Friday, November 6, 2015

I SURVIVED HALLOWEEN! And What Do YOU Want To Read About?

Hi, Teachers!

One of my favorite days of the year is Halloween, but it is just so.darn.exhausting. Are ya with me on that!? Of course, this year we had to deal with Halloween and the full moon being in the same week...


Anyway, as I mentioned before, I like making special days like Halloween FUN! I know this may sound obvious, but be honest with yourself for a second...

Have you ever said to yourself, "Oh, I just need to get X and Y done with the kids, and then we'll do Halloween stuff..."

...and then felt frustrated when it didn't go quite as you hoped? I have. 

Guess what happens when you do that? X and Y take 2365948 times longer because it's Halloween!!! You are probably feeling antsy at school yourself! This happens on the first snow day of the year, on Valentine's Day... so many other days!! I think that seriously considering what you're asking the kids to do on days like that is really important. Are you being developmentally realistic or are you asking for too much? And another question to ask yourself is: Would you want to do this? These are important questions to think about on any day, but also on special days where energy is high. 

This doesn't mean you have to sacrifice education, but you might need to get creative. I find that if you're going to do a lot of work in the content areas, that's fine--IF (and that's a BIG if) you do some extra special stuff to pull your kids in! As you know, I used my Halloween Problem Solving Math Lab which I spoke about here, and it was FUN. Here are my kids finding the mystery "envelope" from the characters in the math problem.


Here's the front of the envelope. I hid it underneath my teacher's chair (which is a saucer chair) and let the kids find it. I will admit, we stopped for a brain break which is similar in nature to musical chairs, so I moved my chair to help the kids find it faster!


And here's the back of the envelope. I told the kids I wasn't brave enough to open the envelope and that I didn't "dare." They were so funny....
"WE DARE, MISS SAVAGE! WE DARE!! LET US OPEN IT! PLEEEEEEAAAASSSEEE!!"
"Ehhhh, I dunno guys, I have a looooooot of reeeeeally important lessons planned. I just can't push them til next week....."
"WHAAAAAT!! COME ONNNNN!!!"
"OK, FINE. UGH."
They are so cute. I just love them! It sounds like my acting degree has been more useful than I originally thought. I even fibbed on my lesson plans last week because the kids use my lesson plans to update the daily schedule. They definitely would have noticed.


After we read the letter from "Teri Bull" and "Gob Lin," we unpacked the problem. This was really great for addressing the math practices standards. We don't do it enough. We literally spent at least 25 minutes figuring out everything we needed to know for the problem, reading it, checking how we knew, talking about possible strategies to attack the problem. The kids were all SO successful without support, and I believe it is because I did this with them. It really helps them to make sense of problems on their own when they get the support to do this. (Sorry for the crappy picture quality. I don't know what was up with my camera!)


 And here are some of my kiddos hard at work working on the problem. I had so much fun with this, and I learned a LOT about my kids as mathematicians watching them solve real-life problems.


And, because I can't get over how cute my dogs are... here is another thing I did this Halloween. Mr. Word On Third and I took our fur babies, Ruffles and Pongo, to Petsmart to go trick or treating. It was AWESOME. Can you tell how much Ruffles loves wearing this hat? He REALLY wants to wear more hats in the future. (No he doesn't. He hates me.)

I've been thinking... I want to write more posts that you want to read. What are you really hoping to learn more about right now? Fill out the quick Google Form below and I will write posts about that!!


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