Friday, November 1, 2013

Oh Halloween...

I'm linking up with 5 for Friday & Freebie Friday this week!

Well I survived Halloween and the sugar hangover afterwards!
I've become very sensitive to the fact that not everyone celebrates Halloween over the past year, mostly because the school I taught at last year had a lot of kiddos who didn't go trick or treating due to religious reasons, so I am in the habit of not doing much for Halloween and saying "fall" and "pumpkin" in place of many times I want to say Halloween. All my kiddos this year celebrate Halloween but it turns out a few of them weren't able to go out trick or treating for various reasons so I was glad I once again didn't make a big deal out of Halloween.

However, I learned 2 things this year about the Halloween time of year...
#1 It is possible to teach kiddos on (the morning of) Halloween
#2 Save all fun "fall," "pumpkin," "Halloween," activities for the day after Halloween when the kiddos are either CRAZY or too tired to really function as learners.

I also managed to have my kiddos earn a celebration just in time to have PJ day today since they can't dress up at my school on Halloween. They got so excited about it that, they stopped asking about dressing up for Halloween.

Okay, so here we go...

I have to start with PJ day! As any regular readers know, I use (and love!) whole brain teaching. I've gotten a lot better at using the happy and sad faces as a whole-class motivator for hard work and good behavior. My deal with the kiddos was 10 days with more smile faces and then we get a celebration (I'm going to have to up the anti to more than 10 soon!). So since they kept getting told they couldn't dress up for Halloween, I had suggested a PJ party, and it won, hooray! Very easy celebration (I didn't have to buy or do anything!)

Here are my cuties... especially loved the minion slippers!


FREEBIE ALERT.... Sometimes the best ideas are those you plan on a whim... I knew I was doing pumpkin centers all day today since I figured I'd have VERY tired or VERY hyper kids (it was the 2nd!). I realized when getting all my centers organized in folders and bins that I didn't have quite enough to fill the whole day. 

So, I searched my pumpkin and fall books and pulled out The Biggest Pumpkin Ever. 

I then whipped up a quick worksheet that asked what my kiddos would do to grow a giant pumpkin... they LOVED it, one of my kiddos even was beyond creative saying he would put radioactive goo on his pumpkin which would make it grow really big and turn neon green, too funny!
Get the writing worksheet & pumpkin coloring sheet by clicking below.....

Continuation of my #2... I was originally going to have my kiddos just color the big pumpkin sheet included in the above freebie, but again on a whim (I seem to be working off whims a little too much lately) I decided water color might be fun! I was mind blown to find out most of my kids had never used water color before. I kept having kiddos tell me the paint was "broken" and "dried up" and "not working" and that was even after I modeled  how to add water to the paint and make sure your brush was wet, etc.

Despite never using water colors before, and a much more tedious project than intended, they came out pretty cute...

I learned a lot about the QRI (Qualitative Reading Inventory) in my grad class this week. If you don't know about it, check it out! I think it will be a great way to assess where especially my lower students are lacking in reading in regards to phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, phonics, etc. I've started reading both the assessment book and one of the companion books and am both being reminded of a lot I learned during undergrad as well as discovering new ways to approach students with need of intervention in reading.


And a non-teaching plug for my AMAZING photographer for my wedding. If you live in the New England area and need a wedding photographer, family portraits, maternity portraits, etc. check out Melissa's site by clicking on the photo below...

Teach Run photo ScreenShot2013-07-29at32149PM_zps10463e60.png

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