Getting to the Core

1-2-3 Come Play Some Interesting and Fun Math Games With Me!

Are you looking for some quick and easy ideas to do for the 1st day of school? Then I think you'll enjoy these simple bubble activities.

bookmarks, 1st day of school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, gifts for students, 1st day treat ideas, treat bag alternatives, treat bags, bubble activities, bubble lessons, common core bubbles, free common core lessons for kindergarten and first grade, CCSS math for kindergarten, back to school ideas, back to school activities, counting activities, one-to-one correspondence activities, free bookmarks for back to school, bookmarks for back to school, math games, math centers, math games for kindergarten, math centers for kindergarten, games for the 1st week of school, icebreakersStart things off, by leaving the "I'm bubbling with excitement that you are in my class." bookmarks, as a cute surprise left on your students' desks.  I found this sweet saying on Pinterest as valentine cards with heart bubbles. Click on the link to check out this creative teacher's original post. 

Adding a small bottle of bubbles is an inexpensive way to help make children feel especially welcome.  (The Dollar Store sells 3 to 6 in a pack.  You can also buy a box of 20 mini wedding bubbles at most craft stores.)

blowing bubbles math activityLet students know that they will be allowed to blow bubbles at recess or at the end of the day.  Have them count how many bubbles they blew in 1 breath and then graph the results. (Template included.) What a simple icebreaker sure to get your kiddos excited about being in school.

bookmarks, 1st day of school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, gifts for students, 1st day treat ideas, treat bag alternatives, treat bags, bubble activities, bubble lessons, common core bubbles, free common core lessons for kindergarten and first grade, CCSS math for kindergarten, back to school ideas, back to school activities, counting activities, one-to-one correspondence activities, free bookmarks for back to school, bookmarks for back to school, math games, math centers, math games for kindergarten, math centers for kindergarten, games for the 1st week of school, icebreakersbookmarks, 1st day of school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, gifts for students, 1st day treat ideas, treat bag alternatives, treat bags, bubble activities, bubble lessons, common core bubbles, free common core lessons for kindergarten and first grade, CCSS math for kindergarten, back to school ideas, back to school activities, counting activities, one-to-one correspondence activities, free bookmarks for back to school, bookmarks for back to school, math games, math centers, math games for kindergarten, math centers for kindergarten, games for the 1st week of school, icebreakersTo incorporate more math, print off the bubble picture cards, laminate and trim. 

I've included cards from 1 to 20.

To help strengthen upper body muscles, students lie on they tummies and sequence the cards in the proper order.  Using opalescent flat-backed glass "marbles" as manipulatives, (they look like "real" bubbles) they make a group/set above the number card to show "how many".  

So things don't get cluttered, use the larger glass "bubbles" for numbers less than 10 and the smaller ones for numbers 11-20. The "marbles" provide hands-on fun, and make counting more interesting. They are an inexpensive manipulative. 

bookmarks, 1st day of school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, gifts for students, 1st day treat ideas, treat bag alternatives, treat bags, bubble activities, bubble lessons, common core bubbles, free common core lessons for kindergarten and first grade, CCSS math for kindergarten, back to school ideas, back to school activities, counting activities, one-to-one correspondence activities, free bookmarks for back to school, bookmarks for back to school, math games, math centers, math games for kindergarten, math centers for kindergarten, games for the 1st week of school, icebreakersWhere did I get this idea? While in Hobby Lobby, I overheard a little girl ask her mom if she could buy a bag of them. 

When her mom asked her why she wanted them, "Kara" replied: "Because they are flat bubbles that won't pop!" I thought, "Wow! What can I make with 'flat bubbles'?" and the rest is history...

I've also included a set of number-word bubbles.  Run the templates off on blue construction paper, laminate & trim. Older students can match the number word bubble, to the picture cards.

bookmarks, 1st day of school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, gifts for students, 1st day treat ideas, treat bag alternatives, treat bags, bubble activities, bubble lessons, common core bubbles, free common core lessons for kindergarten and first grade, CCSS math for kindergarten, back to school ideas, back to school activities, counting activities, one-to-one correspondence activities, free bookmarks for back to school, bookmarks for back to school, math games, math centers, math games for kindergarten, math centers for kindergarten, games for the 1st week of school, icebreakersFor more fun, run off the "bubble wand" on a variety of colors of construction paper, cut out the centers and laminate so they can double as a "magnifying glass" for students to "spy" and cover numbers or whatever.  

