Thursday, October 22, 2015

Free Halloween Activities

Here is a treat of some wonderful Halloween-themed activities I found on Teachers Pay Teachers. They are totally FREE, and that's no trick!  

Use this Kagan activity to provide your students an opportunity to work cooperatively and move around the room. It's a great brain break!

This activity includes two standards-based games for students to review skills within the context of Halloween. All you need is two dice per group to play this board game.

This is a simply wonderful and rigorous product. It aligns perfectly with Common Core standards and addresses the often overlooked genre of poetry.

This product includes four fun, Halloween-themed writing prompts on cute, lined paper.

This is definitely for the younger grades but still a valuable tool. It includes five story starters, a pre-writing worksheet, an expository writing prompt, and two Halloween-themed, lined writing papers.

This history of Halloween reading comprehension worksheet is a great way to incorporate the holiday in your ELA class. In addition, this product includes a Halloween-themed activity to help your students learn to read and follow directions.

Another one for the lower grades, but it's still really cute. Students practice writing similes and then have an opportunity to illustrate a few.

This isn't at all academic, but I thought it would be a sweet way to give your students a little Halloween treat. You could add a cookie to make them as gifts or allow the students to make them.

Please share any other FREE Halloween activities you use!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Halloween Activities for Fifth Grade ELA

I love holidays! 
Every October, I get so excited for the approaching holiday season and immediately start searching for activities for my 5th grade ELA classroom. Unfortunately, there just aren't enough standards-based holiday activities out there for the middle grades. Most of these activities would require me to temporarily interrupt the rigor in my classroom, and I just don't have the time to do that.

So, this year my colleague and I create two activities that will allows us to continue to meet the learning needs of the students and the academic demands of our district. For a limited time, you will be able to purchase both in my Teachers Pay Teachers store for a discounted price! Check them out!

 This packet includes everything you need for one 120-minute close reading lesson. Since teachers often need to take off around Halloween to attend the Halloween activities of their own children, it also includes four different substitute teacher lesson plans. The students will participate in a reader's theater activity, reading independently, complete guided practice, and take an assessment about an original  short story. The story is about two wizard sisters, so Halloween isn't actually the topic. Thus, you should not infringe on students' beliefs.

This packet contains a spelling list of synonyms for scary. Students will both practice spelling while expanding their vocabulary with synonyms for this overused word. Once again, this activity does not directly refer to Halloween in an effort to avoid offending students' beliefs. 

Please share any other Halloween products you have found to use in your middle grades classrooms!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Life Lessons from Saved by the Bell

The discussion of limiting screen time for kids has quickly become a hot topics amongst parents and teachers. I can easily argue both sides of the debate, but usually end with one statement: I watched TV all the time, and I turned out just fine. Let's take a closer look at how well I turned out by examining all of the wonderful life lessons I learned from watching, rewatching, and eventually memorizing every episode of Saved by the Bell.

If you make a T with you hands and say, "Time out," everything freezes and no one can hear what you are saying. This works especially well during faculty meetings when you simply cannot keep those thoughts to yourself anymore. Go ahead…give it a try!

Wearing thick-rimmed glasses makes you a nerd. Hipsters, take note.
(I'd like to dedicate this lesson to my 20-year-old brother.)

Need extra money? Host a garage sale and easily pay off all of your credit card debt. 

Don't hire high school boys to babysit.

Changing diapers does not come naturally to males. It takes my husband at least 30 minutes to change one diaper. (He may be doing that on purpose.)


Disguises always work…even if they are horrible and the person you are trying to fool knows you extremely well.

Disguises work especially well when trying to use a fake ID. (I tried this lesson out in college.)

On Senior Skip Day, you should go to the beach and then eat at the Max.

Talking on the phone makes you look cool…no matter which phone model you have.


The principal just wants to be your friend.

A class project could potentially turn into a money-making business. Just think what could have happened if Buddy Band had been on Shark Tank!

Caffeine is a drug…that made induce singing.

The underdog always wins…usually because someone bigger comes along to save him.

Home Economics is the most fun class in the world…except at my school.

Driving golf carts through the school halls is the best way to learn how to drive.

Lockers were specifically designed to hold an average-sized person.

Substitute teachers are supposed to be cool. (No pressure!)

The star athlete is most likely a closeted ballerina.

Teachers are weird!

School is always fun!

Finally, it is totally okay to dress your two-year-old up like a sitcom character who is no longer relevant…just to be funny.