Getting to the Core

1-2-3 Come Do An Apple-icious Writing Activity With Me

apple icebreaker activity, icebreakers, back to school activities, getting to know you activities, apple craftsBecause many teachers decorate with an apple theme, and a lot of children study about apples in the fall, I decided to design a back to school apple icebreaker.

apple icebreaker activity, icebreakers, back to school activities, getting to know you activities, apple craftsIt's a quick, easy and fun way to get to know your new students.  Be sure and make a sample to help explain what you want them to do, as well as an interesting way, for them to get to know you too.

apple icebreaker activity, icebreakers, back to school activities, getting to know you activities, apple craftsStudents complete the writing prompts and then color their apples in an ABC pattern. 

I chose this pattern, because apples come in 3 colors, and I wanted to toss in a bit of science as well as math, plus it helps younger students to use more than only one color, which they are notorious for.

By having them cut their apple out, you provide an opportunity for practice, and can see at a glance who is having difficulty with fine motor skills.

apple icebreaker activity, icebreakers, back to school activities, getting to know you activities, apple craftsIf you take a first day of school photo, make copies and trim, so that students can glue one to their leaf, for that finishing touch. 

Completed projects make a sweet bulletin board. (A new crop of kids, Kindergarten is a bushel of fun, The apple of Mr(s). ______'s eye, apple-icious work are just a few captions.

apple icebreaker activity, icebreakers, back to school activities, getting to know you activities, apple craftsI've included 3 samples to give you some ideas of what children can share.  An example will help jumpstart their minds and set them in the right direction.

apple icebreaker activity, icebreakers, back to school activities, getting to know you activities, apple craftsThere's also a blank apple for you to fill in with whatever information you'd like to learn about your students. 

apple icebreaker activity, icebreakers, back to school activities, getting to know you activities, apple craftsClick on the link to view/download the Apple Icebreaker Packet. 

apple icebreaker activity, icebreakers, back to school activities, getting to know you activities, apple craftsThanks for visiting today.  It's Friday and that means garage sales! (Woo hoo.) 

I'm off in search of more treasures to fill up my already too-full basement!  As a teacher, you can probably relate to suffering from the Pack Rat Syndrome.

"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow." -Anthony J. D'Angelo

1-2-3 Come Do Some Back To School Sidewalk Chalk Activities With Me

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, back to school activities, treat bag ideasI LOVE sidewalk chalk and so did my young fives.  You can buy 6 to a dozen sticks at The Dollar Store, so I always had a big bucket on hand, for those crazy days when everyone has had enough, and you just need to take a break and get outside. 

Keeping in mind, that just about everything we do has to be "educational" and include the "standards", I'd have my kiddos practice writing their names, letters, numbers and drawing shapes.  After we got that out of the way, they enjoyed creating "mess-terpieces" 'til it was time to go in. 

For quick cleanup, make sure you bring some wet wipes with you, so students can wipe off their dusty hands.

treat bags, back to school activities, back to school gifts, first day funIf you give your students a first day gift or treat bag of some sort, and are looking for something easy and inexpensive, then I think you'll enjoy my "Welcome! ___________ is 'chalk' full of learning fun!"  treat bag.  I have templates for preschool, kindergarten and first grade, plus a blank one to fill in with whatever you teach.

chalk full of fun colorAnd... no worries if you've already started school.  There's a generic "Wishing you a day that's "chalk" full of fun!" black & white, plus colorful note too.

My inspiration for this packet, came from My Sweet Sanity's blog spot.  She used the "chalk full" play on words, for an end-of-the-year summer gift.  Click on the link to zip on over and see her rainbow version. 

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, back to school activities, treat bag ideasrecipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, back to school activities, treat bag ideasSo that you have a time-filler if you need it, run off the header on white construction paper, so that students can pull it off, color and use as a bookmark

You could also run them off on a variety of colors of construction paper, or print the ones that are in color. 

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, back to school activities, treat bag ideasAttach the card to the front of a Snack Baggie, with a glue dot.  (I don't like using staples with little ones.) Put a piece of sidewalk chalk inside and you're done! 

