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end of the year activities

1-2-3 Come Do Some Whale-Themed Craftivities With Me

Ever since I visited Sea World, I've become a big fan of whales.  I know that an ocean-theme is really popular with a lot of teachers, and since children of all ages love whales, I decided to design a whale-themed writing prompt craftivity packet. 

whale activities, ocean activities, whale crafts, summer activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, whale crafts, writing prompts, bookmarks, It took a lot longer than I thought it would, but I truly believe that making an example of everything that I design, plus including samples, great directions and lots of photographs, really helps teachers and parents.  What say you?

Any hoo, this packet serves double duty, as I included writing prompts for back to school, as well as the end of the year.  The poor gals across the street from me, who teach in a charter school, go 'til June 23rd!   Maybe some of you late-vacation bloomers, can use a few of these activities now. 

This packet is very versatile and uses the idioms “I had a whale of a great . . .” and “Spouting off about . . “ where students complete the writing prompt, with something appropriate for back-to-school or the end of the year.  Such as ”I had a whale of a wonderful summer because . . .” or “I had a whale of an awesome year in ________ grade!”

whale activities, ocean activities, whale crafts, summer activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, whale crafts, writing prompts, bookmarks, The simple prompts make these activities suitable for little ones, as well as older kiddos, whose writing will be longer and more descriptive. Choose a whale topper for your students or give them a choice.  These activities make terrific independent literacy centers and plug in nicely with Daily 5 or your writing block. 

Students really enjoy the “craftivity” portion of their writing, which makes them really want to get started and keeps them focused.  Completed projects make beautiful bulletin board displays too.

The packet includes:

whale activities, ocean activities, whale crafts, summer activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, whale crafts, writing prompts, bookmarks, 9 bookmarks: 5 are “writing prompt bookmarks” where this year’s students write a note to your in-coming students, or pick a partner and make one for their current classmate, or “spout off”.  

There are also 4 “from the teacher” bookmarks, appropriate to welcome your new students, or say farewell to this year’s bunch.

whale activities, ocean activities, whale crafts, summer activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, whale crafts, writing prompts, bookmarks, Create a “teachable moment” about homonyms/homophones with the “Whale of a ‘Tale’” whale’s tail topper.  Students can write a tale about anything they find interesting, or you could narrow things down and have them write a tale about school or summer.  

The “Tiny ‘Tales’ of School” as well the “Tiny ‘Tales’ of Summer” are mini-flip booklets. The “tiny tale” could be the most exciting, embarrassing, fun, scary, or funny thing that happened to them during the school year, or over summer vacation.

whale activities, ocean activities, whale crafts, summer activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, whale crafts, writing prompts, bookmarks, Another booklet option, is “Wally”.  He’s the “standing tall” blue whale. Behind his “face” are oval pages.  This too could be done individually, in a small group, or as a whole group activity.

whale activities, ocean activities, whale crafts, summer activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, whale crafts, writing prompts, bookmarks, Run the silhouette whale off on a variety of colors.  Students trim and complete whatever writing prompt you choose right on the whale.  For that finishing touch, add a school picture.

whale activities, ocean activities, whale crafts, summer activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, whale crafts, writing prompts, bookmarks, There are also 4 “Spouting Off” activities: a writing prompt "color-me" worksheet, a writing prompt bookmark, a writing prompt craftivity. and a definition-anchor chart poster. 

whale activities, ocean activities, whale crafts, summer activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, whale crafts, writing prompts, bookmarks, For one of the activities, I made a "speech bubble" that represents the water being squirted from the whale's blow hole."

As with the other prompts, I've included a sample for you to share.

 

whale activities, ocean activities, whale crafts, summer activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, whale crafts, writing prompts, bookmarks, whale activities, ocean activities, whale crafts, summer activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, whale crafts, writing prompts, bookmarks, 4 different whale toppers, with 7 different writing prompt worksheets to go under them, make especially cute bulletin boards. 

whale activities, ocean activities, whale crafts, summer activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, whale crafts, writing prompts, bookmarks, Caption Ideas: “We’re Going to Have a Whale of a Great Time!”  “Having a Whale of a Wonderful Time in PK.”  “Making a Splash in Kindergarten!”  “So Glad You Swim in our School.”   "____________’s 'Fintastic' 1st Graders."  “Fintastic” Writing or "Looking Forward to a Whale of a Super Summer/School Year".

whale activities, ocean activities, whale crafts, summer activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, whale crafts, writing prompts, bookmarks, I’ve included black & white, as well as full-color worksheets, so that you can easily make an example to share.  Don’t have time? I’ve included samples too.

whale activities, ocean activities, whale crafts, summer activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, whale crafts, writing prompts, bookmarks, There are 5 cover options for a full-page class-made booklet, with 6 inside page options for students to choose from.

A simple, “color-me” writing prompt worksheet, is easy-peasy for little ones.

whale activities, ocean activities, whale crafts, summer activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, whale crafts, writing prompts, bookmarks, Finally, I’ve included several pages of my top picks for kid-friendly websites, which have interesting information, games and facts about whales, plus links to video and audio clips of real ones.  These sites offer a quick, easy & fun way to toss in some science & geography that there never seems to be enough time for.

I play the whale sound “music” while my students are working.  It’s soothing and they are amazed by the sound that whales make while communicating with each other.

Just like a whale, this whale-themed writing prompt packet is “whopping”, with 80-pages, and on sale today (June 9th through Friday the 12th) for just $3.19.  Click on the link to pop on over to my TpT store to check it out. Sales help support my clip art & font habits, as well as pay bills to run my TeachWithMe FREEBIE site.  (It's averaging a little over $200 a month to do so, thus the need for a bit of income).

whale activities, ocean activities, whale crafts, summer activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, whale crafts, writing prompts, bookmarks, And now for the FREEBIE, as I always like to provide at least one with each packet.  I chose “Walter” because he was my first attempt at whale drawing, and my personal favorite. Click on the link to take Wally home.

