back to school activities

1-2-3 Come Do Some "Wemberly Worried" Activities With Me

wemberly worried activities, back to school stories, back to school bulletin boards, back to school crafts, back to school writing prompts, activities for Wemberly Worried, Kevin Henkes booksNo matter what grade I taught, to get students excited about writing, all I had to do was incorporate a bit of craftiness, to get & hold their attention.

wemberly worried activities, back to school stories, back to school bulletin boards, back to school crafts, back to school writing prompts, activities for Wemberly Worried, Kevin Henkes booksWith that in mind, I designed these super-fun writing prompt craftivities, which were inspired by Kevin Henkes’ book, “Wemberly Worried”, an all-time favorite back to school story.

I think realizing that others also have fears, helps children not feel so alone when dealing with their own emotions; especially if they find someone who shares the same worry (Like Wemberly & Jewel).

Hopefully, these various writing prompts will provide cathartic fun.

wemberly worried activities, back to school stories, back to school bulletin boards, back to school crafts, back to school writing prompts, activities for Wemberly Worried, Kevin Henkes books1. There are 14 cover options for the “Sometimes I worry about…” craftivity, which includes 5 girl & 5 boy patterns.

Students color & draw in the facial features. There’s also a generic pattern, plus one featuring Wemberly, as well as a blank template where students can draw themselves inside the “worry circle”.

treat bags, first day activities, back to school treats, back to school activities, back to school postersThe cover is then glued to the top of their writing prompt so it flips up.

wemberly worried activities, back to school stories, back to school bulletin boards, back to school crafts, back to school writing prompts, activities for Wemberly Worried, Kevin Henkes books2. So that you can do a variety of quick, easy & fun writing activities throughout the week, I’ve also included 4, “point of view” postcards, where students pretend they are Wemberly and then write a postcard to a classmate.

3. Students need to know that everyone worries; it’s normal and there are coping skills to help. Which is why I also designed the “Flip the Face” (Mice Advice) craftivity.

wemberly worried activities, back to school stories, back to school bulletin boards, back to school crafts, back to school writing prompts, activities for Wemberly Worried, Kevin Henkes booksStudents color, cut and glue Wemberly’s face together, so that it flips up to reveal something they do to help with their worries.

I think this prompt is easier for students to “share” because they feel they are helping others.

wemberly worried activities, back to school stories, back to school bulletin boards, back to school crafts, back to school writing prompts, Venn diagrams, activities for Wemberly Worried, Kevin Henkes books4. As another story extension, I’ve also included several Venn diagram options, where students compare Jewel with Wemberly, as well as Wemberly to themselves.

For a fun icebreaker, have students partner up, and do the “Venn Friend” activity, which make an adorable back to school bulletin board.

5. A discussion helps to alleviate fears as well, so I’ve included a whole-group activity, comparing young people’s worries with those of adults.

6. To help get rid of worries, I’ve also included 2 worksheet options, where students write their worries on a large W or “pencil page”, then rip their worries into small pieces, ball them up into a wad, then “toss their cares into the trash”.

wemberly worried activities, back to school stories, back to school bulletin boards, back to school crafts, back to school writing prompts, activities for Wemberly Worried, Kevin Henkes books, idioms, worry wart activities, toad crafts, toad posters7. On the same order, is “Give your worry warts away”, where students give their warts to Wharton the toad, who never worries about anything. 

The warts are simply colorful stickers they sprinkle on one of two toad options. 

To expedite coloring, I ran the patterns off on tan construction paper.  Students add some shading with crayons. 

On the back of Wharton, they write down 3-8 worries that they have, numbering them as they go.

dont worry be happy, worry warts, idioms, toad pictures, toad craftsOn the front of their toad, they number that many "worry wart" stickers.

The "worry ball" that Wharton sits on says: Don't Worry Be "HOppy".  While students are working, I play Bobby McFerrin's song. Click the link to have a listen. 

I've included several photo posters of real toads to help introduce your lesson, then later they can spice up your bulletin board display.

Today's featured FREEBIE is "Chalk Talk".  Great for back to school or anytime.

treat bags, first day activities, back to school treats, back to school activities, back to school postersThe packet includes:

* A “Chalk” behavior modification, positive reinforcement activity, that will help promote working as a team to achieve a desired goal, building self-esteem at the same time.

treat bags, first day activities, back to school treats, back to school activities, back to school posters* Black & White “color me” headers, for a sidewalk chalk treat Baggie, as well as patterns in full color for preschool, kindergarten, & first grade, with a blank template for you to fill in with any other grade. I’ve also included a generic one you can give at anytime of the year.

* A “Chalk Talk” bear poster you can write a daily message on.
* A “Chalk Talk” kitten poster wishing children a “purrr-fect” day. Plus...

* 2, Chalk Talk ("I had a nice time at school today. These are a few of the things that I did:" ) writing prompt worksheets.

treat bags, first day activities, back to school treats, back to school activities, back to school posters wemberly worried activities, Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.

It's the middle of August, so my feet have hit the floor running.  My "To Do" list is way too long, but it's also a ton of fun. 

Wishing you a zippidy-do-dah kind of day, filled with lots of zip and not so much "to do" dah.

