1-2-3 Come Sing A Song And Learn Names With Me!
On the first day of school many little ones will be overwhelmed with all of the newness of a zillion different things they've never experienced before, including being surrounded by other children who are strangers.
A wonderful "icebreaker" is to help youngsters feel welcome. Learning their names quickly, is a very important part of that.
Once children know each other's names, they also feel more comfortable, making friends rather quickly.
Since "being able to recognize their name" was one of my Y5 report card standards, I did all sorts of activities to help children accomplish that in a fun way.
Singing name songs was always a favorite activity. Since most children know the tune of Old MacDonald, I decided to start there.
Simply print off the adorable clipart song poster. Thanks ever so much to the very creative djinkers.com who provides licenses for teachers to use her clipart.
After children catch on, you can point to the words as you sing.
Fill in the blanks by pointing to 2 children and having them say their names. Continue the song 'til you have used every child's name.
As another name recognition activity, run off the farmer name cards and write your students' names on them.
If you have time, it's nice to allow children to color their card to help with recognition.
Using a variety of colors, to write the names, will also help really little ones associate their name with the color, helping them to differentiate more easily, especially if a lot of your students' names begin with similar letters.
Laminate the cards for durability. When you sing the song again, instead of pointing to a child, show their name card.
When they recognize it, they can say their name. Pretty soon all of your students will be able to read everyone's name!
You can also print off an extra set of name cards to send one home to parents. If they post it on the bathroom mirror or other prominent place in the home, they can make it a teachable moment whenever their child sees it.
Click on the link to view/download the EIEIO Name Recognition Song.
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"A leader is anyone who has two characteristics: first, he is going someplace; second, he is able to persuade other people to go with him." -W.H. Cowley
1-2-3 Come Make A Keepsake Booklet With Me!
I loved it when my children made special things in school that became cherished keepsakes, so I was thinking what a nice self-esteem and confidence builder a special keepsake booklet made by parents would be.
During the first week of school, send home the letter of explanation along with the cover and dedication page.
The last week of each month, send home that month's "praise page."
Parents jot down what they were most proud of their child for accomplishing that month and return the page before the end of the month.
Make a file folder for each student.
When a page is returned, share it with that student and have them color their page.
This can also be done at home with parents reading the note and then having their child color it.
As the pages arrive, have a room helper put them in the folder, in consecutive order by putting the current page at the back of the pile.
The last month of your school year, send home the remaining pages and then collate each student's booklet.
Send the booklets home the last week of school.
Click on the link to view/download the Proud As A Peacock Parent Praise Booklet.
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A perfect "go along" with this booklet, is my Proud Pupil Peacock Progress Pal! Makes an adorable bulletin board.
I designed this last year. It's been one of my most popular downloads, and a wonderful self-esteem builder, as students add feathers when they master a standard or accomplish a goal.
Click on the link to view/download it.
"It only takes a solitary light to guide a thousand ships in from the night." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Learn About Seasons and Months With Me
At the end of the year, I liked to make a list of lessons I wanted to expand on for the fall.
I'd take an item a day and search the Internet for new and fresh ideas through the summer.
One of the topics I listed quite often was calendar. There just never seemed to be enough time to include everything I wanted to, during calendar time.
So that this activity did not get too long, I'd do a bit in the morning, some in the afternoon, and then tie everything up at the end of our busy day.
There is so much important "trivia" that can be covered in quick easy reviews during calendar time.
I also liked to supplement what we covered in some additional activities relating to days of the week, months, and seasons.
Because these were words on our word wall, short independent activities were perfect for Daily 5.
They both cover a variety of Common Core Reading Standards as well as the math concepts of counting, ordinal numbers andpatterning.
Children read the simple sentence, trace and then write the number, month and season words. They circle the capital letters and add end punctuation as well.
Students color the puffy words in an ABAB pattern with appropriate colors for that particular month. i.e. red and green for December.
Children also complete the sentence by adding something they see during that month, or like to do during that season.
