3 Special Days to Celebrate in October

We all know a few days in October that are fun to celebrate in our classrooms. Obviously, if you are a primary teacher, you can find lots of days to celebrate in many ways. With Common Core coming our way, it is a bit more difficult to bring fun activities in to our classrooms. BUT...I think and I am sure you will agree that there are a plethora of ways to have fun with Common Core and there are definitely some Special Days to celebrate in October besides Halloween.


Sooooooo what days can be celebrated in school during October? 


Here are some ideas and activities for Special days to celebrate in October and still have a bit of fun learning in your classroom:

🎃 Did you know that October 4th is Taco Day?  

Here is a cute book and craft to celebrate this tasty taco treat.


  • Before reading the story, you can access prior knowledge to find out what your students know about tacos, what their favorite taco is and maybe where they like to buy or eat their tacos.
  • During reading stop every so often to have your students think, pair, share as you ask questions, have students make predictions or inferences as well as answer some questions about the text. Here is a fun interactive Reading Resource with ideas for use that you might want to use for shared reading for this text or any text!

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🎃 We all know that this year(2019) Columbus Day or Indigenous People Day, as it is referred to now, is celebrated October 14th.

Here are a few Ideas to Celebrate Christopher Columbus that focus on Exploration:

Here is a way to bring out the Explorer in your students.

What would you explore and why?  Then...turn them into explorers.  

Be an Explorer

christopher Columbus was an explorer and most children LOVE to explore anything and everything.  This craft is super fun to talk about explorers














🎃 Another Fun Day to celebrate is PUMPKIN DAY.


Did you know that National Pumpkin Day is October 26th? 


Let's take a look at a few ideas for Pumpkin Day which is celebrated right before Halloween...perfect Timing!

This pumpkin resource includes everything you need to celebrate pumpkins from facts to opinions, measuring, graphing and more.  check it out Right here

Need some Great Books to go along with Pumpkins? 

here are 4 of my faves:  

1.  How Many Seeds in a Pumpkins works fabulous with Pumpkin "Fun"tivities. Read it before you do the measuring activities. it is super for making predictions and works great with the interavtive props and ideas!

2.  Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin Pie is great text to use to learn about how pumpkins grow and for facts and opinions about pumpkins.

 
3.  The Biggest Pumpkin Ever is another great story that is fun to use as a shared reading and the kiddos LOVE it!

4. My all time favorite book is the The Little Woman who wasn't Afraid of Anything.


I used this as an interactive shared reading with props and you could hear a pin drop as we shared the story and acted out the parts with  real items! 












Here is a link for Ideas to go along with this book!
Let's Get Interactive!

Well...there you have it! 3 Special Days to Celebrate in October...NEXt uP Some fun days to celebrate in November!

Have a great October!

Make this October the BEST EVER!


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Special Days to Celebrate in September!

So...Most teachers are back to school and are even in the middle of a Fall break! where did the days go? I know around these parts, teachers have had their Back to School Night and are pretty much ready to dig a little deeper whether it be 6 weeks of modeling and practicing expected behaviors for Daily routines or digging deep into teaching, introducing homework or whatever your district is expecting you to do!

Well...I though I might just give you a few ideas for September that are tried and true by the enthusiasm of my past students or ones I have found searching around! (being retired, I have tons of time to search and find!)  Who am I kidding?...I have less time now than I did when I was teaching full time!  But that is a story for another time!😍

So...some September Ideas that are NOT Back to School Ideas...

🍎 Let's start with a few ideas for Johnny Appleseed!  

Let's face it Fall would not be fall without talking about those red delicious apples and Johnny Appleseed. This is a great blog for all book related resources and this blogger is offering some free ideas...Check her out and scoop up some ideas especially this one!  




🍎  Here is another comprehensive Johnny Appleseed Resource that includes some tasty delights:
Have fun tasting apples and apple treats, reading a math themed book about Johnny Appleseed and MORE...OH and your kiddos will be making a Johnny Appleseed paper bag puppet, too!
 


