1-2-3 Come Stuff a Backpack With Me
Things really seem to fly after Memorial Day, as teachers everywhere are counting down the days to summer. However, some of us have those dreaded snow days to make up, and our districts don’t get out ’til the middle of June!
The packet is very versatile, as it can be used in a variety of ways for the beginning or end of the year, with activities geared towards the very young, as well as older elementary students too.
It’s loaded with plenty of options to choose from: writing prompts that act like a memory book; writing prompts that offer advice for next year’s students, or writing-prompt "clues" that are played as a game. Completed projects make sweet bulletin boards or hallway decorations too.
The Backpack Packet Includes:
An “Our Year Was Packed With Learning & Stuffed With Fun!” class-made book. This writing prompt comes in a full-page size, as well as two-on-a-page, with full-color cover pages for both.
It's a fun writing prompt for the end of the year. Collate and keep to share with your new students in the fall. I've included a completed sample.
The supply-filled backpack option says: ”There’s a whole lot of learning & fun packed into _________________.”
Children fill in their grade level and color the picture. The front flap flips up or over, to reveal the writing prompt. This younger-elementary choice, can be used like a memory book, where children write about their favorite activities, or they could also make this for your new students as well.
Another backpack writing prompt option is the "School was cool, this I know. I’m all packed up and ready to go. Summer’s here. Hi ho! Hi ho!”
It's a good choice for older students. There are 4 flaps to flip and write under, with a summer option, and a memory-book option: ”School is cool and packed with fun! Here’s a peek of what I’ve done” plus a next year student option. I've also included a blank flap template to fill in with whatever.
My personal favorite is the super-cute ”Kindergarten was packed with learning and stuffed with fun” writing prompt “craftivity”. It includes 7, front-panel options for kindergarten through 3rd grade, with a blank one to fill in with a different grade, plus one for summer.
Students add a cap, accordion-folded “legs” and shoes (there are 3-styles to choose from), so that this looks like the back of a child carrying a backpack. The flap flips up to reveal their writing prompt.
I designed this thinking of how adorable my young fives looked on their first day of school. They had brand new backpacks that were so large they made them look like little turtles. One nudge and I'm sure they'd tip over. This memory always made me smile.
”Backpack. Pack on your back. Help us guess what’s in your sack.” is a backpack guessing game that includes this chant on a poster, with another backpack "craftivity" option.
Students draw a picture under the bottom flap and write 3 clues under the top one, describing their hidden picture. They read one clue at a time, pausing for students to guess what they have in their sack for summer or for school.
Finally, there's a mini flip booklet ”There’s a lot of fun and learning packed into __________(grade).” Students write what they learned, enjoyed and a few of their favorite things on 6-page options. I've included covers in color, plus black & white.
These make a quick, easy & fun memory book, or have students contribute a page to make a class book to share with your new class in the fall.
As always, I've also included directions, tips, tricks, photographs and completed samples for each project.
This "Mini Memories" part of the packet is my featured FREEBIE for you! Click on the link to grab it.
If you'd like to see the entire Backpack Packet, click on the link to pop on over to my TpT store. This 48-page unit is on sale for just $3.95. I hope you enjoy it!
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by. Michigan has finally greened up and exploded with flowers. LOVE springtime when it eventually shows up!
Time to go outside and put the finishing touches on my flower garden.
Wishing you a wonderful end-of-the-year. I hope its packed with fun and stuffed with lots of special memories.
"You can't learn from your mistakes, if you keep denying them." -Unknown
This is a super-simple, end-of-the-year writing prompt that makes a quick and easy memory book, or class book you can share with your next year's kiddos.
These are a few FREEBIES from my Student-Made End of the Year Awards packet.
1-2-3 Come Make A Sweet Keepsake Card With Me
I really enjoy designing things that incorporate standards at the same time creating a keepsake that families will enjoy. With that in mind, I came up with a "berry" special packet.
Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits, and were also popular with my Y5's. They are fun and easy to draw and provide a great play on words.
In the "Berry" Special Packet, I've included templates for both a mom and dad, so you can use this "craftivity" for Mother's Day or Father's Day. There's also a generic one that says: "You are 'berry' special" so students can make this for another significant person as well. This would be fun for Grandparents' Day too.
I've included a pattern to make the leafy portion. Add a bit more pizzazz by making the leaves 3D. Have students cut out two and then fold one in half. Match up the leaves and glue only one section on top of the other.
If you look closely at the photo you'll be able to see how the leaves pop up. Adding a stem and strawberry blossom, gives the card that finishing touch.
Older students can add a second strawberry and "hinge" their card with a small piece of Scotch tape. Children complete the writing prompt, add a bit of color, trim and glue to the inside. Younger students can simply complete just the sentence on the front.
To make things extra special, have students glue on their school picture and make a heart using their thumbprints (see photo).
Leaves can also be made by tracing a child's handprints. I made an example of both, so you can see how they turned out. Click on the link to view/download the "Berry" Special Craftivity.
While I was making my sample, I thought that a mini version of this would make a quick, easy and inexpensive end or beginning of the year gift for students.
"I hope your summer is 'berry' special. Just like you!" or "I'm wishing you a 'berry' special school year!"
Turn this into a sweet treat by attaching your card to a berry-flavored juice box, or package of Wild Berry Skittles and you're set!
Click on the link to view/download the "Berry Special Summer/School Year Gift.
Thanks for visiting today. If you'd like to see more Mother's Day FREEBIES, click on the link to pop over to that section of TeachWithMe. I also have a "pinteresting" pin board with more free Mother's Day ideas, crafts, and activities.
"When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child." -Sophia Loren
1-2-3 Come Do An Owl Craft With Me
Whether you do this activity at the beginning of the school year for a back to school icebreaker, or in the fall for October or November, this owl craftivity is a wonderful way to get to know your students, and for them to get to know their classmates better.
Completed projects make an adorable fall bulletin board. A caption could be: "Owl Stars!" as a play on the words all star.
For those finishing touches, have students cut out their owl, fold the wings inward, and add some highlights with crayons.
Adding a pair of wiggle eyes, stuck on with glue dots, is also cute. I've included owl templates with the pupils missing, so they can be creative.
Where they place the eyes really changes the personality of these cute little critters. They can even make them goofy, like I did in my sample.
There are two options to choose from: Students can make an owl for themselves: "Owl" About Me... or have children pick a partner and make one for that student: "Owl" Be Your Friend.
If you have chosen the personal owl for your kiddos to do, adding their school photo makes this a sweet keepsake.
If you're doing this in October, it's a fun activity for your Halloween party day.
Children can write "Happy 'Owl-oween!" on the back and present the card to their friend.
Click on the link to view/download the Owl Writing Prompt Craftivity.
Thanks for visiting. I'm off to do a zillion and one things that I never have enough time for. Wishing you an energizing day.
"If we were meant to talk more than listen, we would have two mouths and one ear." -- Mark Twain
1-2-3 Come Make A Venn Friend With Me
Venn diagrams are a quick, easy and fun way to help students understand the concepts of comparison and contrast.
I thought making an apple Venn Friend would be a fun way to introduce this type of writing, as well as an interesting way for your students to get to know their new classmates.
It's a nice icebreaker for back to school, or can easily be plugged in during your apple activities. This "craftivity" also works well for Daily 5
There are 3 different types of apple Venn friends that you can make with this packet. If you teach preschool or young kinders (Y5's) who are just learning to recognize and write their names, you may want to do the letter Venn friend.
Run the letter tiles off on white paper. Students can easily add a bit of color to the black striped letters if they want to.
Students choose a partner to make a name Venn Friend with. Each pair of students needs only one upper and lowercase letter sheet.
