Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Math Ideas

First I have to say that I love Halloween!! It makes me feel like a kid but, more importantly, gives me an excuse to be silly and act like a kid.

I have been gathering activities for Halloween and I keep finding amazing things for so cheap that I'd love to share with you.

First of all, I LOVE little erasers and using them for math! How adorable are these erasers I found in the dollar spot? I'm obsessed with the dollar spot or as Mr. Giraffe calls it with a heavy sigh, "See you in half an hour" :)
Fun ways to use mini erasers for Halloween math activities in the classroom!

These adorable little things were only $1 for 50! I got the candy corns, bats, black cats, and jack-o-lanterns to which Mr. Giraffe exclaimed, "What are you going to do with 200 erasers?!" I obviously rolled my eyes and said, "Pshh a million things!" which he knows me well enough to know means I-have-no-idea-yet-but-I'm-pretending-I-know-everything-so-just-go-with-it-because-you-love-me-and-therefore-support-my-dollar-spot-addiction :) 

I also grabbed some of this cute stuff (mostly from the dollar spot and the dollar store) for this week because I couldn't help myself...

I'm also OBSESSED with those little mini cauldrons from the dollar spot! LOVE! They say "Happy Halloween" on the side and are the perfect mini containers. I also had to have the pumpkin ice cube tray which I'll show you what I did with that a little later in the post!

Back to the erasers, this is what I came up with...

Halloween Eraser & Tally Bones Graphing!

Use Halloween mini erasers and cotton swabs as spooky bones to practice tally graphing! Directions for a fun Halloween math center!

Use Halloween mini erasers and cotton swabs as spooky bones to practice tally graphing! Directions for a fun Halloween math center!

So they use the spooky BONES (cotton swabs) as tally marks to graph how many of each Halloween eraser they had in their cauldron. It's a super simple activity that's tons of fun. All you need is: the Halloween erasers, cotton swabs, and black 12x18 (or similar size) construction paper. I got the big black construction paper at Michaels using the 50% off one item coupon on my phone (search on your phone for a coupon before you approach the register!) so it was pretty cheap! 

First, have students fold the construction paper in half hamburger style. Then have them fold that in half again hamburger style. Have them unfold it all and fold it in half hot dog style. This will create 8 boxes like this:

Each student/set of partners/group/however you want to do it needs a little container of erasers and some cotton swabs. I used the little cauldrons to hold the materials but you can easily use sandwich bags if you can't find the cauldrons and it's probably more practical because materials will be easier to manage. I'm braving it with the cauldrons though! :) 

Once they get their little cauldron of erasers, have them dump them out and sort them like so...

Gosh I can't get over how cute those little Halloween kitties are. But we all know I'm a crazy cat lady at heart so that's to be expected. Don't worry, dog lovers, I love dogs too! Really, any animals - I'm a big animal lover.

Once they sort all of their erasers, they'll put each type of eraser in each box on the left. On the right side, they'll use the spooky bones (cotton swabs) to make a tally graph of their findings!

Directions for a fun Halloween math center where kids grab a handful of Halloween mini erasers to grab sort and grab with BONES tally marks (cotton swabs)

This is what it'll look like when you're done! Super simple and lots of fun!

Here's a peek at some more fun Halloween math for this week!

Halloween math center to practice nonstandard measurement with cubes and other fun Halloween math ideas

Halloween themed non-standard measurement math station!

Students take each fun Halloween picture and use cubes to measure it. Then they write how many cubes tall each picture was. 

Candy corn Halloween math station and other fun October math games

Candy corn puzzles! Students simply match the number to the ten frame and tally mark representation of the number then record on their recording sheet.

Halloween missing number math game where kids look at the spooky character to figure out what number is missing

Halloween missing number math game where kids look at the spooky character to figure out what number is missing

This math station is to practice missing numbers! Tell your kiddos that these spooky Halloween characters/pictures stole the numbers! Oh, the horror! And it's THEIR job to help figure out what numbers they stole! 

Students simply pick a card and figure out what number is missing. Then, they write the number next to the character who stole that number on their recording sheet. 

