READY TO ROW:
I love that we’ve been able to select a circus themed FIAR book to row in October. It’s always fun to tie in this theme leading up to our annual church Harvest Festival on October 31st.
We had a special Andy and the Circus themed breakfast with cornbread, pan-fried ham, and fresh fruit.
Jordan created his cover page using pencil and red pen, similar to Ellis Credle’s illustrations. Now we were ready to row!
I created a Bible Memory verse pack using special artwork my daughter, Haley created.
On the first day, Jordan traced his Bible verse.
The next day, we cut it apart and he glued it together, like a puzzle, in his FIAR Notebook.
He used the Bible verse puzzle to practice it the rest of our time rowing Andy and the Circus.
We talked about how kind and thoughtful Andy was as he delayed himself to help out his friends and neighbors.
We also talked about being greedy. We discussed that if Joe shared the kittens with his friends, he may not have had to give them all up.
While talking about kitties, we read a few books, but my favorite was The Lost Kitten. The story was really sweet and the kitten reminded me of our rescue kitty, Ellie.
Friends & Family:
I created an Andy and the Circus Memory Match to pair with our talk about family and friends.
You can download your FREE copy here at our TPT Store.
We read a Windy Woods book about the value of friendship.
We also watched an animated version of Peter’s Chair on our Epic app.
Afterwards, the boys completed the worksheets I made.
We talked about popular idioms, especially “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” as illustrated in the book.
Then we read about idioms in The Know-Nonsense Guide to Grammar book. I love reading other picture books for grammatical topics, but this is a handy resource when finding another book just isn’t possible.
We use Sonlight’s Language Arts program along with the FIAR curriculum. I create a Grammar Grab Bag to coordinate with each week’s language arts activities.
Each week, he uses his spelling cards to practice writing his words, completing his spelling sentences, and finally taking his spelling test a the end of the week.
We use the Sonlight Language Arts program for fourth grade with Jordan. He loves the Grammar Ace program with all the Schoolhouse Rock songs. Each week we tackle a topic, listen to various songs, and create notebook entries.
This week we tackled verb tense using a circus theme. On Monday, we read through our grammar lesson. On Tuesday, we created the notebook entry. I set out all the components to read and match with Jordan.
Jordan glued the various components into his Grammar notebook.
This grammar notebook will be a great resource in the future. He can always flip through the pages to review each topic.
I set out a syllable sensory bin for Jordan to work on. He read each word and sliced the cards on the syllable.
We also covered dialogue, digraphs, and person (i.e. talking in the first, third, etc.).
On day, during this row, Parker asked how coins started. I pulled out Lots and Lots of Coins for us to read later that day.
After his nap, we sat on the couch and read Lots and Lots of Coins . It was perfect! It gave the history of money, what each coin is worth, and much more. We loved it so much, I bought a copy online.
We read several of the Money Matters books on our Epic app. These are short reads with great information for shorter attention spans.
We also read Money Matters Earning Money which was perfect, because Jordan was interested in doing extra chores to earn money. He and Daddy found two side jobs, weeding and raking leaves, and he worked his heart out. He did a fantastic job and earned his own side money!
I created a fun Circus Fun Counting Coins Game for this row. I created several levels, so all of the kids could play it.
You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store.
All of the kids enjoyed this game! Haley even asked to play it again while the boys were finishing their round.
The subject of balance was the highlight to last year’s circus row, Mirette on the High Wire.
We read High-Wire Henry again since it was such a cute book.
We also read Raggedy Ann & Andy Day at the Fair and brought out our balancing toy. The boys took turns stacking and balancing the wooden pieces.
This is usually the time of year when we explore pumpkins from our garden, but this year we had rodents nibble off all the baby pumpkins in our patch.
Hopefully Ellie will scare them off next year. Anyway, we did manage to harvest a baby watermelon. Since Andy had to deliver a watermelon to Grandma, we decided to explore watermelons instead.
From Seed to Watermelon:
I created a From Seed to Watermelon Little Science Pack for this row.
We read Watermelon by Rhonda Cox which reviewed the life cycle of the watermelon plant.
Parker colored, cut, and pasted the Watermelon Farm Story worksheet. This was a great activity to help with story sequencing.
The boys completed the life cycle worksheet too!
We reviewed the parts of the watermelon and Parker completed the Label the Watermelon worksheet.
I printed a copy of the Watermelon Exploration worksheet, brought out stacking cubes, rulers, a scale, and more for the boys to explore our baby watermelon.
The boys colored and weighed the watermelon.
They measured the height and circumference of their watermelon.
