menu   Home About Us Shop Freebies TpT Facebook Pinterest Bloglovin Instagram  

Spider Week and Halloween Math FUN!

 My name is Karen and I have arachnophobia!  SO you are probably wondering how I actually taught a unit on Spiders to my 2nd graders.... Well it wasn't easy, but I have to say I learned a lot about those creepy crawly things that I despise! 
I decided to face my fear of spiders head on and I have to say it was easier than I anticipated.  The kids had a blast so I think that helped me to not dwell on my fear as much. 

Thank you to my Primary Pack friend Elyse at Proud to be Primary for her amazing unit on Spiders!  I used that along with some materials from our Charlotte's Web unit. There was a whole lot of learning going on this week but the kids were having so much fun that they didn't even realize it!

First to get my students excited about Spider Week - I decorated our room with some fun items like this tablecloth that my Halloween pixie - left for me. I think she knew I was teaching about spiders so I was pleasantly pleased when I came back from lunch to find it on my desk - full of little plastic spider rings!   I forgot to take a pic of the spiders that are hanging from my ceiling - but I found a picture of them online- so you can get the idea. 

So we started off the week with a K W L on spiders.  We read the story Diary of a Spider from our new JOURNEYS reading series.  Kids worked on fact and opinion, authors purpose and I started the discussion on Point of view - so this week we can  read Diary of a Fly and compare and contrast the text. 

Kids were ALL IN on this unit and couldn't get enough of spiders! In library they were all checking out spider books and coming to school to tell me how they went home to research spiders! 

My little learners were so excited that I have decided to carry spider week into the upcoming week ~ perfect for Halloween! I am showing  them how to dig deeper by doing some close reading with text from Elyse's unit and some passages from our Spider unit.  My class is so varied in ability levels that I need to have many levels of reading on hand to meet their needs. was a very helpful website to use while doing research for our Non-fiction reports.  Kids were able to read or listen to the information found on this site.  You do need a membership and luckily my district has always had a membership to this site. It is a fabulous resource!

Some fun art projects I found on the HGTV site you might want to try - I like the glitter webs and the trash bag web.. I think I will pass these along to our ART teacher! 

I have to say we didn't even have time to do all that was included in Elyse's spider unit.  SO next year I will have to plan ahead and start this unit a week earlier!  Definitely a fun one around Halloween!  Hmm maybe I will dress up as Charlotte this year ~ then I can really say that I conquered my phobia!

We will be finishing up our non-fiction writing so I will share my student's final products soon.  This week should be fun wrapping up spiders and working on our NEW updated Halloween Math Centers.  If you are looking to keep your kiddos engaged and having fun this week - try them out!

GRAB these centers in our TPT STORE.
They will be on sale in our store this week for only $1.00! 
Here's a sneak peek into what you will get ~

 Happy Halloween!

Bright Idea for Behavior Management

 I am teaming up with some fabulous bloggy friends to bring you a Bright Idea for October!

So my Bright Idea for October is an idea that may help you if you use the Behavior Management system that uses "fuzzies".  My sister Kelly used this at her house with her own kids ~ so that is where I first saw this idea to use pom-poms or "fuzzies" to encourage good behavior.  Then I found a
great blog post by Mel D from Suesstastic Blog.  She has been using this system in her classroom for years.

I decided that I wanted to try this in my classroom this year.  The problem was WHERE to organize the fuzzies, prizes, reward coupons and cute containers.  SO as I was walking around Hobby Lobby one day I saw these cute

