Including adjectives, enhances students' writing. Here are 10 fall-themed describing worksheets that will help your students practice this skill. Includes an adjective definition anchor chart.
1-2-3 Come Learn Some Hand Signals With Me and Take Control of Interruptions!
Ask any teacher what their students' most frequently asked question is and "Can I go to the bathroom?" will be in the top 3. "Can I get a drink?" and "Can I sharpen my pencil?" Will be right up there as well.
If their question was grammatically incorrect, as with the above use of "can", to help teach appropriate grammar, I'd often reply: "Yes you CAN, but NO, you MAY not." I'd explain this from the beginning and pretty soon all of my students were learning the proper use of the word "may".
Young children, simply being kids, are often interrupting. An obvious remedy to this problem is enforcing the raising of hands. Because this is easily understood, I thought I'd take it a step farther.
If you want to go to the bathroom you make a fist and stick out your thumb. Displaying a specific number of fingers, to signal a need, has been around since I was a child, however, instead of putting up 1 finger, I found it especially helpful, to do the "fist and thumb" for a bathroom request, simply because my Y5's were often raising and waving their hands, but never with a fist. I could then see at a glance, who needed immediate attention.
This technique is so simple, yet really works. Start out by teaching the concept on the 1st day of school. Choose one of the posters, print several copies, laminate, and hang up in several "sure to be seen" places in your room, and then practice a bit.
The hand signals are especially helpful when you are explaining something. No need for a child to raise their hand and state their need out loud. They just put up a hand signal; you make eye contact with that student and nod yes or no. This also avoids children getting out of their seats to ask you, and lessens "copy cats." Have you ever noticed how many kiddo's all of a sudden need to do something, just because one child got the ball rolling?
Some teachers add "Get a tissue" as another signal, but I feel if you need a Kleenex, because you just sneezed and snot is running down your face, no need to hesitate, just go get one and take care of business. I let students know from day one, that they could get a tissue whenever the need arose, and then follow up with a squirt of hand sanitizer shortly after. In all of my years of teaching, no one ever abused the privilege.
Click on the link to view/download the Signal Me anchor chart-poster, and let the training begin! I've also designed a few more classroom posters for back-to-school week. To view the 2nd article I wrote for today, simply scroll down.
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"In the garden of my loneliness, trespassers will never be prosecuted." -Ashleigh Brilliant
A quick, easy and rather inexpensive treat bag to give your students on the 1st day of school.
I teach “mapping” as a writing strategy to my college comp students. It’s a fun visual way for them to get their thoughts organized on paper, before they begin to write their essay.
A name map is a terrific way to introduce "mapping" to elementary students.
This is also a nice icebreaker for the first week of school and a great way to get to know your new students.
Children think of a symbol that represents them and draw that in the middle. I chose an apple as it’s sort of universal for school or teaching.
Branching out from the center symbol is a variety of things about the person such as hobbies, their favorite season, birthday, what they want to be when they grow up etc.
By having students use their two favorite colors to write their first and last names in the center of their object, everyone gets to know another “tidbit” about that person.
The completed activity makes a wonderful back to school bulletin board too!
Make sure you do a personal one of yourself, so that you have a sample to show your students as a way to explain things, as well as a means for them to get to know their new teacher. Includes an explanatory note home to families.
Sharing name maps is a nice activity to do after reading the story Chrysanthemum.
This is a wonderful back to school tale, whose main character is a little mouse named Chrysanthemum. She loved her unusual name until she started school and everyone began making fun of her.
My inspiration to do name maps, came from an art teacher’s “heart maps” that he did with his 4th graders at Riverside Elementary.
Click on the link to check out their awesome endeavors.
I hope you and yours have as much fun!
Click on the link to view/download Name Maps.
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“There’s few things as uncommon as common sense.” –Frank McKinney Hubbard
"They may not be easy to see, but these are 5 things I want you to know about me!"
That's what the sentence says at the top of the paper.
It's a quick and easy icebreaker for the first day or first week of school, that’s a terrific writing prompt for September, and fun way to get to know your students.
When completed, they make a cute back to school bulletin board too!
Make sure you do one yourself, so you have an example to share with your students, so they know how to do the assignment, as well as get to know their new teacher!
Older students can draw their own self-portraits in the blank oval.
