Tag Archives: planning

One-stop Halloween Party!

Halloween is coming!  Do you have a plan for your party?

Usually October is a pretty full month with conferences, testing, and the curriculum in full-swing.  A Halloween party can sneak up on you!  Here is a tried-and-tested plan for a Halloween party that won’t take you hours to plan.  It is a one-stop Halloween Party in a single download!

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This download contains printables and ideas for SEVEN Halloween-themed centers. It is all you need to throw a fantastic, fun Halloween Party! Detailed directions are included for the following centers.

Centers:
1. Craft- Spider Hat
2. Photo Frame Template (Optional: Photo booth!)
3. Activity- Pumpkin Bowling- with a REAL pumpkin!
4. Coloring Pages
5. Word Search
6. Writing Center/Class Book
7. Halloween Read Aloud Center

Each center has detailed directions and a list of needed materials.  If you have willing volunteers, you could even print this whole packet and give it to them for them to run with.  Or you could have each volunteer take on one center.

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The spider hat craft is very simple, but the kids love it and it makes for great pictures!  You can make it more fun by adding googly eyes or accordion folding the legs.  For younger grades, it’s good counting practice to make the kids count the eight legs by themselves.

 

For the photo frame activity, an optional idea is included to create a photo booth.  This can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like.  One year, we hung a black plastic table cloth and some leaf garland from Michaels.  Bingo!  Another year, I had a mom of a student who went all out- hay bales, corn stalks, props, and even a portable photo printer so we could print the digital images right there at the party.  Whatever your level of involvement, it will be fun for the kids!

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The activity included is pumpkin bowling.  This requires you as the teacher to be okay with a little craziness.  It gets kind of nuts.  Beware!  But it is so worth it!

Buy a small, round pumpkin that is about 8″ in diameter.  Pull off the stem.  This is your bowling ball!  Then have 2 volunteers, if possible, run the bowling alley!  In this picture, we created pins out of old soda bottles.  I have also just used pins from a toy bowling set.  op8

 

The rest of the centers are calmer- word search, coloring pages, writing center, and book center.

The writing center is an important one because it gives a little more content to the day and makes kids stop and think about how they celebrate.  I like to collect these, bind them into a class book, and let the kids take turns bringing the book home to share with their families.

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I situated these centers around the room, had a volunteer stationed at each center.   Then, I let the kids roam around, completing each center.  Depending on the size of your class, you could let them do the centers in whatever order you choose, or you could make them rotate in a circle.  Or if you’d like a little more control, you could create groups and have them travel with a group and parent volunteer to teach center.  It’s up to you and what you think your class can handle.

I hope this helps you have a FUN and easy Halloween party!  Enjoy!

Here are the links:

One Stop Halloween Party!

Halloween Class Book

Fall/Halloween Party Signs

Holiday Writing Prompt Bundle

And check out my post about Pumpkin Math Centers, a great addition to the party day!

-Laura

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Pumpkin Math!

Hello teachers!  Happy fall!  It’s the time of year for apple orchards, boots, falling leaves, and PUMPKINS!  And why not incorporate such a fun season into the curriculum?

cimg8097This is a fun math unit my team came up with over several years.  It uses a REAL pumpkin to teach math measuring concepts!  We edited this unit and tweaked it over many years.  We created it for kindergarten, but it could be used for grades Pre-K through 3rd.  Here are the details!

This is a 3-page printable math lesson using REAL pumpkins! Pick up a huge pumpkin and a tiny pumpkin and you’re set! I have done all four parts to this in one long lesson, or I have split it up over 4 days. Use as you’d like! It covers:
• Weighing the pumpkin- We visit the school nurse with our pumpkin and have her weigh the pumpkins on the large scale. I also have each student predict the weight.
• Measuring the circumference. I hold out a length of yarn and each student cuts it to the length they think will go around the pumpkin. Then we measure the actual length and each student finds out if their guess was “shorter,” “longer,” or “just right!”
• Count the lines on the pumpkin. We have found the easiest way to count the lines is to designate a front and back to the pumpkin, and then count each side. Then they have to add the two numbers.
• Count the seeds. This is so FUN and MESSY! Give yourself plenty of time for this! It took my K class about 45 minutes. I have the kids sit at tables, then scoop (or let the kids grab!) a scoop of pumpkin guts. They separate the seeds into piles of ten, then we count by tens as a class. Large pumpkins generally have around 600 seeds!

It is also aligned to Common Core Math.  Here is one of the standards it covers, for kindergarten specifically.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.MD.A.1
Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.

If you’re looking for a break from the normal math curriculum for a few days, this is a perfect fit!  It also would be fun to do on the day of the Halloween party, because we all know that not much actual learning happens that day!  This would be one day to redeem the day!

I hope you enjoy this!

Download the unit here:  Pumpkin Math Lessons!

Also, check out a freebie for your Halloween party here: Fall/Halloween Party Signs!

And, here is a link to some great writing prompts for this, and other, holidays! Holiday Writing Prompts!

Laura

 

Vocabulary Cards! Easy to use template!

Hey teacher friends!

Teaching vocabulary is built into most curricula, and we know it’s an important part of reading.  But I have always struggled with how to teach it in a fun way.   So I just created these easy to use vocabulary cards.  They are meant to be used as flashcards that the kids create.

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All you have to do is download, copy onto heavy paper, cut, and show the kids how to use them.  The kids write the word, part of speech, a sentence with the word, and draw a picture.  Then, you can use them however you’d like- as flashcards, test practice, games, etc.

I hope you find this useful and fun!

-Miz Riz

Dismissal Template- “How Do We Get Home!”

