1-2-3 Come Play I Spy With Me
You can show a child or tell a child, where something is and hopefully they’ll remember. Taking into consideration their short attention spans and roving thoughts, young children may look like they’re listening, but in reality they’re somewhere else.
However, if you involve them, with some sort of hands-on activity, chances are you'll not only have their attention, but the information will be solidified.
Put yourself in a 4-year-old's place. It's warm, you're tired and some big person is droning on showing you where "stuff" is. Yawn.... Instead: "How would you like to become detectives and go around the room spying stuff?" Yippee! A game; movement to get the wiggles out. Wahoo!
With this in mind, I designed a sort of scavenger hunt for the important things in your classroom. It's a quick, easy and fun little "find it now, before you really need to..." activity.
I tried to think of the things that were important for my Y5's to know where they were located and then searched for clip art to make a map of sorts.
So that you can clarify things, show the paper to your students and point to the pictures asking "What's this?" Hearing the vocabulary will also help any ESL students that you might have. Explain what you want them to do (find the things and zap them with an X, or color them.)
Pass out the papers and turn them loose. I had a class set of clipboards that made students feel especially official and important. You can buy them at The Dollar Store; they are well worth the investment. I used them for read & write the room, science data collection, games, and interview writing, to name just a few ways I incorporated them.
If you are NOT lucky enough to have a bathroom and sink in your room, take your kiddos down the hall to your restrooms, to complete the activity and have a potty break at the same time.
I hope you found something here to make your life a bit easier. Be sure and pop by tomorrow for another back-to-school FREEBIE.
"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!" -Unknown
123 Come Color With Me!
Color words were an important part of my word wall.
My Y5’s easily learned these because I included them in so many easy reader booklets, which really helped build their self-esteem.
This booklet Helps with Common Core State Standard: RF.K.1b
Students TRACE, WRITE, COLOR, & GLUE their way through 10 color words. (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, black, brown and white.)
It’s really a fun way to reinforce learning how to read, write and spell color words while reinforcing cutting skills as well as listening and following directions!
You can work on one page a day (perfect for Word Work for your Daily 5 activities) or one a week if you do "Color of the Week" like I did.
This is a great booklet for a portfolio as well, because it shows student improvement.
If you feel that color words are part of your "high frequency word list" then this activity would also help with Common Core State Standard: RF.K.3c
Click on the link to view/download My Color Words
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you can pop back tomorrow for more back to school ideas.
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“What comes from the heart goes to the heart.” -Samuel Taylor Coleridge
If You Take A Mouse To School and If You Give A Mouse A Cookie: Fun Back To School Books
Whenever I can, I like to make up lessons that go with favorite books. It’s a plus to have an activity that reinforces standards, for students to transition to, after reading a story.
Students read the sentence, then trace and write the letters. When everyone is done, read the booklet as a whole group to review concepts of print as well as upper and lowercase letters.
Run off a set of the 52 upper and lowercase mouse letter cards, laminate and cut them apart. Pass them out to your students. As you read the story, whomever has those letter cards drops them into the mouse pail.
To make a mouse to "feed", run off my template, cut him out, glue him to brown construction paper and slit the line above the letter box. Staple a Quaker oat box or Baggie behind the slit.
Besides the easy reader, this 32-page packet includes:
The packet will help with Common Core State Standards: RF.K1d & L.1.1a. Click on the link to view/download If You Give A Mouse A Letter Packet
Shapes are another standard that my Y5's have to master, so I also did an If You Give A Mouse A Shape packet.
Here you'll find two easy readers, two graphing extensions + several worksheets.
One easy reader is entitled: If You Give A Mouse A Shape (These are 2D shapes.)
The other is: If You Give A Mouse a 3D Shape.
Along these same lines, is the If You Take A _________ To School class-made book, where students think up another animal they'd like to take to school and then write and illustrate their page.
I've also included the Mary Had A Little Lamb nursery rhyme in this packet.
Thanks for visiting today. I'm onto yet another project. So many fun things to do, so little time... I bet you can relate.
“Little by little does the trick!” –Abraham Lincoln
1-2-3 Come Make A Back-To-School Kitty Craft With Me
A kajillion years ago, just before I was student teaching, I had a professor ask us to bring 3 things in a lunch bag that represented us. We’d be sharing it as an icebreaker during our next class.
