Getting to the Core

1-2-3 Come Do Some Nursery Rhyme Activities With Me

I plug in nursery rhymes whenever I can, so during our winter “mitten theme” my young fives enjoy learning “The Three Little Kittens”.

story telling wheels, nursery rhyme activities, nursery rhyme crafts, 3 little kittens, nursery rhyme centers, activities for the 3 little kittens nursery rhymeSince my storytelling wheels have been so popular, I decided to make “Rhyme Time” poetry wheels, to help practice the “retelling & sequencing” a story standards, using favorite nursery rhymes.

Each packet contains background information on the nursery rhyme, along with a colorful anchor chart poster of the poem.

I’ve included a BW version for students, to help practice reading and whatever other skills you are working on.

For example, using this “worksheet” beginning readers can circle rhyming words, color words, number words, or other sight words.

Reinforce spelling by having children underline “silent e” words; 1, 2 or 3 syllable words; vowels, or long and short vowels etc.

story telling wheels, nursery rhyme activities, nursery rhyme crafts, 3 little kittens, nursery rhyme centers, activities for the 3 little kittens nursery rhymeThere are full color patterns to use for an independent center, as well as a sample to share, plus a black and white pattern, so students can make their own.

When everyone is done with their “Rhyme Time Story Wheel”, take a moment to retell the rhyme as a whole group, by turning the wheels.

To reinforce the lesson further, encourage students to “show & share” their wheels with their family, retelling the rhyme once again. Can anyone recite it?

story telling wheels, nursery rhyme activities, storytelling slider crafts, nursery rhyme crafts, 3 little kittens, nursery rhyme centers, activities for the 3 little kittens nursery rhymeI also have my students pick a partner and take turns sharing their wheels with each other. Sometimes we do this with our older, reading buddies.
This is a quick, easy & fun way to check comprehension too.

Since the wheel is cut into 6 equal parts, if you’re studying fractions, be sure and take a teachable moment to review that vocabulary and information as well. 

story telling wheels, nursery rhyme activities, storytelling slider crafts, nursery rhyme crafts, 3 little kittens, nursery rhyme centers, activities for the 3 little kittens nursery rhymeAnother interesting way I teach "The 3 Little Kittens" nursery rhyme is with a "slider" craftivity.  This is a different option for practicing the "sequencing" and "retelling" a story standards. 

If you like both, simply use one as a center, and the other for an in-class, whole-group activity, or fun homework assignment.   

story telling wheels, nursery rhyme activities, storytelling slider crafts, nursery rhyme crafts, 3 little kittens, nursery rhyme centers, activities for the 3 little kittens nursery rhymeThere are 2 outside slider options to choose from.  Pick your favorite or give children a choice.

Students color the story elements on the “slider strip” then cut and glue it together.

story telling wheels, nursery rhyme activities, storytelling slider crafts, nursery rhyme crafts, 3 little kittens, nursery rhyme centers, activities for the 3 little kittens nursery rhymeAs they pull on the end of the “slider-strip” the various pictures go through the “window”, so that children can take turns retelling the nursery rhyme to a partner or reading buddy, then take their craftivity home to share with their family, once again practicing these standards.

I introduce the lesson by reading the colorful, poster-poem (anchor chart) then share my completed "slider craft” with my students.

I’ve also included a BW version of the poem for students, so you can use it as a worksheet.

story telling wheels, nursery rhyme activities, storytelling slider crafts, nursery rhyme crafts, 3 little kittens, nursery rhyme centers, activities for the 3 little kittens nursery rhymeSo that you can quickly, and easily make an example, I’ve included a full-color slider pattern.

After I read the nursery rhyme, we recite it together, using the picture prompts on my slider.
I have them guess which element of the rhyme they think comes next, before I pull the picture through the “window”.

“Rhyme Time Sliders” are also an easy & interesting way to assess comprehension

nursery rhyme activities, nursery rhyme crafts, nursery rhyme centers, sheep nursery rhymes, 3 little kittens nursery rhymesSince March is just around the corner, today's featured FREEBIE is a collection of sheep-themed nursery rhymes, which my Y5s enjoy learning during our lion-lamb theme in March.  I hope you find them useful too.  

