Lights! Camera! Action!
If you want to grab a child’s attention make them the star.
There’s no better way to get kids learning than to immerse them in the activity.
Want them to be interested in shapes? Have them lie on the floor and make the shape and take a picture of it.
They will love looking at the posters featuring themselves.
Take it a step farther and put the photographs in this easy reader.
Use it as a read aloud, or make copies for each child to trace and write.
When everyone is done with their booklet, read as a whole group to practice concepts of print.
They’ll enjoy taking it home to reinforce the lessons with their families and continue to share this wonderful keepsake as they review and learn the various shapes.
Since different schools have also added additional shapes, I’ve also included those. (octagon, pentagon, hexagon & polygon) Simply add the pages you need.
Here’s how to take the photographs:
You’ll need plenty of room so move your desks/tables.
If you can get an adult helper that expedites things. They can pose the children while you take the shots.
The children in my sample pictures are posed facedown, so I could share this on the Internet.
By all means have your sweethearts smiling sunny side up, so everyone can see how adorable they look.
Lightly draw your shape on the carpet with chalk. Choose students to lie on the lines. Blot up the chalk with a damp sponge.
Draw the next shape and choose different children.
I stood on a ladder from the janitor’s closet, to take my pictures from an “aerial” view. You might not have to get that high.
You’ll need 6 children for the rectangle. The circle’s a bit tricky. Have student’s hang onto each other’s feet so they stay rounded.
Your little ones really have a lot of fun with this activity and can’t wait for their turn, so if you have more kids than shapes, make sure you do some repeats so everyone gets a turn to be a star.
I’ve also used kid’s bodies for the following: numbers, and made a number book, hands on a large white clock to show times to the hour and half hour and then glued the photographs in a booklet called time.
Finally, I’ve also posed them to look like the number 100 for 100 Day.
I hope you enjoy making your body books! I know your kiddo’s will ask to read them over and over as the light bulbs go on and things take shape in their minds.
Click on the link to view/download Shaping Children Up! Class Shape Booklet
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You Are My Sunshine!
Are you looking for a little note to tuck into your students' backpacks on the last day of school?
One of my favorite clip art artists, Laura Strickland, just came out with some new sunshine artwork.
Of course I was thinking: Now what can I do with this adorable little bit of sunshine?
A summer note home was just the perfect thing. Wouldn't you agree?
Enjoy; and if you're one of the lucky ones to already be enjoying vacation and soaking in those sweet golden rays, well tuck it away for next year!
Click on the link to view/download the Summer Note Home
Bee-autiful Bee-havior Bingo, Is an incentive program to get students to model good behavior without constantly having to give a prize or something away.
It’s delayed gratification that helps teach patience and builds excitement.
Plus It’s a fun and easy way to reward students throughout the day on a daily basis.
The Bee-havior Bingo Board is perfect if you catch a child bee-ing good, completing a project 1st, staying on task, when you know that’s difficult for them, helping another student out etc. all those little things that really don’t deserve a big reward, but behavior that truly needs to be noticed and reinforced.
A student is acknowledged and gets to go up and jot their name anywhere on the board.
At the end of the month the teacher draws as many letters and numbers as they deem appropriate.
The teacher calls out a letter and number, which match up to a student’s name.
Teachers/students decide what the rewards will be.
You can give certificates, classroom “bucks” that students can save and “buy” things from the classroom rewards store; students can get a trip to the treasure box, or get to choose a non prize type thing, like getting to be line leader, getting to be student helper, or get to eat lunch with the teacher etc. I have a list of over 100 such activities if you like that sort of idea.
Click on the link to view/download 100+ Behavior Rewards.
Obviously the more times you are caught bee-ing wonderful, and get to write your name on the Bingo Board, the more likely you are to get a “bingo” and receive a prize.
I have a bingo board for each month.
You can mount these on an appropriate monthly color of construction paper, laminate them and have students use dry erase markers, so you can reuse them or simply run them off each year.
