Getting to the Core

1-2-3 Come Do Some Election Activities With Me

When it comes to election activities, it's often hard to find something quick, easy & fun that's age-appropriate for early elementary.  I basically wanted something simple to help my students become familiar with the 2016 Presidential candidates.

With that in mind, I designed 3 election-themed craftivities that I think your students will really enjoy. They are featured in this blog article, along with today's special FREEBIE.

election crafts, election activities, election centers, election activities for early elementaryFirst up is a Presidential Candidate Slider, which is easy enough for preschoolers, and still appropriate for kindergarten and 1st grade as well.

Simply pick one of two star options, or give your students a choice.

They color and trim, then insert their "slider" which features the 4 presidential candidates for the 2016 election.

I've included black and white patterns for students to color, as well as colorful templates, so that you can quickly and easily make a sample to share.

election crafts, election activities, election centers, election activities for early elementaryWhen everyone is done, review the names of the candidates by pulling the portraits of the 4 nominees through the star "window".

You could also go over the party that they are affiliated with, as well as their Vice Presidential running mates.

Afterwards, check comprehension by calling out a name, party or running mate; students slide the matching picture to the window, then hold up their star.

You can see at a glance who is having difficulty.  Next up is a versatile writing prompt craft I call the "Democracy Dangler". 

election crafts, election activities, election centers, election activities for early elementaryThere are many options for putting this  craft together. 
Children can simply choose the candidate that they are going to vote for in your school’s mock election, or the candidate that they would vote for if they were 18.

They can pick the full-page large oval or the smaller, 2-on-a-page version.

Writing Prompt Options: On the back older students write the reasons why they support that candidate, reasons why they are going to vote for that nominee or the things that they like about that person.

election crafts, election activities, election centers, election activities for early elementaryStudents could also pick 2 candidates, glue these ovals back-to-back then complete a comparison-contrast writing prompt which they’d write on the back of the “Election 2016” square. OR …

Children feature all 4 candidates in the order that they like them, the top one being the one that they will be voting for, then write factual information on the back of each oval, or things they like and dislike about each candidate.

Ovals can be glued on a length of yarn or patriotic ribbon, with a loop at the top for hanging,

election crafts, election activities, election centers, election activities for early elementaryI’ve also included real photograph-ovals of each candidate which you can use:
* to introduce your lesson,
* help explain things,
* test for comprehension of who that nominee is, and/or
* use for a display.

Completed projects look awesome dangling from the ceiling, as a border along a hallway wall.  I’ve included a “Hanging Out With The Candidates” poster you can use for your display as well.

election crafts, election activities, election centers, election activities for early elementaryFinally, the "Flip For Facts" writing prompt craft, is a nice introduction to doing research, and practicing technology skills, and is wonderfully simple!

Students can practice their research skills and find X number of facts (I ask for 3), about each candidate via books, magazines, newspapers or on the Internet.

Older kiddos can cite their sources on the back.

I’ve also included some general biographical and campaign information on all 4 candidates that you can share with your students as well.
These can be read as non-fiction passages for older students.

election crafts, election activities, election centers, election activities for early elementaryRun off the pattern, which children fold over, color and snip to create “flaps” for “flipping”.
Underneath they write their “bulleted” facts.

election crafts, election activities, election centers, election activities for early elementaryGive students a star sticker to place on their favorite candidate.
When everyone is done, have students share their “flipper flapper” with the class, telling one interesting fact that they found.

Besides the BW template for students to color, I’ve also included a pattern in color, as well as a completed set of facts, so that you can quickly and easily make a sample to share.

Completed projects make a terrific bulletin board too.
I’ve included 2 patriotic posters for the center of your display. 

election crafts, election activities, election centers, election activities for early elementaryToday's featured FREEBIE is a 40-page, election-themed number packet, which practices a variety of math standards suitable for PK-1st.

election crafts, election activities, election centers, election activities for early elementaryWell that's it for now.  Thanks for stopping by.

My granddaughter is celebrating her 2nd birthday this week, so it's time to do some shopping. 

Wishing you a carefree and happy-go-lucky kind of day. 

"Age is strickly mind over matter.  If you don't mind, it don't matter." -Jack Benny

1-2-3 Come Do Some Quick,Halloween Activities With Me

Halloween happens to be on a Monday this year, so some schools will be celebrating on Friday, others waiting 'til the real day. 

