## Dollar Word Challenge

21 pages.

The Dollar Word packet covers addition, critical thinking, strategy, cooperative learning, counting, and parts of speech.  It's a great Daily-5 word work activity, as well as perfect for your 100-Day celebration.

## Fun With Dollar Words: 100 Day Word Challenge

1-2-3 Come Add To 100 With Me

I must confess I'm a flitter.  I endeavor to try and stay focused 'til I complete a task, but this proves rather difficult when I'm doing research on the Internet.

One thing leads to another, and pretty soon I find it's late afternoon and I haven't accomplished a thing.  I've enjoyed learning all sorts of trivia, and have added to my already too full list of things I want to design, but I've gotten off the beaten track.   Anyone out there do something similar while planning a lesson?

The result of my craziness, has come up with something I think your students will enjoy, and works well for a 100 Day celebration too.

I stumbled upon several math sites that asked students, "How much is your name worth?"

In order for children to calculate this, each letter is assigned a value according to its position in the alphabet.  i.e., The letter A is worth 1, B is worth 2, all the way up to the letter Z, which is worth 26.

I've included a bookmark key you can run off and give each student, that will make things easier, as well as a valuation worksheet you can also use.

So that younger students don't get confused, I made the numbers in red, green, and blue so that they stand out.

After students get the hang of this concept by adding up their name, challenge them to find a word that is worth 100.  So that I could find a few words, without having to rack my brain, I Googled words worth 100

To my surprise, this led to the term "Dollar" words.  Quite a few teachers all over the planet seem to be challenging their kiddo's to find the value of words.

Just an FYI, do NOT assign this as a homework assignment.  It will defeat the purpose of the lesson.  Any child with access to a computer will find all sorts of online help, lists, and even several sites that will calculate the amounts for them.

Instead, do this activity in class.  You want your students to practice all sorts of standards, as they think up words and add up numbers.

You also want them to have the joy of discovering their own 100-point word, which can be pretty exciting. Click on the link to view/download the 100 Dollar Word packet.

After your students have worked on this assignment in class, you can share 2 word calculation sites that I found: Math Lair. I think it would be fun for them to practice their keyboarding skills, typing in a variety of words, names and numbers to see their values.

I'm not sure who came up with the original idea, as there is a plethora of sites, activities, and information about calculating the value of names, words, etc.  The "game" was also listed in several math-activity books like Math For Smarty Pants by Marilyn Burns.

Perhaps the idea came because of a snide remark by Ernest Hemingway.  William Faulkner, also a prolific writer at the time, stated that "[Hemingway] had never been known to use a word that might send the reader to the dictionary."

In his defense, Hemingway shot back: "Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don't know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right, but there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use."

Thus we have evolved from those ten-dollar words, to the dollar words that are popular today.  If you want to tie this activity into your 100-Day celebration, simply call them 100 dollar words, making each point worth one dollar.

One of the reasons I think this is such a tremendous activity, is because it is a great mental workout, which involves all sorts of other things besides counting and addition.  Students need to come up with a strategy, which involves critical thinking.

So that even young students with limited addition ability, can also do this activity, give students a dictionary and a calculator and set them loose.

So that older students get the much-needed addition practice in, have them figure out their word, and then check it with a calculator.  After they have done a specific amount of "ciphering" allow them to use the calculators, so that they are able to practice more problems.

With so many students working on so many words, teachers may find it difficult to give students immediate feedback, which speeds up the learning process.  However, allowing students to use calculators, to check their answers that they have come up with by themselves, solves the problem and guarantees correct results.

For many younger students, using a calculator is a first-time experience and makes the entire process less frustrating and more fun.  The use of a dictionary helps build vocabulary, reinforces spelling and gives them all sorts of dictionary-skill practice, such as alphabetizing.  You could also introduce your students to a thesaurus if you haven't already done so.

Besides problem-solving math, you can also review parts of speech.  Which words are nouns, verbs, or adjectives?  Did you come up with any compound words?

So that this activity is not overwhelming for your struggling students, break things down.   Are you studying prefixes and suffixes?  Have students make a list of them and give them a value.

A root word may not add up to 100, but how does adding a prefix or suffix help? For example, adding ed to a verb increases its value by 9.  Adding ing to a verb increases its value by 30 and reduces the target value for the root verb to 70.

