1-2-3 Come Do Some End Of The Year Activities With Me
I was always looking for some quick, easy and educational activities that would be fun for my kiddos to do during those last few weeks of school.
Things they could work on independently that didn't take a lot of prep or explanation on my part, which would free me up to finish assessing or complete the myriad of other "have to get done" things.
Today's article features 2 of my favorites. First up is my "Autograph Packet". There are 3 autograph booklets to choose from.
* The pencil, is for older students,
* The schoolhouse works for just about anyone, as well as the "play-on-words" auto-themed auto-graph booklet.
However, I did have an early-elementary crowd in mind when I made the automobile one, as I included a full-page option because little ones tend to write so big. The others are 2-on-a-page for speedy printing.
The packet includes black & white autograph pages, featuring adorable graphics for your kiddos to color, should you choose the auto or schoolhouse options. (More "happily engaged" time.)
Unlike an entire memory book that would be a bit difficult for little ones to do on their own, they feel extremely proud that they can write their name and really enjoy collecting their classmates' signatures as well.
Because the pencil is for older students, simply cut some blank pages (perhaps fun neon-colored copy paper) and staple together.
Another super-fun activity is making some thank you cards to show your appreciation for staff and others that have helped you through the year.
This 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.
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.
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.
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 2016 kindergarten class etc. (You fill in your name, the year and grade.)
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.
Another option is the Thank you acrostic poem. Older students can each do one.
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."
For another option, I’ve also included large 8x10 letter cards that 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).
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!
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.
Today's featured FREEBIE is an end of the year alphabet poem. Simply run it off and tuck in your kiddos' backpacks on that last day of school. I've included full color, as well as black & white templates for PK-4 through 1st grade.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for visiting. I love my early morning time before things get hot and sticky. Once again Michigan has skipped spring and zipped into summer weather.
Wishing you a day filled with everyone and everything you enjoy the most.
"Educating the mind without educating the heart, is no education at all." -Aristotle
1-2-3 Come Build Self-Esteem With Me
"Filling buckets" seems to have really caught on in a lot of schools. I know we have this program in our school as well. The idea is to encourage positive behavior. Children catch on fast and see how easy and rewarding it is to express sincere kindness, appreciation, and love on a daily basis.
With that in mind, I wanted to think up a quick and easy end-of-the-year "bucket filler" so to speak, that would help promote a child's self-esteem. Thus the Classmate Compliment Cat Craftivity was born. (Try to say that tongue twister three times!)
Run off the lined paper pattern. Students accordion fold it following the lines. This provides wonderful fine motor practice. Students color and glue their cat to the top of the folded paper.
Pass out a different color marker/pencil to each student. Children pass their "compliment cat" to another child to write something nice about about them on one of the accordion-folded sections.
They continue passing 'til everyone has signed something on every child's cat, finally ending up with their own.
So students get a special compliment from their teacher, make sure you are part of the signing, Add the finishing touch by having students glue a piece of colorful bulletin board boarder to the top.
Give students time to read the nice things their classmates had to say about them, then have children accordion fold their papers back up and fasten with a paperclip to take home.
Skip refolding and let the compliments dangle; display them on a bulletin board, (cover with paw print wrapping paper) or hang in a long row on a hallway wall. Your caption could be "A purr-fect way to end our day." or "'Paws"ing To Write."
The packet also includes a bookmark that you can pass out to everyone after they have completed their projects.
Click on the link to view/download the Classmate Compliments Cat Craftivity packet.
Finally, if you're new to the "Fill A Bucket" idea and would like to add this to your teaching bag of tricks, click on the link for a sweet "Fill A Bucket" song by the Learning Station.
This link has all of the Fill A Bucket books for children, with some free resources, coloring pages, puzzles, and activities.
My personal favorite is their alphabetical bucket filling checklist.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. If you're looking for more end-of-the-year activities, click on the link to zip on over to that section of my site.
Blessing to you and yours, today and always!
1-2-3 Come Have A Blast With Me!
Now that Mother's Day is over, it seems that attention has turned to looking for end-of the-year activities, as school begins to wind down for many. With that in mind, I designed the "I Had A Blast In School" packet.
