What's Cookin' in Your Class? {October}

Do you ever wonder what everyone else is doing in their classroom each month?  I know you can see weekly lesson plans on Sundays, but I love this linky idea from Tamara (Mrs. Russell's Room).  This one starts at the beginning of the month, which means you have time to gather resources and set a plan ahead of time.

By October, my 2nd graders are getting really good at recalling story elements and retelling a story.  I branch out and begin working on answering comprehension questions.  Two books that are great for the month of October are Horrible Harry at Halloween and Magic School Bus #1 The Truth about Bats.  

October is also when I have my students trained to work independently so I can pull small groups for guided math.  I purposely started creating games that my students could complete independently while I teach small group lessons (Am I the only one who has days when partner games drive me batty?).

Up first is my pack of dice games.  I just recently gave them an update and added a few extra pages to some of the games.  Dice seem to be one of those math manipulatives that most classrooms have.  Yes, dice can be noisy.  Sometimes I use foam dice.  If you have wacky dice that just magically seem to fly out of students hands and fall across the classroom (or on top of cupboards) you could try using a felt square (dice must land on the square or students lose a turn) or I have seen other teachers put dice inside of a tupperware-like container. 

Here's a preview of all 15 games.  Most games actually have more than one version of the game board.  Click on the collages to get a better idea of the contents or click on the covers to head to TpT:

Another math manipulative most teachers have is dominoes.  Since mine were under-utilized, I created a pack of games to get them out and into the hands of students.

Here's a picture of all of the games included.  Some of these are games and some are worksheets:

In October I have introduced opinion writing with my 2nd graders (other years I have waited until Spring).  I love this pack of writing projects from Tangled Up in Teaching:

The one we have used in October is this one:

Another pack I picked up as a fun writing extension was this one by Lita Lita.  I do remember this one took a bit more prep to make sure I offered a variety of costume kids, but I was able to capture more time by giving a simpler writing prompt from the pack:

Let's get real...sometimes you need a filler activity or a last minute activity when things don't go according to plan.  A word search can help fill that time.  Here are two I have created:

Aren't these spiders cute?  It's fun to take a quick break from paragraph writing, letter writing, and journals.  In the past I have had a parent volunteer work with small groups of students to complete the poems.  Thank you, Amy Lemons!!

Here are some student projects:

Next, I use this idea from First Grade Wow to create candy corns.  She used them for place value, but I have used them for fact family practice.  On the white section we write the three members of the fact family. The orange section is for addition sentences and the yellow section is for subtraction sentences.

There are so many other "little" things we do in October, but this gives you a few ideas of what's cookin' in our class.  Enjoy!

Currently, October

I usually get to listen to The Today Show each morning, as long as my daughter doesn't turn off the t.v., that is.  This morning they keep showing clips of the song Truly Brave which is a mash-up of Brave (Sara Bareilles) and True Colors (Cyndi Lauper).  We both watched the video when it first debuted and had to watch it again because she loved it so much.  If you haven't seen it yet, it will tug at your heartstrings!

The second floor of our house is being worked on as we speak.  They are just starting to put up the walls, but you can actually stand up there.  I cannot even describe how it feels to see your dreams come true.  I'm in heaven!!

My little guy's costume arrived last week.  He is going to be a crab.  Not because he's crabby, but I thought the costume was adorable!  My daughter is 3 1/2.  When asked what she wanted to be for Halloween this year, she said, "I want to be a pumpkin like a jack-o-lantern.  If I can't be that, I want to be myself".  So, being a good mom I got online and started looking for costumes.  I finally found one that didn't make her look like 3 going on 15.  Unfortunately, the day I showed it to her, she decided maybe she'd rather be Belle or Ariel.  Go figure!  

Did anyone else see the movie preview for The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks?  It caught my attention enough to go put the book on hold at the library.  There are only 2 people ahead of me so I should be reading it soon.

Sleep regression is in full force at our house.  My little guy has stopped sleeping through the night - ugh!  I am not a happy girl when I'm tired.  I function, but I am emotional and my patience is shortened greatly.  It's hard not to be frustrated when you see the clock says 1, 2, 3, or even 4 a.m.  However, when I look in on him to see if he's just stirring or wide awake and see a big smile and hear giggles, it melts away (mostly).

Trick or Treat
Thanks for sticking with me on this one.  I have put all of my math games on sale for a few days.  Go grab something from your wishlist while you can.

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