1-2-3 Do Some Thanksgiving Turkey Activities With Me
Come November, it can become a bit boring for kiddo's to review letters, numbers, and various other basic standards. Yet it's imparative to keep kids practicing these skills, so they retain them, as well as for slower learners to finally be able to "get it" and catch up.
With that in mind, I designed some "Stuff Me!" turkey worksheets that make reinforcing upper & lowercase letters, counting, adjective use, and sight word recognition more fun.
There are 6 "Stuff Me" skill sheets, that ask students to stuff their turkey with something. I've also included a "you-fill-in-the- blank" one, to program with whatever. Some other ideas you could do would be: verbs, nouns, sight words, student names, names that begin with T, colors, rhyming words, words that contain the U vowel, spelling words, ways to show a given number etc.
To add to the fun, set a timer for 1 to 2 minutes. Challenge students to write in as many as they can, before the timer rings. For addition practice, have students count up their total and write it down on their recording sheet.
When you have completed as many Stuff Me worksheets as you want, have students add things up to arrive at a grand total.
Be sure and do these activities along with your students. You might also want to revisit a worksheet to see if any of your kiddo's can beat your totals. Use the word worksheets, for something different, for your Daily 5 activities. Click on the link to view/download the "Stuff Me" activity packet.
Another "turkey-rific" writing activity, I designed several years ago, before I had all of the computer programs I now have access to. However, My Thanksgiving Dinner, continues to be a favorite among visitors so I wanted to mention it today.
I made the cover for the booklet out of a paper plate, glued on plastic "silverware" and tied it all together with a piece of jute.
You may want students to include an adjective when they are writing their sentences. i.e. I am going to eat warm homemade bread.
Click on the link to view/download the My Thanksgiving Dinner "craftivity". After you have read a few books about the first Thanksgiving, a nice follow up to the above activity, would be to have students complete a Venn diagram comparing their Thanksgiving celebration with the Pilgrim's.
Click on the link to view/download the Thanksgiving Venn Diagram.
My personal favorite book about Thanksgiving is an awesome rhyming story by, Diane Z. Shore. It's entitled: This Is The Feast.
For more books, click on the link to view/print a list of 70 of my favorite Turkey & Thanksgiving Books.
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"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -Tyrion Lannister
Are a few of your students still struggling with skip counting, or are you teaching PK and decided to raise the bar and add a K standard to help out for next year while you still have some days left before school ends?
I’m always looking for fun ways to reinforce skip counting with kids, so I dreamed up “Barrel of Monkeys!”
There are traceable number cards for skip counting by 2’s, 3’s, 5’s and 10’s as well as counting by 1’s to 30 with, matching covers for each set so that students can make their own Itty Bitty booklets.
Make a large “teacher’s monkey” and laminate. Pass out your class set to the students and “feed the monkey” while you count whatever set you want to reinforce.
Play “I Have; Who Has?” and feed the monkey that way. i.e. “I have 2 who has 4, 6, 8?" etc.
Make class sets in a variety of colors. Children choose a partner.
Mix up the cards, but keep the packs separate. Each child flips over a card.
The one with the lowest card goes first and skip counts from that number ‘til the end. If they do it correctly they get both cards. i.e. if they flip a 4 and their partner flips an 8, they get to count 4,6,8,10 all the way to 40.
If they can do that, they get to keep their 4-card and their partner’s 8 card. If they can’t do it, their partner gets a turn to try it.
If they are successful they get the cards. Play continues ‘til all of the cards are gone.
You can also use them to play Concentration-Memory Match games.
Click on the link to view/download Barrel Of Fun Monkey cards.
A nice companion to this packet is the rhyming easy reader booklet Counting Monkeys, which includes a graphing extension, to reinforce yet another standard.
Click on the link to view/download Counting Monkeys.
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I hope these activities have your little monkeys having a barrel full of fun!
Crawling With Creativity!
Is anyone still doing caterpillar stuff?
Even if you’ve completed your studies, I bet you’re still assessing and need a moment of sanity.
Why not plug in anyone of these independent activities for your kiddo’s to work on?
Your students can make their own hungry caterpillar by simply coloring the template.
I made mine out of construction paper. You can run the master off on red construction paper and students can cut eyes out of yellow and green scraps if you want to make them that way.
Cut a hole for the mouth, Scotch tape a small Baggie to the back and you’re all set to feed this hungry boy all sorts of traceable cards.
I went crazy making traceable number cards from 1-30, skip counted numbers by 2’s, 3’s, 5’s and 10’s, upper and lowercase letters, all 14 adjectives used in the book, the days of the week, the months in the year, + covers so that students can make Itty Bitty booklets to match all of the categories!