The strategy then, is  breaking down a large problem into smaller ones that are more easily solved.

Are you stuck at 99? Can you add an S to make the word pluralAdding S to a word increases its value by 19 and reduces the target value for the root word to 81, offering you a teachable moment to review the concept of singular and plural.

Give students a certain amount of time on their own and then break them up into small groups, so they can help each other and work on cooperative learning.

After students have worked on this 100-Day word challenge for the allotted time, give them some help, by suggesting clues for the different "dollar words." For example, "Something you'll find in all bathrooms is this plural dollar word."  Answer: toilets

To make this easy for you, I've done a day's worth of work finding dollar words, so that you don't have to.  I've come up with a list of 740 dollar words!

There are a variety of lists out there with more, but mine is alphabetized, checked, student-appropriate, spelled correctly, does not contain proper names and lists only real words.

To save you even more time, I've also made up a list of clues for 60 dollar words that your students should be familiar with.

Print off my clues and have each student choose one, or have children work in groups with the same clue, to see who can figure it out first.

I've included an answer key for you, so you don't have to strain your brain.

When a dollar word has been correctly identified, give students another clue.

You can award points and give out the Dollar Word certificates to the winners.

So that younger children don't feel left out, I've also included certificates for participation.

Later, share the list and have students find out how many letters the longest dollar word had.

What was the shortest dollar word?  I've included a worksheet for that.  There is one that features the dollar bill if you are doing Dollar words, as well as one with a 100-dollar bill at the top, if you're using this for a 100-Day activity.

Honduras, Milwaukee, and Tallahatchie were all 100-point places that I found.  Kristin, Henrietta, Paulette and Suzanne, were 100-point names, and Wednesday is the day of the week that is worth 100.

Are there dollar words on the list that your students don't know?  Have them choose 10 to look up.

I've included a My Dollar Word or My 100 Dollar Word dictionary for your students to record things in.

This is a wonderful Daily 5- word work activity.
You could also have students use different colored highlighters to show which words are verbs, adjectives, nouns, or compound words.

Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away.

"Teaching is the power to think clearly; the power to act well in world's work, and the power to appreciate life." -Brigham Young

## Martin Luther King Word Searches

3 pages:

Another way to emmerse students with new vocabulary, is by searching for words in a word find.  Here are 2 word searches for Martin Luther King Day (1 for lower el, as well as an upper el version).

## A Dictionary of MLK Words

12 pages.

There is a ton of new vocabulary involved when learning about Martin Luther King.  To help build your students' vocabularies, select whatever words you'd like them to learn, (there's a list of 62) and have them add the words to their MLK Dictionary, where they write, define and use the word in a sentence.

## Happy New Year Fun

1-2-3 Come Do Some New Year "Craftivities" With Me!

One of my favorite childhood memories  was going over to my Grandma Lydia's house for a sleepover with my twin sister Kathie.  "Grama" was one of the most influential people in my life and a big reason I enjoy art and reading so much.

She was a teacher too, back in the day when "rules for teachers" included not wearing a dress that showed your ankles and lighting the pot-bellied stove in the classroom, so she ragaled us with all sorts of wonderful stories, and always had and endless supply of craft ideas to amuse us.

On one particular Saturday morning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it was pouring the proverbial cats and dogs.  Grama decided it was a great day to make something, so she hauled out a roll of "butcher block" paper.

I laid very still on the long sheet of white paper as grama traced the outline of my entire body.  Then she did the same thing for my sister.

Even though we were barely 6-years-old, I still vividly remember designing a lovely "frock" for my "shadow" to wear, complete with rings on all of my fingers that sported hot-pink nail polish.

As the rain pelted against the windows and thunder boomed, we happily colored away.  I highly recommend this activity.  I know it's a lot of bulletin board paper, but the memory will be lasting. Just think of the cuteness of your paper "students" lining the hallway walls too!

For writing practice, have students label the parts of their body picture.  Before hand, have children help you make a list of all the parts of their body that can be seen on their picture.  Write them on the board, to help them with spelling.

If you're not up for a full-body experience, how about just your kiddo's hand.  Have them choose a partner to trace each other's, and then fill in the details.

