10-Rep Learning ~ Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology & Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague


Fab-BOO-Lous Halloween Fun with New Media

Skelton Cowboy Taken by Teague in Nocona


🎃 When I was in the high school classroom teaching full-time, I asked my Dad to visit class on the guise of delivering something. Then, I would abruptly turn the lights out (still light streaming in from the windows) and Dad would launch into “The Raven” (complete with a flashlight under his chin)! At the end, he erupted into a ghoulish laugh! Even the rough and tough would jump! We’d discuss the power of spooky words and Poe’s use of descriptive language. Then students would create their own version of a section of “The Raven.” Students would rewrite and/or act out (for my English class) or illustrate with digital media and/or act out their own version of a section of The Raven using digital media from The Library of Congress or other open source clipart (in my computer class). I recorded these vignettes with my phone and later used Vine (RIP) and Flipgrid to capture. 

🎃 These resources from https://pbskids.org/halloween/ are “fab-boo-lous” for working on students’ creativity and storytelling skills. Also, discover fun, new ways to incorporate learning into your classroom’s Halloween activities, with stories, songs, and hands-on activities: https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/the-halloween-collection/#.XbiYeujYrnE 

🎃 The KIDZ Page website http://www.thekidzpage.com/halloween_games/index.html has a tool to allow students to spin their own spooky Halloween tale of terror! See also Halloween themed Mahjong and activities for online coloring

🎃 Use EDP to storyboard, sketch, and create an augmented reality haunted house in Minecraft, Flipgrid AR, ThinkLink or your choice.

🎃 Use EDP to storyboarded the concepts, design costumes, record narration videos, then used AR triggers all over the school to “haunt” the hallways.

🎃 Create a QR-coded Halloween Scavenger Hunt to haunt the hallway by your room

Here are additional ideas from Awesome Educators:

🎃 Students use Flipgrid (or Teacher creates the Flip) and descriptive language (sensory words) to explain their Halloween Costume. But the key is for them not to tell what their costume is! The classmates will try to guess what the costume is by replying to the Flip. –Seen in a post on TCEA idea exchange

🎃 My 1st and 2nd graders will be doing an Escape Room activity through Breakout Edu.  It’s called “The Perfect Pumpkin Hunt.”  Students will be working as teams to read the clues and solve the puzzles to get treats (not tricks!).  They’ve really enjoyed these activities in the past, and this time around I’ve invited our administrators, School Board members, and district grant committee members to join in the fun!

🎃 I have an activity called Pumpkin Math.  I took the idea from another teacher many years ago.  We get some pumpkins, weigh them, measure them, cut them open, count seeds, etc on Halloween.  I have used this activity every year in 5th grade as well as in 1st grade!  Works like a charm!


Pumpkin emojis at this link: https://emojipedia.org/jack-o-lantern/ 


Fun Halloween Resources Post 2

THE Library of Congress scares up October 31st fun with “Frankenreads,” a public read-athon of Marry Shelley’s “Frankenstein” now 200 years young!

The reading begins at 9:00 am at the Library of Congress. It is open to everybody.

There is also a livestream so you and your students can join the fun virtually. Check out the live-stream @ the LOC’s YouTube site: 

Classroom Activities During the live stream:

  1. Students can listen and read along
  2. Students can listen for a few minutes at a time and then complete a Think-Pair-Share
  3. Students can create a word cloud of key terms
  4. (Older) Students can live-tweet to the Library of Congress during the read-athon. The event hashtag is 
  5. Studenst can draw a continuous mural or desktop mural while listening during the read-athon
  6.  … Share your ideas!




More Halloween Posts


Fun Halloween Resources Post 1

Bring the spookiness of Halloween to your classroom all month with science, math, and social studies resources for all grades on PBS LearningMedia-


Carve Halloween Into Your Lesson Planning– Halloween is a great time for teachers to encourage children’s imagination and creativity. Explore a collection that offers PreK-12 teachers an easy way to integrate Halloween themes into your classroom. Explore Collection–PBS Learning Media Lesson Plans Link


See more on Twitter: @pbsteachers

Photo link: Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/12707238@N00/22622863856/



More Halloween Posts


Happy Halloween ~ A Spooky Irish Story

As you prepare your spooky treats for tonight, consider this spooky story from Lofus Hall in Ireland.

Loftus Hall


Also, consider positioning a blue-painted pumpkin (or a picture of a teal blue pumpkin) on your porch or doorstep.

Teal pumpkins indicated that non-food treats will be given either in addition or instead of candy. This year I am including non-food treats (stickers, mini playing cards, wearable light necklaces, animal erasers) as a choice for kids. Alternative options are available at the Food Allergy Research and Education, FARE website. FARE is a national advocacy group for food allergy awareness and research. The link to their website is http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project#.VFLXE6nv-CI

 Happy Halloween!
boo pumpkin



Happy Halloween

WPA Halloween Poster, circa 1936

See more WPA posters at this link 





Happy Halloween in a Post Daylight-Savings-Time World

booLast week, in a Facebook discussion with friends, I found out that Daylight Savings Time was moved to later in the year mainly to accommodate Halloween so kids would not have to trick-or-treat in the dark.