Well that's it for today.  Thanks for popping in. The sun is valiantly shining, despite some windblown clouds that threaten to cover the warm rays.

Maybe I'll get a bit of yard work done today...or not!  So many options and not enough energy.   Wishing you a fun-filled day.

"The most important part of education is proper training in the nursery." -Plato

1-2-3 Come Make Some "Paper Love" With Me  

I really enjoy designing things that will get even my most reluctant writers excited about writing. 

valentines day activities, valentines day cards, valentines day crafts, Mother's day activities, father's day activities, mothers day cards,  veterans day activities, grandparents day activitiesWith that in mind, I made this very versatile, quick, easy & super-fun writing prompt craftivityThe "envelope" unfolds to reveal a "secret message" or "love note" that can be used for:

* Valentine’s Day (Great for a party day activity.)
* Mother’s Day
* Father’s Day
* Grandparents Day

* Volunteer or Veteran’s Day “Thank You! We Appreciate You!” notes
* “Get Well” or sympathy notes for an ill or grieving classmate
* “Just a Note” to a friend OR… Whatever else you may think of.

If your kiddos are like mine, they will absolutely LOVE making these, so be prepared and run off extra copies for early finishers, and students who ask to “Please…” make another one.

Woo Hoo! They are that addicting & fun; plus “print & go” easy-peasy for you.
I think one of the reasons they are so popular, is that the envelope unfolds to be a heart-shaped message.

valentines day activities, valentines day cards, valentines day crafts, Mother's day activities, father's day activities, mothers day cards,  veterans day activities, grandparents day activitiesI added the 4, “Confidential”, “Top Secret!” & “For Your Eyes Only” labels, to add to the fun.
Nothing like writing a “secret” message to get students excited about writing.

Works for many age groups — from preschool (who can draw a picture and dictate a sentence, or simply write “I love you”) all the way to upper elementary, who can use the blank template.

Great for Daily 5 or your writing block, and simple as a generic lesson for your “Sub Tub” too.

There are 8 graphic options on the front of the “envelope”.  These templates come in a horizontal AND vertical pattern.

For PK kiddos, demonstrate how to fold the “envelope” with “monkey see - monkey do”, step-by-step directions. Even my 3-year-old grandson had fun making several.

valentines day activities, valentines day cards, valentines day crafts, Mother's day activities, father's day activities, mothers day cards,  veterans day activities, grandparents day activitiesToday's featured FREEBIE is also a sweet bit of "paper love".  Click on the link to grab your copy of the "I Love You To Pieces" craftivity

Well that's it for today.  Thanks for stopping in. 

Much to do today, as one of our 8 grandchildren is celebrating their 1st birthday this weekend.  Wishing you an "ed-venture" - filled day.

"Let all that you do be done in love." -1 Corinthians 16:14

1-2-3 Come Do Some Activities For "Polar Bear What Do You Hear?"  

polar bear what do you hear activities, 5 senses activities, eric carle books, bill martin books, polar bear crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, farm animal activities, emergent reader books, class made books Bill Martin's ”Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear?” is one of my Y5s all-time favorite stories.

With that in mind, I just finished designing some quick, easy and fun activities children can transition to after you read the tale.  I'm featuring 3 on the blog today.

polar bear what do you hear activities, winter bulletin board ideas, winter center activities, literacy centers, 5 senses activities, eric carle books, bill martin books, polar bear crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, farm animal activities, story wheels, emergent reader books, class made books First up is a story wheel craftivity, which is an interesting and simple way to assess comprehension and practice the sequencing and retelling a story standards.

There are full color patterns to use for centers, plus a black and white pattern so your students can make their own.

polar bear what do you hear activities, 5 senses activities, eric carle books, bill martin books, polar bear crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, farm animal activities, story wheels, emergent reader books, class made books When everyone is done with their story wheel, have children pick a partner, and take turns retelling the story.