 He comes complete with a large and small wave pattern (write your prompt right on the large one) or glue the smaller wave to one of 4 traceable-writing prompt worksheets.  

whale activities, ocean activities, whale crafts, summer activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, whale crafts, writing prompts, bookmarks, Well that’s it.   Thanks for visiting today.  Apologies for being long-winded.  Whether you’re winding down the year and counting down the days, or making your own vacation-splash in the ocean, I’m wishing you a whale of a wonderful summer!

"We owe it to our children to be better stewards of the environment.  The alternative?  A world without whales.  It's too terrible to imagine!" -Pierce Brosan

1-2-3 Come Do Some Frog-Themed Craftivities With Me

Woo hoo for some of you lucky duckies who are now basking in the sunshine, enjoying the start of your vacation.  For those of you who are still in school for a few more days, or even weeks, boy have I got a super-fun, frog-themed packet for you! 

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesEven the vacationers can enjoy it, as this whopping packet not only features end-of-the-year stuff, but matching back-to-school activities as well! 

The versatility continues because it includes templates for Pre K4 through 3rd grade, so you can make things specific to your grade level! 

Getting students to WANT to write and really enjoy it, is one of my hot buttons.  With that in mind, I stuffed the packet with lots of creative writing prompt choices with an adorable frog theme that encompasses "leaping" into summer, a new grade, and a new year in school. 

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesThere are 18 writing prompt craftivities in all, with lots of options for both the end of the year, as well as for back-to-school.   I enjoy drawing frogs; and had a fun time creating some real cuties.  "Ferdinand" is a fat and sassy frog that's a "peek-over". 

Run him off on lime green construction paper.  Students trim and add colorful details with crayons, then glue him to the top of their "I'm leaping" writing prompt for the end of the year, or choose another topic and use the blank frog pattern, for back-to-school.  I've included a "Look Who's Leaping" poster to use in the center of your bulletin board when you display your students' finished projects.

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pages"Fred" is another fun-frog craft.  Here the writing prompt is written on his "tongue".  You can display Fred with a "flat tongue" or include some great fine-motor practice, and have students curl it, by rolling the paper strip on a crayon. 

For that finishing touch, I've included some "flies".  There's a "This stuff stuck. Look what I learned!" end-of-the-year pattern, as well as one that says: "I had a delicious summer.This is what I did..." for back-to-school

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pages"Jose'" is a "belly flipping" writing prompt frog.  There are 8 cover options.  Four for the end-of-the-year, and 4 for back-to-school

Jose' can be done as a whole-group, class-made book, where everyone contributes a "belly page"  or as an independent writing prompt, where each child makes their own booklet.  The "Before We Go We'd Like You To Know" booklet gives advice to next year's kiddos. 

The "Frogtastic Memories" can be turned into a quick, easy and fun end-of-the-year Memory Book, by simply having students write pages about the favorite things that they did in school or during the summer.  

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pages"Frankie" and "Fern" are the cute Frog Face Flip book twins.  Frankie sports a bowtie, while Fern wears a bow on top of her head.  Their "face" flips up to reveal a writing prompt. 

hoppy to b meThere are 5 to choose from, plus a blank one to program with whatever, and a sample for you to share to help explain to your students what you want them to do. 

As with "Fred" this too can be done independently, or as a whole-group, class-made booklet.  The back-to-school "I'm 'hoppy' to be me" writing prompt is a personal favorite.

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesI've also included a "We're flipping over leaping into a new grade!" poster that you can use for the center of your bulletin board display

There's a poster for pre k4 through 3rd grade, plus a blank one to fill in with whatever. 

If you've followed me, you know that I like to incorporate things with a play-on-words.  It's a fun way to expand horizons and build vocabulary. 

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesSince a frog says "Ribbit!" I decided to make a "Ribbit, Write It, Read It" writing prompt using the word "riveting" as the twist.

Students write about their "ribbiting" summer or "ribbiting" things that they enjoyed during the school year, inside "Rodney's" circular-frog belly. 

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesI've included a definition-poster for introducing the word riviting, along with a "Ribbit; Write It; Read It" poster for the center of your display. 

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesIf you're not into "craftivities" I've also included lots of quick, easy and fun coloring-page, writing prompt worksheets. Simply print and go.

There's a sampling of some of them in the photo.  The "So long school, hello summer" or "So long summer, hello school" worksheets, where the froggy is opening a 3D school door to reveal the writing prompt are especially cute. 

Tlook whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pageshere's a similar writing prompt with a different frog, that may be more appealing for older students. 

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesI've included samples for both, and each one has prompts for both seasons. Completed projects make darling bulletin boards too.

One bulletin board display that's especially adorable, is the frog on a lily pad.  I made the water lily flower out of a coffee filter.  In the top photo I simply scrunched the filter. 

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesIn the bottom picture I folded it into 1/8ths, then folded it one more time, snipping the end to create scallops. When you open it, it looks just like a large flat water lily. 

I edged it with a pink watercolor marker, then spritzed it with water so it smudged into the paper.  Easy-peasy with awesome results. 

You have a nice teachable moment to discuss fractions, while children are following your step-by-step directions and folding their filter.   The final writing prompt craftivity features "Fritz".  This frog sits on a pail of sand. 

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesI cut an oval out of sandpaper and glued it to the bucket, so that it looks filled!  Children write things they'd like to do over the summer.  The back-to-school writing prompt option tells what they've done during the summer and what they'd like to do in school. 

I realize this "bucket list" idea is all over Pinterest, but I've been doing it way before TpT or Pinterest came into being.  Click on the link for my original "Summer Bucket List" FREEBIE. It's in a FREE summer writing prompt packet with 6 other fun "craftivities".

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesBesides writing prompts, there are lots of end-of-the-year AND back-to-school themed "goodies" stuffed into the packet, with templates for Pre K4 through 3rd grade.

One group features another play-on-words using "toad-ally" for totally, which fits in perfect with my frog/toad theme. 

I had fun designing a few writing prompts, as well as goodies using this fun word.   There are color, as well as black & white covers for the mini-flip booklets and notes, as well as 2 posters and some labels.  