To make this "craftivity" really pop, I used yellow and red 8" paper plates. You can get a pack of 20 at The Dollar Store. To expedite things, pre cut the plates, as well as the brown stems and leaves. I also trimmed off the tab on the file folders
Run off the file folder labels. Each pair of students needs only one sheet. They trim and glue to their file folder, writing their names in the spaces provided. (See photo.) I outlined the labels to add a bit more pizzazz and added school photos for that finishing touch.
Children add a bit of detail with markers to their stem and leaves. They can glue these to the front of their apple "plate" or you can come around with a stapler. They glue the white "same" section in the middle of their file folder, and then glue their apple plates on either side.
I always made samples to share with my students. A picture is really worth a 1,000 words, in helping to explain things. You could use your husband/wife or a friend for the 2nd Venn diagram. I'm sure your students will get a kick out of learning your first name. Mine were amazed that I even had one!
Children cut out only the letters that they need for their Venn diagram. So that students can use these letter tiles for other things, like Daily 5 word work, have them toss the extra letters in an alphabet box.
Looking at their names on the labels, children sort what letters are the same, and which ones are different from their partner. They glue them in the appropriate places on their Venn friend file folder diagram.
To add a bit of math to this activity, students count up how many letters they each have in their name. After adding a bit of color to their apple label, they write in the number of letters in each of their names and put a < = > symbol in the center of the green apple.
You can also have students add the total of letters in both of their names, as well as the total number of similar letters. Later, you can graph who had the highest Venn friend total of letters, as well as the greatest and least amount of similar letters. Did any team have zero letters for their "same" section?
Have students share their Venn friend with the rest of the class. Completed projects make an awesome fall bulletin board. This craft is also a wonderful extension after reading the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. If you don't want to do an apple-theme, use tan or brown paper plates as coconuts.
Another option for the paper plate, apple-Venn friends craftivity, is to have students compare and contrast their new friend.
This is an easy and fun way for them to get to know each other better. The whole class will become more knowledgeable as well, when students share their completed projects.
I found that the better my students knew each other, the more apt they were to become friends. This generated a caring community in the classroom, where students truly enjoyed being part of our team.
I've followed pretty much the same format in this file folder Venn friend, except that instead of letters, students each jot down similarities and differences.
I've provided a checklist with 41 ideas that they can chat about with their partner. This will hopefully jumpstart their writing and help students be more in-depth when finding out about their classmate, as well as ensure a nice variety of Venn friends.
I've also included a whole-group graphing activity: Did students find that they were more similar or more different than their Venn friend?
Finally, if you don't want to fiddle with paper plates, I've created flat apple templates that work in the same way.
To jazz things up, I've included Willie the worm. Run the pattern off on lime green construction paper.
Instead of labels that say "different" I used worms. Simply make a slit in each side of their apple, and have students color, trim, insert and glue.
Click on the link to view/download the Apple Venn Friends packet. These "craftivities" are different enough that you could actually do both. The letter Venn diagram is a simple icebreaker for the first week of school, and the flat apple Venn can be done during your apple activities, later in September.
I like to revisit certain activities, but with a new theme or twist, as my students feel empowered and can get right down to business, because they are familiar with the directions.
Keeping that in mind, you may want to do a few other seasonal Venn friends when those months roll around. I have a heart one for February, a Leprechaun Venn friend for March, a Bunny Venn for April and a Tulip Venn Friend for May. I'm currently working on a pumpkin one for October, an acorn for November, a gingerbread one for December and a snowman Venn friend for January.
Thanks for visiting. I can't believe it took me most of the day to get this done and blogged about. Time for some fresh air. Wishing you a wonderful school year filled with lots of Venn friends.
"Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers." - Josef Albers
1-2-3 Come Have A Wonderful Year With Me
I know some of you have already started back to school, but that's hard for us midwesterners to wrap our heads around, because here in Michigan (Wisconsin too), Labor Day weekend is our last hurrah, before back to school officially starts on Tuesday.
