1-2-3 Come Do Some Interesting "Craftivities" With Me
Congratulations! You're heading down the home stretch. The first and last month of school arrive quickly and seem to be the most hectic.
One of the things that helped me check a few more things off my "to do" list, was several "Welcome Back To School" activities and bulletin boards that my current students made for my next year's kiddos.
This served a dual purpose, as it gave my Y5's something to do when I was running out of ideas for make up snow days, plus accomplished decorating and making a few things, so I didn't have to do them by myself come August.
Here's a photo of my completed apple back to school bulletin board, with a close up of my sample. I made sure that all of these children were still in our school before I passed out the apples to my kiddos.
Since Kindergarten and Y5's had the same lunch hour it was fun for them to look for their older new friend. Simply use any apple dicut. We ran ours through a crinkle machine.
With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to design several things that your current sweeties could make for your incoming kiddos, as well as a keepsake for themselves if you wanted to do the entire packet.
The "Tree-mendous" Year craftivies include the writing prompt: You're going to have a "tree-mendous" year in ______ grade, where students cut and color a tree and then flip it up to reveal their message to the new student. What a nice surprise for them to find on or in their desk, on the first day of school.
The packet also includes a tree that they help design by tracing their hand (fingers spread to make the branches) plus part of their arm (which becomes the trunk).
The caption here is: I had a "tree-mendous" year in __________ grade.
The treetop is 3D as students cut out two, fold them in half and then glue one side of them together. Add some red circles (apples) to the flat side and have students write some of their very favorite things, people, and places that revolved around that grade. Add a photo for the finishing touch.
Click on the link to view/download The "Tree-mendous" Year packet.
Another option, with the same idea, is The "Bee-utiful" Year packet. Students make a bumblebee out of a toilet paper tube using yellow construction paper, black electrical tape (stripes), cupcake liners (wings) and a pipe cleaner (antennae).
I've included a bee pattern with a face drawn in for them to color, or they can use the oval and design their own. Add wiggle eyes for a bit more pizzazz.
Students complete the writing prompt page that says: I'm wishing you a bee-utiful year in __________. Here's the buzz about what you'll learn and then roll it up and insert it inside the TP tube.
For an easier writing prompt, I've included 2 bookmark options that can also be rolled up and put inside the bumblebee, which say: "You'll have a great year bee-cause..." or "My favorite things about 'bee-ing' a first grader:" (Fill in the blank with your grade level.)
Click on the link to view/download the "Bee-utiful" Year packet.
Along the same lines, is the larger bee craftivity, where students make a big bee with wax paper wings and complete the writing prompt: "You're going to have a great year 'bee-cause'"... in a little apple booklet that they glue to the bee's tummy.
This makes a sweet back-to-school bulletin board as well. A caption could be: What's the buzz about kindergarten?
When your own students have time to get some work done for their own bulletin board, take this one down and give everyone a bee. Click on the link to view/download the "Bee-cause" packet.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. If you'd like to see some more end-of-the year activities, click on the link to zip on over to June to grab even more FREEBIES.
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." -Muhammad Ali
1-2-3 Come Make A Keepsake With Me!
I’m Surviving In School is a quick, easy and fun way to get students to practice their writing skills.
Graphic organizers are extremely beneficial for visual learners and help students organize their thoughts and think succinctly. These mini-writing prompts are more do-able and less intimidating. Doing a page at the end of each month, is a terrific Daily 5 activity, or independent writing center. Alphabetize the booklets and number them, so students can quickly and easily find theirs to work on. These are a great addition to a portfolio or file, to share with parents, during conferences, as they should show marked improvements along the way. Completed books make an outstanding keepsake.
Encourage students to use proper capitalization, punctuation, spaces, adjectives etc. and you have covered a lot of Common Core State Standards as well. There’s a generic cover as well as covers for preschool through 6th grade. Define what an adjective is and why using describing words are important. Pass out markers and have students write adjectives that describe themselves, in each bubble box on their cover. Explain that they can add more words as the year progresses. To make this extra special, have students glue their school picture inside the bus. You may want to make a booklet yourself, to use as an example to help explain things each month. Students really enjoy learning about their teacher.