For sure laminate the BINGO letter and number cards.
I’ve also included mini- Buzzin’ By Happy Grams to send home with students who win the monthly Bingo Games.
I hope you enjoy this behavior modification technique. I think your students will.
It’s easy to implement, simple to keep track of and fun for your kiddo’s.
Click on the link to view/download INDIVIDUAL Bee-autiful Bee-havior Bingo
The individual Bee-autiful Bee-havior Bingo goes well with the whole group 100-chart Bee-autiful Bee-havior bingo.
Click on the link to view/download that packet.
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I hope you can come back tomorrow for another new idea!
1-2-3 Come Make An I’m A Te-riffic Student T-Shirt With Me!
This is a really fun end-of-the-year activity, but could also be a wonderful way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year too!
The hands in the photo are neon orange. The feet are much larger, but I took the shot with "Elliot" upside down, so they look smaller, they are actually much bigger than the hands.
Because this artwork is so big, when I took the photo feet fist, the head looked shrunken. LOL.
Anyway, you get the idea. I know yours will turn out really cute and be a great keepsake that your students will enjoy making.
I've included 2 different headings on the shorts so you have that option to use at the end or beginning of the year.
The end of the year shorts say: My short shorts of what I want to do this summer, The one for the beginning of the school year says: My short shorts of what I did this summer.
Run off copies of the t-shirt and shorts on a variety of brightly colored construction paper.
Students will fill in the writing prompts and cut the clothing shapes out.
Buy a few pair of sunglasses at The Dollar Store in bright colors. Have your students put a pair on and take a head shot of them.
Print the photo off in black and white and enlarge them on the copier. Students color the sunglasses in with a magic marker to compliment the color of their T-shirt or shorts.
Students trace their hand and foot on a folded sheet of bright or neon-colored construction paper. By cutting on a folded piece of paper they will get a pair of hands and feet.
Children glue their hands to the cuffs of the T-shirt and their feet to the bottom of the shorts.
These paper kids make an adorable wall display. Run them under the ceiling, as a border in your hallway.
For another writing extension, I’ve also included a T-shirt where students can list all the Te-riffic things they’ve learned during the year, jotting down the thing they feel they are the most terrific at.
Click on the link to view/download Te-riffic Student T-Shirt Writing Prompt
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You can also leave a comment here. If everyone adds to each other's bag of tricks how easy our lives become! Thanks in advance.
"There is a brilliant child locked inside every student." -Marva Collins
A Picture Is Worth A 1000 Words
I continue to have a great time making word art with Tagxedo.
I had written an article about this wonderful site last month and I’m once again happily fooling around with it today, making anchor chart shape posters.
I figure if we expect students to learn the shapes, as well as recognize the words for them, why not make a word shape poster!
If they see the words written right in the shape, that should help right?
I made the time to do this so you wouldn’t have to! Woo hoo!
I chose different colors for the various shapes and included the star, crescent, diamond, heart to the mix of standard flat shapes.
I’ve noticed on chat rings, that some poor teachers actually have to teach the hexagon as well as the pentagon shapes!
What rocket scientist decided a 5-year-old could wrap their head around those shapes?
Honestly, at least when they threw the octagon our way we could explain it with the stop sign! I’ve included them + the octagon, in case you need the help.
I’ve also made posters for the 3-D shapes, since the same ivory tower fella’s felt those shapes would be age-appropriate for Y5’s and Kindergarten kiddo’s too.
What next the Einstein theory? I think it’s time they asked some teachers to be part of the committees. What say you?
Any hoo, hopefully this will help turn a few light bulbs on!
Since the 3D shapes are a bit harder to distinguish in word art, I've also included a picture of a "real" 3D object on the poster.
I feel when you're teaching shapes it is easier for students to understand them if you can put them in real world context and have children spy the shapes they see around them.
i.e. This is a rectangle. A door is a rectangle.
