1-2-3 Come Make A Name Map With Me!
I teach “mapping” as a writing strategy to my college comp students. It’s a fun visual way for them to get their thoughts organized on paper, before they begin to write their essay.
A name map is a terrific way to introduce "mapping" to elementary students. This is also an interesting icebreaker for the first week of school and a great way to get to know your new students.
Children think of a symbol that represents them and draw that in the middle. I chose an apple as it’s sort of universal for school or teaching.
Branching out from the center symbol is a variety of things about the person such as hobbies, their favorite season, birthday, what they want to be when they grow up etc.
By having students use their two favorite colors to write their first and last names in the center of their object, everyone gets to know another “tidbit” about that person.
The completed activities make a wonderful back to school bulletin board too! Make sure you do a personal one of yourself, so that you have a sample to show your students as a way to explain things, as well as a means for them to get to know their new teacher. Includes an explanatory note home to families.
Sharing name maps is a nice activity to do after reading the story Chrysanthemum, a wonderful back to school tale, whose main character is a little mouse named Chrysanthemum. She loved her unusual name until she started school and everyone began making fun of her. It's one of my all-time favorite back-to-school books and especially great if you need some stories to go with "bucket-filling."
My inspiration to do name maps, came from an art teacher’s “heart maps” that he did with his 4th graders at Riverside Elementary. Click on the link to check out their awesome endeavors. I hope you and yours have as much fun making these as I did.
Click on the link to view/download Name Maps. This packet is a special FREEBIE in my TpT shop. Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away! For your convenience, my "Pin it" button is at the top on the menu bar.
“There’s few things as uncommon as common sense.” –Frank McKinney Hubbard
123 Come Color With Me!
One of the ways I counted up to 100 Day was with a cute gumball poster by Really Good Stuff. Each day I’d choose a quiet child to X off a gumball.
Because of this poster, I designed the “Wel-gum To our really sweet class” find your name skill sheet.
Learning how to recognize their name was one of my Y5’s report card standards, so we worked on this every day.
I made this worksheet a bit more special by including my last year’s school picture inside one of the gumballs.
When they found their name, I had them color the gumball their favorite FLAVOR, and then we graphed the results.
We discussed the difference between favorite flavor and favorite color, for many, this was their first introduction to graphing.
Everyone enjoyed learning something about their new friends.
This packet also includes 2 class books. One the children trace and write the sentence about their favorite color.
To make the book more special, include their school photo as well.
I also made a class color book, by including pictures cut out from magazines of things of the various colors.
Each child brought a color picture in on that particular color day, as well as wore the appropriate color.
I took a class picture each Friday and also included that in our color book.
This packet includes the letter home, a calendar + a poster for your parent-teacher conferences.
Click on the link to view/download Wel-gum packet.
Thanks for visiting today.
Feel free to PIN anything you think others might enjoy.
“Never be too big to ask questions. Never know too much to learn something new.” – Og Mandino
Send Them Off With A Kiss!
I LOVE the book The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. The gist of it is that a baby raccoon wants nothing to do with going to night school. He’d just as soon stay home with his mom and continue to play in the forest.
Mama raccoon wisely explains that he’ll make all sorts of new friends, naming several other nocturnal animals and that he’ll really like his new teacher (an owl of course) and doing all sorts of fun school activities.
She places a kiss on his hand that travels up his arm and straight into his heart, warming him instantly. Something he can look at all evening long reminding him that “Mama loves you.”
As he excitedly scampers off to school, he pauses to kiss his mommy’s hand, letting her know that “Chester” loves her too.
My Y5’s really enjoyed this story, especially petting my soft pet raccoon puppet that would not come out of his garbage can at first because he was frightened. It’s a wonderful way to introduce feelings and graph how children felt on this first day.
I found if they got to put on a mask and pretend they were raccoons that even my shyest children could talk and tell me how they really felt. Anyone holding the raccoon was the one who got to speak and share.
Because this story is extremely popular I decided to dream up some activities your students would enjoy doing during the first week of school. Perhaps even on the first day, if it isn’t too hectic and packed with other “must get done” rules and regulations activities.
The 24-page Kissing Hand Packet includes two keepsake “craftivities” involving tracing students hands. These make wonderful and easy back to school bulletin boards.
To expedite this with little ones, have a room helper trace and cut them out in the morning, so they are ready in the afternoon.
If you don’t have anyone helping you, think about including a piece of flesh-toned construction paper in your summer note, or open house packet with an explanation to have parents trace and cut their child’s hand and return it for the first day of school.
You could also set this up as a quick “Please do!” station at your open house, if you have one before school starts.. Parents stop at the station, “get it done” and then leave it in the basket.
