An Oriental Christmas

The day this box arrived at my door, it was like Christmas all over again!  *Sigh* Teacher Love!

As holidays go though, my absolute favorite holiday is Halloween.  That's the holiday that we decorate our house for, throw a party, and have fun dressing up {multiple times}.  So, when I decided to switch my theme to monsters it just seemed to be a perfect fit.  I instantly remembered seeing some great monster goodies in the Oriental Trading magazine this past Halloween.  Luckily, all of that stuff is available year-round on their website {Holla! That means I could start planning my Halloween party right now!!} I may have went {a little} crazy, but I feel like I bought pretty much everything I would need for the upcoming school year at once {so, I'm sure I saved on shipping which makes it a good thing, right?}  Here's a pic of all the goodies from the box!

Of course, the hubs walked in right when I had it all laid out to admire!  So then  I had to come up with uses for everything  off the top of my head so that it sounded like I purchased with a purpose instead of just going monster crazy.  Here's the plan for all of these monster goodies...

Many of them will be used as reading incentives for my new AR Board.  I know...I know...incentives to read??  Wouldn't we love for our children to be intrinsically motivated?  Of course, but I also believe in rewarding them for their achievements.  I actually haven't used tangible rewards in years but, hey, that's what happens when you're forced to find uses for all these goodies off the top of your head!  Here's what my AR bulletin board for next year looks like:
This is just bulletinboard paper over my whiteboard which means it is magnetic.  I purchased round magnets and wrote my student numbers on them.  Each time students reach a new point goal, they will move their magnet to that section of the board and earn that reward.  The rewards are as follows:

5 Points - Monster Reading Finger
10 Points - Monster Pencil
15 Points - Monster Bookmark
20 Points - Monster Tattoo
25 Points - Stinky Feet Coupon
30 Points - Furry Friend Coupon
40 Points - Couch Potato Coupon
50 Points - Show & Share Coupon
60 Points - Bumper Seats Coupon
70 Points - Job Swap Coupon
80 Points - No Homework Coupon
90 Points - Extra Recess
100 Points - Throw Water Balloons at the Teacher
200 Points - Teacher Date

I found the cute monster cutouts at our local teacher store.  The Mons-TERRIFIC Readers sign is available at Teacher's Clubhouse -, and so are the reward coupons I use -

We'll also have quarterly class rewards if the entire class reaches our class AR Goal.  Those rewards are...

1st Quarter - Popcorn & Movie Party
2nd Quarter - Cocoa & PJs Party
3rd Quarter - Dance Party
4th Quarter - Popsicles & Extra Recess

These are the "monster reading fingers."  I already use these in my classroom, but these were so cheap I couldn't resist a new set in multiple colors!  It is simply AH-MAZING how much slipping one of these on that little reading finger excites some of those readers and helps them track their words!

No teacher goodies would be complete without pencils!  I only allow yellow pencils in our classroom (more on that in a management post later), so I think these will be their reading bin pencils and I'll only allow them to be used to record books read in their reading logs (hey, more motivation to record those books?) *hopeful*

I actually purchased these adorable little bookmarks last Halloween for my kiddos and just *LOVED* them, so I knew they were a must purchase.  Again, I plan to have them keep these in their independent reading bins.

I'm pretty sure the monster tattoos will be a hit with everyone {well, maybe with the exception of mom and dad?}

These little monster suckers may be my favorite!  They are so stinkin' cute!  I will have these on students' desks at Meet the Teacher, along with our Back to School Monster Card from Teacher's Clubhouse (

At the beginning of the year, I always take individual student pictures to go with their bios on our class website.  For our Hollywood theme, students wore boas, top hats, crowns, pearls, etc.  I thought these little monster glasses would be perfect for those pictures.  However, they may be a bit small (which I did read on the reviews before purchasing).  I tried them on {nope, no pictures of that!} and I think they may work for the students, at least for a quick pic!

If not, I also ordered these cool masks.  They come in several different designs and the students can decorate them as they wish.  I can only imagine the creative colors and designs they would use!

These monster goody bag hands will be filled with a treat (popcorn?) and placed on students' desks to welcome them on Halloween!