Besides using them as anchor charts to help students remember the shapes and associate that particular shape with that word, you can also use them as jumbo flashcards; or shrink them to make Concentration Memory Match games for students.
Another way to help children remember shapes is to show how they are different. Put 2 posters next to each other and have students compare and contrast them.
I like doing this with a Venn diagram and often use hula hoops to start.
Play what's the shape? Each day put one of the shape posters face down on the board.
Give clues about the shape and have the students guess which one is the mystery shape of the day that is "hiding".
Make a shape bulletin board and display all of them there. Take one away and ask students which one is missing.
Pass the posters out to students and play I have; Who has? "I have the circle shape. Who has the triangle shape?"
Play "I'm Thinking Of A Shape." Start giving clues and have students guess which shape you are describing.
Finally, reveal which one it is by showing them the poster.
Click on the link to view/download Word Art Shape Posters
For those of you who are still in school, I hope things are really shaping up with your little ones, and that you are having a great end-of-the-year winding down time.
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Hope you can visit tomorrow for an adorable summer writing prompt to see how to make a quick and easy creative writing "craftivity"kid.
It's Time To Mouse Around
As I’ve stated in other articles, I try to plug in a nursery rhyme whenever it seems to fit in with whatever else I’m doing, so at the start of learning about telling time, it just seems appropriate to read Hickory Dickory Dock to children.
When looking into the background of this nursery rhyme, I discovered that it was indeed intended to teach about counting.
Who knows, maybe that led to the possibility of a little bit of time telling thrown in, as the reason why numbers were so important.
Hickory, dickory, and doc, is believed by some to mean, 8,9,10. How we got to one and why a mouse is running around the clock, remains a mystery, but makes a wonderful writing prompt.
In my packet, Hickory Dickory Clock, I’ve included 2 such writing prompts that turn into what could be hilarious class books: Hickory Dickory Dock: Who Else Went Up The Clock and Why? Helps students use their imaginations and work on verb skills.
I’ve written an extension of the poem to help jumpstart their imaginations, as well as review all 12 numbers, where a duck waddles up the clock at 3, followed by a rabbit who hops up at ten only to do it over again, culminating with my favorite, the cow, who of course jumps over the clock at noon, hoping to later jump over the moon.
A trace and write the verbs worksheet is also included.
The other class book is entitled: Why Did The Mouse Run Up the Clock? Did he have a secret meeting with his girlfriend; was there a piece of cheese hidden up there; was he running away from the cat? Your students will have fun solving the mystery on their page and illustrating it.
There’s an anchor chart poster of the modern version of the rhyme, as well as one of the 1901 Mother Goose version that uses the intro line “Hickety Dickety…”
Also included are two “craftivities” and a spinner game, which help reinforce telling analog time as well as digital time.
Hickory Dickory Dock Clock Game:
Hickory Dickory Dock Glue the Numbers on Your Clock, is a spinner game that is played with 2 to 4 players.
Students twirl the spinner. Whatever number they land on, they snip & glue to their clock and trace the digital time on the pendulum area.
The first child to complete all 12 numbers is the winner and receives a mouse for the top of his clock as well as a mini-certificate.
The rest of the children glue their numbers on their clock to earn their mouse sticker as well.
Teachers can have students add a brad and paperclips for clock hands to make this game into a “working” clock to whole-group assess the students, if they want to take this one step farther, or stop there and make the paper plate mouse clock.
Paper Plate "Mousin' Around" Clock:
Here students cut out their clock face and glue it to a colored paper plate. I used multi-colored Halloween plates that I got on sale and then ran off the mice on neon green construction paper for a nice pizzazzy complimentary color.
Pre-cut small strips of black paper. Students will snip these into a point and glue one to the back of their mouse. If you want the ears to be 3-D have them cut on the lines and bend back. This will help them move the mouse to the different times, as they can gently tug on an ear.
Poke a hole through the mouse, add a brad and fasten it to the back of the plate.
