From Seeds To Pumpkin Pie -- Life Cycle Craftivity
I LOVE teaching hands-on "craftivities." They are wonderful vehicles that get students motivated and excited to learn.
They involve a multitude of senses as I incorporate all sorts of skills, report card standards and subjects.
From Seeds To Pumpkin Pie is an example of how I do this.
The front of the pumpkin reviews all of the basic shapes, including the hexagon, as students design their Jack-O-Lantern. (K.G.2)
Students can draw them on their orange circle or give them an assortment of the various shapes, by pre-cutting them out of black construction paper. I would opt for the latter with Y5’s or younger.
I’ve found that little ones are often frustrated with reproducing shapes, particularly triangles, so they make a dot here and there and put a smile on their pumpkin face, which defeats the purpose of the lesson.
This way you’ll get all sorts of unique Jack-O-Lanterns with hexagons, ovals, triangles etc.
Things are also done in a short amount of time, yet students are still getting a good fine motor skill work out.
Listening and following directions is imperative to assembling their project, which can be whole-group assessed.
The back of the pumpkin converts into a pie and is divided into quarters and shows the life cycle, so you’ll be teaching science.
A cycle is done in a specific order, so you can review ordinal numbers as well. i.e., first we plant seeds, second we’ll see a sprout, third the yellow flower will appear etc.
The picture is divided into 1/4ths so it’s perfect to introduce or review fractions (Common Core math standard1.G.3) with first graders.
That’s specifically why I added the 2 skill sheets with the pumpkin pie and stem activities, so 1st grade students can work on partitioning circles (pumpkin pies) and rectangles (pumpkin stems) into two and four equal shares; describing the shares using the words halves, fourths & quarters. (1.G.3)
Click on the link to view/download From Seeds To Pumpkin Pie
I hope your little “punkins” enjoy this hands-on craftivity, while they’re learning Common Core.
Their self-esteem will be built as they see their work dangling from the ceiling in the hallway too. What a treat!
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“Work is love made visible.” –Kahlil Gibran
Ready. Set. Action!
Having to write a simple sentence with a noun and verb, with appropriate capitalization and end punctuation is now a standard for even our youngest students.
This can be a pretty big mountain to climb, as some of them are just learning how to write their name and to identify the letters of the alphabet, so I thought why not cover all of these standards in a fun way with an alliterative class-made alphabet book!
The 36-page Name & Action Verb and Noun Class Book packet, is perfect for first graders, and something that can be done later in the year for kindergartners and makes a great Daily 5 or reading or writing center activity.
The packet covers the Common Core Standards: RF.K1a, RF.K1c, RF.K1d, RF.K3a, RI.K.5, RI.K.6, L.K1a, L.K1b, L.K2a, L.K2b
I'm very familiar with Kindergarten standards, and I know some of the first grade standards over lap, but I don't have a handle on all of them. Sorry I don't have the numbers for you.
Students write a simple sentence using a letter from the alphabet that starts with the letter of their name.They underline the capital letter of the beginning word as well as the ending punctuation.
To make sure they have included an “action word” (verb) and a “thing word” (noun) they need to underline those as well.Children then illustrate their page.
I chose to make this an alliterative book because I think tongue twisters are not only more fun, and a bit more challenging for first graders, but they help reinforce the Common Core Standard RF.K3a where students demonstrate basic knowledge of letter-sound correspondences, by producing the primary or most frequent sound for each consonant.
If you think this is too difficult for your PK’s or K’s, simply have them think of any verb or noun and simply work on that skill, rather than make it too complicated.
I suggest sitting in a circle around the white board and brainstorming each child’s words, as a whole group, which would help the light bulbs go on via repetition, as you are continuously working on the same concept over and over with different letters, with everyone helping you until you have completed the task.
You could also send the page home as a home-school assignment, and let parents work one-on-one with their child.
Add a photo to make the book even more interesting. This could be a picture you took on their first day of school, or their professional school picture. Have children outline it with a black marker.
You can run off the last page so everyone can work on their letter skills. Have them trace and then write their letters and then pair up with a partner and quiz each other on which letter is which. I've also included a certificate of praise.
When everyone has completed their page, laminate and collate them into a class book.
Make sure that you do a sample page of your own. My students are always surprised to find out that I too, have a first name.