"You're off to great places. Today is your day.  Your mountain is waiting so get on your way!" - Dr. Seuss

1-2-3 Come Make A "First Day Jitters" Booklet With Me

first day jitters activities, jitter juice, jitter snack, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, activities to go with first day jitters, 1st day jitters, jitter crafts, julie danneburg, ice breakers, ice breaker activities for the 1st week, making connections text to self, jitter glitter namesDo you read “First Day Jitters”, by Julie Danneberg?

It’s one of my all-time favorite back to school books. If you haven't read it, put it on your "to do" list. You'll LOVE the ending.

After I read a story, I like to have my students transition to some sort of activity, which practices a variety of standards, using the book as a springboard.

first day jitters, 1st day jitters activities, activities for the first day of school, 1st day of school activities, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, back to school books, back to school bulletin board ideas, icebreakers for schoolWith that in mind, I designed this "First Day Jitters" class book.
It's a wonderful little icebreaker that I think your students will enjoy.

There’s a blank area where students can draw their own “face”, as well as 8, black & white patterns featuring girls, plus 8 with boys.

I find that my little ones may “write” big, but often they draw rather small.
Because of this, they do a much better job if they have some sort of outline to add features too.

first day jitters, 1st day jitters activities, activities for the first day of school, 1st day of school activities, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, back to school books, back to school bulletin board ideas, icebreakers for schoolStudents draw their features on the face, of how they think “jitter feelings” look.
They color the picture to represent their hair, face, eye color etc.

Children also color any of the emoji faces that depict the variety of emotions that they have felt during the day.

Older students can explain those feelings by writing on the back.

first day jitters, 1st day jitters activities, activities for the first day of school, 1st day of school activities, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, back to school books, back to school bulletin board ideas, icebreakers for schoolCompleted projects make a cute bulletin board.
You can use the various posters to introduce your lesson, then add them to your display for extra pizzazz.

After you take your back to school display down, collate the pages, then add the cover and turn into a class book. (Great to share during parent-teacher conferences.)

Later, take the book apart, and include this page in your students’ end of the year Memory Books

Today's featured FREEBIE is a set of "Book Hospital" patterns, to help make your life easier.

book hospital basket, classroom management, teaching tips, organization tips for the classroom, classroom management tipsWhen students are reading a book from your classroom library and discover that it needs some repair work, to avoid further damage, have them fill out an Rx form of what's wrong with the book and how you can fix it.

They tuck the note on the page that needs repair, so that the end sticks out and then drop the book in the "hospital" basket.

Repairing a book is a great job to delegate to a room or classroom helper.

There are two patterns on a page for easy printing, so why not make a "book hospital" for a fellow teacher or your librarian, as a "Hope you have a great year!" surprise.

activities for first day jitters, 1st day jitters activities, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers for school, first day activities, back to school booksWell that's it for today.  Thanks for popping by.

I have a few more "back to school" ideas rolling around in my head, so I best make some notes before they flutter away. 

Wishing you a day filled with giggles galore.

"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people." - Victor Borge

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1-2-3 Come Make Some Number Booklets With Me

counting activities, recognizing numbers, number recognition activities, number booklets, counting booklets, assessing number recognition, If your kiddos are like mine, they will absolutely love making these “just the right size” number booklets.

Teachers will enjoy the easy-peasy "Print & Go" prep as well.

counting activities, recognizing numbers, number recognition activities, number booklets, counting booklets, assessing number recognition, There are eleven, 2-page booklets for numbers 0-10 .

Besides number recognition the booklets also provide great fine motor practice while cutting & gluing.

Each booklet has a bit of a different shape, as they follow the contours of the numbers, which adds interest to their appearance, as well as provides “curved” cutting practice as well.

counting activities, recognizing numbers, number recognition activities, number booklets, counting booklets, assessing number recognition, The assembly of each booklet is also simple, and is a great way to practice listening & following directions too.

For the inside pages, children trace and write the number & word, then color the group of that many things.

counting activities, recognizing numbers, number recognition activities, number booklets, counting booklets, assessing number recognition, I include number words because even though I’m not teaching “reading” or number word recognition at this time, I’ve included it “on and in” the booklet, for several reasons.

At the same time we are learning numbers, children are also learning letters.  Seeing them together helps kiddos differentiate the two.  

counting activities, recognizing numbers, number recognition activities, number booklets, counting booklets, assessing number recognition, Children will also realize that a number symbol has a word that’s also associated with it, and that those words, are made up of letters.  

Even though children might not be able to correctly match up a word to a number yet, I’ve discovered that by continuously seeing numbers with their matching words, my students were successfully recognizing them later!

It’s sort of like being able to read the word Cheerios, or McDonalds simply because they are associating.

When everyone is done with their booklet, we “read” it together.

We count from 0 to that number, flash that many fingers, then clap each letter as we spell the word.

You can send each booklet home after your kiddos create it, or you can have children keep them in a 5x7 manila envelope.

counting activities, recognizing numbers, number recognition activities, number booklets, counting booklets, assessing number recognition, Holding the envelope horizontally, I slit the top. Students seal the flap shut .

After they have colored the picture, they glue their worksheet on the front.

When we finish studying a number, children trace and write it, then tuck the booklet inside the envelope. 

 I also give my kiddos a "student number". This matches the alphabetical order of their first names; Anna, Bill, Bob etc.

Along with their name, they write this number on any work that I keep for folders, portfolios etc. 

This way, students can assist me in filing "stuff", which I keep in tubs.  This takes just a minute, and finding a student's work is a breeze.

