Happy Halloween

by becky on November 1, 2012

What a day/week/month! I keep telling myself to “just get through the next week and things will calm down.” School has been a cluster of report cards, Halloween dances/parties, and conferences. Then, with two days off  next week (one for and Institute Day and one for Voting–so not really days “off”) its really throwing a wrench into my reading and writing schedule. Was I this flustered last year? I’m having a hard time remembering. I’m also having a hard time remembering where I park my car each day, but that may just be my old age. I celebrated my 32nd birthday this week and I feel like every time I have a birthday I lose brain cells. That, or I sprain something.  Man, this getting old is rough.

But, let’s focus on the fun stuff. This week I’m sure pretty much every student in a public school celebrated in some form the crazy spooky Halloween Holiday. I started getting excited about October/Halloween/Fall during the last week of September.

Here is my *first* bulletin board for Halloween. I had this puppy up seriously on October 1st. I was so excited for the weather to change, leaves to drop, and pumpkin-flavored lattes. It’s the pattern I bought last year from First Grade Blue Skies. This year instead of using their pictures, I had them trace and color jack-o-lantern faces. Truth be told, I kept forgetting to snap their pics for the pumpkins.

This board lasted until the 2nd week of October. That was when A Cupcake for the Teacher posted her ADORABLE bat freebie. I knew I wanted to use this pattern with my kiddos, so I read them Zipping, Zapping, Zooming Bats (thank you school library) and then they had to write what they learned about bats. Then, I had them trace their bats onto colored and Halloween-themed paper. I took the pumpkins down and threw this one up. My new favorite! :) (A funny side note… one of my new teammates came out into the hall while I was changing this up and he casually said, “You change your boards more than most people change their underwear.” LOL. I heart him. He is probably one of the funniest people I have ever worked with and he definitely keeps it real. Yes, S you are correct. I do change my board more than most people change their underwear. I seek help for this ;-) )

When I was lesson planning last week, I realized how choppy the next two weeks were going to be. I decided that on the 31st, we would do some math review. I wanted to play different Halloween-themed games, but again, that didn’t happen. Instead, as I was laying in bed a few nights ago, I kept thinking how wound up the kids were going to be ALL day on Wednesday and how I might contain a little of the craziness. Then, duh, it hit me! A Halloween hunt. If you’ve visited my blog fairly often or even if you just snag my freebies, then you may notice I like to do classroom scavenger hunts. This time, I’d have the kids do a Math review scavenger hunt. THEY LOVE IT and the deep down bottom of my heart secret reason I love this is because they are SILENT. So, I printed up some cute Halloween question cards using digital backgrounds I bought on Etsy , wrote 22 review (a question per student)  questions on the cards and hung them up around the room. Here is an example of one of the 22 cards scattered throughout my room…

As soon as I started taping the cards up, the kids knew exactly what I was doing. They were way excited and I was way happy I didn’t have to pump the activity up. Once we reviewed expectations, (spread out and give each other space, work independently, be quiet, stay focused, and use your resources) I passed out their answer sheets and let them go. I kid you not, it was so quiet in my room you could hear a pin drop. That kinda freaked me out… I’m so weird. Too noisy and I get nervous but too quiet and I get jittery. Have I ever mentioned I have issues? It’s cool.

Sooo, I turned on some fun Halloween music (quietly)

 and then it was just right in my room.

Questions may be found on the counter…

On the wall…

Next to a whole BUNCH of toilet paper…

and even in the mailbox bin.

And it wouldn’t be a successful math review if I didn’t ask them to answer my FAVORITE math fact!

What did I do during the hunt? Well, after I monitored that everyone was focused, I sat at my back table and re-glued the Goober’s morning magnets. Nice!

They did such a stellar job, I was super happy I had put these baggies together. I had originally planned to hand them out at the end of the day, but I thought their mature work habits deserved a little reward. Each baggie had a purple pen, orange pen, bag of pretzels, Pop Rocks, and 10 mini toothpastes. I mean, everyone needs more toothpaste after Halloween! ;-)

All in all it was a fun LONG day. The best part…coming home to my little pumpkin! Happy Halloween everyone! :)

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