We sometimes do this with our older "reading buddies".

polar bear what do you hear activities, 5 senses activities, eric carle books, bill martin books, polar bear crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, farm animal activities, story wheels, emergent reader books, winter center activities,class made books As a comprehension-assessment tool, and for fine motor practice, another option is to make the “Polar Bear Pie Puzzles”, which have BW & color templates.

In order to practice a variety of standards, there are 5 different puzzle-base options.

polar bear what do you hear activities, 5 senses activities, eric carle books, bill martin books, polar bear crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, farm animal activities, story wheels, emergent reader books, winter center activities,class made books Simply choose which is most appropriate for your kiddos.

There's also a writing prompt worksheet, where students write what happened in the story, which will further check comprehension and reinforce chronological writing.  

 

polar bear what do you hear activities, 5 senses activities, eric carle books, bill martin books, polar bear crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, farm animal activities, story wheels, emergent reader books, winter center activities,class made books Next up is the "Polar Bear What Do You Hear?" SOUND packet.

Because the characters in the story hear different sounds, the tale is perfect for explaining onomatopoeia & reinforcing the 5 senses.

Since most of my students have never heard the sound of these animals, I’ve included links to real animals roaring, hissing, snorting etc. (One for each animal in the story!)  
My kiddos absolutely LOVE this activity, and are truly amazed how animals “speak”.

The packet also includes:

polar bear what do you hear activities, 5 senses activities, eric carle books, bill martin books, polar bear crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, farm animal activities, story wheels, emergent reader books, winter center activities,class made books * 3 writing prompt worksheets.
If your students are like mine, even your most reluctant writers will enjoy contributing their page to 3 class-made books.

1. “Animals Animals What Would You Like To Hear?”
( Fill-in-the-blanks & illustrate worksheet page).

polar bear what do you hear activities, 5 senses activities, eric carle books, bill martin books, polar bear crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, farm animal activities, story wheels, emergent reader books, winter center activities,class made books 2. “Chit Chat With The Animals”
( If a _______ (animal) could talk what are some things they might say?” Color-me worksheet pages featuring a variety of animals for children to choose from). 

Younger students can dictate or write one simple sentence, encourage older students to do a bit of research on their animal and write sentences that incorporate that information. "The zookeeper measured me today and I weigh 5 tons and an 11 feet tall."

polar bear what do you hear activities, 5 senses activities, eric carle books, bill martin books, polar bear crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, farm animal activities, story wheels, emergent reader books, winter center activities,class made books 3. “Children Children What Do You Like To Hear?”
(When it comes to awesome sounds, here’s a list of my top ten favorites: color-me worksheet pages).  Includes girl & boy options.

Completed work makes a wonderful bulletin board.

I've included 3 posters to use for the center of your displays.
Later, add the covers to make class-made books, which are great for parent-teacher conferences.  There's also . . .

polar bear what do you hear activities, 5 senses activities, eric carle books, bill martin books, polar bear crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, farm animal activities, story wheels, emergent reader books, winter center activities,class made books * A set of puzzle cards where students match the animal section to the sound section. Fun for Daily 5 word work, or a vocabulary-building activity.

* 2 graphing extensions.

polar bear what do you hear activities, 5 senses activities, eric carle books, bill martin books, polar bear crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, farm animal activities, story wheels, emergent reader books, winter center activities,class made books * A set of pocket chart cards, which helps reinforce the onomatopoetic vocabulary in the story.

Make an extra set for an independent center activity, where students match the sound card to the animal/zookeeper card.

These can also be passed out prior to reading the story.
As you read “Polar Bear What Do You Hear?” the child holding that card brings it up and places it on your flannel or white board.

Afterwards, pass the animal cards out and see if children can arrange them in the correct sequence of the story. Grab that teachable moment to practice ordinal numbers.