Remind them that this is just a section of their face from the nose up, or even just their eyes.
They should color their hair and eyes to represent themselves.
I find that younger students are less overwhelmed if they have some sort of template to follow and have a bit more fun with the activity if they don’t have to start from scratch.
You also won’t have to listen to whining: “I can’t draw a face; or “I don’t know how to draw.”
Little ones also tend to draw a tiny circle instead of a big one, or they draw an entire stick body.
You can include the template in your “Welcome to school summer letter” or Open House packet, and have students return them on the first day of school, so they can share with their new classmates right away.
Another plus of doing it this way, is that parents can help little ones write down the 5 things.
If you don’t do a summer letter or before school starts Open House, hand them out the first day of class and send them in backpacks for a home-school connection to be returned in the next few days.
Gather little ones on the floor in a circle and have them practice coming up and sharing in front of their new friends.
Older students can stand up beside their desks and read their list.
No matter what my students’ ages, I always have them applaud each child’s sharing. This is a big deal for many “shy” kids.
Writing in different colored markers jazzes things up.
If you have the time, turn this into even more of a keepsake, by tracing your students’ handprint on flesh-colored construction paper. Fold it over and cut once for 2 handprints.
Glue them “holding” the paper in such a way that they can "flop" open to reveal the paper.
You can punch a hole in the top and hang them back-to-back and suspend from the ceiling or line them up as a cute border, just below the ceiling in the hallway.
Click on the link to view/download 5 Things Icebreaker Portraits
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"By learning you will teach; by teaching you will learn." -Latin Proverb
A kajillion years ago, just before I was student teaching, I had a professor ask us to bring 3 things in a lunch bag that represented us. We’d be sharing it as an icebreaker.
I really liked this idea and filed it away in my brain, thinking it would be fun to do with my “someday” students.
Many “some days” have come and gone and I’ve since seen variations of the “me bags” all over the internet and on Pinterest.
When I was an aide, only ½ a jillion years ago, I did a writing prompt with my 2nd graders: “The Cat’s Out Of The Bag.”
I had an “all about me” checklist, written on a cat’s belly, that they filled out and then read to their classmates.
Later, they colored, cut and glued the cat, to the outside of a brown lunch bag and hung them on the front of their lockers, so passer’s by could get to know them.
I thought this would be a nice twist to the icebreaker bags of long ago.
Here’s what you do:
Make up your own personal “Cat bag” and share it with your students so they get to know a little bit about you.
I included a family photo, (my students always thought it was cool that I have an identical twin), a small stuffed poodle to represent our pet Chloe, a tiny book because I love to read, a pen because I love to write, and paintbrush because I love art.
No matter what grade I taught, I always made samples.
My students really enjoyed getting to know me this way, as well as being able to “see” something and refer to it, as they worked on their own project.
Run off the note to the parents, along with the cute cat and “The cat’s out of the bag” squares.
Attach them to a brown lunch bag and send them home with students on the first day of school.
This is an easy and fun way to get to know your students, as well as give them some practice sharing in front of their new friends.
Click on the link to view/download The Cat’s Out Of The Bag packet.
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“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you can help them become what they are capable of becoming.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Be True To The Red White And Blue
A big part of going back to school is teaching a variety of routines.
One of the things that my Y5’s were learning for the first time was The Pledge Of Allegiance.
Like many schools through out the US, we started our day with announcements.
Our principal’s voice would boom over the PA system and lead us in the Pledge.
My Y5’s were doing a wonderful job with memorization, but when I asked my little ones what they were saying, they were clueless, or had a very different interpretation of what some of the words meant.
For example, many of them thought indivisible meant being invisible.
I told them that it was important to understand what they were pledging, and asked them if they wanted to know what the words really meant?
Their curiosity was peaked and most of them raised their hands in agreement.
I designed My Pledge Definition Dictionary with kid-friendly synonyms they could understand.
As long as teachers are required to increase students’ vocabularies, why not start with these very important words!
This packet also includes a certificate of praise as well as a copy of The Pledge of Allegiance for students to practice tracing, as a means of memorization, so that they become familiar with the words.
Click on the link to view/download My Pledge Of Allegiance Definition Dictionary Packet
I feel that knowing about our flag is very important.
