Haunted House For Sale Writing

If you know me, you know I love ALL. THE. THINGS. FALL!  That includes candy, pumpkins, scarecrows, witches, bats, ghosts, and monsters. I loved playing that song Skin and Bones for Halloween.  If you haven’t heard it, I will link it at the bottom. I memorized it and used it every time I wanted the kids to sit down with me on the floor in the month of October. They love it! I also find it easier to get students to write when the prompts are fall-related, especially if it has to do with a spooky haunted house!

Haunted House For Sale

More Time

As much as I love celebrating fall, I never had enough time to do all the fun things I wanted to do because October to December was always so busy. This is why I spend a lot of time and energy on creating fall resources for you. I worked every weekend planning fun things for my students, but you don’t have to because I’ve done a lot of the hard work for you. Take your weekends back and be THAT teacher students remember!

You can take your students on a fun Virtual Haunted House Field Trip!!
Students will:

  • learn about fiction and non-fiction
  • tour a haunted house virtually
  • take an airplane ride
  • write to persuade someone to buy the haunted house
  • write a narrative or opinion paper
  • count objects
  • play I spy
  • pack for the trip
  • take a comprehension quiz
  • discuss with a partner if the trip was fiction or non-fiction

Students can be provided the materials virtually or you can print the black and white printable options for in-person learning.  There are primary and intermediate lined prompts provided.  These trips are a blast!

Grab it HERE!

You can also find this in the Virtual Field Trip BUNDLE.

One field trip bundle review:
“This was a great source to use for live lessons. I was able to make it my own by adding the objectives and standards and make connections cross-curricular.” – Ashlyn W.

Virtual field trips make learning so much fun that students don’t even know they are learning!

SONG – Old Woman all SKIN & Bones

Free Fall Printables To Try This Season!

Fall is officially here and it is one of my favorite times of the year! Pulling out the pumpkins, fall leaves, and other fall classroom decor is so fun.

Another thing I love about it is that students are just like little sponges this time of year! They are so ready to learn all we have to teach. Maybe it is the beginning of the year, maybe it is the excitement of the season, but either way, I love it!

In honor of this magical time of year, I wanted to share a couple of FREE fall printables you can do with your students!

Each of these printables is perfectly paired with some colorful bingo daubers for some hands-on fall-themed fun!

fall printables

The first activity is this Pumpkin Dot Art printable resource. Students can let their creativity flow by decorating their pumpkins in whatever colors they like. This makes a great brain break during the fall months!

You’ll also get the Apple Dot Numbers Math activity. Students will practice their numbers and math skills while creating some gorgeous artwork!

I love these activities because they can be used alone to practice math skills or to add more engagement and variety to your math centers.

My favorite type of classroom decor is the kind that showcases students’ talents and hard work. This resource is great for that! You can use students’ completed fall art to make a beautiful fall wall display!

Get these fall printables completely FREE here. 

If you are looking for more printables like these, they also come in a huge fall math and literacy centers bundle. Included you’ll get over 50 pages of no-prep printable fall activities and worksheets for pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade students. Check it out here! 

fall printables

For more fall fun, check out these fall crafts that tie in with books! 

5 Qualities That Make GREAT Teachers

Not everyone is an educator, but everyone is a teacher.

What makes a great teacher?

Fill in the blank. Great teachers __________________________? Think about it for a moment.

I’m sure some of you might have said planning… planning is important, but it doesn’t make you a great teacher. Here is what I think makes a great teacher.

1. Celebrate Mistakes

We call these “teachable moments.” Usually, a teachable moment is not planned, but you can plan them and they are just as powerful. I had a co-teacher when teaching kindergarten.  We decided to do a lesson outside about butterflies.  I planned the story I would read to the students. The students were all seated nicely and 100% engaged in listening to my amazing butterfly story. I even had a butterfly ring on to act out the parts of the story.

All of the sudden, a real butterfly appeared about 20 feet away from where we were reading.  My co-worker, Nancy yelled, “LOOK, a real butterfly!” Well, you can imagine what happened next.  The kids all fluttered to the real butterfly while I was left holding my book wondering how Nancy could have just ruined my lesson.  Nancy told the students all about the butterfly parts, life span, and coloring.  Finally, I got them to come back and let me finish my ruined story.  (Well, at least that’s how I felt.)

The TRUTH

The truth is Nancy taking time to make that unexpected butterfly part of our lesson left a lasting impression on that class. The students talked about that moment all year! They didn’t remember my perfectly planned book or butterfly ring. Students experienced an exciting moment together while learning. That excitement builds bonds and locks in knowledge. Nancy not only taught the students about butterflies, but she taught me the value of teachable moments.  Being upset about an interruption during lessons was now a thing in the past.

Even if I forgot the attendance, I would make that mistake a teachable moment about how I could remember tomorrow with a sticky note. Eventually, it was a student’s job to remind me. They were called the Absent Keeper.  The Absent Keeper reminded me to take attendance and wrote a short note to the missing students about how much we missed them at school.

That lesson lead me to discover how to create teachable moments that look like accidents, but were really planned in order to create that same excitement with other lessons.  I would invite guest speakers and say, “Look who I ran into outside…”  Guessing Grab Bags were used for students to explore. Some of these bags moved, made noises, or smelled to peak student’s interest.

