A Great Back To School Book: The Kissing Hand
Since the first Kissing Hand Activity Packet was such a huge success, I decided to make another packet designed specifically around Common Core State Standards.
This packet will reinforce: Common Core State Standards: RI.K5,RI.K6,RI.K9,RI.K10,RL.K2, RL.K3,RL.K6, L.K1d, RI.1.9, RL.1.2, RL.1.3
It has a variety of fun reading and writing activities to go along with Audrey Penn's adorable story The Kissing Hand, about a little raccoon who doesn’t want to go to school.
The Packet includes:
Click on the link to view/download The Kissing Hand Packet 2
Thanks for visiting today. I’ve been away on vacation for a week so sorry there hasn’t been a post.
I’m back and rejuvenated with lots of super-fun ideas for you, so I hope you can pop in tomorrow too.
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“Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” –John Wayne
1-2-3 Read With Me!
Here are 4 easy readers that are great activities for the first week of school.
My First Day Of School, is a quick and easy activity that will engage your students on that busy first day.
Take their photo and include it, to make this a real keepsake.
I've also included a page for preschool, Y5's, 1st grade + a blank page for you to fill in whatever other grade is appropriate for you.
How Do You Go To School, helps reinforce how children get to school. Students will enjoy reading this booklet and sharing how they arrive.
To make it more personal, have students put an X by the picture on the cover, of how they get to school, then have them write the name of their school on the last page.
Children read the sentence using pictures as clues. They trace and write the key word, then cut and glue another picture to the matching numbered boxes.
The easy reader School, reinforces the idea of students liking school!
Children use picture clues to read the sentence. Students trace it and then write the main-idea word. Children then cut and glue a picture to the matching numbered boxes.
The packet includes:
Finally, We Go To School works on days of the week.
Being able to read (sight words) word wall words is a Common Core State Standard. I listed the parts of a calendar as part of my word wall and thought an easy reader that addressed this concept, would be a fun way to learn them.
I included a quick and easy schoolhouse days of the week slider in this packet as well.
I hope you find these easy readers a nice addition to your classroom activities. They work well for Daily 5 or a Reading/Writing center too.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope you can pop back tomorrow for more back to school ideas.
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“Whoever retains the natural curiosity of childhood is never bored or dull.” -Unknown
A Fun Way To Get To Know Your Students
Stamp of Approval Stamps make a great icebreaker for the first week of school and a terrific way to get to know your students + they are an instant back to school bulletin board showcasing your new students!
Send a copy in your Welcome to School - Summer Letter, or tuck them in your Open House packet, so that they can be completed ahead of time, and then shared on the first day of school.
You can also show your example on the first day, so that your students can learn a little bit about you, and then send the stamps home as an assignment for that first day.
How to fill in a stamp:
Students can write, type (using a fun(ky) font), or cut out letters (like a ransom note), or use stickers to make their name.
This goes on the wavy line portion of the cancelled stamp, in the top left-hand corner.
The PLACE where they were born, goes around the top of the circle.
The YEAR they were born, goes on the bottom-middle of the circle.
The MONTH and DAY they were born, goes in the center of the circle.
Months should be abbreviated, unless they are 4 or less letters long.
Places and dates appear on real cancelled stamps; making it personal, makes this assignment more relevant and fun!
Students draw a self-portrait of themselves. (Just a headshot) This needs to be colored. Hair and eye color etc. need to be appropriate, so students can possibly guess whose picture belongs to whom, if the teacher wants to add that activity before the “real” student comes up to share.
Students need to think of their favorite things to do, their hobbies, or sports or “stuff” they are involved in, or possibly what they want to be when they grow up. Basically, anything that represents them or will help us get to know them.
After they have thought up their “list” they need to find pictures, clip art, or stickers of those things and glue them around their self-portrait.
Students write or cut out 3-5 words that describe them. These should be scattered around on their stamp.
Challenge older students to include a word that begins with the same letter as their name. i.e. I chose driven (Diane) for mine.
