Halloween treats for kids

Sunday, October 29, 2017
I don't know about you but our district allows us 3 'parties' a year.  They mean organized parties that revolve around holidays etc.  So, that's Christmas, Valentine's Day and the end of the year.  We can have class reward parties but these parties are the kind that parents come in and there's usually food, etc.  So with that being said we don't have a Halloween party per say but...you have to do something I mean otherwise it's like a big elephant in the room right?!?  Let's be honest, full moons and Halloween are our least favorite days of the year.  So, how to handle it....well hopefully I have some ideas that you can use to help you through the day.

Welcome to my Halloween edition of...

( on SUNDAY this week )

Halloween is a like a 4 letter word for teachers...ugh!  I would honestly rather have the district take a day from my Christmas break and let me have the day of or the day after Halloween off.  Can I hear an amen!?!

So what to do?!?!

Well I always want to be sure my students have something to take home from me and we can't have candy in the classroom so, I thought I could make mini pinatas for them.  I let them decorate a tube with paper and other craft items and then I turned it into a pinata by adding candy ( the horror ) and other fun non editable treats.  That way they can feel like they had something special at school.  ( they are doing a craft ) and then they take something from me home so I see it as a win win.

Easy Halloween treats for kids

The mini pinatas were so easy to make...here's your how to:

Halloween party treats for kids

In my district we have a healthy policy so no cupcakes and treats like that...however we can send those types of things home, so this would be given to the kids on the way out the door.  
The other ideas are a healthy alternative:
Here are some fun healthy treats you can use in your classroom:

easy, healthy Halloween treats for kids

The banana is wrapped in gauze from the first aid aisle, I did pull it apart so it looked tattered and holey too.  The others I just drew faces on...easy peasy!  I hope you can use some of these ideas now or pin them for next year, have a glass of wine for me after school on Halloween or the day after...not sure which is worse. LOL
As always happy teaching!


Halloween costume ideas

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Happy almost Halloween guys!   The least favorite holiday of teachers everywhere right?!?  I do love Halloween and dressing up but I'm definitely not a fan of the hyped up kids the day of and the day after that's for sure.  Halloween should always be on a Saturday night! #justsayin
I wanted to share a couple of costume ideas with you that I did last year and this year.  Last year my team partner wanted us to dress up as Charlotte and Fern for Character dress up day.  Since we are 3rd grade teachers it was perfect.  Here we are:

Halloween costume ideas for teacher team

My outfit was easy to make.  I used white felt and my first thought was to hot glue black yarn down to create a web...as I laid the yarn down I realized this job was going to be tricky.  So, I went to Party City and purchased a spider web decoration that can be put on your house and literally cut the middle and placed it on top of the white felt.  Then I carefully placed it and hot glued it in several places.  THIS made my life so much easier!  Guys, the trick really is to pre purchase the web and glue it down.  Lastly, I added a spider from Party City, glued that down and glued the words down which I spelled out with black yarn.  
You can wear leggins, printed tights, whatever you want.  I just wore a black skirt and striped legging tights to make it fun!  Oh, and I did grab a spider headband at Party City too to wear on my head.
If you want one of your teammates to be Fern...all you need is a plaid shirt, overalls or jeans and some freckles put on my an eyebrow pencil.  My friend added pig tails and carried a stuffed pig - HOWEVER, this year we have a third teammate so she will be Wilbur.
For Wilbur - just grad a pig headband and nose, pink shirt and pink leggings or tutu and you are all set.

Another fun costume I did which was this year is a giraffe.  If you know me you know I LOVE giraffes!  I have my whole life so this was perfect.  Here's how the look turned out:

Easy giraffe halloween costume, giraffe halloween

Giraffe halloween costume

Giraffe Halloween Costume

giraffe halloween costume

If you needed to tie this look into a character from a book you could always use the book Giraffe's Can't Dance.  Hope these ideas were helpful, I'd love for you to share your looks on my facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/teachingandmuchmoore/
I hope you survive Halloween week, as always :
happy teaching! 


Associative property of Multiplication

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Happy 'hump' day friends...I'm here to share some tips on teaching the associative property of multiplication...sounds kinda dry huh?!?!  Well if you know me I try  ( very hard ) not to make things dry for my students so here's what we were up to today!
Welcome to another edition of :

If you aren't familiar with the video series on you tube by: Math & learning videos for kids you need to check them out.   Here is the link to this particular one:  
They are always engaging and a 'go to' for me.  This video placed a crown on the parenthesis to remind the kids that the parenthesis is 'king' and always goes first.  So....what was I to do of course...make a crown.  I'll be honest...first, I casually frantically asked every teacher on my wing if they had a crown ( preferably a nice solid metal or plastic one ).  No luck...so of course I headed straight to who else but kindergarten.  I mean hello...c'mon of course they would have crowns.  No luck...so I made my own cheesy crown...it worked fine.  I knew that I needed one and I had to have my parenthesis kids ( for our skit ) wear one as well.

