1-2-3 Come Do Some Fun New Year Activities With Me
Each month I tried to introduce more vocabulary words to my students. It was always amazing to me, that my Y5's had no clue what some of the simple seasonal words meant and some of my kiddo's had never even heard the words before.
With that in mind, I designed this ABC New Year booklet. It was fun and challenging to think of words with a New Year-theme that started with each letter.
You can make one for each student so they can trace and write the words, or you can simply make a teacher's copy and share a page a day for the first week back after break.
As you read the booklet, have students shoot up their hand if you come to a word they are unfamiliar with, and take a moment to define it. Discuss the words and what they mean. See if they can come up with anymore and add them to the list.
For individual practice have children write that day's words in their writing journals or student-made dictionaries. This makes a wonderful Daily 5 word work activity too. Click on the link to view/download the New Year's Alphabet Booklet.
Since the New Year revolves around time, I thought it would be interesting to design a New Year easy reader, that takes a child from noon, on New Year's Eve, to ringing in the New Year at Midnight.
You can send the booklet home to be completed with their family, and then returned, or have this ready to go on students' desks for their first day back after break. Children trace and write the digital time to the hour + draw the appropriate hands on the analog clock.
The story ends with a writing prompt about what children did on New Year's Day and how they celebrated. Click on the link Happy New Year Telling Time Booklet.
I've made 3 matching Happy New Year cards to go with this booklet. They make a nice little surprise tucked on or in their desk when they return from break. Click on the link to grab them.
Venn diagrams are an easy and fun way to help students understand the concepts of comparison and contrast. They are a great precursor to help students write that type of paper, and are extremely helpful for the visual learner. Click on the link to take a look at 7 Venn diagrams with a New Year's theme.
Finally, my first graders especially enjoyed making class books.
Students complete the writing prompt and share their page with the class; collect, collate add a cover and you have a student-made book for your classroom library.
I had a special book basket for these. My students enjoyed looking at their endeavors. You could really see the improvement that happened as the months flew by and the basket filled up. They are great to share during parent visits and conferences too.
Click on the link to view/download the 3 writing prompt pages for a New Year's class book.
For 16 more writing prompts for January, click on the link. These are great for the writing portion of your Daily 5, or interesting ideas for your students' writing journals.
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I hope you can pop back tomorrow for the newest FREEBIE. Wishing you a blessed New Year!
"I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the years'." -Henry Moore
1-2-3 Come Do Some Winter Craftivities With Me!
Hopefully things are winding down this last week of school before Christmas Break. If you're looking for a few last-minute things for your kiddo's to do, you've come to the right place. Here are some quick, easy and simple activities, I think your students will enjoy.
Since the 3D cylinder shape was always the "toughy" for my Y5's to wrap their heads around, I tried to do several projects each month involving that shape. The cylinder-shaped Santa windsock, was one of their favorites. I made Santa's beard by tracing their hand once and then cutting it out 4 times.
Children work on a flat surface; when they are done, then help them roll their Santa into a cylinder shape. Pulled-cotton and glitter, add those finishing touches. Punch a hole in the top, tie a yarn loop, so it can hang from the ceiling.
Review the triangle, oval, and circle shapes as well. If you have your kiddo's do a craft on party day, these are great as a whole-group, or independent center activity.
To expedite things, make sure you trace and cut their hand prints the day before. Click on the link to view/download the Keepsake Hand Print Santa
Quite a few of my favorite Christmas Stories involve mice, so I thought it would be fun to design a sweet treat for my Y5's, featuring this Christmas character. You can review the oval shape with this craftivity as well. His ears are heart-shaped.
I don't buy peppermint candy canes for my kiddo's, as when we graphed whether they liked peppermint or not, most of them did not.
This was true every year, so I looked for the flavored candy canes. You can get a box of a dozen at The Dollar Store. Wiggle eyes and a pom pom nose added extra pizzazz.
You can make these for your students as a gift, but I liked doing them as a craftivity the last day of school. I used silver wallpaper for a sparkling effect. You could also glue metallic wrapping paper to tag board. Click on the link to view/download the Christmas Mouse.
Another peppermint activity I call "Me Mints." I made the larger one out of a sturdy 8-inch paper plate. Students striped the edges. Enlarge a photo, cut into a circle and mount it in the center of the plate.
Wrap with clear cellophane. (You can buy it by the roll at The Dollar Store.) Twist the ends and tie with curling ribbon.
These make a super bulletin board boarder, or have students glue the "greeting" to the back and suspend from the ceiling.
I also made a "Mini Mint" ornament template for you. Run off the peppermint candy. Students color with markers and glue to a circle of tag board. Follow the above directions to complete this "Awww-dorable" craftivity. Click on the link to grab this FREEBIE.
Finally, Wally,The Wallpaper Snowman, would be fun to do on the last day, so that you would have some winter decorations up when your students return from Christmas vacation.
If you look closely, you'll see that Wally's face is textured. I made the circles out of embossed wallpaper. You can buy a roll of white textured wallpaper for less that $5, or visit a paint, wallpaper, or home-decor store, where they sell wallpaper, and ask if you could have or buy a sample book.
