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Pie Craft

What is more perfect than a PIE CRAFT for Thanksgiving?!
I decided to make a apple and pumpkin pie flip craft with a writing sheet under it.  

The Amazon links do contain affiliate links which means I make a small percent off of any of these paint that you purchase.

The craft itself is super simple.  The students paint or color the top pie piece and can add a "thanksgiving tag" to the center if you want.

Under the pie craft the students respond to a Thanksgving writing prompt.  They glue the craft to the top of their writing so they can flip up the pie and see their respond under it.

I decided to pair this pie craft with my FAVORITE paint by Kwik Stix.  These paints are bold, vibrant, and bright.  They are kind of like a "glue stick" but in paint form.  They are basically mess-free and perfect to leave at a station or for independent work.  I highly recommend Kwik Stix!

Grab the pie craft here!

Letter Mats to Build the Letters

I am constantly looking for ways to use mini erasers and manipulatives in my classroom.  Learning to form the letters can be tedious when just using a pencil and paper.  A engaging way to memorize how to make a letter is by BUILDING IT with Letter Mats.  

This pack of printable is designed to help you teach the letters A-Z.  Use these letter mats to create your own STEM or STEAM center in which the students can build each letter using manipulative you already have in your classroom.

There are circles inside each letter to guide the students where to place the manipulatives to create each letter.  These are also great if you are using paint dabbers so the students can aim for each circle with their paint marker.

Have the students place pom poms in each circle to create each letter.  Try using pinchers to squeeze each pom pom to place in the circles.  This strengthens fine motor skills by using muscles to pinch the pom poms and placing them accurately in the circle.

These mats work perfectly for the millions of dollar spot erasers that you have.  You can keep the mats in your center rotation but switch out your seasonal erasers to make building letters fun all year long!

Grab the Letter Mats HERE!


Halloween Picture Books

It is time for an October Read Aloud Round Up!  I am going to share with you some of my favorite books to read during the Halloween season.  Please note that each picture is linked Amazon so you can easily add the book to your card.  You can either click on the picture or on the name of the book in the post to link to Amazon.  These links Amazon do contain affiliate links which means I make a small percent off of any of these books that you purchase. :)

I thought it would be perfect to display my Felt Letter Board Message Set to showcase the Halloween picture books for the month of October! How cute would it be to switch out the little letter board each month to display new seasonal books!?!

The Hallo-Weiner is my FAVORITE Halloween book!  This story is about Oscar who is upset about his Halloween costume because the other dogs are making fun of him, but he ends up saving the day!

If You're Spooky and You Know It is perfect book that you can sing along to!  Each page is a different verse of "If you're happy and you know it" but it is a spooky version!

Ten Little Monsters is a great book for Kindergarten when you are teaching counting to 10! It is also a creative way to incorporate subtraction because the book counts down from 10-0.

If you are a Corduroy fan then Corduroy's Best Halloween Ever, is definitely a book you should add to your collection!

Goodnight Goon is a twist on the ever popular Goodnight Moon
.  This is a fun book to read if your students are familiar with the original Goodnight Moon!

Don't Push the Button! A Halloween Treat is a cute book that is all about that little monster "not pushing the button."

The Spooky Wheels on the Bus is a Halloween spin on the popular The Wheels on the Bus song that every child should know!  (if not, sing it to them ASAP! lol)

Room on the Broom is a great story to read to practice sequencing.  The witch adds more friends to sit on her broom throughout the story.  It is fun to have the students try and sequence the friends she adds along the way after you read the story! 

Five Little Pumpkins is a simple book to practice counting and retelling a rhyme.  I normally start with that book in October!  I just found a sequel to it called Five Little Pumpkins Come Back, which is great to read at the end of October when you have exacted the first one! lol

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? is my favorite book to read when I am carving pumpkins with my class.  This book is all about counting seeds so it is perfect to read before any seed counting activity! 

