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first day of 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 Do Some Chrysanthemum Activities With Me

“Chrysanthemum” by Kevin Henkes, is one of my all-time favorite back to school books.

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsIt’s perfect for a variety of ages, and especially wonderful as an introduction to name activities, as well as discussions about teasing, bullying and “filling buckets”

With that in mind, I enjoyed making a variety of Chrysanthemum-themed activities appropriate for PK-1st grade. I'll be sharing 3 of them in today's blog along with a sweet back to school FREEBIE. 

Because I like to mix math with literacy, I designed the Chrysanthemum Name Comparison Math Craftivity, where students compare their name with Chrysanthemum’s.

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsI’ve included a simple PK version which can be done as a whole group, with an older elementary buddy, or done as homework with the assistance of a parent.

There’s also a template suitable for kindergarten, 1st and 2nd, which involves some easy math, where students can show how they figured out their answer.

Use the vowel, consonants and syllable posters to help explain things, then hang up for students to refer to.

These can also be used as part of your display, as completed projects make an adorable bulletin board, or hung as a border on a hallway wall. 

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsI’ve included 2 “Mixing Math & Literacy” display posters for this as well. 

For extra pizzazz, punch a hole at the bottom and tie on a yarn "tail", or curl a white pipe cleaner and attach.

There are 10 border options to choose from.

Give your students a choice, or run off 2-3 of each of the worksheets so you have a nice variety in your display.

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsGirls can add a bow to their mouse, and boys can opt to leave it off if they want.

For an added splash of color, mount the worksheet on a variety of colors of construction paper before students glue their mouse head to the top. 

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsNext up, is another quick, easy and fun “print & go” name craftivity. I call them "sliders".

Simply choose which name slider you want your kiddos to make. There are 6 options.
I like my students to get some practice in making choices, so I run all of them off.

I’ve included black and white patterns for kiddos to color, as well as templates in color, so that you can quickly and easily make examples to share.

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsMounting them on construction paper gives a splash of color and makes them sturdier.
Run off the boxed “slider strips”, as well as the blank strips and trim.

Children color Chrysanthemum, then write their name on the “slider” strip, by writing a letter in each box.

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsIf you have PK kiddos who don’t know how to write their name, you can have slider strips already written for them, or provide a name card for them to copy.

I’ve included 6 matching name cards if you’d like to use these. 

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsFinally, I designed a Chrysanthemum-Inspired Class Name Booklet.

At the beginning of the story, her parents explain why they named her Chrysanthemum, so I thought it would be fun to send a note home and ask parents why they chose their child’s name.

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsParents fill out the worksheet and their child colors it.  After everyone has shared their page, collate the contributions, add the cover and you have a very interesting class-made book.

Run off the "inside" pages and give children a choice. There are 7 girl-themed pages, plus 7 for boys.

I share Dr. Seuss’s story “Too Many Daves”, then include those pages, along with the rose-quote poster in our booklet as well.

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsWe make several class books each month.  They are always a favorite in our classroom "book" basket, and a big hit with parents at conferences.

Adding a school photo to each page makes things extra special. 

free back to school treat bags, back to school treat bags, treat bag ideas, lucky charm treat bagsToday's featured FREEBIE is also perfect for back to school. I not only give my students a little surprise treat on the 1st day of school, I do a little something extra special the entire week.  

For a quick, easy and inexpensive treat bag, fill up a Snack Baggie with Lucky Charms cereal and include my little note.  There's also 2 "header" options if you want to put 1 at the top of your bag.  

lucky charm treat bags, chrysanthemum activitiesWell that's it for today. My mom's visiting from Wisconsin, and I hear her stirring on this beautiful morning, so time to switch gears and go play outside.

"Tears of joy are like the summer rain drops pierced by sunbeams." - Hosea Ballou

1-2-3 Come Do Some Kissing Hand Activities With Me

My kiddos LOVE the story The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.  Little ones identify with the anxious feelings of Chester the raccoon, when he doesn’t want to go to school.  The warming kiss from his mom, resonates in comfort for them as well.

Kissing hand activities, raccoon crafts, raccoon activities, literacy packets, audrey penn, kissing hand crafts, back to school activities, back to school books for elementaryWith that in mind, I created a whopping 102-page Kissing Hand literacy packet.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I loved designing it.  

The packet has a ton of super-fun activities to help reinforce a variety of standards and includes the following:

* A note home to parents to provide a family photograph for a special We are loved” bulletin board.
* 2 posters to help create the bulletin board.