 

2. Find Commonalities

Find moments that all students can relate to with each other. Every child is scared on the first day of school or has a fear of public speaking. Discuss them as a class and provide them with opportunities to work together as a class to overcome the fear.

This also allows you to appreciate the differences in each other. Finding commonalities between students is a great way to show how we are similar to others who we might think are different due to looks, culture, or language.  Provide experiences to learn about others who are different, but lead them to see how we are all human.

3. Memorable Moment Keepsakes

Capture memorable moments and activate that moment in future lessons to make connections. It creates a bond with your students. For example, one time the first week of school, we made GAK. If you are not familiar, it’s a rubbery substance made when you mix liquids together. Students add glitter or food coloring to the mixture and love to play with the slimy substance if it’s done correctly.

During the first week of school early in my career, I decided to do a GAK science lesson about 40 minutes before the day was over.  At the time this seemed great because I knew the students would be excited and go home to tell parents all about their fun science lesson.

It did NOT go as planned.  The mixture wasn’t correct and students ended up with a sticky blue mess that stained their new clothes and half the class had it stuck in their hair when they left school.  Parents were not happy. Students were not happy. I sat in a dark room and cried about my failed lesson while typing an apology letter to families.

Capture It

The lesson failed.  I took pictures during the lesson. That lesson was used to activate prior knowledge in all our future science experiments. The best part was I wasn’t activating the prior knowledge.  The students would refer to the mess and remind each other to make sure we followed the instructions so we wouldn’t have “another crazy science day like when GAK was on the attack.” 🙂

GAKI made photo albums for every class I ever taught as a keepsake.  Some of my students who are out of college now shared their photo albums with me and they LOVED seeing the failed GAK experiment even though they are adults now. Memories matter!

Other memorable moments can include theme days, escape rooms, lessons with movement, secret handshakes, holiday celebrations, clever farewells, and field trips! Students respond to lessons from your excitement.  You have the power to empower them with the tools and the emotion behind the tools that make the connection last a long time.

4. Feedback

Great teachers relay feedback quickly. Whether it’s verbal, a sticker on a paper, a stamp, or a note home, your feedback sticks with them. There was a boy in my kindergarten class who hated writing.  He did a great job writing one day, so I held his paper up to the class and made a big deal about the neatness of his handwriting.  I never thought much about it after that day, but he did.  Years later he told me that moment was the moment he knew he wanted to write more. He went from being intimidated by writing to wanting to grow because of that one moment.

It matters for you to let students know how you feel. If you don’t like student behavior or work, it’s important for you to verbalize it. Do it in a way that inspires them to improve. Quietly pull a student aside when it’s low-quality work and say something like, “Jimmy, I’ve seen your work in the past and I was so impressed that I sent a note home to your parents.  I would love to do that again, but this paper only has one sentence.  The lesson asked for a paragraph. Do you think you can do better?” Doing this quietly allows the student to self-reflect without the worry of embarrassment from peers.

These situations empower students to change, builds lasting bonds with classmates, and inspire them to improve.

5. Self Reflections

Evaluate your lessons regularly. Reflect on what went right, wrong, and how to improve the quality of your teaching. I do this out loud for students to hear, so they know I make mistakes and turn them into memorable moments. For example, the GAK attack only happened one time. I reflected, made changes to the lesson for the next science experiment, and used it as a teachable moment.

People forget lectures and lessons, but not feelings.  You have the power as a teacher to change how people feel and grow. Create an unforgettable positive feeling to make an impact in their future.

Read about why Escape Rooms Are Great for Elementary HERE

FREE Kindergarten Math Centers Your Students Will LOVE

Math centers are a fun and effective way to get kindergarten students engaged in learning and applying important math skills and strategies that we are working on in the classroom. 

Your students get to have a more active role in their learning when you use engaging centers, and it gives you a chance to do more one-on-one instruction with the students who need it. This gives students an increased sense of independence, which is always a great thing! 

They will also get the opportunity to work with hands-on manipulatives. With students this age, this improves their motivation to learn which then increases their outcomes and helps them hit benchmarks with ease. You can do individual testing once they know how to do centers independently. 

I love coming up with fun and creative centers to get my students excited about math. The opportunities are truly endless! 

My favorite math centers theme is a “Math Salad Bar” or “Math Café”

math centers

You can make your Math Café (or Buffet or Salad Bar) out of a bookcase or a rolling cart. A student pulls out the manipulative cart and then they choose a recipe card that functions like a task card. It includes the material list, number of people who can participate in the math activity, picture cues, and directions. They will choose their partners if required, fill their tray with materials, and do the activity anywhere in the room! They can easily clean up by using a tray to hold their materials.

Here are three fun activities to include in your café

  • Roll and Cover Caterpillar
  • Sorting Bears by Color
  • Fish Match-Up Addition

The best part is, you can get all three of these math centers for FREE by visiting my store here.

math centers

You’ll get everything you need to get started with your own Math Salad Bar or Math Café. 

Check out this video on how to set it up in your classroom!

For more tips, you can also check out my post here.

If you love these and want some more activities, you can get more with the full bundle here! This yearlong bundle includes digital cards, blank recipe cards, assessments, posters, and crafts as well as more math centers. 

What is your favorite thing about math centers? Let me know in the comments!

Math Centers for kindergarten