Whole group assess to the hour, by calling on students to give you a time. Children move the mouse’s tail to show that time and then hold up their clock.
Cat Got Your Tail? Time to the hour mouse slider:
Finally, “Time to Pull the Mouse’s Tail” also reviews time by the hour.
Students glue their two "clock tail” strips together and make hands to show the time from 1 to 12.
Teachers cut slits with an Exacto knife in their mouse and slip their “clock tail” into the mouse.
Using glue dots, I’ve added wiggle eyes and a small pom-pom nose for that extra touch of pizzazz.
The teacher calls on quiet students to call out a time. Children slide the mouse’s “tail” to reveal that time and hold up their mouse.
Play continues ‘til all 12 times have been shown.
I’ve also included traceable word flashcards for analog as well as digital times + covers to make an Itty Bitty booklet.
A sample of each one of the activities makes a sweet bulletin board: "Time to see what's up in ____________'s classroom!" or... Hickory Dickory Dock What's Going On On Our Side Of The Block?
Click on the link to view/download the Hickory Dickory Clock Packet
I hope this idea comes just in TIME to be a nice fill-in for whatever you’re doing right now.
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"Don't put a question mark, where a period should be." -Unknown
Math Games That Teach
My Y5’s really enjoyed Tummy Time and hauling out a tub of manipulatives to “play” with.
I put that word in quotations because they thought they were playing, but in reality, they were reinforcing a huge number of math skills as well as strengthening their upper body, by being on their tummies and working on exercising those fine motor skills as well, which helped to strengthen their finger muscles, that is so important in developing their ability to write.
One of their favorite tubs was the tanagram pattern blocks. I had a variety of puzzle-sheets for them to fill in , by placing the colorful tanagram blocks on them, as well as a variety of patterning strips for them to complete.
I like making up monthly activities that follow the same format, because it empowers students, as once they’ve played a game, or learned the directions, they can get down to business to practice the skill.
This builds their self-esteem, they get better at the activity, and the teacher is freed up to work one-on-one with struggling students, or do assessing, because other children can work independently because they know what to do.
I decided to make some monthly tanagram pattern block sheets that involved dice, as number recognition is a skill that the Y5’s needed to acquire.
Students can play independently, with a partner, or in groups of 2 to 4.
Whatever number they roll, they trace that tanagram piece, the tanagram’s number, and then place the tanagram over that piece.
You can also have students color their papers to match the real tanagrams.
The first child to complete their seasonal tanagram picture, by rolling all of the numbers and covering them, is the winner.
Click on the link to view/download Pattern Block Tanagrams on a Roll Dice Game
I hope you enjoy adding this game to your bag of tricks.
You may also PIN anything on my site that you think will help others. I truly feel life is all about sharing. Just think how easy our teaching would be, if everyone took the time to post just one thing on the internet that turned the light bulb on for kids!
Have a great day and may all your puzzles be fun to solve!
I know the year is at an end, but I just dreamed up Bird Words and am so excited. Hopefully you will be too, and can implement this program for next year.
I just had to blog about it today, because this 93-page packet, makes teaching word families simple and easy for you, and lots of fun for your kiddo's!
The Toucan will help make your students Can-Do Word Wizard Kids. These lessons plug in perfectly with your Word Work for Daily 5 activities too.
Students stay organized and keep everything in a neat folder for easy access!
The packet includes:
- A toucan Poster
- 34 word family header cards.
- 283 traceable word cards derived from the word family root prefixes.
- 5 Word Family apple word art "We're Studying Word Famiies!": posters/anchor charts.
- These can also be used as a cover for students' folders.
- (See the photo above for how these 1st 4 things are set up on your word family wall.)
- A blank set of cards for you to program with other word families.
- 34 "Trace and Write" worksheets that cover the 283 word family words.
- Covers to make the traceable word cards into Itty Bitty booklets
- A list of other things you can do with the cards including how to play the game Kaboom
- Kaboom bomb cards
- A self recording checklist of word families covered +
- 2 certificates of praise.