There's also cards for everything that the caterpillar ate, including black and white cards so students can color their own little My Itty Bitty Very Hungry Caterpillar book which includes the rest of the story telling cards as well.
Use word cards from other packets (such as the Dolch, CVC, Shapes, or Color word card packets) and feed to review even more concepts!
Decide which cards you want your students to work on and run those off. Make all the sets for yourself, so that you can play “Flash Review” to nail all of those standards.
To make things even more fun, while reviewing whatever concept you want to work on, play “I Have, Who Has?” with your students. i.e., I have 3 who has 6?
I’ve also included several What’s Missing? worksheets for upper and lowercase letters as well as all of the skip counted numbers + a blank template so you can program your own skill sheets.
Students can also color a pattern on their caterpillar or play the Caterpillar Creeps dice game and review the butterfly life cycle.
I’ve included traceable life cycle cards as well. Use them as a fun way to "review-read and feed!"
Click on the link to view/download this 50-page fun-filled packet. Very Hungry Caterpillar Activities.
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Scroll down for article #2 today, a Flower GLYPH! Enjoy
Spring Into The Garden and Reinforce Color and Number Words
In My Garden is another easy reader that’s great for your writing center or Daily 5 activities too. Once students get used to these little booklets they feel empowered and it builds their self-esteem as well as their skills.
This booklet reinforces number and color words and touches on a little science as it involves insects, which can lead to a discussion of what might go on in a garden.
I’ve included 2 graphing extensions to nail that core standard as well.
Besides the graphing extensions, the booklet also offers a variety of other discussion opportunities
All of the things in the garden are seen doing something. Do they all do the same thing?
The last page asks students how high they can count to. Which student in your class can count the highest? How high is that?
When everyone has completed their booklet, read it as a whole group to reinforce concepts of print and so students can take it home and enjoy sharing it with their families.
Click on the link to view/download In My Garden
You may also want to teach or read the nursery rhyme Mary How Does Your Garden Grow? I never had enough time for my nursery rhyme unit at the end ot the year, so I tried to plug in nursery rhymes throughout the year, whenever they seemed to fit with other themes.
Click on the link to view/download this nursery rhyme. (2 anchor chart-posters)
I hope your day is filled with sunshine and flowers and that you can flutter on over tomorrow for some more tips.
Learning Math With A Snowman Friend
Sam the Solution Snowman is a fun way for your students/child to enjoy learning to count, sequence, match numbers with number words, as well as do simple addition and subtraction.
Run off the templates on construction paper.
Students cut out their snowman and hat.
Students color their snowman’s face and glue on their hat.
To expedite things, you might want to have the arm pieces pre-cut and hole-punched.
Hole punch 6 holes in the middle of the snowman and 6 holes in the bottom of the snowman.
You’ll have to fold one side to get the hole punch to the middle.
Fasten the arms to each other using brass brads and then attach them to the snowman with 2 more brads.
Position the arms so they look like they are holding a snowflake.
Cut a 1 x 12 inch strip of black and white construction paper.
Lay the white strip on top of the black strip and paperclip them together in the middle.
Pull the white strip down a bit so that you can tape the black strip to the back of the snowman’s head.
Students roll two dice; count the dots to see how many buttons they will reveal on the snowman by pulling the white strip down so that the buttons appear black.
They then find that numbered snowflake and position it in the snowman’s hands.
Students flip the red hat sash to reveal the number word that matches the number on the snowflake.
If you want to make this an addition or subtraction activity, have students roll the dice.
The largest number will reveal the top buttons; the smaller number on the dice will reveal the bottom buttons on the snowman.
In order to do addition/subtraction, you will need a black rectangle “side cover”.
You reveal the bottom buttons by this extra black side strip.
Fold it in half horizontally to reveal buttonholes 1-4. Keep it open to reveal number > 4.
Have students write their equations on a sheet of scratch paper.
You can eliminate the number-word sash for younger children as well as the side-cover for addition/subtraction, keeping the snowman simple.
If you want to make a class set to use every year, laminate your snowman parts and then assemble them.
If you’re only doing a few for a center or making one with your child, you may want to use Velcro on the snowflakes and put the opposite Velcro piece on the snowman’s tummy.
The snowflake squares make the perfect pages for a cute Itty Bitty Booklet, so I made a cover for them. This is a great way to practice sequencing!
I've also included 6 snowflake "What Comes Next?" skill sheets with this activity and a blank one for you to fill in for numbers/letters that you want to work on, + a certificate of praise.
Your students are sure to have "snow" much fun learning with Sam the Solution Snowman.
Click on the link to view/print Sam.
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"Cheers to a new year and another chance to get it right!" -Ophra Winfrey
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.
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"Keep your eyes open and your feet moving and ou'll find what you need." -Unknown