story, using those important transition words. The teacher walks around and listens carefully as students work together. Your administrator will be impressed with your collaborative academic conversations and the kids will love working together to build their understandings. Are you willing to try this? This is what Common Core is really about!

Do you want these cards? I have them right here but be sweet enough to leave a comment and tell me what pumpkin activities you love to do! I forgot to mention that I sometimes prefer to make these cards magnetic and if you have a bookcase or file cabinet at the level kids can use this makes a great independent science/literacy center. I bought the magnets for just a couple of dollars at Walmart and they are self adhesive!

35 comments:

Sylvia Parker said...

Thank you for helping me see how I can add rigor and depth to this fall staple. We just made our life cycle chart on Friday. Now, I know the next steps to add CC depth.

Tonya Keele said...

Frannie,
Thank you for sharing this as a freebie! It will make a wonderful addition to my science center! :)
Tonya

Heather said...

Love these and they perfect for showing the life cycle of a pumpkin! My favorite pumpkin activity is cleaning out the inside of the pumpkin, leaving some seeds inside, and then adding soil. The kids are always amazed at how fast it grows!

Heather (heathernnance@yahoo.com)

Cindy said...

Thanks you! We just did some pumpkin exploration, including measuring and sink/float experiment.

Debbie Prellwitz said...

Thank you! These are perfect! I plan on having the students tell me the life cycle of a pumpkin as I record their voice. Then I will create a QR code to their recording, and hang the QR code in the hallway next to a woven pumpkin they created. This will be my final stop with the parents after their child's conference. Thank you so much!!

debbie.prellwitz@gmail.com

Steve Welch said...

Perfect! Starting pumpkins this week! Thank you!

Jane said...

Thanks for this freebie. Another great product from you :)

Jennifer Tilton said...

Thank you so much for teaching me how to do the retelling with students in groups. This was very valuable to me. I always learn so much from you.
Thank you also for the freebie!
Jennifer, kindertrips

Stephanie Ann at Sparkling in Kindergarten said...

Thank you for sharing...I'm going to use this tomorrow!

Stephanie Ann
Sparkling in Kindergarten

lawleym said...

Thanks so much. I've been comparing pumpkins and apples this fall. This will fit great!

Sue said...

I will be adding these cards to my science center next year. I teach K4 and do this activity each year - sometimes in a pumpkin shape accordion book form, with the kids coloring in the ground and then gluing on a pumpkin seed, then drawing a plant with sticky tape leaves, 3rd page is a larger plant with a coffee filter colored yellow flower, then they add to the 4th page the small green pumpkin, followed by the back page sporting the orange pumpkin with a jack o lantern face on it. I have also done it as a sequence using a paper plate as the pumpkin and all the items tied on a piece of yarn to tell the story. This year I went simple and we just illustrated the sequence from a blackline master, and then the children had to sequence the various parts to tell "the story" of how a pumpkin grows.

rooneyhunt said...

Thank you for the freebie. This will be a great extension to the activities that we have done. Love the idea of the small group discussions- I'll be adding that!
~ Amy

Rene said...

Thank you!

Valeria said...

These are perfect for my class! I was just looking for some pumpkin life cycle ideas! Thank you for offering these for free, they are wonderful!!!

Ms. P said...

These look great! Thank you also for the idea to have kiddos work in groups. My Kindies will have so much fun. Tina

Susan said...

Thank you! These will be a great addition to my pumpkin unit.

Morgan said...

Oh goodie!! Thank you so much for these!! We read a pumpkin life cycle book last week, and then went to the pumpkin patch the next day. These cards are printed and laminated and will be in my story retelling center this week!

A favorite pumpkin activity of mine is to allow the students to estimate how many seeds they think are inside a pumpkin. Then we scoop out the goop and count the seeds as a class. The student who guessed the closest gets to take the carved pumpkin home with them!

raynak said...

Thanks for the freebie! We make a pumpkin life cycle necklace with pictures of the life cycle and yarn. They have to put the pictures in order first.

Susan Haas said...

Great idea for increasing academic conversations! My favorite pumpkin activity is still watching my kids scoop the guts out of the pumpkins and use their senses to describe it. Love their expressions! I also like to put dirt inside and plant the seeds.

Debbie said...

Thank you! What a great addition to the science area.

PROUD IN PRIMARY!!! said...

Love this!!! thanks so much for sharing!!! I like to incorporate the five senses while exploring the inside and outside of a pumpkin. I also like to compare and contrast apples and pumpkins!!!

PROUD IN PRIMARY!!! said...

Awesome!!! I love to incorporate the 5 senses and compare and contrast apples and pumpkins....pumpkin muffins are yummy too!!!1

kraftykathy said...

Thank you! My kinders will love this.

Mandy said...

This is such a great resource. I can't wait to use it in my STEM class. Thank you!

krazy4K said...

thanks fran! love this! we love to carve pumpkins and then watch them decompose over a few weeks. :)

KinderLearningBunnies said...

I'm using the same book this week with my students. They will love working in groups and talking about their life cycles. Thank you once again for making us all better at this job.

Missy S said...

I use "colored" pumpkin seeds in the art center. The possiblities are endless. You can use the seeds as eyes, for mosaics, what ever you can think of.I wash the seeds, be sure to wash them well. There is a shiny outer layer of the seed that you need to get off. Put them in a ziplock bag with a few drops of food coloring to dye them. You will have to move them around the bag until all the seeds have dye on them. Bake them for about 20 mins at 200 degrees so the food coloring won't bleed onto your hands.

Elena Gruwell said...

Thank you!

mdunn said...

Thanks for this great resource

Fran Kramer said...

I love all these amazing ideas and I really appreciate all the comments you have left...hugs to all!
Fran

spencer shawn said...

These are such great ideas! I hope my kids have teachers like you! I've been looking into early childhood education in Colorado Springs CO. Could you recommend anyone in that area?

KSL said...

Thank you so much for sharing:)

KSL said...

...and I love the idea of making these cards magnetic and free for the kids to work with on the wall! Thanks for the tip!

Shannon DuFrane said...

I love the cards. I am always looking for way to include the new core standards. I love your products!

a.book.maven said...

Thanks for sharing this free printable! I wasn't quick enough to use it this year but next year I plan on using it when we read "Pooh's Pumpkin" in the library. I was struggling with a good way to work on retelling and sequencing - between your cards and these pooh puppets, I will have a great center for the kids - thank you!