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Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Tomorrow is the perfect day for "Whisper Wednesday." Tell the children that you are going to whisper all day! Ahhhhhh!

Make a sign for your door that says “Whisper Wednesday.” Greet the children at the door as you whisper, “Welcome to whisper Wednesday. All day long we are going to use our whisper voices. Take yours out of your pocket and put it on.”


Do the morning routine, songs, reading group, and all other activities with a quiet voice.

Hint! Ask children to help you by putting their index finger on their lips to remind friends to remember to whisper.

Here are a few other relaxation ideas to try today or any other crazy day!

Tell your class to give their mouth and their eyes a “vacation” by closing their eyes and mouths. Next, ask them to practice breathing through their noses. You’ll be amazed at how this brings down their energy level and helps them focus.

“Eye” Exercise 
Demonstrate how to hold your two index fingers a few inches from your eyes on either side of your head. Look at the right index finger with both eyes and then look at the left index finger.

Tighten~Relax – Tighten up your body as tight as you can and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. Then relax and let it all go. Repeat several times.
*Starting with the toes, call out one body part at a time for children to squeeze and then relax. For example, toes, feet, knees, legs, hips, back, fingers, arms, shoulders, necks, faces, and then a whole body SQUEEZE!

Rag Dolls and Soldiers – When the teacher calls out “rag dolls” everyone flops over like a rag doll. When the teacher says, “soldiers,” everyone stands up tall and stiff. Continue calling out “rag dolls” and “soldiers” faster and faster.

Criss Cross Applesauce – Do this on each other’s backs:
Cross cross, (Make an “x” on back.)
Applesauce, (Wiggle fingers down back.)
Spiders crawling up your back. (Crawl fingers up back.)
Warm breeze. (Gently blow on neck.)
Gentle squeeze. (Hug from behind.)
Now you’ve got the shiveries! (Tickle fingers down back.)
Hint! Have children stand in a circle and face right. That way they will each have a back to write on.

How about two new ideas to help children sit down and line up?

Sit Down Song (Alissa DeKemper)
Howdy Neighbor,
What’d ya say
It’s gonna be a beautiful day!
So clap your hands
And stomp your feet,
Turn around and take a seat!

Line Up Chant (Alissa DeKemper)
My hands upon my head I place,
On my shoulders near my face,
On my knees,
And at my side,
Then behind me they will hide.
(Lower your voice as you say it!)


Monday, October 30, 2017


Take a deep breath! You can do this, yes you can! I know it's going to be a wild week, so just go with the flow. If the children are inattentive, engage them with a song, dance, or one of the activities below.

Play "Pumpkin Face" which is similar to Wheel of Fortune. Think of a vocabulary word or sight word. Put a blank on the board for each letter in the word. Children take turns calling out letters. If they guess correctly put the letter on the line. If their letter is not in the word begin drawing a pumpkin and then adding features. If letters are not in the word make a "bone pile" at the bottom of the board.

Do a T-chart of things that are real and pretend.
Let them work in small groups and make posters about Halloween safety.

How many words can you make out of HALLOWEEN?
Divide the children into partners and challenge them to write a ghost story together or draw a spooky picture together.

Play a game of pantomime where children act out Halloween symbols and events as their friends try and guess.

Play "pass the pumpkin." (You can use a real little pumpkin for this or just pretend with a ball.) Children stand or sit in a circle and pass the pumpkin around as the music plays. When the music stops the one holding the pumpkin has to read a flash card, answer a math problem, recall information from a book, and so forth.


Try and remember how you felt on Halloween Day when you were a child and share their joy!

Sunday, October 29, 2017


What ya' doing today?  You've probably got a list a mile long, but if 
you're not busy later join me for FACEBOOK LIVE AT FIVE this afternoon.  
I promise no pumpkins or ghosts, but maybe a turkey idea or two!

Hold onto your hats because this is the week that will make your whole class seem like that have ADHD because of staying up late trick or treating and eating all that candy. What ya' gonna do? Turn those candy wrappers into a learning activity. Have children safe their wrappers and then do some of these "yummy" activities.


Counting - Count the wrappers. Tally how many in the whole class.

Sets - Make sets with the wrappers.

Sorting - Sort the wrappers. What’s the sorting rule? Can they regroup them?

Graphing - Use the wrappers to graph their favorite candy bar.

Nutrition - Look at the food value on each wrapper. How many calories? How much sugar? Rank the candies by calories.

Vocabulary - Find descriptive words on the wrappers. Make a list of the words and use them in sentences.

Writing - Fold 2 sheets of paper in half and staple to make a book. Children write “I like…” at the top of each page and glue a candy wrapper underneath. This is a book every child in your room can read! Older children could write descriptive sentences about each candy.


Alphabet Letters - Use the wrappers to make a class book called “The Sweet ABC’s.” Write alphabet letters on 26 sheets of paper. Children glue their wrappers to the appropriate letter. Bind pages together to make a book.
Hint! If you don’t have a wrapper for each letter, let children suggest “sweet” words for the page.


Money - Glue candy wrappers to a file folder. Write a coin value by each wrapper. Children count out the appropriate amount and place it on the wrapper.
Hint! For young children, price the candies from 1 cent to 10 cents and give them pennies. Make the amounts higher for older students.

Art - Let children use wrappers to make a collage.

Finally, take advantage of this “teachable moment” by discussing why sugar is not good for their bodies. What happens if you eat too much sugar? Make a list of healthy snacks that would be better food choices.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


I'm working on some "treats" to share with you tomorrow evening on 
FACEBOOK LIVE AT FIVE. Put it on your calendar and I'll see you then.

