A Great Back To School Book: Chrysanthemum!
I designed the Chrysanthemum packet to help reinforce LOTS of Common Core State Standards in quick, easy and fun ways.
As with The Kissing Hand Packet featured in yesterday's article, this packet reinforces 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
The packet includes:
I use the book Chrysanthemum as a wonderful lead-in story that the nursery rhyme: “Sticks and stones may hurt my bones but names will never harm me” is simply NOT true’ as words can be very mean AND hurtful!
I Xerox off the cover of the book Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes, and read the story.
Each time someone hurts Chrysanthemum's feelings, I pass the paper around the circle.
We each crumple up the paper, say "I'm sorry" and then smooth it out. By the time I am done reading the story, the picture of Chrysanthemum is in shreds and full of holes as well.
We discuss the fact that words hurt, and even though we say that we are sorry and “smooth things out” with that person, we have still hurt them.
The words sort of leave “scars” on their heart and in their mind, just like the dilapidated paper visually demonstrates.
I cut out a large red paper heart and glue the poor shredded cover of Chrysanthemum next to a fresh cover, as a gentle reminder to think before you speak, as words DO make a difference.
I also want children to understand that being critical of each other and saying things like "I don't want to be your friend” and leaving them out of a group when they play, is also hurtful.
I'll ask them a question like: “How would you feel if Mrs. Henderson said that to you?”, or how would they feel if I gave everyone else a toy or piece of candy, or let everyone go out for recess and didn't let them go? It really gives them a wake up call.
Chrysanthemum discusses making fun of a child’s name. Hooway For Wodney Wat is a wonderful book that delves into bullying and making fun of a child with a speech impediment.
This is a great comparison-contrast book to work on that Common Core Standard, using a Venn diagram that once again brings home the fact that teasing is hurtful.
Click on the link to view/download Chrysanthemum Packet
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“All you need is a plan, a road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.” –Earl Nightingale
123 Come Color With Me!
Color words were an important part of my word wall.
My Y5’s easily learned these because I included them in so many easy reader booklets, which really helped build their self-esteem.
This booklet Helps with Common Core State Standard: RF.K.1b
Students TRACE, WRITE, COLOR, & GLUE their way through 10 color words. (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, black, brown and white.)
It’s really a fun way to reinforce learning how to read, write and spell color words while reinforcing cutting skills as well as listening and following directions!
You can work on one page a day (perfect for Word Work for your Daily 5 activities) or one a week if you do "Color of the Week" like I did.
This is a great booklet for a portfolio as well, because it shows student improvement.
If you feel that color words are part of your "high frequency word list" then this activity would also help with Common Core State Standard: RF.K.3c
Click on the link to view/download My Color Words
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“What comes from the heart goes to the heart.” -Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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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“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why and pursued the answer.” –Bernard Baruch
Picture Clues Help Students Read
How Do You Go To School? Is a fun easy reader for your students to do the first week of school.
It’s a great way to reinforce the end of the day routine and who should line up where, because of how they will get home.
Graphing how everyone does that, will help children get to know the different means of transportation available, plus get to know their new friends better.
Children read the simple sentences using picture clues, trace and write the mode of transportation word, and then cut and glue the matching numbered picture to the page.
When everyone has completed their booklet, read it together as a whole group activity to reinforce concepts of print.
This will also enable students to share it with their families at home.
Click on the link to view/download the How Do You Go To School? easy reader.
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“Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.” -E.M. Forster
Teaching Beginning Word Capitalization and Ending Punctuation Common Core Standards, By Hunting For Sentences And Fixing Them!
I’ve been trying to think of some fun activities to go with Common Core State Standards and thought sprinkling sentence cards around the room for students to find would be something different.
My Y5’s LOVED Goin' on a bear hunt during our hibernation studies, so I dreamed up sentences that would go with the adorable clip art bears of Laura Strickland.
I made up 12 bear sentence cards, that are missing a capital letter and end punctuation, so you can work on the Common Core State Standard: RF.1.1
Here students need to demonstrate an understanding of the organization and basic features of print, by recognizing the distinguishing features of a sentence. i.e. first word capitalization, and ending punctuation.
Here’s how to Go On A Bear Hunt:
Print and Laminate the cards.
Decide which 10 you want to use for the bear hunt and number them with a dry erase marker.
If you use a permanent marker, a Mr. Clean Eraser will wipe off the numbers.
Put a magnet on the back, so students can put them on your white board, or use a pocket chart.
The one pictured I just bought at Target. They were in their Dollar Deal section. They also had red and green.
This pocket chart only has 8 pockets so you’ll need 2, or you can put a magnet strip on the pocket chart and a magnet on card number 1 and card number 10. Students place the cards in the pockets and put card #1 above the chart and card #10 under the chart.
Sprinkle the cards around the room. Students find them and put them on the white board or in your pocket chart in 1-10 order so that they can rewrite the sentences on their recording sheet,.
When students write their sentences they put a beginning capital letter, and the appropriate end punctuation on their sentences, circling both for easy identification.
Before students take their seats and work on their own papers, read the cards as a whole group, adding inflection so that students can determine where an exclamation mark goes,
You may want to give students an FYI that the Oh no! The bear sees me. and Help! I see a bear. cards are made up of two sentences.
Have students gather in front of the board and have them take turns filling in the correct answers with a red dry erase marker.
A nice "get the wiggles out" activity to do afterwards, is to play "Goin On A Bear Hunt." and have students go through the motions.
One of my favorite versions of this is from Greg and Steve's Kid's In Action CD. It's on YouTube. Click on the link to have a listen. My Y5's begged to do this all the time.