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pages "Brag Bracelets" are another "goodie". They are super-fun to make and wear.  I designed one that says: "I'm Leaping!" and another with "Welcome!" on it. 

Simply run off the pattern and trim using a paper cutter.  Slit a toilet paper roll up the side and cut it into sections, the width of the pattern. Children glue to their "slap bracelet" folding the edges under.  It's the perfect size for little ones, and the bent shape keeps it on their arm!  When other kiddos ask them about their bracelet, they can "brag" that they made it and are "leaping" into a new grade. Nice little self-esteem builder! 

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesIf you're looking for a quick, easy and inexpensive little end-of-the-year, or back-to-school treat to give your students, take a look at my "tiny tags"

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesThese are sweet little notes from the teacher, that you can attach to a "Flavor Ice" Popsicle (They sell them 50 to a pack for only $2.95!).

Putting them on a  Fruit Roll Up (sticky frog tongue!) or attaching to a Snack Baggie is also fun.  The Dollar Store sells a package of 12 gummi rainbow frogs that would also work.

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesI've also created a cute, keepsake-photo magnet.   Laminate them for durability.  The Dollar Store also sells magnet strip.  (I'm a frequent shopper there; can ya tell?) 

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesI've also included a variety of bookmarks suitable for the beginning, as well as the end of they year.  They come in color, as well as black and white. 

One is a writing prompt that students complete (nice bucket-filler activity), while another they color for one of your in-coming students.  

My personal favorite is the keepsake photo bookmark, but the foreign language (Hello-Goodbye) ones are also really cute. 

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesAnother "goodie" in the packet are the "color-me" certificates for pre K4 through 3rd grade, (there are 4 styles to choose from, or give your kiddos a choice), plus there are 2 word-art frog-shaped posters that I created using Tagxedo.com.  I've included my silhouettes, so that your kiddos can also make their own.  

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesWell that about covers this frog-themed packet, which is a whopping 201 pages (!) and on sale now for just $6.95 (regularly $8.95).  It took me a zillion hours to finish, but I think it was well worth the time. Click on the link to pop on over to my TpT shop and let the fun begin. 

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, welcome banners for back to school, frog banners, pennant templates, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesAs always, I try to include a few FREEBIES from the packet as well.   You can get the frog-word art posters, the word-art certificates (for pre-K4 through 3rd grade) stars and labels, plus the brag bracelets by clicking on the link: frog-themed end-of-the year mini packet.

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, welcome banners for back to school, frog banners, pennant templates, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesTo grab the FREE frog back-to-school banners, click on this link. The end pennants come in color as well as black line, and have templates for Pre K4 through 3rd grade.  The frog-face pennants spell out "Welcome" and are in black and white, so that your kiddos can color them, taking ownership of helping to decorate their new home-away-from-home classroom.

This year's kiddos can make the banner to welcome your new students in the fall, or the new kids on the block can do it.  Either way, it's kid-made and will look awww-dorable. Well that's it!  Whew! That's a lot of frog stuff! 

look whos leaping activities, frog crafts, welcome banners for back to school, frog banners, pennant templates, frog writing prompts, back to school crafts, back to school treats, back to school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, back to school writing prompts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of they year memory books, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, end of the year crafts, free school certificates, certificates, brag bracelets, slap bracelets, bookmarks, free bookmarks, coloring pagesI apologize for such a long post.  Thanks for hanging in there if you've read to the end.  I'm just so excited to share my latest "mess-terpiece".  You should see my office; it's a pile of craft supplies and samples...everywhere! 

Thanks for visiting today.  It's clean up time.  Maybe I'll hum the "clean-up song" that my Y5's used to love singing.  On second thought, the sun is shining and a warm breeze is beckoning to me to come play.  I think I will. Wishing you a delightful day, crammed with creativity.

"For life to get easier, you have to get better." -Billy Cox

1-2-3 Come Do Some Super-Fun End-of-the-Year Stuff With Me

end of the year activities, activities for if you take a mouse to school, activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, Laura numeroff activities, advice for next years students, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year bulletin boards, end of the year writing prompts, mice crafts, mice activities, back to school treats, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, rules for school, class made books, classroom rules, rule postersMy students LOVE Laura Numeroff’s books: “If You Take A Mouse To School” and “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.”  With those stories in mind, I designed the “Nice Mice Advice” packet.

end of the year activities, activities for if you take a mouse to school, activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, Laura numeroff activities, advice for next years students, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year bulletin boards, end of the year writing prompts, mice crafts, mice activities, back to school treats, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, rules for school, class made books, classroom rules, rule postersIt will help you check off some “To Do” activities for next year, with the help of this year’s kiddos!

The packet is loaded with fun end-of the-year activities that will keep your students happily engaged, while helping you make some special things for the fall.

There are 4 class-made “Advice” booklets for you to choose from.  
Pick one and have your students write advice to the in-coming children.  Collect & collate.  

 end of the year activities, activities for if you take a mouse to school, activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, Laura numeroff activities, advice for next years students, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year bulletin boards, end of the year writing prompts, mice crafts, mice activities, back to school treats, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, rules for school, class made books, classroom rules, rule postersThis year’s kiddos can share their page when you read the book aloud, then tuck it away to share with your new class in the fall. 

My personal favorite is the circle-shaped Cookie Book. 

It's a perfect go-along with the "If You Give A Mouse a Cookie" story, and includes advice from the teacher, principal and each student.  For that finishing touch, add a school photo.  I've included a sample page to help explain things to your kiddos.

end of the year activities, activities for if you take a mouse to school, activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, Laura numeroff activities, advice for next years students, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year bulletin boards, end of the year writing prompts, mice crafts, mice activities, back to school treats, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, rules for school, class made books, classroom rules, rule postersIf you'd like each of your students to make a mini-advice booklet for your new students, then you'll like the small, advice- flip booklet, with 2 different cover options in black & white, plus color, with 4 inside writing-promt pages. 

end of the year activities, activities for if you take a mouse to school, activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, Laura numeroff activities, advice for next years students, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year bulletin boards, end of the year writing prompts, mice crafts, mice activities, back to school treats, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, rules for school, class made books, classroom rules, rule postersThe other two class book options feature the creative clip art of Scrappin Doodles and D. J. Inkers. 

end of the year activities, activities for if you take a mouse to school, activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, Laura numeroff activities, advice for next years students, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year bulletin boards, end of the year writing prompts, mice crafts, mice activities, back to school treats, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, rules for school, class made books, classroom rules, rule postersAs you can see there are plenty of options.  You can choose, or show the samples and have your students vote on which one they'd like to do. 