I've included writing prompt-templates for preschool through 8th grade, plus a blank one to fill in with whatever.
Students can simply fill in the page, or they can wrap a toilet paper tube with scrapbook or wrapping paper to make a "firecracker" and add some 3D pizzazz. I mounted everything on a sheet of scrapbook paper to make it more colorful as well.
I've included a fireworks pattern that students can sprinkle glitter on and then glue to the top of their firecracker, or tuck in a wad of tinsel for a sparkling effect. Add a school photo for that finishing touch.
Completed projects make an awesome end-of-the-year bulletin board and are a nice alternative to a school memory book.
After your students share their creation with their classmates, give them a choice of the four bookmarks. "I hope you have an absolute blast this summer." Teachers write a student's name at the top and then sign the bottom.
You could also ask students if you can keep their "blast" craftivity to give to your next year's kiddos.
Have them fill in the "I hope you have a blast too." note and glue it to the back of their work.
What a nice surprise for your new class to find in/on their desks in the fall.
If they want to take their work home, but would still like to make something for next year's class, have them color and complete the writing prompt bookmark: "You're going to have a blast in _________ because..."
As with the above prompt, I've included templates for preschool through 8th grade, with a blank one (pictured) to fill in with whatever. Encourage students to write more on the back.
Click on the link to view/download the I Had A Blast In School packet.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. My "Pin it" button is at the top.
"Sometimes you never know the true value of a moment, until it becomes a memory." -Unknown
Happy Father's Day Venn Diagram Comparison:
Brainstorm with your students how they are the same and different from their dads. A fun way to do this is with a Venn Diagram.
I like to use 2 brightly colored hula hoops to do this, and then write words on index cards.
I then transfer this information to the white board so that students are seeing it again, and can copy what applies to them on their own Venn diagram.
As an added writing extension students could also compare their grandpa's with their dads. After they make their Venn Diagrams have them draw a picture of their dad and themselves/grandpa inside the diagram.
You could also add their school photo.
This makes a cute card to give to their dad's on Father's Day by adding "We may be different, but we are also the same, and this you know is true: I LOVE you!"
The Sweet Taste of Summer:
Brainstorm with your students of all the fun things they like to eat during the summer that are a bit different than the foods they eat during other months, such as Popsicles, ice cream, things cooked on the grill, stuff they take on a picnic, watermelon, strawberries, etc.
Run off my master of a Popsicle. Students cut them out and write their favorite things to eat during the summer.
When they are done, tape a large Popsicle stick to the back of their work. Buy a checkered tablecloth at The Dollar Store, cut it into a small rectangle to look like a picnic table and staple it to your b. board.
Arrange the Popsicle sticks around the table as a border in a crisscross fashion. The caption: The Sweet Taste Of Summer
Or... cover your b. board with blue paper. Cut out two Peach lips. (One top and one bottom) Make these so that the mouth looks open. Cut out a long pink tongue. Place the Popsicles in and around the mouth.
Wishing On A Summer Star:
Brainstorm with your students some of the places they'd like to go during the summer, if they could go anywhere in the world. Write them on the white board.
Run off my masters of the starfish on two different shades of light brown construction paper. Each student will need one of each color.
Children cut out their starfish. On the larger, front view one, they complete the writing prompt: "If I could go any where in the world this summer I'd like to go to... and list all the places they'd like to visit.
On the other smaller back of the starfish, they glue Cheerio's on the lines, for a nice 3-D touch. Glue the two stars together in a kitty wampus way.
Put light blue paper on your bulletin board. Buy a fish net from The Dollar store and staple it diagonally in the middle of the board.
Sprinkle the starfish on the net. Caption: Wishing On A Summer Star
Click on the link to view/download Summer Fun Writing Packet
I hope these ideas will excite your students and get them to WANT to write.
Thanks for visiting! I hope you can pop back tomorrow for more fun in the sun activities.
As always if you have a creative idea that your students enjoy doing, I'd love hearing from you. firstname.lastname@example.org
or feel free to post a comment here, especially if you use one of my ideas.
PIN away if you find something you think would be helpful or interesting to another teacher or parent that home schools!
Wishing you a super summer that simply sizzles with fun!