Plus I never have piles of "need to file" papers all over the place!

counting activities, recognizing numbers, number recognition activities, number booklets, counting booklets, assessing number recognition, Because students are tracing and writing the number on the front, I can also see at a glance, who was absent and is missing a number.

After we are done with the envelopes, I call for a number; as we all, slowly count out loud.

Number one student brings theirs up, then 2 and so on. Everything is now numerically filed and easy to accesss, in a plastic shoebox.

These are great to take out and share during parent-teacher conferences too. 

Once all of our booklets are done, I have students sit on the floor and arrange them in order from 0-10, practicing the "sequencing" standard in a fun way.

The packet also includes a certificate of praise, as well as several “I Spy a Number” worksheets.
This game is a super-fun way to whole group assess, while practicing number recognition.

fall centers, fall games, 2D shape activities, 2D shape games, 2D shape centers, spider activities, owl activities, turkey activiites, leaf activities, bat activitiesToday's featured FREEBIE is a collection of 5, fall matching games, which help practice 2D shapes. 

Print, laminate and trim.  Students place the colored shape tile on the matching shape on the leaf, spider, bat, owl, or turkey card.  

I've also included a blank template for each theme, so you can program with more shapes or whatever. 

counting activities, recognizing numbers, number recognition activities, number booklets, counting booklets, assessing number recognition, Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by. 

Time to put my party hat on, as we're celebrating my birthday early, and hitting the beach for some fun in the sun. 

Wishing you a stress-free & relaxing day.

"Live the party. Love the party. Be the party." -Unknown 

1-2-3 Come Do a Back to School Icebreaker With Me!

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesNowadays, our classrooms are filled with lots of diversity, which sometimes makes starting a new school year a bit scary.

I truly believe that making the time to do some “get to know you” activities the first few days of school, is so very important in building community, camaraderie and a team spirit.

Once those things are established, children build friendships. That bond helps them enjoy school more, learn better and feel safer.

Discipline problems are lessened as well because of mutual feelings of genuine caring and respect.

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesWith that in mind, I designed this super-fun icebreaker craftivity, I call it, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, which not only helps everyone get to know each other, but also practices writing skills in a fun way.

I find that students truly enjoy sharing things about themselves.

A bonus is that completed projects also make an awesome back to school bulletin board as well.

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesI’ve included a variety of posters, for your display.  

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesThere's also a nice selection of "Don't judge a book by its cover", thought-provoking photo posters. 

Use them as an attention grabbing way to introduce the lesson, or jump start a discussion of why it’s important not to prejudge others.

Later, sprinkle them throughout your display of children's book stacks. 

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesAs another discussion starter, I've also included a set of 4, interesting quote cards. These too, can become part of your display.

So that this idea works for a variety of grades, ages and skill levels, I’ve included patterns for lower elementary kiddos, as well as patterns for older students

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesThere are 6 young boy "topper" options, along with 6 for girls.

Patterns come in black & white so students can color them. I've also included several in color, so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share.

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesThis "topper" sits on a stack of books.

Each book features a "favorite" writing prompt. Such as favorite food, animal, color etc. 

Making this a quick, easy and a super-fun way to get to know your students. 

Younger kiddos can dictate their answers to a parent, which makes this an interesting activity to do during your open house or "Meet the Teacher" night.

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesThere are also 2 options for “teacher toppers” so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share. Students love learning things about their new teachers. 

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesFor older students there's a taller stack of books, with a pattern for a boy as well as a girl. 

These come with "favorites" book headers, as well as a pattern where the books are numbered, so you can taylor your questions for your own class.  

I've included a list of ideas you can choose from, to help design your own categories.

Simply peruse my list, circle your favorite 14, then number them. 

After students have colored, cut and assembled ther book stack, read the first item you want them to write down on the first book: ie. "What is your favorite movie? " 

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesFor extra writing practice, I've also included several writing prompt worksheets.

Because "Don't judge a book by its cover" and "I can read them like a book" are idioms, be sure and take that teachable moment to explain what that term means. 

I've included some definition posters to assist you. 

Today's featured FREEBIE is a set of two coloring pages, inspired by two of my all-time favorite back to school books: "The Kissing Hand" and "Chrysanthemum"

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, Chrysanthemum activity, kissing hand activities, first day coloring pages, getting to know you activitiesUse them for a few minutes of sanity-saving time. While children are engaged and happily coloring, you 're freed up for a bit. 

Plus, kiddos have a nice little something to bring home to share with their families.

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesWell that's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by. 

Our weather here in Michigan has been absolutely gorgeous! Feeling very blessed. 

Wishing you a stress free and very relaxing day.

"Life seems to begin all over again during the summer."  - Unknown

 

1-2-3 Come Do Some Name Writing Activities With Me

Put some fun into “name writing” practice.
This important skill can be daunting for little ones just learning how to hold a writing utensil.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsLikewise, “practice makes perfect” can become tedious and boring.
With these things in mind, I designed this “kid topper” name craftivity.

There are a variety of ways you can use this packet.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsThe first way is to use as a worksheet with a “child topper”.
Run off the boy & girl patterns on copy paper, or to make them sturdier, use white construction paper.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsThere are 18, BW girl options, as well as 18 boy options. Children color the child, then trim and glue to the top of one of the worksheets.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsThere are 4 “I can write my name" worksheets. Choose which is most appropriate for your students.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsTo add variety & make things more fun, students write their name with a crayon, pencil, marker, pen & piece of chalk.