Since a lot of advice has to do with following the rules, this is an interesting and fun way to present them.

end of the year activities, activities for if you take a mouse to school, activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, Laura numeroff activities, advice for next years students, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year bulletin boards, end of the year writing prompts, mice crafts, mice activities, back to school treats, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, rules for school, class made books, classroom rules, rule postersCheck another thing off your list.  I've included a set of 25 "Advice Rules!" pocket chart cards that you can use as well, plus a blank set for you to program with whatever.

 end of the year activities, activities for if you take a mouse to school, activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, Laura numeroff activities, advice for next years students, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year bulletin boards, end of the year writing prompts, mice crafts, mice activities, back to school treats, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, rules for school, class made books, classroom rules, rule postersI've also included an advice definition poster incase your students are not familiar with this word, along with a sweet "If you give a kid some advice, they should take it." poster to start things off.

end of the year activities, activities for if you take a mouse to school, activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, Laura numeroff activities, advice for next years students, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year bulletin boards, end of the year writing prompts, mice crafts, mice activities, back to school treats, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, rules for school, class made books, classroom rules, rule postersDo you give your students a little treat on the first day?  Cross that off your list too because I’ve included several “treats” they can make as well. 

end of the year activities, activities for if you take a mouse to school, activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, Laura numeroff activities, advice for next years students, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year bulletin boards, end of the year writing prompts, mice crafts, mice activities, back to school treats, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, rules for school, class made books, classroom rules, rule postersThere is an assortment of bookmarks and a lollipop-nosed mouse: (“A sweet treat for someone they’d like to meet.”)
The bookmarks come in black and white, as well as full color.

end of the year activities, activities for if you take a mouse to school, activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, Laura numeroff activities, advice for next years students, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year bulletin boards, end of the year writing prompts, mice crafts, mice activities, back to school treats, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, rules for school, class made books, classroom rules, bookmarks, rule postersThere are several for this year's kiddos, as well as one for them to color and give to the in-coming cuties, along with a sweet "peek over" mouse bookmark that you can make and use as a pointer when you read Numeroff's stories.

end of the year activities, activities for if you take a mouse to school, activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, Laura numeroff activities, advice for next years students, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year bulletin boards, end of the year writing prompts, mice crafts, mice activities, back to school treats, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, rules for school, class made books, classroom rules, rule postersThe mouse, writing-prompt craftivity makes an adorable back-to-school bulletin board. so check that off your list as well. 

Simply run off the super-simple mouse pattern on a variety of colors of construction paper.

Students trim, fold the "head" section over and write some "nice mice advice" under the "flap". For that finishing touch, add some ears, wiggle eyes, a pom pom nose, and a yarn "tail".

end of the year activities, activities for if you take a mouse to school, activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, Laura numeroff activities, advice for next years students, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year bulletin boards, end of the year writing prompts, mice crafts, mice activities, back to school treats, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, rules for school, class made books, classroom rules, rule postersThe packet also includes:

  • A “Hip Hip Hooray! We’ll follow the good advice each day” poster contract. Students feel important signing their name, which makes them more accountable too.
  • A “Tips and Tidbits” poster.  Review what students have learned and jot down the highlights.
  • 2 “If you take a mouse to school he’ll want to give you some advice!” posters. And . . .
  • A mouse, reading pointer bookmark craft.

end of the year activities, activities for if you take a mouse to school, activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, Laura numeroff activities, advice for next years students, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year bulletin boards, end of the year writing prompts, mice crafts, mice activities, back to school treats, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, rules for school, class made books, classroom rules, rule postersFinally, there's a "welcome card" that everyone signs. What fun ways to help your in-coming students feel special and chase away those first day jitters.

This 58-page packet is on sale in my TpT store for just $3.95.  Click on the link to pop on over to my shop.  I still can't believe that I have a little store.  Hopefully I'll make enough to help pay for all of the clip art and fonts that I buy!  That would definitely make my husband happy. 

end of the year activities, activities for if you take a mouse to school, activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, Laura numeroff activities, advice for next years students, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year bulletin boards, end of the year writing prompts, mice crafts, mice activities, back to school treats, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, rules for school, class made books, classroom rules, rule postersAnd now for the FREEBIES  from this packet.  I've included the "Mice Advice" writing prompt mouse craft, several bookmarks, and a poster. Click on the link to grab them.

end of the year activities, activities for if you take a mouse to school, activities for if you give a mouse a cookie, Laura numeroff activities, advice for next years students, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year bulletin boards, end of the year writing prompts, mice crafts, mice activities, back to school treats, back to school bulletin boards, back to school activities, rules for school, class made books, classroom rules, rule postersWell that's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by. It's going to be in the 80's this afternoon, so it's time to take my grandbabies swimming. 

Wishing you a delightful day filled with everything you enjoy the most. 

"Sometimes you never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory." -Unknown

1-2-3 Come Stuff a Backpack With Me

Things really seem to fly after Memorial Day, as teachers everywhere are counting down the days to summer.  However, some of us have those dreaded snow days to make up, and our districts don’t get out ’til the middle of June!

backpack activities, backpack crafts, end of the year crafts, end of the year activities, back to school crafts, back to school activities, writing prompts for next years students, end of the year writing prompts, back to school writing prompts, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer crafts, summer bulletin boards, With that in mind, I designed the following backpack-themed activities to pack in some pre-summer fun.

The packet is very versatile, as it can be used in a variety of ways for the beginning or end of the year, with activities geared towards the very young, as well as older elementary students too.

