Monday, October 16, 2017

17 Easy, Free (or Almost Free) Halloween Center Ideas!

Hi, everyone! I'm Brenda Tejeda from Tejeda's Tots and I'm so excited to guest-blog on Jennifer's blog and share with you some of my fun Halloween and Fall center ideas! 
Fall! It's my favorite season of the year! One of my favorite things to do in the fall is go pumpkin-picking with my family. We have an amazing local farm and they have the BEST pumpkin pie, apple cider donuts, sweet corn.... so yummy!
Another thing I love about the fall is Halloween! Throughout the month, I have themed centers that are fun, meaningful, and easy-to-prep!
AND, most of them are absolutely free! By signing up for my free newsletter, you'll get all the templates you see in this post FREE! Most can be used with classroom supplies you already have, but a few require some extra materials.
I hope you can use some of these ideas. I'd love to hear how they worked out, or any other fun and easy ideas you have!
Let's get started!
  • Fall leaf rubbings- Kids simply place the veined side of a leaf face-up under a sheet of paper, then rub a paperless crayon on its side over the page. See the veins and leaf shapes come to life! Try with different fall colors too!
  • Leaf sorting- Go on a leaf hunt, then have students sort the leaves by colors, shapes, , edges, sizes, or any other attribute they can think of!
  • Leaf art- Have kids glue a leaf onto a piece of paper, then draw around it to turn it into an object!
  • Halloween Word Wall- I have some picture word walls in my store (and I have included a FREE one with writing stationery), but you can also create one with your students to make it even more effective! Have them brainstorm words while you write on large chart paper. It takes some time afterwards to add pictures (either drawn or from the web), but I highly recommend this step to help those who need extra support. Once displayed, you can use this for various centers: write about your Halloween, write a riddle about your costume, or...
  • Sticker Story- IN FREEBIE- get some themed stickers from the Dollar Tree and provide stationery. Ask students to take up to 5 stickers to make a scene, then complete by drawing and writing their story.
  • Stamp-a-Story- Same as above, but with themed stamps. I’ve collected a TON of stamps over the years and have them organized by themes/ months.
  • Halloween card- IN FREEBIE- Simply fill out for a ghoulfriend or boofriend!
  • Making Words- HALLOWEEN- IN FREEBIE- two options- Place the letters that spell HALLOWEEN on a cookie sheet or magnetic file cabinet. Have kids manipulate the letters to build words, then write in a notebook. OR, if you don’t have enough letters, or want to use this whole-group, use the enclosed slips and have kids cut apart the letters before using them to build words. They can glue the top of the slip into their notebooks and list their words. Extension: use some to write sentences.
  • Bingo- IN FREEBIE- Use the blank template enclosed and have kids complete it by writing words from your fall/ Halloween Word Wall (see above) in random boxes (make sure to tell them not to write the words in order). Write the words on slips of paper and place into a bag. Pull out a word at a time and kids can use counters, torn paper, or candy corn as bingo markers!
  • Photo booth- You can buy props, OR you can have students make their own- fun! Have them draw big mouths, eyes, horns, and speech bubbles with monster sayings, cut and glue to popsicle sticks, then pose with them!
  • Standing Jack-o-lanternsee picture- Students cut out 3 pumpkins, color and add a green stem to each, then glue back to back
  • Decorate-a-Cupcake- If you don’t have allergies and your school allows it, kids just LOVE to decorate cookies and cupcakes. Bake or buy plain cupcakes, provide icing, toppings, plastic knives, and plenty of wipes and napkins!
  • Mask and Monster Mash- Have students create a mask, glue onto a large popsicle stick and parade around the room to the song Monster Mash!
  • Joke Time! Display this FREE pun-kins joke chart at your fall party or during the entire month for some fun joke breaks!
  • “Book and Bite” Kid favorite! Read a book (I usually have a parent volunteer at this center) and have students take a bite of their cookie every time the FUN word is said. The student with the largest piece of cookie left at the end of the book is the winner! I use There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Bat, or There Was an Old Lady who Wasn't Afraid of Anything, and the fun word is BAT. It’s so cute to watch them to take tiny nibbles for fear they won’t have any left at the end of the book. Here is the 2nd book on youtube: YOUTUBE video of There Was an Old Lady who Wasn't Afraid of Anything
  • Buddy Reading! Simply place themed books in a basket and have them read along with a friend!

I hope you found some of these ideas useful and your kids enjoy them!
Thanks for reading and here is the link to get your freebie :): 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Freaky Friday Week 2- Pumpkins!

Did you score some awesome 'Dollar Deals' last Friday when we kicked off 'Freaky Friday?!'
Friday October 13th we do it all again- but with 40+ new deals for you to choose from!
How will you find all of these deals?

Choose one of these methods:
1. Click this picture:

2. Use the linky at the bottom of this post that shows all of the participating stores!
You can click the first link to find a list of ALL the deals or click each individual seller to find their discounted deal for the day!