Students share their stamp with their classmates. I always had my students clap for each person when they were through.
Hang them in the hallway or on a b. board, along with the “Stamp of approval star student” poster.
To add some 3D effects, suspend some glittery stars of various sizes, from fish line, just above the board, at various lengths.
Click on the link to view/download Stamp of Approval Stamp activity
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“Teaching is a lighting of sparks and setting minds aflame;
it’s a creative mind that knows what kind of gasoline to throw on to get it glowing and burning even brighter the next day and the next…” -Diane Henderson
A popular saying with students is, “That rocks.” Not sure where it came from, but if you tell a child that they rock, it will definitely build their self-esteem, and letting them know that the new grade that they are now entering rocks too, will hopefully get them excited to be there.
I went a bit slap happy downloading a bunch of fonts one day, thinking of all the “way cool” things I could do with them. “JF Rock” was one of them I just “had to have!”
I designed a “rockin’’” trace and write alphabet as well as a counting numbers 0-10 booklet, with praise certificates, to reward your students with.
As a fun back to school treat, run off the “You Rock” bookmarks, include your students’ name at the end and lay them atop a package of Pop Rocks.
They sell them 3 packs for a buck at The Dollar Store, in 3 yummy flavors. You could also dump them in a basket and offer students a choice, as an incentive when they complete their first day of morning activities.
I’ve also made _________________ grade rocks, bookmarks as well. These can be colored with neon markers or crayons, for a quick and quiet activity, while you’re involved with whatever, on that busy first day.
Make these a bit more special and wrap them around a pencil with a fat eraser. All of the Office Supply Stores offer a kajillion super deals on packages of pencils and erasers in August.
Anyway….I hope your new bunch of kids really rocks your world, in a positive way, and that this is your best year yet!
Have fun with these things and thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything from my sight you feel others might find worthwhile.
Click on the link to view/download the School Rocks Packet
"Education sows not seeds in you, but makes your seeds grow!"- Kahlil Gibran
It’s In The Bag!
There are pro’s and con’s about giving students a treat bag on the first day of school.
I LOVE making up little surprises for my students.
They are 4 or 5 and I think if I have a little something waiting for them on their desk it makes school especially fun for them.
When I taught other grades I did treat bags. My students could read the note, so they understood the symbolism behind some of the things I tucked in their bags.
The adorable treat bag pictured above was designed by Amanda. Her back-to-school snack consists of: Captain Crunch Treasures, Vanilla Yogurt Dipped Raisins and M&M's. Click on the link to visit her blog.
I used to make up a Reading Survival Kit as well as a Writing First Aid Kit and tucked the Baggies in my 1st , 2nd & 3rd grader’s desks at different times during the beginning of the year. They were thrilled. I ordered some of the things in the reading kit from Fun Express.
Click on the links to view/print them.
I also made a very simple treat bag, with just a few things in it and tucked a brief message in the Baggie for them to read on their first day of school.
Click on the link to view/print my first day of school treat bag.
I also found a cute Lucky Charms treat bag online that many teachers were doing. There were several different notes so I revamped one and made it my own.
For a sweet and easy treat, simply fill a small Baggie with the cereal, fold my note and attach it to the outside of the bag.
Click on the link to view/print the Lucky Charms treat bag.
When I started teaching Y5’s I opted to do a treasure box for open house instead, because the first day is rather hectic when I’m all by myself with as many as 19 four-year-olds, who may want to rip open a treat bag, even when I instruct them to take it to their locker to open at home.
I’ve had inquiries about treat bags, so I wanted to write a blog article and give you some ideas. I did a little research and found a plethora of Google listings for treat bags.
I compiled an alphabetical list of goodies teachers have tucked in their bags, as well as the symbolism behind them.
Click on the link to view/print the treat bag list and then pick and choose what you’d like to include and design your own treat bag.
Some teachers fill a large cup with goodies, some tuck their treats in Ziploc Baggies, and others use colored lunch bags.
Then there are those crafty teachers who design extra special bags.