If your kiddos are like mine, this is a “big deal” that meets with lots of enthusiasm.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsAnother option, is for students to simply write with one utensil. My kiddos’ favorite is markers.

They can do this all at once, writing their name six times, or do this once each day for the first week of school.

IDEA: Have students choose two different colored markers, then show an ABAB color pattern to cover yet another report card standard.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsCompleted projects make an adorable bulletin board. I’ve included 2 posters to add extra pizzazz.

IDEA: After you take your bulletin board down, save your students’ work, then have them repeat the assignment, the last week of school.

You should see wonderful improvement in coloring, as well as writing! What a great keepsake too. 

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsThe other option is to make a “strip booklet”.

To make one, staple X number of pages together, add the cover, then staple to the base of each students’ “kid topper”.

Children write their name on the first day, then again, once each month.

This is great to share during parent-teacher conferences, and also makes a wonderful keepsake at the end of the year.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsI've also included 3, "bookmarks of praise" for boys, and another 3 for girls, which you can hand out when they pass this report card standard.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. name map icebreaker activity, icebreakers, 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boards, nameToday's featured FREEBIE is a "Getting to know you!" name map.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsWell that's it for today. Thanks for popping in. 

It's summer; it's Friday, and I'm feelin' oh so fine! 

Time to don my straw hat & flips flops. Hoffmaster Beach here we come.

"A little sand between your toes, is a simple way to take away your woes. " -Unknown.

 

1-2-3 Come Do A "Dog Gone Great" Writing Craftivity With Me

No matter what grade I taught, all I had to do to grab my students’ attention and get them excited about writing, was to add a bit of craftiness to an interesting and fun writing prompt.

back to school activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, dog activities, dog crafts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing, summer bulletin boardWith that in mind, I designed this (flip the flap) “Dog Gone Great!” activity, which is another one of my “double duty” writing prompts.

I call them double duty because they have patterns that serve a dual purpose.

You can use them for either the beginning of the year, for a super-fun back to school activity, or plug them in at the end of the year, for pre-summer writing.

There are 5 different dog designs to choose from, as well as 3 writing prompts:

back to school activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, dog activities, dog crafts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing, summer bulletin board“I had a dog gone great summer!”

“I had a dog gone great school year!” and...

"________________________ is dog gone great!” where students fill in the blank with something they think is awesome: a sport, activity, subject, book, person, vacation, etc.

There are also 3 writing page options as well: 2 with different sized lines, plus a blank pattern.

back to school activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, dog activities, dog crafts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing, summer bulletin boardPick which is most appropriate for your students, or give them a choice.
There’s plenty of room to write, as the patterns take up almost a full page.

back to school activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, dog activities, dog crafts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing, summer bulletin boardI’ve included black & white patterns for students, as well as 5 colorful patterns, so that you can quickly and easily make an example to share.

back to school activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, dog activities, dog crafts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing, summer bulletin boardWhen everyone is done, have students pick a partner and take turns sharing, or make some time for children to share with the entire class.

Completed projects make an adorable bulletin board.

back to school activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, dog activities, dog crafts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing, summer bulletin boardI’ve included 2, “Dog Gone Great Writing!” posters to add some extra pizzazz to your display.

shape games, shape activities, 2D shapes, shape centers, 2D shape activitiesToday's featured FREEBIE is a super-fun "Shape Matching Game For Fall"

Print, laminate and trim.  Students place the colored shape tile on to the matching shape on the leaf, spider, bat, owl, or turkey card.  

I've included a blank template for each theme, so you can program with more shapes or whatever. I hope you find it useful.

back to school activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, dog activities, dog crafts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing, summer bulletin boardWell that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by. 

Since the heat index is 110 I'm going to continue to craft away in my blessedly cool office today. 

Wishing you a stress-free & happy-go-lucky day.

"It's summer! If you're not barefoot, you're overdressed." -Unknown

1-2-3 Come Do Some "First Day Jitters" Activities With Me

activities to go with first day jittersDo you read “First Day Jitters” by Julie Danneberg?
It’s one of my all-time favorite back to school books. My students absolutely LOVE the surprise ending.

With that in mind, I decided to make 3 different "Jitter" crafts, to help students sequence and retell the story. They are a super-fun transitional activity after you're done reading.

back to school activities, back to school crafts, icebreaker activities for the first week of school, back to school stories, back to school writing prompts, activities for First Day Jitters, back to school crafts, back to school writing promptsFirst up is the “First Day Jitters”   flip the flap, schoolhouse booklet.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/40-Off-First-Day-Jitters-Storytelling-Craft-3885395So that you can differentiate your lessons, I’ve included a simple flip booklet with just 4 pages for little ones, as well as pattern pages for a super-cool schoolhouse, where the pages are cut down the middle, so the "double-doors" of the school house flip open on both sides.

I purposely did not number the pages, so you can check comprehension.

This also allows you to choose less pages for preschool students, who can easily sort beginning-middle-& end, then retell the story with a limited number of “picture prompts”.

