We all know a few days in October that are fun to celebrate in our classrooms. Obviously, if you are a primary teacher, you can find lots of days to celebrate in many ways. With Common Core coming our way, it is a bit more difficult to bring fun activities in to our classrooms. BUT...I think and I am sure you will agree that there are a plethora of ways to have fun with Common Core and there are definitely some Special Days to celebrate in October besides Halloween...BUT we have to include Halloween for October or our kiddos will be sooooooo upset!

Sooooooo what days can be celebrated in school or at home during October? 

Here are some ideas and activities for Special days to celebrate in October and still have a bit of fun learning in your classroom:

πŸŽƒ World Smile Day is October 2nd!

What a great way to start the month of October. Tell children to bring their smiles to school or virtually to class that day and try a few of these activities to brighten their DAY!

Partner children 6 feet a part of course and see who can get the other to smile...but if in person, you can only tell by their eyes.

Have a joke telling chat.  With this kids simply tell jokes to make each other laugh!

If virtual these can be done in break out rooms.

πŸŽƒ Name your Car Day, Too...Say What?  

Now this is also another fun day to write about and have some fun with at home or at school.

At home, you might want to give your car a name...my granddaughter named my car "Vanilla Caramel Brownie" because it is white with tan interior and my perfume smells like vanilla sugar. and Brownie because it is not always the cleanest car on the road! You can have a lot of fun with this one and also get a few laughs or smiles since they are both celebrated on october 2nd!

πŸŽƒ Did you know that October 4th is Taco Day?  

Here is a cute book to celebrate tasty taco treats.

  • Before reading the story, you can access prior knowledge to find out what your students know about tacos, what their favorite taco is and maybe where they like to buy or eat their tacos.
  • During reading stop every so often to have your students think, pair, share as you ask questions, have students make predictions or inferences as well as answer some questions about the text. Here is a fun interactive Reading Resource with ideas for use that you might want to use for shared reading for this text or any text!

πŸŽƒHow about Cake Decorating DAY? 

You can give each child a writing frame, which I have links to at the bottom of this post and have them decorate a cake and then write about it.

If they have a picture of a favorite birthday cake, have them share it during sharing time or reserve a few minutes to have children share or tell about their favorite birthday cake of all time!

christopher Columbus was an explorer and most children LOVE to explore anything and everything.  This craft is super fun to talk about explorersπŸŽƒ We all know That Columbus Day has led to some controversy surrounding it and about celebrating this day, but this craft can simply focus on Exploration and if you were an explorer what would you want to explore

Here are a few Ideas to Celebrate Exploration:

Here is a way to bring out the Explorer in your students.

What would you explore and why?  Then...turn them into explorers.  

Be an Explorer

πŸŽƒ Another Fun Day to celebrate is PUMPKIN DAY.

Did you know that National Pumpkin Day is October 26th? 

Let's take a look at a few ideas for Pumpkin Day which is celebrated right before Halloween...perfect Timing!

This pumpkin resource includes everything you need to celebrate pumpkins from facts to opinions, measuring, graphing and more.  check it out Right here

Need some Great Books to go along with Pumpkins? 

here are 4 of my faves:  

1.  How Many Seeds in a Pumpkins works fabulous with Pumpkin "Fun"tivities. Read it before you do the measuring activities. it is super for making predictions and works great with the interavtive props and ideas!

2.  Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin Pie is great text to use to learn about how pumpkins grow and for facts and opinions about pumpkins.

3.  The Biggest Pumpkin Ever is another great story that is fun to use as a shared reading and the kiddos LOVE it!

4. My all time favorite book is the The Little Woman who wasn't Afraid of Anything.

I used this as an interactive shared reading with props and you could hear a pin drop as we shared the story and acted out the parts with  real items! 

Here is a link for Ideas to go along with this book!
Let's Get Interactive!

πŸŽƒ If you Don't Like Pumpkins, you Can Always Celebrate Cupcake Day on the 26th or Both Days and Make Pumpkin Cupcakes!

YES! You read that right...CUPCAKE DAY!  Kids can draw cupcakes or make them out of construction paper and share about their favorite cupcake of all time!

Click on the picture to get this Dollar Deal to help you celebrate and use these 5 fun writing prompts! 