I used these sample books for die cuts, banners, backgrounds, and stationery for my students to write on. I've included 4 winter writing prompts so that students have a choice.
Children write a rough draft and when they have finalized it, they write it on the circle and glue it to the back of Wally. These look wonderful dangling from the ceiling. Click on the link to view/download Wally,The Wallpaper Snowman Writing Prompt Dangler.
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"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." - Charles Dickens from A Christmas Carol
Reinforce adjectives and the poetry genre for older students, by having them write an acrostic poem. For little ones, this is a fun way to review letters and words that begin with those letters.
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
What Can I Write About In January?
January is the Month of Resolutions. Look that word up in the dictionary. Think of 2 or 3 resolutions that you will or won’t do this year and then explain why you will and won't do them.
January 1-7th is Celebration of Life Week. Here are some ideas for that: Tell me in a paragraph why you are glad you are alive. Or… What do you hope to accomplish in your life that will make other people want to celebrate? Or… There used to be a show called “This is Your Life ______!” If you were on that show what would they say about your life thus far?
January 2-8th is “Someday We’ll Laugh About This Week!” Write about things that make you laugh, or an event or something that happened to you, that you and your friends are already laughing about.
January 8-14th is Universal Letter Writing Week. Write a letter to anyone you want that is living or dead, famous or not, talking about something that is important to you.
January 9-15th is Home Office Safety & Security Week. Since 9-11 things have really changed in our world. Do you feel safe at school? Do you feel safe at home? Why or why not? What things make you feel safe? What things are being done to make you feel safe? What can you do personally to make yourself feel safer?
Janury 9-15th is International Snowmobile Safety and Awareness Week. Have you ever ridden on or driven a snowmobile? Tell me about it. If not, would you like to? Why or why not? Or… What’s your favorite winter activity? Why?
January 15-17th is Bald Eagle Appreciation Days. This is our National Bird. When our country was choosing one Benjamin Franklin argued that the turkey would be a better choice. How would you have voted and why? Or… The Bald Eagle was near extinction because of the use of DDT. Write about your thoughts on how so many species are endangered. What do you think can you as a student can do about this problem?
January 16th-22nd is International Printing Week: Do you read the newspaper? Why or why not? Do you think it’s important for young people to listen to the news and be informed? Or…do you read magazines? What are the names of them? Why do you read them? Why are they your favorites? Or…Do you think printed “paper” material will eventually become nonexistent and everything will eventually be done on the computer online and we’ll become a virtually “paperless” society? How do you feel about that?
January 16-22nd is “Hunt for Happiness Week”. Tell me about the things that make you happy and why. Or…write about the happiest day in your life. Or…Plan an imaginary “Happy Day!” what would you include from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed, filling it with all the things and people that bring you the most joy.
January 16th-21st is National Professionals' Week. Tell me what you want to be when you grow up and why. Or…If you could have ANY job in the world what would it be and why? Or… If you could follow one professional person around for a week to learn from them, who would you shadow and why?
The Sundance Film Festival and the KidFilm Festival are the weeks of 20-30th and 22-25th. Tell me about your all-time favorite movie and why you like it so much. Or…Who are your favorite actress and actor and why? Or…if you could be a movie star, what kinds of films would you be in and why? In the early days of Hollywood stars changed their real names. Would you change your name? Why or why not? What would it be if you did? Or...if you could be one of your favorite filmstars for a day who would you be and why and what would you do?
No Name Calling Week is January 24th-28th. Has anyone ever called you a name? Tell me about it? Have you ever called anyone a name? Do you think this is hurtful/harmful? Do you think the nursery rhyme “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me!” is true or not? Why? Read the story Chrysanthemum. Tell me how you relate to that story or write a book review about it.
It’s National Take Back Your Time Week January 25-29th. If you had an instant replay button on your life, what days would you like to live over and why? Or…Are you an organized person who manages their time wisely or do you procrastinate, wait to the last minute, and fly by the seat of your pants? Are you happy with the way things are with your management of time, or does it stress you out? How can you improve? Do you want to?
It’s Apple and Apricots Month as well as Artichoke and Asparagus Month. What are your favorite fruits and vegetables? Do you eat enough of them? What fruits and vegetables don’t you like? Why don’t you like them? What fruits and vegetables have you never tried? Would you like to try them?
It’s National Soup Month! What’s your favorite mmm mmm good soup(s)? Why do you like it/them? What soup(s) don’t you like? What soup(s) haven’t you tried? Would you like to try it/them?
Well it's January and we're smack in the middle of winter. Do you like winter? Do you like the snow and chilly temperatures? How do you feel about Daylight Saving's Time and it being dark when you get up? Do you like winter sports and activities you can do outside in the winter better than other seasons? Is this your favorite season? Think about these questions and then write about how you feel about winter. If you're not in a cold and snowy state, would you like to live in a place that has cold weather and lots of snow? Or perhaps you do live in a cold state, would you rather live in a warmer state that doesn't have snow? Tell me your thoughts and....
For more writing prompts, click on the link. I've made a booklet that contains some for each month on a variety of topics!