Saturday, November 1, 2014

Five for Saturday!

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone when I say how happy I was that Halloween was on a Friday! I'm tired but  hoping that my little buddies had a blast.
I'm linking up for five for Friday on Saturday.

I can't remember the last time I posted a Five for Friday on a Friday...I've been very busy lately and neglecting my blog, so here goes. I don't have much because my camera wasn't charged. 
Tough toasties, as we say in my 5 year old world.

We tried Carolyn Kisloski's magic pumpkin. If you haven't read her post about this adorable idea, you really need to. It's so much fun!
You cut the  bottom out of a pumpkin, stuff it with candy and put the bottom back on with toothpicks.
Anywho, I changed it up a little and had our amazing principal come in and get the kids all excited about carving a magic pumpkin with her. She waved her hands over the pumpkin as the kids said some magic words. They were into it, I tell you!
Once she had them all worked up, she very carefully began to carve the lid. Of course she had trouble because it was loaded with candy! She made her way around the top and as she lifted the lid the candy was revealed.
We were all aghast and then mayhem ensued!
Mission accomplished.
She pulled it off perfectly and managed to quiet them down before she left.
Thankfully, she taught preschool, kinder, and first for many years and has all the quiet down tricks mastered.
If they didn't already think she was magical, they're sure of it now.
Thank you, Carolyn for another amazing idea!

I couldn't let the principal have all the fun, so I started the day off with "The Little Orange House" by Jean Stangl. I found this version on Skip to My Lou. org on Pinterest. She did a great job of explaining this wonderful activity.
I've told this story for years and highly recommend it as a great way to begin your Halloween day. My kids think it's magic and the oohs and ahhhs are precious.
I wanted them to be able to tell the story at home, so I made a cheat sheet for them. It's nothing fancy but they were so excited to give it a try!

We've been learning about spiders so when the staff decided to have a door contest this was an easy idea! Here's our door:

Notice the big tear by the door lock. Who forgets to cut a section out for the door handle?

We spent the week noticing that many of our nonfiction books had inaccurate illustrations of spiders.
So, I taught them how to draw a spider correctly.
Aren't these two great?

I'm not sure you can see all the erase marks. It was a tough directed art lesson and I have to be honest and tell you that most kids had at least 16 legs!
We'll trace with never come off pens (kinderese for permanent pens) and paint with watercolors.
This is my favorite spider art activity found on

we did this in kindergarten and they turned out beautifully! thanks for a great idea.

This next idea comes from Heidi Butkus and her wonderful blog. I read her posts every chance I get and I send my parents to read them as well.
She did a great post about homework and I particularly loved this idea about RAN(Rapid Automatic Naming boards) boards.

She uses them as homework to help kids practice sounding out words. Parents are supposed to mark down whenever they practice and then send the sheet back.
I really think this is a great idea and started using them each week for the tricky words and CVCs in their stories. It's the first thing we practice as they sit down for guided reading and it has worked like a charm. I'm now sending them home for homework and have seen great improvement!
Thank you, Heidi!!!!!

My new aprons are finally posted.
They are available for preorder now and will be shipped by November 15th, in time for the holidays!

Happy weekend everyone!
It rained all night here!
Woot woot!

Here comes November!

baby's first thanksgiving turkey hat.
Here's the little poem, written by an unknown author (oh, dear), that the kids love (it's also a great opportunity to teach the word no!).

No green grass
No blue skies
No bare feet going by
No birds
No bees
No leaves on trees


  1. I always just love your posts. I feel like we are having a little conversation together over coffee. (WISH!) I always love your "Kinderese" talk... never come off pens! :) So glad your kids were WOWED by the magic pumpkin. That's something I hope they always remember!

    1. We have a mutual admiration thing! I wish you lived next door and we could have coffee on the wrap around porch! Thank you for always writing a comment on my posts. It would be pretty lonely without you! Happy Sunday!

  2. Your door came out super cute! I love the new aprons. I am a little behind on my blog reading and so wish I had seen the magic pumpkin idea earlier. Sounds like your kiddos really enjoyed it. That will be on my list for next year for sure! Thanks for sharing.

    Luv My Kinders

    1. Thank you for commenting! Yes, the pumpkin is a MUST!

  3. Hi Sandy ! I heart "The Little Orange" house story. I forgot all about that. Thanks for the reminder! Your aprons are to die for. I hope that you "fell back" and got an extra hour of rest. I have been nominated for a Liebster Award and now I'm sharing the love. Your blog is officially nominated! Here is the link with all the information you need.…/currently-and-liebster-award.html

  4. So, Bren, I had to think about the Liebster for a day or so. I have to decline the honor as I have already been nominated twice. I am touched that you thought of me, but it seems wrong to participate for the third time. Thank you so very, very much. You made my day.

  5. Great post, Sandy. I love the magic pumpkin idea and must have missed it on Carolyn's blog. Thanks for posting again. And the storyteller side of me loves cut and tell stories-- but I hadn't heard the pumpkin house one before. I do a draw and tell story that I made up-- I'll have to post on that next year. And we continue to love your apron... so funny when they come in in the morning, see me in the apron and say, I want to read you Mrs. Wright :) See you around. Kathleen
    Kidpeople Classroom