1-2-3 Come Do Some Snowflake Activities With Me
My kiddos absolutely LOVE snowflakes. The entire month of January, finds us in a flurry of snowflake-themed activities. I'm featuring two of our favorites today.
The snowflake word family craftivity packet, is a quick, easy and super-fun way to practice and review word families.
The activities are great for a whole group, independent center or Daily 5 word work.
Completed projects make a simple, yet awesome winter bulletin board .
Put the two word work posters in the center, then scatter students’ snowflakes on a blue foil background (I use wrapping paper.)
The packet includes:
* 4 large snowflake templates
* 70 snowflake word family cards
* A list of the 70 word families, with 987 word examples!
* A word family sentence worksheet
* A word family bookmark, which students can use to write word family words on the back, plus . . .
* A cover to make a word family booklet
Another snowflake activity that I think your students will enjoy is the 2D snowflake shapes game.
It's a quick, easy and fun snowflake matching game, with several ways to play.
Students can play independently as a center activity, or pick a partner and play a game. They match shape to shape card, shape card to shape card, shape to shape, or shape card to word card.
There's a "color the shape" spinner game as well. I often use these activities as an interesting and fun way to assess.
If you're looking for an awesome winter bulletin board or fun writing prompt that your kiddos will get excited about, then this "snow" special family snowflake craft's for you.
It's a quick, easy and fun "homework" assignment, which even PK kiddos can do with the help of their families.
Completed projects make a lovely bulletin board. Suspend a few from the ceiling above the board for that finishing touch. Caption: "Brrrrr-illiant Work!"
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
We have huge fluffy flakes gently falling outside my office window right now. PTL I don't have to shovel.
Wishing you a warm and snuggly day!
"Advice is like snow-the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind." -Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1-2-3 Come Do A Mitten Craftivity With Me
Run off the mitten pattern on a variety of colors of construction paper. Students choose one, cut it out and color the snowflake. For that finishing touch, glue a school photo to the center of the snowflake.
Each child also needs a copy of the booklet pages. They are on one sheet for easy printing. As a whole group, read the sentences aloud. Pause, while students fill in the blanks, complete the writing prompt and add end punctuation.
I also wrote the color of my mittens, using a marker that color. Have students write the number, as well as the number word in the blank, for how many pairs of mittens they own.
Children cut, collate and then staple their booklet to the cuff of their mitten, and write their name on the cover.
When everyone is done, have children share their mitten booklets.
I've included a graphing extension for colors of mittens, with a tally time worksheet.
Another graph shows whether they prefer gloves or mittens.
There are also a few mitten math extensions. Do the worksheets as a whole group, or break children up into small groups to figure them out.
To help explain what you want students to do, the packet includes a completed sample that you can share with them, or, if you have the time, make a sample of your own.
Completed projects make an adorable winter bulletin board. Scatter the mittens on a background of blue. Use snowflake wrapping paper for extra pizzazz.
For that finishing touch, edge with a border of paper snowflakes that your kiddos cut out. White doilies cut in half are also lovely.
Click on the link to view/download the Emergent Reader Mitten craftivity. That's it for today's newest FREEBIE. Thanks for visiting.
I spent an hour on Pinterest last night, so my brain is brimming with ideas, and my desk is cluttered with notes and sketches.
If you'd like to see the boards I take way too much time on, click the link to zip on over. I have one specifically for mittens! Almost all of what I pin are educational FREEBIES, crafts, games and just plain fun timesavers. I did lots of work, so you don't have to.
Playing on Pinterest gets me excited for all of the up-coming celebrations, and like everyone else, I have way more things to get done, than I do the time to make them all in. Wishing you a productive and carefree day.
"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it." - Mary Engelbreit (Perhaps this is what my husband means when he tells me to embrace winter. Brrrrrr.)
1-2-3 Come Do Some New Year "Craftivity" Resolutions With Me!
When one thinks about the New Year, it’s inevitable that a few resolutions come to mind. This was a new word for my Y5’s, so I presented it as a "promise" to themselves, of what they’d like to improve on.
For a quick, easy and fun writing prompt, have your kiddos choose a partner, and take turns tracing each other's hand on the New Year's template. Once done, they fill in the details: "I made these resolutions and I'm trying to keep them..."