Because students will want to play with the chalk right away, I wouldn't put them on their desks.  Instead, put the treats in a big basket in full view and wait for children to notice, or show them one and let them know that they will get their Baggie at the end of the day to take home, or...

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasUse them as a behavior modification technique.  Tell students that they need to work as a team with their new friends. 

Each time they complete a task, or show great group behavior, you'll color in a letter on the "chalk" poster.  When all of the letters have been colored in, they get their chalk and are able to go outside for some special fun.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasAs long as you're outside, why not take some pictures. Pinterest has quite a few photo op examples that involve sidewalk chalk.  If you take a first day of school picture, one of these ideas would be adorable.  Children tend to be less camera shy while playing outside, so you should get some adorable shots like the ones pictured here.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasI especially like the kindergarten idea.  Write your grade level as shown, and then have each student pose. 

I've linked back to give credit when I could, however some showed just a photo and went no where.  (Hover over the photo to see if it's linked and then bop over to those sites for more details.)

v recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasThe balloon and crown idea are also easy and cute. That little guy is so joy-filled!

Keeping with the sidewalk chalk theme, I designed some writing prompts that I call "Chalk Talk"

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasThere's one for boys and one for girls.  Children complete the prompt: "I had a nice day at school.  These are a few of the things that I did."

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasrecipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasI've also included two "chalk talk" posters to use for whatever you deem appropriate. 

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, back to school activities, treat bag ideasClick on the link to view/download the Chalk Talk packet.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasTo see if I could find any other interesting things to do with sidewalk chalk, I Googled it.

For 30 fun games and activities with sidewalk chalk check out this creative birthday party idea website.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasYou can buy a bucket of sidewalk chalk at The Dollar Store, but if you’d like to make some, you can find a recipe on wikihow. For 7 fun ways to make ice chalk, click on the link.  I like the idea of using Popsicle sticks, so children's hands don't get as messy.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasFinally, click on the link for a recipe for scented sidewalk chalk paint, (She used Kool-Aid for non-toxic fragrance) and says: "This is a super-simple and inexpensive paint recipe that rinses off with a hose."

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasWell that's it for today.  Feel free to PIN away. 

I'm headed outside with my brand new tub of sidewalk chalk to create some awesome photographs with my little grandson Kaiden.  Hope you have a day full of giggles too. 

"A picture is a poem without words." - Horace

 1-2-3 Come Do Some Back To School Activities With Me

if you take a mouse to school activitiesThe other kiddie lit packets have been such popular downloads, that I thought I'd do a bit more with one of my all time favorite back to school stories.  I designed this quick and easy-to-do packet, around Laura Numeroff's book, If You Take A Mouse To School.

if you take a mouse to school activitiesThe packet includes a class made book.  Run off the master and have students complete the writing prompt: If you take a child to kindergarten they will...

if you take a mouse to school activitiesI've included templates for preschool through second grade, plus a blank one to fill in with whatever you teach.  There are also matching covers.

They color the mouse and then illustrate their page.  Younger students can dictate their thoughts to you or a room helper.  Collect, collate and add a cover.  Read together as a whole group activity, as each child shares their own page.  

if you take a mouse to school activitiesBe sure and make a sample of your own.  I made up an example that you could also share or use as a sweet poster.

if you take a mouse to school activitiesI've also included bookmarks for children to color. 

Older students can write why they had a great first day on the back.

Click on the link to view/download the If You Take A Child To School packet. Thanks for visiting today.  Feel free to PIN away. 

DianeI've been designing so many things this morning that my brain is on overdrive and feeling very cluttered.  One of those seasick kind of headaches is coming on, so it's time to take a much-needed break and go play outside to defog my mind.  Wishing you all the best and a very happy day.

"Art enables us to find and lose ourselves at the same time." -Thomas Merton 

1-2-3 Come Do Some Back To School Activities With Me

assessing kids the first week of school, back to school activities, alphabet activities, assessments, games, As children head back to school, it's helpful if you can do some early assessing with your kinders and firsties to see where everyone's at, yet that can be time consuming and really not all that fun for your kiddos the first week of school, when they're already antsy sitting through rules, regulations and procedure talks. 

assessing kids the first week of school, back to school activities, alphabet activities, assessments, games, With that in mind I designed the puppy packet using the adorable clip art of DJ Inkers

It's a wonderful back to school packet that you can use for a variety of activities. 

