Take Me Back & A Freebie

Hello October.  I missed you.  Don't you feel the same?!

I took a break from blogging and whatnot to enjoy a very special Texas tradition...Antique Week in Round Top!  I spent a day there with the girls and another day there with my mom and her friend.  When it was all said and done, I ended up with a muddy pair of boots {my own}, two chairs, two quilts, some farmhouse decor, and great memories :

 Since I'm still trying to get into the swing of things...and get this house under control {ohmiword!!!}...I figured I'd post a little throwback post with a freebie.  October is my favorite teaching month and this is one of my favorite teaching themes!  Hope this helps you in some way!!


What is it about spiders that kids love SO much?!  When I busted out our graph to start our unit of study on arachnids, the kids went CRAZY.  In Abby’s words, 12 kinds of crazy.  They were SO excited!   I’m always floored by how much kids LOVE non-fiction.  It seriously surprises me every.single.year.  I see this with my own two boys.  The gravitate towards non-fiction books ALL.THE.TIME.  I love that.
We started our week with the question, “Are you afraid of spiders?!”  Me…notsomuch…unless they’re BIG and FURRY.  Gross.  They’re more creepy than scary and I say thanksbutnothanks.  My kids pretty much feel the same way.


I really try to give my kids as many hands-on, tangible experiences with different things as I possibly can to help them make connections.  This time around I let my kids make their own little spiderlings for pictograph making purposes.  They’re getting really good at identifying the difference between pictographs and bar graphs.  Soon enough, we’ll introduce pie graphs, too. 

spiderweek8  spiderweek9
All of our math and literacy stations were spider themed and the kids got such a kick out of it all.  I did a little shopping the week before last and bought these rockin’ little spider literacy units to spice up my stations.  IN.LOVE.
spider1  spider2

I used my Creepy or Cute math activities for math tubs.


I’m always taken aback at the differences in my kids from year to year.  This year my kids need LOTS of reinforcement with rhyming words.  I’ve been racking my brain on different ways to make rhyming fun, hands-on, and engaging…something that helps this concept STICK.  So I pulled out some old spider webs and went to town making a little hands-on activity for my kids to get tangled up in rhymes.  {See what I did there?! ;)}


I cut out a whole bunch of pictures and stuck them in the web.  I divided my class into two teams and told them that they would race to find the rhyming words.  Whichever team was able to find the rhyming word first got to add a piece to their spider.  Ultimately, the goal was to see which team could build a spider first.  This gave me an opportunity to reinforce key vocabulary from our spider study {thorax, abdomen} and practice identifying rhymes at the same time.  Plus, it gave me a chance to see which kids need more practice with this skill.



The kids had a BLAST.  You could’ve heard a pin drop.  We will definitely be spending more time on this skill in the weeks to come!!! 
We worked with Thinking Maps this week, too.  We gathered facts on our tree map all about what spiders are/can/have and then did a little non-fiction sentence prompt writing.  I like to ease my Kinders into the non-fiction writing process by providing writing prompts at the beginning so they can be successful with this while learning what I expect to see when they write for me.  Plus, it helps to organize their thinking…especially in the beginning.  I’m anxious to see how this skill progresses throughout the year!

spiderweek4spiderweek5 spiderweek6

Now I’m gearing up for the weeks ahead.  I’m sure y’all have been to the Dollar Tree lately and you’ve probably seen these…


Don’t ask, but this year my kids are seriously obsessed with zombies.  Random?  Yes.  Very.  That’s their choice of play on the playground.  A few of them write about zombies during writers workshop.  It kind of cracks me up thismuch.  ANYWAY…I found these little zombie eyes at the Dollar Tree and knew my kids would love to work with them…especially this time of year…so in to my cart they went.  And so did the little pumpkin ice cube trays…aka:  my October ten frames.


Basically, my kids are going to practice making 10.  They’ll roll a die.  Place the matching number of eyes in the tray.  And then determine how many more eyes they’ll need to make 10 altogether.  They.will.LOVE IT!!!!!  I hope my predictions are accurate :)  HA!!! 


Here’s a little recording sheet incase you want to add this to your math plans, too!  Just click on the pic to download.



  1. I love antiquing, yet sadly I never really get to buy anything as I always fall in love with the big pieces. Your spider things are super cute. I have your Cute or Creepy packet and it is fabulous! I bought it last year when I started Math Tubs for the first time. It was one of many math tub packets you make that I have bought. Thanks for making great things and awesome blog posts too!
    Bouncing Through Life in First

  2. Love the rhyming webs! Way adorable and so engaging. I wish we had antiquing events her in California. We just have antique stores and estate sales. I'm always jealous listing to people from the south and east and mid west that go to tons of auctions and events like yours.

  3. My students are begging me for zombie books including the walking dead graphic novels. Not sure why their parents are letting an 8 to 10 year old watch the show

  4. I love what you are doing with your zombie eyes! I bought the same ones and am using them in a different way. I picked up a little Frankenstein head box at the Dollar store and we play Zombie Eye Balls. I tell the kids how many zombie eye balls we have in all (10) and then have Frankenstein eat some (by slipping some inside the box). Students have to figure out how many he ate by looking at how many are left out of the box. It's a cuter version of the Penny Plate game we are supposed to play as part of our Everyday Math series (ugh!).


    The Teddy Bear Classroom