Click on the link to view/download The Kissing Hand Activities The Raccoon upper and lowercase letter activity packet helps with Common Core State Standard RF.K1d and RF.1.1a
Use them as flashcards, Memory Match Concentration games, or play ‘I Have, Who Has?” later in the year. I include a tip list of what else you can do with the cards.
If you want to use them on the first day, you can sprinkle them around the room, and have students find them. See how many students can identify any of the letters.
A really fun thing to do, would be to pass out the raccoon masks from the first packet. (Make ahead of time out of foam and hot glue to paint sticks.)
Tell your little ones that they are going to be Raccoon ABCDe-tectives and look for Chester's ABC card clues he’s hidden around the school. Tape them to places you want the children to learn about.
Put the Bb cards by the bathroom and then check it out. Find the Ll cards by the library, and then have the children meet the librarian.
Give the Pp and Ss cards to the principal and secretary and make a stop at the office.
Gg is for gym, Mm is for music, Cc is for computers or cafeteria. Your students will have fun spying the cards, while they tour the school and learn where things are.
Rr can land them back to your room where you can have a note from Chester and a Hershey kiss waiting on their desk.
Click on the link to view/download Raccoon Upper and Lowercase Letter Kissing Hand Activities
I hope you enjoy these activities and your first week of school is simply fantastic!
Thank you for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything you think others might find helpful.
“A good teacher is like a candle, which consumes itself to light the way for others.” -Unknown
The Very Hungry Student is a fun way for students to write down what they have learned each month.
Because it records their accomplishments, it’s a terrific way to build self-esteem.
Because students write in it each month, you will see improvement in their handwriting, as well as their writing abilities, so the booklet is a good addition to a portfolio, if you have them, or tuck into a student folder, to take out and share with parents during conferences.
Practice reading the simple rhyming sentences, after students complete their page, so that at the end of the year, children are able to read their booklet when they take it home to share with their families!
I have a cute caterpillar with a face for one cover, but you can make this even more special, by having students glue their photo over his face for a “student caterpillar” instead.
Because this is a quick and easy writing assignment, that students can do independently, it makes a nice Daily 5 activity too.
If you don't do Daily 5, keep the booklets for your writing center.
They make a great writing prompt for the first day of school, as there is a page specifically for that.
Because there is a page for each month, you could start out September and each month, with The Very Hungry Student's page as your writing prompt for the month.
For an activity that helps students with verbal acuity, gather children in a circle and have them share that day’s page by reading it to their classmates.
At the end of the year, you can discuss what everyone’s favorite thing was that they learned, or their favorite month of activities. If they overlap, graph them.
A little bit of science is covered, as the very hungry caterpillar is "bursting with knowledge" and turns into a butterfly, flying into the next grade.
In June, (s)he is once again a fat little caterpillar, promising to slim down over the summer, so they are ready to fatten up and gobble down more knowledge, in their new grade!
Click on the link to view/download The Very Hungry Student booklet.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything you think others might find helpful.
I hope you can pop in tomorrow for another back-to-school idea!
"Stop trying to fit in, when you were born to stand out!" - Dr. Seuss
Name Cards As Inexpensive Teaching Tools!
I loved name cards when I taught Y5’s. They were perfect for a variety of things.
I laminated them so that they lasted longer, and because they were double, I had extra sets because I didn't stand them up as a tent card.
Being able to recognize their name was a report card standard and surprisingly many little ones came to me not knowing how to identify their name.
Besides placing them on the tables in the morning, so students knew where they sat for that day, and scattering them on the floor so they could “find themselves” as a fun identification game, I also rubber banded a set and put them in my library book crate.
When students brought their book back, they looked for their name card and stuck it in their book.
My 4-year-olds, often forgot which book they brought back by the time the end of the week rolled around and it was our turn to go to the library.
The long cards would stick out, so I simply flipped the book open to see who I needed to hand it to.
It was also another chance for them to reinforce identifying their name.
Because notebooks are offered as loss leaders in most major Office Supply Stores during the summer, I can pick up a “writing notebook” for my students to practice writing their name in for as little as 10 cents! I also tucked a name card in this notebook as well.
When The Dollar Store started carrying name cards, you can imagine my joy! I kept a pack by my rocking chair and used them as flashcards.
I'd flash a name for only a few seconds. If it was your name on the card you had so many seconds to raise your hand and claim it. I also used that pack as a fair way to choose students as my reading helpers. I'd fan them out face down and have students select cards and read who would get to do whatever.
I’ve seen the “informational” name cards that I revamped in the photo above, produced by a variety of companies, and thought I’d whip up my own version.
I made two lines so you can write your students’ names, but I also included another line, so you can use the cards for name writing practice.
That way, the cards will make a quick & easy way for you to whole-group assess writing standards (How students hold a writing utensil, if they make their letters top down, if students are right-handed etc.) without using paper. Simply have students use a dry erase marker, which my kiddo’s LOVED using!