Kissing hand activities, raccoon crafts, raccoon activities, literacy packets, audrey penn, kissing hand crafts, back to school activities, back to school books for elementary* A tiny welcoming note for your students with a place to put a Hershey Kiss. ("Hooray!  Hooray!  So glad you're here today.  To show you that it's true, here's a little kiss for you!")
* Graphing activities

Kissing hand activities, raccoon crafts, raccoon activities, literacy packets, audrey penn, kissing hand crafts, back to school activities, back to school books for elementary* Parts of a book poster & worksheet
* Pocket Chart cards for: character, setting, events
* Literacy Graphic organizers
* Beginning-Middle-End of the story worksheets & activities

* A who, what, where, when, why worksheet
* Venn diagrams comparing: 2 books, 2 characters, the child with Chester, Chester’s school & their school, plus some completed samples to share.

Kissing hand activities, raccoon crafts, raccoon activities, literacy packets, audrey penn, kissing hand crafts, back to school activities, back to school books for elementary* Games: “How many words can you make using the letters in raccoon?” Includes an answer key; “Rr is for raccoon and….” race;  plus a Nocturnal Animal Memory Match game.

* A variety of worksheets for various levels.
* Lot of creative & fun writing prompts
* Several class-made books, with covers and inside pattern pages to make them.

Kissing hand activities, raccoon crafts, raccoon activities, literacy packets, audrey penn, kissing hand crafts, back to school activities, back to school books for elementary* Nocturnal animal activities, including an interesting facts sheet, an alphabetical list of 34 nocturnal animals, a classroom poster, with a matching “color me” one for students, plus several games.

* Sign Language activities (The last page of the story, is a picture of Chester’s hand “signing” I love you.) Includes a poster and worksheet.

* Skidamarink a-dink-a-doo I love you song, poster & bookmarks.  My Y5s LOVE singing this sweet song.

Kissing hand activities, raccoon crafts, raccoon activities, literacy packets, audrey penn, kissing hand crafts, back to school activities, back to school books for elementary* Retell the story bookmarks
* “Color me” first day bookmarks

* Comfort discussion poster and matching class-made book

Kissing hand activities, raccoon crafts, raccoon activities, literacy packets, audrey penn, kissing hand crafts, back to school activities, back to school books for elementary* “I had a great 1st day” slap bracelet.
* 12 pocket chart cards for reviewing the story.  They double as a punctuation and capitalization activity too.

Kissing hand activities, raccoon crafts, raccoon activities, literacy packets, audrey penn, kissing hand crafts, back to school activities, back to school books for elementary* Feelings activities
* Raccoons "Are, Can, Have" worksheet

Kissing hand activities, raccoon crafts, raccoon activities, literacy packets, audrey penn, kissing hand crafts, back to school activities, back to school books for elementary* Craftivities: A raccoon mask; a hand print fold out note; and a  “red, white & blue I love you” sign language heart.  Both make a wonderful keepsake.

* I also designed a sweet full-body raccoon on a 1/2 sheet of paper, with 2-on-a-page for quick printing.

Little ones can simply color him, then color, trim & glue the tail to the bottom. 

Kissing hand activities, raccoon crafts, raccoon activities, literacy packets, audrey penn, kissing hand crafts, back to school activities, back to school books for elementaryOlder students can write 3-4 things they liked about school or 2-3 emotions they felt during the first day or week. 

Kissing hand activities, raccoon crafts, raccoon activities, literacy packets, audrey penn, kissing hand crafts, back to school activities, back to school books for elementaryThe larger raccoon is just a head & tail.  I call it "A Tale About Me!"  With a play on the word "tale/tail".

It's an interesting alternative to the "All About Me" booklets.

The tail of the raccoon provides simple writing prompts for kiddos to finish: name, birthday, an interesting fact about themselves; what they want to be when they grow up, plus favorites: color, candy, activities, animal, foods, & TV show, all written on the raccoon's tail. 

This craftivity is a super-fun way to learn about your new students, and completed projects make an adorable bulletin board

Click on the link to pop on over to my TpT shop to grab this comprehensive Kissing Hand Literacy Packet. 

In celebration of getting ready for back to school, I've knocked 2 dollars off for a limited time, so this 102-page packet is just $5.95. 

kissing hand I survived craft, Kissing hand activities, raccoon crafts, raccoon activities, literacy packets, audrey penn, kissing hand crafts, back to school activities, back to school books for elementaryThe featured FREEBIE today, also involves The Kissing Hand. I actually have 2 for you that are featured in the packetThe first one is the quick, easy & fun "fill up the hand with feelings" craftivity.  Click on the link to grab it.  