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is a Halloween classic!

Pete the Cat Trick or Pete is perfect to talk about what your students are going to wear as their Halloween costume!

The Spooky House is great for toddlers, preschool, or TK students! Each page has interactive flaps where the young readers can flip open a flap and see what is under it!

The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin is another wonderful Halloween book that I read every year.  It is about this little square pumpkin that is not "perfect" like the other pumpkins.  His unique square shape ends up saving the day!
(This link is to Barnes & Noble)

Spooky, Spooky, Little Bat is also great for young readers! You stick your finger through the bat puppet as you read the story and you get to watch the child's face light up as the bat wiggles around as you read! 
To shop all of my favorite Halloween books click HERE to view Apples and ABC's Amazon Store Front!

October Kindergarten Activities

 I wanted to share with you some of my favorite October resources for TK and Kindergarten.  October is such a magical month because you can incorporate all things spiders, pumpkin, and my favorite: SPOOKY FINGERS!

October Academic Sensory Bins are my FAVORITE way to incorporate some hands on, tactile, play by using sensory bins in the kindergarten classroom.  You can see in the photo below, I am not using a "bin," rather a spider web bowl I found at the Dollar Store!  I added some spooky fingers, spiders, and little erasers to the basket to give the students little festive items to touch and explore while also accomplishing an academic skill.

I use sensory bins just like I do any center game or task card activity.  I put all of the cards in the bin (spider web basket), then the students pull a card to complete the task on the recording sheet!

I use sensory bins during center rotation time or for early finishers.  These activities are always some sort of skill they are reviewing and can complete independently.  The idea is that the students can work alone or with a partner, while I am working with a small group or assessing a student one-on-one. 

Learn more about October Academic Sensory Bins in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store! I do have a different sensory bin resource for each month, be sure to check out the bundle if you are interested in incorporating sensory bins all year long! 

October Flip Book Bundle is a great way to practice reading and writing independently.  My favorite part of my flip books are that there is an interactive component to each book.  Once the students take ownership in being the author, they then can master fluency skills by reading and RE-READING their book to themselves, to a partner, or to the class!

I created flip book companions to go with some of my favorite Halloween Read Alouds.  What I do is I read the book to the class, then we complete the flip book.  There are two ways to assemble:
1.  You can pre-assemble the flip book ahead of time.  (I only do this when I have a parent volunteer.)
2.  The students assemble the books AFTER they have written in the book and colored.  I have everyone order the pages as I give slow instructions and then staple for them once they have the pages ordered!

Is anyone else obsessed with Target's Dollar Spot erasers but run out of ideas of how to use these (non-erasing)erasers?! ha!

I was playing with my son and I noticed him stacking the erasers and counting how high they could go! This made me realize how perfect it would be to pair with my Monthly Number Cards!

I have little cards for every month, they are super cute and go with that month's theme or holiday!  I typically use them for sequencing, number writing, etc.!  But they are SO perfect to pair with those millions of seasonal erasers that you have shoved in your cabinet!

The most rewarding part of teaching kindergarten is watching my young learners enter the year learning letters and leave writing multiple sentences.  During the year there is this constant balance of trying to create meaningful independent practice opportunities that meet the needs of ALL of my students.  Some students are building words while others are writing sentences.  This challenge is what made me create my Fall Words and Sentences resource. 

This resource allows all of the students to be working on the same topic, in this case it is pumpkins, but be working at different levels.  

You can see that in both printable they are reading, tracing, finding, coloring, writing, and cut and pasting.  This allows them jump from the word printable to the sentence printable with ease because they are familiar with the format! 

My absolute favorite fall topic is teaching about the life cycle of the pumpkin!   We use these pumpkin flip books to talk about the life cycle!  The students write about a different stage on each page.  This comes in 3 different versions so you can differentiate among your learners:
-color and read
-color and write
-read and draw!

This makes the perfect fall bulletin board!