This simple January writng prompt makes an interesting Daily 5 activity too. Have students include the year (written on their fingers) and glue their school picture somewhere on the page.
Be sure and make a sample to show your class. My Y5's always enjoyed learning about me. I added a bit more pizzazz by gluing on flat-backed rhinestones to my "rings."
After students share, mount their work on a variety of colors of construction paper and sprinkle over a wintry-printed bulletin board. (I buy discounted Christmas wrapping paper with snowflakes for this purpose.)
Click on the link to view/download the High Five's For A Happy New Year "craftivity."
For another New Year craftivity, I used Tagxedo, one of my favorite educational word art sites. Set this up as an independent computer center for students to think up their own designs and words.
The packet has a list of 68-positive "resolution" words + an ABC booklet for students to "improve" themselves "alphabetically".
Completed projects make a very interesting January bulletin board. Click on the link for this great verb reinforcement tool and vocabulary builder. New Year's Word Art Craftivities.
Another awesome bulletin board for January, features a New Year's writing prompt as well. Here, resolutions are viewed as goals.
Since basketball, soccer and football are all sports where players score goals, I thought it would be fun to have students write what their goals are for the New Year on the ball of their choice. I've included a poster that you can put in the center of your bulletin board as a caption.
Besides the balls, there are also 2 writing prompt pages for journal writing, which includes one with a hockey theme. Click on the link to grab the New Year Goals Packet.
For another creative writing bulletin board and some parts of speech practice, I know your kiddo's will enjoy playing the Fractured New Year writing prompt game. Students take turns rolling the dice to fill in a word from the adjective, noun or verb list, which then creates a hilarious story.
When everyone has completed the game, have students read their stories aloud, and enjoy all of the giggles, mount on construction paper, scatter on a few stars (suspend some from the ceiling) and you're done. Click on the link for Fractured New Year fun.
Finally, I’ve also designed a New Year's graphic organizer with some interesting writing prompts for students to complete. It also includes a box for their resolutions.
Children can draw a picture of themselves or glue a photo in the center oval.
That's it for today. I have quite a few finishing touches that I need to accomplish before I can finally rest and relax.
It's time to get some hustle bustle going, so once again I'm dashing. Wishing you a productive and fun day.
"Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, it will be happier." -Alfred Lord Tennyson
1-2-3 Come Do Some New Year Activities With Me
As schools are coming to a close for a nice holiday break, I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a happy, healthy, safe and relaxing New Year. I'm posting these popular New Year activities early, because if you're like me, I wanted to have my first day back, planned and run off before I left for a much-needed break.
I also didn't want to have to worry about putting up a bulletin board, so with that in mind, I designed some writing prompt "craftivities". Completed projects make awesome bulletin boards or hallway displays. (Easy-peasy and another thing checked off my list.)
Along with millions of others, we enjoy watching the Tournament of Roses Parade. With that in mind, I made up 6 interesting writing prompts that you can give your students on the day they they return from break. Quick, easy and fun, the "parade packet" fits in well for your writing block or Daily 5.
One prompt is specifically about the parade, and includes a Venn diagram comparing Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to the Tournament of Roses New Year's Parade. Venn diagrams are a simple way for students to practice comparison and contrast writing. The other 5 parade-prompts, are generic in nature, so children who don't watch those parades have other options.
Click on the link to view/download the New Year Parade Writing prompts.
Another prompt, is a Happy New Year craftivity. Run the balloon pattern off on a variety of colors of construction paper. Students choose one, trim, and complete the 3 writing prompts. Children add hands to the clock so that it reads midnight. You can also have older students write a longer prompt on the back of their balloon.
The photo shows last year's sample, but I've included two patterns with a blank for years (201____ as well as 202____) so that you can use this craftivity in years to come.
For that finishing touch, tie on some curling ribbon & glue on a school photo. Completed projects look wonderful dangling bak-to-back from the ceiling, or scattered on a bulletin board. Click on the link for the Happy New Year Writing-Prompt Craftivity to view/download it.
Another simple New Year craftivity that makes a great January bulletin board, is entitled "Past Present and Future." Students reflect on the prior year, jotting down memorable moments from that year, as well as their current activities, goals and hopes for the New Year.