Kissing hand activities, raccoon crafts, raccoon activities, literacy packets, audrey penn, kissing hand crafts, back to school activities, back to school books for elementaryThe second one is the Comfort Class-Made Book.  There are two writing prompt options to choose from, a color cover, with full & half page options, plus the discussion poster.  After children share their page, collect, collate, add the cover & place it in your classroom library. 

Be sure and set your student-made booklets out during Open House as well as Parent Teacher Conferences. 

Kissing hand activities, raccoon crafts, raccoon activities, literacy packets, audrey penn, kissing hand crafts, back to school activities, back to school books for elementaryI hope your kiddos enjoy creating this one.  Well that's it for today. 

Thanks for stopping by.   It's a lovely sunny day in the 70's.  My grandchildren are coming over, so it will be especially enjoyable.  Wishing you a love-filled day as well.  

"Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation." - Lois Weis  

 1-2-3 Come Make A First Day Activity With Me

I know a lot of teachers have a Dr. Seuss theme for their classrooms, so I thought I'd make an activity you can do with your students on the first day of school. 

seuss hat pattern 1st daySimply run off the template.  On each stripe of the cat's hat, students write the things that they enjoyed doing the most and then color the stripes.  Add a first day photo for that finishing touch. 

seuss activities, dr seuss activities, ideas for dr seuss, writing prompts for seuss, first day of school writing prompts, first day of school activities, 1st day ideas, cat in the hat ideas, seuss hat pattern, seuss hat templateEncourage older students to use complete sentences.  Younger students can simply write a word or two. 

You may want to start by brainstorming with your kiddos.  To help them with spelling, jot their answers on the board.

There's a hat without the 1st day sentence as well, so you can also use this activity during March's celebration of Seuss or a Cat in the Hat Day.

seuss activities, dr seuss activities, ideas for dr seuss, writing prompts for seuss, first day of school writing prompts, first day of school activities, 1st day ideas, cat in the hat ideas, seuss hat pattern, seuss hat templateI've included a poster with another similar Seuss quote. Use it to introduce the above activity, or for a discussion at the end of the day of what your students enjoyed the most, and how everyone contributed to making that first day special.

seuss activities, dr seuss activities, ideas for dr seuss, writing prompts for seuss, first day of school writing prompts, first day of school activities, 1st day ideas, cat in the hat ideas, seuss hat pattern, seuss hat templateClick on the link to view/download the Seuss Hat First Day Writing Craftivity. 

seuss activities, dr seuss activities, ideas for dr seuss, writing prompts for seuss, first day of school writing prompts, first day of school activities, 1st day ideas, cat in the hat ideas, seuss hat pattern, seuss hat templateThanks for visiting today.  I hope your days are as filled with fun as mine are. 

I'm off to watch my grandson (22 months) play in his kiddie pool.  So loving summer...

 

14 pages.

These 4 icebreaker games using M & M's or Skittles candy, are a great way to get to know your students, relieve tension and have fun.

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

icebreaker games, games for the first day of school, first day of school activities, 1st day of school activities, getting to know you games, icebreakers for the 1st day of school, icebreakers for school, M & M game, Skittle Game, candy games, candy icebreakers, back to school ideas, back to school games, back to school icebreakers,color games, My favorite classes in school, even up through college, were those that we had a real community going.   These were usually conducted by my favorite teachers, who felt that a classroom was sort of like a family.  They made time to make us all feel welcome, safe, and important.  I truly felt cared about.  

One of the ways they promoted these feelings, was that they spent some time getting to know all of us.  This also helped build camaraderie, and developed our classroom “family” plus a positive-caring atmosphere.

icebreaker games, games for the first day of school, first day of school activities, 1st day of school activities, getting to know you games, icebreakers for the 1st day of school, icebreakers for school, M & M game, Skittle Game, candy games, candy icebreakers, back to school ideas, back to school games, back to school icebreakers,color games, Icebreakers are a perfect way to do this, and are especially important on the first day of school, when students are a bit nervous and looking at a bunch of strangers.   They are quick, easy and a lot of fun.  I've always found that no matter what the age, most students really enjoy sharing something about themselves. 