This is what we came up with... ( oh P.S. no judging it happened to be Red Ribbon Week and a spirit day...team up against drugs ) that's the reason for the jersey and black paint on my face.

associative property of multiplication tips

As you can see above, I rocked wore the crown during the entire lesson and then I called kids up to hold numbers, multiplication signs and of course hold the all important parenthesis.  As you can see the students holding the parenthesis were wearing the crowns to show that that part needed to be done first.  Then we moved the parenthesis' ( not sure how to make that plural ) LOL around different numbers to get our point across.
So, something like this:
3 x ( 4 x 2 ) =
( 3 x 4 ) x 2 =

It worked like a charm...even my struggling students were able to pick up on the concept.  I love when I teach something like this and it sticks with everyone...that makes my teacher heart so very happy!
So, if you want to try this in your class all you need is:

associative property of multiplication

It was super fun, memorable and easy to do, if you are teaching on it and finding your students having some trouble with it then you need to definitely get all 'royal' on your students and give this lesson a try!  I've included a freebie just for you - you can grab it 
{ here }

Associative property of multiplication freebie

I hope this was helpful to you...as always,
 happy teaching!


Red Ribbon Week Ideas

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Hi friends, happy hump day!  Thanks for visiting me each week for my Wait for it Wednesdays.  I love hearing from you either through comments on this post or from fb or Instagram messages.  So, thank you for your feedback.

Red Ribbon Week Ideas blog post with lots of pictures and a fun craft

Welcome to my RED RIBBON EDITION of :

This week I thought it would be an appropriate time to talk to you about Red Ribbon Week since it's right around the corner.  Our PTA usually plans our dress up days that week and of course if you know me, I love to dress up!  One thing I wanted to share with you are door ideas that I've compiled.  Most of the teachers I know either have to decorate a door, or their room mom does but here are some real cute ones:

Red Ribbon Week door idea

Red Ribbon Week door decorating idea

This fun key activity would be adorable to do with your students. Kids love to take things home to their parents...even my 3rd graders do.  When we make a craft of some kind the first they ask is, " Can we take this home today?"  If I say yes they cheer.  This would be so fun for them to take home and share with their parents as well as a great way to get kids thinking and talking about making healthy and wise choices.
Red Ribbon Week be drug free craft
If you think this is something your students would love you can grab it by clicking on the picture below:

Red Ribbon Week craft

At my school we use our school colors to build a chain that goes around our front office, hallways and MPR that we write kind messages on.  It's been a great tradition!  I love this idea which is similar but they write why they will be drug free and future goals they have on red paper to create a drug free chain.

Another school released red balloons into the air at the same time, I'm sure that left quite an impression on young minds.

Red Ribbon Week school wide idea

We will dress up everyday, make a hand print pledge and do my key craft.  What are some things you do for Red Ribbon Week at your school?
Share some of your ideas with our  community below....as always
Happy Teaching! 


Genius ideas to use with everyday items in the classroom

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Teachers....we are a unique breed that's for sure.  My mom was a teacher for 30 years and I can't tell you the random things she would find/bring home/collect etc.  I know, I know, I'm preaching to the choir here.  We would go on trips and go way out of our way for something she knew she could use in her classroom.  She collected Pringles can and covered them with 1970's shelf liner paper -no joke!  AND here's the kicker, we didn't even eat Pringles chips.  ( did you see how I started a sentence with and...oh the horror!! )

Welcome to another edition of :

( disclaimer... ok, so maybe all of these ideas aren't genius...but hey they aren't bad... )

I thought I would compile a list of everyday or not so everyday items that teachers can use in their classroom.  I hope you find a lot of new ones you didn't think of before to help you out.

using tile spacers as manipulatives to practice multiplication sentences and repeated addition

Tile spacers are PERFECT for teaching repeated addition and then the corresponding multiplication sentence to match.  FIRST, they are really FUN to touch, bend, etc.  They are kinda bendy and definitely a little addictive to hold on to I must say!  SECOND they are perfect to teach this concept and the kids loved using them as manipulatives.  They are CHEAP at the Home Depot at just over $5 for 500 of them too!