🍎  My colleagues and I always LOVED to Dress up for the occasion even if it wasn't Halloween.

This fun idea shows a costume idea to become Johnny Appleseed while teaching about apples.  Now this is something I LOVED about teaching!


🍎  Did you Know September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day?


Let's bring out the inner pirate in all of your kiddos with some Pirate Jargon and more with these ideas:



You Might also like this cute Parrot Craft. Add some pirate hats and a few accessories and then take a picture fora school memory!


It is always fun to have a story that your kiddos can relate to when celebrating "Talk like a Pirate Day". If you need a few ideas for books to read aloud on this special day, here you go...


Oh and we absolutely need a costume to add a little "Shiver me Timbers" to our read aloud and Shared reading!



🍎  Elephants Never Forget..so...Let's not Forget the Elephants. 

September 22nd is National Elephant Appreciation Day! 

I have resource that was especially created for this day!
If it is too late to celebrate in next week or so...just celebrate it any time.  

Many children find elephants extremely interesting and this packet will definitely spark an interest and love for Elephants!

Even if you simply read a few books about Elephants, have the kiddos write some facts they have learned about this mighty animal and make this easy Elephant craft that is included in the Elephant resource above, they will be sure to have a bit of fun and definitely appreciate elephants!                         



🍎  And Now for our last September special day to celebrate...drum roll please.......September 24th is Punctuation DAY!

How much fun would it be to write your morning message with different types of ending punctuation to spice it up a bit? Or...maybe write the alphabet using periods, questions Marks, exclamation marks at different spot throughout your alphabet chart!  So it might look like this:

ABC! DEFGH? IJKL. M. N. OP? QRST! UV? WX. Y? Z!

OR REALLY ANYWHERE YOU CHOOSE TO PUT YOUR PUNCTUATION!
Here are a few Punctuation resources that might be fun to use and reuse to celebrate Punctuation Day.
You might also want to read a book or two about punctuation.  Here are a few of my favorites:




Why not try some Punctuation Phrase Fluency Bowling? Each sight word phrase is attached to a plastic bowling pin and whichever pins are knocked down, have to be read showing the correct inflection according to the end marks on each of the phrases.  This is a sample of Spring Themed Sight Word Phrases, but there are also "Frozen Phrases" that can be used as well!  Spring Fluency Phrases for Bowling

So there you have it some fun ideas to celebrate some special days in September. If you found these after the dates, simply save these ideas for next year.

There are always unusual fun Days to celebrate each month other than the most common days that everyone already knows about!  So check back each month for some "FUN"tastic" Ideas!

PS.  I promise I will get them out earlier for OCTOBER!

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7 Fun Ways to Encourage Reading in School or at Home!




AHHHHH! it feels good to be back at blogging again. I have been sooooo busy with my personal life that I have NOT posted for 5 months...yep...you read that right...5 months! I am sure you can relate to this as well! It has been a great 5 months ...all good stuff, so to speak, but no time for the weary as they say! So that being said...


I'M BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So, I am sure that if you are a teacher you are already back at it or almost Back to school.

All summer long I thought about how so many kids are simply tethered to their i-phones, I-pads, computers and what not...many don't pick up a book too much during the summer and may even have to be coaxed a bit during the school year to read in school or at home!

I wondered how we, as teachers and parents, can encourage our kids to read more and have a bit of fun reading in school and at home.


So here are a few tried and true ideas on how to make reading more fun and engaging for your kiddos!


Give an allotted time to read...perhaps 15-20 minutes or whatever works for your students.

Then ring a chime and have your students go back to their seats or gather on the rug and have a few share out about their book in relation to the focus you gave. Fun and learning...right?  It works and the kids love it!!! TRUST ME!!!!


1.  Flashlight Reading:

Provide enough flashlights so each of your students or all have a flashlight to use.  You can also ask for parents to send in flashlights or even pick them up at your local dollar spot.