Click on the link to view/download Word Family Word Bird Packet
A perfect compliment to this packet is the Word Family Letter Wands!
Your students will have fun making "magic wands" out of 5 Popsicle sticks by simply putting a consonant on the front and back of each tip.
Words will "pop" out as they place the point in front of the words on their paper.
- Students write any words that appear on their recording sheet.
- The student with the most words when the timer rings receives a sticker on their sheet.
- As an alternative, have students think up silly nonsense words and then define them.
- For example, Zad, a friendly alien from the planet Zador.
- Students can keep this practice sheet and their "magic letter wands" in the above folders.
Click on the link to view/download Magic Word Family Wands
Be sure and pop in tomorrow for more teaching tips.
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May all your days be magical!
Building Self-Esteem By Giving Achievement Awards!
Are you looking for end of the year awards for your kiddo’s, certificates, candy bar wrappers etc.?
Do you want a nice end of they year note home to parents or a poem?
To same you time and energy, I’ve designed some, and then did some surfing so you don’t have to!
I found several poems and notes, and revamped them to come up with two of my own.
Here are some great links:
For candy wrappers I made an "Owl miss you!" packet complete with activities and a candy bar wrapper. click on the following links for other candy bar wrappers:
Other sites with more certificates can be found by clicking on the following links:
Innovative classrooms offers 30 certificates!
Family education has 19 certificates
KidBibs can even send your award via e-mail! How cool is that.
dltk kids helps you create your own portrait or landscape awards using their software program and clip art. Click on the link to check it out.
I hope you find something that suits your needs. It doesn't take long to make a lasting impression on a child. A simple certificate does wonders for their self-esteem. Put a smile on a little one's face today!
Do you have a certificate or helpful website that you'd like to share?
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1-2-3 Come Flip Over Opposites With Me!
It’s that time of year when students start wearing flip-flops!
I was looking at clip art and thinking “What can I do with flip flops?” I thought of “opposites”.
One sandal is the flip word and the opposite word is the flop; hence they flip flop.
I spent lots of time whipping together a 155-page packet so you wouldn’t have to!
I think your kiddo's will really enjoy this great vocabulary builder; it’s easy to implement and fun to do.
I know that school’s almost out, but hopefully this will get you excited for next year.
Hang up the flip-flop poster.
Choose a "flip" word for the day. i.e. "big".
Students have to guess the "flop" word "little" which they write in their flip- flop recording journal.
If you're also studying synonyms and/or antonyms, have the journal do double duty and challenge students to think up a synonym/antonym for the flip and flop words as well.
This only takes a minute, but will provide tremendous vocabulary building opportunities, an easy way for students to understand opposites as well as strengthen their understanding of synonym and antonyms.
The better their vocabularies, the better their writing skills. By writing the words, and doing the trace & write activities their spelling will also improve!
Flip-Flops make a great addition to your "Word Work" for Daily 5 activities too!
The packet includes:
- 550 traceable opposite word cards
- Covers to turn them into Itty Bitty booklets +
- Directions of what else you can do with the cards including a variety of games like Kaboom.
- Kaboom bomb cards
- 275 traceable pocket cards, (These can also be made into a flip booklet.)
- You can also turn these pocket cards into puzzle cards. Sample puzzle included.
- Blank set of cards to program your own opposite words, or worksheets. i.e., Write in one word and have students fill in the matching opposite word.
- A list of 550 words that make up 275 pairs of opposites.
- 3 different types of opposite recording sheets + 5 different journal covers so that students can make a Flip Flop Op Journal to record the daily Flip word activity in.
- Flip Word Of The Day Poster
- Flip Flop Word Wizard Tracking Chart-Poster +
- A certificate of praise
Click on the link to view/download Flip Flop Opposites
I hope your students absolutely flip over these fun activities as they build their vocabularies!
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"Anyone who has not made a mistake, has not tried anything new." -Einstein