Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fun Fall Ideas...for next year

I have to admit I have no idea how the super bloggy teachers do it. With two grades, two languages, and 20 kids, I have no time to post daily, or even weekly. For that reason I must start this post with an apology that these ideas will be of no use to you until next fall. However, when Halloween and Thanksgiving 2012 roll around, I hope you will enjoy these fun crafts and goodies.
Halloween Party Ideas
My head room parent this year doesn't celebrate Halloween, so I got to do the party myself. I was actually pretty excited since the Halloween party is my favorite of the year. I get pretty into the festivities. Take a look at my costume - I was Perry the Platypus from Disney's Phineas and Ferb (my favorite show to watch when I'm home sick!) 

Instead of just giving the students snacks to eat, I had the kids help make their Halloween treats. They turned out really cute and the kids loved making them themselves.
Popcorn Hands
*plastic gloves -the kind food preparers wear, NOT latex first aid gloves. I had a hard time finding these to purchase, so I went to the bakery section of my local Meijer (grocery store) and asked if I could buy a pack from them. They just gave me a free box of 100 gloves, so I'm set for the next 4 years!
*Popcorn - I had a helper mom come in and pop popcorn for us just before the party so it would be fresh.
*Candy corn
*Spider rings

Quick Steps:
Give each student one glove, a cup of popcorn, five candy corn pieces, and a spider ring. They should start by placing the candy corn pieces at the tip of each finger like nails. Then they should fill the glove with their popcorn. I recommend starting with just a little popcorn for each finger, and then filling the hands because otherwise it gets tricky to maneuver and the popcorn gets crunched when you try to squeeze it in the fingers. Finish by tying off the glove end and add a spider ring!

Spooky Owl Cupcakes
I found these cute cupcakes on Pinterest [See the original blog post here]. At my school we aren't allowed to bake anything ourselves for students since there are so many allergies, so I purchased the cupcakes in a variety of Halloween colors from the grocery store. Then I gave each child an oreo, a piece of candy corn and two M&Ms. It was a really quick little crafty snack, so they had more time to try and find a neat way to eat them. They were a big hit and so cute!

Spider Hand Prints
Our final activity was not edible (thank goodness - we had SOOO much food!). Each child was given a piece of paper where I had already drawn and copied a spider web. I went around with help from other adult helpers and painted each student's hand. Though it does take a little longer than just having them dip their hands in a plate of paint, I think it was well worth it. We avoided wasting paint on the plate and I was certain that each student had just the right amount of paint so that their spiders would dry in time to go home. Clean up was easy too, cause they just had to wash their hand! After stamping their painty handprint, the students designed and cut eyes and any other paper features they wanted to add to their spiders. They turned out really well and no one can object to spiders!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Monsterously Fun Writing Center

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I guess I never grew up past the phase of loving to play dress up and imagine there is magic in the world. For that reason I go ALL OUT for Halloween in my class each year. In preparation for Halloween week I created a writing center in which the students would write about how they would act, feel, look, and be if they were monsters. This built up their conditional tense writing in Spanish and just looked really stinking cute in the Hallway! So here you go, enjoy!
Step One: Find monster glasses. 
When I was helping my dad clean out his basement this past summer I found a huge bag of these monster glasses. He thinks he got them from Oriental Trading Co. (my favorite) for really cheap. I had each of my students pick their favorite of the glasses and wear them for a picture. I took these in advance so that I could print them and have them ready for the students when they did the center. The kids LOVED IT! There were so many giggles :)

Step Two: Gather supplies. 
For the writing center I gave each child a long piece of black paper, a die cut frame in neon colors, their picture of their monster glasses, and a "Si fuera un monstruo" writing paper.

Step Three: Write your monster story. 
The students looked at their pictures and used their imaginations to write all about what they would do if they were monsters. Here's a sample of one of my student's work and the translation:

"If I were a monster...I would go outside of my house and scare everyone. I would leave and walk around outside and scare people. I would be worried that they would take me to jail or call the police. I would miss my parents and wouldn't want to go."
I thought her's was so cute - she really got into character and was thinking about the repercussions of her actions. I guess our character traits teaching is working :)
Step Four: Put it all together.
Once they finished writing I had the students color the monsters on the paper and put their page together. We had the picture up top with the frame, and then glued the writing page below it. I hung them outside our room in the hallway. We have gotten so many compliments from parents and teachers. I can't wait to do this again next year. Best of all, it doesn't have to be Halloween themed - you can use monsters anytime!