I've included a template, so these can become your first writing prompt for January.  Have students include the year as well as their school picture.

This makes an interesting and fun Daily 5 activity.  Click on the link to view/download the High Five's For A Happy New Year "craftivity."

Be sure and make a sample to show your kiddo's.  My Y5's always enjoyed learning about me.  I added a bit more pizzazz by gluing on flat-backed rhinestones to my "rings."

After students share, mount their work on a variety of colors of construction paper and sprinkle over a wintery-printed bulletin board.

Thanks for visiting today.  Feel free to PIN away.  My "Pin it" button is on the menu bar.

I design and blog daily, so I hope you can stop by again tomorrow for the newest FREEBIES that will hopefully be memory making!

"Wiggle fast; now wiggle slow; let's learn about our body from head to toe." -Unknown

## 16 Writing Prompts For January

3 pages.

Here are 16 January writing prompts to help your students WANT to write, by giving them some interesting and fun writing prompts to jumpstart their creative minds, they will be excited to get down to business.  A nice plug in for the writing portion of your Daily 5 activities too.

## More Elf On A Classroom Shelf Activities III

1-2-3 Come Go On An Elf Ed-venture With Me!

Woo hoo!  It seems that The Elf On A "Classroom" Shelf activities, have been the kinds of things visitors have been looking for.   (Scroll down to the last two blog articles to check things out.)   I hope you enjoy these latest FREEBIES just as much.

Since teachers have commented on how the "sliders" are a nice way to "sneak" in a little art, with all of those standards, I decided to design "Jingle" the elf slider.

There are sliders (strips of paper that students slide up and down) for upper and lowercase letters, numbers to 30, counting backwards from 10 to 0 as well as 20 to 0 + skip counting by 2's, 3's, 5's, and 10's. They are a quick, easy and fun way to whole group assess.

If you don't want to make a slider, have students make a "Belly Booklet."  They can practice writing letters, numbers, words, their name, or whatever else you're working on, and record things on just-the-right-size pages.  Click on the link to view/download Jingle, the Elf Slider Packet.

Venn diagrams are a wonderful way to help your little elves compare and contrast.  Click on the link to view/download the 13 Venn diagrams with an interesting elf theme.  Pick one for your kiddos, or give them a choice.

Since Diary of a Wimpy Kid is really popular with children, I decided to make a Diary of a Wimpy Elf. I had a fun time designing this packet, and think your students will enjoy decorating their "top secret" file-folder diary and making entries as an elf, who is recording his/her activities and adventures.

I've included "spy stickers" to decorate their diaries with, or use them as incentives for great writing, excellent effort, wonderful improvement etc.  There are also 2 diary-page templates that you can also use.  Click on the link to view/download Diary of a Wimpy Elf.

Here's the scenario to help jumpstart your students' writing: Imagine being the smallest and weakest elf at the North Pole.  You so want to help Santa, but everyone thinks you are too little, too dumb and too weak to do anything but be a candy cane tester, licking a sample from each batch to make sure they taste just right.

To make matters worse, the only thing "big" about you are your feet and ears.  They are ginormous!  This little elf constantly daydreams about all of the adventures he’d go on as a super-spy for Santa

After all, being little has its advantages.  He could hide almost anywhere; and his huge ears help him hear just about anything. His humongous feet allow him to ski down slippery slopes, without having to put real skis on!

Give your students this background information (included in the packet) and have them become that tiny elf, with the giant feet, huge ears and big heart.  Have them write about what they do and how they feel. I've also included 30 crazy writing prompts to jump-start their creative minds, hopefully causing a few giggles.

Encourage them to name their elf and draw cartoon-like pictures in their diary, like Jeff Kinney does in his book.  When your elf activities are winding down, have students write a few pages where they "save the day" and become a highly respected, and depended-upon elf,  who is a very special spy for Santa.  Click on the link to view/download The Diary of a Wimpy Elf.

That's it for today.  Thanks for visiting.  I hope your kiddos get excited about doing a bit of creative writing.  I still remember Mr. Voseteig reading a Harriet the Spy book to us in 5th grade.

