Drum Roll Please...
Yes you read the title correctly. There is more than one winner this week!
I decided since it's our first contest, and I love giving stuff away, that I'd pick a winner from several different categories.
I tossed all the new subscribers into a bowl and chose a name, all of the people who purchased something this week went into the bowl next, and finally all the people who commented or shared a tip this week were in the final drawing.
If you were counting, you discovered that I am sending out 3 bracelets.
Here are the winners names:
Doreen a New York 1st grade teacher, is our "Subscription" winner, Dana, a New Jersey kindergarten teacher, is our "Purchased a Product" winner, and Donna is our "Posted a Comment" winner.
I thought it was pretty interesting that all the winners' names started with the initial D like mine!
Congratulations to all of you!
If you didn't win this week, your name is still in my pile and will remain there for the remainder of the contest, but continue to enter as many times as you want.
Click on the link for complete CONTEST details.
I will run the contest through the last week of August. Next week's winner will be announced Monday the 8th instead of Friday the 5th.
Thanks to everyone who participated.
An Old Favorite:
I chose Mary Wore A Red Dress for this month’s book pick, because young children enjoy it.
It’s one of those “Read it again; read it again!” stories.
Learning colors is one of my report card standards and having color words as part of the word wall and doing a variety of things with colors, is a big part of most teacher’s back-to-school activities, so I thought this was a good choice to dream up some activities for you to do with your students.
The Gist: Why I Love it:
Mary Wore A Red Dress is an old Texas folk song. I love it because it provides the perfect Segway to the introduction of colors.
In this particular version, animals are on their way to a birthday party. I also like that the author includes the music at the end of the story.
Story Telling Tips:
- Use the colored clothing pieces that I have made to match the story and pass them out to students. This is the perfect “sequencing” story.
- When the “orange” shirt is read, the child who has the orange shirt piece adds it to the flannel or white board.
- After reading the story, mix up the pieces and see if the children can remember the order they came in.
- Substitute students’ names for character names. Watch little ones’ eyes light up when you say their name. “Am I really in the book?” They’ll ask. It gets them to really pay attention.
- I say the colors in English as well as Spanish and have the children repeat them back to me.
- Another thing you can have students do is to stand up if they are wearing the color that is being talked about in the story. i.e., Mary is wearing a red dress.
- If you’re also wearing red, stand up.
- Children can wiggle their fingers, touch their nose, take a bow or do something silly, point to that color and then sit down.
Magic Tricks: I use my change bag to produce different colored scarves to teach secondary colors. “What color was Mary wearing?” Yes, red. Did you know that red and yellow make orange?”
I put a red scarf and a yellow scarf in the change bag and have children exclaim:
“ _______________ wore an orange shirt!” Then I pop out an orange scarf. I do the same thing when I produce a green scarf (blue + yellow) and a purple scarf (red + blue).
If I have time, I let students smear what ever primary color combination they want together, to turn a white paper tee-shirt into a secondary color. I then hang these on a clothesline with mini clothespins.
Math: 5 graphing extensions, connect the dots, & count how many and write the number skill sheet.
Writing Extensions: 2 Class books: We Wore __________ To School! and On the First Day Of School Who Did You See?
Art Activity: (T-shirt idea above.) Click on the link for a copy of a t-shirt to paint.
Language Arts: Trace to pre-write skill sheet, matching colors, alphabetical order, rhyming words.
Bibliography for Back-To-School: Click on the link to view my favorites.
Be sure and check out our FREEBIE reader of the month: Where Are The Coconuts? This is a great booklet to go along with any of your Chicka Chicka Boom Boom activities.
If you’re a big fan of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, be sure and check out the Arts-Crafts and Activities section. That is my major theme this month.
Our free "Easy Reader" this month is The Students On the Bus, a great math extension booklet and a real keepsake when you add a few photographs.
Whatever you're reading this month, I hope it's simply T-riffic! Happy August.
Chomper, the Alligator Alligobbler To The Rescue!
Less than and greater than can be confusing symbols to a young child. Make it fun and easy to understand with Chomper my alligator-alligobbler.Here’s how:
- Buy a pack of self-seal long green envelopes.
