Getting to the Core

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

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, paper flower crafts, back to school activities, bucket filling activities, chrysanthemum writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, classroom management ideasOne of my students’ all-time favorite back to school books is “Chrysanthemum” by Kevin Henkes. 

It provides the perfect introduction to name activities, as well as reinforces the importance of speaking kind words.

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, paper flower crafts, back to school activities, bucket filling activities, chrysanthemum writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, classroom management ideasWith that in mind, I designed this jumbo Chrysanthemum literacy packet, which is chock full of a huge assortment of activities for you to choose from.

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, paper flower crafts, back to school activities, bucket filling activities, chrysanthemum writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, classroom management ideasThe packet includes:
* A variety of Worksheets
* An assortment of super-fun writing prompts

* Lots of posters

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, paper flower crafts, back to school activities, bucket filling activities, chrysanthemum writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, classroom management ideas* Non-fiction: Interesting facts about chrysanthemum flowers, with follow up research challenge & poster to record their personal “fact finding”.
* “Bio Blip” for Kevin Henkes, an author activity

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, paper flower crafts, back to school activities, bucket filling activities, chrysanthemum writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, classroom management ideas* “Let’s Text!” Making Connections activities: (text to self, text to text, text to world).

* Word work booklet with vocabulary-building activities, plus 30 word cards from the story.

* Cause & Effect activities
* Comparison - Contrast activities with Venn diagrams plus a personal favorite of mine the . . .

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, paper flower crafts, back to school activities, bucket filling activities, chrysanthemum writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, classroom management ideas* Chrysanthemum “Promise Pledge” Bulletin board display and writing prompt activity with . . .
* 30 “I Promise” photo name cards. 

If you enjoy crafts, then I think you'll really like the . . .

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, paper flower crafts, back to school activities, bucket filling activities, chrysanthemum writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, classroom management ideas* Simple paper chrysanthemum flower craft, which you can do at the beginning of the year for back to school, or save for Mother’s Day.

I've included a pattern with a leaf that says: "A mum for my mom" as well as "A mum for my mum."   

As you can see by the photographs, the results are truly awesome.

Even if you don't do them as a whole-group craftivity, make some up to add extra 3D pop & pizzazz to your bulletin board display of students' Chrysanthemum work.  There's also a . . .

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, paper flower crafts, back to school activities, bucket filling activities, chrysanthemum writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, classroom management ideas* “Color Me" Flower Petal Power name poster plus . . .

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, paper flower crafts, back to school activities, bucket filling activities, chrysanthemum writing prompts, back to school bulletin boards, classroom management ideas* Mazes, Word Finds, “How Many Words Can You Make?” and “I spy my name!” game sheets, as well as . . .

* An alphabetical list of 300 words in Chrysanthemum's name!

* Bookmarks
* Name writing-coloring pages
* “Sticks & stones may break my bones…” posters, discussion & writing prompt activities and finally . . .

* 4 real photograph posters of delphiniums, plus 30 picture posters of chrysanthemum flowers. 

Use them to introduce the story, for descriptive writing prompts, or adjective practice, and for your bulletin board or hallway display. 

Whew! that's a whole-lotta literacy--in all, over 100 fun-filled pages!

the kissing hand activities, chrysanthemum activities, first day of school activities, classroom management ideasToday's FREEBIE also features this sweet little mouse as well as a raccoon named Chester. 

The worksheets are based on 2 of my favorite back to school books: "The Kissing Hand" by Audry Penn and "Chrysanthemum" by Kevin Henkes.

the kissing hand activities, chrysanthemum activities, first day of school activities, classroom management ideasSince the first week of school, especially that 1st day, can be exhausting, I designed these 2 "color me" worksheets, as a fun, quiet and independent little something children can do at the end of the day.

They're a real sanity saver, as kiddos are happily engaged coloring and writing their names, while you have a few peaceful minutes to get things ready for dismissal.  I hope you find them useful.

the kissing hand activities, chrysanthemum activities, first day of school activities, classroom management ideas, free coloring pages for back to schoolthe kissing hand activities, chrysanthemum activities, first day of school activities, classroom management ideasWell that's it for today. Not really complaining about summer weather, but these 90+ degree days have me seeking air conditioning, so I'm missing being active in my garden. 

That being said, I am getting a lot of designing done. Wishing you a fun-filled day.

"When the weather is hot keep a cool mind; when the weather is cold keep a warm heart." -Ajahn Brahm

1-2-3 Come Do Some "Getting To Know You" Activities With Me

getting to know you activities, icebreakers for school, back to school bulletin board activities, back to school craftsToday I'm featuring 2 quick, easy and interesting craftivities that are a super-fun way to welcome and get to know your students.

Whether you do this activity at the beginning of the school year for a back to school icebreaker, or in fall, for October or November, this owl craftivity is a wonderful way to get to know your students, and for students to get to know their classmates better.

getting to know you activities, icebreakers for school, back to school bulletin board activities, back to school craftsCompleted projects make an adorable bulletin boardI’ve included a poster to use for the center of your display.

getting to know you activities, icebreakers for school, back to school bulletin board activities, back to school craftsFor those finishing touches, have students cut out their owl, fold the wings inward, add some highlights with crayons and perhaps a pair of wiggle eyes.