Many of the sellers on Instagram are using this hashtag when showing their deal:
but you won't find ALL the deals that way.

The sellers listed below will also be posting about their deals on their Facebook pages too...just another reason to follow and 'like' your favorite sellers!

So what will you find from me this week?
It is a pumpkin patch slide show, reader & pocketchart word and picture cards pack!

Here's a video explaining what is included and how I printed some of the materials:

Last year while I was at the pumpkin patch with my own children I took photos because I found many of my students had never been to a pumpkin patch. I turned the photos into a slide show so that I could project it onto my EnoBoard for my students to take a 'virtual field trip' to the patch and learn about pumpkins!

Our PTA is awesome and they set up an area for our students to 'pick pumpkins' but it's not the same as being at a real pumpkin patch.

So last year I brought in the slide show I created at home:

and projected it on my screen:

Then we explored a real pumpkin:
*We looked at and felt the weight of the pumpkin, touched it's skin, flesh, pulp and seeds.  
*We could smell the pumpkin once it was cut open (many did not care for the smell!) 
*We listened to how the pumpkin sounded when we 'knocked' on it and the 'squishy sound' it made when we touched inside!
*We tasted pumpkin pie that was made with pumpkin (Read all about our Pumpkin Pie in A Bag HERE!)

I didn't throw the pumpkin away!  We set up a pumpkin exploration station on our back table for the week!  Students could go over and look inside, feel the sensory bag and read about pumpkins:

So that we could share what we learned about with those at home we made these 'peek inside' pumpkins:
Each child put some pulp and seeds in a ziplock bag.  I had pre-cut the pumpkins for them (so that I knew the bag would fit in the space).  We taped the bag to the back, added a stem, drew some flesh and then labeled the parts!  The 'seeds and pulp' label was written on an Avery address label so that it could stick to the bag.

I could not find a 'Poem of the Week' that taught about pumpkins yet was simple enough for my students to read, so I created this one:
(Tune: I'm a Little Tea Pot)
Feel free to chart and use it too!  The images were grabbed from a Google Image search, so if you like to include picture cues on your poems/charts as well, you can get them there too!

After our week of exploring pumpkins, my students created pumpkin shape books from the pre-cut books I found in Target Dollar Spot!  

I saw them there again this year, so if you're looking for something to put inside the cute books, you can find these printables HERE:

My students were able to learn so much for the photos I had taken at the pumpkin patch and I would love for your students to experience the same!

So this week's Freaky Friday item includes all of this:

As you can see from the picture (or if you watched the video) I made the black and white book into a mini-book!  It's super simple...
(Want to make it even easier for yourself?  You can also print the book 'as is' and then copy it in 'collate' & 'staple 2- left side' mode.  Once all the sets are copied, simply cut in 1/2 and you have 2 books stapled and ready to go!)

So to re-cap...

1. Black and White version for printing and creating student books

2. Word and Picture Cards for use in a pocketchart

3. Slide Show to project in your classroom (that can also be printed as a full-color class book)

Normally priced at $5 but reduced to just $1 for FRIDAY OCTOBER 13th ONLY!

But that's not it!
Ready To Find All the $1Deals for Week 2 of Freaky Friday?

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Freaky Friday Returns For Year 4!

Well summer surely FLEW by...and so did September...
And now it's time for FREAKY FRIDAY to return!

It's hard to believe this is the 4th year this promotion is running!

Which means 4 weeks of incredible $1 deals on over 40 products each week are on their way!

If you have followed me for the past three years, you might remember that each October I join a group of sellers to offer $1 Deals each Friday in October!
AND...we have decided to 'get freaky' again this year!

Here is how it works:
Each Friday the participating sellers will select one product from their store (normally priced $3-$5) to mark down to just $1 for the day!

How will you find these products?
There are a few ways!

1. Click THIS IMAGE:

3. Follow this hashtag on Instagram

4. Click the links to the participating stores in the linky at the end of this post and it will take you directly to that store's $1 deal for the day (it will be updated each week to the new product)!  
You can also click the first link- it will bring you to all the $1 deals of the day!

So what will you find from me this week?
My ABC flip books have been pretty popular, but with this set you'll be able to add in some Fall Fun to your centers and reading instruction!

There are 10 flip books in this set for the following fall themes:
Apples, Fall, Fire Safety, Columbus Day, Halloween, Election Day, Veteran's Day & Thanksgiving!
It is normally $4...but on Friday October 6th, as part of 'Freaky Friday,' it will be discounted to just $1!

These flip books are NO PREP but have the benefit of a 4-page reader!
They help review sight words and build reading fluency and confidence in our youngest readers!

This video will walk you through the process:

But if you don't have time to watch the video, here's the pictorial version!

Decide which 'book' you want your students to create, print and copy:

Then have your students color the pictures:

They then cut the dotted lines (3 pictures on the bottom):

Students stack them in the order they want (or the order you specify):
The pages are stapled in the box area (you can teach them how to use mini-staplers for more independence!)

