31 October 2012

Right Before the Sugar High & a FREEBIE

Oh. My. Word! What a day. I just finished giving out candy to the last few trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood, and the bed is calling my name! I love...love...love Halloween, but I tell you...this holiday ranks right up there with Valentine's Day! Pure craziness! So, what did we do right before the sugar high??? 

We began the day with our riddle math! This has definitely become a favorite in the classroom and is PER-FECT right before a holiday. Today, the students had to figure out the following riddle: What do you call a witch that lives at the beach? They had to solve 9 different problems to find the answer. Each time they got a problem correct, they collected a letter tile. Once they had all nine tiles, they could solve the riddle. 

If you would like to pick up a copy of this activity, click {HERE}. The cards are blank so that you can create your own math problems to match your current skill! 

As if they needed more sweets today, once they solved the riddle, they were able to eat Halloween Popcorn...my sorta healthy...sorta sweet Halloween treat for my kiddos! Yes...I made them earn it! 

Then...who plans a wax museum & South Carolina Explorers Talk Show to present to parents on Halloween?!? Guilty! It kept them busy, focused, and learning! 

We held a traditional wax museum, complete with a photographer to take pictures of our guests with our famous explorers and settlers! The kids were most excited about holding their pose, and they were super serious about it. Seriously, the funniest thing ever. Loved every single second! 

As a matter of fact, I am about 90% certain that the adults had more fun than the students! I think I will claim a wax museum more often in the classroom. These kids didn't move an inch! 

After performing our SC Explorers Talk Show and a little region rap for our parents, we got straight back to work! Continuing on with our Wizard of Oz Unit, we made these cute little witch crafts to display with our homophone stories. After I reviewed homophones, the students had to create a Halloween story with the eight homophones that they were given. This really allowed me to see who truly knew how to use these words in the context of a sentence. 

So...how did I get them to complete so much work today? I held our little EconoMONEY shopping day over their heads! Call me crazy...but it worked like a charm! At the end of the day, the students were able to go spend {or save} all of their hard earned cash! 

The CEO of EconoMONEY Enterprises even threw a little Halloween Sale!

Then, we ended the day with these sweet little treats...Perfect since we read about that Wicked Witch today! 
These cupcakes were made by one of my precious room moms and grandmas! Love them! 

It was such a great day! And...I am just throwing this out there...BUT...I think that it is a total crime to make us come to school tomorrow! Pray for me...and I will pray for you! 


29 October 2012

Halloween{ish} Activities & a FREEBIE!

Is it just me...or am I getting back into my groove?!? A blog post on a Monday night?!? I call that progress, people! ;) Okay, so just in case you haven't heard...Halloween is Wednesday! Call in reinforcements! A candy high is in our future! Not to brag or anything, but our fall break is just around the corner! Like...Friday! Can I get a PTL?!?

Alright...back to school! I love Halloween! It *may* even be one of my favorite holidays! Since I have had my kiddos for three years now, I had to get really creative this year for our Halloween week! We have had oh so much fun with pumpkins...and black cats....and ghosts....and everything else Halloween over the past two years! So, what is going on this week in our room?!? 

That's right...The Wizard of Oz! 

I have been DYING to read this book with them and just couldn't think of a more perfect time! Plus...witches = the perfect Halloween{ish} addition to the classroom! {Sorry the pictures are horrible...iphone style ;) } 

This morning when they walked in, our classroom was decorated with witch everything... paired with a nice, bright...Yellow Brick Road! At the end of the road waiting patiently, was their new guided reading book for the next two weeks! I couldn't decide if I wanted to read the story whole group, or in guided reading groups. Then, I found the perfect version at Kohls! It is challenging for my low group, perfect for my middle, and a little easy for my high group. So, I am simply modifying the reading skills to make it perfect for all! AND...they couldn't be more excited about our new book study! Not your typical "Halloween" activities, but just wait until you see our witch craftivities this week! More pictures and activities to follow!

Moving on.... 

As if my kids need any more candy this week!!!! Today, we dove a little deeper into probability! Well, what better way to practice than candy?!? 

We began with a few (notice...a FEW) pieces of candy corn and some sour pumpkins. The kiddos used the candy to demonstrate six different situations in probability! 

Easy...check! Fun...check! Halloween{ish}...check! 

If you would like to snag a copy of this freebie, you can pick it up in my shop right now! 

What activities do you have up your sleeve this week??? 

26 October 2012

Spooktacular Savings!!!!

Click {here} to check out my shop! Don't forget to check out my Halloween Units located at the top! :)

Thanks to sweet Abby for the graphic!
TGIF...just sayin'! 

24 October 2012

Pumpkin Biographies & A Halloween Sale!

Today was the day that I look forward to all year! Yes, yes....almost as good as Christmas! *Almost*! Today was pumpkin decorating day and let me just say, it didn't disappoint! Last week, the students spent time researching people that were influential in the history of South Carolina {our BIG state standard}. Then, they wrote a biography or informational report...trick or treat style! 

