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Upper Grade Classroom Ideas for October

The month of October is always a lot of fun in my classroom, and I just wanted to share some of our very favourite activities across different subjects.

Math:
"If you can't beat them, join them" ... so last year I resisted to urge to battle the candy in the classroom rule the day after Halloween ... instead, we put those candy wrappers to good use.  :)  I asked students to empty their lunches (and pockets) of all their Halloween treats and we made a tally chart showing all the treats brought to school that day (a little shocking, but made for some great data).  Once we had completed our class tally chart, I let the students work in pairs to represent the data in three way - a chart, a graph of their choice, and show the mean and median.  So much fun, and it kept them focused through the sugar rush.


Math and Visual Art:
These spiderwebs integrate math and visual arts - and are so striking on display.  I would definitely recommend them for grades 5 and up.  Students practice their multiples while drawing the lines for the web.  You can read more about these spiderwebs on a blog post I wrote HERE.  (Be sure to follow the link to Teaching with TLC for full instructions).


Science:
One of my favorite October science activities went perfectly with our Human Body unit.  We made our own blood models - and it was a HUGE hit with the students.  It was a great hands-on activity that had the class interested and engaged during the whole time.  It can be done at any time of the year, but has just the perfect amount of "creepy" to make it perfect for October.  You can read more about the blood model and the activities we did to accompany it HERE.  

Visual Art:
This optical illusion art lesson is perfect for October because the final piece resembles a spider web.  The activity is low-prep and low-material, making it a great activity for those hectic days in October.  Students can even add a little spider at the end for a fun 3D effect.  You can preview the art lesson HERE.

Literacy:
I love how these little October Craftivities look in the classroom - and how they get the students thinking.  We used the Story Element pumpkins for our Read Aloud (The Worst Best Halloween Ever), the Comprehension Strategy ghosts with the students' independent reading, and the Synonym Gravestones with our writing minilessons.  You can take a peek at this bundle of October Literacy Craftivities HERE.

I also have some Halloween-themed Writing Prompts for some fun narrative writing just before Halloween.  Students love sharing their spooky stories with their peers, and the colorful stationery is perfect for display.  You can download these for free HERE.


And, last but not least, if you have little ones at home, or cover a younger grade class, or pair up your students with younger students, I have this little page I made for a primary co-worker at my school.  You can download it from google docs HERE.

Happy October!





Using Clothespins in Math

I admit - it all started with the little container.  I was walking though the aisles of the Dollar Store, and I couldn't resist this cute little container.  But a container can't stay empty for long.  Down the next aisle I spotted these cute little clothespins, and I knew they'd be perfect for the next day's math lesson.

We were studying fractions - comparing and ordering fractions, and they just weren't getting it.  I knew I wanted to do a number line activity, and realized these clothespins would make the perfect number line activity.

I bought small label stickers and wrote a variety of fractions on them, then stuck them to the clothespins.  I hung a string in the room, and we got to work.  Students worked in small groups to order the fractions they had (by drawing a picture representation and discussion), then placed their clothespins on the clothesline number line.  As each new group had the chance to hang their clothespins, they could "challenge" any of the pins they saw in incorrect locations and if the group agreed, they could move the pins.  Equivalent fractions could hang off of one another.



 It was a great hands-on lesson, but it wasn't the only way we used the pins.  A clothesline has two sides, so we wrote decimals on the other side so we could use them to compare and order decimals.  A little later in the year, we pulled them back out to work with fractions and probability.


So, a $2.00 purchase from the Dollar Store (container and a pack of clothespins) magically turned what could have been a boring topic, into a great hands-on math lesson ... actually, multiple lessons.  Just another reason to love the Dollar Store.  ;)

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For more bright ideas from more than 100 different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you.  Thanks for visiting!






It's Thanksgiving ... and We're Showing Our Thanks!

This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada, and we want to show our THANKS to you for all of your support with a little sale.  I've teamed up with some fabulous Canadian bloggers and TPT sellers for a big sale this weekend.

This Sunday, October 12th, you can save 20% on all my resources.

And that's not all ... I will be offering one of my Thanksgiving-themed resources for free all day that Sunday ... can you find out which one it is?

All of the fabulous sellers in the graphic below are participating in the sale.  Click on any of the buttons to check out their stores.








Currently in October

Ahhhh .... October.  It's a day into the month, but I wasn't in a hurry to get my Currently posted this month ... I like to take my time in October.


I LOVE everything about October ... the cooler air, the gorgeous leaves, Thanksgiving (yes, Canadian Thanksgiving), fall boots and sweaters, Halloween ... it's all so very good.  I'm thankful that my girls love getting outside with me during this month and put up with my endless requests for car rides and walks so I can take in all the beauty that's around me.

And listening to all this rain fall makes me think about how grateful I am that we finally got the roof on the addition we're building (and the heat hooked back up) ... now, if only I could get them to finish the windows and doors I could stop the leaks.  The reno will be great when it's done (we've outgrown our little house), but I desperately want this process to speed up ... where I live there's bound to be snow in the next few weeks.

I'm also thinking about the new art resources I've been working on in my TPT store.  If you read my blog regularly, I'm sure you have seen our finished products, but after a few requests, I've been working on adding full instructions and a detailed PowerPoint lesson for students to follow.  I'm having so much fun with these!  I've only finished up three so far, but you can take a peek at them by clicking HERE.

And now the fun part ... the treat (because what's October without a little Halloween treat).  I have a great Halloween themed writing freebie on TPT perfect for October.  I you haven't already scooped these up, grab your copy by clicking HERE.

Be sure to hop on over to Oh' Boy 4th Grade to see all the goodness (and treats) linked up for October's Currently.  I KNOW there is some greatness over there to see.  :)


Other Autumn-Themed Resources:






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