My sample is also from last year and from a high school student's perspective. As with the other dated activity, I've included templates through 2024, so you can reuse this idea for awhile as well. Mount them on a variety of colors of construction paper, scatter on a few snowflakes and you're bulletin board's done. Click on the link for the New Year Past & Future writing prompt.
Finally, my personal favorite, is a January writing prompt that I call "More or Less." It's a nice way to review this math symbol as well.
Have students brainstorm a list of things that they think they should do less of (watching TV, playing computer games, fighting with siblings ...) as well as a list of things that they think they should do more of (studying, reading, exercising etc.).
Write these on the board to help with spelling. Students return to their desk and write their own list on the pre-writing paper.
When they are happy with their lists, they write complete sentences on the greater than and less than symbol pages.
Have students color the symbols their favorite colors. When they are done, students trim their papers.
To turn this into a really interesting January bulletin board, have students trace their foot (with their shoe on). Offer a variety of colors for students to choose from.
They cut out their foot, glue on the "More or less I will try to put my best foot forward in the New Year" square, add a photo, name and the year. Click on the link to view/download the More or Less New Year Writing Prompt packet.
That's it for today. Thanks for visiting. I hope you found a few things here that will help launch the New Year with enthusiasm for writing.
I have a few last-minute things to get for tonight's special dinner, so I'm hitting the floor running. Wishing you a stress-free day.
"Remember to enjoy the doing of your "to do" list, and not just the accomplishment of getting it done."
1-2-3 Come Do Some Snowman Craftivities With Me!
I LOVE rip and tear craftivities for little ones. It's so important to strengthen their finger muscles and tearing strips of paper is an especially fun way to do that.
Run off my snowman template. I purposely make these small, so that children don't get tired and bored trying to fill up too big of an area. Inform students to rip up their strips, putting each color in a pile, before they start to glue.
This way, they can rub their glue stick over an entire section and simply press those colored pieces on that area. This expedites the gluing and keeps children's fingers from getting too sticky. You'll still have a few that will rub glue on that little piece and stick it on that way, which takes a lot longer.
You can do this as a whole-group activity. While students are at special, lunch or recess, place the strips on their desk/table area, so they can get started when they return.
You can also do this as an independent center. When students completed their table top morning lessons, I had special centers the Y5's could transition to. This really helped children stay on task and focused, as they wanted to make whatever fun thing I had on those TV tray centers.
So that my kiddo's didn't make a huge mess of all the colors of paper strips, I slid the paper in the openings of a plastic basket.
Another option for rip and tear, is to rip the paper parts and then glue them together like a puzzle.
I suggest this for Y5's and older, as some of my kiddo's had a hard time figuring out where to tear, while trying to keep their paper folded and stay on the line. Before hand, demonstrate this.
In later years, I held up the hat and said, "Do what I do." Doing this activity with step-by-step directions (monkey-see, monkey do) really expedited things. These look wonderful hung back-to-back from the ceiling.
In the photograph, they are hung along with our cylinder snowman windsocks. My hallway was always decorated to the hilt, which was a real self-esteem builder.
These snowmen were also the January page for my Y5's Rippin' Through The Year monthly keepsake booklet. Click on the link to view/download that booklet. Click on this link to view/download the Rip & Tear Snowmen packet which includes both kinds.
Another group activity that's great fine motor practice, is "Stuffy." We have a recycled paper box in the teachers’ lounges through out our schools. The last day we’re in school, before Christmas break, I visited these rooms and loaded up a big black trash bag, with as much paper as I could carry.
If you don’t have a recycled paper box in your school, start one. These scraps are great to make “shred” and do all sorts of activities with.
When my students came back from vacation, we'd build our own two-snowball snowman out of a couple of white garbage bags. My Y5’s named him “Stuffy.” Children sat on our Circle of Friends carpet and crinkled up paper “snowballs.”
As they got a snowball done, I had them toss it towards our big garbage can that was lined with the white garbage bag. Every time they made a “bucket” they gave themselves a tally mark, under their name that I’d written on the white board. If they missed, they simply tried again.
Afterwards, everyone got a snowman sticker, and the one who made the most “buckets” got a trip to the treasure box. This is great counting, and tally mark practice, as well as wonderful fine and gross motor exercise too.