I have to say...I love the way that these turned out. The students were so proud of their hard work and learned a tremendous amount of information from their research and from one another. They were so excited about what they were learning, that many of them shared facts and information along the way. Maybe I won't have to teach SC History after all...I will let them take it from here! ;) 

Now...of course we have to have pumpkins to match these sweet reports! DRUMROLL PLEASE!!!!! Introducing our 2012 Pumpkin Biographies...South Carolina History Style! 

Are those not the cutest things EVER?!? Love every. single. one! However, if I must choose a favorite...

Such a fun day! Such wonderful learning! AND...the kids couldn't be more excited or thrilled about learning even more about our beautiful state! 

If you would like to create pumpkin reports with your class, all four of my Halloween units are on sale until Sunday at midnight! Click on the pictures below to check them out on TPT! 

Hope you are all having a great week!!!! 

23 October 2012

I Can Explain & Where I’m From Unit {FINALLY}

Y’all… I can explain! I know I have been away from this neglected blog for some time now, but trust me when I say that I have missed my blogging world. Here is why I have been MIA for.eva!!!!! I am pretty sure that I don’t even have a home anymore! In fact, I am a little unsure of what that word even means these days. Sheesh! I have spent lots of time traveling and having a blast meeting lots of wonderful people. Last weekend, I spent some time in Myrtle Beach presenting at the SCCTM {South Carolina Math Conference}. Presenting was so much fun {even if my computer did crash minutes before my presentation} and I was able to meet lots of wonderful teachers!

Then, this past weekend, I spent some time in Chicago with some of my sweet friends! We had the time of our lives and completely took over Chicago! More about this later…but here are some of the lovely ladies that I spent my weekend with…{I bet you may even recognize these pretty faces!}


Love these girls!

Okay…now onto school stuff! I *finally* finished putting together my “Where I’m From” unit. This is such a fun project that allows students to share a little snapshot of their past! You can read more about our Where I’m From projects HERE!

Where I'm From Map

Here are a few pictures from our projects!

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You can pick this up…right now…at my TPT shop by clicking on the picture below!


Hope y’all have a wonderful night! Tomorrow is our big pumpkin creation day! Can’t wait to share lots of pictures with you! Night, friends!

07 October 2012

“Marvel”ous Writers

I just finished uploading my newest unit to TPT, called “Marvel”ous Writers!

You may remember my Suzie Adjective Unit that I posted for my early childhood friends…


Well..here is the 2-5 Version


This unit will help young writers learn about adjectives and how descriptive language can make our writings powerful!

Here are a few activities included:

Adjective Runway Show – Perfect for Halloween!

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Superhero Adjective Glasses:


Super Secret Hero Riddles:


And here is a peek inside the unit:


If you would like to create “marvel”ous writers in your classroom, head on over to TPT and pick up one of the units below!

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Hope you are having a fabulous weekend, sweet friends!

06 October 2012

What We’ve Been Up to in Writing…

Over the past several weeks, we have been focused on building our writing fluency and working our way through the writer’s process! Some of our writing has been in our journals/reader’s response notebooks, so I won’t be able to show you everything, but here are some of the writings that the kiddos have enjoyed the most!

Super Secret Heroes


We spent a week discussing the use of descriptive language in our writing and how we can really expand our sentences so that our writings will appeal to our reader’s senses. During this time, the kiddos wrote riddles to describe some of their favorite things. We then attached a silhouette to help our classmates solve the riddles!

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I have to say…the cowlick and bow are too stinkin’ cute!

After our riddles, we continued practicing descriptive language through poetry using a mentor text as our guide.  We read this book:

Then, we wrote poems about where we are from and what reminds us of our short pasts! Their poems were super sweet and really helped us build an even stronger classroom community by learning more about one another!


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Along with their writings, the students created individual timelines to highlight some of the events that make up their life!

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After both assignments were complete, we shared with our classmates! BUT…not in the typical author’s chair kind of way! Third graders can’t handle 19 individual presentations! Plus, I didn’t want to take three writing periods to present!  So instead, we tried a little gallery walk! The students used sticky notes to leave comments and feedback about the timelines and writings! Their comments had to be specific and focus on the positive!  They loved this! {Note: I think that presenting in front of a group to build speaking skills is EXTREMELY important! Trust me…we get plenty of practice! I just prefer to allow students to practice this skill through a “teach the class” kind of way by using and applying content knowledge!}

Slide3   Gallery Walk

This was a great way to expose the students to their classmates’ writing! Plus, they loved seeing all of their sticky note compliments!

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This week, we spent time working on a persuasive writing piece titled “Bring Back the Pigs.” They are writing an essay to explain why I should bring the guinea pigs back to our classroom! I can’t wait to share their final writings.

Both of the activities above are part of my two {brand spankin’ new} units! These will be out this week…so stay tuned!

Marvelous Writers

Where I'm From Map

Have a happy Sunday!