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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Week: Planned, Plus a Giveaway!!

If you are one of the lucky souls who is off all week for the Thanksgiving Holiday then keep on walkin’. We don’t want your kind here.
I kid. But also, I’m extremely jealous.

We have all half-day this week up to Thanksgiving, but Monday and Tuesday are also conferences.  I am convinced this is to make me feel extra thankful on Thanksgiving. Nothing like a a few stress induced days to take you into the holiday weekend.

One benefit of a short week filled with half-days is that I don’t have to worry about fitting in our basal series in reading, science, or social studies. We get to do fun Thanksgiving stuff instead!

If you’re working like I am this week, here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving products to get you to Turkey Day! 

Don’t forget to comment below to win “A Feast of Clues” (my Thanksgiving Inferring Centers)

A bulk of our learning will be from Stephanie’s “All About Thanksgiving” unit.  I love that it’s common core aligned, so even though we’re taking a break from our regular curriculum resources, I’m still tackling all the skills I need to be.  There is so much to this unit, math, reading, and vocabulary resources, and of course a cute craftivity or two :)
Read more about Stephanie’s unit here. Buy it here.

We’ll also be using my friend Tracy’s “The Trouble with Turkeys” ebook and correlating unit. My class loved her “Wendy the Witch” ebook, so I know this will be a hit!

Read more about it here. Buy it here.

I’ve been pulling from Katie King’s November Busy Teacher all month and I won’t stop this week! Our math series doesn’t introduce time or money until much later in the year, so I’m going to introduce money this week and follow up with a few of Katie’s sheets. We do a “time check” on a  regular basis in our classroom as well, so her November telling time worksheets will make great morning or math journal work. I am addicted to Busy Teacher…cannot wait for December!

Read more about it here. Buy it here.

We’ll be rounding out the week with my Thanksgiving Inferring Center, “A Feast of Clues”. My kiddos loved, loved, loved the October ones, so when my friend Alisha suggested a Thanksgiving-themed one, I jumped at the opportunity!

Feast Preview Cover

It works a lot like “Costume Clues”. Students read the description of a Thanksgiving food item and decide which item is being described.  There is a primary version as well as an “upper primary” version, perfect for 2nd and 3rd graders.


And follow up sheets to use with the center.

Get a closer look and buy it here!

Or, win it below!

To enter, leave a comment telling me your favorite Thanksgiving food item. Mine is definitely mashed potatoes! Don’t forget to leave your email. I will announce the winner on my Facebook page tonight, so make sure you like me on Facebook by clicking the icon at the top of the page!

Wishing you a sane week at school if you’re stuck there like me, and a restful and stuffing Thanksgiving with the people you love!


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween Mania {Our Week in Pictures}

I feel a little silly writing this post considering anything and everything I saw in the stores today screamed Christmas.  How is it that Halloween was 3 shorts days ago but it seems so forgotten already? I love Christmas, but give me time to catch up people!

Anyhoo, here are some picture from our last few days of October.

The day before Halloween, I read “Room on the Broom” to my kiddos.  “Broom” has always been one of my favorite Halloween read-alouds.


You guys, I taught the most perfect lesson with this book on Wednesday.  It was nothing extra special…just good old cause and effect. But, every student was engaged.

Every student was engaged.

Even the one who normally picks his cuticles the whole time I’m reading.

Even the one who, when I ask if anyone has any predictions for what might happen next, raises her hand and asks, “Can I get a drink?”

On October 29, 2013 all was perfect in my little classroom for about 23 minutes and 37 seconds.
I am forever indebted to Julia Donaldson and her adorable little rhyming story.

Here’s our anchor chart BEFORE:


And here it is after my totally engaged students helped me fill it out!


The day of Halloween was jam packed with fun, and of course, a parade and a party.


To make room for all the 2nd grade classes to watch a movie in our room, I arranged students’ desks into one large group.  This earned me the title “Best Teacher Everrrrrr!!!!!” It's the little things.

We did the book character costume thing in our hallway this year. I was Fern and my grade partners were Pinkalicious and Junie B. Jones.

My awesome room mom organized a few fun spider crafts. Blow-Pops, Oreos, and spiders. You can’t go wrong.








We also played a Halloween game from Christina Bainbridge.  The kids loved it because it involved candy. I love it because it involved math.  And also because there was leftover candy.



Our day was so jam-packed that we didn’t get to half of what I wanted to, including Halloween centers and a few more read-alouds.

Hence, Friday was crowned “Halloween Take Two”.  That’s right, we rang in November with candy corn, costumes, and witches brew!

We spent our morning rotating around spooky centers.  This was a big deal for them because I do not do centers this way in my room.  The rotation thing was a little overwhelming at first but I was really happy with how quickly they settled into it.



My Costume Clues center was a big hit!!!

So were Katie King’s “Costume Capers”


Students also played math games and did spooky reading, where they read with the lights turned off while listening to spooky symphonies on Pandora.


We ended the day by making witches brew together.  I pulled elements from my Witches’ Brew unit but when push came to shove, we didn’t have a lot of time for many of the activities in the unit.  Darn it.  There’s always next year!

I whipped up a condensed version though, that I plan on adding to the unit soon. 

First, students buddy read the witches’ brew poem that I wrote.


Then, they used the poem to write the recipe for witches’ brew.  Once their recipe was approved by me they were allowed to make their brew.



After they were finished making their witches’ brew, students came up with their own recipes while munching on their brew.



It was a really fun way to end our week and keep the craziness at bay the day after Halloween.  It was a little different than doing the whole she-bang like we usually do…you know, teachers dressed up as witches, talking in our terrible witch voices with fake rats and spiders.  I felt bad that my class this year missed out on that experience but I think the scaled down version was appropriate for the day after Halloween while still being tons of fun for them!

Plus, this here teacher is still dog tired, ya’ll.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween and a restful weekend!  We only have school 3 days this week due to our state’s teacher convention so that’s what’s getting me through!

Have a good night!