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Planning Autumn Math Stations

Autumn is upon us in Northern Michigan and the trees are BEAUTIFUL. 

The squirrels are gathering up the acorns and I need to get out there and get a couple of buckets for my class before they have them hidden away for the winter.  
Acorns are a GREAT manipulative to use in your kinder class if you can get them,  but, of course, you have to check for tree nut allergies within your class and you might want to stick them in a bag and put them in a freezer for a couple of days to make sure there aren’t any little ‘friends’ still alive inside.

Acorns and the beautiful trees of my home state inspired me to create put together a plan for autumn themed math work stations.  I think this is a perfect set to use before breaking out the Halloween themed stations (look for them in the next week or so).  If you click on the picture of the spreadsheet it will take you to the google docs that have the individual links for each activity. Or you can just check them out below.  If you click on the title of the activity (hightlighted in gold), right after the station number, you’ll get the link.   Just click on them.

I always use 9 stations and rotate them so that usually 6 are being used at any given time.  Students go through them two times and it takes about three weeks to go through them.  This year with so many kiddos, I use 7 stations at any given time so that I can keep numbers to 4 kiddos or less to a station.  And I have been trying to get through them in two weeks (5 times a week when possible which isn’t always possible because of assemblies and specials and what not). 

Here’s a breakdown of this set:

Station 1:  A Corny Ten Frame Fun Build  Here’s an activity where you can use real acorns if you have them.  I like given my naturalist learners an opportunity to use these kinds of manipulatives.  This one is tiered by offering a variety of playing mats. There are 10 frame mats and 20 frame mats and mats for practice writing just the number and mats for counting on. 
Of course if you don’t have access to the real thing, I have a a 2D alternative that will work too. 

Station 2: Number Writing Practice Book from Kindergarten Crayons.  My kinders are still working on this freebie number book as they practice number production.

Station 3:  Oh Nuts!  This is part of Falling Leaves Galore 6 Activities in 1.  Place acorn cards for whatever numbers are the appropriate readiness level of your students in a pocket chart (I like those little ones from Target) and have one student hide the squirrel while the others hide their eyes.  Then students take turns trying to find the squirrel by pointing and saying a number.  They must say the number correctly for the ‘hider’ to reveal if the squirrel is behind the acorn or not.  Play continues until one person finds the squirrel and then that person is next to hide it.

Station 4:  Leaf Pile is another activity from Falling Leaves Galore 6 Activities in 1
This is a fun number recognition game with some “special” cards added in to make it just a bit more interesting.  Place all the cards in a bucket

or if you want to have a little more fun with this, gather some leaves from outside or fake ones and hide the cards face down in them.  Students can take turns pulling them out to reveal their number (or special card).

Station 5:  I Spy Scarecrow Numbers I spy activities are a staple favorite in my classroom and my kinders are mastering ten frames quickly.  This one is tiered so you can meet your students at their readiness levels.


Station 6:  Pokey Pin Shapes Rectangles and Hexagons What can I say? My kiddos love these and I love that those that really need the fine motor practice can get it independently.

Station 7:  Counting On Acorns Yet another activity from Falling Leaves Galore 6 Activities in 1.  This is an activity with tiered recording sheets.  Place the appropriate readiness level of acorn numbers in a bucket and students pull an acorn, write the number on the acorn and then write numbers that come after. Some recording sheets have number lines for scaffolding while others are without.  You choose. There are also B/W versions if you prefer.

Station 8:  Falling Numbers Write the Room.  Another class favorite is anything that involves a clipboard and the ability to move around while searching and finding.  This one fits that bill.  It is tiered so you can meet your students’ readiness levels and there are a couple of different recording sheets that will help you extend the activity so that you can use it several times. 

Station 9:  Acorns Hi and Low I prefer to play this game with the real thing. 

using a paint pen to write the numbers on acorns.  Place the acorns in a bucket and students pick them out, compare the two numbers and the biggest (or smallest depending on how you want to play) number wins the all the acorns.  The one with the most acorns squirreled away, is the winner. 

I realize that not everyone has access to these lovely little nuts so I added a printable version to my Falling Leaves Galore packet for you to play with your kinders.

So if you’re more inclined to plan autumn activities for this month and want to enjoy a little ‘natural fun,’ those are some activities that might get you started.  I know that not everyone can enjoy traditional Halloween-type activities in October so I’m hoping this will give you some alternatives.  As for me, I’m all about black cats, ghosts, bats and witches so I’ll be back with a Halloween stations plan for Word Work and Math in the next week or so.  Stay tuned!  In the mean time, I’d love to hear how you’re incorporating autumn’s bountiful and beautiful nature into your classroom.  I’ll be here enjoying the view out my dining room window as I do some laminating/cutting this afternoon.

Marsha Moffit McGuire

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