πŸŽƒ And Let's Not Forget Halloween    

Here are some tried and true Halloween Resources
Take a look and see if these might be something you want to try out this year!

Well...there you have it! Some Special Days to Celebrate in October...NEXT UP Some fun days to celebrate in November!

Have a great October!

Make this October the BEST EVER!

Keep Smiling...the BEST is yet to Come!

As a retired teacher I am well aware of the burn out that all teachers feel. Whether at the beginning of the school year, during conferences, the week before Winter or even Spring break as well as the end of the year aaaannnnnnddddd let's not forget SUMMER...Summer you question??? YES Summer! Do Teacher really relax or are the spending their summer thinking about a new class of kiddos...YOU DECIDE...I know the answer...been there...done that and every vacation seems to disappear like magic...POOF and it is time to teach!!! 

This year is a completely different journey...the Covid-19 journey. Add this to the mix and ummmm do you think teachers are stressed?  You know the answer! I have 4 teachers in my immediate family and they have been stressed out since March 15th. who wouldn't be?  It is easy to say everything will be back to "normal" and I know it will...we all know it will, BUT when their stress ripples into my territory, they look to me for solutions and positivity because I have always tried to be positive every day of my life...turned difficult situations into doable and always lived by this mantra:

Do the best you can do in every situation and your best changes depending many factors that happen in your life or how you feel...you know headaches, exhaustion, not enough caffeine, no sleep and many other circumstances of life.

This affirms the way I live my life to be my best self. if you were in my head, you would hear, "Do the best you can or you are doing the best you can and that is all you can do!"

Well...I am a firm believer that YOU need to take care of yourself every chance you get or you will burn out before you even start...especially now more than ever!

Who's with me...think of this...Do you feel like September is here and you never had a BREAK not even a teeny tiny break?

So Here are 5 tried and true Ideas that I have used, when I taught...WELL actually still use, to make sure my engine is running in top notch condition:

🌻Surround Yourself with Positivities or Be Positive:

That means:  Read positive quotes: 
Post a positive or inspirational quote in your classroom, office or anywhere you can see it everyday...Remember there will be days that are harder than others.

Make a list of everything you love about everyone and everything around you. I have kept a small journal and take a few minutes every so often to count my blessings and think about what I love about each member of my family. Can I just tell you how touching it is to read what I wrote down about each child and my spouse...sometimes I think...did I really write that? A family Blessing Jar can also be self care for the entire family and is worth the time because everyone will love adding a blessing to the jar as family self care!

Take a minute and jot down a positive moment or an accomplishment...Little or Big that made you feel blessed to be present with your family.  I love the idea of a gratitude or blessing jar. It is quick and simple to create...add a little of your personality and personal notes, then on New Year's Eve or a designated day, sit and read the notes in the jar. If you don't have time to create a pinteresty jar, just throw the notes in a basket!

It may bring some tears, but happy tears are always good for the soul!                                                            

I also have a blessing bracelet that was given to me many years ago from a 

The idea is to wear the bracelet every day and each morning when you put it on, you count 4 blessings in your life. The blessing can be as simple as I have a roof over my head or my coffee is hot or I have the opportunity to support children during this time to make their education the best it can be right now!  I think I need to get a new one, this is looking a bit worn.  

Don't forget those Positive Affirmations!  I can do this, I am strong, I am capable, I am healthy...

🌻Take Time for Yourself and I MEAN ALONE TIME:

MOMs.. Eat lunch or take a coffee break or even an afternoon snack by yourself once a week or once a month or ummm every single day...you may need to hide in your car or closet!

I used to take these breaks in my classroom during a prep time or even during my lunch break just to regroup and have a bit of thinking time. Virtual and teaching from your classroom, you can still do these suggestions. 

If you are home teaching and have kids home, simply walk around the house and take deep breaths to stay calm and focussed.  When your kids have a break, take a brisk walk outside or maybe a family yoga break...simple positions like baby's pose or tree pose or simply stretch together.

I had a friend who used to ride the school elevator to gain a minute or 2 of quiet time and destress!! Not a bad idea if you have an elevator in your building!

🌻Get Rid of that STRESS! 

The list of Ideas to destress and relax is infinite...BUT...you have to try one to get started. Find what works best for you and your schedule and JUST DO IT!!!