Simply run the schoolhouse pattern off on construction paper or card stock. Students color & trim.

back to school activities, back to school crafts, icebreaker activities for the first week of school, back to school stories, back to school writing prompts, activities for First Day Jitters, back to school crafts, back to school writing promptsOpen the doors to the schoolhouse to retell the story.

Students color, cut & collate the pages into a little booklet, which is then glued to the base of the schoolhouse.

For writing practice, I’ve also included several prompt options that are written on the schoolhouse base patterns. Simply choose which is most appropriate for your kiddos, or you could give them a choice.

back to school activities, back to school crafts, icebreaker activities for the first week of school, back to school stories, back to school writing prompts, activities for First Day Jitters, back to school crafts, back to school writing promptsNext up is a super-simple "First Day Jitters" storytelling wheel.

If your kiddos are like mine, they will really enjoy making a wheel of their own. It’s a wonderful activity to transition to after reading the story.

To once again grab my students’ attention, I share my sample as a story review, then ask, “Who’d like to make one?”  Woo Hoo for excited enthusiasm!

As a whole group, when everyone is done with their craftivity, practice retelling “First Day Jitters” using the wheel manipulative.

Everyone starts by turning their wheel to the “pie slice”, where Mr. Hartwell is calling to Sarah. Pick a child to explain what’s happening in that ”beginning of the story” graphic.

Continue to turn the wheel, calling on different students to tell you about that portion of the story.

back to school activities, back to school crafts, icebreaker activities for the first week of school, back to school stories, back to school writing prompts, activities for First Day Jitters, back to school crafts, back to school writing promptsTo check comprehension, and reinforce the “sequencing a story” standard, I’ve also included a “color, cut & glue” sequencing worksheet.

Use the larger, colorful pattern for a whole group activity with younger kiddos. 

Print, laminate & trim the patterns.  Attach the grid to your white board, then pass the pieces out to your students.

"How does the story start?"  "Who has that story piece?"  That child comes up and places it on the grid. (I attach magnet dots to the backs, but you can also use Velcro or tape.)

back to school activities, back to school crafts, icebreaker activities for the first week of school, back to school stories, back to school writing prompts, activities for First Day Jitters, back to school crafts, back to school writing promptsThis activity is also included in the final "Jitters" craftivity,  a super-fun "First Day Jitters" storytelling slider.

Students color the story elements on the “slider strip” then cut and glue it together.

back to school activities, back to school crafts, icebreaker activities for the first week of school, back to school stories, back to school writing prompts, activities for First Day Jitters, back to school crafts, back to school writing promptsWith just six, nice-sized graphics, this is easy peasy for even preschool children, making it perfect for explaining the beginning-middle & end of a story too.

As children pull on the end of the “slider-strip” the various pictures go through the “window” on the “door” of the schoolhouse, so that students can take turns retelling the story to a partner or reading buddy, then take their slider home to share with their family, once again practicing these standards.

All three packets include black & white patterns, as well as colorful ones, so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share.

As another way to assess comprehension, as well as include more writing practice, I’ve also included a “Here’s What Happened…” worksheet, which can be done independently, or as a whole group with younger children. This worksheet is included in all three packets as well.  

No matter if you're flippng & flapping, or turning & learning, or simply sliding along, I hope you have an absolute blast with your new students. 

back to school poster, Meet the teacher night noteToday's featured FREEBIE is also a little something for back to school. 

I found an "author unknown" quote in various place on the internet, and decided to revamp & expand it, making this "poster poem" appropriate for a teacher to share with their students. 

You can hang it up as a poster, or tuck it in your "Welcome Packet".  Just a little something fun for "Meet & Greet the Teacher" night too. 

back to school activities, back to school crafts, icebreaker activities for the first week of school, back to school stories, back to school writing prompts, activities for First Day Jitters, back to school crafts, back to school writing promptsWell that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.

As we head into the weekend we will be topping 90 degrees. I'm so grateful that we have air conditioning in our home. 

Despite the heat, I may venture out to walk my poodle pup and water the flowers.  Wishing you a relaxing and super-fun summer & jitter-free school year. 

Oh and if you too love "First Day Jitters" be sure and check out Danneberg's "Last Day Blues" it too is a sweet story that proves teachers & students have a lot more in common that they think.

"Summer: Hair gets lighter; skin gets darker. Water gets warmer; drinks get colder. Music gets louder; nights get longer. Life gets better in the good ole' summertime. " -Unknown

1-2-3 Come Do Some Writing Prompt Crafts With Me  

Whether you're looking for a little something to save your sanity, and fill up a bit of time during the last week or school, or you need a writing prompt for back to school, you'll  “TOE-tally” love the versatility of my 2 newest packets.

I call these “double duty” writing prompt crafts because I’ve included patterns for the end of the year, as well as ones for back to school.

writing prompts for the end of the year,  end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer bulletin boards, activities for the end of the year, back to school writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school bulletin boards, Pete the cat activities, Petes I love my white shoes crafts, Petes i love my white shoes activitiesFirst up is the super-cute "TOE-tally" writing prompt packet, which  includes 3 different writing prompt crafts. Plus each of those has several options too!

Toe tally Terrific summer or school year writing prompt flip up craftAll of the writing prompts use the “TOE-tally” play-on-words.
The graphics vary, but all feature cute little toes somewhere in the picture.

