November Resources and Interactive Notebook Freebie

I've spent the last few days packing up October and putting out November. Well, in my classroom anyway. My house is still on October time until this weekend. That's ok, gives me  more time to sneak Tootsie Rolls out of the bowl of candy I bought for my no-show trick-or-treaters.

First I changed out my seasonal books. I recently moved this book rack to the front of our gathering space (a.k.a. rug). It was previously home to my Zoobooks collection, but this is a much better use. I try to do a little book talk about a book or two each day to get the kids interested in them. Then I sit back and watch them fly off the shelf! I rock the book talk.

Then I swapped the October calendar center for November. I'm always amazed at how much my kids don't know about using a calendar! I know for sure they spend most of preschool, k and 1 working the calendar. Usually by 2nd, it's not a daily focus anymore but I've found that although they can tell you basic things about the calendar, like days of the week, which comes next, ordering the months of the year, etc, they can not actually use the calendar. They can't really tell you what the date will be 2 weeks from now, or what the date was 8 days ago. So I created these calendar center task cards that are really, really helping. Each month has 20 task cards specific to the month. I also included correct calendar months for the next three years and by popular request an answer sheet and KEY! I usually demonstrate the first time by showing them how to actually touch the calendar, count the days, notice the patterns, etc. It's a fun center too because it's seasonal and timely.

In our math rotations I switched out Boo Bump for Gobble Bump. Cracks me up that they get so excited when the new Bump comes out even though it's the SAME EXACT game in different colors and graphics. Hey, whatever works! I recently snagged these pencil pouches at Dollar Tree. I use them to keep 10 of one color pop-cube so that they kids can just grab one pouch and have what they need for the game. I was using baggies, but they rip and don't always zip. This is much better.
We also pulled out the second center included in my EZ Prep See-It Centers for Fall. They are really getting the hang of these now. I love how much they have to think through the problems and questions. This works really well for partners and small groups. Each set comes with math and language arts activities, so if I use one each week, the set lasts me all month! I'm working on some winter ones now.
I switched out my monthly writing prompts in my writing center. There are 24 topics in the set, so I usually put 5-6 out each week otherwise they'd spend the whole time reading the cards instead of writing. Choice is good, too much choice can be a huge time-suck. I keep the extra cards at my desk and sometimes use them to start a discussion when we have that random 2-3 extra minutes.
So you all know I'm totally digging the interactive notebooking now - and my kids are digging it more than I am! I have bought so many great resources from TpT, but I couldn't really find one I loved for verbs, so I made these. I think I love creating them as much as I love doing the activities with my kids. When I make my own they're specific to what I want and I make sure the cutting is on the easier side to help with time management. As for the time time it takes to color, I usually give them about 5 minutes to color. It really gets them feel ownership of the activity. After that, we do the notebooking part and they can go back to coloring if they finish early or any other time during the day when they might finish early. And if they never color - that's ok too. The coloring isn't what's really important.
And finally, I pulled some pages from my November Printable Pack and my Early Finishers & Enrichment pack and made them into a little booklet for my kids to keep in their work folder. Anyone else think it's hysterical that stapling a packet down the side makes them feel like the activity is something so different and special than just one staple in the corner? No? Just me? Carry on then... I have some really fast finishers and usually they can get up and go to one of the bazillion other choices to do when they finish early (I should blog about that...) but sometimes I don't really want them to get out a game or get into something with a ton of pieces if I know the rest of us will be ready to go on shortly. That's when the challenge packet comes in handy. I'm not a worksheet pusher, but I'm also realistic. There are times when I need them to have a "go-to something to do" kind of activity. They can even take it and work with a buddy, but it's easy to clean up and get them back together as a whole group. As team leader and a gifted teacher, I'm sometimes called out for meetings and other unplanned emergencies for a few minutes and having this packet gives me peace of mind. I'm hardly ever absent, especially not unplanned, but this also gives me a little security there too. I know my kids can work on this for a bit while I get sub plans to the school or call a friend and talk them through the day.

Even though it's just barely November, I'm already listening to Christmas music on Pandora and watching all the cheeseball Christmas movies on Hallmark Channel! I know it's early, even for me - but now that I've started, I can't stop. You kinda can't really be a grouch with the holiday spirit surrounding you, so how can that be a bad thing, right?
Free Gobble Bump Addition
Free Gobble Bump Multiplication
Writing Center Prompts:

Check out TBA's linky for even more great seasonal freebies!
Freebie Fridays


  1. I love your idea with the turkey to find verbs in a story. I am heading on over to TPT to get your writing prompts. They are exactly what I need for my class.

    Smiling and Shining in Second Grade

  2. I'm right there with you on getting into the Christmas spirit! I've already started looking at Christmas trees!

  3. I am looking for lower level material. I teach inclusion and have from the highest to the lowest and would love some ideas

  4. I have been seeing a lot about Interactive Notebooks on Pinterest and have also learned about them in one of my classes. I am in my clinical phase of student teaching right now and unfortunately haven't seen ANY use of Interactive Notebooks :( I am very interested in them and plan to use them when I student teach next semester. Thank you for sharing your experience with them. It's good to know that the students love them :) I also really like your packets for when the students finish early. I have seen this a lot in the classrooms I have been in and unfortunately most of the teachers I have seen just tell students to sit there until the class is finished. This is crazy to me! I like your idea of giving students a packet of extension activities to continually go to when finished early!


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