October 2023 - Amber from TGIF (Third Grade is Fun)

5 Easy Thanksgiving Ideas and Activities in the Classroom

The school year always seems so rushed each year and by November we are ALL ready for some down time. Thanksgiving should not only be a time of giving and being grateful, but also a time just to slow down, relax a bit, and look for the blessings, including the classroom.

Giving thanks for our students and their hard work can look like:


    Many students have never tried eating pumpkin, so this is great opportunity for them to try! (Of course, make sure that your students have no allergy issues first.) Buying a bag of salted and roasted pumpkin seeds is super simple and easy to give each student a few to try. Or add some math skills by making Pumpkin Pie in a Bag. Check out this free recipe that is a great way to get some real life math measuring skills in!


    This doesn't have to be fancy! Show students how to trace their hand and let them color their own unique turkey. Or go outside and pick out some leaves to do some color rubbings. If you would like to incorporate some math and need some print and go resources, check out these cute 3-D turkeys!


I absolutely LOVE playing nature "fly-over" videos with calm relaxing music in the background while we complete tasks! The video I have linked below comes from Tim Janis' YouTube channel. It is so relaxing and helps my students focus!

I played these often while students were working on completing a worksheet, reading a book of their choosing or on those days where we needed it, COLORING! These November Multiplication Coloring Sheets are the perfect combination of practicing multiplication strategies and just relaxing and coloring. Bonus: They are differentiated!


    Some days we just need that (teachers and the students). We get so busy making sure the kids are educated, differentiated, accommodated, and all, that we forget that we ALL NEED SOME DOWN TIME! The day before a holiday break, a movie and popcorn was my go to! I used the time to connect with the kids a bit, straighten up the room, lay out some materials for after the break and if I could sneak it in, do a bit of lesson planning or grading.


    I'm not going to lie, this can be a bit bananas, but OH the MEMORIES you will make!!! I usually would have some of my games be educational games that we were already playing in class anyway (because I wouldn't have to review the rules), some card games (like Multiplication War - free directions or UNO) and some easy games like Candyland (it may seem babyish, but I guarantee they will still love it).

These are the moments your students will remember in your classroom. Slow down this Thanksgiving and allow the magic of memories to be created in your classroom.
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Making Math Meaningful and Engaging with Crafts

In upper elementary classrooms, math becomes more challenging and worksheets are necessary at times, but boring. To mix things up, math crafts can provide a fun and engaging way for teachers to explore math concepts with their students while making the lesson more meaningful for students. 

Why should teachers use math crafts?

  • Hands-on learning: Math crafts provide a great opportunity for students to get hands-on and really engage with the material. By exploring concepts like fractions, geometry, and measurement in a concrete way, students are more likely to retain information and make connections with the real world.
  • Creativity: Who says math can't be creative? By incorporating art into math lessons, students can express their creativity while learning. Math crafts can be used to create geometric shapes, symmetry, and patterns, which can help students develop their spatial reasoning skills and enhance their problem-solving abilities.
  • Collaboration: Math crafts are a fantastic way to promote teamwork and collaboration in the classroom. When students work together on a math craft project, they can communicate their ideas and work towards a common goal. This can help build a sense of community in the classroom and improve social skills.

By promoting hands-on learning, creativity, and collaboration, math crafts can help students develop a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and enhance their problem-solving abilities. 


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