It’s loaded with plenty of options to choose from: writing prompts that act like a memory book; writing prompts that offer advice for next year’s students, or writing-prompt "clues" that are played as a game.  Completed projects make sweet bulletin boards or hallway decorations too.  

The Backpack Packet Includes:

backpack activities, backpack crafts, end of the year crafts, end of the year activities, back to school crafts, back to school activities, writing prompts for next years students, end of the year writing prompts, back to school writing prompts, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer crafts, summer bulletin boards, An “Our Year Was Packed With Learning & Stuffed With Fun!” class-made book.  This writing prompt comes in a full-page size, as well as two-on-a-page, with full-color cover pages for both. 

It's a fun writing prompt for the end of the year.  Collate and keep to share with your new students in the fall.  I've included a completed sample.

backpack activities, backpack crafts, end of the year crafts, end of the year activities, back to school crafts, back to school activities, writing prompts for next years students, end of the year writing prompts, back to school writing prompts, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer crafts, summer bulletin boards, The supply-filled backpack option says: ”There’s a whole lot of learning & fun packed into _________________.” 

Children fill in their grade level and color the picture. The front flap flips up or over, to reveal the writing prompt. This younger-elementary choice, can be used like a memory book, where children write about their favorite activities, or they could also make this for your new students as well.

backpack activities, backpack crafts, end of the year crafts, end of the year activities, back to school crafts, back to school activities, writing prompts for next years students, end of the year writing prompts, back to school writing prompts, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer crafts, summer bulletin boards, Another backpack writing prompt option is the "School was cool, this I know.  I’m all packed up and ready to go.  Summer’s here.  Hi ho!  Hi ho!”  

backpack activities, backpack crafts, end of the year crafts, end of the year activities, back to school crafts, back to school activities, writing prompts for next years students, end of the year writing prompts, back to school writing prompts, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer crafts, summer bulletin boards, It's a good choice for older students.  There are 4 flaps to flip and write under, with a summer option, and a memory-book option: ”School is cool and packed with fun! Here’s a peek of what I’ve done” plus a next year student option.  I've also included a blank flap template to fill in with whatever.  

backpack activities, backpack crafts, end of the year crafts, end of the year activities, back to school crafts, back to school activities, writing prompts for next years students, end of the year writing prompts, back to school writing prompts, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer crafts, summer bulletin boards, My personal favorite is the super-cute ”Kindergarten was packed with learning and stuffed with fun” writing prompt “craftivity”.  It includes 7, front-panel options for kindergarten through 3rd grade, with a blank one to fill in with a different grade, plus one for summer. 

Students add a cap, accordion-folded “legs” and shoes (there are 3-styles to choose from), so that this looks like the back of a child carrying a backpack. The flap flips up to reveal their writing prompt. 

I designed this thinking of how adorable my young fives looked on their first day of school.  They had brand new backpacks that were so large they made them look like little turtles.  One nudge and I'm sure they'd tip over.  This memory always made me smile. 

backpack activities, backpack crafts, end of the year crafts, end of the year activities, back to school crafts, back to school activities, writing prompts for next years students, end of the year writing prompts, back to school writing prompts, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer crafts, summer bulletin boards, ”Backpack. Pack on your back.  Help us guess what’s in your sack.” is a backpack guessing game that includes this chant on a poster, with another backpack "craftivity" option. 

Students draw a picture under the bottom flap and write 3 clues under the top one, describing their hidden picture.  They read one clue at a time, pausing for students to guess what they have in their sack for summer or for school.

backpack activities, backpack crafts, end of the year crafts, end of the year activities, back to school crafts, back to school activities, writing prompts for next years students, end of the year writing prompts, back to school writing prompts, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer crafts, summer bulletin boards, Finally, there's a mini flip booklet ”There’s a lot of fun and learning packed into __________(grade).”  Students write what they learned, enjoyed and a few of their favorite things on 6-page options.  I've included covers in color, plus black & white. 

backpack activities, backpack crafts, end of the year crafts, end of the year activities, back to school crafts, back to school activities, writing prompts for next years students, end of the year writing prompts, back to school writing prompts, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer crafts, summer bulletin boards, These make a quick, easy & fun memory book, or have students contribute a page to make a class book to share with your new class in the fall.

As always, I've also included directions, tips, tricks, photographs and completed samples for each project.

backpack activities, backpack crafts, end of the year crafts, end of the year activities, back to school crafts, back to school activities, writing prompts for next years students, end of the year writing prompts, back to school writing prompts, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer crafts, summer bulletin boards, backpack activities, backpack crafts, end of the year crafts, end of the year activities, back to school crafts, back to school activities, writing prompts for next years students, end of the year writing prompts, back to school writing prompts, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer crafts, summer bulletin boards, This "Mini Memories" part of the packet is my featured FREEBIE for you!  Click on the link to grab it. 

If you'd like to see the entire Backpack Packet, click on the link to pop on over to my TpT store.  This 48-page unit is on sale for just $3.95.  I hope you enjoy it!

backpack activities, backpack crafts, end of the year crafts, end of the year activities, back to school crafts, back to school activities, writing prompts for next years students, end of the year writing prompts, back to school writing prompts, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing prompts, summer crafts, summer bulletin boards, That’s it for today.  Thanks for stopping by. Michigan has finally greened up and exploded with flowers. LOVE springtime when it eventually shows up!  

Time to go outside and put the finishing touches on my flower garden. 

Wishing you a wonderful end-of-the-year.  I hope its packed with fun and stuffed with lots of special memories.

"You can't learn from your mistakes, if you keep denying them." -Unknown

7 pages.

This is a super-simple, end-of-the-year writing prompt that makes a quick and easy memory book, or class book you can share with your next year's kiddos.