Years ago there was an elderly man at church who carried a little bucket of candy and gave a piece to each child after Sunday School. The kids were thrilled, but some parents complained about it. Really? In the long run of life how much damage did one lollipop do? Think about the joy it brought that old man to have little children running up to him and give him a smile.  My own grown children still remember "the candy man."
Balance is a key to life and "all things in moderation." As adults we often have “childhood amnesia.” By that I mean we forget what it’s like to be a child and think like a child. Children love candy. They just do!  And, that's one of the reasons they love Halloween.

I have a candy story for you today that I would NEVER use with children. In fact, I had forgotten all about this story until someone emailed and asked for a copy of it. You can save it for when you need a laugh or a smile at a faculty meeting. And, you might be surprised how aggressive grown-ups become over candy bars!!


You will need to take a look at the story to decide which candy bars you want to use.  You can easily adapt it to any situation. (It would be fun at a birthday party, family reunion, etc.) The first teacher to raise her hand when a candy bar is mentioned gets the treat.

Your alarm goes off long before you are ready to get up. It really doesn’t matter what time it is – you still are not ready to get up. But you go through the motions of getting ready and before you realize it you are already at school. You walk in the door and are twisted and pulled in ten different directions – just like Twizzlers.

The sink in the room is stopped up, a mother wants to have a long discussion with you, and here come the twins, also known as the Sugar Babies,  
who are on a sugar high. It’s barely 8:30 and you can tell it’s going to be one of those days.

As you settle into the morning routine, out of the corner of your eye you notice the school guinea pigs, Skittles and Snickers

are trying to break out of their cage. Luckily, Ms. Baby Ruth
your wonderful team teacher, catches them and secures the cage. 
The Three Musketeers,
Todd, Robert, and Jeremy, are having a contest over who can run the fastest and Anna and Maria are arguing over who’s coming to their birthday party. You smile and pat yourself on the back for “rolling with it” just like a Tootsie Roll.


answering an email and welcoming a new child, the teacher next door wants you to come see the store she set up in the math center. “Oh, Miss King,” you exclaim, “It looks just like 5th Avenue.” 
The books you ordered three months ago have just arrived and the children thank you for Good and Plenty 
things to read. 
Sophie, better known as Butterfingers 
is getting frustrated trying to make something in the art center.  You give her a little help and she smiles and says, “You’re such a Lifesaver."

The day proceeds without a major incident. Well, if you don’t call Kevin dumping a jar of glitter all over the floor. Every time you walk you feel a Crunch

After lunch you get a Starburst 
of energy and begin on the Mounds 
of paperwork that must be done.

When the children finally leave there is a knock on your door and in walks your principal Mr. Goodbar 

Today is Pay Day
You open your envelope and realize you will never be paid for what you are worth – even if they paid you 100 Grand.
 So here are some Hugs and Kisses 
(pass these out to everyone) to thank you for what you do!

Friday, October 27, 2017


One more day of great ideas from Carolyn Kisloski.  I love how she can take 
those standards and turn them into irresistible fun for the children!

I just love Mouse's First Halloween by Lauren Thompson! It's great for inferrences and for seeing  fun features in writing.  The illustrations by Buket Erdogan are so detailed and sweet, and look like they are made with chalk.

Look at the fun text!
The children loved using their "eagle eyes" to infer what will happen on the next page!
We talked about lots of different ways to write fun text.  I wasn't going to put this anchor chart on the blog because it is kind of a mess, but then I kept looking at it as the day went on, and it sort of made me laugh.  Sometimes, some of the best anchor charts aren't the neatest.  Let's just leave it at that...   We had lots of laughs making it, and the kids had all sorts of ideas!
We practiced pointing to each word with spider rings this week as we read our own books.  My kids are really pretty good at pointing to their words.  The rings just made it so much more fun!
Oh, bat rings work just as great, by the way...
Isn't it funny how changing something just a tiny bit makes it new, different, and SO much more fun?
These pencils made writing about Halloween SO much better and SO much neater!  The kids could pick a favorite and take it home with their Halloween story.
And finally, apparently, reading with a partner under the table= the best thing ever.
We have so many ideas like this in our monthly Happies packets.  Feel free to check out the previews for our packets each month.  Our packets are FULL of ideas to bring happiness to your classroom.  You can find these at Dr. Jean’s website or at my TpT Store!


Thursday, October 26, 2017


Here is another fantastic post by Carolyn Kisloski.  I've never tried this recipe 
with Bisquick, but I'm headed to the kitchen to make it right now.  John's 
going to visit the grandkids this weekend and they are going to have lots of fun 
with this.  I really think they enjoy and appreciate some of the things I make 
                       them as much as they do commercial toys - well, almost!

This week I made some pumpkin play dough for one of my Free Choice centers. I used my new favorite homemade play dough recipe with Bisquick. I love the consistency. It is so easy- and even I can't mess it up always turns out great!

Here is the recipe:

Bisquick Playdough

2 cups Bisquick

1 cup salt

2 cups water

1 Tbsp cream of tartar

1 Tbsp oil

Mix all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 3 minutes. Scrape and stir the bowl. Microwave for another 3 minutes. If it is not quite ready, microwave for another minute.

I made a double batch, and this time I did put it back in the microwave for another minute because it was sort of sticky. That worked perfectly.

I added LOTS of pumpkin pie spice, a little cinnamon, and some orange food coloring. Yum.

This play dough is so much fun to use on our play dough mats that we have in our October Happies Packet! I printed and laminated the mats, and use them over and over. I use these mats for all sorts of math activities, as well as when we retell our Halloween poem, Five Little Pumpkins.

We have so many ideas like this in our monthly Happies packets. Feel free to check out the previews for our packets each month. Our packets are FULL of ideas to bring happiness to your classroom. You can find these at Dr. Jean’s website or at my TpT Store!