Fill in your students' names on the "Look who's been spotted" worksheet.  I've included templates for preschool, kindergarten and 1st grade, plus a blank one to write in whatever you're teaching. 

assessing kids the first week of school, back to school activities, alphabet activities, name activities, assessments, games, Students find their name and color the circle their favorite color.  Be sure and include your name on the heart. 

Having simple worksheets like this gives your students something to do, and allows you a few minutes to work one-on-one with them.

assessing kids the first week of school, back to school activities, alphabet activities, name activities, assessments, games, To quickly and easily whole group assess where your students are at, play the "I spy" games for numbers, shapes, plus upper and lowercase letters. They'll have fun and you can see at a glance who's having difficulty.

assessing kids the first week of school, back to school activities, alphabet activities, name activities, assessments, games, The packet also includes 2 writing prompt activities.  I've designed these as extra large bookmarks, with 2 on a page. Students can choose one, color it and complete the prompt.

assessing kids the first week of school, back to school activities, alphabet activities, name activities, assessments, games, It's a quick home-school connection that lets parents know what their child did that day. 

I've included completed samples for you to share as well.

assessing kids the first week of school, back to school activities, alphabet activities, name activities, assessments, games, Another writing activity is D is for dogStudents can roam the room and spot items and words that start with the letter Dd

If you do Daily 5 this is a nice option.

assessing kids the first week of school, back to school activities, alphabet activities, name activities, assessments, games, The packet also includes a Whose Name Is On The Bone? activity.  Because my Y5's were learning how to recognize their name, I filled a dog dish (I bought mine at The Dollar Store) with paper bones that I had written their names on. 

For a few minutes each day, I'd hold up a bone and the child who recognized their name would bark.  I know it sounds silly, but they absolutely LOVED this.  As time permitted, we'd do 3-6.  To help get the "wiggles" out, after they had sat through whatever else I had planned for carpet time, I'd play the song Who Left The Dogs Out?  

They'd pretend to be puppies and crawl around on all fours singing and barking 'til the song ended.  I'd reign them in and we'd transition to our next activity. (Too cute and rather hilarious!)

Click on the link for a nice YouTube video featuring the song and cute dog animation.  Who Let The Dogs Out?  For a shorter version, sung by kids and showing some nice dance moves for them to imitate, click on this link: Who Let The Dogs Out?

assessing kids the first week of school, back to school activities, alphabet activities, name activities, assessments, games, As another simple fill-in, I've also included 4 dog-themed bookmarks in color as well as black and white, plus one you can give for good behavior.

assessing kids the first week of school, back to school activities, alphabet activities, name activities, assessments, games, Click on the link to view/download the Back To School Puppy Packet. Thanks for visiting today.  Feel free to PIN away.  

assessing kids the first week of school, back to school activities, alphabet activities, name activities, assessments, games, Work's done for today, so I'm off to play.  As always, summer is flying way too fast!!!

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." -Scott Adams

 

 1-2-3 Come Scribble Away With Me!

As you know, when you scribble something, you write or draw it quickly. Scribbles are random and abstract and often done without lifting your pencil off the paper. 

back to school activities, icebreakers, scribble art, back to school bulletin boards, writing prompts for the 1st week of schoolAccording to Viktor Lowenfeld, an art professor who taught at Pennsylvania State University, the first stage of a child's art development is the scribble stage.

According to Lowenfeld, the first stage of a child’s art development is the Scribble stage. - See more at: http://www.funderstanding.com/theory/child-development/art-projects-for-kids/#sthash.DxstR8MC.dpuf
According to Lowenfeld, the first stage of a child’s art development is the - See more at: http://www.funderstanding.com/theory/child-development/art-projects-for-kids/#sthash.DxstR8MC.dpuf

Since my Y5's were wonderful scribblers, and each scribble is unique, I thought I’d turn some scribbles into an interesting get-to-know-you piece of art - and add some dice, turning it all into a fun icebreaker, for a creative back to school activity.  So...

Come scribble away and get to know your students today! Completed projects, make an eye-catching bulletin board.  (Woo hoo!) 