Since our party day is Friday, I still wanted to have some quick, easy and educationally fun Halloween-themed activities for Monday, so I whipped together a pumpkin glyph, writing prompt and class book.  They are featured on the blog, along with today's  FREEBIE.

halloween activities, halloween party day activities, halloween bulletin boards, halloween crafts, halloween writing promptsFirst up is the pumpkin glyph. No matter what grade I taught, my students absolutely LOVED making glyphs.

halloween activities, halloween party day activities, halloween bulletin boards, halloween crafts, halloween writing promptsThey are a quick, easy & interesting way to practice and assess listening and following directions.  This pumpkin glyph will also review some 2D shapes as well.

Since this is one of my report card standards, glyphs also provide a "hard copy" to use as proof that a child does or doesn't listen & follow directions.

halloween activities, halloween party day activities, halloween bulletin boards, halloween crafts, halloween writing promptsCompleted projects make an adorable bulletin board, as each one will be different! 

I've included 2 posters for the center of your glyph display.

Glyphs are also an interesting way to get to know your students.  The packet also includes a few posters for explaining things so even PK students can make one.  

halloween activities, halloween party day activities, halloween bulletin boards, halloween crafts, halloween writing promptsThe "Positive-Negative Writing Prompt Pumpkin" also makes an awesome bulletin board or hallway wall display.   

halloween activities, halloween party day activities, halloween bulletin boards, halloween crafts, halloween writing promptsThe controversy of Halloween, makes a nice comparison-contrast writing activity, where students list the positive aspects of Halloween that they like, as well as the negative ones that they don't care for.

Whenever I include a bit of hands-on craftiness to a lesson, I instantly have my students' attention; and they can't wait to get down to the business of writing.

So as a topper for their completed October writing prompt, children use an art form fittingly called: "positive-negative" and create a Jack-O-Lantern with my easy-peasy pattern.

halloween activities, halloween party day activities, halloween bulletin boards, halloween crafts, halloween writing promptsTo add some variety to your display, I've included 5 writing prompt worksheet options with different Halloween-themed graphics and fonts for your students to choose from.

PK teachers can do this as a whole-group discussion activity, where students give their opinion and you jot down their answers on one of the writing prompt worksheets, then each child can make a positive-negative pumpkin, which can be scattered around the prompt.

halloween activities, halloween party day activities, halloween bulletin boards, halloween crafts, halloween writing promptsFinally, if your kiddos are like mine, they are constantly talking about what costume they are going to wear for Halloween.   I take advantage of their excitement and enthusiasm by having them make a costume class book.

They are super-excited to get down to the business of illustrating their own page, which is a great activity for the week of Halloween, or even on party day for something educationally fun to help channel all of that energy.

halloween activities, halloween party day activities, halloween bulletin boards, halloween crafts, halloween writing promptsI’ve included 2, full color cover options to choose from, as well as 3 different page designs. (See PREVIEW).

There’s a black and white pattern for your students, as well as templates in color, so that you can easily make a sample to share to help explain things, then contribute your costume page to the book too.

On party day I snap everyone’s picture, then add their photograph to our book as well.

Class-made books are one of my students’ favorites in our classroom library; they are terrific to share during parent-teacher conferences too.   Besides the book, I’ve also included 2 song posters.

I enjoy making up songs to familiar tunes. One is “Trick or Treat” to the tune of “Are You Sleeping Brother John?” the other is “What Costume Will You Wear” to the tune of “Farmer in the Dell”.  

Pages from Ready Set Ghost Halloween games LKToday's featured FREEBIE is a collection of tried and true Halloween party games that my students really enjoy.  I call the packet "Ready-Set-Ghost!"

Click on the link or photo to grab your copy and let the spooktacular fun begin!

halloween activities, halloween party day activities, halloween bulletin boards, halloween crafts, halloween writing promptsWell that's it for today... Gotta dash, as there are treat bags yet to make for the neighborhood children.  We don't have that many, so I like to make something extra special. 

Wishing you a very Happy Howling Halloween!

"There is magic in the night when pumpkins glow by moonlight!" -Unknown

1-2-3 Come Do Some Little Old Lady Storytelling Crafts With Me 

little old lady who swallowed a fly activities, storytelling sliders, storytelling crafts, the little old lady who swallowed a bat activities, halloween stories, sequencing a story activities, retelling a story activities, halloween games, halloween activities, pumpkin games, pumpkin centersDo you read the book "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly?"  My kiddos absolutely LOVE this story; it's perfect for practicing the "sequencing and retelling a story" standards too.

little old lady who swallowed a fly activities, storytelling sliders, storytelling crafts, the little old lady who swallowed a bat activities, halloween stories, sequencing a story activities, retelling a story activities, halloween games, halloween activities, pumpkin games, pumpkin centersLucille Colandro has also written a cute Halloween version: "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat", which my students also enjoy. 