One creative person made cute busses and hot-glued white buttons on the black wheels. (Adorable!)
So if you've got the time to be crafty... Click on the link to check out her bus treat bag YouTube video.
Because I like to tuck notes and special treats into several of my teacher friend's mailboxes, I made up a little treat bag for them as well.
Click on the link to view/print the teacher treat bag note.
Be sure and check back tomorrow for my quick and easy owl treat bags made from a lunch bag, as well as some other quick and easy ideas to make that first day special!
Blasting Off To The First Day Of School
As I stated in the last article, counting down the last 10 days 'til school starts is a wonderful way to get children excited about going to school.
It also provides an opportunity to talk about this special time in their lives and dispel any fears or anxieties first timers may have.
Being able to actually SEE time going by helps a child. Unlike adults, children don't really have a concept of time yet.
This is why the paper chain that I hung up in my classroom is such a successful learning tool for children, as well as a terrific patterned decoration.
You may want to make a two-color, 10-link paper chain and hang it up in your child's room.
When they go to bed at night, let them tear off a link. When the last link is gone, they will be going to school the next day.
You can write a little note on that link and tuck it in their pocket or lunch box. "I love U" using a drawn heart for the word love is a great note, or simply a smilie face will recall the paper chain memories and time with you.
From my 1st class of Y5's, I always included a countdown page in my summer welcome letter.
Counting from 10 - 0 is one of our report card standards so I thought this would be a fun way to introduce that concept and get my students excited for their first day.
I designed 8 additional ones, so that you would have a selection to choose from. I tried to think of the various themes teachers cover in August-September that are popular with children.
There's an apple, baseball/bat, butterfly, caterpillar, crayons, dinosaur, frog and ladybug.
Click on the link to view/download 20 pages of Fun Countdowns.
Thanks for visiting. I hope you can stop by tomorrow for more back to school ideas.
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"Keep your eyes open and your feet moving and ou'll find what you need." -Unknown
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!
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!
1-2-3 Count Up To 100-Day With Me!
Since school has just begun, it's a good idea to start keeping track of how many days you've been in school, so that you can celebrate that big 100 Day that has become so popular. A counting up to 100-Day idea, that is a “must have” for me, is Zero The Hero. He is a fun vehicle for incorporating math skills.
I designed an entire packet around Zero, including a friend named Zippy, who would allow teachers to toss in a little geography.
There just never seems to be enough time in the day for everything, and geography is one of those “things” that my students needed a bit more of.
Zippy is a quick, fun and easy solution, as he travels to places around the world that begin with the letters O and Z.
Celebrate every 10th day by making a page in your Zero the Hero book. What a great keepsake to take home on 100 Day!
Students put 10 reinforcement holes on their number.
This is a nice fine-motor and counting skill + each child will then have 100 “zero-stickers” in their booklet on the 100th Day of school when they complete their last page!
Students will also enjoy zipping around the world to interesting O and Z places with Zippy.
The passport is sure to be a huge hit, complete with travel and award stickers.
Included are: clue sheets, notes, and an
“I Wonder Where Zippy Is?” Guessing-Poster.
Students will have fun learning about the various places as they work with parents to find and bring in an interesting fact in their "home-school" connection assignment.
Follow up their adventures, by locating places on your classroom map.
Make a Zero the Hero count by 5’s slider and a Zippy count by 10’s slider to review skip counting and identify numbers.
Various activities reinforce a variety of report card standards and are sequential and repetitious, so that students know what to do.
Because of this, kids are empowered and are able to do these as independent center activities, which are great for Daily Five or other “no hassle” centers.
For example, on the 30th day of school, students bingo dot their skill sheet and then graph their cup of 30 Froot Loops. Afterwards, they can make a necklace out of the brightly colored cereal or eat it.
Students keep everything in a folder and have a wonderful keepsake to take home on the 100th day of school.
Click on the link to see sample pages from this 170-page unit and then download it.
What a fun way to count up to 100-Day while reinforcing a variety of report card standards! Zero the Hero packet
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