For the 1st option, the “shorts” of the child flip up to reveal the writing prompt.
There are 4 black & white boy options for students to choose from, as well as 4 girl patterns

writing prompts for the end of the year,  end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer bulletin boards, activities for the end of the year, back to school writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school bulletin boards, Pete the cat activities, Petes I love my white shoes crafts, Petes i love my white shoes activitiesSince completed projects make an adorable bulletin board, I've included a set of matching posters for your display.

All of the craftivities have a colorful option as well, so that teachers can quickly & easily make an example to share.
To give you some ideas, I’ve also included my completed writing prompt samples.

writing prompts for the end of the year,  end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer bulletin boards, activities for the end of the year, back to school writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school bulletin boards, Pete the cat activities, Petes I love my white shoes crafts, Petes i love my white shoes activitiesThe 2nd option is a card. The sweet graphics feature 10 toes peeking out of a pair of flip flops. 

writing prompts for the end of the year,  end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer bulletin boards, activities for the end of the year, back to school writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school bulletin boards, Pete the cat activities, Petes I love my white shoes crafts, Petes i love my white shoes activitiesI've also included some "I'm wishing you a 'TOE-tally awesome summer/school year" tags, with 10, on a one-page pattern.

Attach to an end or beginning of the year treat for your students. 

I buy the bags of mini candy bars or Skittles at The Dollar Store.

They usually have 10-12 in a bag, so it's an inexpensive little surprise, that's so appreciated by my kiddos. 

writing prompts for the end of the year,  end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer bulletin boards, activities for the end of the year, back to school writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school bulletin boards, Pete the cat activities, Petes I love my white shoes crafts, Petes i love my white shoes activitiesI have matching bulletin board posters for this craft as well.

Finally, the 3rd option sports a child chilling out under a beach umbrella, which flips up to reveal the prompt.

writing prompts for the end of the year,  end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer bulletin boards, activities for the end of the year, back to school writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school bulletin boards, Pete the cat activities, Petes I love my white shoes crafts, Petes i love my white shoes activitiesFor this craftivity, there are 2 boy patterns, plus 2 girl templates for students to choose from.

writing prompts for the end of the year,  end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer bulletin boards, activities for the end of the year, back to school writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school bulletin boards, Pete the cat activities, Petes I love my white shoes crafts, Petes i love my white shoes activitiesI've included a set of 4, matching posters to use for this bulletin board display as well.

writing prompts for the end of the year,  end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer bulletin boards, activities for the end of the year, back to school writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school bulletin boards, Pete the cat activities, Petes I love my white shoes crafts, Petes i love my white shoes activitiesThe other writing prompt craftivity packet is entitled, "Steppin' Into ..." These craftivities also serve double duty.

End of the Year Option:
Students trace and cut out one of their feet & then glue it to the base of their flip flop.

writing prompts for the end of the year,  end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer bulletin boards, activities for the end of the year, back to school writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school bulletin boards, Pete the cat activities, Petes I love my white shoes crafts, Petes i love my white shoes activitiesTo add extra pizzazz and 3D pop, the “straps” for the top of the flip flop, are strips of paper that stick up.

You can also use quarter inch ribbon for something different.

writing prompts for the end of the year,  end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer bulletin boards, activities for the end of the year, back to school writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school bulletin boards, Pete the cat activities, Petes I love my white shoes crafts, Petes i love my white shoes activitiesI’ve included a daisy pattern as well, should some of your girls want to jazz things up a bit more.

Adding a heart with a school photo creates even more interest, making this a sweet keepsake as well.

writing prompts for the end of the year,  end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer bulletin boards, activities for the end of the year, back to school writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school bulletin boards, Pete the cat activities, Petes I love my white shoes crafts, Petes i love my white shoes activitiesThey might also like to add glitter for “nail polish” & a flat-backed “rhinestone” for a toe ring.

writing prompts for the end of the year,  end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer bulletin boards, activities for the end of the year, back to school writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school bulletin boards, Pete the cat activities, Petes I love my white shoes crafts, Petes i love my white shoes activitiesStudents glue their completed foot to one of the corners of their “Steppin’ Into Summer…” writing prompt paper.

There are 4 black & white options for students to choose from; as well as 2 colorful ones, so that teachers can quickly & easily make an example to share.

writing prompts for the end of the year,  end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer bulletin boards, activities for the end of the year, back to school writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school bulletin boards, Pete the cat activities, Petes I love my white shoes crafts, Petes i love my white shoes activitiesCompleted projects make a terrific bulletin board.
I’ve also included a poster for the center of your summer display, plus a different one for your back to school bulletin board.


Back To School Option:
Summer flies and school has a way of “sneaking” up on you, so this “flip up” sneaker craft, features a pair of tennis shoes.

The black & white “cover” pattern, can be colored with markers or crayons, or you can expedite things & run the template off on a variety of colors of construction paper.

At the top of the sneakers is a glue tab, which is glued to the top of the matching blank base. This “hinge” is flipped up to reveal the completed writing prompt underneath the cover.

writing prompts for the end of the year,  end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer bulletin boards, activities for the end of the year, back to school writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school bulletin boards, Pete the cat activities, Petes I love my white shoes crafts, Petes i love my white shoes activitiesThere are two prompt options:
Option 1. “Here’s how I feel about stepping into a new school year!”
I’ve also included patterns for “Here’s how I feel about stepping into 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th grade…” with a blank option, so you can write in a different grade.

writing prompts for the end of the year,  end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer bulletin boards, activities for the end of the year, back to school writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school bulletin boards, Pete the cat activities, Petes I love my white shoes crafts, Petes i love my white shoes activitiesOption 2. “As you step into a new school year, here’s some advice:” For this end of the year writing prompt, your students write some advice, to your new students coming in the fall.