- Children peel and stick the envelope shut.
- Make a V-template.
- Using the V-template, students trace the V and then cut it out.
- To expedite things, this can be pre-done for young children
- Run off the “jaws” of Chomper on several sheets of white cardstock.
- Students carefully cut the upper and lower jaws out.
- Using a glue stick, children run a stripe along the top V of the envelope-mouth of the alligator and then press on the top row of teeth.
- They do the same thing for the bottom row.
- Students cut out the half circle of Chomper’s eye and glue it to the top of the “head”.
- Give students a large wiggle eye and a thick glue dot.
- Students glue the wiggle eye on top of the green ½-circle “orb”.
- Run off a set of “Alligobbler” labels and give each student a sticker to place on the back of their Chomper.
- Students write their name above the label in plural-possessive form.
- Run off a set of number tiles in different colors.
- Each student needs two sets so that they can play at home.
- Children cut out their tiles.
How to play the game.
- When children face a partner and they look at the opposite alligator, it will be a “less than” alligator. They will have a “more than” alligator.
- Children stack one set of colored cards making sure that it is not the same color as their opponent.
- Students place the cards face down.
- Decide who goes first.
- Both children flip over a number card.
- If it is child A’s turn, she looks at the two numbers and decides which is more than and takes that number, saying the equation: “5 is more than 3.”
- The other child takes the 3.
- Now it is child B’s turn.
- Both children flip a number.
- Child B is looking at her alligobbler which is also “more than” to her, so she will take the greatest number.
- If she’d like to take a smaller number, she can flip her alligobbler over so she is looking at a “less than” symbol “mouth and say that equation and take that number.
- Play ends when all of the numbers are gone.
- Children spill the number tiles Chomper has eaten, back onto the table and sort them by color, giving each other their own cards back.
Remember leaving a comment or sharing an idea are two easy ways to register for our back-to-school CONTEST! Click on the link to check out the details. Thanks for participating.
There is quite a bit of chatter on several of my mail rings about Smart Boards.
Unfortunately, I am not one of the lucky ones to have one.
I think they are an awesome addition to the classroom that would be very valuable in helping students stay current with the latest technology.
If you do have a Smart Board, I'd be interested in hearing the pro's and con's of it and how you use it in your classroom with your students.
Remember, commenting anywhere on any of the blog sections, automatically puts you in our CONTEST! Click on the link for details.
In the meantime, I've found some awesome smart board sites for you. Simply click on the links to zoom there.
It seems "THE" place for "anything" smart board is the SMART exchange. Lots of info here.
A plethora of lessons at Longwood School's site.
Smart Board has a variety of all sorts of different things from lessons and tips to links.
Summit MO school district's wonderful list sorted by subject.
Rockingham VA also shares a long list sorted by subject.
Smart Board Resources + links.
I hope these helped you in your endeavors of staying current with all that's out there! Enjoy surfin' smart!
Since some schools head back to school as early as the 2nd week of August, I wanted to post some art projects and activities that would go with that theme.
A favorite book that many teachers read the first week of school is Chicka Boom Boom, so I wanted to dream up some new ideas for that, as many teachers also make a Welcome bulletin board with that theme, and gear several days around letter activities as well.
I'm trying to design more things around favorite books and did two huge projects for Chicka Boom because of its popularity.
The first is entitled Trunk Tricks and has a variety of activities based around the trunk of the coconut tree.
I've seen others make painted handprints for fronds, which is cute, but sometimes messy and difficult and time-consuming to do if you're teaching a bunch of little ones by yourself.
I decided to trace my handprints to see how they would turn out and I really liked the affect.
You can have a room volunteer do the tracing and cutting for you, or send the green paper home during open house and have parents do this step
With the handprint portion out of the way, this adorable keepsake artwork can be whipped together in about 10 minutes.
For extra pizzazz, I used brown textured wallpaper for the trunk of my tree.
Brightly-colored foam letters also added that bit of 3-D pop and the picture on the coconut makes it all the more precious.
Click on the link to view/print the masters for the Chicka Boom handprint tree.
In Trunk Tricks you can also make a Name Tree, a Vowel Tree, a Color Tree and a count by 10's to 100 Tree.