The Easy Reader booklet My Flag is a wonderful way to learn important facts about the flag, as students trace and then write key words, cutting and gluing matching pictures to the appropriate sentences.
The booklet can be used as an introduction to The Pledge of Allegiance or a review and has 3 different endings, which makes it very versatile.
Click on the link to view/download My Flag.
The 49-page Flag Activities Packet, covers the history of our flag, information about the flag, and includes links, articles, art projects, skill sheets and writing activities.
It’s a wonderful resource for something patriotic to do with your students.
One of my students' favorite activities was making their own personal flag. These are a great way to learn about your new students and make a terrific back to school bulletin board too.
Click on the link to view download the Flag Activities Packet.
Finally, the I’m Proud To Be An American Writing Prompt fits well at the beginning of the year when you’re teaching the Pledge, or looking for an activity for Constitution Day.
Use students’ finished pages as an easy bulletin board, or collate them into a class book.
Click on the link to view/download Proud to be an American Writing Prompt
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“I find that a great part of the information I have acquired was by looking up something and finding something else on the way.” –Franklin P. Adams
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.
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“Whoever retains the natural curiosity of childhood is never bored or dull.” -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Make A Pattern With Me!
Learning how to make, identify and extend a pattern are report card standards for our Y5’s.
They had fun doing that with all sorts of colorful manipulatives. I also used a variety of food during snack time.
They also glued mini-die cuts to a 1/2 sheet of construction paper each month, making a line pattern in their pattern booklet.
When we were out and about during field trips or for a fall or spring walk, I’d have them try and find patterns in nature as well.
Because I needed a “hard copy” to prove my students passed that assessment, I also needed to have some paper examples of them making and extending patterns, so I designed patterning skill sheets in every unit.
I just completed some anchor charts for you to laminate. You can use these as ways to whole group explain the concept.
Have students come up to the board and complete and identify the pattern.
Make this part of your daily calendar time, or plug in before or after you read a story. It only takes a minute.
You can also run off copies for your students as a worksheet, or use as an assessment when you are ready to evaluate their progress.
Because I used all of the colors and shapes, you can also take a moment to review those as well.
Click on the link to view/download the Pattern Anchor Chart Posters.
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“If we did all of the things we are capable of doing, we would truly astound ourselves!” –Thomas Edison
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Look Who's In Our Classroom!
One of my favorite books that I read during the first week of school was Chicka Boom.
My hallway bulletin board had a floor to ceiling palm tree on the side with a monkey hanging by it that would ooh ahh if you pulled its tail.
It was a great way to help anxious students calm down. “Do you want to hear my monkey talk?”
On the bulletin board was a monkey with each child’s name. During our Open House treasure hunt, students had to find their name.
Being able to recognize their name was one of our report card standards, so I was always trying to think of fun ways for my students to do that.
The caption on this b. board was: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Welcome To Our Classroom!
Another year, I skipped the b. board and used a wall to make the display even bigger because I wanted to include alphabet letters.
To get the wiggles out after reading the book, I pass out monkey masks and my Y5's played "Monkey See Monkey Do" and we copied the "Monkey In The Middle."
I know many teachers all over the country also read this book, so I wanted to design lots of activities for a variety of standards to go with it.
The Picka Chicka File Folder reinforces colors, upper and lowercase letters (Common Core State Standard RF.K1d) and shapes; as well as reading and writing.
Click on the link to view/download the 67-page Picka Chicka-Chicka Boom File Folder Packet.
Chicka Boom Boom Look Who’s In Our Classroom is an easy reader class book, that helps students get to know their new friends, reinforces name recognition, as well as upper and lowercase letters. (Common Core State Standard RF.K1d)
The 35-page Chicka Boom Trunk Tricks packet includes a variety of adorable Chicka Boom tree projects that reinforce letters, shapes, patterns, and other report card standards in a unique and fun way.
The packet includes:
Click on the link to view/download Chicka Boom Trunk Tricks
Finish up your Chicka Boom studies with this fun hands-on Chicka Boom snack.
To compliment all of the Chicka Boom activities I have a variety of monkey-themed activities as well.
Click on the link to view/download a variety of easy readers etc. This link will take you to the Monkey section, where I hope you’ll have a barrel of fun!
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I hope you can swing by tomorrow for more back to school ideas.
“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why and pursued the answer.” –Bernard Baruch