Celebrating October (plus a "Spiders" Freebie)

Here are some days to remember this October with a few quick ideas for the classroom.  (Don't forget your freebie at the end!)

October 2: National Custodial Worker Day Perfect time to practice letter writing AND to practice showing gratitude for all our school custodians do.

October 5: Do Something Nice Day I don't know why we need a special day to do this, but it might be a fun journal topic. "Tell about a time someone did something nice for you and a time when you did something nice for someone."  

October 9: Fire Prevention Day For older kids, discuss the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which is the event remembered on this day.  Some older students may have read the I Survived #11: The Great Chicago Fire, 1871.
There are many great books for younger students, also.  Here is a quick list: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/36691.Children_s_Books_about_Firefighters_and_Fire_Safety

October 12: Columbus Day (Check out www.teacherspayteachers.com for some great free and priced Columbus Day products.)

October 16: Dictionary Day This is the birthday of Noah Webster.  Ask your students to think of some words that are in the dictionary today that probably weren't there in 1806. (Examples: tweet, hashtag, selfie, man cave)

October 24: Make a Difference Day  Check out this link: http://makeadifferenceday.com

October 28: National Plush Animal Lover's Day Obviously, bring your favorite stuffed animal to school!

October 29: National Frankenstein Day How about this journal prompt for today?  "Create your own monster.  Describe what it looks like, how it behaves and tell what you will do with your new friend."

October 31: Halloween  Find my free Spider activities below!

October Writing Center: Grades 3-5
October Reading Passages: Grades 2-4
Spiders: Grades 3-5

Free Spider Activities: Grades 2-5


Remembering Yogi Berra in the Classroom

     Yogi Berra, the famous New York Yankee baseball player from the 1950’s died recently leaving many people who loved him feeling his loss to both the game of baseball and to our American way of life.
     When he was alive, “Yogi-isms,” or things he said to describe how he felt, became famous.  Baseball fans and many others, when they couldn’t find a better way to explain how life was treating them, would quote Yogi.
     While some of his sayings are a little confusing and you might even have to stop and think for a second to guess what Yogi meant when he said them, repeating them makes us feel just a little better when we are frustrated or upset.
     Yogi loved children. He and his wife raised three boys.  Two of them played professional baseball like their father and a third son played professional football.  

     So, in honor of the great Yogi Berra who passed away on September 22, try out some "Yogi-isms" with your students. Use them as a fun journal warm up.  Choose one and have students figure out the humor/irony/meaning behind his quote.  Have them choose their favorite "Yogi-ism" and explain why they like it.  Or, just have some fun with your class, reading them aloud. For example, one of Yogi’s favorite sayings and one he probably said to his sons many times was, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” Yogi meant it’s good to plan and dream about your own life. Ask your students what their dreams are and how they plan to realize them. Where do they want to go?

Here are a few more to share with your students:
For math class, try these:
"Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical."
"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I am not hungry enough to eat six."
"Pair up in threes."

Prefixes, Suffixes/Synonyms/Vocabulary
"He hits from both sides of the plate.  He's amphibious."
"I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did."
"You can observe a lot by watching."
"If you can't imitate him, don't copy him."

More great Yogi-isms:
"It ain't over til it's over."
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it."

"Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."
"The future ain't what it used to be."
"Half the lies they tell me aren't true."

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