I not only did an icebreaker on the first day, but included a simple one in the morning or at the end of the day, for our entire first week of school.  I even do icebreakers with my college comp classes.  I truly believe that if students get to really know each other, the class is much more interesting and fun, which I feel is conducive to learning, as well as a great motivational factor. 

icebreaker games, games for the first day of school, first day of school activities, 1st day of school activities, getting to know you games, icebreakers for the 1st day of school, icebreakers for school, M & M game, Skittle Game, candy games, candy icebreakers, back to school ideas, back to school games, back to school icebreakers,color games, icebreaker games, games for the first day of school, first day of school activities, 1st day of school activities, getting to know you games, icebreakers for the 1st day of school, icebreakers for school, M & M game, Skittle Game, candy games, candy icebreakers, back to school ideas, back to school games, back to school icebreakers,color games, It's always worked for me.  Thus, I’m forever searching for something new to add to my icebreaker bag of tricks and came upon the M & M's or Skittles Game, which goes by as many names as there are colors, and can be played in a variety of ways as well, so I made up a few of my own versions.

You can have students choose 2 or 3 pieces of candy and then announce that they will be sharing something about themselves.  Whatever color of candy that they chose will match a question on the poster.   Go around the room and have students share that information one question at a time.   As they share, they get to eat that color candy.

icebreaker games, games for the first day of school, first day of school activities, 1st day of school activities, getting to know you games, icebreakers for the 1st day of school, icebreakers for school, M & M game, Skittle Game, candy games, candy icebreakers, back to school ideas, back to school games, back to school icebreakers,color games, Remember to let students know in advance not to eat their candy before it’s their turn to share.  Since this may be extremely difficult for a young child, to expedite things, you can put one of each color candy in a mini cup on their desks.  

Tell students that they’re going to share the red candy question and then have everyone eat the red one at the same time.  As soon as the first person shares then the next one goes, til everyone has answered that color question.  

Remind students that you have limited time and to keep their answers short.  Most of the questions that I’ve thought of can be answered with one or two words.  Teachers need to keep things moving.

icebreaker games, games for the first day of school, first day of school activities, 1st day of school activities, getting to know you games, icebreakers for the 1st day of school, icebreakers for school, M & M game, Skittle Game, candy games, candy icebreakers, back to school ideas, back to school games, back to school icebreakers,color games, If you have a large class, and don’t have enough time to share all of the questions, you can tell your students to pick out their favorite flavor or color and then answer that question.  

I’ve included 4, different question template options, for you to choose from, (using both an M & M's and Skittles template) as well as a blank color copy of the poster, to make up your own questions. 

icebreaker games, games for the first day of school, first day of school activities, 1st day of school activities, getting to know you games, icebreakers for the 1st day of school, icebreakers for school, M & M game, Skittle Game, candy games, candy icebreakers, back to school ideas, back to school games, back to school icebreakers,color games, Remember to keep questions simple, easy to answer, not embarrassing or intrusive, and something that would be easy and fun for children to share about themselves.  

icebreaker games, games for the first day of school, first day of school activities, 1st day of school activities, getting to know you games, icebreakers for the 1st day of school, icebreakers for school, M & M game, Skittle Game, candy games, candy icebreakers, back to school ideas, back to school games, back to school icebreakers,color games, As a writing option, I’ve included a blank black and white M & M's and Skittles copy.  You can run these off and have students color their candies, and then fill in the answers to the questions that you read. 

For sharing time, they can look at their papers and choose one or two that they want to read and share with their classmates. 

Click on the link to view/download the Candy Icebreaker Game packet.  Do you have an icebreaker you could share with us?  I would enjoy hearing from you: diane@teachwithme.com or leave a comment below.  

icebreaker games, games for the first day of school, first day of school activities, 1st day of school activities, getting to know you games, icebreakers for the 1st day of school, icebreakers for school, M & M game, Skittle Game, candy games, candy icebreakers, back to school ideas, back to school games, back to school icebreakers,color games, Thanks for stopping by.  Feel free to PIN away.   It poured today, so I'm off to empty my flower pots, and rescue some drowning plants. 

icebreaker games, games for the first day of school, first day of school activities, 1st day of school activities, getting to know you games, icebreakers for the 1st day of school, icebreakers for school, M & M game, Skittle Game, candy games, candy icebreakers, back to school ideas, back to school games, back to school icebreakers,color games, Wishing you a blessed day from over here in Michigan.

