October 20, 2019

8 Tricks To Get Your Students To Pay Attention In October

Sometimes I think teaching in October is more challenging than December! Most kids love Halloween and the excitement that comes with it. I seem to forget this every year until the middle of October when the kids start acting a little crazy  daydreaming more than usual.



Why not fit in a few fun, but educational activities that just may trick the kids into learning?! The kids will look forward to the special October activities and you will too!

Halloween Classroom Ideas For Math


1. Musical Math

Print out any drill worksheet (such as multiplication facts) for each student. Place a worksheet on each student's desk face down. At your signal, students turn the paper over and begin answering the problems. After about 20 seconds, play some October/Halloween music. When students hear the music, they get up and move/dance about the classroom. When the music stops, students sit anywhere and begin working on anyone's worksheet until they hear the music again. Continue until most of the worksheets are finished. Give students time to check answers on their own paper and fix any errors they find.

My favorite songs to play in October for this activity are
One-Eyed Purple People Eater
Adams Family Theme
Monster Mash


2. Graphing With Autumn Mix Candy



 halloween-math


 halloween-math

Grab some autumn mix candy from the dollar store and help your students make a graph on blank graph paper or grab an inexpensive time-saving printable here: 

Halloween Graphing Activity

Halloween Classroom Ideas For English Language Arts


1. Read The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

Seriously. I look for any excuse to read a picture book! Students love the repetition, and I pause to let them make the sounds during the story. The kids can break up into small groups and act out their interpretation of the story. They are always so comical and this activity actually covers a few curriculum objectives!


2. Halloween Theme Following Directions Game


 halloween-game

Kids can always use reinforcement in following directions, and this game is tons of fun! Use the game during the month of October and keep track of how long it takes the class to finish all the tasks. Challenge the kids to beat their best score throughout the month!

You can get this fun Halloween Following Directions Game HERE!


3. Conjuntion Activity Cards

 conjunctions-activity
These simple Halloween themed conjunction activity cards can be used as a scoot, scavenger hunt, or learning station type activity.

Grab these Conjunction Activity Cards HERE!


4. Don't Pick Me! Persuasive Writing Activity


 halloween-writing-activity

A favorite every year! Students try to convince you NOT to choose them as your Halloween pumpkin. Set your guidelines (I remind the students that their pumpkin may not be violent, etc.) and let the convincing arguments begin! The graphic organizers from this resource get the students going and they love making the corresponding craft. Have a little competition and provide time for reading the final essays out loud. Award small prizes for 2 or 3 pumpkins you would most definitely leave in the pumpkin patch!

You can get Don't Pick Me Writing Craftivity HERE!

Halloween Classroom Idea For Science


1. Static Ghosts


Have students make a graveyard out of cardboard, construction paper, and dollar store trinkets. Next, students cut tissue paper in the shape of ghosts and add details. The ghosts then get attached to the back of the tombstones with tape so that they fall back behind the tombstones. Rub a plastic ruler on a wool scarf, blanket, or sweater for a minute. Bring the plastic ruler close to the ghosts and watch them rise up! Talk about static electricity or watch a video clip that explains the concept.

Here's a quick video explaining static electricity that I found on Youtube:

Static Electricity Video For Kids

Halloween Classroom Idea For Social Studies



1. Make Globe Pumpkins!


 pumpkin-globes

Students can each bring in their own pumpkin or you can sometimes get them discounted or even free from local farmers. I find the closer we get to Halloween, the better chance of getting a good deal! Another way to cut costs is to have the kids work in pairs so that you only need half as many pumpkins.

You could make this a multi-day project that works something like this:
Day 1 - Students observe and handle actual globes. Have them find the continents and oceans. Then have students sketch continent forms on paper that will fit well onto their pumpkins. Students cut out the forms and tape them to their pumpkins. Make sure students have their initials somewhere on the pumpkin!
Day 2 - Finalize the continents. Students make any size adjustments and trace around their continent forms onto their pumpkins. Students paint one side of pumpkin continents and allow them to dry overnight.
Day 3 - Students paint the remaining continents and allow them to dry overnight.
Day 4 - Students paint half the oceans and allow them to dry overnight.
Day 5 - Students paint the remaining oceans and allow them to dry overnight.
Day 6 - Students label the continents and oceans. They can make labels on paper and then tape them to the pumpkin. That way, there are no errors that would require you to get out the paint again! Display the pumpkins for all to see!

Need to save time?
Get printable continent outlines and labels here!

 pumpkin-globes



Halloween Movement Activity


1. Ghost Ghost Witch



Bring the kiddos outside for this Halloween themed version of Duck Duck Goose! Students form a circle and sit down. One student is IT and walks around the outside of the circle saying "ghost" as he/she gently taps students' heads or shoulders.  IT decides on who will chase him/her by saying "witch!" IT runs around the circle and tries to make it back to the witch's place before the witch tags him/her. Any student tagged sits in the middle for the next round and the witch becomes IT. Not likely to find curriculum objectives with this game unless you're a phys. ed. teacher, but it works well as a brain break!


Hope you found a new idea or 2 to pop into your plans this October! What are your favorite fall or Halloween activities? Feel free to drop an idea into the comments below!