* I’ve also included a mini-set of the cards for “Memory Match” & “I Have; Who Has?” games. Children can sort, sequence & alphabetize these smaller cards, as well as use them to make up sentences.

Toss them into a container and have children choose an animal card then make that noise, or choose a sound card and tell which animal made that noise.

polar bear what do you hear activities, 5 senses activities, eric carle books, bill martin books, polar bear crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, farm animal activities, story wheels, emergent reader books, winter center activities,class made books Finally, the farm unit, is one of our preschoolers favorites, so I wrote “Farmer Farmer What Do You Hear?” as a fun, parody-like writing prompt, for them to transition to after we read “Polar Bear What Do You Hear?”  Instead of wild animals, this story features animals on the farm.

polar bear what do you hear activities, 5 senses activities, eric carle books, bill martin books, polar bear crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, farm animal activities, story wheels, emergent reader books, winter center activities,class made books Even beginning writers will enjoy filling in the blanks, then illustrating their page for a sweet class-made book. PK kiddos can simply dictate their answers.

Completed projects also make an adorable bulletin board.  I’ve included a poster for the center of your display.

Later, collate the pages and add the cover to make the booklet, which is perfect for parent-teacher conferences.

polar bear what do you hear activities, 5 senses activities, eric carle books, bill martin books, polar bear crafts, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, farm animal activities, story wheels, emergent reader books, winter center activities,class made books Besides the class book, I’ve also included an emergent reader.
There are 3, BW options, making it suitable for PK kiddos as well as kindergarten and first grade, or to diversify within your classroom.

5 senses anchor chartI've also included colorful teacher templates as well.

The featured FREEBIE today is a cute "5 Senses" anchor chart poster.  I hope you find it useful. 

Me 3Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.

I'm watching 2 of our 8 grandchildren today, so it's time to switch to my "Nana hat"; we're going to make Valentines. 

Wishing a day filled to the brim with blessings.

"Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush." - Doug Larson

1-2-3 Come Do Some Groundhog Day Activities With Me

shadow activities, books about groundhogs for elementary, shadow stories, groundhog day stories, groundhog day activities, groundhog day crafts, strorytelling sliders, retell a story activities, sequence a story activitiesDo you read ”Who Will See Their Shadow This Year?” by Jerry Pallotta?
It’s one of my students’ favorite Groundhog Day stories and perfect for practicing the “sequencing and retelling a story” standards. 

With that in mind, I designed this quick, easy and fun ”Who Will See Their Shadow?” “slider” craftivity, which will help your students retell the story in chronological order.   

The gist: A variety of animals are sick of winter and anxious for spring. Since the groundhog is sleeping, they wonder if they can make it come sooner by seeing their shadows. 

Each one takes a turn, causing all kinds of weather from a hurricane to a tornado, which makes this a great story to review all kinds of weather with your kiddos as well.

shadow activities, books about groundhogs for elementary, shadow stories, groundhog day stories, groundhog day activities, groundhog day crafts, strorytelling sliders, retell a story activities, sequence a story activitiesThere are 3 outside slider options to choose from. Pick your favorite or give children a choice.

There are also 2 slider strip options: one with just the animal graphics, and the other with the animals and their weather word.

shadow activities, books about groundhogs for elementary, shadow stories, groundhog day stories, groundhog day activities, groundhog day crafts, strorytelling sliders, retell a story activities, sequence a story activitiesFor example, when the chicken saw her shadow it rained; when the polar bear saw his shadow there was a blizzard.

Students color the animals on the “slider strip” then cut and glue it together.

As they pull on the end of the “slider-strip” the various animal characters go through the “window”, so that children can take turns retelling the story to a partner or reading buddy, then take their craftivity home to share with their family, once again practicing these standards.

Even if you don't have time for everyone to make a slider, make one for yourself, as it's a great tool for reviewing a story.

I introduce the lesson by reading the book ”Who Will See Their Shadow?”, then share my completed "slider craft” with my students.

shadow activities, books about groundhogs for elementary, shadow stories, groundhog day stories, groundhog day activities, groundhog day crafts, strorytelling sliders, retell a story activities, sequence a story activitiesSo that you can quickly, and easily make an example, I’ve included full-color patterns.