Any of these would make quick and easy bulletin boards: "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Look What The K's Did In Mrs. Henderson's Room!"Click on the link to see the rest of this fun-filled activity book. Trunk Tricks
- One of the things that I do everyday with my students for table top lessons is to play an I Spy game.
- I make these up by drawing circles on pictures of whatever theme we are studying and filling them with dashed letters and numbers.
- I spy a number and my students circle it and then raise their hand.
- The first one to raise their hand gets to spy the next letter/number.
- My students really enjoy playing "I Spy". It's a wonderful whole-group assessment tool for me as well. I can see in just 2 minutes who is having difficulty spying letters and numbers because they aren't able to recognize them.
- I jot down notes and then can work with these students later on a one-on-one basis.
- Since we study apples for one of our big back to school science themes, I thought it would be fun for students to compare apples and coconuts.
- This comparison not only involves various math extensions, but you can toss in some science exploration as well, by having a discussion with your students about what they think is inside the coconut etc.
- Once you break the coconut open, give everyone a taste of the liquid as well as the meat. Graph whether students like apples or coconuts better.
- Make a Venn diagram to compare the two. It's surprising how many things you can find that they have in common. Picka Chicka lists several pages of very interesting facts + a 1/2 page of terrific links and You Tube videos, including how to open a coconut and climb a coconut tree!
- Click on the link to view/print the Chicka Boom graph and Venn diagram
Chicka Boom Envelope Letter Game:
There's nothing like a game to help students learn lessons. Children can play with a partner or in a group of 3.
You can make a class set of Chicka Boom trees, or allow each student to make their own "Chicka Boom Name Tree". Play the game several times in class and then let children take them home to enjoy with family.
Children glue construction paper to a sealed envelope making a trunk so that they can insert letters into the back of their tree's "pocket". Students roll a dice to determine how many letters they put in their envelope.
If they roll a 1 they take a letter out, if they roll a 6 they lose their turn.
Click on the link to view/print the Chicka Boom Envelope Letter Game patterns.
Chicka Boom Popsicle Stick Puzzle:
I love making Popsicle stick puzzles. They are easy and inexpensive and fun for students to put together.
- Simply find the clip art you want to match whatever theme you're doing and enlarge it to 5 1/2 x 4 1/2. Print it off and cut it out.
- Number 6 large wooden Popsicle sticks from 1-6 on the back and then arrange them side by side.
- Smooth white glue over the top and then press your picture over the sticks.
- Flip the sticks over onto another sheet of paper so that you can make a tiny space inbetwen the sticks so that you can cut them apart with an Exacto knife when they dry.
- Making a Popsicle stick puzzle out of your students' first day of school photo makes a nice keepsake as well.
- You can keep these puzzles for your classroom, or send them home with your students as a sweet back-to-school surprise!
I've also made a Welcome To School apple puzzle for you as well. They'd make a cute gift for each of your students.
You could print their names with a black marker across the center of the apple. A great "learn-to-recognize-your-name" activity for little ones.
Click on the link to view/print that pattern. Back-to-school Apple Puzzle.
A is for Apple and A is a VOWEL.
As mentioned above, apples are a big theme for back-to-school, so I wanted to toss in an apple project.
One of the things that I taught my first graders was a Vowel Song to the tune of Bingo that I made up. (There was a class who knew their vowels and this it what they sang oh: AEIOU-AEIOU-AEIOU They were a very smart class!)
When I designed this project for my first graders years ago, I thought it was funny how they would break out in song while they worked on this vowel apple! They really enjoyed both! I hope your kiddo's do too!
Run off my master on red construction paper, have your students cut and assemble the parts and glue either the vowel song or a words on the back.
Punch a hole in the stem and hang from the ceiling with fish line.
This makes a great decoration as well as a reminer of what all of the vowels are.
Click on the link to view/print the vowel apple pattern.
The Very Hungry Student!
A fun activity for the first week of school.
Your students will enjoy writing what they learned each month in this adorable booklet; it's sure to become a cherished keepsake!
- The rhyming text makes it a fun read-aloud.