1-2-3 Come Make A Thank You Card With Me

As Bob Hope was fond of singing: "Thanks for the memories." The end of the school year is near!  Woo hoo.   I always found myself with a bit of time on my hands for that last week of school, particularly when we had to make up a bunch of snow days.

teacher appreciation ideas, teacher appreciation cards, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, thank you cards, end of the year thank you cards, end of the year teacher appreciation, bus driver card, Making some thank you cards to show your appreciation for staff and others that have helped you through the year, is an educationally relevant activity, plus a great way to teach this valuable life skill. Letting people know you care, especially fits in with those schools who have taken part in a bucket-filling program.  

teacher appreciation ideas, teacher appreciation cards, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, thank you cards, end of the year thank you cards, end of the year teacher appreciation, bus driver card, I find that children are anxious to make something for these individuals, as they have really come to care for them.  With that in mind, I designed the "Thank You! End-Of-The-Year Appreciation Packet", which includes a nice variety of "craftivities" for you to choose from.

teacher appreciation ideas, teacher appreciation cards, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, thank you cards, end of the year thank you cards, end of the year teacher appreciation, bus driver card, The "Thanks a Bunch Bouquet" is a quick, easy and lovely thank you card for a room helper, librarian, secretary, student teacher, or whomever else you’d like to show your appreciation for.  A parent could also make this for the teacher.

Simply print off the vase of flowers, along with a color or black and white copy of your class’s group picture.  Cut the children’s head shots into circles. You or they can glue to the center of the flowers. 

I made enough centers for 30 students and one teacher.  I’d put your photo in the flower that’s fallen, as it stands out.  For a less feminine option, I’ve also included a "Thanks a bunch!" pattern, with a set of  balloons. 

teacher appreciation ideas, teacher appreciation cards, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, thank you cards, end of the year thank you cards, end of the year teacher appreciation, bus driver card, I’ve also written a little thank you poem that generically fits just about anyone.  You can glue this inside the card as well, then sign Love, Mr(s) ______________’s  2015 kindergarten class etc. (You fill in your name, the year and grade.)

teacher appreciation ideas, teacher appreciation cards, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, thank you cards, end of the year thank you cards, end of the year teacher appreciation, bus driver card, If you want this activity to include some writing practice, students can also complete the “Thank you for . . .” writing prompt worksheets or bookmarks that can be glued inside, or on the back of the card as well.   Each child simply writes one sentence. 

This can be done at an independent center, or you can fill in the page as a whole group.  For preschool children, have each child dictate what they’d like to thank that person for and you write it down.

teacher appreciation ideas, teacher appreciation cards, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, thank you cards, end of the year thank you cards, end of the year teacher appreciation, bus driver card, Another option is the Thank you acrostic poem.  Older students can each do one.  I’ve included a completed sample for you to share.  This is a great activity to reinforce adjectives.  A helpful adjective site is: http://adjectivesstarting.com/  

To make things easier, I allow students to write a "sentence" or phrase, if they can’t think of an adjective that starts with that letter; such as "A" = “Always there for us.” or for the letter "Y", “You are great!”

Younger students can do this with you during a whole-group brainstorming session.   Choose children to color in the letters.  This too, is another little something that can be glued inside the card along with the heart that says: "Thank you! Thank you! You're so nice.  Simply had to say it twice."

teacher appreciation ideas, teacher appreciation cards, letter cards that spell out thank you, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, thank you cards, end of the year thank you cards, end of the year teacher appreciation, bus driver card, For another option, I’ve also included large 8x10 letter cards that took me quite awhile to design.  They spell out “Thank you!” .  Break up your children into small groups and have them color their group's letter.  For a truly awesome-looking stained-glass appearance, remind them to color each section a different color.

Glue each letter to a variety of colors of construction paper. Arrange your students in a group.  The front nine children each hold a letter and the exclamation point card, so that they spell “Thank you!”  Take a picture.  Use this photo to glue to the inside, or for the cover, of your thank you card(s).

teacher appreciation ideas, teacher appreciation cards, letter tiles that spell out thank you, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, thank you cards, end of the year thank you cards, end of the year teacher appreciation, bus driver card, I also used these letter tiles to design several sizes for a "stained-glass" Thank you” template.  These too can be used as a cover, or an inside page.

teacher appreciation ideas, teacher appreciation cards, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, thank you cards, end of the year thank you cards, end of the year teacher appreciation, bus driver card, If you have the time, why not thank the bus drivers?

Simply run off the bus pattern on yellow construction paper.  Children trim and “hinge” the "grill" to the matching section of the larger bus, so that it flips open to reveal a handwritten message from the child. 

For that finishing touch, add a photo of themselves in the bus seat. I cannot begin to tell you how many of my students' bus drivers LOVED this card.  Theirs is often a thankless job (I certainly couldn't do it!) and they were truly touched.  Some taped them inside the bus!

teacher appreciation ideas, teacher appreciation cards, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, thank you cards, end of the year thank you cards, end of the year teacher appreciation, bus driver card, And now for some FREEBIES.  One of the really quick and easy cards to make in the packet, is the "Thank you 'berry' much for lending a helping hand!" strawberry card.  It's especially "sweet" for secretaries and classroom volunteers. 

Trace one of your student's hands to make the leaves, flip the card up, add that group "Thank you!" photo and have all of your kiddos sign the back.  Click on the link to grab the strawberry thank you card.

teacher appreciation ideas, teacher appreciation cards, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, thank you cards, end of the year thank you cards, end of the year teacher appreciation, bus driver card, Finally, teachers definitely need to be thanked for all they've done throughout the year. 

The "Teachers take a hand, open a mind, and touch a heart" poster, makes a wonderful keepsake card. 

Simply mount it on construction paper and have all of the children sign it, or send the note home to parents and enlist their help. 

They trace their child's hand and jot down a message on it.  You glue the hands around the poster, or inside, as additional pages to a stapled card.  Click on the link for the teacher thank you poster.  If you'd like the entire Appreciation Packet click here.

These simple acts of kindness, go a long way in touching an individual’s heart and making them feel truly appreciated.  I hope you make the time to "pay it forward" today. You just never know how far that "ripple" of joy grows. 

thank you cards, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, end of the year appreciation, volunteer thank you activitiesThanks for visiting. I popped out of bed early because a zillion "want-to-do things" are buzzing through my brain.  Fun, fun, fun in the sun!  These will definitely be taking precedent over the "should-really-dos".