The pages are geared from easy to more difficult as students advance. Later, explain to them that instead of just a list, you want them to write sentences. You can also have them start with the header, so that they are working on a complete sentence with proper capitalization, instead of just answering the topic. i.e. Favorite food: My favorite food is pizza. Later, have them expand their thoughts even more, by explaining why and adding adjectives: i.e. My favorite junk food is pizza, because I like spicy pepperoni.
To get in more fine motor practice and add some pizzazz to the pages, have students use colored markers, pencils and crayons. In the Me... section, students practice writing their name and drawing a self-portrait. This is especially important for preschool and kindergarten students. In the beginning, younger kiddo’s can draw a picture of how they feel, with a happy or sad (etc.) face. They will be limited to 1-word answers in the boxes. You can also opt to have students do these 1-on-1 with a helper, who writes down their answers, or send a page home as homework to be returned in a week.
Click on the link to view/download the I'm Surviving School, monthly-writing prompt booklet. If you're looking for another fun keepsake book, that students can write in monthly, check out The Very Hungry Student. Children write what they learned each month. Of course they are still hungry for more, so they move on to the next month... The rhyming text makes it a fun read-aloud. There's a page in the back for students' autographs. It's also a nice way to review the names of the months and a super way to show progress/improvement to parents. Click on the link to view/download The Very Hungry Student.
I also have an entire year's worth of writing prompts. Each month's writing prompts are based on popular stuff that's going on during that time frame. Click on the link to view/download the Monthly Writing Prompts packet.
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"Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why!" -Bernard Baruch
Read To Succeed!
One of the most requested items from teachers is “easy readers.” They say that they need more little booklets for students to work on during Daily 5 as well as ones to send home so that students can practice reading them to their families.
I like to make up easy readers that also reinforce additional standards like math, science, colors, etc. so that I get more “bang for my time buck” so to speak.
I also want my students to have an opportunity to write some of the main words in the easy readers to get practice with those skills too.
I dabble with goofy endings, or ones with a unique twist, and sometimes allow students to think of an alternative ending, so that they can use their imaginations.
One of my biggest pet peeves with many published easy readers was that they abruptly ended with no real conclusion.
This week I completed several.
My Mom is perfect for a Mother’s Day writing prompt and reinforces the use of adjectives and verbs. Make it even more of a keepsake by having students glue their school photo to the last page.
Click on the link to view/download My Mom Mother’s Day booklet.
Several teachers wanted a booklet that reviewed the seasons.
Since many of you also study trees, I thought it would be nice to combine the two.
The Seasons Of My Tree (photo top right) does just that, with a cute twist at the end, that I’m sure your students will enjoy dreaming up.
Click on the link to view/download The Seasons Of My Tree
Who Invited The Ants To The Picnic? (photo bottom right) is a sweet pre-summer, easy reader that reinforces number words and counting to 10. It provides an opportunity for students to write two alternative endings to the story.
Click on the link to view/download Who Invited The Ants To The Picnic
I just finished story cards for the old-fashioned tune, The Ants Go Marching. So if you'd like to incorporated these with the picnic booklet, or teach your little ones this fun counting song, click on the link to view/download
The Ants Go Marching story cards.
I hope you enjoy these new booklets. If there’s something special you’re looking for, just shoot me an e-mail and I’ll see what I can whip together. email@example.com
I’ve found that if one teacher needs it, there’s sure to be many more out there who do too! i.e. I only had 1 request for some activities with an Angry Bird's theme and Angry Birds Activities & Angry Birds Shapes, are two of my most popular downloads!
Thanks for visiting; feel free to PIN anything that you feel might be helpful to a parent or teacher.
I hope you can stop by tomorrow for more tips.
Tag You're It! Now You Make A Picture!