"Nature does not hurry; yet everything gets accomplished." -Unknown

 

1-2-3 Come Make Some Back To School Things With Me

1st day of school activities, first day of school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, first day of school lessons, first day of school icebreakers, first day of school games, back to school bulletin boards, number puzzles, free puzzles, back to school puzzles, skip counting by 10's activities, back to school coloring pages, back to school gifts, ideas for open house, first day of school giftWhile I was working on the coloring-autograph page: "I made a lot of friends today!"  for a first day of school activity; I thought making some number puzzles that students could color, cut and glue, would also give teachers a little bit of "sanity" time, to get some of the zillions of trivial tasks done, that must be accomplished before dismissal, on that hectic first day.

The "friends" coloring worksheet was a very popular download.  It's so simple, but such a great way to give your kiddos something they can do independently, which frees you up.  When you're working with energized little ones, some of whom don't even know how to write their name, the word "independently" is imperative.

1st day of school activities, first day of school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, first day of school lessons, first day of school icebreakers, first day of school games, back to school bulletin boards, number puzzles, free puzzles, back to school puzzles, skip counting by 10's activities, back to school coloring pages, back to school gifts, ideas for open house, first day of school giftThe number puzzles also double as a quick, easy and inexpensive little gift that you can have lying on your students' desks.  Be sure and write their name on the puzzle (after the word Hi or Welcome! to make things extra special for them. 

The puzzles can be pre-cut to expedite things for preschoolers.  To give yourself even more time, have students cut their own puzzle pieces (after they have colored the picture) then tell them to mix up the pieces and put their puzzle together.

1st day of school activities, first day of school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, first day of school lessons, first day of school icebreakers, first day of school games, back to school bulletin boards, number puzzles, free puzzles, back to school puzzles, skip counting by 10's activities, back to school coloring pages, back to school gifts, ideas for open house, first day of school giftTo make a cool looking mosaic, have children glue the pieces to a sheet of construction paper, leaving a little space in-between the pieces. 

After they share their creation with the class, mount them on a bulletin board.  Caption: Mrs. Henderson's kinders stick together, or fit in just fine, or whatever else you deem appropriate. 

If you take a first day of school photo for a future memory book, make an extra copy and cut it into the shape of a puzzle piece, then put it along side that child's completed puzzle.  Adding a puzzle border, or scattering some real puzzle pieces through out your bulletin board, adds the finishing touches.  The Dollar Store sells a huge variety of puzzles that you can use to jazz things up.

1st day of school activities, first day of school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, first day of school lessons, first day of school icebreakers, first day of school games, back to school bulletin boards, number puzzles, free puzzles, back to school puzzles, skip counting by 10's activities, back to school coloring pages, back to school gifts, ideas for open house, first day of school giftThe Back To School Puzzle packet, includes 30 puzzles.  Some of them are vertical, others are horizontal.  They come in black and white, so that students can color them, and others are in full color, so you can print; laminate and trim, then use in an independent center for early finishers. 

1st day of school activities, first day of school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, first day of school lessons, first day of school icebreakers, first day of school games, back to school bulletin boards, number puzzles, free puzzles, back to school puzzles, skip counting by 10's activities, back to school coloring pages, back to school gifts, ideas for open house, first day of school giftMake a game of it by having children choose a partner to see who can complete their puzzle first. Some of the puzzles use numbers from 1-10 for little ones, others skip count by 10's to 100, for first graders. 

1st day of school activities, first day of school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, first day of school lessons, first day of school icebreakers, first day of school games, back to school bulletin boards, number puzzles, free puzzles, back to school puzzles, skip counting by 10's activities, back to school coloring pages, back to school gifts, ideas for open house, first day of school giftI've also included little "Welcome" tags.  (There are 16 on a page.) Write in your students' names and then paperclip one to their set of number strips and lay them on your kiddos' desks as a sweet surprise. 

1st day of school activities, first day of school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, first day of school lessons, first day of school icebreakers, first day of school games, back to school bulletin boards, number puzzles, free puzzles, back to school puzzles, skip counting by 10's activities, back to school coloring pages, back to school gifts, ideas for open house, first day of school giftSo that I had quiet time to check bus numbers and "going home" tags that needed to be changed,  I always had some sort of independent activity towards the end of the day.  My Y5's were exhausted, the room was usually hot and stuffy, so they were happy to simply veg-out a bit.  This puzzle packet is perfect for that. 

If you decide not to precut the strips, you may want to lay out a selection of black and white puzzles, and allow your students a choice of which one they want to color, cut and glue.  Put a variety of colors of construction paper out as well.   If you're all set for your first day, the puzzles also make a great Open House activity

Click on the link to view/download the First Day Of School Puzzle Packet.  For more number puzzle FREEBIES, click on the link.

