Thanksgiving Experiments, Sensory Table & a Giveaway!

Happy Sunday! It's just 7 more school days until Thanksgiving Break! I can't believe how fast this year is flying by! We've been packing in a ton of fun and learning this November, and I have lots to share:
In our Sensory Center we have corn cobs and seeds. 
I'll be adding acorns on Monday - freshly harvested by my own children lol!
The kids loved taking the corn off the cobs - those will be recycled in our Art Center as a paint "brush"! They also used the sieves to separate the seeds and corn. After this picture was taken I added a wire basket whose holes were just big enough for even the corn to fall through! As the week progresses we'll be adding measuring cups, more sieves and containers. These help us work on concepts of volume as well as size. Plus, taking the kernels off the cob is great for fine motor muscles!

Corn is elsewhere in our classroom too! 
We're attempting to have our Indian corn grow in both a container of water AND a container of soil. 

We watched this time lapse video of a seed growing to help us learn about roots and shoots:

At home, the students are working on their "Disguise a Turkey" projects. and yes, often the parents do the bulk of the "work", which doesn't bother me AT ALL. To me, this project is more about sparking conversation between children and parents. Having the family plan together which disguise to do and what to make it with. Maybe shopping for materials, or scrounging in drawers and cupboards. The parents NEED to be active participants in this project - for me, the whole point is to get the parents involved in something their child is doing for school. Giving them a topic of conversation: "Did your teacher like the Turkey Disguise we made? What did you friends make? Which one is your favorite? If we do this again next year, which disguise will you choose?" so that they're children realize that mom & dad (grandma, whoever!) care about their education and want them to do well! The turkey project is low risk too - there's no right or wrong answer, the child is going to be thrilled with whatever help they get, and the teacher is going to welcome any disguise!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Turkey-Disguise-Homework-Project-2193646
You can grab this freebie in my TPT store!

We're also working on letters and sounds of course, and my students are blowing those out of the water! Kids that came in not knowing even one letter of their name now know 20 letters! Everyone is making progress, and it is so heartening to see it! So many times we as teachers get bogged down in the politics of teaching, the long hours, the workload that seems to get bigger each year etc. Yet seeing the growth in my students, that they are learning so much and reaching their potential, while still loving school and rushing to hug me in the morning, well, that makes it all worthwhile!
Our main resource is this:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Initial-Sounds-Alphabet-Phonics-Letter-Sound-Pack-1453354
My Alphabet Sounds pack contains center activities and no-prep printables for each letter of the alphabet! There are so many pieces that you can use in whole group, small group lessons or one-on-one too! Since we don't have a reading curriculum, this is what I use to teach letters and sounds, and it works!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Initial-Sounds-Alphabet-Phonics-Letter-Sound-Pack-1453354
Want to win this pack? Enter the Rafflecopter drawing below!

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