I really liked this idea and filed it away in my brain, thinking it would be fun to do with my “someday” students. Many “some days” have come and gone and I’ve since seen variations of the “me bags” all over the Internet and on Pinterest.
When I was an aide, only ½ a jillion years ago, I did a writing prompt with my 2nd graders entitled: “The Cat’s Out Of The Bag.” I had an “all about me” checklist, written on a cat’s belly, that they filled out and then read to their classmates.
Later, they colored, cut and glued the cat, to the outside of a brown lunch bag, and after sharing them with their classmates, they hung their cat on the front of their lockers, so passers by could also get to know them.
My kiddos really enjoyed doing them, and we got lots of compliments from hallway visitors. I thought this would be a nice creative twist to my icebreaker bag of long ago.
Here’s what you do:
Make up your own personal “Cat bag” and share it with your students so they get to know a little bit about you too. I included a family photo, (my students always thought it was cool that I have an identical twin), a small stuffed poodle to represent our pet Chloe, a tiny book because I love to read, a pen because I love to write, and paintbrush because I enjoy art.
No matter what grade I taught, I always made samples. My students really enjoyed getting to know me this way, as well as being able to “see” something and refer to it, as they worked on their own project.
Examples also made things easy to explain and acted as an attention grabber as well. Run off the note to the parents, along with the cute cat and “The cat’s out of the bag” sign. There are two on a page to save paper.
Attach them to a brown lunch bag and send them home with students on the first day of school, or during your Open House.
Not only is this an easy and fun way to get to know your students, it will afford an opportunity to give them some practice sharing in front of their new friends.
This is a wonderful alternative to Show and Tell. Plan to have 2-3 children (or as many as time will allow) share their bag each day during snack time, or at the end of the day before dismissal.
Click on the link to view/download The Cat’s Out Of The Bag packet. Thanks for visiting today. Do you have a getting-to-know-you project or icebreaker you’d be willing to share with us? I’d enjoy hearing from you. email@example.com or post a comment here.
Feel free to PIN away. My "Pin it" button is at the top on the menu bar. To check out more back-to-school ideas, click on the link, and stay tuned for more articles with lots of FREEBIES through out the summer.
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you can help them become what they are capable of becoming.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
An Apple (Activity) A Day Keeps Boredom Away!
One of my favorite units that I did with my Y5’s was APPLES.
I think they really enjoyed it too, as visiting an apple orchard and picking 3 different kinds of apples was our first fieldtrip.
I feel it’s important to have lots of hands-on centers for little ones, to help them increase fine motor skills through cutting and gluing.
Doing centers helps with a variety of life skills and forces them to listen in order to follow directions.
As they become independent, they are empowered and their self-esteem soars.
Seeing their creations hung on our “Wall of Fame” in the hallway, also helped give them a sense of pride.
Knowing I was going to display their work, was a good incentive, to give their best effort.
Through art, I could also incorporate reading, writing, math, and science; sometimes all of them in one quick project, which covered a variety of report card standards.
The 92 – page Apple Art Projects Book has a large variety of activities in it and includes directions, patterns and pictures.
These make terrific center activities, something for students to do when they have completed other work, a nice home-school connection project to be given as homework, or something to tuck in your substitute folder.
The results are wonderful back to school bulletin boards, or hallway and door displays. Some can be suspended from the ceiling.
The crayon-melt apple poem was one of my favorites.
The poem introduced my students to rhyme; the rhyme taught them the science fact they needed to learn about apples; twisting the 3 color crayons through a sharpener was a terrific fine motor skill, and the result after I put a sheet of wax paper over their shavings and applied a warm iron was awesome!
I also reinforced the 3 colors with this rip and tear apple, which strengthened finger muscles as well.
Students enjoyed making the Life Cycle of an Apple on a paper plate, which was a quick and easy way to get some science in.
Click on the link to view/download the Apple Art Projects Packet.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope you can stop by tomorrow for more back to school ideas.
Do you have an apple activity that you could share with us? I’d enjoy hearing from you! firstname.lastname@example.org or take a moment and post a comment here.
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“We should say to each [child]: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique -- you may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven.
You have the capacity for anything!” –Pablo Casals
More Chicka Boom Stuff!
I LOVE using file folders with children because they are relatively inexpensive and I have 4 pages I can fill up with “cool stuff”.