bookmarks, 1st day of school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, gifts for students, 1st day treat ideas, treat bag alternatives, treat bags, bubble activities, bubble lessons, common core bubbles, free common core lessons for kindergarten and first grade, CCSS math for kindergarten, back to school ideas, back to school activities, counting activities, one-to-one correspondence activities, free bookmarks for back to school, bookmarks for back to school, math games, math centers, math games for kindergarten, math centers for kindergarten, games for the 1st week of school, icebreakersFor a "get the wiggles" out game, have students use their paper bubble wands, to find hidden bubbles around the room, or use them as an assessment tool for a whole group identification activity.  i.e. you display a bubble card and students raise their wand if they know the answer, providing a quick way to whole group assess comprehension.  Play "Swish."  After the number is correctly identified, have students swish their wand that many times. (Swish left-right-left for a number 3 bubble card.)

Click on the link to view/download the Back To School Bubble Math Activity Packet.

bookmarks, 1st day of school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, gifts for students, 1st day treat ideas, treat bag alternatives, treat bags, bubble activities, bubble lessons, common core bubbles, free common core lessons for kindergarten and first grade, CCSS math for kindergarten, back to school ideas, back to school activities, counting activities, one-to-one correspondence activities, free bookmarks for back to school, bookmarks for back to school, math games, math centers, math games for kindergarten, math centers for kindergarten, games for the 1st week of school, icebreakersThanks for visiting.  As always, feel free to PIN away.  If you'd like to see all of he excellent educational things I spend too much time Pinning, simply click on the "Follow Me" heart to the right of the blog.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Knowledge is limited.  Imagination encircles the world." -Einstein

1-2-3 Come Read and Write the Room With Me

read the room activities, read and write the room activities, roam the room, write the room, alphabet cards, free alphabet cards, alphabet games, alphabet activities, detective activities, detective games, alphabet detective games, Reading and writing the room was always a fun activity for my students.  I think making them ABC De-tectives and allowing them to roam the room with their worksheet on a clipboard, helped encourage an enthusiastic effort.

read the room activities, read and write the room activities, roam the room, write the room, alphabet cards, free alphabet cards, alphabet games, alphabet activities, detective activities, detective games, alphabet detective games, With that in mind, I designed some "Read and Write the Room" worksheets.   You can simply make copies of the template you like best and have students fill them out, sending them home when they finish, or you can take advantage of all of the back to school super sales going on and pick up notebooks for as little as .15 cents.

read the room activities, read and write the room activities, roam the room, write the room, alphabet cards, free alphabet cards, alphabet games, alphabet activities, detective activities, detective games, alphabet detective games, By having students glue the worksheets to a page in their Read and Write the Room Journal, you'll have an easy way to show student progress during parent teacher conferences.

If you start the journals in October and have students “write the room” once a week,  (using a new letter) you’ll complete them in April, and have a wonderful end-of-the-year keepsake for them to haul home.

read the room activities, read and write the room activities, roam the room, write the room, alphabet cards, free alphabet cards, alphabet games, alphabet activities, detective activities, detective games, alphabet detective games, The first photo is one journal option, if you like the idea of running off separate worksheets.  I have two kinds available.  One has a traceable letter box with an empty one for children to write the upper and lowercase letter in.

The other is an "I spy" version and has students draw something that they see that begins with that letter.  You can pick the style you like best or mix things up to add more interest and variety.

read the room activities, read and write the room activities, roam the room, write the room, alphabet cards, free alphabet cards, alphabet games, alphabet activities, detective activities, detective games, alphabet detective games, Another option is seen in the second photo. Here you conserve paper and the time it takes to run things off. Run off the "Read and Write the Room!" template, trim and glue to the inside cover.

Students use the “master” to write their own page for the letter of the week.  If you assign a new letter each week, it will take you 6 months (+2 weeks) to complete the journals. 

read the room activities, read and write the room activities, roam the room, write the room, alphabet cards, free alphabet cards, alphabet games, alphabet activities, detective activities, detective games, alphabet detective games, If you want to continue afterwards, you can run off my "roam the room" alphabet cards.  (Laminate them so you can use them each year.)

Toss them in a container and have students pick one.  That will be the letter they "roam the room" looking for.  You can use the blank template as a worksheet for them to fill in whatever, or one of the other options.

read the room activities, read and write the room activities, roam the room, write the room, alphabet cards, free alphabet cards, alphabet games, alphabet activities, detective activities, detective games, alphabet detective games, As with all of my other alphabet cards, you can use them for games, flashcards, sequencing etc.  A tip list is included to give you some ideas and includes the "Kaboom!" game.

read the room activities, read and write the room activities, roam the room, write the room, alphabet cards, free alphabet cards, alphabet games, alphabet activities, detective activities, detective games, alphabet detective games, I've also included a simple ABC De-tective alphabet worksheet, where students roam the room, trying to find something that begins with each letter of the alphabet. 

