"Please, Take One Candy" Halloween Sign

31 October 2011
If you are like me and don't plan on being home all of Halloween, print and place this sign on your door or above your candy.  Hopefully, your trick-or-treaters will read the sign and take just one piece of candy.
I hope you have Happy Halloween!
Click on the picture to download.
Graphics by Scrappin' Doodles and Pixel Papers
Font by Lettering Delights
Click on the links to the left.

Bats Acrostic Poems & More Resources on Bats

26 October 2011
Last week, we did a mini-unit on bats.  We started with a KWL chart, filling in the "K" and "W."  Then throughout the week we read non-fiction books on bats.  Towards the end of the week we filled in the "L" of our chart and wrote Bat Acrostic Poems using our new knowledge.  We decorated the poems with handprint bats.   Click {here} to download the poem printable for free.  The font is from Lettering Delights (click on my link to the left to take a look around they are having a big Dollar Days sale this week).  

These books helped get the creative juices flowing:

These are great non-fiction bat books:

Here are my plans for the week:
*I created this plan book template by modifying Ms. M's Is Everything Here template.  She had so many request for my version of the plan book, that she asked if I would allow her to sell it!  Of course I said yes!  Click {here} to order your own Erica plans!

Other bat themed blog posts:
Blog Hoppin' by Kinderkay

The Lost Tooth Club Take-Home Bag

23 October 2011
When a student loses a tooth, he/she gets to take home The Lost Tooth Club Bag.  His/her name goes on The Lost Tooth Club Bar Graph.  I have uploaded The Lost Tooth Club Take-Home Bag Packet to TpT and you can purchase it for only $2 (click {here})!

Here are some books I recommend placing in The Lost Tooth Club Bag.

Here is a link for Arden Johnson's The Lost Tooth Club Fan page.  You can have your students' enter to win a signed copy of the book by drawing a picture or sending a story of how he/she lost a tooth.  Pretty cool!

 Here is a freebie for you from the packet!  Just click on the picture to download. 
I made this into a poster using Vistaprint!  Click on my link to the left.

Let's say you have a child who did not lose a tooth in the year they are with you.  You can either let them come back the next year to get a certificate or you can celebrate them with a "You Went a Whole School Year Without Losing a Tooth" sign.  
This is included in the packet.

Selective Mutism

19 October 2011
Have you heard of this before?   Selective mutism is a condition where a child is unable to talk in certain social settings.  The child is not deaf or totally mute and will speak where he/she feels comfortable, usually at home.

In my ten years of teaching, I had heard of it and I had seen students go through my district with it.  I had a misconceived conception of what selective mutism was;  I thought it  was a coping mechanism for a child to deal with some sort of trauma.  Then, a little girl with selective mutism was placed in my classroom.  I was baffled as to how I would teach her to read and determined to help her.  I knew there was no trauma involved and I was concerned that it was a behavior or defiance issue.  Then I read an article on selective mutism by Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum  (click here) and my heart sank.  Selective mutism is most likely the manifestation of extreme social anxiety disorder.   Even worse, I had done some of the things the article said not to, like ask her to at least mouth the words when we echo read.  You see selective mutes do not want any attention brought on themselves and by me asking her to mouth the words, I was further stressing her out.  I immediately shared the article with all of her teachers and our principal.  I urge you to read it even if you are not currently working with a child with selective mutism.  I asked the speech teacher to create signs using Boardmaker to place on her desk (below are my versions of the signs).  That way if she needs help, she can point to one of the signs and someone can help her.

Some other tips:

  • Open communication with parents - The parents of my selective mute send me videos of her reading at home.
  • Small group instruction
  • Allow the student to spend time in the classroom with you, a family member, and no other students
  • Meet with the child individually
  • Allow non-verbal answers (such as pointing or a dry-erase board)
  • Find the child a buddy or supportive friend in the class - My girls are wonderful and caring and will try to include my SM student in things even though she does not initiate play.

  • push the child to talk
  • draw unnecessary attention to the child
  • make a huge deal out of it when the child does talk 

It is going to be a slow process but I hope that with time and patience I can help her with her anxiety. My class this year is the perfect group of kind children to make this little girl feel safe.

Click on the pictures to download. *Font by KevinandAmanda.com and clipart by Scrappin Doodles

Here are some great points from the article.  Click on the text to go to the entire article by Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum

Celebrating Birthdays with a Take-Home Bag

16 October 2011
I like to utilize Take-Home bags in my classroom to enhance The Home-School Connection.  I have a Star of the Week Bag, a Scaredy Squirrel Class Mascot Bag, a Dr. Seuss Bag, a Nursery Rhyme Bag, a Lost Tooth Bag, and a Birthday Bag.  I have previously posted about my mascot bags {click here and here}, my Dr. Seuss Bag {click here}, and my Star of the Week Bag {click here}.  Well, now it is time for me to post about my Birthday Bag.  I created a Birthday Take Home Pack packet for TpT.  For only $3, this packet will help you make your students' birthdays as special as they are!
Included in the packet are the directions and the printables need to create a Birthday Bag and Birthday Journal.  Also, included are various forms of letters to parents letting them know when to send in goodies for their child's birthday celebration.  Included are two versions of parent letters for celebrating a summer birthday.  There are black-line master cards for the students to make birthday cards.  There is a birthday class-made book that can be complied for the birthday child.  I have also included a color birthday card from you, the teacher.