Take the garbage bag out when it’s pretty full and have students continue to stuff ‘til the bag is nice and round. Make sure the bottom bag is bigger than the “head”. When you are happy with Stuffy’s size, put your snowman "ball" in the corner of the classroom, so he leans against the wall for support and “build” him from there.
Using duct tape (It’s nice and sticky) put on the head. Decorate with a real stocking cap and scarf. Poke a hole on either side and use two rulers as arms. Two paint sticks work well too. A pair of gloves or mittens, go on each end and wahla (!) your own inside snowman.
Add a construction paper nose, “coal” black eyes and red cherry mouth pieces, + some circles for the buttons; stick them on with duct tape.
Each month I tried to do something that was RECYCLED and Stuffy fit the bill for January. Click on the link to print Stuffy's directions.
Finally, a simple and quick decoration for your students' lockers is to make the Snowman Name Stacker.
If you don't have lockers, these look adorable lined up on a hallway wall. Have your students help you arrange them in alphabetical order, or from tallest to shortest.
You can make a template, trace once and cut out 3-6 circles at a time, or run off my template on white construction paper and have students cut out their own circles.
For younger children, especially those with long names, have a 2-3-circle cutting limit and then allow them to add as many pre-cut circles as they need to spell their name.
Demonstrate how to glue just the edge of the "snowball" to another to "build" their vertical snowman stacker. Review vertical and horizontal vocabulary with them, as well as the circle, rectangle and square shapes.
Give each child a pre-cut black square and rectangle. Have them glue the shapes together to make a hat to glue to the top of their snowman.
Using crayons or markers students draw and color a face. Wiggle eyes are also fun. You could cut their school photo in the shape of a heart, and have them glue that to their hat as well.
Afterwards, students write a letter on each of the belly snowballs, so that they spell their name. If you have the time, go over their letters with Elmer's glue and have them sprinkle on glitter.
As a math extension, graph how many letters in students' names, or which letters were used the most. Add up everyone's totals for a grand total of how many letters for the entire class. Click on the link to view/download the Snowman Name Stacker.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. My "Pin it" button is at the top.
"Getting an inch of snow, is like winning 10 cents in the lottery." -Bill Waterson
Silly Shaped Penguins
These shapely penguins make an easy center that’s a fun way to review shapes. My inspiration for the shoe-shaped penguin came from Merryn’s Crafty-crafted sight.
Her son painted his foot and made this adorable penguin. Click on the link to check out her other cute ideas and see Ethan doing this project.
I felt that tracing a student’s foot with their shoe on, was an easier-no mess project to take on with a bunch of little kids, and still makes a nice keepsake.
Have your students stand on a sheet of black construction paper and trace around their shoe with a piece of chalk. A room helper cuts these out and then traces them on white copy paper so that they can cut a smaller white foot for the center of the penguin.
Students glue this together, along with their beak and feet, which can simply be triangles of orange construction paper. Use the manipulatives to get the wiggles out and do The Penguin Pokey. Click on the link to view/print The Penguin Pokey.
Help students review their body parts by having them put their penguin on their thigh, hip, waist, wrist, shin etc.
Their penguin can also help them review spatial directions and you can whole group assess as you tell your students to put their penguin behind them, over their palm, on their right side etc.
The silly shaped penguins, as well as the shoe penguins, make an adorable January bulletin board. Captions can be:
"Things are shaping up in _________________'s room." "Things are taking shape in kindergarten." "Waddle on down to room 206 to see what's shaping up!" "The shape of things to come with ______________________'s first graders." "Penguin Power Prints!"
Teachers can make a set to show the students and then do a graphing activity of which is their favorite. So each child has a set, do this as a daily center activity for the week. End with the shoe penguin and sing a round of The Penguin Pokey using the manipulative.
I also made an easy-reader booklet: Look It’s A Penguin! to go along with these goofy little guys. Students read the sentence, trace and write the shape word, color the silly-shaped penguin, and finally trace and draw the shape.
The last page says: This penguin is in the shape of my shoe, a keepsake especially for you. There’s also a graphing extension + shape flashcards that students can make into an Itty Bitty booklet.
Click on the link to take a look at Silly Shaped Penguins.
Are you looking for more penguin-themed ideas?
Shapes are also reviewed under the wings of this adorable penguin booklet and squencing numbers with this fish-gobbling cutie is also lots of fun. Both can be found in my Winter Art and Activity Book.
