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Last Week Before Break Freebies & RACK Sacks

I am so, so late to the December party.

I'm currently mentally preparing myself for the week ahead and plan to look for some fun freebies to tide the kids over until Friday at 3:35.  If you're in the same boat, here are a few freebies from me.

First, four holiday printables including a holiday tree dot game (I'm totally using this one this week!), Santa's flight path geography (think I'm going to use this one too), holiday word work and letter writing paper.
Second, in case you're in the emergency "I NEED 30 CHEAP GIFTS IN THE NEXT 4 DAYS" mode, use these editable coupons.  My students always love sitting in my chair or bringing a stuffed animal to class for a day and they don't cost me a thing.
Looking for a great read aloud?  This one is my holiday favorite!  The pictures are beautiful and the story is so sweet.  You can even use it as a mentor text and do a quickwrite about gift stories (birthdays, holidays, etc.) if you're thinking of actually teaching next week.  :)
Lastly,  if you're thinking of doing RACK (Random Acts of Classroom Kindness), think about making RACK Sacks.  We use these like stockings.  Students write letters or compliments for classmates, teachers deliver them to RACK Sacks and the kids get to open these on the last day before the break.
 
Good luck this week and happy break!
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Thanksgiving Origami - Cross Legged Critters

These little guys are my "go to" week before Thanksgiving activity.  Look how cute they turned out last year?  I love the ones with the giant googly eyes!
Examples of Cross Legged Critter turkeys with instructions on how to make them.  Perfect for the month of November - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Examples of Cross Legged Critter turkeys with instructions on how to make them.  Perfect for the month of November - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Examples of Cross Legged Critter turkeys with instructions on how to make them.  Perfect for the month of November - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Examples of Cross Legged Critter turkeys with instructions on how to make them.  Perfect for the month of November - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Examples of Cross Legged Critter turkeys with instructions on how to make them.  Perfect for the month of November - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Examples of Cross Legged Critter turkeys with instructions on how to make them.  Perfect for the month of November - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Examples of Cross Legged Critter turkeys with instructions on how to make them.  Perfect for the month of November - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Examples of Cross Legged Critter turkeys with instructions on how to make them.  Perfect for the month of November - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Examples of Cross Legged Critter turkeys with instructions on how to make them.  Perfect for the month of November - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Examples of Cross Legged Critter turkeys with instructions on how to make them.  Perfect for the month of November - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Examples of Cross Legged Critter turkeys with instructions on how to make them.  Perfect for the month of November - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Examples of Cross Legged Critter turkeys with instructions on how to make them.  Perfect for the month of November - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Examples of Cross Legged Critter turkeys with instructions on how to make them.  Perfect for the month of November - from I Want to be a Super Teacher

If you want to try this one out with your little ones all you need is paper, scissors, and some clear instructions.

I typically model step by step before I give students paper and highly recommend this if you've never done this project before.  Then I have two groups: one that can be more independent following the written directions (I like to make 15 or so copies so all students have access to the written directions) and one group with me that will work on following step by step oral directions.

As a fast finisher, students can use the extra paper they get from cutting their original rectangular paper into a square to make baby turkeys.  
Examples of Cross Legged Critter turkeys with instructions on how to make them.  Perfect for the month of November - from I Want to be a Super Teacher

Fun, cute, and time consuming - the perfect trifecta for the week before Thanksgiving! 

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What Should my Teacher be for Halloween? Part Deux follow up

My second graders had lots of fun with this project.  Here's what they came up with.  I like them much better than last year's man-hands versions.  :)
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love!
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love!
I love my glittery dress and the "perfect teacher" comment.  A+++
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love!
The tutu is pretty classic.  It looks like a little beaver tail. :)
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love!
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love!
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love!
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love!
Apparently a spider witch talks a lot.  :)
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love!
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love!
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love!
If you haven't already downloaded the Editable PowerPoint that includes 3 versions of this activity you can use in your classroom (stick figure/man hands/blank for draw it yourself) just click on the picture below and edit your favorite version.  I  hope you enjoy this activity as much as I do.  It's become an October staple in my classroom.
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love!
Happy Halloween!
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Mixed Up Monster - Easy and Fun Halloween Art!

