13 October 2013

Spider Week!

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.


I’ll be back tomorrow with my visual plans.  We have a holiday tomorrow so I’m still working on them  :)  If you feel like doing a little shopping in the meantime, TpT is celebrating 100K+ FB likes and is throwing a 10% sitewide sale {‘til midnight tonight} to celebrate.  My whole shop is 20% off, too! 


Happy Sunday Funday!


  1. Omigosh the eyeballs are too cool! My kiddos would flip over those! Adding Dollar Tree to my to-do list!

  2. What in the world, my kids are all about Zombies this year too!!! They play on the playground and everything. Haha. Love your eyeball tens-frame friend. So clever!! I need to cart myself over to the Dollar Tree and see what goodies I can dig up too. :)

    ❤ -Stephanie
    Falling Into First

    1. I mean, seriously...what in the world is this zombie craze all about?!?!? HA!!! Cracks me right up!!!!

  3. I tried to use the fblook code for the extra 10% off and it didn't work! :(

    1. Sorry Sara! That looks wrong!! It's actually fb100k. I need to go back in & change that!!! Thanks girl!!!

  4. My students also love playing zombies. Some have written about them in their journals. Some of the pictures are so detailed! I think they are watching The Walking Dead with their parents! I LOVE the show but it is definitely not appropriate for children.

  5. My kids have a zombie obsession too! I have a boy in my class this year that likes to "collect" spiders. He keeps sticking them in this clear toy tool box in the classroom. I hate spiders and I am seriously afraid of them. Now every time he says my name my eye starts twitching because I think he is bringing me a spider. Lol

  6. Your spiders are amazing - if only I was that crafty! Doesn't everything seem more fun during the holidays?

    Love to Learn

  7. That eyeball activity is just genius! Thank you for sharing it, my kids will LOVE it. They love playing zombies on the playground too-they always look over at me like is she going to say something--but it's actually less dangerous than the way they play tag, so I really don't mind. :)


  8. LOVE the eyeball ten frames! Adding Dollar Tree to tomorrow's "to-do"....your spiders are adorable too! Thanks again! =)

    A+ Firsties

  9. I always go to the Target Dollar Spot and then forget about the Dollar Tree! Ahhh I need to go ASAP! Even some of my firsties have trouble with rhyming. They would benefit from your tangled up rhyming game too! I will have to remember that are/can/have chart for nonfiction summarizing. Love it! I think over the summer I am going to redo the way I do things in the classroom. We just got a new reading series this year, but I don't really like it. There is so much that we are supposed to do, that there is barely enough time to really practice our skills. I already supplement a lot with more meaningful activities. Next year, I think I am going to get away from the series/basal and implement Daily 5 (once I read the book!). This year is just to busy for me to reorganize with grad school finishing up and my wedding :). Thanks for the inspiration to take the next big step tho! :)

    Tales of a #teachernerd

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  11. I have the same pumpkin ten frames and eye balls. I used them in my classroom last year and I just put them back in my math tubs for tomorrow! I thought the eye ball cards I created last year were cute until I saw your worksheet! I love it. I love all of your spider things too!

    Yeehaw! Teaching in Texas

  12. I bought those same zombie eyes a few weeks ago. They have been sitting under my desk until I figure out exactly how I want to use them!
    The Blessed Teacher

  13. Just bought the eyeballs and trays!! I saw them there a week ago and wondered what I could use them for. Can't wait to use this activity this week. My kiddos are right into Star Wars...with imaginary swords and all!

    Thanks again for sharing!!

    First Grade Lyons' Den

  14. I love the eyeballs and trays!

  15. I adore that eye ball worksheet and activity! I have recently checked out your other blog and think it is awesome! I am having a giveaway on my blog. Come and see!

    Keep Calm and Apple On

  16. I swear I SCOURED Dollar Tree last week and didn't find anything that inspired me. You must have an eye for these things!! I went back tonight and bought the trays and eyeballs, and just downloaded your worksheet. Thanks for the freebie! I have so many of your things in my classroom now and I've told my kids that "another sweet teacher named Mrs. Carroll" makes these things for them to use- they always treat the materials so nicely when they think someone else made them especially for them!! So now they always ask me "Did you get this from Mrs. Carroll?" HA!

  17. Are the cute non-fiction writing pieces for Spider's and Bat's "are, have, can" included in your packages somewhere?
    Thanks! Everything is always so nicely put together! I love it all and your great ideas! Do you ever sleep? : )

  18. LOVE your stuff!!! scoop it up all the time!!! Are the spider "are,have, can" available anywhere? inquiring mind needs to know. HA!

  19. Hi Cara. I enjoy your blog very much! You have such great ideas. I would love a copy of your counting by tens turkey template from the Mailbox magazine when you get a chance.

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