These cutouts are larger than I thought and, at first, I couldn't determine how to use them.  I think I've decided to have them on students' desks for Valentine's Day.  I think the monster can hold the Valentine card from me - an extra big {monstrous} Valentine - perfect!

 For field day each year, I purchase foam visors from {surprise} Hobby Lobby for my students to decorate and wear.  Usually I write their names on them and give them foam stickers and markers and set them free!  When I saw these monster visors I knew I had to have them!  They come with a little kit of foam pieces, pipe cleaners, and eyes to create Monster Visors - Adorable!

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these cute little fellas, but I just couldn't resist.  Any ideas on how to use them in the classroom??

And finally, I have these mini-monster beachballs.  I'm not too sure about these either, but if nothing else, I can use them for students to toss while playing some partner games.

I can't wait to share some more of our Monster-ous fun with you soon! 


  1. Love your finds...I am thinking of borrowing your theme for my class next year! I have an idea for the little critters.....they can be read to so students can practice for fluency. Or you can have them visit the desk of the student of the day or you can throw them during review time....I would ask a question and then throw a squishy ball to a student who would answer the question. You can always use the little guys for that type of review.

  2. Cute stuffed animal monsters:

    You could use them as table/team mascots.

    Attach them to Bboards for a 3D effect

    Use the monster as a "Take Home" bag activity. Each student writes about their adventures at home with the
    class monster. Every student gets a chance throughout the year to add to the home journal.


    Yearn to Learn Blog

  3. Debbie, I think it's going to be a FUN theme that the kiddos will love! Denise, GREAT ideas! I do have some 3D Monsters on my MonSTAR of the Week board and plan to use a monster as a take home critter!! ;) Love the idea as table/team mascots!

  4. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE these ideas!!! This would have my students on the edge of their seats :)Blessings,

    Jessica Stanford
    Mrs. Stanford's Class
    PS I'm having a linky and would love for you to join!

  5. Very cute ideas!! I like the AR bulletin board... looks a lot better than my incentive chart! :) Thanks for checking out my blog, I'm following you now, too!

    Following Optimism in 2nd Grade

  6. Great ideas! I am sure your kiddos are going to be really motivated.


  7. Love oriental trading you got some great things!! I already follow you yay welcome to the bloggy world

  8. Hi,
    I just found your blog and I love the design. I still get really excited when I get packages at school. You're right, it is like having Christmas. As soon as I saw your town's name I know I had to follow you (check out the name of my blog below) I'm looking forward to reading more from you.

    Simpson Superstars

  9. Thanks for the follow, Stacy! You would love our little (well, um, not so little anymore since it's one of the fastest growing towns in the country) town of Simpsonville! You should visit one day, at least to get a picture with the sign - not everyone has a town named after them! Ha! I'm your newest follower!

  10. Loved your ideas and looking forward to seeing more. Another idea for the cute monster fellas, as I have seen other teachers use Beanie Babies in this way, is to have them checked out as silent (or maybe not-so-silent tee hee) reading buddies. Also, the inflatable monster beach balls would be great for a round of Spelling Sparkle. Spelling Sparkle...toss the beach ball around to classmates adding a letter to a spelling word, decided on by the teacher, until the last letter has been added and "Sparkle"is shouted out loud for your assurance/approval that the class has spelled it correctly. Then begin the round again with another word from list. Any word(s) misspelled by the class become part of a a spelling activity for classtime or homework.

  11. Love the idea of using the ball for Sparkle! We play that game with spelling words weekly, but I've never incorporated a ball into it - perfect! :)

  12. Hi Amanda! Thanks for visiting my blog. I love when boxes full of classroom goodies arrive too- after I've impatiently waited for them. Halloween is my favorite Holiday too!! You've got some really fun ideas here that I'm sure your kids are going to be thrilled with :)

    ❤- Stephanie
    Falling Into First

  13. This is all so cute! I am having LOTS of brain pops with all of your monster goodies! =)

    Heather's Heart

  14. Girl, you are not alone!
    There is no greater joy than seeing your teacher purchases come in those big boxes! It definitely is like Christmas!


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