Tag: october

This month I took pictures of my outfits every day, not just on work days. So I have a rogues gallery of myself while sick (the 4 days in pajamas), wearing Adam’s McLaren shirt for Favorite Sports Team Day, in costume as Waldo, and sometimes even with Adam lurking in the background.

Read more on October Disguises…

I think I’m due for another Halloween booklist. This is such a great time of year for picture books, it’s definitely worth rounding up a few more since last year.

Zen Ghosts by Jon J. Muth (2010).

As far as I’m concerned, Stillwater the panda can do no wrong. Jon J. Moth’s Zen Shorts (2005) and Zen Ties (2008) are some of the most soothing, gentle, genius children’s books of the last five years. And now he’s written a Halloween story that sidesteps a lot of the gimmicks holiday stories fall into with a Stillwater ghost tale that is far more thoughtful than books for this age group tend to get.

After the trick or treating is finished, a mysterious storyteller arrives (is it Stillwater?) to tell Michael, Karl, and Addie a ghost story that we don’t realize is a ghost story until the last breath. And it succeeds in being beautiful and touching rather than scary, I think. A love story about a woman in 2 places at once. I think it’s every bit as strong a book as the first two Stillwater adventures, and I was surprised by how much the story of Senjo moved me. A standout, and not just in Halloween stories.

Read more on Halloween Books Vol. II…

It’s been a good, fall week. I’m really thrilled that the weather has finally dropped below 70. Boots and jackets season!

I made these paper bag “apples” with my Multiply Disabled class of kindergartners and 1st graders. We also read Salina Yoon’s Apples, Apples and Leaves, Leaves this week, which the kids liked. I’m having fun with my fall theme in this class, earlier in the season I taught them the “Fall Song” and made leaf cut-out drawings with them like I did with my pre-k kids last year.

I started putting out Halloween decorations at home. Mr. Ghost Potato Head has been in the Halloween rotation since we bought the house, but Pumpkin Pig and the spooky garland are new (from Target). Those hooks I accidentally permanently hung on the mantel for Christmas stockings our 1st year in the house are so handy year-round. Really! I also bought Ghost Pig, who is actually my favorite.

Read more on Some Fall Decorating…

I went to work today. I’m still feeling pretty terrible, but I just refused to be out a whole week. Adam worked from home so he could drive me to and from school (Best Husband Ever). And I managed, even though I’m back in bed now.

Read more on 4th Graders Are Awesome…

October is my favorite month of the year, hands down. And even though it’s still a week away, I thought it would be a great time to start planning! Nothing beats NYC in October, but if you live in the tri-state area here are some ideas to pack your weekends all over the place:

1. October 2nd, 2010.
Valley Shepherd Creamery Cheese Festival.

Last year I went to Valley Shepherd Creamery in Long Valley, NJ for their annual Sheep Shearing Festival (where I shot this photo of the sheep pre-haircut). We had a great time, but the thing that stuck with the most was the phenomenal cheese and butter made on site and sold in their country store. It is to die for, honestly.

So imagine how excited I was when my friend Meredith and I saw their stall at the Rutgers Farmers Market and heard about the Autumn Leaves Cheese Festival this fall. Wine/beer and cheese tastings, cheesewich and panini stations, and their incredible gelato? And it’s just $15 to get in? I will be there with bells on.

Read more on 5 Things to Do This October…

apple flannelboardI already posted about the first week of October with pre-k, here’s what’s been happening the rest of the month.

Pre-K and kindergarten at my school use Tools of the Mind as their curriculum, so this year I’ve been focusing (in pre-k especially) on lots of activities and movement. Last year I planned a month-long theme like I still do, and maybe one week we read 3 books, another week we did a craft, another we watched a movie, and another we read more books. After learning more about Tools of the Mind I discovered that I really needed to be varying this every week, with kids doing activities for 10 or 15 minutes at a time only in pre-k before transitioning to something new. So I’ve been changing it up.

Read more on This Month with Pre-K: Fall!…

first grade line drawingsYes, kindergarten and first grade had the same theme in October. But the two grades did completely different activities and books.

In first grade we started by reading Crockett Johnson’s classic Harold and the Purple Crayon and then the new Peter McCarty book Jeremy Draws a Monster. We had a big talk about all the ways drawing can help us open our imagination and make anything we want happen. We talked about how cool it was that Harold created his whole world with one crayon and only lines. I gave the kids paper and 1 single crayon and asked them what they would like to see happen if they drew just like Harold.

Read more on This Month with First Grade: Imagination!…

box drawingsThis month I did a unit with the kindergartners on using our imaginations. This tied in to what they were doing in class as well, so the timing was perfect.

I started out by reading them Antoinette Portis’s Not a Box and Not a Stick. Fabulous books, I was observed by my principal doing this lesson and she loved them. Then I gave each student a paper with a box on it, and we used our imaginations to make the box into whatever we wanted. They took those home, and we were off to a great start.

Read more on This Month with Kindergarten: Imagination!…

IMG_2446Is gorgeous for fall! I love it.

The weather is finally starting to feel like October again after a horrible last week of rain and cold. Now it’s back to being the Best Month Ever!

Read more on Our Tree…

I got my Halloween displays all ready this week, and I think they look great this year.

halloween front display

My main display at the front of the library. Love it! And so do the kids, they go right to it when they walk in the door.

Read more on October Displays in the Library…