There are also several choices for the cover of the notebook journals.  Choose one, run off, trim and glue to the cover of your notebooks.  You could also have students design their own cover. 

read the room activities, read and write the room activities, roam the room, write the room, alphabet cards, free alphabet cards, alphabet games, alphabet activities, detective activities, detective games, alphabet detective games, read the room activities, read and write the room activities, roam the room, write the room, alphabet cards, free alphabet cards, alphabet games, alphabet activities, detective activities, detective games, alphabet detective games, Click on the link to view/download the Read and Write the Room Packet.  Thanks for visiting today.  Feel free to PIN away.

read the room activities, read and write the room activities, roam the room, write the room, alphabet cards, free alphabet cards, alphabet games, alphabet activities, detective activities, detective games, alphabet detective games, I'm off to try and find the bottom of my desk.  So many design ideas, so little time!  I need to prioritize and organize!  Can you relate?

The difference between school and life?  In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test.  In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson." -Tom Bodett  

1-2-3 Count Up To 100-Day With Me!

zero the hero, back to school ideas, first day of school ideas, counting to 100-dayI always like to repost the Zero The Hero packet (a super popular download) at the end of July, as teachers are thinking about back to school.  It's a whopping 171 pages (!) and an oldie but goodie for "Throw Back Thursday".

I start keeping track of how many days we'd been in school that very first day.  A counting up to 100-Day idea, that is a “must have” for me, is Zero The Hero. He is a fun vehicle for incorporating all sorts of math skills.

I designed an entire packet around Zero, including a friend named Zippy, who would allow teachers to toss in a little geography.  

There just never seems to be enough time in the day for everything, and geography is one of those “things” that my students needed a bit more of.

zero the hero, back to school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, counting up to 100 day,Zippy is a quick, fun and easy solution, as he travels to places around the world that begin with the letters O and Z.

zero the hero, back to school ideas, first day of school ideas, counting up to 100 day, zero the hero, ideas for back to school, ideas for the first day of school, counting up to 100 dayCelebrate every 10th day by making a page in your Zero the Hero book. 

What a great keepsake to take home on 100 Day, and interesting way to learn how to count by 10's.

zero the hero, back to school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, counting up to 100 day

Students put 10 reinforcement holes on their number. (I use these instead of stickers because they are really inexpensive, but you could switch things up if you wanted to. )

This is a nice fine-motor and counting skill + each child will then have 100 “zero-stickers” in their booklet on the 100th  Day of school when they complete their last page!

Students will also enjoy zipping around the world to interesting O and Z places with Zippy. 

student passport, geography passport, back to school ideas, first day of school ideas, passport stickers, counting up to 100-day ideas, zero the herostudent passport, geography passport, passport stickers, back to school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, counting up to 100 day,passport template, student passport, geography passport, back to school ideas, first day of school ideas, passport stickers, counting up to 100-day ideas, zero the heroThe passport is sure to be a huge hit, complete with travel  and award stickers.

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 zero the hero, back to school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, geography ideas, student passports, geography passports, counting up to 100 day ideas

 Included are: clue sheets, notes, and an

“I Wonder Where Zippy Is?” Guessing-Poster.

Students will have fun learning about the various places as they work with parents to find and bring in an interesting fact in their "home-school" connection assignment. 

Follow up their adventures, by locating places on your classroom map.

zero the hero, back to school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, counting up to 100 day ideas

Make a Zero the Hero count by 5’s slider and a Zippy count by 10’s slider to review skip counting and identify numbers.

zero the hero, back to school ideas, first day of school ideas, counting up to 100 daygraphing froot loops, student passports, geography passports, passport stickers, back to school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, zero the hero,Various activities reinforce a variety of report card standards and are sequential and repetitious, so that students know what to do.

Because of this, kids are empowered and are able to do these as independent center activities, which are great for Daily Five or other “no hassle” centers.

For example, on the 30th day of school, students bingo dot their skill sheet and then graph their cup of 30 Froot Loops. Afterwards, they can make a necklace out of the brightly colored cereal or eat it.

zero the hero, counting up to 100-day, ideas for back to school, ideas for the first day of school,Students keep everything in a folder and have a wonderful keepsake to take home on the 100th day of school.