I’ve also printed the cards, so that you can make copies, so you can fold them and use them as a tent with names on both sides, or with skip counting and 3-D shape information on the other side.
If you’re like me, and lay the cards flat, I’ve made an extra double-page set of the skip counting card, so you can use that as a practice tool if you want too.
You can also have students play “I Spy” the shape, letter or number and have students point to the various thing that you want to practice, as a quick and easy game or fill in, when you have a few minutes of time to kill.
I've also printed the vowels in green, so students can easily differentiate them from the consonants, for another teachable moment.
Click on the link to view/download Informational Name Cards
I hope you and yours, enjoy these as they brighten your day!
Thanks for visiting. Feel free to PIN anything from my site that you think others might find useful.
“Success is the sum of small efforts-repeated day in and day out.” –Robert Collier
A Cookie Glyph As A Fun Way To Get To Know Your New Students!
I dreamed this up because I thought it would not only be a fun icebreaker, but it would make an instant and really cute bulletin board as well.
You can do these with your students the first week of school as a get-to-know-you activity, or you can tuck the directions and a tan construction paper cookie into your Open House Packet for parents to help their child with, and then they can bring their cookie on the first day of school for them to hold up and share with their new friends.
We have our Open House before school starts. If you don't, you can tuck it into your "Welcome to my class" letter / school packet that many teachers send out during the summer or simply send it home the first day of school.
Use my pattern, or revamp it to make it simpler or a bit more involved to fit the age of your students or the time frame you have allotted to complete it in class.
Take a photo of each student on their 1st day of school. I use this photo in all sorts of keepsake things during September until I get their school pix back.
I make black & white copies on the photo setting of our copier and keep them handy, along with other photos that I take in a file folder on my desk.
Click on the link to view/print everything you need to do this back-to-school cookie glyph.
Thank you for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything you think others might find helpful.
I hope you can pop in tomorrow for another back-to-school idea.
"Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some." -Charles Dickens
Getting-To-Know-You Via A Glyph! A Fun Icebreaker For Back-To-School!
During the first few weeks of school, I always tried to plug in quick, easy and fun little ways for my students to get to know their classmates. I felt it helped build community and a caring classroom. It's amazing the diversity we have in our schools today!
Even if you homeschool, this is an interesting activity to do with your kiddos. I'm always surprised at the answers my own children come up with when we're playing games or chatting. Just when I think I really know their tastes and what not, they toss me a curve.
A really fun way to get to know your students is via a Bio-glyph.
This is simply a glyph about oneself, and a great way to learn all sorts of information.
Completed projects make an awesome bulletin board or hallway display.
Here's how: Run off a copy of my masters. The girls will need an oval head, the boys a circle.
I've found that by providing a template for students to follow, things are easier. Little ones tend to draw small and write big ( Go figure...)
When everyone has the appropriate template, read each direction slowly, and then repeat once. Remind your students to listen carefully. Because this is a listening and following directions activity, glyphs provide "proof" that a child is or isn't doing that.
Draw the “kinds” of hair, noses, eyebrows, mouths, ears, and cheeks, on your white board as you read the directions for each one. This will help students know what the various shapes look like, or how curly hair can be drawn.
If you are doing this with older students who can read, simply run off a copy of my master glyph (it provides samples) and pass it out to them. You can also revamp my glyph to make this easier and simpler to fit the age of your students or the time that you have allowed.
Make sure you do one for yourself so that you have an example. I did one for me and one for my husband. He's a wonderful guinnea pig and good sport, who is great for bouncing ideas off of.
As a fun extension, you can number and post the completed bio-glyphs, along with the key, in the hallway so that they flip up. Have students write their names on the BACK of their glyph in such a way, so that when a person flips them up, they can read their name.
Later, for added fun, put a real photograph (1st day of school picture) of the student on the wall, under the glyph. You could also have children become detectives and turn this into a "solve the bio-glyph mystery game."
Set a timer. Give students a certain amount of time to ask questions of their new friends, to help them try and figure out which bio-glyph belongs to whom. They can write down their answers on the "Whose Glyph?" sheet provided.
Which person got the most correct? ( I've included a super-sleuth certificate you can give them.) How did you do? This is a fun way for students to learn about each other and a great ice breaker for back to school.
Or… you can simply have each child come up and share their bio-glyph with the class by explaining it. Click on the link to view/download the Bio-Glyph Packet.
Thanks for visiting. If you're looking for more glyphs, click on the link to pop over to that section of my site. I tried to dream up one for all of the seasons. The Cookie Glyph and Apple Glyph are great for September.
"The sure way to teach easily and successfully, is to awaken interest and kindle enthusiasm." -Tyron Edwards