Silly Jack-o-lanters

Well it certainly feels like October flew by, doesn’t it?! Like post people, I absolutely love the season of fall. Even if the temperatures stayed warmer for longer than I would have liked, there are still so many changes that spur wonderful conversation in the classroom!

Of course, a big part of October is Halloween and the kids get so excited, which makes me excited too! In order to celebrate, I decided to cater this week’s Think it Through activity to the spirit of the occasion!

*Pause* Think It Through activity? What’s that? Good question! I am not sure about you, but I sometimes find myself challenged by the new Kinder program. Don’t get me wrong, I love it- but it requires a new approach to teaching which can, at times, prove to be challenging. It requires a degree of hands off in order to foster the “child lead learning”. It requires teachers to knowingly take a step back and allow the students to work through the activities on their own. Teachers need to work at suppressing some deeply ingrained impulses to readily help students and offer them solutions to their learning processes. *Enter Think It Through Activity* This kind of activity really helps the teacher to follow through and practice the attitude of child lead learning. The teacher writes out instructions in the most simplest form, as a class, you go through each of them so that they all understand what each step says. Then…. they do it. With no intervention from the teacher (unless safety is an issue of course!).

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I prepared the materials for the students; I had the orange and yellow paint in a bowl, but not mixed. Step 1: Mix orange and yellow paint and make a circle.

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I had already cut out pieces of black and white construction paper in order to save time, but simply gave them to the students once everyone had completed Step 1 and we took away all of the paint and brushes.

Step 2: Use construction paper to make eyes, a mouth and some teeth. How many eyes? Don’t know…. How many teeth? Up to you!

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Step 3: Glue the face on your pumpkin and add a stem!

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I ended up loving this activity. It was so telling about all the students in various ways! The activity helped me see how my students interpreted information. Which students needed to constantly ask for clarification, who was looking over at their neighbour and following their lead? Who was working completely independently? It was a great formative assessment activity! Watching how students worked and processed instructions helped me understand the strengths and needs of my students in order to plan where I needed to go in my teaching moving forward.

My favourite part however, was hanging all of the creations and seeing how different each and everyone turned out. It is my favourite wall in the classroom!

Have you done a Think It Through Activity before? 

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