Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Halloween plans and a freebie

Halloween is on it's way.  Are your students starting to get excited?  I've definitely noticed that the level of noise in my classroom is increasing this week.
Right now we're working on Communities and Responsibilities in Social Studies, because I like to hold off on doing Halloween activities until "the week of" to avoid the over stimulation.  Luckily Halloween falls on a Friday this year:  the best possible scenario!
But I must admit that I'm getting a bit excited about it myself.  Especially since we picked the pumpkins from our garden last weekend.  We had lots of plain ones that will be good for carving, but these were a variety we put in called "Cinderella".  We had no idea just what they were like until mid August when they really started to take shape.  They won't be good for carving, but very cool for display.  (They got pretty big).

One of the grade one teachers in our school always organizes rotating Halloween centers for us on the morning of Halloween.  We have 6 primary classes this year, so that means blocks of about 25 minutes.  Last year I decided to use my time with each class taking a group Halloween picture that I emailed to their teachers who forwarded them to the parents.  Then we did "Looking for Dracula" by the fabulous Charlotte Diamond, which I used to have on tape but now have on iTunes.  I love doing it and the kids always enjoy it too.  I found a video on You Tube:

During the week leading up to Halloween this year I made a set of survey questions and a graphing activity to go with them to put into my Math centers.  The kids always love doing surveys and I made a back-to-school set like this that we did in September and it was a huge hit.

First they choose the question they want to ask.  I go over them first so the grade ones know what they are, then the pictures help them remember.  Then I give them the graphing sheet and the title and labels that go with it.  Once they have glued the question and the labels onto the graphing sheet they get a class list and they can go around surveying their classmates.  Each time they ask someone they cross the name off the list and put an X in the box above the answer to make the graph.

When we did it in September I had quite a few kids ask if they could do more than 1 survey.  To me that is the hallmark of a good classroom activity;  they enjoy it so much that they want to do it again.
Click here to see it in my store.

I'm looking forward to seeing all the great ideas that will be popping up on teaching blogs this week and next.  I'll be back with a few more of my own, too.

Here is a link to a Halloween freebie in my store.  It's a pack of pumpkin frames and writing papers.

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