The Birthday Bag is created by purchasing the following items:
Here are the books I include in my birthday bag:
 I hope you check out my packet by clicking here.  Have fun celebrating birthdays with your students!

Free Halloween Downloads

14 October 2011
Halloween is just over two weeks away.  My students, have been busy with my Halloween Math Centers.  They are enjoying them so much so that I decided to create more Halloween themed math centers!  I created this free Candy Corn Estimation and Counting Math Center packet.  Click on the pictures to download on TpT.  Scroll down to go to some other Halloween themed freebies I found via Pinterest.  *Bloggers love comments.  Please, leave positive feedback if you download our items!
Graphics are by Scrappin Doodles and Pixel Papers.  The font (Pea Martha) is by KevinandAmanda.com. To get these graphics and fonts, click on the buttons to the left of this post!

I have a few other free items for Halloween in my TeachersPayTeachers store.  Click on the pictures to download.  I created these using Word and Microsoft Word graphics and fonts.

Via Pinterest, I have found these other wonderful Halloween Freebies that I thought I would share with you!  If you don't pin you really must join.  It is so addicting!

Click on the pictures or buttons/links to go to these fabulous blogs!


*Click on the picture for the tracers.  Leslie Ann has the photos under another post.  
This freebie is from


Clutter-Free Classroom


Can Do Kinders
If you have a great Halloween Freebie, please, leave your direct link in the comments below!

Words With Bonus Letters

12 October 2011
Ms. M posted last week about needing help with bonus letters.  I sent her my Words With Bonus Letters File Folder Word Wall from TpT.  Then Erika from The Honey Bunch emailed me that she was doing a post on Bonus Letters and would give me a shout out.  So I checked out her post and found that she has some great freebies!  Click {here}  and {here} to hop over to her blog and find the posts.

In the spirit of sharing, I posting my Read/Write the room for Words with Bonus Letters worksheet for free.  Just click {here} or the picture to download.

This sheet is included in my huge Read/Write the Room packet for TpT.  You can read about that packet {here}. 

My font is called You Wish You Were a Shirley and Pea Times New Camileon  both fonts are from KevinandAmanda.com

The ball graphic is from www.digiwebstudio.com.  

Haunted House Inhabitants Math Center

11 October 2011
To create this center, you will need foam Halloween stickers, large blue paper, black paper, a haunted house tracer, and a recording sheet.  I recommend purchasing my Halloween Math Centers packet so that you have the recording sheet, tracer, student directions, and word walls.  To see my post on the other centers included in this packet, click {here}.
Here is a photo of the finished project.  Olesia added details to the haunted house when she finished the recording sheet.
I created word walls using the stickers so that the students would know how to spell the inhabitants.  I placed the stickers, which were purchased from Dollar Tree in a Halloween bucket.  The students were allowed to take two versions of stickers in any number combination they liked.

Click {here} to purchase my Halloween Math Centers packet today!

Halloween Math Centers

10 October 2011
I love math centers and I especially love to create math centers that focus around a specific holiday.  I have been doing these Halloween math centers for years and thought I would update them to sell on TpT.  

My Halloween Math Centers packet is a 42 page download of  hands-on manipulative based Halloween themed math centers.   Here are the math centers included in this packet: 

Candy Corn and Pumpkins Sums of Ten - Students will manipulate candy corn and candy corn pumpkins on a ten frame to find different ways to make the sum of 10.  See photo below.

Haunted House Addition Center - Students will use ghost counters to add on a haunted house work mat.  See photo below.

Haunted House Subtraction Center - Students will use ghost counters to subtract on a haunted house work mat.
*The ghost counters are made by drawing a face on Lima beans using a Sharpie.  For long term use, I recommend spray painting them white first.

Haunted House Addition and Subtraction Center - Students will add or subtract depending on the flashcard using ghost counters.

Haunted House Inhabitants Addition Center - Students will trace and cut out a haunted house. They will then pick two types of Halloween themed stickers to place in their haunted house. They will add the stickers together and record their work.

Dem Bones Sorting and Graphing - Students will sort and graph Dem Bones candy. They will then answer questions based on their data.  *I also sell this center separately in my TpT store for $1.

Each center comes with recoding worksheets, small center signs, teacher directions, and student directions.

Click {here} to purchase my Halloween Math Centers from Teachers Pay Teachers for only $4!

Busy Teacher's To-Do Lists

03 October 2011
I love To-Do Lists!  I write them on post-its, on those To-Do List pads, and on my Blackberry.  I also like to make To-Do Lists of ideas I have for TpT, my blog, and Scholastic.  I created free "Busy Teacher's To-Do Lists" for TpT and posted about them on Blog Hoppin'.  Click {here} to hop over and read the post!  These are perfect for sticking in your plan book or in that giant paper clip on your desk.

I also try to follow Ralph Fletcher's A Writer's Notebook: Unlocking the Writer Within You and carry around a small notebook.  So when an idea, moment, situation, or story seems worth jotting down, I do.  I purchased my two notebooks from Marshall's which happens to be one of my favorite stores!  (I love bargins and designer duds for less!)  I keep the larger one by my bed with a pen and the smaller one in my purse.

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