1st day of school activities, first day of school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, first day of school lessons, first day of school icebreakers, first day of school games, back to school bulletin boards, number puzzles, free puzzles, back to school puzzles, skip counting by 10's activities, back to school coloring pages, back to school gifts, ideas for open house, first day of school giftThanks for visiting today.  As always, feel free to PIN away.  Do you have a first day or back to school activity  you could share with us?  I'd enjoy hearing from you.  diane@teachwithme.com  or leave a comment below. 

1st day of school activities, first day of school ideas, ideas for the 1st day of school, first day of school lessons, first day of school icebreakers, first day of school games, back to school bulletin boards, number puzzles, free puzzles, back to school puzzles, skip counting by 10's activities, back to school coloring pages, back to school gifts, ideas for open house, first day of school giftTime to go water my flower garden.  I hope you're enjoying summer and making time to rejuvenate.  Blessings to you from my little corner of cyber space. 

"Your life is your garden.  Your thoughts are the seeds.  If your life isn't awesome, you've been watering the weeds." -Unknown

38 pages.

This is a quick, easy and inexpensive little gift that you can have lying on your students' desks for that first day of school.  Be sure and write their name on the puzzle to make things extra special.  These can be precut to expedite things, or to give yourself some extra "sanity" time, you can have students cut up their own puzzle after they have colored the picture.

3 pages.

This is a wonderful sanity-saver for the first day of school.  Use it as an autograph-coloring page for young children, or a writing prompt for older students, where they write about a few of their classmates that they've made friends with.

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1-2-3 Come Do Some Kissing Hand Activities With Me

Since the first Kissing Hand Activity Packet was such a huge success, I decided to make another packet designed specifically around Common Core State Standards.

This packet will reinforce: Common Core State Standards: RI.K5,RI.K6,RI.K9,RI.K10,RL.K2, RL.K3,RL.K6, L.K1d, RI.1.9, RL.1.2, RL.1.3

It has a variety of fun reading and writing activities to go along with Audrey Penn's adorable story The Kissing Hand, about a little raccoon who doesn’t want to go to school. This is one of my all-time favorite back to school books.

This packet, is the first in a series of quick and easy common core packets, where I use kiddie lit to teach standards.  I'll be posting and blogging about these FREEBIES for the next few days.

The Kissing Hand Packet includes:

  • A beginning-middle-end story map that will help students retell The Kissing Hand
  • A "favorite part" retelling "writing prompt" bookmark
  • A compare and contrast Venn diagram where students compare The Kissing Hand to another of my favorite first day of school books, First Day Jitters!
  • Character, Setting and Event cards. (Laminate, put magnets on the back and put them up on your white board. Write down students' answers under the cards.)
  • "My Feelings" discussion, skill sheet, and graphing extensions.
  • 1st day writing prompt
  • Kissing hand poem introducing rhyming words.
  • Question Words activity sheet, reinforcing the who, what, why, when, where, how words.
  • Cover of book to label book parts + review author and illustrator

back to school lessons, back to school activities, first day of school activities, first day of school lessons, first day of school ideas, back to school ideas, the kissing hand activities, the kissing hand ideas, the kissing hand lessons, first day jitters activities, first day jitters lessons, first day jitters ideas, common core lessons, common core activities, back to school writing prompts, the first day of school writing prompts, parts of a book activities, retelling a story activities, compare and contrast activities, question word activities, feelings activities, graphing activities, parts of a book lessons, retelling a story lessons, compare and contrast lessons, venn diagram lessons, compare and contrast lessons, question word lessons, feelings lessons, Click on the link to view/download The Kissing Hand Packet 2   It will be FREE for an entire year.  After that, it will become part of a big literacy packet in my TpT shope.

Stay tuned for a similar packet for First Day Jitters. For lots more activities forThe Kissing Hand click on the link to zip on over to that section ofTeachWithMe

back to school lessons, back to school activities, first day of school activities, first day of school lessons, first day of school ideas, back to school ideas, the kissing hand activities, the kissing hand ideas, the kissing hand lessons, first day jitters activities, first day jitters lessons, first day jitters ideas, common core lessons, common core activities, back to school writing prompts, the first day of school writing prompts, parts of a book activities, retelling a story activities, compare and contrast activities, question word activities, feelings activities, graphing activities, parts of a book lessons, retelling a story lessons, compare and contrast lessons, venn diagram lessons, compare and contrast lessons, question word lessons, feelings lessons, I'm off for a swim to cool off! (90's today.) Hope you're enjoying a sunny summer day as well!

“Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” –John Wayne

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