Apple Week...Not sure how we got it all in!

 We had so much fun last week learning about apples and going to the apple orchard.  I can't wait to share it all with you!  
We kicked off the week with Johnny Appleseed's Birthday.  On this day, I asked that all students bring in 1-2 chopped up apples.  We put all of the apples in a crock pot first thing in the morning on high.  I added two cups of water, some cinnamon and sugar and let it go.  Not only did our classroom smell amazing, we got to enjoy this tasty treat before school let out! 
Our focus strategy for the week was SCHEMA.  We wanted the students to define schema, share their schema, and understand non-fiction.  First we wrote our schema on my comprehension pages.  Then we shared our ideas on our yellow apple chart.  Next we read all about Johnny Appleseed.  We wrote our new learning and moved our misconceptions.  Finally we wrote about Johnny and made him.  
On Tuesday we prepared for our big field trip the next day.  Focusing on schema again, we created our schema chart about apple orchards.  Then we read this fantastic story Day at the Apple Orchard by Megan Faulkner.  We learned all about what to expect.  We finished our apple chart and wrote some fun similes about apples.  The children love writing similes.  I secretly love hearing their ideas. They are so creative.
The fun didn't end there, we had to make our apple shirts.  This was a tradition the school I teach at has been doing for years, I take no credit for this one!  The children did a great job and they are precious.  This year I thought I would get a little CRAZY and do apple prints for 10 Apples up on Top too! Why not???  I was EXHAUSTED by the end of the day!

On Wednesday it was off to the apple orchard!  We saw how apples are washed, sorted, and stored.  Then we watched them make cider using a press.  After that we watched the donuts being made.  BONUS... we got to eat a donut and drink cider.  Unfortunately it was raining but we made the best of it.  As soon as the rain stopped, we headed off on a hay ride into the orchard.  We picked apples and I got a sunflower to take back to my classroom.  We had a sack lunch and headed back to school. I was super thankful I though to bring extra socks and shoes....I was soaked.  Extra thankful that my kiddos had slippers to change into as well.  They put them on and we reflected on all the fun we had by writing about our day!  
On Thursday we explored the apple life cycle.  I wrote a mini book that takes the students through the life cycle of an apple. After reading it, they sequence the apple cycle.  There is also an interactive life cycle that I keep in the science center for them to practice.
Finally on Friday it was all about the APPLE.  We had apple schema going on and lots of great treats.  We graphed our favorite apple color and read one of my favorite books, Apples by Gail Gibbons.  My students love doing the anticipation guide shown below.  You can see that the left is highlighted.  Those are their "What I Think" predictions.  I don't want them to change their answers so we highlight them.  After reading the book, we do the "What I Learned" side.  Finally on the bottom we changed a false fact and made it true.  
Thanks to the great Science of September packet, we did a lot of apple tasting.   Then we graphed our class results.
We also enjoyed our week in our science center.  It was filled with new goodies from Science of September and old goodies that I have made in the past.  
Finally we completed our poetry flip book on apples.  The students are beginning to get the hang of this and it will soon be a rotation in our afternoon session!
I am loving all the fun we are having this year and my students are already learning so much.  First graders are like little sponges!
Happy Fall!





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