Friday, October 16, 2015

Five for Friday October 16

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Thank you for hosting, Kacey! 

It was a short week-because we had Monday off, but still- I was SO tired this week. Good thing I'm not a mannequin... cause... this would be me. 

Anyway, we had so much fun making our cat cookies!  It's always a favorite day.  The kids love reading the recipe. It's another great way to let the kids see how reading is important- because in this case it turns into something delicious!  We  read Millions of Cats before we made the cookies.  That's always a favorite for the children, too.  I'm always surprised, because the pictures are black and white, and small to see- but maybe it's just the idea of all those cats!  

I take a picture of each child and his/her cookie after it's made, and staple it to this "recipe" to send home.  The paper also has the QR code for the story on it, so they can listen to it again at home.  If you would like a copy of this, just click on the picture!

I always use the Archway cookies.  They come in a package 10 for $1, in the cookie aisle- and are sturdy enough that they don't break as the kids frost them.

This recipe is one of my QR Code Writing Prompts in this packet.  (I also have an actual "writing" prompt for Millions of Cats, too, in the packet, but for this activity, we used it as a reading activity to read the recipe!

To add to our cookie theme day, we also read The Cow Loves Cookies, by Karma Wilson.  I love her books.  This is a fun book when you see why the cow loves cookies! (The cow gives the farmer milk, and the farmer shares his cookies with the cow. Sweet...)  If you would like the writing prompts I used for this book, just click the picture below.  I made 3 different prompts for this book.  

This time of year, the writing is coming slowly. I can see it coming along! I am so happy to see some letters and attempts at sentences. SO HAPPY!  It's fun to watch the writing grow as the year progresses.  

This is part of my Author Studies QR Code and Writing Prompt packet.  

I use writing prompts all the time.  It is such a great way to have your students make inferences about the stories, cite evidence from the text to support their answers, summarize key details and ideas, and hit the standards with some purposeful writing.  I just love them. Plus, it's so handy to have them all done and ready to go with the book you're reading.  They're great for sub plans, too.  And the QR  codes make it so much more fun!

The packet also includes my Author Prezi, which I use all the time, too.  It's got lots of videos and information to teach about the different authors we use in kindergarten all the time.

We had so much fun comparing spooky book this week.  I used these  two books for our comparison:

I told the children to be using their eagle eyes and great listening ears to notice what was the same (and different)  in both books we would read.  We started by noticing the covers of both books, and how they were the same and different.  We tried to decide which one would be most scary.  Spoiler Alert:  Turns out, the kids picked the second one- when really, inside the box at the end of the story, that one had a cute little mouse, while the first one had a monster! 

We didn't make a chart to compare/contrast.  At this time of the year, the chart is too much sometimes.  We just talked about the books. First we turned and talked about some things that were the same.  We are just getting pretty good at our turn and talks! Then we shared the things we found the same (both had cats, hallways, stairs, boxes, houses...). We did the same with differences.

We did make a graph to see which book everyone liked best.  (The second book won by 9 votes!) The kids said they liked the spooky pictures in it.   Every time we make a graph, it's such great practice for our more, less, how many more questions.  My kids are getting so good at matching up one side with the other- and seeing that counting the ones left with no matches  tell us  how many more.  


Here are a few other books that would work well for this comparison, too. We read The Glow in the Dark Spooky House just for fun later in the afternoon. It was hard to get the room dark enough to really see it glow- (BUT- my one little guy has a glow-in-the-dark cast on his arm, so seeing that was maybe the best part of all.)  The kids were so excited to see that there was a... BLACK CAT in this book, too!  More connections.  They are everywhere!

I don't have The Spooky Old House, but I DO have The Spooky Old Tree, and the kids always love it. 
I didn't even KNOW there was a Spooky Old House... where have I been?

To go along with this theme, we followed up with a little counting activity.  I made LOTS of these papers with different numbers (I laminated them so I can use them year to year- but you wouldn't have to at all!), and LOTS of lima bean ghost counters.  I put the papers all over the tables.  The children counted the correct number of ghosts for each house at their table.  They all checked each other. Then, I had them put the ghosts back in the middle of the table.  When I flashed the spooky lights, they switched to the next table, and counted ghosts for each of those houses.  We have three tables, so we did this three times.  They loved it- and didn't even realize all the counting practice they were getting!

We also use the lima bean ghosts with Jack-O-Lantern erasers (from the Dollar Tree) to make patterns.

This is the paper I used from Free Printables for Kids.   I covered the windows for another activity (I think I had them draw things looking out the windows.) But for the ghosts, it would be cute leaving it just like it is.

Look at this  darling   really spooky haunted house from I Heart Crafty Things!  The kids would have a ball drawing behind all the windows!

To finish off our spooky day in a delicious way, we sorted bones, and built and labeled our skeleton!  Mary from Sharing Kindergarten made this adorable activity to go along with Cheetos Bag of Bones! 

                                   Dem Bones {Bag of Bones Freebie File}

 I found the Cheetos at Walmart - 2 bags for $5.  They had a big display of them.

I sorted the Cheetos into individual bags before I gave them to the kids so I made sure everyone had a skull, ribs, 4 bones, and 4 hands/feet.  Then I put in some random extras for sorting.  

You'll notice you have lots of skulls and ribs-  but those Cheetos bones and hands are pretty precious. 

 I was happy with any sounds the children put down!  Most of them tried to at least get the beginning sounds - and some had some ending sounds!

 These little cheesy thumbs-up show that this activity was a success!

We read Skeleton Meets the Mummy that I'd gotten from Scholastic.

Skeleton Meets the Mummy

and danced a little to keep with the theme...

Humbug Witch  has been around for a while, but  it's still available at Amazon. It is a sweet story about a little witch who doesn't have any luck with things witches are supposed to be able to do. The books is fabulous for descriptions.  It would be an awesome study for adjectives.  Here are some sample pages to show you:

 Finally, she gives up, and takes everything off, one thing at a time...

The first few pages of this book would be wonderful to read to the children, without having them see the pictures, having them listen and illustrate using the descriptive words from the text.  This is a great introduction for children to realize that they can picture illustrations in their own minds, without seeing pictures, just by using descriptive words that are written in the book.  

Thank you so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Your bag of bones Cheeto activity is adorable!
    The cat cookies are too! I love classroom "cooking" since it naturally integrates procedural writing and ordinal numbers.

    1. Thank you for writing, Hannah! The kids had so much fun with those Cheetos! Of course! ha! I love teaching with food, too- it makes things memorable! :)

  2. Well, Miss Carolyn...thank you for next week's lesson plans AGAIN! You're amazing!!!!!

  3. I wish I was in your class because everything you do is so much fun!!!!! Have a great weekend!!!

    A Sunny Day in First Grade

    1. Sarah, I feel the exact same way about you- so let's teach together! Can you imagine?! :)

  4. Those cat biscuits are adorable! We cook/bake/make once a week with our kiddos and they LOVE it. There are so many learning opportunities to be had with cooking! Love that you link a story to it as well though. OMG that song - we play it EVERY year, our kids love it and dance along to it, we even play it in our School Halloween disco LOL it's a firm favourite, there's an app on the iPad for it too. Love that Witch book! I have loved reading your Five for Friday you have so many fabulous ideas!

    Teaching Autism

    1. Thank you SO much! I'll be thinking of you every time we play that song- over and over and over! :)


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