Here are some Ideas that I have tried and they might also work for YOU!
  • Yoga:  Every Morning rise a bit earlier and simply do about 7 minutes of yoga poses. Check the internet or have a book handy.  You can always sign up for a class, but 7 minutes a day will make a world of difference!! 
  • Walk at lunch time with a friend, colleague or alone. It is even better when it is cool out! When I taught full-time, (I'm retired now!) we used to walk around the school neighborhood about 2-3 days a week. It was one of the best activities I did and made a world of difference for how I faced the rest of the day.  
  • I also used to walk with a friend to school everyday...sometimes even in the snow...my friend and I would solve all the school issues as we walked and felt great even if the problems did not go away, we still chatted about it and got it off our minds. We lived about a mile and half away from school and would meet on the corner.  We were assigned the title:"The Walking teachers" and I would even see someone in a supermarket who would say, "Don't I see you walking everyday to work?"
  • Play with the kiddos. play hide and seek, catch outside, a board game, anything you know will take your mind of off school and bring you back to where you are...in the present!
  • Read a non educational book. 
  • That's right PAMPER yourself do something...anything that you love doing...don't wait for someone else to do it!!! UMMM...it might not happen. You are in charge of YOU!!
Now, I know right now many things are different.  I have not really pampered myself the way I used to do before Covid, but I have figured out ways to keep the positivity going and pamper in a different way. For example, give yourself a home DIY facial, foot massage, stretch using an exercise ball ( I saw these for $5 at 5 Below!), muscle rollers to get rid of tension or simply stretching out each muscle in your body especially the neck.

Now...please note...I am not saying to do all of these...I mean....you would add more stress to your life than you had before you started!!!

Simply pick one or two to try for a while and see if it makes a difference in your daily life!

🌻Prioritize or Set Priorities:

  • Make a list of Have To's or Must Do's, Can DO's or Can Say No To's and start to listen to your list and cross off and prioritize that list. 
  • Make a list each week perhaps Sunday night or a night that works for you and write everything that you have that week.  Then evaluate each item on your list.  Add a key something like this:  Green is MUST Do or Have To; Yellow is Can Do and Red is I can say no to or can postpone to another time.   Remember, your job can bounce back from a hiccup, but your family and you should be treated like a glass ball because when it breaks, it is harder to mend.
Download this list and Print.

🌻 Eat as Healthy as you Can:

I say as healthy as you can because I know how crazy hectic life can be.

For example; make one change. Something like I am going to switch to "breadless" sandwiches this week and stick to it. Plan that type of lunch for the week and make it each night or ahead of time. Add all the ingredients except for the heavy bread. Add a light dressing and that change will come naturally the more you do it.

Sometimes you just need to be mindful of what you eat...stop the fog eating, where you are eating without thinking about what you are eating and add a few healthier choices each day.  

Another idea might be to start your morning off with a healthy fruit or vegetable smoothie each morning or even bring it to school for break or lunch.  Here are my Go-to's....easy and nutritional!

I simply use frozen smoothie mixes and mix and match to my current mood each morning. Sometimes I add fresh fruit that I have on hand like bananas, blueberries or even an apple.  

I have one daily smoothie, but I only add fruit, veggies and water with stevia and I am good...less calories and great tasting.  The one above, looks yucky, but tastes yummy!  It is Matcha tea, banana, strawberry, mango, coconut and stevia...I drink it a feel like I am on a tropical island until my phone rings and brings me back to reality! 
Just simply make small changes and you will see a difference!

The last one that you NEED to absolutely add to your diet is water!

Just remember every day is a new beginning with new possibilities. If at first you don't succeed, just simply start again and again...Remember: you might not be there YET...but you will!!


Try your best to focus on the Blessings you have not what your neighbor has...Positivity is a choice...a choice you have to make every single DAY!  If you feed your brain positive thoughts, you brain will be reconditioned to think that way, which will lead to a less stressful life.

Allow yourself to make a few mistakes because we learn life long lessons from our mistakes and PLEASE, PLEASE, don't be hard on yourself...NO ONE IS PERFECT!

They say if you can do something for 30 days straight, then it will become a habit or second nature!! 

Let me know how you do...I'll be waiting!!