Tis the Season to be Scary

    My school makes a big deal out of Halloween, and for the most part I have mixed feelings about it.  It’s not my favorite holiday and the kids are always crazy for days before and when October 31 falls in the middle of the week, they are crazy days afterwards from all the candy.  In the past 3 weeks, I have been asked several hundred times what I am going to be for Halloween.  I say I don’t know, but I am thinking “I’m going to be tired”.

    Last year at the end of the year, I was tired of my posters and took everything off the walls. And when school started this year we had 2 days but spent most of those 2 days in meetings of some kind, so I never got around to redecorating. I told myself it was restful and the blandness of it all was guaranteed not to overexcite those students with ADD. I’m a liar.  It was boring, so for some unknown reason, I decided to decorate for Halloween. And when I do something, I do it 100%.

    Actually my second period decorated, and because I’m working on giving up some control and allowing students to be helpful, I allowed them.

    So on two walls I have a haunted house and a graveyard.  I even have a photo booth, where students have been posing the entire week, They don’t

    seem to mind that one of the characters in
    the poster is a woman and the other is a man.
    So I have 2 boys posing together, or 2 girls.
    On a connecting door to another classroom is a
    poster claiming that zombies are inside.  And of course no room is complete without the candy dishes and doorbells with scary noises and flashing lights. My desk is even decorated with a black skirt and topped with flashing skull lights that play scary music.  Now earlier in the month some of my girls told me that they were afraid of clowns, so of course in that closet where the photo booth is, hangs a scary clown that screams when there is movement.

    We have had a lot of fun this week, but the best part of the room is my collaborative Halloween poster, created by this wonderful artist (Art with Jenny K)  that sells her creations on TeacherspayTeachers. Here is the link: Halloween Door Poster  The poster or door banner, is large and each student makes 1 or 2 squares and then they are assembled.  My second period did this one day when I was out for Jury duty.  I have learned several things about doing a project like this.  I had several large boxes of colored markers which I let students use.  I put the color key on the board and thought that there would be no problem.  However, I realize that not all of us understand orange the same way, or yellow or blue or purple or pink.  So each student used whatever color they thought was that shade, and so we have some patchwork sections. It still looks wonderful, and the students are thrilled that they did this together.

    They bonded as a group with this project, even though one of the girls announced up front that “No one better mess this up”.

    Putting some finishing touches on it after it is assembled.


    Here is the finished product, which I was originally going to laminate but now I’m not so sure.  I will keep it just as a proud parent keeps those drawings their child does, but each year a new group of students needs to get this experience. If you would like to do this, you  have time.

    Jenny K. also has a wonderful nutcracker which would make a lovely Holiday poster.

    Which brings me to this conclusion.  I like the walls decorated and so do the students.  We enjoy having something fun on the walls and something fun to touch, and the screams and the noise (yes, I have a headache), but this has been so much fun.  And Period 6 has announced that it’s only fair they get to decorate for Christmas–and because it is a public school and we need to be neutral–we will have a winter theme…and 7th period wants to know if they can have Valentines day…..so the bland, boring walls will not be coming back. And I suspect every single holiday will be represented before the year is over.

    And if you are still looking for something for Friday, check out this free puzzle with the Halloween theme.  You can download it at this link.
    Free Puzzle

    Happy Halloween……..

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