There are also additional writing extensions in the season booklet, as students tell what their favorite season is and why, as well as what month they were born in.
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"You can't start a fire without a spark." -Bruce Springsteen
1-2-3 Come Make Some Vacation Bible School Crafts With Me
Having taught 3-year-olds in Sunday school, I discovered there is not a whole lot out there for this age group.
Crafts, that came with pre-packaged programs, were way beyond their skill level, attention span and time available.
Vacation Bible School programs were not really much different. They had wonderful activities for older kiddo's, but again materials and crafts for this age group were lacking.
The director of our Children's ministry, asked me if I could design 5 quickie crafts with Bible verses for the 3,4, and 5 year-old age group for this year's VBS.
They group them together, as it's never that big of a group, despite having anywhere from 100-200 kids.
I love designing crafts and helping out, so this was a no brainer "Sure!"
Since I've had several requests for Christian teaching materials, I thought I'd post these, as they turned out really cute.
Their theme this year was Stand Strong in the Kingdom, so I made castles, crowns, and knight shields, however these crafts are general enough that they could work for just about anything.
So people wouldn't have to go out and buy a bunch of stuff, I designed the crafts trying to use materials I knew were readily available.
To make all of the projects pictured, you'll need: construction paper, card stock (for the shields), aluminum foil, scissors, glue sticks, crayons, rhinestones, glitter, curling ribbon, foam, a stapler, hole punch, brass brads, pipe cleaners, tooth picks, Elmer's glue, sticky notes, scrap paper (to use as work mats, newspaper works wonderful) and gold glitter.
I find it best with this age group to skip giving directions. Simply hold up your sample and say, "I'm so excited! We're going to make a castle today!"
Whatever craftivity you are doing with little ones, do NOT pass out all of the materials at once.
This is not only overwhelming for them, they also won't sit still long enough for you to say, do this first, only using these materials. ie for the castle:
1. Pass out castle. Have them cut out. Have them pre-cut for 3's.
2. Pass out pre-cut triangles. Have them glue the triangles to the castle.
3. Have them cut the door. Remind them not to cut this completely out, but STOP so there's a hinge. Show sample at each step.
4. Pass out the door verse and have them glue it behind the castle door.
5. Pass out turrets. Have them roll the turrets. Staple to the castle.
6. Pass out brown crayons to color the door and write their name on their castle.
7. Read the verse together and explain why they did the project, so they can share that info with their parents.
I thought it would be cute to add a toothpick flag. These can be pre-made; ask the child where they want their flag.
Scotch tape it to the back. Do not let 3's hold the toothpicks.
I made the flag with a sticky note. No glueing necessary and it wraps right around the toothpick!
Children who finish early can work with a helper learning their verse.
Preparation for these projects is simple. Run off the templates on construction paper, and pre-cut the smaller pieces to expedite things.
I traced a child's "praying" hand once on a folded sheet of paper and then cut once to make 2.
For the "lamp unto my feet" you need to fold the yellow lanterns in half horizontally for easier cutting. I traced a child's foot with their shoe on.
Click on the link to view/download the Kingdom Crafts.
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"So many books; so little time." -Frank Zappa
1-2-3 Study Community Helpers and Shapes With Me!
Whenever I'm working on a theme, I try to design things that cover a variety of standards.
Making a booklet featuring community helpers that would incorporate the 8 2D flat shapes, that students need to recognize, was a lot of fun.
I could have listed a lot of community helpers who work with a rectangle shape, but thought a teacher using their blackboard, was the most appropriate.
This activity will help with the Common Core State Standard:K.G.1 as well as a variety of reading standards.
Students read the sentences; trace and write the shape word, trace and draw the shape, and then cut & glue the appropriate picture to the box.
The booklet makes a nice Daily 5 activity.
Click on the link to view/download the Community Helpers Take Shape easy reader.
After I completed the 2D shape booklet, I thought it would be fun to design a community helper easy reader featuring 3D shapes.
Click on the link to view/download Community Helpers Shape Up.
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"Be a rainbow in someone elses cloud." -Maya Angelou