We all got to have our special "spy notebook" to write in.  My creative writing juices went wild, and it was my first A+ ... I was hooked.  The excitement of that spy book, gave way to Nancy Drew books, which became my favorite. I've been a life-long lover of reading and writing ever since.

“I'll be famous one day, but for now I'm stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons." - Greg Heffley,”  (-Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid.)

## More Elf On A Classroom Shelf Activities

1-2-3 Come Do Some Elf-Themed Activities With Me

Because the Elf activities have been such a huge hit, (scroll down to see that blog & FREEBIES), I've been very busy designing a few more.

Since kiddos tend to be a bit more, shall we say "energetic" during December, I made a writing prompt that can turn into a nice behavior modification tool; I call it Santa's List.

Now that the elf is on the shelf and reporting back to Santa, students could write about why they think they should be on the good behavior or "nice" list.

Launch this writing prompt by playing the Christmas carol “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.”  I taught my Y5’s this song and we did some finger movements as we sang:  “. . . He’s making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. . .

After my Y5's got the “wiggles” out, we brainstormed about good behavior and what Santa’s elves might be looking for.  How does one get on the nice list?  What things could we do? What things shouldn’t we do?

Write a list on the board, so children can refer to it for ideas as well as spelling help.  Pass out the writing prompt page.  Students write why they think they should be on Santa’s nice list and then color their page.

After they share their work with the class, collect and collate the pages to make a class book.  A cover is provided.  I’ve also included a Santa’s list poster.   Print; mount on red and green construction paper and laminate.  You can hang this on your wall or white board and add students names as you catch them behaving appropriately or completing tasks.

The packet also includes a template for students to write a note to their Elf on a Shelf or to Santa.  Click on the link to view/download Santa's List Writing Prompt.

Another interesting December writing prompt, helps reinforce giving directions.  Encourage students to use transitions, ordinal numbers as well as adjectives.

I've included word cards for sequential-transitions, + a helpful guide to using transitions that I give to my college writing class students.

Add some pom-poms, a jingle bell, and some white glitter to make an awesome bulletin board.  Click on the link for the How To Dress An Elf "craftivity."

For more fun writing, have students keep a journal of your Elf On A Classroom Shelf's adventures.  This makes a quick and easy Daily 5 activity for the month of December.

Have students keep everything in a file folder.  I've included days of the week cards; a star chart students can color when they've done a nice job on their journal; lots of prompts for both PK and older kiddo's, + "elf mail" notes.

Finally, I had several requests for alphabet cards, so I designed an "elf-abet" packet.

An elf number packet and elf number-strip puzzles were also requested.  (Thank you Lisa, Katie, Sue and Erin for your e-mails.)  Click on the links to view those FREEBIES.

Thanks for visiting today.  I hope you and your little elfkins will enjoy these activities.

My personal "to do" list is a little long today, so it's time to hit the floor running.

“Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars, not if you care for such things.”  -J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

## Thanksgiving Turkey Activities and Crafts

1-2-3 Come Do Some Thanksgiving Turkey Activities With Me

Come November, it can become a bit boring for kiddo's to review letters, numbers, and various other basic standards.  Yet it's imparative to keep kids practicing these skills, so they retain them, as well as for slower learners to finally be able to "get it" and catch up.

With that in mind, I designed some "Stuff Me!" turkey worksheets that make reinforcing upper & lowercase letters, counting, adjective use, and sight word recognition more fun.

There are 6 "Stuff Me" skill sheets, that ask students to stuff their turkey with something.  I've also included a "you-fill-in-the- blank" one, to program with whatever.

Some other ideas you could do would be: verbs, nouns, sight words, student names, names that begin with T, colors, rhyming words, words that contain the U vowel, spelling words, ways to show a given number etc.

To add to the fun, set a timer for 1 to 2 minutes.  Challenge students to write in as many as they can, before the timer rings.  For addition practice, have students count up their total and write it down on their recording sheet.

When you have completed as many Stuff Me worksheets as you want, have students add things up to arrive at a grand total.

Be sure and do these activities along with your students.  You might also want to revisit a worksheet to see if any of your kiddos can beat your totals.  Use the word worksheets, for something different, for your Daily 5 activities.  Click on the link to view/download the "Stuff Me" activity packet.