They explored their watermelon using their nose, eyes, hands, and ears.
Jordan helped slice it open so they could use their sense of taste to explore this summertime treat.
I’m pretty sure this was their favorite part.
With all the watermelon seeds left on the board, we used plastic knives to count by five. I told the kids this is how I used to count pills when I worked in the pharmacy.
We didn’t study the pig or donkey, but we did an honorable mention reading E.B. White’s Some Pig picture book along with Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.
One of Andy’s chores was to feed the donkey corn. I thought it would be fun to do a little corn science activity.
The boys color-coded the various parts of the corn plant while I read the definition cards.
We also marked all the major corn states, on our U.S. placemats, while reading about them in our book.
We also read Raccoons and Ripe Corn by Jim Arnosky. We just love his nature books!
Lastly, the boys shucked the ears of corn we were going to cook for dinner.
They separated the various parts of the corn.
They took the labels and placed them on the various parts. Later, we gobbled the yummy corn with our dinner!
In honor of Grandpa’s pet crow, Blackie, we took some time to explore this radiant black bird.
We read a few non-fiction books about crows. I created a Label the Crow Worksheet for this row.
You can download your FREE copy here at our TPT Store.
I reviewed the various parts of the crow using our bird nomenclature cards (The Helpful Garden).
Afterwards, we added them in their FIAR notebooks.
We read several other great books about crows, but my personal favorite was Lila and the Crow, a GREAT book about bullying.
I made the kiddos a little crow snack with mini Oreos, candy corn, and mini chocolate chips.
Later on, we were excited to find The Crow and the Pitcher in Parker’s weekly read-alouds.
The boys took turns adding gems into the water until the water was high enough for the crow to drink.
This was a REALLY simple activity, but the boys LOVED it! It’s funny, because I remember doing the exact same thing with Haley when she was in second grade….Oh, the memories!
ARTS, CRAFTS, & MORE FUN:
When the boys were really young, one of our favorite Caillou episodes and books was The Circus Parade. Jordan pulled it out and handed it to me, because he knows how special those early memories are.
We ate special circus toast, like in the book only we scrambled our eggs. What a fun a heart-warming walk down memory lane!
We also read a couple more books about the circus.
We used The Farmer and the Clown to practice our verb tenses. I usually don’t gravitate towards the wordless books, but it really was a great way to practice our verb tenses. Jordan and I sat on the couch, looked at the adorable illustrations, and took turns telling the story in past, present, and future tense.
We started our circus day tradition during our preschool years with candy themes and The Runaway Bunny during our BFIAR days.
This year, we started our morning off with clown pancakes and a fun game of circus sudoku.
I created an easy, medium, and hard level sudoku game in our Circus Theme Preschool Math Center. You can purchase your copy here at our TPT store.
I handed out the difficult level to all three kids and they ALL found it challenging….the secret? Don’t glue the pieces until you’re sure you got it right!
After breakfast, we headed to the counter for a fun Candy Experiment. I printed a copy of our Sink or Float Candy Science worksheet.
You can download your FREE copy here at our TPT Store!
They knew they would be getting plenty of candy loot tonight, so they cleared out their old, expired candy to use for this experiment. They chose five different kinds and wrote their predictions.
They conducted their experiments.
And wrote their actual results. We’ve done this experiment many times, but it never seems to lose its appeal.
The Circus Train:
We headed into the classroom with the rest of our candy and a few empty tassimo coffee boxes.
Jordan was in charge of creating the main engine. He added a chimney using an empty mini M&M bottle. It was looking SO adorable.
Haley was in charge of creating all the animals to ride in the two cars. They had SO much fun using candy and empty easter eggs to create all the circus characters.
While they worked on their other school assignments, I painted the engine and passenger cars using the colors they selected.
We set the circus train aside to dry and decided to finish it another day.
Using the glue gun, Haley and Parker added various candy embellishments to their train cars.
Jordan added candy to his main engine to make it bright and beautiful!
When it was all done, it looked AMAZING! It was even cuter than I had imagined and the kiddos had such a blast building it!
We finished our special day making circus posters for our creative writing and art assignment.
First, everyone chose a circus act using a coloring template I found online. We cut out the faces and glued on their own using a printout of their current school pictures (thank you Daddy).
They colored their pictures,
Gave themselves a circus name,
Last, they added a few finishing touches. They each wrote a poem featuring themselves as depicted in their circus poster.
They did a FABULOUS job! They turned out so festive and cute!
Andy and The Circus Playlist:
As with our other rows, we created Andy and the Circus Playlist with read-alouds, music, science, and other clips.