Later, you can use different sentences and use the recording sheets as an assessment.
This packet also includes a certificate of praise.
Click on the link to view/download Goin On A Bear Hunt Sentence Punctuation Packet
If you like this way of working on capitalization and punctuation, be sure to watch for my up coming Piggy Punctuation, Kitty Capitalization, Hop To It Frog Capitalization and Punctuation, and I’m Dino-mite At Doing Capitalization and Punctuation.
They all follow the same format as Goin’ On A Bear Hunt and will be completed this week. To find them click on the reading apple on my home page and then click on capitalization or punctuation in the list under grammar.
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“Everyone who remembers his own educational experience, remembers the teacher, not methods and techniques.” -Sidney Hook
Common Core State Standard Letter Perfect Activity Poster
Here is a simple, easy, and relatively quick activity that you can plug in, to nail quite a few Common Core State Standards with one fell swoop!
Laminate this poster and use it during your calendar or reading block time.
Take a letter each day and fill in the appropriate boxes.
Using a dry erase marker demonstrate to your students how you write an uppercase and lowercase letter.
Students can practice on a dry erase board, or you can make a copy of the Letter Perfect sheets for them.
You can keep these as individual sheets or run off a set of 26 and collate them into an alphabet booklet for each child that they will take out and use during Daily 5 for the writing portion or word work.
If you don’t do Daily 5 this can be an independent writing center, or as in the example above, you can do these as whole group skill sheets.
Have students listen to the sound the letter makes as you say it.
Have students repeat the sound.
Ask them if they can think of any words that make that sound.
By demonstrating basic knowledge of letter-sound correspondence by producing the primary or most frequent sound for each consonant, they are working on Common Core State Standard: RF:K.3a
If the letter is a vowel, have students tell you what other letters are vowels.
I have my students sing the vowel song to the tune of B-I-N-G-O
There was a class who learned their vowels
And this is what they sang Oh
They were so very smart! Oh!
Differentiate between long and short vowels and fill in the appropriate boxes on the chart with words that they can think of.
By associating the long and short sounds with the common spellings for these 5 major vowel sounds, students are working on Common Core State Standard: RF: K. 3b.
By distinguishing long from short vowel sounds in any spoken single syllable words they come up with, they are working on Common Core State Standard: RF.1. 2a.
Have them become ABCDe-tectives and look around the room for words on their Word Wall or Read The Room signs that begin with that letter and then as they say them aloud, ask them to what box/category they should put the word in.
If the letter is a consonant decide if it is a hard or soft consonant and do the same thing as above.
Ask the children if there are any students who have a first or last name that begins with the letter of the day and have them come up and write it on the chart.
Finally, choose a quiet child to find and circle the letter of the day in the alphabet.
You can end by giving someone a pointer (I turned out the lights and used a laser light) to point to each letter of the alphabet on our border and we sang the ABC song.
By consistently reviewing all of the letters, you are helping students to recognize and name all of the upper and lowercase letters of the alphabet which is Common Core State Standard: RF:K.1d and L.1.1a
If you are also going to do these as a skill sheet for your students, they can record at the same time as you do, or after the group modeling, can return to their seats and fill in their own paper.
In order to cover the Common Core State Standard RF: K. 1b make sure that you:
Explain to children each day that “Spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters.”
As you can see, quite a few standards are covered in one simple and fun poster activity, which can also double as a skill sheet for your students!
Click on the link to view/download Common Core State Standard Letter Activity Poster
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“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” –Benjamin Franklin
Dots of Glue Pictures and Pinch and Pokes Help Fine Motor Skills
Use these seasonal dotted clips to help your students learn to use glue bottles and use just a dot of glue with the cute rhyme-song that goes to the tune of “If You’re Happy And You Know It!”
I’ve seen it all over the Internet with no credit given to who is the originator, so if you’re that creative person, let me know and I’ll acknowledge you + link up.
Simply run off the art work and have students color it if you want, for that extra fine motor practice and then placing it on a sheet of scrap paper to avoid the “oops spills” give students a small glue bottle and have them practice plopping a small dot (not a lot) on each little spot on the picture.
Remind them to sing the little ditty while they plop and dot.
If your kiddo’s are like mine, they will enjoy this activity. It will strengthen their finger muscles as well as their aim, (hand-eye coordination) and in no time you won’t dread passing out liquid glue, because there won’t be lakes of it running all over the place.
You can also use these as mini-Pinch & Pokes.
Students LOVE doing these, and they help increase the same finger muscles as the above activity.
Plus they strengthen the upper body, because students lie on their tummies on the carpet. The paper needs to be on a carpet square or the carpet, so the “poker” can go through the paper.
My Y5’s had no problems being trusted with a fat tack as long as I explained the rules: No poking themselves, another child or anything but the dots on the paper. Any infractions and they had a time out and could no longer do Pinch & Pokes, period.
Since this was an activity as fun as Play-Doh, they behaved. If you still cringe at the “sharp object” idea, a golf tee works well, but makes a bigger hole and is a bit harder to poke into paper and sometimes tears things rather than gives a nice circular hole.
Since this is seasonal and themed clip art, with 4 to 5 on a page, I’m sure you can dream up cubby tags and a variety of other “stuff” to use them for. Enjoy!
Click on the link to view/download Just a Dot Not A Lot Pinch and Poke Picture Packet
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"I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Time To Try A Little Tenderness
Teaching students to be kind is a nice activity for the beginning of the school year when you are explaining your rules and implementing student behavior programs and contracts.
The Kindness Packet includes:
Click on the link to view/download the kindness packet.
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"We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future." -Franklin D. Roosevelt