2014 Fall Favorites Blog Hop

Blog Hop

Teachers and students all around the country are welcoming Fall into their classrooms.  We hope this exciting blog hop will provide you with more resources and ideas to celebrate the season and spice up your curriculum!

cookies 2

Favorite activities often center around pumpkins. Tomorrow we are finishing up our pumpkin studies with some delicious jack o’ lantern cookies courtesy of Pillsbury!  Sometimes I am so thankful for those pre-packaged convenience foods!

Pumpkin Unit

Three units that really helped us get the “pumpkin” rolling were the Read, Rhyme, Write , Life as a Pumpkin, and Pumpkin Seed Science products by three great TpT sellers.  Life as a Pumpkin provided great visuals with pumpkin part labels, Read! Rhyme! Write!  gave us lots of practice with rhyming, and the Pumpkin Seed Science had the most adorable posters that led us through the scientific process.

Counting Seeds

We had a small, pie pumpkin and a large field pumpkin.  We set a purpose for our experiment by posing the question, “Which pumpkin would have the most seeds?”  Then each student made and recorded their hypothesis. We examined the insides of the pumpkins and discussed the parts using the Life as a Pumpkin posters.  Next we got to dig into the fibrous strands or “brains” of the pumpkin and count all the seeds.  This was great for working on fine motor skills for some of my students.  Later we used our groups of tens to add the amount and analyze our data, check predictions and develope a conclusion.

H counting seeds 2 blog


Scientific Process

We designed our own Jack O’ Lanterns, voted on our favorite design and my husband carved our pumpkin to match the design!

Jack 'O Lantern Designs



Jack 'O Lantern Design 2


All designs

Of course we roasted the seeds and enjoyed a tasty treat!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


I love to write with my kids about experiences we share that provides them with hands on background knowledge.  This was an excellent way to reinforce the trait of organization and sequencing.  

graphic organizer


graphic organizer 2

We used the graphic organizer from my newly posted product Pumpkin Investigation and Writing Unit  which will be free only during this blog hop.  I hope you find it useful and you are able to leave feedback!  Just click on the link above or the product cover below.  As an added treat all my fall products will be discounted 20%!!





final copy



Mounted final copy


labeling craft




Your next stop is a real treat.  So click the blog button below to visit Triple the Love in Grade 1.  Thank you so much for stopping by!


Burke's Special Kids





Teaching Money Skills

money in hands


We all love counting money and our students are no different!  This is a new skill we are working on in my class this week.  Needless to say, my students were extremely engaged with this task!


What's in your piggy bank?


I was lucky enough to try out a super fun product that my friend Melissa Dailey has placed in her TpT store.  The students loved it, the teacher (me  🙂 ) loved it…It was a win win day today!

money on card


The cute clipart is perfectly sized  to feature realistically sized coins.  We added money manipulatives…don’t you love that built in differentiation that is included in this product!  My students were able to choose the correct number of coins, then we added them to a hundreds chart to build on their growing knowledge of place value.  

hundreds chart and money with penny watermark



Counting Money on Hundreds Chart


Recording Sheet


Your students may not need to use a hundreds chart, or money manipulatives but they will benefit from using this product during a guided math group or during a math center as review.  The recording sheet allows you to view their work.  Another feature is that this product comes with two complete sets of cards and recording sheets.  This way you can easily use the product during guided instruction and as an independent center for formative assessment.  Seriously, you can’t go wrong with the “What’s in Your Piggy Bank Coin Counting Game!  You can view it in Melissa’s store by clicking the product cover above or by clicking here!  A little bird told me it will be on sale for a dollar until the end of the week, so hurry by and grab it!

I found several additional resources we will be using this week.  Two are free money counting games on the web.  


counting money tech website

Math Nook: Counting Money Click to visit the website.


counting money tech website 2

Sheppard Software: Matching Money Click to visit website.