After I read the story, we retell the tale together, using the picture prompts on my slider.
I have them guess which animal character they think comes next, before I pull the picture through the “window”.

My students now know what’s expected of them, and are very excited to transition to making a “Shadow” storytelling slider of their own.

Storytelling sliders are also an easy & interesting way to assess comprehension.

I’ve included a “Let’s sequence the story” activity for this, where students color and trim the picture “windows” then glue them in the correct order on their worksheet.

vThere’s also a, “Here’s What Happened… writing prompt worksheet, (BW & color) as another way to check comprehension, plus practice sequential writing, hopefully using a variety of ordinal numbers and other transitions. 

Today's featured FREEBIE also has a Groundhog theme.

Click the link for the quick, easy & fun "Fickle Phil" Groundhog Day lunch bag craft. 

Meshadow activities, books about groundhogs for elementary, shadow stories, groundhog day stories, groundhog day activities, groundhog day crafts, strorytelling sliders, retell a story activities, sequence a story activitiesWell that's it for now.  Thanks for stopping by.  I hear the snowplows zipping up and down the roads, sure wouldn't want that "way too early" morning job. 

Wishing you a prosperous day. 

"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face." -Unknown

Click the links to . . 
Come join the fun on Facebook for my exclusive FREEBIES & Monthly Giveaways.
Check out my educational Pinterest boards.

1-2-3 Come Do Some Winter Writing Prompt Crafts With Me

activities for the jacket i wear in the snow, crafts for winter, winter writing prompts, activities for shirley neitzels books, winter clothing activities, Do you read the story “The Jacket I Wear In The Snow?”  My kiddos and I really enjoy Shirley Neitzel’s books.
They are perfect for sequencing and retelling a story too.

With that in mind, I designed several craftivities that you can transition to after reading the tale. I'm featuring two of my latest creations on the blog today.

activities for the jacket I wear in the snow, writing prompts for january writing prompts for winter, activities for shirley neitzel books, winter clothing activities, winter crafts for kids, winter bulletin boards, First up is my "Jacket Packet", which includes 4 writing prompt options for older students, as well as 2 jacket patterns, so little ones can also do the craft.

* One jacket pattern is generic, which students can color, or you can run off on a variety of colors of construction paper.

activities for the jacket I wear in the snow, writing prompts for januarym writing prompts for winter, activities for shirley neitzel books, winter clothing activities, winter crafts for kids, winter bulletin boards, * The other jacket looks like the one in “The Jacket I Wear In The Snow” story.

Pick a jacket or give children a choice, then choose a “lining” for your craft.
There are 5 options, plus a blank version to dream up something else.

* The first “lining” has pictures of the story elements in chronological order, which is a fun way for students to practice the “retell a story” standard.

* The other 4 “linings” are writing prompts.
Students cut the jacket on the dashed line, then glue just the sleeves, to the “lining” creating a booklet, when flipped open reveals the pictures or one of these writing prompts:

activactivities for the jacket I wear in the snow, writing prompts for january writing prompts for winter, activities for shirley neitzel books, winter clothing activities, winter crafts for kids, winter bulletin boards, ities for the jacket I wear in the snow, writing prompts for january writing prompts for winter, activities for shirley neitzel books, winter clothing activities, winter crafts for kids, winter bulletin boards, 1. “Here’s what happened…” (Checks comprehension. Can be written as a “beginning, middle, end” prompt, or as a “sequential list” of what happened, or as a “paragraph of summary”.)

2. “The jacket I wear in the snow is…” option: (Descriptive writing, adjective practice).

     Children color the jacket pattern to match their own coat, then describe their jacket.

activities for the jacket I wear in the snow, writing prompts for january writing prompts for winter, activities for shirley neitzel books, winter clothing activities, winter crafts for kids, winter bulletin boards, 3. “My favorite thing to do when it snows is…” option: (Short & simple. Limited to one thing.)