favor boxes and got my idea. 
 Now Mel D has this system down perfectly  and I love all of her ideas.. but as we all know, we adapt other people's ideas to meet our own needs and space in our classroom.  SO this is what I came up with.  Every Monday I put 10 fuzzies in everyone's container - so they all start the week off with a fresh start so to speak.  The kids can earn fuzzies
throughout the day in any classroom. 
They can earn fuzzies for:
*good behavior 
*following directions
*being a good friend
*showing that they are working hard
*being a good listener
 and the list goes on.... :)
 They can also earn fuzzies in SPECIALS - so the music, art and phys. ed. teachers are super happy now! :) 
Kids can also lose fuzzies..and we all know what our little friends can do to lose a fuzzy ~ I don't think I need to list that here.. :) 
On Friday - we have Trading Day.  The kids look forward to it all week.  They can either trade in their fuzzies OR they can save their fuzzies from week to week to earn the BIG reward! 
I set my system up using these cute tin buckets I found at Target.   I labeled them in chalk with the numbers 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 to represent the number of fuzzies it takes to choose from that bucket. 
I forgot to take a picture of MINE, but this is these are the buckets.
I keep the coupons I made in these containers and when Trading day comes - we spend about 15 minutes - trading in  fuzzies.  They can only turn in fuzzies in increments of 10.. so they may have some left over to start off the next week.  I have one student who is at 50 now and was so excited to choose from the "50" BUCKET.  He saved his fuzzies and very was patient  ~  so he was able to choose from the Mystery Prize Box  :)
(more to come on that later)
SO getting back to the fuzzies.. WE needed somewhere during the day to add / take out fuzzies  - without it being a I came up with this..
Kids use these to add their fuzzies during the day and at the end of the day - part of their job is to empty their bright container into their plastic BAGGIE that they keep in their desk.  They are responsible to keep that baggie safe until Trading Day.  :)
The fuzzy container is a clear container that latches - so my little friends are not tempted to dip into it when they are near this table. 
This pic is of my Writing Area that is still a work in progress.
The buckets are kept on top of the bookshelf so only I can reach them. 
I will be posting more about using fuzzies in my classroom.  The kids are excited and work hard to earn their fuzzies!  Parents have even shared with me that they are going to try to incorporate this system at home!  It's a Win-Win for everyone!  Thanks again to Mel D for her inspiration!
 If you liked this bright idea, please consider joining me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram for more great ideas! 
For more bright ideas from a variety of other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you.  Thanks for visiting!


Winners and a Fall Freebie!

 Congratulations to our Winners!
Thank you for participating in our Milestone Giveaway! 
Check your email this week
for your prizes! 
We are thankful for all of our followers! 
A FALL FREEBIE just for you!
Check out our other Thanksgiving products !
We hope you stop back soon!

CELEBRATE A MILESTONE with Kennedy's Korner Giveaway!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


a Rafflecopter giveaway

A heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to all of our followers, and the TPT community for helping us to achieve this Milestone!  

Introducing the Primary Pack ~ Giveaway and FREEBIES!

We are so excited and blessed to have the opportunity to work behind the scenes with the fabulous bloggers of The Primary Pack!  We are collaborating to bring you a rainbow of ideas!  Make sure you follow along to grab a bunch of colorful freebies, as well as enter our giveaway with $300 worth of prizes!
Hi! I'm Karen blogging with my sister Kelly from Kennedy's Korner.  I am a New York teacher who loves traveling, sunshine, and reading. I have been teaching for 21 years now in the district I grew up in.  I took over for my Gr. 3 teacher when she retired.  I also coached for years at the high school that I attended.  I am currently teaching 2nd grade, but have taught Gr. 3 and 4 as well.

We are sisters who both are teachers - just outside Buffalo, NY.  We both grew up knowing that we wanted to be teachers some day.  We  love to travel and spend time with our family. 
I live with my boyfriend Chris and our two cats - Kato and Kody in a suburb of Buffalo, NY. 
Chris has two beautiful daughters - Lyndsy and Katie.

We also have a house in Key West, FL - where we love to spend time fishing and
enjoying some fun in the sun. 
I enjoy spending time traveling, reading, and golfing.  I also love spending time with my nieces and nephews ~ who are all growing up so fast! 

Hi! I'm Kelly ~ from Kennedy's Korner. 
 I have been teaching for 17 years.  I love teaching the little ones.  I have taught Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade.  I have 3 little girls of my own.  They are 10, 7, and 4 years old.  My husband is a Director of Curriculum at a nearby school district as well.  We spend a lot of time chatting about the Common Core, how to align the curriculum to meet the standards, and the best instructional strategies to use in the classroom.  When we are not talking about education... we love to watch our girls play softball and cheer lead.  We also love to visit our parents in Florida and take family day trips to do all sorts of fun things!  I am so glad that my sister Karen convinced me to start a TPT store with her.  I truly enjoy working with my sister to create our TPT units.  It is great sister bonding time!  We are truly grateful for all of the wonderful people we have met through the TPT community.  Our TPT friends and followers make this hobby so much fun!!!

To celebrate our new collaborative adventure, The Primary Pack is hosting a giveaway with tons of fabulous prizes!

Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway AND here's our Close Read Columbus Day freebie!  Just click on the image!

 Hop along to meet our other bright bloggers and to grab a rainbow of freebies!