Thursday, October 29, 2015

Strassner Academy: Week 8

It's difficult for me to believe that this marks the third Halloween I've been at home, teaching my own little ones instead of reveling in The Tell-Tale Heart and Edgar Allan Poe with 140 8th graders.

I'm not going to lie - I miss The Tell-Tale Heart.  And Shakespeare.  And being able to make slightly off-color jokes.  And having a vocabulary that didn't include the word Caillou.  I may have gotten off-topic here... let me go back.

Every year at home with the kids, we take time to do some festive, Halloween-y activities as part of our school day.  This year, a few of those included:

A Halloween-themed sensory bin with black beans and all sorts of wonderful little creepy crawlies.

Puff ball-painted candy corns.

I discovered that Olivia is absolutely enthralled by puff-balls, too.

She did this activity forever.  Literally, for nearly 45 minutes she sat and entertained herself quietly, pausing only to ask me to open the top and pour them out again.  It may not seem like a big deal, but doing anything away from mommy for 45 minutes is a BIG deal in Olivia world.  It was really impressive!

I eventually added beans to the mix to give it an auditory quality, too, which made it fun all over again when she began to tire of just the puff balls.

My favorite activity of the week, though, was this witches brew.

It started off simply enough.  Just a couple of kids, mixing a little baking soda, water and green food coloring.  They took the midnight train goin' anywhere.

Next, we brought out the ingredients:

Leg of spider.  Eye of newt.  Wing of bat.  You know, the usual cauldron line up.

Plus some magnetic letters, because, well, fun review opportunity.  Hello.

And then... the most important, final ingredient.  A little blood of toad (aka vinegar and red food coloring).  Oh yes, I went there.

Plus, it gave me a great opportunity to work in a little Double double, toil and trouble MacBeth action.  Finally, my Shakespeare!

And the result?  Awesome!

Not only was there an awesome reaction, but it turned the potion a really fun, spooky black color.

The kids had a great time playing with their witchly concoctions, and we were able to add more baking soda and vinegar and create a few more reactions.

It's no Poe, but I think we do the holiday justice in our own special way!

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