I love Touch Math and am excited to have found some free Touch Math Money posters on Erica Bohrer’s website.  You can find it by clicking here

Touch Money Pin

So hurry and grab “What’s in Your Piggy Bank?” and have some exciting coin counting happening in your room!


Burke's Special Kids

2014 Halloween Bash Blog Hop & Giveaway

Blog Hop Halloween Bash


I can hardly believe we are already in October and Halloween is right around the corner!  This weekend I am linking up for a fun, creative Halloween Themed Blog Hop that features a giveaway hosted by The Teaching 2 Step, freebies, crafts, and recipes.  I hope you are joining in on all of this Fall fun!


Spider Cookies

Photo courtesy of A Spicy Perspective


What’s better than chocolate?  Chocolate and peanut butter!  I found this awesome recipe on A Spicy Perspective! (Click HERE to connect to her Facebook page.) I normally make these at Christmas with a Hershey’s Kiss but I love the spooky Halloween look of these tasty treats.  Be sure to check out her other Halloween treats!


Study English conceptual image


We are reviewing place value. Using the place value scoot cards below has made a big difference in the students’ understanding and retention of the concepts. The cute fall theme makes me happy!

Hundreds chart


Fall Place Value

This best selling product will be on sale for 20% off as part of the Halloween Bash 2014 Blog Hop.  Just click either photo to find them in my store.

Looking for a cute Halloween themed math video for primary students?  Check out the Five Little Pumpkins sitting on a Gate buy kdpteacher.  

cover free halloween bash 2014 place value


freebie Halloween place value

You can grab a free scoot game by clicking HERE!  This game is similar to the product that is on sale.  I hope your students find it fun and useful.  It would be great to use with a small guided group.  

Be sure to enter the giveaways and visit all the other blogs on this hop!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Burke's Special Kids

Tricks and Treats Blog Hop

Trick or Treat Blog Hop

I hope everyone has gathered lots of tricks and treats for your teacher bag as you have participated in this fun hop!  The goal is for each teacher to share unique tricks and treats.  Well, my ideas aren’t as unique as I would wish for, but they sure do save time and money for me, so I am glad to share them with you!


Job charts

I created a class jobs product with names on rings that are so easy to rotate each week.  The time-saver for me was that I could simply print out the name sheet numerous times, put the names on rings and have them for multiple uses, such as computer passwords!







passwords on computer




You can grab these classroom job posters and editable labels for free this weekend by clicking here!

I wanted to share with you our vocabulary word wall.  Since the students participate in creating it, they really seem to have deepened their knowledge of the vocabulary words.  

Vocabulary Wall


Close up of words


We have been diligently working on place value and homophones the past few weeks.  My special needs students need lots of review and hands on differentiated learning. Movement and manipulatives play a huge role in our classroom. You can see how engaged they are with these activities!  (The place value product will be on sale this weekend!)

Falling into Place Value


Fall Place Value

Click to see this best seller in my TpT Store.

card under doc camera


This set has 48 Halloween themed task cards.  The cards review both homophones, so you can use one set for instruction/review and one set for independent practice or assessment.  We are reviewing homophones here using the document camera.  Another money saving tip is to simply view the pdf on your whiteboard and saving the printing costs!

Group Showdown with blog name

If you are familiar with KAGAN Structures, we are playing a game of Showdown as part of our review. This is a really fun way to engage everyone in the classroom.

partner scoot with blog name


Later we played a game of Scoot with the other set of cards.  Because the kids need extra practice with these words, I also entered the words into the free version of Spelling City, so they could practice spelling the words with the sentence given.  I am still debating whether I want to purchase a classroom version, but for now the free version is working fine.  You can find the site here: Spelling City.


Grab my Horrifying Homophones free for the blog hop (Oct. 3 – 5).  After that they will be full priced.  Feedback and Blog comments are greatly appreciated!

Horrifying Homophones

You can find these cards in my TpT store by simply clicking the image!

Burke's Special Kids




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