Are you looking for a low prep Halloween art project to kill some time during the week of Halloween or parent conferences? If so, this one is my fave. Sometimes (like the week of Halloween) we just need a project like this.  It's a Super Teacher Sanity Saver!


The prep is super easy:

1. Cut art paper into longer rectangles (not totally necessary, but you don't need a full page of art paper for every kid)

2. Burrito fold each paper (If you burrito fold, kids won't be able to see the other portions of the paper as easily)

3. Label the boxes on every paper 1 2 and 3 (This takes a minute, but makes it so much easier for kids!) 1 is the top box, 2 for the middle, and 3 is the flap underneath box 1.


Start by brainstorming tons of Halloween monsters: silly (Cookie Monster), scary (headless horseman), classic (vampire), weird (creepy merman), or random (buckteeth fluffy ninja squirrel). That way no one can say, "I can't think of anything to draw!" :)

Box 1

Show students that in box 1 they will choose 1 monster and draw their head to neck.  Repeat HEAD to NECK, HEAD to NECK at least 5 times.  Unless they want a floating head, they need to make sure the neck goes all the way to the bottom of box 1.  Have them write their name in box 1.  This will eventually be their monster.  Collect all the papers and mix them up.

Box 2

Show students that in box 2 they will choose a monster (the same one they started with or a different one) and draw the neck to hips. Repeat NECK to HIPS over and over and over. Remind students that unless they want a floating body, the neck should start at the top of the box and the hips should go all the way to the bottom. Pass out papers turned to box 2. Students should not look at box 1. This activity is called "Mixed up Monster" art, not "Look at box 1 and match it" art. Students should put their name in box 2 so the original artist knows who to thank for their work on their monster. Collect the papers when students are done and mix, mix, mix.

Box 3

Repeat the drill for box 3 except repeat HIPS to FEET until students will actually remember it. They should start their hips at the top of the box, but the feet can land anywhere. You will need to pull box 3 above box 1 before students start drawing. Remind them this is called "Mixed up Monster" not "I'm going to push on the paper really hard and look at box 1" art.

Pass Back to Original Artist
Now you can reveal the Mixed Up Monsters to the class. Give the papers back to the person who drew the head in box 1. This is their mixed up monster. They can color, add details, make sure their monster lines up, and add a setting. Have students give their monster a name and write it on the back. Then meet as a class and share your monsters.



Encourage students to thank the classmates who helped create their monster. You do not want students berating others for a floating belly or ugly monster tail. Show students how to be positive!

Tips and Tricks:
* Students should only use pencil during the first drawing stages.
* For the monsters to actually look cohesive, draw small lines where the neck ends and the hips end as students hand you their monster art. This activity works much better when the bodies and/or legs line up. I needed to do this for my second graders but older students can do this too.

Hang those Mixed Up Monsters on your classroom door or a bulletin board and every day your kids will look at them, show their friends, and laugh. Darling! Plus this activity takes up a whole lot of time on a crazy October afternoon. Super Teacher Success!!!

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27 Halloween Elementary School Teacher Costumes!

Holy crapfest!  Some of my fabulous new colleagues told me I was on their Facebook newsfeed and thankfully it was for something good.  I did just start at a new job after all.  :)

Check out Buzzfeed's 27 Elementary School Teacher Costume ideas.  I was kindof sad my Super Teachers didn't make the list, but I love, love, love my Olivia dress and ears!  If you want a similar Olivia look, check out my blog post here.
Happy Halloween-ing,
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What Should my Teacher be for Halloween Part Deux - New Freebie

http://www.iwanttobeasuperteacher.com/2015/10/what-should-my-teacher-be-for-halloween.html
Last year I posted a freebie you could use for a simple, yet fun, Halloween art activity.  I tested it out with my kids and although the kids had tons of fun and came up with some really darling ideas, I'm not sure that freebie was my fave.  The body graphic was a tad bit manly for my taste, although I didn't realize it until seeing my head atop its body.  :)
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love! This post links to a new freebie with different versions of the activity.
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love! This post links to a new freebie with different versions of the activity.
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love! This post links to a new freebie with different versions of the activity.
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love! This post links to a new freebie with different versions of the activity.
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love! This post links to a new freebie with different versions of the activity.
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love! This post links to a new freebie with different versions of the activity.
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love! This post links to a new freebie with different versions of the activity.
If you want a less mannish figure, try the stick figure or make your own page in the Editable PowerPoint Freebie.  I figure a stick figure might not be true to life, but no one ever minds if the camera takes off a few pounds, right?  :)  The mannish version is there too, I just won't be using that one again.
A super fun and FREE art activity for October! Students decorate a picture of their teacher to show "What Should My Teacher be for Halloween"  Super easy project that kids love! This post links to a new freebie with different versions of the activity.

