Thursday, October 22, 2015

10 Ways to Use Count Chocula In Your Classroom

Every month I send home to my parents "Mrs. Rosenberg's Monthly Wishlist." I ask for items that relate to our weekly themes. Usually they are items that help enhance our play or centers that I return back to the students. For example, I ask for "tools of your trade" for our Community Helpers unit, a crockpot to make applesauce for our Apple Unit and so on. Sometimes I ask for  particular items that would be donated to our classroom. This is one of those times.

Also, if you are a fairly new teacher (like me) this helps you have engaging props and materials without you having to spend a lot of money.

In October, we do an entire unit around Bats and Nocturnal Animals. On my October Wishlist I asked for 1 or 2 boxes of Count Chocula cereal. My intentions were to use the cereal to make a bat theme sight word center. Well, last Monday, almost all of my students brought in a box of Count Chocula cereal. At first I thought to return the boxes and only keep 2 for the classroom. Then I started thinking of different ways I could incorporate the cereal into my weekly centers. This blog post are the different ways I am using up all this cereal.

1. Count Chocula Sight Words

This was the center that inspired me asking for the cereal.
This is a simple and easy activity. You can type out any sight words (or use my template here) and have students glue the cereal pieces to the sight words. My students loved doing this. They kept saying how great it was that their writing practice smelled yummy! You can also add tweezers to double as a fine motor activity.

2. Count Chocula Math Counters

I used the Count Chocula cereal as math counters for one of my bat counting center. The students used the cereal pieces as counters for their bat math cards. At this point, I let them eat the cereal they used as counters.

3. Count Chocula Bat Mosaic Craft

This is just a cute and fun activity for students. They use the cereal to make a bat. I had them use the marshmallow pieces for the wings and the chocolate cereal pieces for the body.

4. Favorite Halloween Cereal Graph

This is where the other Halloween cereals come into play. We tasted each of the General Mill's Monster Cereals.

You can download the materials here to make your own classroom graph! 

The students obviously loved this activity. There was also amazing conversations happening between each group. I heard a lot of analytical thinking skills from my kindergartners. A lot of them loved the Boo Berry and the Franken Berry cereal but they hated the way the marshmallows tasted. They participated in reasoning skills and math skills.

5. Count Chocula Marshmallow Sort/Addition

This was a quick and fun math sorting activity. I gave the students 1/8 of a cup of cereal and they had to sort the cereal by the marshmallow pieces and the chocolate cereal pieces. We all discovered that there was a significant difference in chocolate cereal pieces than marshmallow pieces. The students were not happy about this! Kindergarten demands more marshmallows!

6. Count Chocula Sensory Tub

You can add the cereal for a fun sensory tub. I do not have a sensory tub in my classroom; however, I found this cauldron and used it for a math center. The students found the hidden bat addition cards. The students loved the style change with their centers. They were happy to have something more than just the cards.

7. Fine Motor Activity

You can use the chocolate cereal and some tweezers for students with fine motor problems to strengthen their finger grasps. I have a student this year who I am constantly looking for different fine motor activities to help him work on his grasp. He is also slower on his centers, so he was thrilled to have a center that was just for him. He practiced moving the cereal with tweezers from two different pieces of paper.

8. Eat the Cereal!

Okay, you try to use all this cereal without one of the ideas to eat it. I can say that I am done with eating chocolate cereal for a long time. 

9. Count Chocula Self-Hardening Clay

This is an activity that I came up with to recycle all the used up cereal from centers. We cannot eat the cereal that they have been playing with and I felt awful wasting all that food. The pictures for this are from me testing the cereal. I will be making this clay in a large batch once this week is over with the left over cereal.

The ratio I used for the clay:
1cup pulverized cereal (no marshmallows!) This was about 4 cups of cereal before going into the Vitamix
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup salt (use table salt, I only had course salt and it took longer to dry)
3/4 cup water (as needed)

Gather Ingredients
Separate Marshmallows 
Place cereal in vita-mix or food processor until it forms a powder 
Cereal Powder
Mix the cereal powder with flour 
Add Salt
Slowly add water and kneed with hands.
Move to counter and kneed until forms the consistency you want. Add flour as needed.

Clay can last 2 weeks in fridge and takes about 2 days to dry.

10. Recycling Cardboard Craft

This activity is not with the cereal itself, but rather with the cardboard from the 15 boxes. We cut circles out of the boxes and used it as a moon for the background of one of our bat crafts. As you can see from #9 I am a big fan of recycling and using up all the materials.

You can grab some of these resources for free by clicking the photo below!


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