If you need help doing this with preschool students, have this be an open house or meet the teacher activity that children can do with their parents.  Collect and have them share during the first week of school.

back to school activities, icebreakers, scribble art, back to school bulletin boards, writing prompts for the 1st week of schoolHere’s How: Make your own example and share it with your students. A picture is definitely worth a 1,000 words.

Demonstrate how to make a full-page scribble. Explain that they need to create something simple, but that takes up the entire sheet of paper. I’ve found that little ones write large letters, but often draw tiny objects.

While they are scribbling, they should keep in mind that they need to leave enough room in their design to write something inside the sections. (A room helper can assist little ones with writing, recording what they want to say.)

scribble icebreaker, back to school activities, icebreakers, scribble art, back to school bulletin boards, writing prompts for the 1st week of schoolScribbles can have rounded shapes, angular shapes or a combination of both. If you think this is too difficult for your kiddos, I’ve included six templates that you can run off that they can choose from.

Pass out paper and scribble away. If time permits, allow students to scribble several examples and then choose their favorite. 

For young children, you may want to have them practice on a sheet of newspaper to get the feel of scribbling larger abstract-like shapes instead of little squiggles.

back to school activities, icebreakers, scribble art, back to school bulletin boards, writing prompts for the 1st week of schoolHave children use a different color crayon or marker to fill in 6 to 8 of their sections. I chose this amount because I wanted to reinforce the names of the various colors.

Results would also be more colorful, as young children sometimes choose to color with only their favorite color.

As a quick and easy icebreaker, and fun way to get to know your students, have them write some things about themselves inside the abstract shapes that they colored in.

This can be whatever they want to share, or you can give them further directions for what you’re looking for.

scribble icebreaker, back to school activities, icebreakers, scribble art, back to school bulletin boards, writing prompts for the 1st week of schoolThis was my rubric: Jot down 2 to 4 things you enjoy; 1 thing you did over the summer; 2 interesting facts about yourself; and 1 favorite thing. (Adjust numbers to fit your other directions.) 

I've made a poster for you to hang up, so students can refer to it while they're scribbling. 

This is what I wrote inside my scribbles:

  • Four things that I enjoy: I love gardening. I enjoy photography. I enjoy taking nature walks. I enjoy kayaking.
  • One thing I did over the summer: I road a train to Washington and Oregon to visit family.
  • Two interesting facts about me: I have a black poodle named Chloe. I have an identical twin sister named Kathie.
  • A favorite thing: Red licorice is my favorite candy.

Because of limited space, I kept my answers short when I wrote them down, but encourage students to add some adjectives when they orally share. i.e. On my paper: I have a pet poodle. Sharing: I have a black poodle named Chloe.

You can have students hold up their scribble and share one thing, or turn it into a get-to-know-you game and add some dice.

back to school activities, icebreakers, scribble art, back to school bulletin boards, writing prompts for the 1st week of schoolTo play with dice, have students number 6 of their scribbled sections. Take turns passing and tossing the dice and then sharing the matching numbered section that they rolled.  I use big foam dice to cut down on the noise. They also stay on a desk or table better.

back to school activities, icebreakers, scribble art, back to school bulletin boards, color game poster, color games, writing prompts for the 1st week of schoolIf you want to reinforce colors, make a list of colors and then number your list. Whatever number they roll will have a matching color that they share. I’ve included a rubric for this that you can display on the board.

I used rainbow colors, but you might want to adjust it to include pink.  I found that my little ones rarely chose yellow, but almost all of the girls consistently chose pink or purple.

To turn this into an interesting bulletin board, have students choose from a variety of colors of construction paper, and glue their scribble in the center. Gluing on a photo adds that finishing touch.

A caption could be: We are a unique and colorful bunch. OR... “We scribbled away to learn about our classmates today!”

back to school activities, icebreakers, scribble art, back to school bulletin boards, writing prompts for the 1st week of schoolClick on the link to view/download the Scribble Icebreaker Thanks for visiting.  Feel free to PIN away. 

It's time to stop scribbling for awhile and start a bit of cleaning...or not!  

"This world is but a canvas to our imagination." -Henry David Thoreau

 

 

 

 

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