A Happening Halloween

Halloween in my classroom was a great success! On Wednesday afternoon, I made a very big deal about how my students would get to indulge in the bucket of candy on my desk during our Halloween festivities. Then, on Wednesday, I told my students after our morning meeting that they certainly deserved some chocolate to get us through the morning. I brought the bucket over to the rug and put it down on the floor. Hands instantly shot inside, but they soon realized that the candy had vanished!

And so began our spooky Halloween mystery. I gave each one of my students a logic puzzle grid that had four suspects and four different candies. My students’ mission was to find out which suspect liked which candy, since the person whose favorite candy was Hershey Kisses had surely stolen our stash. To earn their clues, my students completed different Halloween tasks — pumpkin math activities, graphing using coordinates to reveal a picture, decoding a Halloween riddle, and writing about how to carve the greatest Jack-O-Lantern ever. After completing each task, my students got a new clue, which required them to use their reasoning skills to eliminate person-candy combinations. They were so surprised when they learned that our class secretary had taken our candy! I was really pleased with how enthralled my students were in the task (they grilled my principal on his motives out at recess) and the quality of the work that they put in on the Halloween tasks. I know how exciting Halloween can be for 2nd graders, so it was nice to be able to channel that excitement into some meaningful and fun learning.

What did you do in your classroom for Halloween? Have you ever had any classroom nightmares on that day?

(I left my materials from our field trip to Mexico at school on Friday, so I will have to write about my field trips in my next entry. I hope the wait will be worth it!)