Squared Away on a Sunday: Candy Corn Dominoes and Halloween Figurative Language

Happy Long Weekend Friends!  I know many of you have an extra day off on Monday to celebrate Columbus Day.  My students have the day off, but I have a PD day Monday.  Boo Hoo!  I don't always mind PD, but I'd rather have an extra day in my weekend!

We just finished our first quarter of school.  I can't believe how fast it has gone by.  I'm currently trying to prep a few small group activities for my math and ELA time.  I wanted to share a few with you.  Honestly, the math isn't Fall or Halloween related.  I mean, I teach sixth grade, we don't have pumpkins in our curriculum, but I try to do a few things that make the month fun, AND get in the curriculum.
So here is what I've squared away on this Sunday:

1) We have been studying and practicing exponents.  My smarties have struggled and struggled with this concept.  I created a game for them called Exponent Dominoes.  You play this game similar to the way you would play any dominoes game.  To make it work for "October/FALL/Halloween"  I printed the pieces out in white, yellow and orange.

Yep, now we are playing Candy Corn Dominoes!  The winner gets a small packet of candy corn when we play at the teacher table.  My students get the extra practice with exponents and they think it's a Halloween activity.  Boo- Yah!

2) We've been working like crazy to review Figurative Language.  I like to spiral this throughout the year.  I begin with reviewing the basics, practicing and assessing each type.  I take each one a week at time.  Usually we will do some sort of visual activity, use a mentor text to practice identifying the type, practice with sentences and then assess.  Over the past few weeks we have covered similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia and alliteration.  I LOVE this washi tape that I found at Office Depot for our Onomatopoeia week!

This past week we worked on alliteration.  I used a Halloween theme, and had my students create extreme alliteration with tongue twisters about a Halloween topic.  They did a great job! 

Closer to Halloween we'll have finished up with all the types I review in the fall semester.  Then I add in Halloween Figurative Language Centers to the mix.  This is a task card sort with all the types of figurative language.  Students sort the cards, or they can also play concentration/memory with them. Finally, I have two different formative assessments that I give to make sure we are keeping up with our skills.  I can differentiate these as needed, and they go right into our interactive notebooks.

So what have you Squared Away on this Sunday?  Do you also "trick" your students and "treat" them to fun activities that aren't really Halloween or Fall based?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

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