Click on the link to see sample pages from this 171-page unit and then download it.

What a fun way to count up to 100-Day while reinforcing a variety of report card standards!  Zero the Hero packetzero the hero, back to school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, counting up to 100 day ideas   For more fun ways to count up to 100 Day click on the link.  

Thanks for visiting today.  Feel free to PIN away. 

"Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges." - Joyce Myers

1-2-3 Come Make Some Banners With Me

More and more schools are telling teachers that they only want them to put up student-made bulletin boards that showcase their work, so I thought I’d take it a step farther and have student-made banners too.

I LOVE how festive a classroom and hallway look, when they are decorated to the nines with children’s “mess-terpieces.” As I’ve shared before, I have spent a small fortune on decorations for all of the seasons, months, and themes that I taught, so I like to design lots of FREEBIES so that you don’t have to.

back to school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, free banners for school, welcome banners, kid  generated decorations, kid-generated bulletin boards, apple activities, apple decorations, apple welcome sign, pirate activities, pirate decorations, pirate welcome banner, cow activities, cow welcome banner, cow decorations, owl activities, owl decorations, owl welcome banner, september bulletin board ideas, back to school bulletin board ideas, back to school decorations, activities for the first day of schoolA “Welcome” banner suspended from the ceiling in your room or hallway, is a wonderful way to greet children on their first day of school.

I thought it would be fun for them to help create that banner by coloring it.  A "full shot" of the banner, isn't that good, so I decided to just show the 1st pennant and the first letter in welcome, so you can still get an idea of  how they look.  The 1st and last pennants also come in black and white if you want your students to color them as well.

back to school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, free banners for school, welcome banners, kid  generated decorations, kid-generated bulletin boards, apple activities, apple decorations, apple welcome sign, pirate activities, pirate decorations, pirate welcome banner, cow activities, cow welcome banner, cow decorations, owl activities, owl decorations, owl welcome banner, september bulletin board ideas, back to school bulletin board ideas, back to school decorations, activities for the first day of schoolThe first few days are often very hectic with all sorts of rules and regulations to go through, along with a lot of forms to fill out for each student. It’s nice to have an independent quiet activity little ones can do, so you are freed up to get some of that one-on-one stuff done.

Even if you have already started school, your students will enjoy having a part in decorating their classroom, making it look comfy with their special creations.

back to school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, free banners for school, welcome banners, kid  generated decorations, kid-generated bulletin boards, apple activities, apple decorations, apple welcome sign, pirate activities, pirate decorations, pirate welcome banner, cow activities, cow welcome banner, cow decorations, owl activities, owl decorations, owl welcome banner, september bulletin board ideas, back to school bulletin board ideas, back to school decorations, activities for the first day of schoolI have designed a color as well as a black and white version, of the cute “saying” pennant that starts your banner. (There are 3 "saying" options for the cow.) Because I’m all about things looking symmetrical, I suggest putting a duplicate at the end of the banner as well.

Run off and pass out the pennant pieces to your students. They color and cut them out. When everyone is done, gather on the carpet circle and put your banner together, spelling out the word “Welcome.” To add a bit more pizzazz you could tie ribbon bows inbetween each triangle.

back to school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, free banners for school, welcome banners, kid  generated decorations, kid-generated bulletin boards, apple activities, apple decorations, apple welcome sign, pirate activities, pirate decorations, pirate welcome banner, cow activities, cow welcome banner, cow decorations, owl activities, owl decorations, owl welcome banner, september bulletin board ideas, back to school bulletin board ideas, back to school decorations, activities for the first day of schoolSo that you have enough pieces for each child, and your banner looks great from both sides, put the other set back-to-back. This will give you 16 total pennants.

If you have more than 16 students in your class (At this point with budget cuts I think we can only dream of small class sizes.) make another banner for a total of 32 pieces.

This can be hung as one long streamer down the hall above your door, or as 2 separate banners across your classroom ceiling. If you don’t have that many students in your class, allow early finishers to color the extra pennant pieces. You could also do one.

back to school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, free banners for school, welcome banners, kid  generated decorations, kid-generated bulletin boards, apple activities, apple decorations, apple welcome sign, pirate activities, pirate decorations, pirate welcome banner, cow activities, cow welcome banner, cow decorations, owl activities, owl decorations, owl welcome banner, september bulletin board ideas, back to school bulletin board ideas, back to school decorations, activities for the first day of schoolI tried to think of the more popular themes so that the Welcome Banners would match your room. Click on the link for the OWL welcome banner, the COW welcome banner, the APPLE welcome banner.

