PEAK Teacher Newsletter              
October 2013
Featured Articles
Get Connected
Teaching Tips
Home-School Connections
Classroom Ideas
Links from Pinterest
Songs and Fingerplays
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Pinterest
Like us on Facebook
Visit our blog
Quick Links
Mary Rieck
Pottstown School District
230 Beech Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
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October Fun
October is such a great time of year in early childhood. There are so many topics that you can discuss in fun and engaging ways related to the changes of the season. We are fortunate to live in an area where we have a beautiful display of all leaves, many local pumpkin patches and the opportunity to see the farmers cutting corn for the coming winter. Hope you have a great October with your class!


Get Connected!
Just another reminder to check our Facebook page for more resources. Do you tweet? If so, you can follow us @PEAKPartners. What about Pinterest? There are a lot of classroom activities on our Pinterest page. Click the links on the left to connect with us on social media. In addition to this newsletter you can follow the PEAK blog at


Teaching Tips                           
Need some ideas on using bottle caps in the classroom?
Take a look at this web site - lots of creative ideas.                 


Home - School Connections
Extend language/literacy learning by home by recommending some of these activities to your parents.
  • Play some classic games like "Simon Says" or "Mother, May I?" Give one-step commands at first and then progress to two or three-step commands. "Simon says turn around, clap your hands and touch your toes."
  • Read a favorite story together, and ask your child to give a signal each time he hears a particular word. For example, "Clap your hands when you hear me say the word bear."
  • Go outside and identify sounds you hear.
  • Teach your child some hand clapping chants or jump rope rhymes you remember from childhood.
  • Talk to your child while you are engaged in household activities like cooking, gardening, or fix-it chores. Explain what you are doing, and tell them the names of the tools you are using. Spatula, spade, or wrench will soon become part of your child's growing vocabulary.
  • Discuss the day's events after your return from an outing or special event.
  • Give your child lots of opportunities to engage in conversation with adults.
  • Let them order for themselves in a restaurant or answer the telephone using phrases you have rehearsed ahead of time.
  • Create silly stories together while riding in the car or waiting at a restaurant.
  • Practice reading environmental print - street signs, store names, favorite foods.
  • Cut out logos from the ad section of the newspaper or the grocery store circular. Paste them on paper, or put them in a photo album to make a book that your child will love to read often.
  • Discuss books with your child after reading them together. Ask "How " and "Why" questions to extend their learning.
  • Use newspaper and magazines for letter find activities. Children love to find and circle the letters in their names.
  • Invite your child to "write when you write."
  • Let your child write on old calendars, order forms, check registers, or grocery lists.
  • Provide a "grown-up" pen or pencil.
  • Encourage all forms of writing, from scribbling to forming letters.


Fall Ideas for the Classroom

October is about changes and bright colors. From the beautiful leaves, the cool crisp days and the abundance of pumpkins, there are lots of ways to keep kids engaged and excited.



Graphing Leaves

Have students collect leaves of different colors. Using a floor graph, graph the leaves according to color. Count the leaves of each color together. Discuss "more and less".


Sorting Leaves

Discuss with students the differences in leaves-the color, shape, edges, etc. Using small baskets or other containers, have students sort the leaves according to one attribute. Count together when sorted.


Leaf Patterns

Students can use paper leaf shapes or actual leaves. Using leaves of different colors, begin a pattern. Have students copy pattern and extend. Have students form a new pattern with leaves. Patterns can also be made with other fall objects such as acorns or pine cones.


Fall Memory

Arrange an assortment of fall objects (acorn, leaf, pine cone, maple seeds, bark) in a row. Allow each student to touch each object and describe it. Cover objects with a piece of fabric. While students close eyes, remove one item. Remove fabric and have students figure out which object was removed.


More or Less

Give children an assortment of nuts. Have children sort the nuts by type. Count together. Discuss which group has more and which is less. Are any of the groups the same?