- There's a page in the back for your students' autographs!
- It's also a nice way to review or learn the names of the months.
- This makes a great addition to a portfolio to show progress at Parent/Teacher Conferences.
- Glue the child's photo in the head of the caterpillar (like my sample) or leave it with the artwork provided.
- Depending on what grade level you teach, there are 3 different scenarios for the ending,
- What a fun way to remember all that you've done throughout the year; and build writing skills and self-esteem as you go along!
- Read Eric Carles' The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a nice introduction to this activity!
- There's a Pop-Up version out that my students adore.
- Click on the link to view/print a copy for your students. The Very Hungry Students back-to-school keepsake booklet.
Remember... sharing a tip or commenting on an article are two ways to enter our back-to-school button bracelet CONTEST!
Click on the CONTEST link to see all the details.
Be sure to pop in tomorrow to print another adorable keepsake booklet entitled The Students On The Bus. This one is a great math extension!
Last summer 123 Count With Me By The Sea launched with our website, to rave reviews.
Students enjoy counting the seashells and then X-ing off that many squares, putting in stickers, or dabbing the boxes with a bingo dot marker.
I have been using this bingo-dot concept with my Y5’s for over 10 years on skill sheets, as well as “find and circle the number in the sequence of numbers.” Both these techniques are fun ways for students to learn numbers.
As with the seashell booklet, many of my booklets also have a cut and glue the group/set of objects to the matching box in your booklet.
This helps reinforce counting, one-to-one correspondence, matching groups of objects and numbers, as well as having students refine their fine motor skills.
Several subscribers asked for more of these counting booklets as they cover a variety of standards, skills and subjects.
Students can do them independently in 5-8 minutes so they can be plugged in for Daily 5, centers, or something for students to work on, at their own pace, when they have completed other work.
They also make wonderful “Easy Readers” that help reinforce word wall words and build self-esteem.
You can also tuck them in a take home folder for “homework” or a home-school connection; or for parents to work on with a struggling child. They are perfect for a substitute as well.
I made 123 Count With Me booklets for each of them and plan to make at least 4 for every month.
October’s counting booklets will be leaves, pumpkins, bats, spiders and candy corn.
To celebrate the launch of the 123 Count With Me booklets I designed a special counting booklet that has a similar format.
It’s entitled: The Students On The Bus.
This one is more of a keepsake, because students glue their own photo on the first bus and then 14 of their friends’ school pictures on the next 4 buses.
Teachers simply print their class composite on the photo setting of their copier for each student.
The last page is made extra special as well, when the teacher glues their picture over the driver’s face before running it off.
Click on the link to view/print The Students On The Bus back-to-school booklet.
Why not become a subscriber and be able to download all of the 123 Count With Me booklets (There will be approximately 40!) Click on the link to see how.
Remember…commenting or sharing an idea are 2 ways to enter our back-to-school-button bracelet CONTEST! Click on the link for all the details.
LIKE us on Facebook and link this article and then e-mail to let me know, and there you have another way! Thanks for participating.
This article will go towards next week's winner, which will be announced Monday August 8th instead of Friday the 5th.
Check out this week's winners in the article after this one.
Simple scroll down! (We had 3 winners!)
Be sure to pop in this week for back-to-school idea #28 and make an adorable Alligobbler to help your students understand the concepts of less than and greater than.
The Shaplies Have Arrived:
A Fun Way To Teach Shapes That Will Excite Your Students!
Teaching shapes by making them look like “happy faces” makes learning about this flat math concept a lot more fun.
That’s why I designed “Shaplies”. Make a set for your room for an instant dangling decoration to hang from your ceiling for a great review each day!
In their debut appearance in the booklet: My I See The Shape booklet, students trace the large shape on the left, read and trace the simple sentence and then write the shape word.
On the right hand side of the page, they again read the sentence (this time the shapes are plural), color the shape, count how many are on the page and write that total on the line.
They also trace the dashed lines of the small shape at the bottom and then draw the shape next to it.
You are covering reading, math, and writing; while students reinforce a variety of skills and report card standards in a fun way!
They’ll also enjoy taking this booklet home and sharing it with their families, because they’ll be able to read it by the time they have completed the booklet—a real self-esteem builder!