     Children write about what their favorite thing to do in the snow is, then draw a picture underneath.

4. “When I’m all bundled up for winter I like to…” option: (Longer, expanded, can also be a list.)

     Children write about all of the things that they enjoy doing when they play in the snow.

Because they are very different, you can do the “retell the story” picture jacket, as well as the generic jacket with a writing prompt.

Possibly one for class and another for “early finishers” a fun homework assignment, or tuck in your "sub tub".

activities for the jacket I wear in the snow, writing prompts for january writing prompts for winter, activities for shirley neitzel books, winter clothing activities, winter crafts for kids, winter bulletin boards, * Besides the black and white options, I’ve also included full color, plus my samples, so teachers can quickly & easily make an example to share. 

Completed projects make a sweet bulletin board or hallway-wall display. I’ve included several posters to use for the center of your display. 

activities for the jacket I wear in the snow, writing prompts for january writing prompts for winter, activities for shirley neitzel books, winter clothing activities, winter crafts for kids, winter bulletin boards, Finally, since my storytelling "sliders" are such a hit, I also made one for "The Jacket I Wear In The Snow", which will help your students retell the story in chronological order.

activities for the jacket I wear in the snow, writing prompts for january writing prompts for winter, activities for shirley neitzel books, winter clothing activities, winter crafts for kids, winter bulletin boards, Because I've become quite the clip art collector, there are 5 outside slider versions to choose from. I LOVE options and thought you might too.

activities for the jacket I wear in the snow, writing prompts for january writing prompts for winter, activities for shirley neitzel books, winter clothing activities, winter crafts for kids, winter bulletin boards, Pick your favorite or give children a choice. Students color the story elements on the “slider strip” then cut and glue it together.

activities for the jacket I wear in the snow, writing prompts for january writing prompts for winter, activities for shirley neitzel books, winter clothing activities, winter crafts for kids, winter bulletin boards, As they pull on the end of the “slider-strip” the various pictures go through the “window”, so that children can take turns retelling the story to a partner or reading buddy, then take their craftivity home to share with their family, once again practicing these standards.    

activities for the jacket I wear in the snow, writing prompts for january writing prompts for winter, activities for shirley neitzel books, winter clothing activities, winter crafts for kids, winter bulletin boards, Storytelling sliders are also an easy & interesting way to assess comprehension.

I’ve included a “Let’s “sequence the story” activity for this, where students color and trim the picture “windows” then glue them in the correct order on their worksheet.

activities for the jacket I wear in the snow, writing prompts for january writing prompts for winter, activities for shirley neitzel books, winter clothing activities, winter crafts for kids, winter bulletin boards, There’s also 2, “Here’s What Happened…” writing prompt worksheets, as another way to check comprehension, plus practice sequential writing, hopefully using a variety of ordinal numbers and other transitions. 

Since Chinese New Year started on the 28th and runs through February 15th, today's featured FREEBIE is a quick, easy & super-fun Chinese Lantern craft.

Chinese new year crafts, chinese new year activities, paper lantern craft, crafts for kids for chinese new year, chinese new year activitiesIt provides simple cuttng practice, and an intersting way to help strengthen those finger muscles. 

Completed projects look terrific dangling from the ceiling, or as a border in the hallway.  

activities for the jacket I wear in the snow, chinese lantern craft, activities for chinese new year, chinese new year crafts paper lantern pattern, writing prompts for january writing prompts for winter, activities for shirley neitzel books, winter clothing activities, winter crafts for kids, winter bulletin boards, Well that's it for today, it's snowing once again, and I'm finding it difficult to break my reclusive habits; as I'd much rather be snuggly and warm crafting away, than braving the outdoors. 

Wishing you a delightful day filled with memorable moments.

Happy Year of the ROOSTER!

“One year goes by taking with it a set of hopes and aspirations. Another year comes in with bundles of new opportunities to relive your dreams and realize your goals. “ -Unknown

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