If you haven't read it, click the link to see a short  YouTube video of the story, which is set to music.

little old lady who swallowed a fly activities, storytelling sliders, storytelling crafts, the little old lady who swallowed a bat activities, halloween stories, sequencing a story activities, retelling a story activities, halloween games, halloween activities, pumpkin games, pumpkin centersWith that in mind, I designed two storytelling sliders, which make a quick, easy and fun craftivity children can transition to after you read the stories. 

Choose your favorite, or give your students a choice. Children color the objects on the “slider strip” then cut and glue it together.

little old lady who swallowed a fly activities, storytelling sliders, storytelling crafts, the little old lady who swallowed a bat activities, halloween stories, sequencing a story activities, retelling a story activities, halloween games, halloween activities, pumpkin games, pumpkin centersAs they pull on the end of the “slider” 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 “Little Old Lady” craftivity home to share with their family, once again practicing these standards.

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

cover there was an old lady fly craft copyI’ve included a “sequence the story” worksheet for this, where students color and trim the picture “windows” then glue them in the correct order on the blank worksheet.

I introduce the lesson by reading the story, then share my completed "slider craft” with my students.  So that you can quickly and easily make an example, I’ve included a full-color slider pattern.

little old lady who swallowed a fly craftAfter I read the story, we retell the tale together using the picture prompts on my slider.

I have them guess which object they think the little old lady ate 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 slider of their own.

little old lady who swallowed a fly activities, storytelling sliders, storytelling crafts, the little old lady who swallowed a bat activities, halloween stories, sequencing a story activities, retelling a story activities, halloween games, halloween activities, pumpkin games, pumpkin centersI’ve also included a “Here’s What Happened…” writing prompt worksheet, as another way to check comprehension plus practice sequential writing, hopefully using a variety of ordinal numbers or other transitions.  

Reading both stories on two different days, also provides you with an opportunity to do some comparison and contrast activities.  We also graph which one was our favorite.

Halloween games, pumpkin games, halloween party ideas, math games for October, fall math centers, dice games that teach Today's FREEBIE is a packet with 7 pumpkin-themed games in it,  perfect for Halloween week or party day. 

little old lady who swallowed a fly activities, storytelling sliders, storytelling crafts, the little old lady who swallowed a bat activities, halloween stories, sequencing a story activities, retelling a story activities, halloween games, halloween activities, pumpkin games, pumpkin centersWell that's it for today. Thanks for popping in.

I have lots of errands on my "to do" list, so my feet have hit the floor running this morning.  Wishing you a pleasant and productive day.

 "Colorful leaves, light breeze, bare trees...it must be autumn!" -Unknown

1-2-3 Come Do A Storytelling Craft With Me  

activities for The little old lady who wasnt afraid of anything, pumpkin crafts, pumpkin stories, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow stories, Halloween activities, Halloween stories, halloween crafts, storytelling slidersDo you read “The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid Of Anything” by Linda Williams? 
It’s perfect for practicing the “sequencing and retelling a story” standards.

With that in mind, I designed this quick, easy and fun storytelling “slider” craftivity, that will help your students retell the tale in the proper order.

activities for The little old lady who wasnt afraid of anything, pumpkin crafts, pumpkin stories, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow stories, Halloween activities, Halloween stories, halloween crafts, storytelling slidersChildren color the objects on the “slider strip” then cut and glue it together.

activities for The little old lady who wasnt afraid of anything, pumpkin crafts, pumpkin stories, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow stories, Halloween activities, Halloween stories, halloween crafts, storytelling slidersAs they pull on the end of the “slider” 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 “Little Old Lady” home to share with their family, once again practicing these standards.

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

activities for The little old lady who wasnt afraid of anything, pumpkin crafts, pumpkin stories, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow stories, Halloween activities, Halloween stories, halloween crafts, storytelling slidersI’ve included a “sequence the story” worksheet for this, where students color and trim the picture “windows” then glue them in the correct order on the blank worksheet.

I introduce the lesson by reading ”The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid Of Anything”, then share my completed "slider craftivity” with my students.

So that you can quickly and easily make an example, I’ve included a full-color slider pattern.

activities for The little old lady who wasnt afraid of anything, pumpkin crafts, pumpkin stories, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow stories, Halloween activities, Halloween stories, halloween crafts, storytelling slidersAfter I read the story, we retell the tale together using the picture prompts on my slider. I have them guess which object 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 slider of their own.