With that in mind, I wanted to wish all of my teacher friends a wonderful year. I hope it's the best one yet. To everyone else out there in cyber space, Happy Labor Day weekend!
It is so true, and rather mind boggling, to realize the power that teachers wield in the classroom, and the amount of impact we have on our students' lives. The huge responsibility that entails, should be dutifully noted.
I designed this little poster, so that you can hang it up inside your teacher's cupboard or closet, as a gentle reminder.
If you like it; print off some copies for your teacher friends and tuck them in their mailboxes, as a thoughtful way to wish them a wonderful year.
Likewise, may yours be filled with excitement and plenty of memory-making moments. Click on the link to grab a copy of the Superpowers of a Teacher poster.
Thanks for visiting today. As always, feel free to PIN away. I for one, get a lot of "pinspiration" from that website, which really gets my creative juices flowing! So many ideas...so little time.
Since it's the start of Labor Day weekend, it's only fitting that I happily labor away designing some sweet little goodies, to hopefully make your life easier, and learning-- a bit more fun.
Later, when my sweetie gets home, the relaxation party can get started! Hoping your weekend is filled with everything and everyone you enjoy the most.
"Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere." -Chinese Proverb
1-2-3 Come Do Some Shapely Games And Kissing Hand Activities With Me
Since The Kissing Hand Activities have been such popular downloads, I thought I'd make a few more. I've had some requests for shape activities, specifically for Audrey Penn's back to school story, so I thought I'd start there, and do something with her main character, Chester the raccoon.
While I putzed with drawing a raccoon, I thought it would be fun to make his eyes and nose the various shapes, as a hand's on game, or whole-group assessment activity. Thus, Shaping Up With Chester was born.
I've included the shapes: circle, oval, square, rectangle, triangle, hexagon, pentagon, octagon, trapezoid, rhombus, star and heart, so teachers would have a choice of what shapes they want to work on.
The packet includes an option where the eyes, nose and bow can all be changed into all of those shapes.
The photo shows an example of each one. It's a bit difficult to see, but I've written the shape word on the center of the bows, which are also that shape.
Since this involves quite a few pieces, I suggest teachers make these to use as anchor chart posters, large flashcards or a bulletin board.
Make an extra set to use as an independent math center for early finishers, or to send home with a struggling child.
There's also a raccoon template with only the nose missing. Chester's eyes are filled in, ready for students to color.
Run these off on gray construction paper. Students color in details with crayons, and then trim.
I've included a strip of nose shapes for them to color and then cut out, to be used as manipulatives for the game. You could also use my patterns, make a template of each shape, trace once and then cut 3-6 nose shapes out of black construction paper.
To play the game, have a child choose a shape word card. Show it to the class and read it together. Children find that shape, place it in the nose position on their raccoon, and then raise their hand. You can see at a glance who is having difficulty.
If you want to check to see if students can identify the shapes by hearing the word, and use this as a whole group assessment tool, then use the cards with only the shape word on them.
If you want to help little ones learn the shapes, use the word cards that also have a picture of the shape on them, as seen in the photo.
Since part of the Common Core State Standards for shapes, includes spatial directions, you may want to include some, while children play the game. i.e. "Put the rectangle nose under Chester's eyes, between his smile, above his neck etc."
Throw in a few silly ones to review the not-quite-appropriate spatial directions and inspire a bit of giggling. i.e. "Put Chester's oval nose over his eye, behind his ear, on his mouth etc. "
Encourage students to play the shape identification game at home, having parents call out the different shape words. Children could also choose their favorite shape, glue down the nose, and write the shape word on the back of their raccoon. For a cute hallway display, suspend them from the ceiling. A caption could be: "Mr(s.) ___________ kinders are really shaping up!"