I am over the moon excited over Tagxedo! It’s a website that turns words, famous speeches, poems, quotes, etc. into a VISUALLY stunning word cloud.
Click on the link to check it out. Tagxedo The possibility of ideas is endless. Here are a few that I dreamed up for up-coming spring activities:
The site is simple to use, so that even K students can be shown how to type in a list of words and create a special piece of art that can also become a card.
Brainstorm a list of words with students; write them on the board; students choose the ones appropriate for them and type them in.
These are three that I made for Mother’s Day. You can use mine, or have students describe their mom and make their own. Click on the link to view/download the Mother’s Day word pictures.
Different fonts, colors and shapes are available to choose from, so each child will come up with a unique keepsake for their mommy.
Another activity that you could do, is to have students make up a list of adjectives that describe them.
Students make a word picture about themselves entitled “ME”. I chose the handprint shape for mine, but they could choose whatever shape that represents them, such as a shape from their favorite sport, a ballerina, their age, their initial etc.
Teacher's could also make a "High Fives!" word art picture for each one of their students as a card for preschool or kindergarten graduation, or as a certificate for going into the next grade.
I've also made, "Look Who's Leaping Into ______ Grade!" filled with fun words associated with the school year. There's also a matching bookmark or slap bracket to go along with the certificates.
Click on the "Look Who's Leaping!" template to view/download mine, or design your own with words specific to you and your school.
Tagxedo also has an awesome gallery featuring famous people. Two of my favorites are Abe Lincoln and Martin Luther King.
How perfect to use word art, when studying these men. Have students plug in a speech, or adjectives they feel describe them.
What a wonderful vocabulary builder and great independent computer center to practice keyboarding skills! It’s also a fun way for students to illustrate a poem or short story that they wrote!
I’m always looking for different ways for students to use Dolch and CVC words, so I typed in the various lists of Dolch and CVC words to make cute anchor charts. I made a header that says: How many words can you spy?
Students LOVE “I Spy” and “Where’s Waldo?” books, so this is yet another way to immerse children in word work in a fun way. Run off copies of the various word pictures and have students “spy” the words in the collage.
Have them jot down the words as they find them and then, for another activity, students can alphabetize their list.
Have students make tally marks next to each word to see how many times they found it in the word picture, to reinforce yet another standard!
I've included an apple word art picture for all of the Dolch words for the following lists: pre-primer, kindergarten, first, second and third, + an apple for all of the Dolch nouns and an anchor chart that lists all of the words in their separate categories.
There are 8 CVC word posters. The shape depicts a CVC word. i.e. dog, pig, key etc. I've included an alphabetical list of all of the 338 CVC words used on the word art posters. Click on the links for the Dolch Word Picture Packet, CVC Word Picture Packet
I also thought it would be cute to make a graduation certificate using those themed-words. Click on the link to view/download the Kindergarten Graduation certificate word picture.
It’s also a great way to plug in new vocabulary as it relates to the various science themes that you study, like butterflies.
Click on the link to view/download the Butterfly Word Picture anchor chart.
As you can tell, I had an absolute blast on this site and hope you do to! Do you have a fun site that you relish?
I’d enjoy hearing from you firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to post a comment here, especially if you use one of my ideas.
I hope you can pop by tomorrow for more ideas. Feel free to PIN anything you think others would find helpful. Thanks for visiting!
Spin A Story Wheels
Looking for a way to spice up your Writing Center or add something different to your Daily 5?
Include a Spin A Story Wheel and help motivate your students to WANT to write!
Students spin the wheel 3-4 times and write sentences or a 1-paragraph story and include the picture ideas in them.
Challenge students who are writing sentences to try and write one sentence incorporating ALL 4 picture prompts!
Click on the various links for the Spring-Summer Spin A Story Wheels.
For your convenience, if you’d like the entire collection, I’ve bundled them up in one download as well.
Write on and happy spinning!
Be sure and pop back tomorrow for more teacing tips!