OPTIONAL they can add another picture and label it in the box:

Lastly students read their flip book!

I have my students write their names on the backs of their flip books.  For students that are ready for a challenge, I have them add another sentence on the back:

Use them in centers, for guided reading/small group instruction, reading buddies, independent reading and more!  When we learn about 'pattern readers' in Readers Workshop, we use these a lot and keep them in our reading baggies so we can identify the pattern!

Ready To Find All the $1 Deals for Week 1 of Freaky Friday?

Be sure to check back next week to find out what Week 2's deal will be!

Have a fabulous week!
Until next post,

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Christmas In July

'Twas the Night Before Christmas (In July)
And all through the school-
Not a teacher was stirring- they were all by the pool!

The back-to-school flyers were flooding their inbox-
But they really didn't care- it was better to relax by the docks!

Then what to their wondering eye should appear-
But a giveaway filled with Mo Willems gear!

A book and a plush each awarded to a lucky group of 5-
They knew in an instant they must skip, run and dive!

Not just a giveaway- but sales, games and deals too-
Then out of their beach chairs they jumped and they flew!

This sale comes but only once every year-
And lucky for you reading this...the time is HERE!

I am so excited to be joining 4 other 'elves' to bring you our annual 'Christmas In July' event!

You can find information here on my blog, as well as more fun and games on all of our Facebook pages and Instagram Accounts!

We'll be playing games on our Facebook pages on Tuesday July 25th to win prizes and there will also be an Instagram Hop to win a $25 Target gift card!

And it will feel like 'Christmas Morning' for 5 Lucky Winners!
Each winner will receive a Mo Willems plush and matching book!  
Details about how to enter are at the bottom of this post!

Tell Me About the Deals!
We have a few deals for you throughout the day!

On Monday July 24th we are joining a group of sellers for a $1 sale!
Each seller is choosing a normally priced $2-$5 product and discounting it to $1
Click this picture to find all the deals:

From me you will find my sight word beads editable pack!
Normally $ $4!
You can read more about this pack and grab a name building FREEBIE here!

While you are there you can also pick up this FREEBIE that goes PERFECT with our giveaway:

On Tuesday July 25th we are joining a group of sellers for a 1/2 Off Bundle sale!
This is a GREAT time to stock up on some products you can use all year long!
Each seller is choosing 1 bundle and discounting it by 50%!
Click this image to find all the deals:

From me you will find my Sight Word Puzzles bundle:

We use these ALL YEAR LONG as one of my literacy centers and it has helped my students TREMENDOUSLY!  You can try out a puzzle for free and read all about them on this blog post!

The bundle is normally $ can grab it for $19 on 7/25/17!
You have the option of purchasing each component of the bundle separately too:
*Fall  $5
*Generic (all year- not seasonal) $10
(I plan to eventually add a summer theme to the bundle (date on that TBD)- once you purchase it you are entitled to all future upgrades and additions for free!)

Each of the 5 elves have placed 3 items on discount for all day Tuesday 7/25/17!

From me you will find...

My Alphabet Flip Books reduced to $6
(PERFECT for beginning of the year, as well as review and remediation later on!  NO PREP and only uses 1 piece of paper per student!)

My TOP SELLING sight word books (bundle 1) reduced to $15
(Perfect for teaching and/or reviewing sight words.  Great for book baggies, guided reading/independent reading, take-home books, book buddies and more!)

My Old Lady bundle reduced to $30
(If you read any of the 'old lady swallowed...' books throughout the year this bundle is great to have!  A lot of people use the components in a sub-tub too!)

Each of the 5 elves have discounted their Christmas products by 20% on July 25th!
Visit each of our stores to find the deals!  I have 75 products on sale in my store alone!

Be sure to visit each of our Facebook pages for games to win product prizes throughout the day!
Here's a sneak peek at some of the games we are running!

Find the games here:

We'll also have some jokes, riddles and holiday cheer posted on our pages throughout the day!
You'll also learn about some great Christmas crafts you can start working on now!

Do you want to win a $25 Target Gift Card?
Well then get hopping!
On Tuesday 7/25 we'll start the hop at 8am EST and you will have until midnight to enter!
You can start the hop by clicking here:
There are only 5 stops to make- Santa could only DREAM of only 5 stops to make in one night!

Well now it's time to tell you all about what you could 'wake up to' if you are one of the 5 lucky winners!

We jumped on the sleigh and loaded our sack with 5 Mo Willems plush and 5 Mo Willems books to give away!

Enter HERE:

Before you leave be sure to stop by Differentiation Station Creations blog for some GREAT ideas on how you can use summer 'memorabilia' for holiday crafting:

So sit back and make yourself a nice mug of (iced) hot cocoa
(click image for easy recipe!)

put on some holiday music, press 'play' for your favorite holiday movie and enjoy Christmas in July!

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