*Check out the newest versions of this activity at my most recent post here*
http://www.iwanttobeasuperteacher.com/2015/10/what-should-my-teacher-be-for-halloween.html


Happy October!
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I Have a Classroom! & Easy Peasy Class Meetings

Hurrah, hurrah for second grade!  I am so excited to say that I went back to teaching kidlets after Labor Day! I'm at a school with super small class sizes (think 20-22 per room) and two certified teachers in every room.  My new second grade co-teacher is fantastic - full of positive energy, flexibility and loves kids.  I'm jazzed to be back in the school mode, but also excited that there are two of us to handle the day to day responsibilities and to look at each other when we're thinking "Did you hear what that child just said?!"  Fun, fun, fun.

Class meetings are a great way to foster classroom community and can be used for any number of things - nuts & bolts, student spotlights, awards, sharing time, etc.

Here's how I structure mine.  Click on the picture below if you'd like a Google Doc copy of my agenda.  :)
Students sit in a circle - not in desks or like they typically do at our carpet area.  Class meetings should be different than anything else you do in your classroom.

1.  Announcements & What's Going Home
Show students any papers going home and give them any school/classroom announcements.  I always forget one or two but luckily with 29 or so students someone is bound to remember the events I've forgotten.

2.  Big News
Give students a chance to share something exciting that happened to them that week.  Be careful though.  This can turn into show and tell.  I don't allow students to bring objects from home (this can be done during their spotlight week).  Every student gets a chance to share one sentence of their Big News for the week.

Note: in the past I had a "Big News" bag where students could write down their news.  Then we would read the cards that were submitted.  This became problematic because the same students would write 5-10 pieces of big news, while students who didn't love writing wouldn't write down anything and would promptly fall asleep when the few students who always wanted to share big news went on and on about their new toys/lost teeth/football games.  Doing a quick Big News share circle has worked best for me.

3.  Student Spotlight
Do this however you would like.  My new teammate gives students a Read All About Me poster from Scholastic to fill out and bring back.  I've done blank posters and also "King of the Wild Things" canvas bags that students could fill with items from home to share.  I've found that the latter worked best for me since having students try to summarize 50 pictures on a poster can get somewhat monotonous ("This is me, this is me and my cousin, this is me when I was 5, this is me when I was a baby, this is me with a stuffed animal, this is me with my mom and dad, this is me at the lake, this is me when I was . . . . . . . hmmmm. . . . I don't remember how old I was. . . this is me when . . . ").
I like to do top ten lists for students and make a fun bulletin board that we add to throughout the year. Here's my Top Ten Spotlight product if you want an editable version of my Top Ten lists, bulletin board lettering, and student interview sheets, but they're easy peasy to make on your own too.
4.  Compliments & Concerns
I have a compliment and concern bag in my classroom where students can write down compliments for other students as well as class concerns (these should be something like "there are too many pencils being thrown on the floor" rather than "Becky gave me the evil eye on the jungle gym and then ran away from me at recess!") Proper compliment/concern usage is a great mini-lesson for the first weeks of school.
5.  Awards and/or recognition
My C.H.I.P. Awards used to take center stage at this time, but since I'm now sharing a classroom and was too lazy to shrink chip bags during my summer move we are now giving Stamina King and Stamina Queen magnets to worthy students.  They are loving them so far!  Check out this amazing freebie from Mel D at TpT if you would like to use them too.
Class meetings are a great way to end the week and can be easily adapted to fit with the time you have on Friday afternoons as well as your classroom routines and rewards.  Other than recess and lunch, classroom meetings are always on the top of the list of things my students like most about school.  :)  
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