Tuck these away, then on the first day of school, lay them on your students’ desk, or attach to a locker door in the hallway.

writing prompts for the end of the year,  end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer bulletin boards, activities for the end of the year, back to school writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school bulletin boards, Pete the cat activities, Petes I love my white shoes crafts, Petes i love my white shoes activitiesIf you’re a Pete the Cat fan, this “sneaker craft” is a fun activity that you can transition to, after reading one of Pete’s shoe stories.

Speaking of Pete, it seemed a nice "go along" to have today's featured FREEBIE, be a sweet story retelling craft, for Pete's "I Love My White Shoes".

A child's blue hand print topped with sneakers makes this a cute keepsake.

Well that's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by.

I think we've skipped spring here in Michigan, as we seem to have jumped from winter (which lasted into April), right into summer, with record-breaking 90 degree temps for May!

Have to dash and water my flowers before it gets too hot. 

Wishing you lots of "fun in the sun" as well.

"When the wether is hot, keep a cool mind.  When the weather is cold, keep a warm heart.." - Ajahn Brahm

1-2-3 Come Make a SPLASH With Me!

end of the school year activities, end of the school year crafts, end of the school year writing prompts, end of the school year bulletin boards, graduation songs, a list of end of the year slideshow songs, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers“Making a Splash!” is a super-fun writing prompt that your students will really enjoy.

The craftivity is very versatile, as you can use it for the end of the year, or for back to school.

It's a fun icebreaker & interesting way to get to know your students too.

end of the school year activities, end of the school year crafts, end of the school year writing prompts, end of the school year bulletin boards, graduation songs, a list of end of the year slideshow songs, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakersSimply choose the appropriate writing prompt “cover” for the flip-up booklet:
*  “Diving Into Summer and Looking Forward to…”
*  “Diving Into a New School Year and Looking Forward to…”
Or

Use the “Diving Into ____________ and Looking Forward to…” option, so that students can fill in their new grade, or something else that they are looking forward to. (Diving into sports & looking forward to playing soccer & baseball.) 

As you can see by the photo on your right, the writing prompt is the "title" on the "cover" of a mini booklet that flips up to reveal what students have written.

The writing prompts are also easily diversified for various ability levels & grades; as you can keep things simple for younger students, who can write one or two sentences, or a list; while having preschool children dictate a few one-word answers.

Older students will be expected to write one or two pages of more in-depth explanations.
There’s a blank page pattern for this.

poster preview copyThere’s also several “brainstorming” worksheets for the various prompts, which can be used for prewriting.

end of the school year activities, end of the school year crafts, end of the school year writing prompts, end of the school year bulletin boards, graduation songs, a list of end of the year slideshow songs, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakersAs with all of my products, I’ve included completed samples to give you some ideas, as well as enable you to quickly & easily zip off an example to share with your students.

end of the school year activities, end of the school year crafts, end of the school year writing prompts, end of the school year bulletin boards, graduation songs, a list of end of the year slideshow songs, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakersAdding a sprinkle of glitter and a school photo, along with a few 3D options,  gives extra pizzazz to the project.

Completed projects make a terrific bulletin board, or wall display in the hall.
Because students trace & trim their own foot, each project looks a bit different.

end of the school year activities, end of the school year crafts, end of the school year writing prompts, end of the school year bulletin boards, graduation songs, a list of end of the year slideshow songs, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakersI’ve included several "Big Splash!" posters you can use for that as well.

For additional writing options, there’s also an “I’m Ready to Make a Big Splash!” writing prompt cover, which works for both summer & back to school, allowing you a chance to touch on idioms if you want.

To help you grab that extra teachable moment, I’ve included some background information, samples & links about idioms, as well as a definition poster.

Introducing this terminology is not just for “big kids”, as my 1st graders easily understood the concept & excitedly shared all sorts of examples! 

end of the school year activities, end of the school year crafts, end of the school year writing prompts, end of the school year bulletin boards, graduation songs, a list of end of the year slideshow songs, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakersSince the end of the year is fast-approaching for many of us, you may be thinking about an end-of-the year slideshow, or perhaps you're getting ready for preschool or <strong>kindergarten graduation</strong>.

If so, you'll find today's featured FREEBIE especially helpful.  It's an alphabetical list of 150, (teacher tested) songs suitable for your end of the year programs. 

I hope you find it a helpful stress-buster, and one less thing you have to look for. 

end of the school year activities, end of the school year crafts, end of the school year writing prompts, end of the school year bulletin boards, graduation songs, a list of end of the year slideshow songs, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakersWell that's it for today.  I marathon-shopped for flowers and plants all day yesterday, so I'm super-excited to play in the mud this afternoon.

Wishing you a sunshine & love-filled day.