To top off this reading-math block, students choose their favorite Shaplie and get some practice cutting and gluing, as they assemble an adorable Shaplie Friend dangler.
Send your student detectives on a Shape Hunt and have them make TALLY marks for each of the 6 shapes that they can find in 5 minutes.
When the timer rings help students add their totals and grand total and then graph the results.
To celebrate the birth of the Shaplie Family, click on the link to view/print the circle.
I've also include the circle page from the I See A Shape Booklet.
They're free through the first week of August.
Click on the link to view/print a set of FREE shape posters to hang on the wall or use as extra-large flashcards for shape review.
August’s packet was a whopping 78 pages! Click on the links to check things out.
Remember… sharing or commenting are 2 ways you are able to enter the back-to-school-button bracelet CONTEST! Click on the link to see the details.
Thanks for participating.
Be sure to stop back tomorrow to see how to make an adorable monthly keepsake booklet!
Contest for Back-To-School FUN!
I was surfing the net and landed on a few blogs that had contests. I LOVE contests, so I wanted to have one too. Don’t you just love winning a prize?
OK I hear some of you moaning: “I never win anything!” Well this is your chance. No talent needed.
There are 7 ways to win and it’s as easy as falling off your computer chair.
How easy is that, especially after a crazy day of getting ready to go back to school.
Ways to win:
- Who wouldn’t want to subscribe to this wonderful site?
- You’ll get to instantly download 1,000’s of pages from my shopping cart anytime, for an entire year, at no extra cost, for only $20 for a Gold Subscription.
- That’s only $1.67 a month!
- + you get the 50+ page Apple Byte Newsletter Packet each month!
- August was a whopping 78 pages long!
- + You get 10% off all magic tricks.
- + Diane is your personal designer. If you’re looking for something and can’t find it, or want a certificate or something special tweaked, drop her an e-mail and she’ll add it to her "Design ASAP list".
- Click on the link to see how to subscribe.
2. Register: Fill out our form and register with us. At the top of this page, in the right hand corner of the burgundy menu bar, you'll see LOGIN. Click on that. The last sentence says: "No account yet?" REGISTER. Click on Register and fill out the form.
3. Leave a Comment or Share an Idea on the blog in any of the sections: “Getting to the Core”, “Care to Share”, “Books of the Month”, “Dishin’ Up With Diane”, “Hot Tips & Cool Solutions”,or “Arts-Crafts & Activities”
4. Tell a friend about our site and have them REGISTER. When they fill out the “How did you hear about us?” part of the form, have them type in your first and last name. You BOTH will be entered in the contest.
5. Make a Purchase.
- With items starting at only .29 cents and going all the way up to only $2.99 for 50+ page units, you will not break the piggy bank on my site.
- I wanted to keep prices low because my main purpose is to share with others.
6. Blog about our site on your site and link to us. Let me know via an e-mail so I can check it out. I’m constantly being reminded about how important networking is, so let’s see it work!
7. Don’t have a blog? Do you have a Facebook acct? LIKE us on Facebook, and link one of our articles on your page, let me know via an e-mail so I can check!
Well there you have it! Wasn’t that easy? Did you fall off your chair?
You can enter ALL of the categories if you want to.
You can enter categories 3-7 EVERY DAY as long as it's something DIFFERENT! i.e., you order more than one product, you have more than one friend register, you like and link more than one article on Facebook, you blog about and link more than one article, you comment on more than one article, you share more than one tip or idea etc.
Obviously the more times you enter the more chances you have of winning!
All of the above partiipants will have their names thrown into a hat or box, or whatever Chloe, my puppy, has not hauled out of my office to chew on, and I will draw a name out EVERY Friday through AUGUST. That lucky person will win a back-to-school button bracelet.
I will post the winner-of-the-week on the Blog, on Fridays as well, notifying the winner via an e-mail and sending the back-to-school button bracelet via snail mail.
This week's winner will be announced this Friday on my birthday! How special is that for a first-ever contest?
A note about the bracelets:
I’m big on making crafts WHEN I have the time. My grama Lydia had a huge button jar, some of these are her buttons, others I’ve collected over the years, and some I just went crazy selecting at a variety of craft stores and flea markets.