It’s the end of the day… Do you know where your student is heading?

Those first few weeks of school, I always found it stressful as the end of the day approached.  So many students, so many destinations!  It is absolutely imperative that the teachers knows where each student is going.

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Several years ago I made this template for dismissal since I had students going different directions every day for dismissal- some to after-school classes, some getting picked up, some bussing.  It ended up being so useful that most of my school started using it too.

Here it is for you in one handy download!  Enjoy!

-Miz Riz

*Must Have* Class Roster!

Yes, every teacher has to have a handy roster.  We use them constantly- for attendance, for keeping track of forms, for assessment and grading, for email addresses, whatever!  I seriously go through dozens of these each year.  One handy download, and you’re set.  And better yet, you’ll look like you actually put some time and thought into making a cute roster, rather than the basic, computer generated ones given to you by the office.  Enjoy this quick download to make your back-to-school week easier!  🙂

 

-Laura

Meet the Teacher Introduction Note!

“Who’s your teacher?”

“Have you found out who your kid has for a teacher?”

“What class is she in?”

 

It’s that time of year!  Kids are getting their letters, revealing who their teachers are for the upcoming year.  They want to know as much as they can about their teacher before the first day of school. Who is this mysterious person who will be in charge of my life at school for the next nine months?

Here is a simple printable for teachers and subs alike to introduce themselves to students and their families.  You can send it with their letter telling who their teacher will be, or you can give it at Meet the Teacher night.

I made it in a simple word doc so you can edit the pictures and info.  Enjoy!  Pass it on to your teacher friends!

-Laura

 

 

Back to School: Curriculum Overload!

It’s back to school time!

Bulletin boards!  Meet the Teacher Night!  Class Lists!  Labelling!  Laminating!

And on top of it all, they throw a few new curricula at you!  Yikes!

I have been there.  I have been teaching for eight years and not a single year has gone by without at least one new curriculum or program added.  That is a lot to handle, especially when you oftentimes get handed the books just days before you’re supposed to teach them.

To help us handle the overload of different curricula that we needed to teach, my team developed this Scope and Sequence Planning Chart.  It’s a basic excel document, but it will save you so much trouble!

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Why you need it:

-With big teams of teachers (mine was five teachers per grade!), it is imperative that we all stay on the same page, teaching the same units at the same time.

-With several curriculum per unit of study (two language arts, two math, one social studies, etc), it can get very easy to get behind.

-Starting with a laid out plan will save you from getting to May and realizing you haven’t taught a unit yet!  Yikes!

-With a plan in mind, you can work the units around the quarters (or trimesters), school breaks, testing windows, and school events.

-It will make you look super organized to both administrators and parents of students.

 

Here’s what you do:

-Download this planning chart for your team.

-Set a planning meeting with your whole team.  This will take at least an hour.

-Set the basic parameters of the planning chart, editing in Excel.  Add in your notes, trimesters or quarter breaks, and your curriculum titles at the top.

-With your team, physically collect and lay out all the curriculum you will be expected to teach this year.

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-Decide as a team what units you will aim to complete each week, month, and quarter.

-Print and save!  Stay on track all year!

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Check out this and many other useful resources at my Teachers Pay Teachers store, Miz Riz Kindergarten Resources! 

-Laura

 

First Day Folders!

Hello, teacher friends!

It’s that time, when teachers  get antsy  for school to begin.  Don’t get me wrong- we LOVE summer.  But we love teaching too.  And it is the natural rhythm to begin thinking of our back to school to-do list at this point in the year!

So I am sharing a must-have for back to school:  The First Day Folder Packet.  This is a packet filled with information about your school and classroom. I have revised, developed, and edited every year since I started teaching.  I feel like I have a solid product to offer now!  Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 10.07.23 AM

This is a packet that is meant to send home on the first day of school, to answer as many questions that parents may have at one time.  You could also send it at open house or “Meet the Teacher” too.

It WILL need to be edited, of course, for your information.  You may need to delete or add sections.  But I hope having this template to use will make the process easier for you.

It covers these topics:
-Communication: Email, folders, directory, website
-Drop off/Pick Up routines
-Lunch/Snack options
-Birthday routines
-Volunteering
-Specialist schedule
-Homework
-School forms
-Rest/Nap time (specific to Kindergarten, may need to be deleted for other grades!)

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The format is easy to read, with bold headings and short paragraphs.  At the end, I also include a daily schedule and a form for parents to fill out so they can receive my emails and photo sharing posts.

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I hope you enjoy this product and find it easy to use!  Now, get back to your summer and enjoy those last few weeks!

 

-Laura

 

Back to School Writing Prompts: Making your first few weeks easier!

Hi teacher friends!

One of my summer resolutions was to add some new quality products to my store!  I was thinking today about what I could create that would make back to school a little easier for us all.  I thought about how stressful those first few weeks are, and how it is nice to have some short, filler lessons and activities.  Sometimes these activities can be last-minute and are not very valuable, so I wanted to create something worthwhile.

I think any kind of writing time is valuable.  I love printable writing prompts, because they are handy to use when you are teaching a specific skill.  I use them to work on writing conventions: punctuation, capitalization, spaces between words, complete sentences, and so on! They also are great to save for conferences or portfolios, so show growth in their writing over the months, without having to pull out a big writing binder or notebook.

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I did the hard work for you and correlated this to Common Core Standards for grades K through 3.  I hope that helps!  I know the stress of finding a standard to go with your lessons.

Also, a quick shout-out to Namely Original Clip Art!  I love her trendy style.  Check out her store.

So enjoy this quick and easy download!  And stay tuned: I have more writing prompts in the making!

Enjoy your summer!

-Laura