Thank you for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything you think others may find helpful.
"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery." -Mark VAn Doren
A Colorful Martin Luther King Bulletin Board
Happy Martin Luther King Day to those of you who will be celebrating his birthday this coming Monday. My apologies for not getting this article published a few days ago as planned.
I saw making snowflakes out of strips of paper on Pinterest. (Wow can that be addicting!) Click on the link to check out my pin boards. You can find the original cute idea at Mrs. Carroll's Blog Spot Parade. She made them on powder blue paper with pattern blocks.
Snowflakes are unique like people. They are the same, but different, so I thought they’d be a great segue into Martin Luther King Activities.
Because people are beautiful and special no matter what color they are, I thought a beautiful blizzard of colorful flakes would make an interesting bulletin board.
Sesame Street’s We Are Different; We Are The Same is a great story to read & discuss to go with this activity, as the snowflake’s template is the same, but all of the flakes are also different in some way. Older students could list ways they are different and ways that they are the same as their classmates on the back strips of their snowflakes.
Involve math by having students create a pattern on one strip. I used a snowflake and heart paper punch. These can be pre-cut by a room helper, or let students strengthen their hand muscles by punching 3 of each shape.
By making copies of students’ school photos, you can add charm to your board as well as make this a real keepsake project for parents, while creating an ABCABC pattern.
Another pattern is made when students choose 2 different color markers to write their name in an ABAB pattern on the 2nd strip.
Let students know that Martin Luther King had a dream and explain to them what his dream was. You can listen to his dream speech at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V57lotnKGF8 These other You Tube videos are all extremely short and will add interest to your day. http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=8AyF9Idh_iE I have a dream quote with soothing background music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiF2aAx0kds&feature=related Cool motion typography. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNAy6Bhij8A Music video picture montage of Martin Luther King http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mA7WCHfVRfc As part of the “I Have A Dream Project” people were asked what their dreams were. I especially liked this one.
No matter how young, most students have a dream to be “something” when they grow up. Brainstorm ideas with your students and write them on the board so they know how to spell their “dream careers.”
Write the sentence, “My dream is to be a/an ________________.” Children fill in the blank with what they want to be when they “grow up” and write their completed sentence on the 3rd strip.
If you’re not celebrating Martin Luther King Day, you can always save this idea for next year and have students write a resolution/ goal or promise on the strip.
To expedite this center, and to make sure little ones can make a symmetric snowflake, I’ve made a template.
Students choose a color and put 2 strips on the template. Have 2” pieces of scotch tape stuck around the table.
Children use 1 piece to adhere the 2 strips together that form the X. They then place the 3rd strip down the middle and use the 2nd piece of tape to stick that strip to the other 2.
You can opt to use glue sticks, but I find that little ones rub glue all over the strip instead of one place, a lot of glue gets on the desk and is wasted and they take so much more time, or they don’t use enough glue and when they bring their snowflake up to be hung it is falling apart.
The snowflakes look awesome on a navy blue or black background. Your caption could read: “A Beautiful Blizzard of Brrr-illiant Work!” OR “We’re All Different; We’re All The Same!” OR “We’re Snow Special No Matter What Color Or How Flakey!”
Whenever I have a center where I want to make sure that I have a variety of ALL the colors on my b. board, I cut out only enough strips to make a class set of whatever with a few extra.
I assign a tabletop activity for students to accomplish first and then they transition to the art center when they are done.
The students who get down to business and stay focused get a wider variety of color choices.
My “pokey Joes” choose from the remaining colors. This has proven to be an incentive for some students, and I don’t end up with an all pink and purple b. board.
Click on the link to view/print the template, pix, and directions. Martin Luther King Snowflakes
Are you looking for some more Martin Luther King activities? Click on the link to see the quickie projects in my Martin Luther King Mini Unit.
Whatever you're doing this coming Monday, I hope it's simply marvelous!
Quick & Easy Tips For Your Winter Bulletin Boards
Do you need some budget-conscious ideas to put a bit of “pop” and “pizzazz” into your winter bulletin boards? Here’s how you can add some flair to your creations. These things are usually deeply discounted after the holidays, just in time to decorate your classroom and hallway!