I made one for myself and got so many compliments and “Could you please make one for me?” that I made up several to give as hostess gifts.
I enjoyed making them so much, that I decided to make a bunch the summer I was pink-slipped. Everyone is different! There is NO time for a craft show in my life, nor time for parties and hostess gifts. I’m having a contest and YOU may be the lucky winner, of a back-to-school-button-bracelet!
You can’t win if you don’t enter, so what are you waiting for?
Do something today!
And...be sure to visit tomorrow, to print off the time-saving first-day of school name tags and posters!
Helpful "How Do I Get Home?" Name Tags
One of the things that can sometimes be a stress-filled moment for me is the time when I’m getting my children ready to go home.
When you are dealing with little ones who are also anxious and a bit nervous and worried about that too, it is very important that they see you cheerful, calm and in control.
If you have things organized this will run smoothly.
Children are exhausted by now, it’s hot and everyone’s beyond spent at this point in the day.
I always try and enlist a few adults to help me so that things run smoothly. Having them hold up a sign works wonders.
Here’s an easy way to manage who goes where via pictures.
Print off the clipart of the various options:
Students are riding the bus: They line up in the order that they will board their specific bus numbers, behind the bus picture.
Their nametags all have a matching picture of a bus on them so you know at a glance that these children are in the correct line. Their tags also say what NUMBER bus they are on.
Students are walking: They line up in the walking line, behind the picture of a pair of tennis shoes. Their name tags all have a matching picture of the tennis shoes on them. Their tags also say whom they are walking with.
Students are getting picked up: They line up in the pick up line, behind the picture of a van. Their name tags all have a matching picture of a van on them. Their tags also say who is picking them up.
Students are going to after-school care: They line up in the after-school care line, behind the picture of a group of children. Their name tags all have a matching picture of a group of children on them. Their tags also have that room number on it.
On the back of the card is their address and phone number. This has saved me a lot of time when a bus driver has told me: “They're not on my bus. Where do they live?”
or “I don’t think he rides today. You better call his parents.” Or for whatever else I need to know an address or phone number quickly. I don’t have to go back to my room or search for a file, I simply flip over their name tag and all the info is there.
My name tags are also YELLOW which is a different color from the other kindergarten teachers (everyone has their own color) so everyone knows that these are Y5 students. I include Teacher: and write my name after that heading. It helps staff if one of my students wanders out of line.
I laminate my name tags and ask parents to safety pin them to their child for the entire month.
I also make an extra set to keep at school incase they lose them or forget to wear them.
I tell parents to simply take them off as soon as they get home and pin them to their backpack, that way they are always handy and if they forget to pin it on in the morning, I’ll still have it.
I walk the bus children to their buses. The other adults take the rest of the students to our designated “pick up room” where all the kindergarten children are “deposited” for safety reasons.
Parents who are picking up their children can go here and sign them out. Older children who are walking with these young ones can find them there, and the teacher in charge of the after school care program can get the K’s here as well, or send an assistant if she is busy.
Having a designated “pick-up room” has kept children safe and eliminated little ones running all over the hallways unattended.
Our librarian watches the room until the teachers get done boarding children on buses, then we stay with our students ‘til everyone is picked up.
Click on the link to view/print the back-to-school posters and name tags
I've also included a graph of "Where do I go after school?" This is a great math extension as well as a way to review with children before they line up at the end of the day. Click on the link to view/print the back-to-school line up graph.
These back-to-school-name tags, posters and graph came from this August's 78-page Apple Bytes, our newsletter packet, which goes out each month.
Why not become a subscriber and enjoy this benefit! Click on the link to see how.
Do you have a tip you can share about name tags? I'd enjoy hearing from you!
Remember... sharing a tip or commenting on an article are two ways to enter our back-to-school button bracelet CONTEST! You can also click LIKE us on Facebook and link this article on yours, then send me an e-mail so I can check it out!
Thanks for participating! Winner will be announced the 29th. Be sure to check out the cute way to teach shapes tomorrow and print off an adorable circle dangler + 6 posters!