Halloween Treats ~ A Resource Round-up!

I am really excited to share this "resource round-up" with you! It's full of brain breaks, book recommendations, freebies, and more. Let's get started!

Do you Symbaloo?? I love using Symbaloo to organize our favorite brain breaks. One of our most popular classroom leadership jobs is the Class DJ. The Class DJ gets to pick out our brain breaks each day, and they often like to choose a quick song or dance video.

As Halloween approaches, I thought it would be a great idea to keep our seasonal brain breaks all in one spot, but separate from the songs we tend to use every day. So I made a separate Symbaloo just for our October Brain Breaks! You can access the board by clicking directly on the link below! (Thanks to Hollie for letting me know it didn't quite work the first time!) 

By using Symbaloo to keep them all in one spot, I'm not hunting down a video on You Tube every time we take a break. I can also control what the kids have access to this way!

As always, watch the videos yourself to make sure they are appropriate for your own students. The videos on top are Just Dance clips (my students' favorites!) and the clips on the bottom are better sing-a-long videos.

How about a BRAND NEW freebie to kick things off?? 

I just posted the Primer level of my SPLAT! sight word game for FREE on Teachers Pay Teachers. If you'd like to see the all five Dolch levels, check out the full game by scrolling below.

Next up is a super-fun center I made for my kids a few years ago. They were really struggling with rhyming concepts, and our poetry lessons were becoming increasingly frustrating for all of us. The vocabulary is perfect for 2nd and 3rd graders, and it really helped my ESOL kiddos to "hear" what rhyming sounded like. After practicing in isolation for a week or so, they were able to apply it to the poems we read each week. 

You can grab it from TpT by clicking on the image above. I would love a little feedback if you think your kids will enjoy it!

I also recently featured this freebie sampler, but in case you missed it - click here or on the picture below to grab a set of sample lessons for The Ugly Pumpkin! 

You can also check out the rest of the unit for my FAVORITE fall book!

Who doesn't love a new book to read at Halloween? My book-loving heart would get so disappointed when my kids would sigh and say, "We read that in second grade!" 

Last year, I gathered up 5 books your students (hopefully) haven't heard yet! Click on the picture above to check them out. The books I selected are perfect for 2nd and 3rd graders. I've included non-fiction, chapter books, and picture book favorites. 

I also have a few spooky resources of my own to share with you! 

They will all be 20% off through Sunday, October 23rd... including my Ugly Pumpkin unit! 

Apply the Adjective {Halloween Edition} is one of my students' favorite ways to practice using expressive words and phrases to describe a given noun. There are differentiated practice pages they will love completing after playing! 

If you're unable to use Halloween-themed resources, you can also check out Apply the Adjective {Fall Edition}

Creepy Contractions is another resource you can use to have some seasonal fun without connecting it directly to Halloween. :) I've included a poem with different response options, anchor charts, interactive foldables, and a differentiated matching game you can use according to your students' readiness and abilities! 

SPLAT! is a complete Dolch sight word game I made last year for my intervention groups. I love that I can have everyone playing at once, based on their sight word strengths and weaknesses. There are also various recording sheets that encourage students to practice using the words in context. The sets are easy to keep separated, as each Dolch level has its own background scheme. 

Want to make sure you stay up-to-date with my favorite October find for the classroom? Follow my October Classroom Pinterest board - LOTS of freebies, resources and fun ideas for your classroom! 


The Ugly Pumpkin: A Fall Mentor Text

The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz is a book you can carry across October and November, and I have the best time reading it to my kids each year. It is perfect for teaching readers how to examine a character's actions, traits, and motivations. I usually spend a whole week with this book, and slowly scaffold character actions, traits, and motivations as we go. 

I'm so excited for you to find so many fall mentor texts today. Some friends and I have gathered our favorites, along with an amazing collection of lesson ideas.{There are affiliate links in this post in case you're like me, and can't wait a week to get a copy! :)} 


Before reading, I always do a quick review on what it means to think about someone's actions. We use a piece of chart paper to make a list of the things we've done since we arrived that day. 

Once we've got a good list, I ask them to keep track of the ugly pumpkin's actions as we read today. Someone almost always realizes they are listening for verbs that tell us what the ugly pumpkin is doing. :) 


The kids are listening for actions, and afterwards we go over the day's reading response. You may want to fill in an example (or two) with them. I really emphasize writing in complete sentences because they'll be expected to do the same as the week progresses. 

I don't worry too much about the page numbers, but I included it when I made this unit because this is a book I have multiple copies of. :) 


In the days that follow, we move on to examine a character's motivations and traits. 

What my students and I love about these lessons is that each written response builds on information we gathered about the character the day before. All they have to do is transfer the information to make the connection. I encourage them to go back to the previous day's response to get their assignment started. 

I love re-reading this book each day. But if you are going to be out, or you just aren't feeling up to a reread, I did find this cute video on YouTube! :) 

It's less than 2 minutes long - perfect for a quick review! 

On Day Four, we connect everything together in a sentence frame response. I love being able to have them go back to this activity when they begin to write responses about characters using their independent books in the weeks and months ahead. 

As I was looking through this pack, I decided to add on an extra day where I could invite the students to step into the character's shoes. I can't wait to try these responses out in the next week or so. I think I'm going to use them to create a fun hallway display and have the kids mount them on construction paper. 

I've included a sample of the activities in this unit in an EXCLUSIVE freebie sampler pack. Just sign up below to grab your own download! 

Exclusive Fall Freebie!

Subscribe to get a FREE sampler from my Ugly Pumpkin unit!
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    If you'd like to know more about the rest of the activities in this pack,  keep reading! 

    This 40+ page unit includes:

    • ALL of the printables featured in this post
    • three different center options
    • interactive notebook pages for retelling or sequencing
    •  a mystery phrase activity
    •  and an Ugly Pumpkin writing craftivity! 

    You can find it on TpT - it's on sale for a limited time! Click HERE or on the image below to grab it! 

    Make sure you check out the rest of the fall mentor text lessons and snag the freebies we're sharing with you this week. 

    Stop by the rest of The Reading Crew's posts to continue gathering phenomenal ideas for fall mentor texts! 

    An InLinkz Link-up

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