As you share your example page, show them the organization and basic features of print: How they follow words from left to right, top to bottom and page by page (RF.K1a) making sure that they see and then write their own words separating them by spaces. (RF.K1d).
Point out the title page, front cover, and back cover. Once again have them define what an author and illustrator do. They will be thrilled that THEY are the authors as well as illustrators.
If you simply do that, you will also be working on the Common Core State Standards: RI.K.5, RL.K.6
When you get to a student’s page have them come up and read/share their page.
When they are done they can choose one question to ask the class: What the action verb was, what the noun was, what was the name of the end punctuation or what letter was capitalized?
Students will enjoy “playing teacher” and you will be reinforcing several standards in a fun way, as each child shares their page!
Click on the link to view/download Name and Action Class Book
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“See everything; overlook a great deal; correct a little.” –Pope John XXIII
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
Thank you for visiting today. Hope you can pop back tomorrow for more helpful tips.
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“All you need is a plan, a road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.” –Earl Nightingale
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
Grammar Can Be FUN When You Make It A GAME!
Since the Goin On A Bear Hunt Punctuation and Capitalization activities were such a huge hit, as promised, I made cat, dinosaur, frog and pig, cards too.
They follow the same format. The beauty of this is, that it empowers students and builds their self-esteem.
Repetition of some activities is important, especially with young children, because they can’t read directions.
Once the teacher has read, explained and modeled an activity and students have done it, they are good to go the next time around.
This independence makes them feel great and the teacher is freed up to work one-on-one with struggling students or ESL children.
A definite win-win all around, and the big reason I set up my tabletop lessons and easy readers the way I do.
By sprinkling the cards around the room and having children search for them, you help get the wiggles out, add some variety into your students’ grammar routine, and make correcting sentences a lot more fun, than simply handing out a worksheet. + it only takes a few more minutes and your students are now excited and ready to “get down to business!”
Because of this, these cards and recording sheets make great Daily 5 or writing center activities and help students nail the Common Core State Standard: RF.1.1
Each set also includes a certificate of praise.
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I hope you can stop by tomorrow for more back to school ideas.
Do you have a back to school idea or teaching grammar tip you could share with us?
Thanks in advance for taking the time to do that.
If everyone took a moment to share, just think how full our bag of tricks would be, and how much easier our lives would become!
“It’s possible we could teach kids anything. I get them to live the concepts. My job is to push them. I want 30 Rocky Balboas, 30 students who are thirsting to learn.” -Joseph Vicari
Using Chicka Boom Boom To Help Teach A Common Core Standard
You might have noticed that any item in the shopping cart, that has to do with learning the upper and lowercase letters of the alphabet, now has Common Core RF:K.1d in the description.
I ran off a copy of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Kindergarten and First Grade and am going through each standard and then finding all of the items on my shopping cart that will help teach that standard and labeling it with that standard.
Since I have so many items that help teach upper and lowercase letters, I thought I’d start there.
I hope teachers will find this helpful. I also want to make positive affirmation cards for you, as well as take a crack at assessments and certificates when students pass the standard.
I plan to work on this each day throughout the summer. I feel there is a real need out there for this information, as there are only a handful of states that haven’t jumped on the bandwagon and teachers don’t have enough time to prep all of this.
I hope to have the shopping cart cataloged by the end of summer. It would be so helpful, if you are downloading an item, because you find it will be helpful for a specific CCSS, and you see that I don’t have it marked, if you would please take a moment to shoot me an e-mail and tell me what standard you are using it for.
It’s a bit labor intensive for me, because there are no standards for Y5’s, so I never had to worry about them.
I’ve been spending lots of time doing research online learning about Common Core and picking my teacher friends’ brains. Anyway….thanks in advance.
One of my hottest downloads that teach CCSS RF:K.1d is my Chicka Boom Activities packet.
This packet is great for the first week of school and a fun way to help your students learn about their classmates, as you include their photo on the coconuts and write their names in alphabetical order in your first class book!
I LOVE the Chicka Boom books; they were certainly a favorite read aloud for my students, and are perfect for back to school.
Click on the link to view/download the Chicka Boom Activities packet.
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"Dear teacher. I like to talk to everyone, so moving my seat won't help."