Apple Math and Science

I love fall! Nothing says fall to me like some delicious warm apple cider or baked apples with cinnamon and sugar. Yum! Here in Virginia, we are surrounded by apple we make a big deal of out apple season 'round these parts! Here are some of the fun apple activities we did last week!
Apple Juice vs. Apple Cider Taste Test
Do you know the difference between apple juice and apple cider? Apple cider is just apple juice that has not been filtered and pasteurized. It contains more of the apple pulp and all-around apple goodness. Apple juice has been filtered to remove all of the apple particles, and it's pasteurized, which is why it lasts longer too. We tasted both beverages and then made a tally chart of our favorite.
Apple Taste-Testing
Of course, we had to taste test the apples themselves too. So we tried a slice of a red, yellow, and a green apple and then made another tally chart of our favorite.
Apple Math
We measured our bodies with apples, and recorded our measurements.
We also did a little apple patterning. We created a pattern with apples and identified the core of the pattern. Get it, CORE?
We added Ask and Tally to our math stations. The kids love walking around the room and asking their friends questions. We also played Apple Spin and Tally! Can you tell we're working on tally marks in math?
Apple Science
In science, we made predictions about whether the apple would sink or float.
Then, we tested it out!
Exploring Our Apples 
Everyone got an apple to explore. They dug for seeds, and placed them on a ten frame. Then, they talked bout their seeds with the person across from them. They had to tell who had more seeds and who had fewer.
We also made easy applesauce. You can read about that HERE, where I blogged over at iTeachKinder.
Of course, had to do a little apple print art. We made trees and used apple prints as the leaves.

If you'd like to see more apple ideas, you can check out some of last year's apple fun HERE!

The Apple sheets in this post are from my Apple Math and Science Pack on TpT.


How Glue Sponges Saved My Sanity

I am here today to spread the gospel of the glue sponge! If you haven't fallen in love with glue sponges yet, then I'm guessing you haven't tried them! I first learned about glue sponges from Smedley's Kindergarten Smorgasbord.  I thought it was a cool idea, but I also thought, "nah, I'm doing OK." Glue sticks and bottled glue hadn't yet become my enemies.
Enter interactive notebooks. We started going through about 500 glue sticks a day. When we tried glue bottles, the phrase "dot, dot, not a lot" was forgotten by just about every student, and they made a huge mess. Glue was now a problem that needed to be beaten.

So I made some glue sponges, and I will never go back!
Making glue sponges is super easy. Just gather bottles of white glue, sponges, and plastic containers with lids. I buy these Rubbermaid containers which are cheap but last the whole year. At the end of the year, I just throw away the whole container.
Step One: Put sponges in containers.
Step Two: Pour glue on top of sponges
Step 3: Put lids on containers. Allow them to sit overnight.
Step 4: Allow your world to be changed.
Here is what your glue sponge will look light after a night of soaking. You can see that all of the white goopyness is gone. But there is glue in there!
Just have your students dab whatever they are gluing onto the sponge, and will leave behind the PERFECT amount of glue.

Have you already been using glue sponges in your classroom? Comment to let me know how much you love them! :)


How to Dye Pasta for Sensory Bins

Dry pasta noodles are the most versatile things! I love to dye pasta of all different shapes for art projects, and I've recently started using it in my sensory bins too! It makes a great, inexpensive filler! The process I'm going to share with you works well with pasta but it also works great with white rice. Read on to find out how to easily dye pasta!
That's it! It dries super quickly. I whipped up this batch in the morning at school, and they were ready to be dumped into the bins by the time we started work stations about an hour later.
Wondering what do put int your sensory bin now that you have it made? My sensory bin scavenger hunts are a great way to add literacy to sensory play!



Directed Mouse Drawings

We've been all about the Kevin Henkes books in my classroom over the past couple of weeks. I wanted to do a mouse-themed art activity of some kind, and this directed drawing was perfect! I started doing directed drawings with my students last year after Elyse over at Proud to be Primary blogged about her Frankenbuddies. I love directed drawings because they make it easy for kids to be successful, and they are always different!
In just a few simple steps, your students will be feeling like artists and showing off their creations! 
My students had a blast with this! And now, when we journal about the characters in the Kevin Henkes books, everyone will be able to draw a mouse!
I hope you give this a try! I know that your students will love it!

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