Every year when Halloween rolls around I hear teachers talk about how wild the kids are in school. If you have ever spent time in an elementary school when Halloween falls mid-week, you'd be crazy not to agree. Here's the thing though - I love it just as much as the kids do. I love to see my students get excited about something. It really reminds me of being a kid. To see their smiling faces and hear them talk about their plans helps me to remember that we are working with young children.
Too often I feel like we are trying to turn our students into adults as quickly as possible. We expect them to sit quietly in their seats, walk in a single file line, and use proper grammar. I expect these things out of my students on a daily basis, but sometimes it's really nice to see the kids just be kids. On Halloween, I don't try to fight it. We still hit all of our daily requirements... just in a Halloween-y way. During writing, we worked on a persuasive piece about which candy is the best. They got so into it and the pieces turned out so great that I put them up in the hallway! We took time to partner read holiday themed books. Halloween books lend themselves really well to alliteration (repeating beginning letters), onomatopoeia (words like buzzz and THUD), and similies. So, our whole group lesson was focused on these skills. Lauren, my intern, created a really nice lesson in math using pumpkins. The day was educational, but it was also fun. I am always exhausted at the end of these days, but it's not because I've spent the day butting heads with students. It's really because I've had a great day too.
My name is Carrie Gaffney. Someone once asked me a question that remains in the back of my mind and helps to shape my life: "How will you be remarkable?" I am continuously trying to discover new ways to answer that question.