Monday, October 20, 2014

Halloween Ideas for Kids

In my classroom, we are finally starting to get ready for Halloween! Hawaii doesn't have traditional seasons, so I don't do too much about fall.  We don't have any apple orchards so it doesn't make sense to do apple week.  We don't have trees with leaves that turn colors and drift to the ground, so we don't do too many activities around leaves and trees.  But we do have a local pumpkin patch and a long tradition of Halloween!

To gear up, I busy prepping my Pumpkin Life Cycles and Experiments unit.  I know the kiddos are going to enjoy exploring the scientific method while counting seeds, experimenting with pumpkins, and even tasting the seeds!

We talk about spiders, especially since there is currently a huge cane spider living in our classroom! Last week we made an adorable spider subtraction craft that my colleague Lora-lea made a few years ago.  Lucky for you she gave me permission to re-create it and share it with all of you! Thanks Lora-lea!  They're hanging in my room and are a fun, glittery decoration for fall! 

Click the picture to download your copy for FREE!

I enlisted the help of my son tonight.  First he colored the spiders and the border around the word problem. 

Then he drew a web with a white crayon and squeezed some Elmer's glue onto it.

Then sprinkled with glitter.


Shook the glitter off, then glued the spiders and word problem paper on.  

Another way I like to decorate is by using fun containers and manipulatives in math.

I downloaded this freebie Mixed Addition Halloween center game from my friend Fern.  We started addition a few weeks ago, so this is perfect! I printed, laminated, and cut the game pieces and placed them in this fun pumpkin basket I got at the craft store.  I then threw in 12 bat rings for the kids to use as manipulatives.  Luckily, the little bag of rings I got at the store has 100 in them, so I have plenty to give out to the kids and replace in case one turns up missing.  No biggie! 

So now, you might be wondering about all these extra goodies I've purchased, like baking materials for the pumpkin pie in a crock pot recipe from my Pumpkin Experiments pack, the pumpkin basket and rings from the game, or even the glitter for the craft.  That's where Coupons.com comes to my rescue!  You can search their site for coupon codes and get them for stores like Michaels, OfficeMax, and even Target! Check out The Good Stuff here! 

Right now there is a Coupons.com Halloween Creepstakes going on.  The Creepstakes gives you the chance to win $100 in daily prize giveaways and a $3,000 grand prize.  It ends October 31, so hurry quick!

One last goodie - check out this post from last year to snag my freebie Halloween goodie bag toppers! :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bright Ideas for October

Hello there! My Bright Idea for October is all about using these spiffy whiteboard dots for small group instruction! 



A few months ago I was making an OfficeMax run and happened upon these cool adhesive whiteboard dots, called Wall Pops.  They are made to go on a wall in an office or cubicle, but I thought "Hey, those would be cool on my guided group table!" 

So now, every time my students come to my table for either reading or math groups, they bring their marker and little eraser I got in the Target dollar section a few years ago.  

Here we are in reading, doing a little short e dictation warm up before reading our guided book.


In math we are working on number sense as well as basic addition.  I found these laminated ten frames in my room when I moved in this summer and they have been great for subitizing.  We've also been working with Rekenreks, so the kids are getting good at recognizing 5's and 10's.


We are also learning basic facts, including turnaround facts.  The kids loved using dominos and writing the turnaround facts! 
I love that these are quick and easy.  The kids love writing on the tables, making group time a novelty.  I love it when I hear them say, "Yes! Group time!"  You can do so many different activities as quick warm ups with these, the possibilities are endless!

If you liked my Bright Idea, please consider following me on Bloglovin' or Instagram

Don't forget to visit my friends in the hop and read all their awesome ideas, too! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Focus Walls and Owls

I'm over at Owl-Ways Be Inspired today sharing some freebie headers that I made for my Reading Wonders Focus Wall!

Owl-Ways Be Inspired


You can snag my headers for FREE, as well as that ah-dorable Close Reading banner from the top of my bulletin board that was sweetly made by Nicole Alderson from Rowdy in Room 300!



Click any picture to go snag the freebies from the Owls blog! :)
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