Because they are made of heavy-duty cardstock, they can also handle the abuse of 4-year-olds or the soggy “oops” of too much glue as well.
My kiddo’s also enjoyed them because they were something different and something “older” people used, so they felt extra special.
After reading Chicka Boom have your students put together their “lap files”. Choose whatever things you are going to study with them.
This 67-page packet includes:
Chicka chicha boom boom, I hope you enjoy all of the new kids in your classroom!
Click on the link to view/download the Picka Chicka Chicka Boom Activity File Folder Packet
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"Losers are people who are afraid of losing.” –Robert Kiyosaki
Using Chicka Boom Boom To Help Teach A Common Core Standard
You might have noticed that any item in the shopping cart, that has to do with learning the upper and lowercase letters of the alphabet, now has Common Core RF:K.1d in the description.
I ran off a copy of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Kindergarten and First Grade and am going through each standard and then finding all of the items on my shopping cart that will help teach that standard and labeling it with that standard.
Since I have so many items that help teach upper and lowercase letters, I thought I’d start there.
I hope teachers will find this helpful. I also want to make positive affirmation cards for you, as well as take a crack at assessments and certificates when students pass the standard.
I plan to work on this each day throughout the summer. I feel there is a real need out there for this information, as there are only a handful of states that haven’t jumped on the bandwagon and teachers don’t have enough time to prep all of this.
I hope to have the shopping cart cataloged by the end of summer. It would be so helpful, if you are downloading an item, because you find it will be helpful for a specific CCSS, and you see that I don’t have it marked, if you would please take a moment to shoot me an e-mail and tell me what standard you are using it for.
If everyone would do that, who is using items for CCSS, I could get this job done so much faster, and everyone would benefit! email@example.com
It’s a bit labor intensive for me, because there are no standards for Y5’s, so I never had to worry about them.
I’ve been spending lots of time doing research online learning about Common Core and picking my teacher friends’ brains. Anyway….thanks in advance.
One of my hottest downloads that teach CCSS RF:K.1d is my Chicka Boom Activities packet.
This packet is great for the first week of school and a fun way to help your students learn about their classmates, as you include their photo on the coconuts and write their names in alphabetical order in your first class book!
I LOVE the Chicka Boom books; they were certainly a favorite read aloud for my students, and are perfect for back to school.
Click on the link to view/download the Chicka Boom Activities packet.
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"Dear teacher. I like to talk to everyone, so moving my seat won't help."
I’m A Te-rrific Student T-shirt Writing Prompt.
This is a really fun end-of-the-year activity, but could also be a wonderful way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year too! Use as an icebreaker for the first week.
The hands in the photo are neon orange. The feet are much larger, but I took the shot with Elliot upside down, so they look smaller, they are actually much bigger than the hands. Because this artwork is so big, when I took the photo feet fist, the head looked shrunken. Oh my!
Anyway, you get the idea. I know yours will turn out really cute and be a great keepsake that your students will enjoy making.
I've included 2 different headings on the shorts so you have that option to use at the end or beginning of the year.
The end of the year shorts say: My short shorts of what I want to do this summer, The one for the beginning of the school year says: My short shorts of what I did this summer.
Run off copies of the t-shirt and shorts on a variety of brightly colored construction paper. Students will fill in the writing prompts and cut the clothing shapes out. Buy a few pair of wacky sunglasses at The Dollar Store in bright colors. Have your students put a pair on and take a head shot of them.
Print the photo off in black and white and enlarge them on the copier. Students color the sunglasses in with a magic marker to compliment the color of their T-shirt or shorts. Students trace their hand and foot on a folded sheet of bright or neon-colored construction paper. By cutting on a folded piece of paper they will get a pair of hands and feet.
Children glue their hands to the cuffs of the T-shirt and their feet to the bottom of the shorts. These paper kids make an adorable wall display. Run them under the ceiling, as a border in your hallway.
For another writing extension, I’ve also included a T-shirt where students can list all the Te-riffic things they’ve learned during the year, jotting down the thing they feel they are the most terrific at.
Click on the link to view/download Te-riffic Student T-Shirt Writing Prompt
Feel free to PIN away on my site. I think sharing is so important.
Do you have something that you do as an icebreaker that you could share with us? I'd enjoy hearing from you. firstname.lastname@example.org You can also leave a comment here. If everyone adds to each other's bag of tricks how easy our lives become! Thanks in advance.