I have spent the final day of my fall break prepping for Halloween week.  It was hard to narrow my plans down to my favorite Halloween books that I wanted to use next week.  But it was very easy for me to decide to use Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds.  This book is so funny!  It's also great for making predictions, making  inferences, and for drawing conclusions.  We are going to be making these fun little carrots this week to add to our writing about Creepy Carrots.

I teach kindergarten now, so we will be focusing more a drawing a picture to explain our thinking and adding a simple sentence to match our picture.  I differentiated the writing for you if you teach first or second grade.  You could also differentiate the writing within your own classroom based on the needs of your students.  

We will be making these three carrots from the story to attach to our writing.  You can find the craftivity along with the differentiated writing component in the pack below.  

I bought these pumpkins at Target earlier this month and have used them for everything!  They are perfect for sorts and holding manipulatives for centers or group work.

They are also perfect for this little inferencing activity.  I hide an object, like this little mini pumpkin, in the larger pumpkin and don't tell the students what it is.  I give them clues to help them infer what might be in the pumpkin.  Based on the clues, they have to guess what is in the pumpkin.  It's a great activity to start your lesson and to help them understand what skills are needed to make an inference.  

Students record the clues on their own recording sheet to help them remember what they all were when it's time to infer.  Afterwards, we partner share our thinking.

This leads into our next book, Splat the Cat What Was That? by Rob Scotton.  Splat and Spike go to an old scary house trick or treating.  They keep hearing spooky sounds, so I have students infer as to where they think the spooky sounds are coming from.  Of course, the students think the house is haunted and they are coming from a ghost.  But they are very surprised at the end as to what it really is!

I have differentiated the writing for this activity, as well.  You can grab this along with the black cat craftivity and the pumpkin inferencing activity in the pack below.

Here is a copy of my lesson plans for next week.  Friday, we are headed to the pumpkin patch!  We have already done our pumpkin study, so this week we are doing more Halloween themed things.

We are reviewing some comprehension concepts that we have already covered this week with our favorite books.  I found this great Room on the Broom sequencing activity HERE.

Thursday, we are reading Click, Clack, Boo to help with predictions.  It is also going to be pajama day!   Then, we are doing the Candy Corn Bandit.  You can check it out by clicking the pic below.  We are also moving right along with the Guiding Kinders Math Workshop.


It's going to be a busy, but fun week!  I hope you all have a great week, too!

Silent letters can be a tricky thing to teach and tricky for our young students to learn.  That's why I like to save them for Halloween week.  Ghost, or silent, letters are perfect for this spooky holiday!  I always build it up that I am about to teach them something that's really scary.  You can even turn out the lights and break out the flashlight to get them totally engaged.  You can just see the anticipation on their faces!  We talk about ghosts and what they think ghosts are like and what they do.  Last year, I even had a student get up and tell a ghost story!  {Whatever works!}  That's when I introduce ghost letters.  

One fun activity we do is to go on a Ghost Letter Hunt.  You will need some small white paper bags for this activity to make the ghosts into puppets. 

When we do go on a word hunt, I allow students to look anywhere around the room.  That includes in books.  For this hunt, Halloween books are perfect!  You may even wish to use your anchor text for the week.  After students make the fun ghost puppets, they can record the words they find on their puppet.  Because there are so many ghost letter combinations, I give each student only one to look for during the hunt.  Looking for all five different types could get very overwhelming.  Ghost letters can be difficult to find, so students will really have to dig!  Students will love flying their ghost puppets around when they are finished!  The craftivity can be found {HERE}.

I have kept the same word work rotations for years.  I incorporate them into centers, as well as into quick whole group activities.  BINGO can be played during either time.  I usually did BINGO whole group.  Students write their words for the week on a blank BINGO board in any order.  I like to change out the BINGO chips seasonally.  Target had so many cute Halloween erasers this year, and these ghosts were perfect for ghost letters!

Is this tiny cauldron not the cutest?!  They are perfect for holding our BINGO chips!  I found them at Hobby Lobby and wanted to buy all they had but I had to restrain myself.  

I don't know why, but this has always been my students' favorite game.  We do it EVERY.SINGLE.WEEK.  And it never gets old....to them.  Lol.  It's just a simple board game with words from our word study for the week.  The game pieces are erasers from Target.

I always try to throw in syllables during word work.  Just to keep with the Halloween spirit, I added the headers to these party favor bags from Hobby Lobby.  I always buy these on clearance after Halloween to use the following year for sorts.

With most centers, I try to include a recording sheet for them to practice writing the words.  I typically put them in a SmartPal to save on copies.

Students will need lots of support with those pesky ghost letters, so I keep these posters up during our study.  We refer to them LOTS!!!

Word sorts are critical to word study.  We do so many sorts!  I am very picky about how my students do them, too.  I teach the routine a lot at the beginning of the year, so it becomes very natural to them.  They have to read the words and the headers aloud every time.  Again, I have them practice writing the words after the sort.  I have included some odd ball high frequency words in the sorts, as well.  You can find blank cards also so that you can add your own words to the sort.