Orange Goop

Mix 2 parts cornstarch with 1 part water to a sticky but loose consistency. Pour on "messy" tray for children to explore. Add a few drops of red and yellow food coloring and allow children to mix and see the change in color.


Pumpkin Pancakes

2 cups biscuit mix

1 egg

1 cup milk

cup canned pumpkin

teaspoon cinnamon


Mix all ingredients together. Cook on a griddle or in frying pan. Serve with butter and syrup.






Pumpkin Spice Playdough

1 cup flour

1 cup water

1/4 cup salt

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons cream of tartar

2 teaspoons pumpkin spice

1 teaspoon orange food coloring or liquid water color


Add water and food coloring to pot. Stir. Add remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. When mixture forms a ball in the pot, turn out and knead on a slightly floured surface. Store in airtight container or plastic bag.


Quick Links for Pumpkin and Fall Themes

Here are some quick links from Pinterest for pumpkin and fall theme activities. You can follow PEAK on Pinterest - search for PEAK Pottstown.


October Songs and Fingerplays

Tune: Frere Jacques
In October,
In October,
What do you see?
What do you see?
I see a gray squirrel

I see a gray squirrel
Leaping on the trees

Leaping on the trees

In October,
In October,
What do you see?
What do you see?
I see Jack-O-Lanterns,
I see Jack-O-Lanterns,
Laughing at me,
Laughing at me.

In October,
In October,
What do you see?                        
What do you see?
I see children

I see children
Saying trick or treat
Saying trick or treat.

In October,
In October,
What do you see?
What do you see?
I see leaves
I see leaves

Dancing on the streets

Dancing on the streets.


From Seed to Pie

Tune: Farmer in the Dell

The seed is in the ground,

The seed is in the ground.

Hi-ho, the pumpkin patch!

The seed is in the ground.


Additional verses...

The seed grows a spout.

The sprout grows a vine.

The vine grows a bloom.

The bloom grows a pumpkin.

We make a pumpkin pie!


The Leaves of the Tree

The leaves of the trees turn orange and red, orange and red, orange and red.

The leaves of the trees turn orange and red

All through the town.


The leaves of the trees come tumbling down, tumbling down, tumbling down

The leaves of the trees come tumbling down

All through the town.


The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish

Swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish

The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish

All through the town.


Falling Leaves
une: London Bridges Falling Down

Pretty leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down.
Pretty leaves are falling down, all over town.

Some are orange and some are brown, some are brown, some are brown.
Some are orange and some are brown, watch the leaves fall down.

Some are yellow and some are red, some are red, some are red.
Some are yellow and some are red, leaves fall on my head.


It is Autumn
Tune: London Bridge
All the leaves are falling down,
Falling down, falling down.
Falling, falling to the ground
It is Autumn!

As they fall they twirl around,
Twirl around, twirl around.
Twirling, swirling to the ground.
It is Autumn!

Lots of colors touch the ground,
Touch the ground, touch the ground,
Red and yellow,
orange and brown.
It is Autumn!


I'm a Little Pumpkin

Tune: I'm a Little Teapot

I'm a little pumpkin,

Orange and round.

You can talk to me

I can't make a sound.


But if you scoop me out

And put a candle in,

Carve me a face,

I can grin and grin!


Autumn Leaves
Autumn leaves
Falling, falling,
Autumn leaves are
Falling down.

Red and green,
Gold and brown,
Autumn leaves
On the ground.

Autumn leaves
Red and green,
Gold and brown,
Falling all around.

Autumn leaves
Falling, falling,
Autumn leaves are
Falling down.



Parent Literacy Nights                             

Don't forget Pottstown Parent Literacy Nights.

Pottstown Middle School


3 years old through third grade (child care available for older and younger children.

Dates: October 1, October 22, November 12, December 3.


The complete schedule of the evenings can be found on the PEAK web site or by clicking here.



For more resources visit or the PEAK blog at
Happy Teaching!
Mary Rieck
PEAK Coordinator