Lat Minute Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

Sometimes I don’t get my act together in time to pull off the fabulous crafts that other teachers do. So here’s a collection of easy last-minute Thanksgiving crafts you can do with your class (or any kids):

Paper plate turkey! Click here for directions.


Paper loop turkey! Click here for directions.

But what if you’re tired of doing turkey this and turkey that. I hear you, my friend!
Try these non-turkey crafts:


How about a cute popsicle stick scarecrow? Click here for directions.


I absolutely loved this one! The Mayflower often gets forgotten among Thanksgiving crafts but this hand print Mayflower craft is too cute and too easy NOT to do! Get directions here.


Make a thankful leaf wreath (say that 3 times fast!).
Sorry, no directions available, but here’s where I found the photo.

Have any other ideas that need to be shared? Let me know! Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving Equivalent Percents & Decimals

Thanksgiving equivalents STICKERConverting percents and decimals is easy as PIE… especially around Thanksgiving! But seriously, practice makes perfect. For me as a young student, this was just something that eventually clicked one day; the more practice, the better. Here’s a page of practice with equivalent percents and decimals with a Thanksgiving theme.

Click here to download the page: Thanksgiving Pie Number Matching – decimal percent 2

What’s My Equation? Array Math Puzzles

Here’s a simple idea that one reader submitted. Cut out a bunch of paper fall leaves (or any seasonal shape, like snowflakes for winter, hearts for Valentine’s Day, etc.) and laminate them. Then attach a magnet to the back.

Fall Equations 1Then put an array up on your white board. Ask your students what equation is depicted. There will be more than one way to write the equation.

Fall Equations 2 Fall Equations 3

 

Then discuss the answers as a class. For younger grades, the answer could be “4+4+4 = 12″ or +3+3+3+3=12″, but for upper grades the answer could also include “4×3=12″ or “3×4=12″.Fall Equations 4This would make a great warm up for math lessons. Have any great ideas for building number sense? Send them to me at squareheadteachers at gmail dot com. :-)

Chef Printable & Recipe Writing Project

A friend of mine recently did a recipe writing project with her second graders. (Other teachers do a sequence writing piece about making a sandwich.) She asked me to make a simple printable that they could use to “publish” their writing projects. Here’s what I came up with:

Chef head

Click here to download: Chef Head Printable

The kids each drew their own face on the printable and then cut it out. Afterwards, they traced and cut out their hands so it would look like the paper chef was holding their writing project.  This made for an ADORABLE project!

Chef 1 Chef 2

Thanksgiving Number Match

Thanksgiving number matching STICKERStill working on matching numerals with word form numbers? Check out this simple page for kindergarten or first grade. Students write the numerals in the pie with the matching word form number. Enjoy!

Click here to download: Thanksgiving Pie Number Matching – younger grades

Tangrams Turkey (Pattern Blocks)

I was TOTALLY inspired by this picture:

Tangram Turkey 1(photo source)

Yes, it’s an adorable paper Thanksgiving craft. But it could be SO MUCH MORE! Imagine doing this with your 5th or 6th graders. You first tell them to make a turkey, using any shapes.

Tangram Turkey 2

Then after they’re done putting the shapes together (and BEFORE they glue on the turkey’s body), they have to figure out all the math characteristics of their project. Including:

  • number of triangles, rectangles, squares, trapezoids, etc.
  • Number of vertices, edges, etc.
  • acute, obtuse and right angles
  • And the list goes on!

 

Tangram Turkey 3Anyway, I thought this would be a cool way to merge math and art. Know of any other great Thanksgiving crafts or activities for kids? Let me know!

Minimize Distractions and Visual Clutter in Your Classroom

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Piles and clutter drive me crazy (in my classroom and my home)! And it’s not just physical clutter that I can’t stand. Visual clutter also bugs me. Here’s a super easy trick to hide stuff and minimize the visual clutter in your classroom.
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Use panel curtains and a tension rod to hide sections of a bookcase and other areas.  But more important than addressing my pet peeve, these curtains minimize the distractions in your classroom. If every inch of your classroom has multiple colors, shapes and patterns in view, your students will have a harder time concentrating on what you’re saying and showing them. I recommend choosing a solid color or light pattern for your fabric. It doesn’t have to be boring white, but it shouldn’t be super eye-catchy.  While it’s pretty trendy right now to pick a bright color scheme and use it in every pattern possible all over your room, think about what it does to your students who already have a harder time focusing. Kids only have so much focusing power in them, so help the focus on what’s really important (which probably isn’t your cute color scheme). :-)
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How have you minimized the visual clutter in your classroom? Send me a picture (squareheadteachers at gmail dot com) and I’ll post it here to share with other teachers. Thank you!

Reading Groups Named After Pets

I’ve heard all kinds of debate about whether to name leveled groups using colors, animals, etc. One year, my guided reading groups were all animals, which I didn’t think would be a problem. But I had a fellow teacher criticize my naming of groups because “6th graders are too old for animal groups.”
A friend showed me this idea that I really like. The reading groups were named after pets that the teacher had owned over the years. One of the pets was a dog named coco. The group wasn’t called “the Cocos”, but were called “Coco’s Team”  or “Team Coco” so that the students were team members rather than animals.  (Since the theme was pets, the teacher also chose a weekly “Top Dog Reader” to spotlight good work or improvement.)
Reading Group Names
I thought this would be a clever way to help your students get to know you while helping with the group naming situation. I’m definitely trying this in the future.
Have a great idea? Send it to me (squareheadteachers at gmail dot com) and I’ll post it so other teachers can benefit. Thanks!