My, how Halloween has changed.

As a youngster, I remember how the longest day of the year was Halloween, (followed by the day before the last day of school but that is another posting). It wasn’t until dark that we were allowed to go out and trick-or-treat.

We went in little hordes, accompanied by someone’s an older brother or sister, who was inevitably “On Restriction” and so had drawn the scary short straw. “On Restriction” was the misdemeanor designation for the parental crime rap sheet, with “Grounded” being the felonious version.

We carried little plastic pumpkin candy holders or larger bags provided by the local bank…black cats with “Union Federal” festooned in spooky 20 point font. As if saving money was the scariest thing in the world. No one, ever, ever carried pillowcases—ever! Never would have even been considered to bring items from the JC Penney’s White Sale on the candy caravan. Ever.pumpkinholder

Our parents did not accompany us because they were at home greeted the waves of children. Each house had its own theme. At my house, my dad always dressed up in his referee uniform (he refereed ball games on the weekends for extra money). For Halloween, he added a ghoulish rubber hand with ugly moles, sprouting an icky long, black hair. He punctuated his speech with puns and elongated pronunciation, “Give me a ‘hand’ with that ‘handsome’ stranger!” “How ‘handy’ you are with the goblin!” “Go wash your ‘hands’ before dinner!”

The visual and auditory memory causes me to shudder even today.


My mother’s costume was verbal only. She dressed in the same clothes and pearls as usual, but adopted a different accent and a smattering of foreign dialect. So, for many years, she would tell us to “Watch the clock; you’ll be going out ‘Pronto!’” or “Our Hamburger Helper is muy caliente!” Charo would be thrilled.

Each house had a theme. Most were traditional Halloween with decorations and candy purchased from the Sav-on located on Vermont Avenue, (when we lived in Inglewood) or the Pic-N-Save (when we lived in Huntington Beach). Some houses reflected their unique personalities: the geriatric house where the older couple gave out divinity which was considered a candy for grown-ups. The older couple would always ask us, “Now, who would you be?”

I usually was dressed in whatever hand-me-down costume my sister had discarded from previous Halloweens or school plays. Sometimes my grandmother dressed me so my costume reflected the fringed shawls of her university days at Berkeley.

paul lemat in American GraffitiMy brother always dressed like Paul LeMat in American Graffiti , sans cigarette. These were the days before American Graffiti so it was more of a West Side Story thing I think in retrospect.

There was the house with the hippies and the brownies that looked so good but which Miss Peggy always purloined to the garbage when the plastic pumpkin candy holders were inspected back at home. There was the house of the two older spinster sisters who gave us either candy apples or popcorn balls.

There was the house of the crazy vegetarian artist who always painted our faces and gave us carrot cookies made with carob chips. These unfamiliar morsels went straight to the dog or were ripped to chunks and thrown at other rival hordes as we progressed from house-to-house.

There was the older World War II vet’s house. He always gave us the free lollipops from the same Union Federal bank where our candy collection bags were distributed. We kids viewed these lollipops as a rip-off, but, because he had served our country, our respect was expected in return for them. But at least he went through the candy motions. At Gabby Diaz’ house, her dad was a high school math teacher. He always gave a “Trick” when given the choice of “Trick or Treat.” He gave us math problems, which, if correctly solved, yielded salt water taffy from the bait shop down by the pier, hardly an incentive. This was where the older brothers and sisters who chaperoned us finally had a bit of humble pie to eat as we watch them squirm in various states of math-ignorant discomfort trying to answer his “trick.”

Our favorite house was a little bit off the beaten cul-de-sac. It was the house of the Revak’s. We LOVED the Revak house. Both of the parents at the Revak house worked and so they had more money than all the rest of us. Their daughter Cindy had THE PRETTIEST clothes and a store-bought costume that literally (at least in my memory mind) glittered as she walked. The Revak household had Hershey’s candy and Snickers bars and the Hope Diamond of all Halloween treats: the Mars bar! And the dad at the Revak household, who worked at McDonald Douglas, gave huge fistfuls of candy, not just the miserly single of the Puritanical houses where we resided. The Revak dad did not wear a fake hand and dispense candy with a ghoulish, scream of a laugh like my dad. As an engineer, he was all pencil protectors and skinny black tie.

The return walk back from the Revak house was suspense-filled as we guarded those full plastic pumpkins with the due diligence of junior CIA field operatives. Other groups were lying in wait outside the yopon bushes of the Revak house, since the best candy inventory left from that driveway. Night was fully realized, our chaperones having grown impatient and slightly miffed after the math debacle of the Diaz house. Making it home and splintering off each to our houses was an act of cunning, craftiness, and survival, aided by a few furtive fistfuls of Revak candy.

And always in the dead of post Daylight Savings time darkness.

Happy Halloween in the post daylight savings time world.

Happy Halloween



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