The packet also includes a mini-trace and write shape booklet, where students color the shapes, trace and write the shape words, and then trace and draw the shapes.
When they are done, they trim the pages, collate them and add a cover. There are two cover options. Click on the link to view/download The Kissing Hand Shape Activities and Games packet. This packet will be FREE for an entire year, after which time it will be included in my jumbo Kissing Hand (Raccoon-Themed) Shape Packet available in my TpT shop.
Thanks for visiting today. It's that perfect kind of afternoon, where the weather is just right, so I'm off to hike some trails with my hubby. I'm sure Chloe, our poodle pup, will happily lead the way. Wishing you an awesome nature-filled weekend too.
"The expert in anything was once a beginner." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some Back To School Writing With Me
Here's a quick, easy and fun writing prompt for back to school. Completed projects look awesome dangling from the ceiling, swirling and twirling as they wave so long to summer, and hello to a brand new school year.
Even if you've already started back, summer's not technically over 'til the first day of fall (September 23rd) so you can easily incorporate this craftivity into your writing block, or Daily 5 activities.
Give students a variety of construction paper-color choices, to trace their hand and arm on. They trim and cut out. Run off the writing prompt rectangles. I've included templates for preschool through 8th grade.
Students color and complete the prompt, using words and phrases about things pertaining to their summer, as well as the new grade that they're in.
Younger students can do this with the help of their parents at Open House or Meet the Teacher Night. If you don't have one, tuck the activity in their backpacks for a nice home-school connection.
Students glue the summer prompt to the front of their hand, and the school one, to the back. For a bit more pizzazz, children can draw on polished fingernails and jewelry. (I used a flat-backed rhinestone to make a ring.)
Be sure and make a sample of your own to help explain what you want your students to do. This is also an interesting way for them to get to know you a little better.
I've included my writing samples, so that you can easily make an example if you don't have time to make one of your own.
After students share, punch a hole in a finger tip, add a yarn tie and suspend from the ceiling. Your caption could be "High Fives For Wonderful Writing."
I didn't dangle these samples from my ceiling, but you can get an idea from the photo, of how colorful and really cool your students' completed projects will look.
Click on the link to view/download the So Long Summer; Hello School Year Writing Prompt craftivity.
Thanks for visiting today. It's pouring outside my window, giving me a sleepy kind of feeling --the perfect day for doing all sorts of crafty things, or perhaps snuggling into a good book. Wishing you a relaxing day.
"Believe you can and you’re halfway there!" -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do An Apple-icious Writing Activity With Me
Because many teachers decorate with an apple theme, and a lot of children study about apples in the fall, I decided to design a back to school apple icebreaker.
It's a quick, easy and fun way to get to know your new students. Be sure and make a sample to help explain what you want them to do, as well as an interesting way, for them to get to know you too.
Students complete the writing prompts and then color their apples in an ABC pattern.
I chose this pattern, because apples come in 3 colors, and I wanted to toss in a bit of science as well as math, plus it helps younger students to use more than only one color, which they are notorious for.
By having them cut their apple out, you provide an opportunity for practice, and can see at a glance who is having difficulty with fine motor skills.
If you take a first day of school photo, make copies and trim, so that students can glue one to their leaf, for that finishing touch.
Completed projects make a sweet bulletin board. (A new crop of kids, Kindergarten is a bushel of fun, The apple of Mr(s). ______'s eye, apple-icious work are just a few captions.
I've included 3 samples to give you some ideas of what children can share. An example will help jumpstart their minds and set them in the right direction.
There's also a blank apple for you to fill in with whatever information you'd like to learn about your students.
Click on the link to view/download the Apple Icebreaker Packet.
Thanks for visiting today. It's Friday and that means garage sales! (Woo hoo.)
I'm off in search of more treasures to fill up my already too-full basement! As a teacher, you can probably relate to suffering from the Pack Rat Syndrome.
"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow." -Anthony J. D'Angelo