Another "turkey-rific" writing activity, I designed several years ago, and just revamped today. My Thanksgiving Dinner, continues to be a favorite among visitors so I wanted to mention it today.

There are several options for the cover of the booklet.  In the first photo I used a large paper plate, glued just the cover to the center then stapled the other pages together and glued them on a second paper plate.

Punch a hole in the side and connect the front and back cover plates with a piece of yarn.  The Dollar Store sells plastic "silverware" that is silver and looks so realistic!  I used glue dots to add that finishing touch.

If you want things to be a bit more colorful, use decorative fall paper plates.  The Dollar Store also sells these. In the bottom photo I used a small 8 inch plate, put the entire booklet on that and then glued it to a construction paper "placemat" gluing the "silverware" on either side.

Completed projects make a cool bulletin board.  Use a "real" plastic or fabric tablecloth for your background and scatter on the plates.

Students read the simple sentence, trace and then write the food word and add end punctuation.

You may want students to include an adjective when they are writing their sentences.  i.e. I am going to eat warm homemade bread.

Students have the option to put in the word NOT if they won't be eating that food, or create their own picture page of what they will be eating. I've included a blank page template for this.

I've also included a different cover that says: My Favorite Dinner and a blank page template, for students you may have in class that don't celebrate this holiday.  They can make a booklet with their favorite foods, or a special meal that their family makes for one of their celebrations.

When everyone is done, read the booklet aloud, to review concepts of print, stopping to share pages that are different.  The packet also includes 10 traceable word cards.  These are the words that were used in the booklet.

You can use them for a Daily 5 word work activity to help reinforce word recognition.  Click on the link to view/download the My Thanksgiving Dinner "craftivity".

After you have read a few books about the first Thanksgiving, a nice follow up to the above activity, would be to have students complete a Venn diagram comparing their Thanksgiving celebration with the Pilgrim's

There's also a Venn diagram comparing Thanksgiving then and now.  Click on the link to view/download the Thanksgiving Venn Diagram.

My personal favorite book about Thanksgiving is an awesome rhyming story, by Diane Z. Shore. It's entitled: This Is The Feast.

For more books, click on the link to view/print a list of 70 of my favorite Turkey & Thanksgiving Books.

Thanks for visiting today.  I hope you can strut on over tomorrow for another FREEBIE hot off my computer.

Feel free to PIN away.   If you'd like to see all of the wonderful-educational FREEBIES, that I can fritter an entire morning away looking for and pinning, click on the heart button to the right of the article.  I've done lots of fun work, so that you don't have to!

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -Tyrion Lannister

## Scarecrow Writing Prompts

1-2-3 Come Do Some Fall Writing With Me!

While I was working on the scarecrow packets, it crossed my mind that scarecrows are really not all that scarey?  I thought of the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz who wanted a brain, and I wondered if a scarecrow had one, what would he say?  My brain needs a shut off button, so one idea led to another, 'til I decided to turn all of these thoughts into interesting writing prompts with a scarecrow character.

Getting students excited about writing, and WANTING to write, can be difficult.  A teacher announcing that "It's time to write." is often followed by a lot of groaning, as if you had asked students to whine in unison.

To get my students enthusiastic about writing I'd dream up creative and interesting writing prompts to jump start their brains.

Instead of  informing students that it's time to write, ask them:  "If you were a scarecrow what would you want to wear?"  or "Do you think scarecrows are scarey? If you were the farmer, how could you make a scarecrow scarier?"

Watch all the hands shoot up.  With lots of enthusiasm say: "Great! Now choose one of these scarecrow writing prompts and tell me your thoughts in detail." Reveal the prompts listed on the board and have students choose which one they are most "excited" about.  My kiddo's couldn't wait to get started. Woo Hoo!

Thanks for visiting today.  I design and blog daily, so I hope you can stop by tomorrow to check out the newest FREEBIES hot off my computer.  Feel free to PIN away.  I think sharing is so important. To ensure that other "pinners" return to THIS blog article, click on the green title at the top; it will turn black, now click on the "Pin it" button on the menu bar.   If you'd like to see all the creative-educational items that I pin, click on the heart to the right of the blog. I have an entire board of just scarecrow and writing activities.

"It's always better to try and fail, than fail to try." -Unknown

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