Wishing you a happy day, filled with light-hearted moments and lots of giggles.

"Direction is so much more important than speed.  Many people are going nowhere fast!" -Unknown 

Keepsake_Pillowcase, end of the year projects, art for May, end of the year activities, last week of school ideas, keepsake crafts, art projects with pillowcases, keepsake art projects, summer crafts for kids, end of the year ideas, last week of school activities, 1-2-3 Come Make A Keepsake With Me!

A super-fun project I like to do with my students at the end of the year I call "Sweet Summer Dreamin' Pillowcases."

Just about every month we have practiced the art of stamping something with a foam stamp. 

I have collected them through out the years to use for our science units.  They make fun art projects and are great for math extensions as well. 

My Y5's self-esteem is also built, because the process is quite easy and the results are simply smashing.  They pat paint on a foam stamp and then press it onto paper and a lovely print of something is left. 

They make beautiful collages, paintings and patterns and are really quiet proud of their projects. In the process, they have become quite skilled at this technique. 

Instead of doing an autograph book, I thought it would be fun for my students to autograph a pillowcase that they have stamped with all of the various foam stamps, depicting everything they have studied throughout the year.  This  makes a wonderful keepsake for them. 

I send a letter home to parents asking them to send in a plain, light-colored pillowcase and ask if they would be able to volunteer to help. I've found that having 4 helpers makes the process go faster and stay organized, but I've done it with only one daddy as well. 

One year I asked several 5th graders if they could come and help during their study hour when I was short on parents and they worked well with the little ones too.  I chose students who had also been my Y5 students, so that made it extra fun as they even remembered doing the project when they were little! 

I do this project on the floor in our entry hall atrium so that the children can spread out.  Be sure and lay plastic or paper down in case of spills.  There are very few, but The Dollar Store plastic tablecloths make clean up a breeze.  I put 5 children in a row and made a large square. 

painted pillowcases, autograph art, end of the year projects, Keepsake_Pillowcase, end of the year projects, art for May, end of the year activities, last week of school ideas, keepsake crafts, art projects with pillowcases, keepsake art projects, summer crafts for kids, end of the year ideas, last week of school activities, keepsake artInsert a piece of tag board (I recycle them each year) inside of their pillow case so that the paint does not bleed through.  I write their name in large print on the edge of their pillowcase. 

Painted pillowcase, autograph art, end of the year projects, Keepsake_Pillowcase, end of the year projects, art for May, end of the year activities, last week of school ideas, keepsake crafts, art projects with pillowcases, keepsake art projects, summer crafts for kids, end of the year ideas, last week of school activities, may artI buy primary and pastel colors of the acrylic permanent paints that are only .59 cents at a hobby/craft store and spill a dollop of one color on a paper plate.

That paper plate, a foam brush and a stamp is given to a helper who pats the paint on the stamp and hands it to a child, they press that stamp anywhere on their pillowcase, lift it straight up and then wait for the next stamp. 

We rotate all of of the stamps in this assembly-line fashion, until everyone has done every stamp and used every color. This takes about 45 minutes if I have help.  Afterwards, the children go wash up and go outside for recess with several of the parents.

When they come back in, the paint is dry.  We flip the pillowcases over and everyone is given a permanent marker. I have 10 different colors. I remind children that they cannot rest the markers on the pillowcase as they will start to bleed into the material and run. 

I also tell them that it is hard to write on fabric so that they need to hold the fabric taught.  I demonstrate this as I "autograph" a pillowcase. 

Everyone signs their own pillowcase first, then they stand up when they are done so that I can see when everyone is finished; when everyone is standing, they move to the next pillowcase and sign their name; when they are done, they stand up again. 

We do this until they are back to their own pillowcase and have signed everyone's.  Make sure you remind them that they are writing THEIR name and "autographing" each other's pillowcases. I had one little guy who was trying to write each person's name on the pillowcases instead of his own! 

In the beginning I had the children sign the fronts of the pillowcases where the stamps were, then a mom thought it would look nicer, since the children wrote so big, to sign the backs!  I've done it that way ever since. I don't paint the backs of the pillowcases, because the paint is scratchy when it dries. 

I type up a little note about washing directions which reads: When your child brings their pillowcase home, turn it inside out and toss in the dryer on high.  This will set the paint.  Wash in cold water on your gentle cycle, for years of wear.  Sleep on the side that is not painted.  I hope you enjoy your sweet summer dreamin' pillowcase and that it helps you to remember all of the fun we had learning in young fives with all of these wonderful friends!

Some years I had one or two children who were absent.  Because I did this "assembly line process" it was easy to lay out the missing child's pillowcase and simply stamp theirs too.  I've gotten lots of positive feedback over the years about this project, and my students absolutely loved making their pillowcases. A plain white or pastel colored T-shirt would also work. 

sweet summer dreamin pillowcases, end of the year autograph books, end of the year activities, autograph pillowcases, autograph t-sheirtsThat's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by. It's a beautiful sunshine-filled day, with a refreshing spring breeze.  The perfect weather to work in my flower garden.  Wishing you a relaxing day filled with memorable moments.

"I am grateful.  My life isn't perfect, but I am grateful for the perfect moments that make it special. " -Unknown

1-2-3 Come Make A Keepsake Autograph Booklet With Me

It's the middle of May and the school year is definitely winding down.  You can literally feel the excitement in the air in anticipation of summer.  I was always looking for a few fun activities for my kiddos to do independently, while I did assessing and other year-end paper work.  I needed something that was easy-peasy in the prep-work department too.

end of the year activities, end of the year autograph book, autograph book patterns, free autograph book, With that in mind, I designed 3 quick, simple and fun  autograph books.  No matter what grade I taught, all of my students really enjoyed collecting autographs, and I was freed up to work on my long "to do" list.  Woo hoo! 

Practicing writing their name is especially meaningful for younger kiddos; the autograph book is a super-fun way to practice, and sure to become a keepsake.

