Monday, October 10, 2016

October Centers Are Up and Running! [All About Bats Unit and Lesson Plans]

I can't believe that it is already October...yet alone the second week of October! Time is flying by (as always)!
This month we are learning all about bats.  I always start our unit off with our Word Splash.  This is what we use to teach vocabulary during our non-fiction units.  The first day of our unit I read one vocabulary word out at a time, I let the students raise their hand to tell me what they *think* that word means, then I call a student up to 'splash' the word onto our Word Splash!  I don't tell the kids what any of the words mean.  As we read our non-fiction books throughout the unit, we will learn the meanings of each word. 
 If students hear a word as I am reading they will put their thumb up. Then, when I finish reading that page we will stop and discuss the word.  After we discuss the meaning, I move the word to the far left side of the Word Splash so that we can review it daily. 
After I finish reading a non-fiction bat book, we 'turn and talk' to our partners to discuss any new knowledge.  My kids are trained to ask each other, 'what did you learn today?' or 'do you have anything new to add to our KWL?'.  After they discuss, I gather their attention and we add all new info to our KWL.
We label a bat together. I laminate this anchor chart and use velcro to label the bat.  This way I can use this same anchor chart year after year!
We had a lot going on during centers last week! My students are moving on to CVC words now (I do have one group still on letter sounds).  These Batty CVC Words are from my October Word Work pack.  The students love them and they are always so engaged with magnetic letters.
The Batty CVC Words come with a 'helper card'.  This way if students are stuck on a letter sound, they can look at their 'helper card' for some assistance.  These cards help make this center totally independent so I can be running my reading group without any interruptions. 
In the writing center last week we had list writing.  We also worked on labeling. 
One of our pocket chart centers was building sentences.  We have been working on our sight words and color words since the second week of school.  My students love using the pointer and reading the sentences to each other when they are finished.  They love playing 'teacher'.
Instead of writing the room, we counted the room!
 They LOVE walking around the room with clipboards looking for their cards.  I must say, they are super quiet and focused too!
 Awesome work! One-to-one correspondence and writing numbers (these are two of the skills we are currently working on in our math series right now too).
I still have students that need to work on number formation.  So we played Brilliant Bat Numbers. Students rolled the die and traced the number rolled.  We worked on writing our numbers from top to bottom.
They have also been working on 'stretching out' words.  They did 'Batty Beginning Sounds' and when they were finished, flipped it over for 'Batty Ending Sounds' (using the same cards). 
Another beginning sound magnetic center...have you tried magnetic letters in your room yet?  Best center ever!
I leave these candy corn letter/letter sound cards out as an early finisher activity in October.  My students love them! 
A little bit of a harder skill still, but my students are getting it, is matching numbers with number words.  Some of my students had to use our number posters for help, which is totally fine!
 Another early finisher activity that I have out in October are these play-doh mats. My students love play-doh!
The activities in this post can be found from various packs on TpT. 

If you would like to try a math center activity, you can try one for free by clicking on the image below.
You can also see all of my lesson plans for this unit by clicking on the image below.



  1. I Love your lesson plans! WOW!!!
    Can I ask how do you fit in literacy centers AND math centers?! Have you posted your daily schedule somewhere?
    Thanks!!! :)

  2. Hi Nicki!! I only have time for one math center a day (only 5 for the week). Use this link (my plans from the first two weeks of school) to see my schedule a little bit more!

  3. I am attempting to find the Candy Corn letter/sound match. Can you please direct me to this? I checked the October word work that is posted and I cannot find it. Thanks so much.