Everyone chooses a book they would like to read.

Let everyone find the perfect spot around the room to read. i would let them read anywhere they felt comfortable: chairs, pillows, rugs, whatever flexible
seating you have in your classroom.

Give a reading focus: Our reading Focus today is main idea, Is your book fiction or nonfiction and how do you know? Let's think about the character traits of the main character, what is the problem in your story and ho is it solved? Use any reading skill, strategy or concept you are working on or teaching in your classroom.

Give an allotted time to read...perhaps 15-20 minutes or whatever works for your students.

Then ring a chime and have your students go back to their seats or gather on the rug and have a few share out about their book in relation to the focus you gave. Fun and learning...right?  It works and the kids love it!!! TRUST ME!!!!



2.  Big Books with Pointers:

This will obviously work if you have big books and enough big books for every child to partner up to read around the room.

I would first either randomly pick partners using my "partner sticks" or select partners ahead of time according to their abilities or strategically by partners I think will work well together etc. 

Then give out or have partners choose a big book to share.  

Next hand out pointers. (of course you have modeled
These are just a few of the pointers
that came from Target Dollar Spot
and practiced how to use pointers to read...that is soooooo important!) You can also use unsharpened pencil that have fun erasers on top!

then have them find spots to read. Give them a reading focus.

Ring your chime or use some other cute attention getter to show that the time is up.

Walk back to the rug or designated area and share out!!!  


  

3.  Use a Reading Phones: 

If you are a DIY type of person, then simply go yo Home Depot or Lowe's and pick up some PVC white plastic piping and replicate this design...Voila! you have a fun way for kids to read independently!

Hand out the pipes, give a reading focus, set the timer, ring the chime and share out!  EASY PEASY!





4.  Read like your on T.V.: 


This is a fun way to work on fluency!
Set your reading focus on fluency and tell your students they will have a chance to read like they are on T.V. or even you-tube, which is more popular now!

When it is time to share out, give your students a pretend microphone that you can purchase at 5 Below or perhaps a dollar store or if you have a real mic or one you use in your classroom, just simply give them a chance to be on stage. i have even seen teachers who have made small stages to use.

5.  Have a Shared Reading Picnic outside:

Our school is situated near out Middle School and behind the school, there are woods.  

When our school was constructed, they added some really unique spaces. One was a "tree house" which was built so you were "up in the  trees' when you walked onto it.  

We also had an outdoor space to read back by the woods. So after a hike learning about organisms, we would grab our snacks and have a reading picnic. Questions were asked during shared reading and we chatted more about the book after we went back into the classroom!  


6.  Have a pajama reading day:

Have a day where everyone wears their pj's to school or sweats. Ask them to bring their favorite story to school that day and even a favorite stuffed animal.

Then have them partner up and read their stories to each other with a focus. After a designated amount of time, have them share out about their book. It is always fun to have the partners share out about the book they were listening to as their partner read...if that makes sense! 
  

7.  Have you ever Tried Reading Glasses:



As we get older, we cringe to think about having to use reading glasses, but give your first graders a change to use "READING GLASSES" and they will read and read and read with glasses of course!  

Years ago I found fashion glasses with clear plastic lens at the dollar spot at Target and literally bought 25 pairs to have in my classroom. I kept them in a basket and my kiddos were able to use them any time they wanted, but on certain days we had "reading with Glasses" and they all grabbed a pair to use and read.

Sometimes they would ask if they could wear them all day!it was so cute to see the kids with their glasses on and it made those who actually had glasses feel proud that they had REAL ONES!  PS I did this with first and second graders, but I have a feeling upper grades and Kinders might like them TOO!

Well there you have it...7 Ways to Have Fun Reading in your Classroom or at Home to Start Off the Year!  Look for more fun reading ideas to come soon. I have about 100 ideas listed..so....Look out here they come! Don't want to overwhelm you at the beginning of the year with all 100!

Try these ideas out and let me know how they worked for you!



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