I have had the same word work routine for years because it works for me.  Our word study skills on our end of year assessments are always really good, so I am a believer in these activities!  Plus, the students have fun learning our new words and spelling patterns each week!  I also include some whole group printables, push and say letters {SO IMPORTANT to use}, ABC order center, rhyming center, and much more!  

I hope you have as much fun teaching ghost letters as I do!  What strategies do you use to teach this tricky spelling pattern?  This pack is on sale this weekend, so be sure to check it out by clicking the pic below!

Have a great weekend!

A kindergarten position opened up this summer at my school, and I jumped at it!  I loved second grade, but I was ready for a change.  The position entailed team teaching with one of my good friends, which was something I had always wanted to try.  She and the previous teacher tried out team teaching in kindergarten the previous year and had tremendous success.  After watching them and hearing all about it, I knew I had to go for it.

We have two classrooms, one is hers and the other is mine.  We have a total of 37 students, but we divide them up into two teams: green and yellow teams.  We split for things like unpacking, lunch count, attendance, going to lunch, packing up, and math.  It also helps us at parent teacher conference, since we each meet with our own team's parents.  We do teach whole group math to our own teams.  It helps break up our morning and helps with the noise.  We do lots of group work in math, so it's just easier that way.  We each lead teach every other day to the whole group in the other subjects.  The other teacher is helping students, passing out materials, and getting things ready for the next activity.  I am telling you that I am not sure if I can ever go back to doing it by myself!  ;) I have already given you a tour of my classroom, so I want to share Holly's room with you today!

This is the green team room where we do all of our whole group.   All of the lights are on for these photos, but we usually keep the overhead lights off and only use lamps.  Holly has lots of lamps around the space so it lights it up really nicely.  We have eight students tables around the classroom and it actually doesn't feel crowded when all of the students are in the room.  

We picked up these two rugs at Ikea this summer.  One is for yellow team and the other for green team.  Twenty students can fit on each rug.  They have held up really nicely so far and do not show dirt at all! We have the small squares around the rug for friends who have a hard time staying in their own space on the carpet.

We would love to take those ugly TVs down!  Holly had the idea to cover it up with a cloud.  We also made this banner to hang above her desk.  She needed some pink in her room to go along with the color scheme for both rooms, so we made these pink apples from lanterns.  They also match all of her apple accents.

This is the green team cubby area.  I love the clouds and her apple lights that she also uses to hang student crafts.

This is the back of the classroom.  We fit two tables back here.  One table also serves as a small group meeting area, too.  The shelf there houses small group materials.  Our alphabet wall and compliment board are back here, as well.  

This is our Kindercraze inspired alphabet wall.  You can read about how it works on her blog HERE.  The font I used to make the letters is KG Shake It Off.  I printed the letters on card stock, cut them out, and pasted them to black card stock.

The alphabet line comes from Schoolgirl Style's Happy Rainbow collection.  I stuck some pictures on them to help students.  She has them hanging on a really cool wire line we picked up at Ikea.

We post our standards on this focus wall by Learning in Wonderland.

Holly posted the WBT signals on these clipboards and attached a little pennant.  You can't have too many pennants!  

I had lots of questions for her about how we were going to organize their supplies.  I think we have a great system for managing 37 little ones' things!  The shelf below holds things we use quite often.  Holly picked up these little plastic paint cups from the hardware store to hold glue sticks and each tables' scissors.  We just pass them out when we need them.  Each table also has a glue sponge they use, too.  The little red tool boxes hold counting objects for math.

Each table also has a pencil cup from the Target Dollar Spot.  We keep pencils and dry erase markers in them.  Holly hot glued pom poms to the ends for erasers.  

We use this cart to keep us organized for the week.  The current week's activities are in the tops bins.  We start planning and pulling for the next week on Wednesday and put those activities down below in those bins.  We just move everything up on Friday for the next week and we are ready to go!

Each child has a chair pocket in the whole group classroom.  They have their own crayon box, which only has crayons in it right now.  They each also have a green folder.  We use these for morning work. It is full of handwriting practice in sheet protectors.  They just use their dry erase markers each morning to practice writing their name, alphabet, shapes, colors, numbers, number words, and tracing different types of lines.  We also add in a seasonal practice page. 

This is a copy of our schedule.  It has taken some tweaking, but it's getting better since the kids have gotten into a routine.
We get lots of questions and lots of crazy looks when we tell people we teach 37 kindergarteners in one room!  Do you have any questions about it?  Do you team teach?  If so, what are some tips you may have for us?  

By the way, I am LOVING kindergarten!  Holly is one of the most amazing teachers I know, and I have learned so much from her!  We have lots of fun, too!  I do, however, miss second grade!  My heart will always be there, so I am going to continue creating activities for second grade and testing them out at my school on the second graders there.  It is so fun to create for that age group and I don't think I can ever stop!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great rest of the weekend!