The WESTERN welcome banner & the PIRATE welcome banner, both feature a different pennant for each letter.

back to school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, free banners for school, welcome banners, kid  generated decorations, kid-generated bulletin boards, apple activities, apple decorations, apple welcome sign, pirate activities, pirate decorations, pirate welcome banner, cow activities, cow welcome banner, cow decorations, owl activities, owl decorations, owl welcome banner, september bulletin board ideas, back to school bulletin board ideas, back to school decorations, activities for the first day of schoolI've included a pennant for preschool, kindergarten and 1st grade.  I thought they were a bit too cutesy for older grades, but if you don't, and want one for 2nd or 3rd grade, drop me an e-mail and I'll make you one.diane@teachwithme.com

back to school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, free banners for school, welcome banners, kid  generated decorations, kid-generated bulletin boards, apple activities, apple decorations, apple welcome sign, pirate activities, pirate decorations, pirate welcome banner, cow activities, cow welcome banner, cow decorations, owl activities, owl decorations, owl welcome banner, september bulletin board ideas, back to school bulletin board ideas, back to school decorations, activities for the first day of schoolI've seen a lot of frog themed activities, especially about "leaping into a new grade, so I also made a  FROG banner.

back to school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, free banners for school, welcome banners, kid  generated decorations, kid-generated bulletin boards, apple activities, apple decorations, apple welcome sign, pirate activities, pirate decorations, pirate welcome banner, cow activities, cow welcome banner, cow decorations, owl activities, owl decorations, owl welcome banner, september bulletin board ideas, back to school bulletin board ideas, back to school decorations, activities for the first day of schoolSuperheroes continue to be very popular so here's a SUPER HERO banner  as well. To view/download them, click on their links.

Why not  change your banner every now and then, as you switch themes.   If you’d like me to whip together another themed-banner, simply shoot me an e-mail and I’ll see what I can do.

back to school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, free banners for school, welcome banners, kid  generated decorations, kid-generated bulletin boards, apple activities, apple decorations, apple welcome sign, pirate activities, pirate decorations, pirate welcome banner, cow activities, cow welcome banner, cow decorations, owl activities, owl decorations, owl welcome banner, september bulletin board ideas, back to school bulletin board ideas, back to school decorations, activities for the first day of schoolThanks for visiting today.  If you’d like to see all of the wonderful educational FREEBIES that I PIN, simply click on the “Follow me” heart on the right of the blog.

“Our success multiplies each time we lead someone else to success.” –Susan Collins

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1-2-3 Come Get Rid Of The First Day Jitters With Me!

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.

If there are more Common Core Packets you'd like me to whip together, just drop me an e-mail diane@teachwithme.com, or leave a comment here. 

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.  To view/download the other common core packets, click on the following links:  The Kissing HandChrysanthemumIf You Give A Mouse A Cookie, and  If You Take A Mouse To School.

 The packet includes:

  • A beginning-middle-end story map that will help students retell First Day Jitters
  • A "favorite part" retelling "writing prompt" bookmark
  • A compare and contrast Venn diagram with The Kissing Hand book
  • Character, Setting and Event cards. (Laminate, put magnets on the back and put them up on your white board. Write down students' answers under the cards.)
  • Question Words activity sheet, reinforcing the who, what, why, when, where, how words.
  • Cover of book to label book parts + review author and illustrator
  • Feelings worksheet and writing prompt
  • Feelings graphing extension
  • "Jitters" synonym discussion and worksheet

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.

back to school activities, first week of school activities, september writing prompts, daily 5 activities for september, daily 5 word work for september, synonymn activities, activities for first day jitters, lessons for first day jitters, ideas for first day jitters, books to read for back to schsool, books to read for the first day of school, feelings activities, feelings lessons, graphing lessons, graphing feelings, venn diagram lessons, venn diagrams comparing books, common core lessons ofr kindergarten, common core lessons for first grade, lessons and activities for the kissing hand, lessons and activities for chrysanthemum, lessons and activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, lessons and activities for if you take a mouse to school,Thanks for visiting today!  I hope you're getting excited, rather than anxious for your first day!  As for me, I'm off to take a break and get some fresh air.  My brain's been on overload lately...perhaps basking a bit in the sunshine will help unclutter my mind.

"I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow." - Woodrow Wilson

 

 

 

 

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