"A garden requires patient labor and attention.  Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfull good intentions.  They thrive because someone expended loving effort on them." -Unknown

1-2-3 Come Do Some More Pete The Cat Activities With Me

Since Pete the Cat stories are so popular with students, I decided to design a “getting to know you” cat-themed writing prompt.

pete the cat activities, pete the cat crafts, 5 senses activities, cat crafts, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers, icebreakers for back to school, getting to know you activitiesI think building a community in your classroom is one of the most important things teachers can do to ensure appropriate behavior, kindness, camaraderie and a team spirit.

pete the cat activities, pete the cat crafts, cat crafts, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers, icebreakers for back to school, check meowt, getting to know you activitiesOne of the easiest ways to do this, is for your students to get to know their classmates. Thus the reason for “Check Meowt!”

Although this is a super-fun icebreaker for the first week of school, I continue to do “getting to know you” activities throughout the year.

No matter what grade I taught, whenever I tossed in a bit of craftiness to the lesson, my students were excited to get down to the business of writing.

They particularly enjoyed sharing things about themselves, interests, opinions, likes and dislikes.

pete the cat activities, pete the cat crafts, cat crafts, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers, icebreakers for back to school, getting to know you activitiesIn this packet there are several options.
Children can make the cat head, then complete that worksheet and attach it under the “Check Meowt!” header, or they can simply fill in and color the worksheet.

If your kiddos are crazy over Pete the Cat, then run the pattern off on blue paper, if not, a variety of crazy colored cats makes for a vibrant display.

There’s an easier version for younger students, as well as one with more questions for older children.

pete the cat activities, pete the cat crafts, cat crafts, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers, icebreakers for back to school, getting to know you activitiesPK kiddos can dictate their answers to a reading buddy, classroom aide or the worksheet can be completed at home with the help of a parent.

The inspiration for this craftivity came from the song “I’m a Cat”, which is on YouTube. The link’s in the packet.

If you like it, why not play it while children work on their “Check Meowt!” writing prompt, or use it to introduce the lesson.

Completed projects make a cute bulletin board.
pete the cat activities, pete the cat crafts, cat crafts, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers, icebreakers for back to school, getting to know you activities

I’ve included several posters to use for the center of your display, as well as a color copy of the worksheet so you can easily make a sample to share.

pete the cat activities, pete the cat crafts, 5 senses activities, cat crafts, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers, icebreakers for back to school, getting to know you activitiesWhile I was in the "creating cats" mood, I thought it would be fun to learn about, and practice the 5 senses with a cat theme as well.

pete the cat activities, pete the cat crafts, 5 senses activities, cat crafts, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers, icebreakers for back to school, getting to know you activitiesThis packet includes an Itty Bitty “My Cat” booklet, as a fun way to reinforce the 5 senses as this cool cat sees, hears, smells, & tastes things as he moseys along. When you pet him, how does he feel?

Children color their cover, complete the prompt by writing one or two words of what their cat saw, heard, tasted etc. then draw a picture.

pete the cat activities, pete the cat crafts, 5 senses activities, cat crafts, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers, icebreakers for back to school, getting to know you activitiesEncourage older students to write short, but descriptive sentences and turn this activity into an emergent reader.

pete the cat activities, pete the cat crafts, 5 senses activities, cat crafts, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers, icebreakers for back to school, getting to know you activitiesWhen students have completed their worksheet, they cut out the pages, put them in any order they want, then staple them to the “purr-fect” section on the cover of their booklet.

There are pages with word prompts for K-1, as well as ones with picture prompts for PK kiddos.

pete the cat activities, pete the cat crafts, 5 senses activities, cat crafts, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers, icebreakers for back to school, getting to know you activitiesI’ve also included pages that go along with the story “Pete The Cat’s New White Shoes”.

pete the cat activities, pete the cat crafts, 5 senses activities, cat crafts, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers, icebreakers for back to school, getting to know you activitiesBesides the booklet, the packet also includes:

* A colorful cool cat 5 senses poster.

* 2 “Label the cat’s senses” worksheets, with write-in, or cut & glue options. There are 2 size choices as well.

pete the cat activities, pete the cat crafts, 5 senses activities, cat crafts, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers, icebreakers for back to school, getting to know you activities* For more practice, students can also think of one more thing their cat could see, hear, smell etc. and write those answers on the bookmark-size worksheet.

* There’s also an “I listen with my whole body” classroom management poster, as well as one for students to color. 

pete the cat activities, pete the cat crafts, 5 senses activities, cat crafts, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers, icebreakers for back to school, getting to know you activitiesToday's FREEBIE also features Pete the Cat. 

Even before Pete the Cat made the saying "It's All Good!" popular, others felt the same way, like Glennon Melton, so I used her quote to make a cat-themed poster.

pete the cat activities, pete the cat crafts, 5 senses activities, cat crafts, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers, icebreakers for back to school, free pete the cat stuff, school posters, getting to know you activitiesThere's one in black and white for kiddos to color, as well as a colorful one for you to introduce the writing prompt with, then hang in the center of your display of students' work.

Using the worksheet, children write whether they agree or disagree with the quote and why. 

pete the cat activities, pete the cat crafts, 5 senses activities, cat crafts, back to school writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, icebreakers, icebreakers for back to school, getting to know you activitiesWell that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Praise the Lord that the 90 degree temps have flown the coop to be replaced with a wonderfully sunny, 70 degree day. 

Time to clear my brain and walk Chloe (my poodle pup).  Wishing you a fun-tastic day filled with everyone and everything you enjoy the most. 

"There is no elevator to success.  You have to take the stairs." -Unknown

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