 The first auto-graph booklet uses some adorable automobile clip art for a "play-on-words" that I'm so fond of incorporating in my work.  After running it off and giving a few directions, allow students time to color their booklet and collect signatures. ( Fun for them and quiet time for you! )

end of the year activities, end of the year autograph book, autograph book patterns, free autograph book, Simply run the cover off on white construction paper and have students color their car, or run the pattern off on a variety of colors of construction paper and have students cut and glue the car of their choice to the front of another sheet of construction paper. (See sample in photograph).

end of the year activities, end of the year autograph book, autograph book patterns, free autograph book, I've included inside pages for your students to color and collect signatures on.  There's a page for classmates to sign, one for other friends, another for school staff, plus two teacher pages.

Since PK children tend to write their names really big, I've included a full-page version, as well as a smaller, 2-on-a-page option. The large car-themed auto-graph booklet is a FREEBIE. Click on the link to view or download it.

autograph books, DIY autograph books, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, memory books, keepsake autograph books, autograph books for schoolThe sweet schoolhouse is another choice in the packet.  I've designed a generic cover, as well as a specific one for preschool, young fives, kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade

This booklet also has inside pages for special people to sign.  They are black and white, so that when children are done collecting signatures they can color the cute clip art.  (More time for you to finish assessing or whatever! Can I hear another woo hoo!?)

autograph books, DIY autograph books, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, memory books, keepsake autograph books, autograph books for schoolFinally, the pencil autograph booklet, is for older students and just a cover.  (There's a full-color cover option, plus a black and white version. )

Simply cut some blank pages for the inside and staple together.  Bright-colored or neon copy paper would be perfect for these, adding some extra pizzazz. 

autograph books, DIY autograph books, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, memory books, keepsake autograph books, autograph books for schoolClick on the link to pop on over to my TpT Store for the end of the year keepsake autograph booklet packet. It's just $2 (I figure it's a small price to pay for some "sanity saver" time.  What say you?)

autograph books, DIY autograph books, end of the year activities, end of the year crafts, memory books, keepsake autograph books, autograph books for schoolThat's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by.  My feet have once again hit the floor running. 

Our son is getting married on the beach this weekend, so I have a myriad of super-fun, last-minute things to do, all while watching a baby and toddler, as Nana's little day camp is also open today.   Wishing you a love-filled week. 

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.  The important thing is not to stop questioning." -Albert Einstein

1-2-3 Come Make A Sweet Keepsake Card With Me

mother's day activities, mothers day crafts, "berry" special activities, berry special play on words, ideas for berry special. mothers day cards for kids to make, mothers day writing promtps, may writing prompts, mothers day gifts for kids to make, ideas for mothers day, end of the year activities, end of the year gifts, ideas for end of the year gifts, welcome to school gifts, back to school gifts, back to school ideas, I really enjoy designing things that incorporate standards at the same time creating a keepsake that families will enjoy.  With that in mind, I came up with a "berry" special packet.

Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits, and were also popular with my Y5's.  They are fun and easy to draw and provide a great play on words. 

In the "Berry" Special Packet, I've included templates for both a mom and dad, so you can use this "craftivity" for Mother's Day or Father's Day.  There's also a generic one that says: "You are 'berry' special" so students can make this for another significant person as well.  This would be fun for Grandparents' Day too.

mother's day activities, mothers day crafts, "berry" special activities, berry special play on words, ideas for berry special. mothers day cards for kids to make, mothers day writing promtps, may writing prompts, mothers day gifts for kids to make, ideas for mothers day, end of the year activities, end of the year gifts, ideas for end of the year gifts, welcome to school gifts, back to school gifts, back to school ideas, I've included a pattern to make the leafy portion.  Add a bit more pizzazz by making the leaves 3D.  Have students cut out two and then fold one in half.  Match up the leaves and glue only one section on top of the other. 

If you look closely at the photo you'll be able to see how the leaves pop up.  Adding a stem and strawberry blossom, gives the card that finishing touch.

Older students can add a second strawberry and "hinge" their card with a small piece of Scotch tape.  Children complete the writing prompt, add a bit of color, trim and glue to the inside.  Younger students can simply complete just the sentence on the front.

To make things extra special, have students glue on their school picture and make a heart using their thumbprints (see photo).

mother's day activities, mothers day crafts, "berry" special activities, berry special play on words, ideas for berry special. mothers day cards for kids to make, mothers day writing promtps, may writing prompts, mothers day gifts for kids to make, ideas for mothers day, end of the year activities, end of the year gifts, ideas for end of the year gifts, welcome to school gifts, back to school gifts, back to school ideas, Leaves can also be made by tracing a child's handprints.   I made an example of both, so you can see how they turned out.   Click on the link to view/download the "Berry" Special Craftivity.  

While I was making my sample, I thought that a mini version of this would make a quick, easy and inexpensive end or beginning of the year gift for students.  mother's day activities, mothers day crafts, "berry" special activities, berry special play on words, ideas for berry special. mothers day cards for kids to make, mothers day writing promtps, may writing prompts, mothers day gifts for kids to make, ideas for mothers day, end of the year activities, end of the year gifts, ideas for end of the year gifts, welcome to school gifts, back to school gifts, back to school ideas,

"I hope your summer is 'berry' special.  Just like you!" or "I'm wishing you a 'berry' special school year!"

Turn this into a sweet treat by attaching your card to a berry-flavored juice box, or package of Wild Berry Skittles and you're set!

Click on the link to view/download the "Berry Special Summer/School Year Gift. 

mother's day activities, mothers day crafts, "berry" special activities, berry special play on words, ideas for berry special. mothers day cards for kids to make, mothers day writing promtps, may writing prompts, mothers day gifts for kids to make, ideas for mothers day, end of the year activities, end of the year gifts, ideas for end of the year gifts, welcome to school gifts, back to school gifts, back to school ideas, Thanks for visiting today.  If you'd like to see more Mother's Day FREEBIES, click on the link to pop over to that section of TeachWithMe.  I also have a "pinteresting" pin board with more free Mother's Day ideas, crafts, and activities.

 "When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child." -Sophia Loren

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