Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Today was our Halloween celebration in class since Monday is a PA Day. Students love Halloween: it's all about candy and costumes, and fun. I wanted everyone to have fun at school today too, but I wanted them to learn as well. I really thought that we could do both. Last year, I planned some special literacy and math centres for Halloween, and I thought that I would plan some new ones for this year too.

Below is an Animoto slideshow of our day and some videos that the students recorded during one of our math centres too.











With our tweeting and blogging centre, students were writing using different forms, practicing their various spelling strategies in a meaningful context, and reading with meaning as they replied to comments from other students and teachers too. With our Toontastic centre, students were developing their oral language skills as they created their own oral stories. They were also working on drama, as they gave their characters voices and personalities, while creating their own exciting plot lines too. With our Halloween Reading Centre, students were practicing their decoding and reading comprehension skills, as they worked together to read different Halloween stories. They were using various strategies to read difficult words, and they were doing a fantastic job retelling the stories and making connections to them too. With our Halloween Candy Problem, students were developing their one-to-one correspondence skills, developing beginning addition skills, and explaining strategies they used during problem-solving activities. With our Oreo Stacking Problem, the students were practicing their graphing skills, and interpreting graphs too. Throughout all of the centres, students were continuing to practice their learning skills, as they worked cooperatively with others, and developed their own independent work habits too.

I saw learning happening all day long. Best of all, even though the students worked hard today, they went home happy and eager to tell their parents about the great day that they had. I love days like today!

For parents reading this blog post, what did your child enjoy the most about today? Why? For educators reading this blog post, how are your going to celebrate Halloween with your class? How do you mix both fun and learning too?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Aviva

12 comments:

Holly said...

I love your use of manipulatives...It DOES look like a great day. I teach 11th grade English. In the spirit of Halloween, I did a read aloud of a story I really HATE. "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allen Poe. I own a black cat, so I really identify with this horrible story. I always explain to my students why I hate this story. Which is quite a contrast to the other literature we read. It is ok NOT to like a certain piece of literature. And I think students need to know that teachers don't like everything either.

Ms. Boardman
Orlando,Florida

Aviva said...

Thanks for the comment, Holly, and thanks for sharing your Halloween activity too! I agree with you: it's good for students to know that we don't like everything, and it's good for them to know why too. I bet they love hearing what you have to say!

Aviva

MZMollyTL said...

Hi Aviva,
Your class looked quite engaged. I tend not to do a lot of Halloween-based activities because I try to be sensitive to the students who don't celebrate the holiday for religious or cultural reasons. We have school on Monday October 31, 2011 and we'll definitely dress up. During my library classes this week, we read a book called "Bats At The Library" in which bats use an open window as an opportunity to explore their local library. I was floored when some of our kindergarten students were able to decipher the visual allusions to other famous children's literature shown by the illustrations. Keep up the great work Ms. Dunsiger!

Aviva said...

Thanks for your comment, @MZMollyTL! Like you, I don't do a lot of Halloween activities either. In fact, I didn't even mention Halloween until today. :) Since our school was celebrating Halloween today, I thought that I would make it a day for celebration while also making it a "learning day" too. I was definitely pleased with the results.

Thanks for sharing what you did at school! That's awesome that the students were able to make such great connections. I've never heard of this book before, but I'll need to check it out.

Have a great Halloween on Monday!
Aviva

Mr. Lane said...

Great work! Your class certainly seemed to enjoy the day. We did some monster-themed art for Halloween this week, you can see it here http://vimeo.com/mrlanesclass

Mr. Lane
Ireland

Aviva said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing that, Mr. Lane. I'll definitely have a look at the art that your students did, and I know that my students will like seeing it too.

Aviva

PIPEDREAMS said...

Great Job Aviva. It looks like you had a wonderful day with your class. We had a halloween party too (can you believe it?). Students were dressed in some of the most fantastic costumes.
Thanks so much for sharing!

Aviva said...

Thanks for the comment, Zoe! Yes, it was a fantastic day! I hope that your students enjoyed their Halloween party too. It's always nice to celebrate!

Aviva

Anonymous said...

We have always done an activity based learning 'party' in K for Halloween and Christmas. I agree with you that it is important to protect the learning time and therefore throughout all of the centres students continue to practice their learning skills. By introducing "Halloween props" it feels new and exciting to them. To build on the idea of K teamwork, our challenge is how to rotate students through 3 K classrooms (4 centres per classroom). Just means we need to watch our time and allow for transition from centre to centre so everyone gets a chance to try all:) Activities need to gently challenge but allow for differentiation of a multitude of skill levels. I noticed the technology flavour of some of your centres and love it. How to bring that 'hook' into the rotation when have 7 per group. Hmmm.......ipads and ipods as one centre perhaps? You have me thinking.

team_jelleybean

Aviva said...

Thanks @team_jellybean! I look forward to seeing what you end up doing. I love when learning can happen even on these fun days! The rotation between the classrooms sounds great too. We do this for our 100th Day of School. It makes for some added excitement!

Have fun tomorrow!
Aviva

Our Classroom Family said...

Great ideas and great work!

Aviva said...

Thanks @Our Classroom Family! Glad you liked these ideas!

Aviva