Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tricks and Treats Blog Hop, Freebie, and Giveaway!

So happy to be joining up with the Elementary Entourage for the Tricks and Treats Blog Hop! I have some great tricks and treats in store for you to help make your October and Halloween Celebrations Easy Peasy! I've included some teaching tips and tricks, treat ideas, freebies, and a giveaway for a choice of one product from my TpT store. 

 Tricks and Treats Blog Hop

One trick I've used among many to encourage my students to practice their multiplication and division facts is holiday themed math flash cards! My students love using these rather then the plain flash cards I print for them to practice with for homework. You can have students make their own fact family sentences using my FREEBIE sampler with the blank cards or opt for the ready-made flashcards included in the complete product. You can also have students color their fact family cards and string them up for a math and holiday-themed banner! These have been great for my math center time games as my students start multiplication in October then division in November so I'm covered for two months with these fun flashcards. 

 Candy Corn Multiplication Division Fact-Family Flashcards

Here's another teaching trick or tip that I use to motivate my students in writing. Student gets to make their own Pop-Up Haunted House and write a spooky story to accompany it. There is a customizable haunted house where students can pick which graphics they will include or a pre-made haunted house with all graphics included already. My students were really excited to get to chose their own graphics to include behind the windows and doors they cut open. The only thing is that I found out it takes so much longer for students to cut, color and glue so many pieces. It's great if you have time to spend an hour on art, but if you don't I have provided a second option where after coloring they just glue the back paper to the haunted house they already cut open and that's it! Graphics are already placed to appear through the windows and doors as well as additional ones on the front that you see pictured below. Don't forget that students will still need time to write a narrative story about their haunted house.  I just broke my lesson into two days to make it manageable because I wanted my students to have plenty of time to do the art and their stories. Another option is to have students write picture stories. In place of character names, they can put even smaller graphics that I've included in duplicate sets.

 Pop-Up Haunted House Craftivity and Spooky Story Writing Paper

Pop-Up Haunted House Graphics


My students would get so excited when I told them they would be eating dirt pudding on Halloween over the past years. My student's parents would also donate all the ingredients needed to make this fun dessert for parent hours. However last year our school adopted a healthy snack policy and this year they are pushing towards only healthy items for classroom celebrations and birthdays too. While it's hard to depart from fun treats in the classroom it has led me to think outside the box. Last year, I came up with these! If you check Pinterest there are some additional healthy snacks you can serve for Halloween but they involve more time to prepare. What makes this easy is that there is no prep for the teachers and kids get to decorate their very own clementine "pumpkin" with food safe pens or sharpies!

Now if your school doesn't celebrate Halloween or you happen to have some students who don't  participate for religious reasons, I use this activity that I found thanks to Pinterest. My students got to chose between doing the haunted house activity or this great fall activity. It was actually quite easy to dye the pumpkin seeds and since I basically live in a desert they dried fairly quickly outside in the sunshine only taking about 4 hours. I think drying them overnight might be best just to be safe since a few were still damp. I also changed out the paper towels underneath the seeds after 15 minutes and put down new towels. Now on to the directions for dying. First, I boiled some water and added it to each cup of seeds until they were covered. Then, I added two tablespoons of vinegar each followed by 5 drops of dye. I stirred and let it sit for about 30 minutes before draining and drying the seeds.  I found the pattern for the tree via this blog. I just right clicked and saved the images there then added them to PowerPoint, resized them and printed them. Another important tip that I learned when I tried this the first time was to make sure to use unsalted dried pumpkin seeds as salt inhibits the seeds from absorbing the dye fully. Oncethe seeds are dry let students glue them their paper trees that have been cut out and mounted on paper.

Dyed Pumpkin Seed Fall Trees Craft

Finally one more treat for you!!  I hope you enjoy the quick giveaway below. Please keep in mind that emails entered to access the giveaway will be auto-subscribed to my blog newsletter which you can unsubscribe from any time. I promise to keep your emails safe and secure. I will only be sending newsletters a few times a year to share monthly blog posts, that include giveaways, and exclusive freebies I have for subscribers only. Some upcoming freebies in the works include behavior management tools using Whole Brain Teaching. 

Thank you for participating!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for linking up with my first Teacher Tuesday link up party! I have pinned both your freebie and your fun pumpkin seed craft. I hope you get some traffic from both. It would be great to see you back next week with another blog post! =)
    ~Heather aka HoJo~

  2. Great giveaway! Thanks so much! xo