Creative uses for pool noodles are popping up everywhere you look.  I bet the pool noodle inventors could've never imagined all the things that they are used for nowadays.  For the last several years I have used a pool noodle on my classroom door so my students aren't constantly having to jump up to answer it when a classmate needs their water or homework from their backpack during a lesson. 

pool noodle door stop hack for teachers

We all have these in our classroom and yes, they work perfectly on a bulletin board when you don't want to rip your student's work or the background paper...but here's another way you can use a staple remover that I bet you didn't think of before:

open key ring with staple remover

I know I don't want to ruin my pretty nails like ever...so a staple remover to the rescue ladies!

Another popular item found in classrooms across the world...but let's think outside the box on this one.  They are perfect to use when you need to write yourself a note and remind yourself to do something later.  They are perfect to use when you need to send a quick note home or a note to a colleague as well.  But did you know that they work perfectly to CLEAN the keys on your computer keypad, or even better your students grimy keypads?!?!

random uses for sticky notes

If you have scrap fabric laying around or know a quilter ask them to share.  Lots of people have scraps of fabric hanging around and it's perfect to use as an inexpensive way to decorate your classroom.  Here's a banner I made with scraps:

clever way to use extra fabric in the classroom

Curtain rods can be used to hang things other than curtains obviously.  I have used a curtain rod to hang my anchor chart each week for the skill we are working on.  It has been so easy to change out each week.  I just used command hooks on either side and then hung the rod.  Lastly I punched holes in my anchor chart and hung them from the rod with over sized o rings.

teacher hacks for the classroom

Teachers are the kings and queens of using things for other purposes and saving a buck here and there right!?!?  See how this is suppose to be used for filing papers?  LOL  Nope, use an over sized paper clip to organize your computer cords...stop the chaos!

how to organize all those computer cords

hack for storing small items

Eye glass cases aren't that hard to get a hold of...through donations, older parents, etc. it's easy to collect them.  You can use them to store thumb tacks, staples, paper clips...you name it.  It's nice if you are working on something and need them handy because it's so portable.  I can't tell you how many times I had a tiny little paper clip box beside me and the side opened or top popped off and they ended up all over the floor.

clever use for command hooks in the classroom

I also hang command hooks around my room with word lists and journal prompt ideas as well as their password codes in various places.  They know they are free to get up and grab what they need when they need it.  Handy...yes!

Other ideas:

use shaving cream on student desks to practice multiplication facts

shaving cream - use on desks to work on sight words or multiplication facts.  Not only is it fun and smells good but it cleans the desks too!  #winwin

lazy susan - this works wonders to hold crayons, scissors, etc. as a community supply holder at student tables.  Ordinarymom.ca use this brilliant hack to organize her supplies.

use a lazy susan to store community classroom supplies

I hope you can incorporate a few of these ideas if you haven't yet.  I always enjoy coming across new ideas to make my life easier in the classroom.  What great ideas do you have to share?  Happy teaching!


Keeping passwords organized

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

It's another edition of...

all about technology - ok not really technology but remembering passwords and stuff you know, that isn't easy for some of us. #pointingatmyself 
I wanted to title this:  Passwords and usernames and Chrome Books oh my!  But I didn't think that would get much reach on SEO! LOL

Oh my goodness y'all, I'm a tech immigrant definitely not a tech native.  When I was little we stayed outside until the streetlights came on and we had a phone that was CONNECTED to a wall AND it even had a rotary dial.  Yes, I'm aging myself but that's okay.  So with all that being said, I never had to remember much as a kid.  Maybe just my locker combination...

blog post on keeping passwords and usernames organized and safe
So all this business of remembering how to sign into a chrome book, what passwords for like 10 different websites - oh, and don't forget usernames....o m geeee how is an old lady aging princess like me suppose to help my students remember all of this and remember it all myself?!?!

Well that's when you realize you need help, you own it and you take care of business.  My memory is definitely not my strong suit...never has been.  So, in order for me to remember all of the things I needed some scaffolding to help a sista out.  This included a notebook for my own usernames and passwords as well as some support for my students.  This is what I came up with and it works for me/us in my classroom.

Keep your students passwords organized with this freebie

My students have a couple of rings they can use that I put on a hook in our class that has the info they need as well as this notebook.  So if they forget their username they can grab the 'ring' or the notebook and easily find what they need.  I have one for myself that I use as well for the reason in the first paragraph. #imold
I hope you find this useful, I've included this as a freebie for you - here's a link to the google doc if you want to grab it.  Enjoy my friends and happy hump day!

Grab it { here }
As always ~ Happy Teaching!