First Day Jitters Are OK and the Book is Adorable!
As promised here is the Common Core packet for First Day Jitters. As with If You Take A Mouse To School, it was requested by a lot of teachers.
These packets truly are a very simple, quick, and easy way to cover the 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 in a short amount of time.
Your students will enjoy them, as they are empowered by the consistency in format.
The packet includes:
The "Feelings" worksheet is great for a September writing prompt, and the one covering synonyms is great for Daily 5 "Word Work".
Click on the link to view/download First Day Jitters Common Core packet.
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"I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow." - Woodrow Wilson
"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
If You Take A Mouse To School and If You Give A Mouse A Cookie:
Fun Back To School Books
Whenever I can, I like to make up lessons that go with favorite books.
It’s a plus to have an activity that reinforces standards, for students to transition to, after reading a story.
I do a take off of these books with my easy reader: If You Give A Mouse A Letter He'll Want The Whole Alphabet.
Students read the sentence, then trace and write the letters. When everyone is done, read the booklet as a whole group to review concepts of print as well as upper and lowercase letters.
Run off a set of the 52 upper and lowercase mouse letter cards, laminate and cut them apart. Pass them out to your students. As you read the story, whomever has those letter cards drops them into the mouse pail.
To make a mouse to "feed", run off my template, cut him out, glue him to brown construction paper and slit the line above the letter box.
Staple a Quaker oat box or Baggie behind the slit.
Besides the easy reader, this 32-page packet includes:
The packet will help with Common Core State Standards: RF.K1d & L.1.1a.
Click on the link to view/download If You Give A Mouse A Letter Packet
Thanks for popping in today! Be sure and stop by tomorrow for a cool icebreaker activity!
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“Little by little does the trick!” –Abraham Lincoln
An Apple (Activity) A Day Keeps Boredom Away!
One of my favorite units that I did with my Y5’s was APPLES.
I think they really enjoyed it too, as visiting an apple orchard and picking 3 different kinds of apples was our first fieldtrip.
I feel it’s important to have lots of hands-on centers for little ones, to help them increase fine motor skills through cutting and gluing.
Doing centers helps with a variety of life skills and forces them to listen in order to follow directions.
As they become independent, they are empowered and their self-esteem soars.
Seeing their creations hung on our “Wall of Fame” in the hallway, also helped give them a sense of pride.
Knowing I was going to display their work, was a good incentive, to give their best effort.
Through art, I could also incorporate reading, writing, math, and science; sometimes all of them in one quick project, which covered a variety of report card standards.
The 92 – page Apple Art Projects Book has a large variety of activities in it and includes directions, patterns and pictures.
These make terrific center activities, something for students to do when they have completed other work, a nice home-school connection project to be given as homework, or something to tuck in your substitute folder.
The results are wonderful back to school bulletin boards, or hallway and door displays. Some can be suspended from the ceiling.
The crayon-melt apple poem was one of my favorites.
The poem introduced my students to rhyme; the rhyme taught them the science fact they needed to learn about apples; twisting the 3 color crayons through a sharpener was a terrific fine motor skill, and the result after I put a sheet of wax paper over their shavings and applied a warm iron was awesome!
I also reinforced the 3 colors with this rip and tear apple, which strengthened finger muscles as well.
Students enjoyed making the Life Cycle of an Apple on a paper plate, which was a quick and easy way to get some science in.
Click on the link to view/download the Apple Art Projects Packet.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope you can stop by tomorrow for more back to school ideas.
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“We should say to each [child]: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique -- you may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven.
You have the capacity for anything!” –Pablo Casals
Send Them Off With A Kiss!
I LOVE the book The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. The gist of it is that a baby raccoon wants nothing to do with going to night school. He’d just as soon stay home with his mom and continue to play in the forest.
Mama raccoon wisely explains that he’ll make all sorts of new friends, naming several other nocturnal animals and that he’ll really like his new teacher (an owl of course) and doing all sorts of fun school activities.
She places a kiss on his hand that travels up his arm and straight into his heart, warming him instantly. Something he can look at all evening long reminding him that “Mama loves you.”
As he excitedly scampers off to school, he pauses to kiss his mommy’s hand, letting her know that “Chester” loves her too.
My Y5’s really enjoyed this story, especially petting my soft pet raccoon puppet that would not come out of his garbage can at first because he was frightened.
It’s a wonderful way to introduce feelings and graph how children felt on this first day.
I found if they got to put on a mask and pretend they were raccoons that even my shyest children could talk and tell me how they really felt.
Anyone holding the raccoon was the one who got to speak and share.
Because this story is extremely popular I decided to dream up some activities your students would enjoy doing during the first week of school.
Perhaps even on the first day, if it isn’t too hectic and packed with other “must get done” rules and regulations activities.
The 24-page Kissing Hand Packet includes two keepsake “craftivities” involving tracing students hands. These make wonderful and easy back to school bulletin boards.
To expedite this with little ones, have a room helper trace and cut them out in the morning, so they are ready in the afternoon.
If you don’t have anyone helping you, think about including a piece of flesh-toned construction paper in your summer note, or open house packet with an explanation to have parents trace and cut their child’s hand and return it for the first day of school.
You could also set this up as a quick “Please do!” station at your open house, if you have one before school starts.. Parents stop at the station, “get it done” and then leave it in the basket.
Click on the link to view/download The Kissing Hand Activities
The Raccoon upper and lowercase letter activity packet helps with Common Core State Standard RF.K1d and RF.1.1a
Use them as flashcards, Memory Match Concentration games, or play ‘I Have, Who Has?” later in the year. I include a tip list of what else you can do with the cards.
If you want to use them on the first day, you can sprinkle them around the room, and have students find them. See how many students can identify any of the letters.
A really fun thing to do, would be to pass out the raccoon masks from the first packet. (Make ahead of time out of foam and hot glue to paint sticks.)
Tell your little ones that they are going to be Raccoon ABCDe-tectives and look for Chester's ABC card clues he’s hidden around the school.
Tape them to places you want the children to learn about.
Put the Bb cards by the bathroom and then check it out.
Find the Ll cards by the library, and then have the children meet the librarian.
Give the Pp and Ss cards to the principal and secretary and make a stop at the office.
Gg is for gym, Mm is for music, Cc is for computers or cafeteria.
Your students will have fun spying the cards, while they tour the school and learn where things are.
Rr can land them back to your room where you can have a note from Chester and a Hershey kiss waiting on their desk.
Click on the link to view/download Raccoon Upper and Lowercase Letter Kissing Hand Activities
I hope you enjoy these activities and your first week of school is simply fantastic!
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“A good teacher is like a candle, which consumes itself to light the way for others.” -Unknown
More Chicka Boom Stuff!
I LOVE using file folders with children because they are relatively inexpensive and I have 4 pages I can fill up with “cool stuff”.
Because they are made of heavy-duty cardstock, they can also handle the abuse of 4-year-olds or the soggy “oops” of too much glue as well.
My kiddo’s also enjoyed them because they were something different and something “older” people used, so they felt extra special.
After reading Chicka Boom have your students put together their “lap files”. Choose whatever things you are going to study with them.
This 67-page packet includes:
Chicka chicha boom boom, I hope you enjoy all of the new kids in your classroom!
Click on the link to view/download the Picka Chicka Chicka Boom Activity File Folder Packet
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"Losers are people who are afraid of losing.” –Robert Kiyosaki