Monday, October 12, 2015

A Fun Week's Worth of Halloween Activities + FREE Math Task Cards!

Hello Everyone,

I hope you had a great weekend. I love how the leaves are finally changing colors even though it's 90 degrees out today!

I just wanted to share with you that my newest Halloween resource is finally posted. Yippie!  I'm really excited about it because there are so many activities to keep your little 'monsters' engaged for the entire week leading up to Halloween (which is no easy feat sometimes).

This resource is chock-full of fun activities such as a reading passage with interactive vocabulary, QR code math task cards and a story problem game, two science experiments, two art projects, and lots of graphic organizers to write an awesome narrative about a haunted house. Sound like fun?  Let's take a closer look.

The History of Halloween reading passage is slightly differentiated (two levels) and has five vocabulary terms (in pocket chart cards and a pumpkin flippable), a main idea/supporting details graphic organizer, and three text evidence questions. (I love that little monster-so fun!)

Your students will love writing a narrative story about their time in a haunted house with these graphic organizers. Also, review adjectives and onomatopoeia to improve word choice.  A rubric is also included; all you need to do is add in your point system if you choose to use it.

Your math stations will be so engaging this week with this review QR code task card set (place value, addition and subtraction with regrouping, graphs, relating multiplication and division).  There is also a Halloween themed story problem math game. (Note: These math activities are aimed towards third graders, so they will be a review for fourth grade and remedial for fifth.)  The pumpkin printable will also help review related multiplication and division facts.  It's color by product or quotient, so it's also good to reinforce those key terms.

Let you kids practice their observation and predicting skills with two outrageous science experiments!  "Disappearing Pumpkins" will have your students predicting which of four liquids will dissolve candy pumpkins the most rapidly.  They will be amazed at the changes taking place.  You could discuss physical and chemical changes as well. (This experiment was adapted from Lemon Lime Adventures.)

The second, "Bouncing Eyeballs" lets your pupils make their own bouncing (eye)balls. So cool, right? The first part gives students directions to make the balls, and then have them make predictions about how high they might bounce.  (You will want to put down plastic or cloth to catch any glop and have hand wipes or a towel nearby.)  Each person records his/her observations while a partner holds a yard stick or ruler to measure the heights of each bounce.  The second section (which I encourage be done whole group or over extended sessions) asks students what they think will happen if they change the amounts of the three main ingredients.  For example: If I increase the amount of borax, the ball will  _______.  Students will record and test the three hypotheses and then write about their findings.

For a tie-in with the reading passage about Samhain (the precursor holiday to Halloween), there are two different art projects related to The Day of the Dead. There can be a discussion about the similarities and differences between these two holidays if you wish.  The first project has pupils look for the missing details of kids dressed in The Day of the Dead style, then decorate.  The second, is for students to cut out and create 3-D calaveras (skulls), and then decorate.  I recommend using clear tape or a glue stick to adhere the tabs.  These would make great decorations for your Halloween parties.

What do you think?  I've included literature resources and answer keys as well, so it's a bit easier for you.

As a thank you for taking a look at this product, please head to my TpT store to download the QR code math task cards FREE! These would make a great review math center or fun around-the-room activity.

I'm also linking up this freebie with Teaching Blog Addict's Freebie Friday. 

Find this freebie and other great resources here.

Have a great week! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fun Halloween Reads for Grades 2-4

Hello Everybody,

I just wanted to share with you really briefly some of my favorite classroom reads for the month of October.  Most of these are quick reads, one of them is nonfiction, and one is based on a true story.

Fun reads for October

1) The Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson is a classic, quick read. When the mayor cancels Halloween for the town's children because the Herdmans always cause havoc, a school party is scheduled instead. The children are saddened that they won't get to go trick-or-treating, but plan lots of mischief for the party instead.

2) Bones by Steven Jenkins is a nonfiction read that showcases the body's skeleton and how its bones work together. Your students will be fascinated by it and learn from all the pictures for sure.

3) The Case of the Graveyard Ghost by Michelle Torrey stars Foyle and Dossey as two junior science detectives out to solve four different mysteries using their science knowledge. Fun activities/experiments are included in the appendix.

4) Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke is for the older kids in this group, and not for the squeamish.  It stars a young boy named Jon who is sent away to boarding school after his mom's new boyfriend takes up much of her time. At first, Jon doesn't care for his new surroundings, but after three ghosts on horseback appear out his window, he is determined to find out what is going on. Great for Harry Potter fans.

5) Magic School House: Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve has Merlin the magician asking Annie and Jack what has happened to the haunted castle and the people who used to live there. As they try to find the stolen Stone of Destiny, they are in for one spooky adventure.

6) Scooby Doo:  The Haunted Halloween Party is a goofy tale of Scooby and Shaggy who are off to a Halloween costume party.  When they arrive, they are scared that the party is in an actual haunted house. (Or is it?)  A quick read you could do in one sitting.  Definitely for the younger ones of this group.

7) Horrible Harry at Halloween by Susan Kline has room 3B wondering what Harry will wear for his Halloween costume this year.  His costumes are always the best!  However, this year he comes dressed as a detective and gets to work trying to solve the mystery that is haunting his classroom.  Another read for the younger ones.

8) Geronimo Stilton:  The Hotel is Haunted, is a mysterious ghost story.  Geronimo and Hercule must try to figure out who the ghost is that is haunting and scaring all the hotel guests. For the younger set; a fast paced read.

9) Hank Zipzer: My Dog's a Scaredy-Cat by Henry Winkler is about a boy named Hank that invites the well-known school bully over to his haunted house on Halloween to try and scare some sense into him.  However, Hank's dog Cheerio thinks the house is too haunted, and now he can't be found anywhere.

10) The Pumpkin Runner Marsha Arnold was inspired by a real Australian farmer who ate massive amounts of pumpkin to help fuel him while running a incredibly long race.  This is a simple read-aloud with tall-tale characteristics.

Thanks for checking these out. Let me know what you think about them.  In the meantime, here's a monster-themed main idea/supporting details graphic organizer you can use with these reads.
Click here.

Have a great day! 

You can catch this and other great free resources at Teaching Blog Addict's Freebie Friday here.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Bully Prevention Month Free Classroom Poster

If you are searching for a unit to help start conversations about what bullying looks like, how it makes others feel, and how to be a good friend; check out my Anti-Bullying/Friendship resource. It's ON SALE through this weekend. It has a bulletin board banner and craftivity, posters, writing prompts, discussion prompts, and a game with several task cards to get conversations rolling. Helping our students feel safe in our care is so vitally important in order for learning to take place. Click on the photo below to check it out.

Here's a little freebie for you. 
Print it out with the poster setting on your printer to enlarge it and hang in your classroom.

Click here

You can see this and other great freebies at