Way more fun than a line (45, __, 46, 47), right?!

Halloween math ideas and resources - skip counting pumpkins and more!
Skip counting on pumpkins!

Halloween math activities like these bats addition worksheets and more
A little batty addition for you as well! I also made a sheet for doubles and subtraction. They color the bats whatever the answer is.

Spooky spin Halloween graphing math center for fun October math activities

Spooky Spin for more graphing practice!!

Use a pencil and a paperclip to spin the spinner and see which Halloween picture will win! You can make it a little bit more fun by having the students make predictions as to who will win or say something like, "Don't let that witch win!" - it makes them really get into it!

Whatever it lands on, they add a tally under that picture then color in one box on their bar graph until one of the pictures reaches the top! The beauty is you can play this over and over for a lot of graphing practice!

A quick tutorial for those of you who have never used a makeshift spinner. You put the pencil tip in the center of the spinner where all the lines meet with the tip inside of a large paperclip. Then, you flick the paperclip to spin it! It actually works really well! I recommend a I'm-trusting-you-with-MY-paperclips-that-are-normally-for-adults-aren't-you-so-special-so-we-wouldn't-dare-ever-bend-my-precious-paperclips-into-shapes-GASP-of-course-not-I'm-so-glad-I-can-trust-you talk before you go leaving paperclips laying around. :) 

You can never get too much addition practice! This is great practice with both addition AND writing their own number sentences. Students grab a card and write the addition sentence for it on their recording sheet and solve it. For example, if it's 4 pumpkins + 5 bats, they would solve the problem and write 4+5=9 on their recording sheet like above!

Another thing you can use that recording sheet is with these AWESOME pumpkin ice cube trays I found at the dollar store! They are the perfect premade ten frame!

Halloween Math Games to play with pumpkin ice cube trays from the dollar store and mini erasers

You can practice building numbers in the pumpkin 10 frame for students who are still practicing numbers. What I planned was creating addition sentences with the Halloween erasers I already have and recording them on the Spooky Addition recording sheet from the activity above. You could also do Making 10! Have them find as many combinations as they can to make 10 in the pumpkin tray and record them on the sheet. See, another reason to grab those adorable erasers!! Told you, Mr. Giraffe :) {I am so thankful he puts up with me!}

All of these Halloween activities are in my Halloween Math pack found {HERE}!!

I don't think you'll need anything else for math with that pack but in case you do, I also have this number sense puzzle in my store that has been a huge hit!

Halloween math center where kids look at the number and color it in to reveal a witch!
Students pick each card and find that number on the hundreds chart and color it in the color they tell them to which will reveal a witch! It's great number sense and hundreds chart practice!

For even more Halloween fun, I have some fun Halloween writing craft activities that are NO PREP that you can see in this post: 

And you may have already seen this on my Instagram but just for fun and since I already called myself out as a crazy cat lady, check out my adorable little pumpkin girl...

I know her face says otherwise but she actually loves this dress. She normally keeps to herself but the second you put this dress on her, she starts prancing around quite confidently trying to get her head scratched by everyone in the room. I do the same thing when I'm wearing a pretty dress so I guess I can't blame her!

I hope you were able to find some fun ideas in this post and have an absolutely wonderful Halloween!!!! Thanks for reading!

If you want to keep up with all the teaching ideas and fun stuff I share, you can follow me in these places:
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You can also check out all my favorite blog posts I've written organized by topic here:
Miss Giraffe Blog Posts List
I share A LOT of teaching tips in those posts so definitely check them out to read more fun ideas! :)

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  1. I love your spooky bone q tip tally marks...cutest thing I've seen in a long time my friend!
    Teaching and Much Moore

    1. Aww thanks so much Vicky! You're always the sweetest :)

  2. I clearly need to go to the dollar store more frequently! Nice job crazy cat lady who likes giraffes!!

    1. I love the dollar store! There are so many random things you can do with their stuff and you just can't beat a dollar! :)

  3. Great ideas! LOVE them all :)

    PS. I also love that your cat is all decked out for Halloween too!