I’ve also included a “Here’s What Happened…” writing prompt worksheet, as another way to check comprehension plus practice sequential writing, hopefully using a variety of ordinal numbers or other transitions. 

activities for The little old lady who wasnt afraid of anything, pumpkin crafts, pumpkin stories, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow stories, Halloween activities, Halloween stories, halloween crafts, storytelling slidersToday's featured FREEBIE is entitled "Halloween Boo Boos" .

For a fun language arts activity for Halloween, have your students become the teacher.  Pass out the ghostly paper then set a timer.  How many boo boos can they find before the timer rings?

Students circle the mistakes and then write a corrected sentence.  You decide what sentences you want your students to correct.  They circle those numbers and then begin the game. 

activities for The little old lady who wasnt afraid of anything, pumpkin crafts, pumpkin stories, scarecrow crafts, scarecrow stories, Halloween activities, Halloween stories, halloween crafts, storytelling slidersWell that's it for today. Thanks for popping in. Dashing this off before I turn in for the night.

I have a bit of a cold, and am hoping a good night's sleep will perk me up in the morning.  Wishing you a pleasant and relaxing evening.

"There is a harmony in autumn, and a lustre in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!" -Percy Bysshe Shelley

1-2-3 Come Do Some Spider Math With Me

Since we study spiders in October, I thought it would be fun to design a craftivity, that would not only help reinforce the science fact that spiders are not insects, but arachnids because they have 8 legs, but also practice several of the math standards that we’re also working on.

math centers, math crafts, spider centers, spider activities, spider crafts, october bulletin board ideas. spider bulletin board ideasThus “Midnight”, the “8 is Great!” math spider was born, where children show you various ways to represent the number 8

Since a spider has two body segments (cephalothorax & abdomen) which look like the number 8, I created a number template. (Remember to grab that “teachable moment” to build vocabulary with these science terms.)

math centers, math crafts, spider centers, spider activities, spider crafts, october bulletin board ideas. spider bulletin board ideasStudents fold the pattern in half, cut on the bold lines, then open to reveal the spider’s number 8 body, which they glue 8 legs to.
Because the number is cut on a fold it’s easy-peasy even for PK children!

The craft is versatile, as you can differentiate the “leg labels” (math skills) you want to practice.

Younger kiddos can simply make the spider, while kinder and 1st graders can practice tally marks, addition, subtraction, as well as greater & less than.

There's also a blank template, so older students can subtract larger numbers or show 8 with multiplication & division.

math centers, math crafts, spider centers, spider activities, spider crafts, october bulletin board ideas. spider bulletin board ideasAre you learning time to the hour? You also have the option to include a clock face where students draw hands to show 8 O’Clock.

Since my students are also learning about fractions (whole, half, and quarters) I included a fraction pie too. 

smath centers, math crafts, spider centers, spider activities, spider crafts, october bulletin board ideas. spider bulletin board ideasUse the pie pattern that’s cut into fourths then have students turn it into eighths by making an X in the center, or simply use the 8-piece pie pattern.

There's also a fraction poster that shows the various fractions, which will help you explain what you want your students to do.

math centers, math crafts, spider centers, spider activities, spider crafts, october bulletin board ideas. spider bulletin board ideasLegs can lay flat, or they can be folded to add some 3D pop.
Add a bit more pizzazz by suspending the spiders from the web pattern.

math centers, math crafts, spider centers, spider activities, spider crafts, october bulletin board ideas. spider bulletin board ideasCompleted projects make a terrific bulletin board or dangle them from the ceiling as a hallway-wall border.

math centers, math crafts, spider centers, spider activities, spider crafts, october bulletin board ideas. spider bulletin board ideasI’ve included two “8 is Great!” posters to use for the center of your display, as well as a “Show Me Eight!” worksheet

math centers, math crafts, spider centers, spider activities, spider crafts, october bulletin board ideas. spider bulletin board ideasToday's featured FREEBIE is "Peek-a-Eeek!"  a 2D, spider-themed shape booklet.

You can make just a copy for yourself and use it to review the basic 2D flat shapes with your students, or run off copies of the shapes and have students cut and glue them into a booklet of their own. 

spider activities, spider crafts, math centers, spider centers, math crafts, October bulletin board ideas, spider bulletin boardWell that's it for now. Thanks for stopping by.

spider activities, spider crafts, I'm reading a pumpkin story for "orange day" at my grandson's preschool today, so time to add the finishing touches to my "splash of orange" outfit. (Orange nail polish and all!)

Wishing you a fun-filled day.

"We lose ourselves in books.  We find ourselves there too." -Unknown

 

 

 

 

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