Where they place the eyes really changes the personality of this cute little critter.

getting to know you activities, icebreakers for school, back to school bulletin board activities, back to school craftsGluing on a school picture adds that sweet, “keepsake-touch”.

There are two writing prompt options: Students can make an owl for themselves: "Owl" About Me…” or have children pick a partner and make one for that student: "Owl" Be Your Friend.” 

getting to know you activities, icebreakers for school, glyphs, back to school bulletin board activities, back to school craftsAnother interesting way to get to know your new students is with this welcome glyphNo matter what grade I taught, my students LOVED making glyphs.

They are a simple and fun way to practice and assess listening and following directions.

As with the owl above, completed glyphs make a wonderful back to school bulletin board, as each one will be different!

I’ve provided two “Welcome to school” glyph posters to use for the center of your display.

Because this glyph involves letter recognition, I’ve included a preschool version, as well as one for students who can recognize letters.

getting to know you activities, glyphs, icebreakers for school, back to school bulletin board activities, back to school craftsYou can also simply hold up an unfinished sample and point to the letter you want them to color.

Afterwards, older children can pick a partner, and try to guess which glyph is theirs, by asking them a few key questions, which will narrow down the field.
I’ve included a recording sheet questionnaire for this.

While your students are working on the investigative extension, snap their picture. 
Make a small thumbnail, class composite and print it off, so that students can glue their little photo to the end of the exclamation point to make your “Welcome!” display extra special.

getting to know you activities, icebreakers for school, back to school bulletin board activities, glyphs, back to school craftsGlyphs also provide a collection of data, so they’re an interesting way to introduce or practice graphing.
Based on the information in the glyphs, I’ve included 4 graphing extensions you can complete as a whole group activity.

Since my kiddos are practicing writing their name, I read the graph and have them write their name in the blank of the appropriate section. 

getting to know you activities, icebreakers for school, back to school bulletin board activities, glyphs, back to school craftsToday's featured FREEBIE (I Made Lots Of New Friends Today!) is a wonderful sanity-saver for the first day of school

Use it as an autograph-coloring page for young children, or a writing prompt for older students, where they write about a few of their classmates that they've made friends with.

If you don't have time for everyone to sign everybody's paper, have children sign the master copy, and run off during recess or your lunch break.  Pass out at the end of the day, to allow yourself a few moments of peace to get things done before dismissal, while students work independently.  

sWell that's it for today. I hope you found something useful.

It's my mom's last day of her visit with us; some of the grandchildren are coming over, so it's time to put my party hat on.

Wishing you a fun-filled day with lots of memorable moments.

"Grandchildren complete life's circle of love." -Unknown

1-2-3 come Do Some Chrysanthemum Activities With Me

“Chrysanthemum” by Kevin Henkes, is one of my all-time favorite back to school books.

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsIt’s perfect for a variety of ages, and especially wonderful as an introduction to name activities, as well as discussions about teasing, bullying and “filling buckets”

With that in mind, I enjoyed making a variety of Chrysanthemum-themed activities appropriate for PK-1st grade. I'll be sharing 3 of them in today's blog along with a sweet back to school FREEBIE. 

Because I like to mix math with literacy, I designed the Chrysanthemum Name Comparison Math Craftivity, where students compare their name with Chrysanthemum’s.

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsI’ve included a simple PK version which can be done as a whole group, with an older elementary buddy, or done as homework with the assistance of a parent.

There’s also a template suitable for kindergarten, 1st and 2nd, which involves some easy math, where students can show how they figured out their answer.

Use the vowel, consonants and syllable posters to help explain things, then hang up for students to refer to.

These can also be used as part of your display, as completed projects make an adorable bulletin board, or hung as a border on a hallway wall. 

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsI’ve included 2 “Mixing Math & Literacy” display posters for this as well. 

For extra pizzazz, punch a hole at the bottom and tie on a yarn "tail", or curl a white pipe cleaner and attach.

There are 10 border options to choose from.

Give your students a choice, or run off 2-3 of each of the worksheets so you have a nice variety in your display.

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsGirls can add a bow to their mouse, and boys can opt to leave it off if they want.

For an added splash of color, mount the worksheet on a variety of colors of construction paper before students glue their mouse head to the top. 

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsNext up, is another quick, easy and fun “print & go” name craftivity. I call them "sliders".

Simply choose which name slider you want your kiddos to make. There are 6 options.
I like my students to get some practice in making choices, so I run all of them off.

I’ve included black and white patterns for kiddos to color, as well as templates in color, so that you can quickly and easily make examples to share.

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsMounting them on construction paper gives a splash of color and makes them sturdier.
Run off the boxed “slider strips”, as well as the blank strips and trim.

Children color Chrysanthemum, then write their name on the “slider” strip, by writing a letter in each box.

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsIf you have PK kiddos who don’t know how to write their name, you can have slider strips already written for them, or provide a name card for them to copy.

I’ve included 6 matching name cards if you’d like to use these. 

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsFinally, I designed a Chrysanthemum-Inspired Class Name Booklet.

At the beginning of the story, her parents explain why they named her Chrysanthemum, so I thought it would be fun to send a note home and ask parents why they chose their child’s name.

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsParents fill out the worksheet and their child colors it.  After everyone has shared their page, collate the contributions, add the cover and you have a very interesting class-made book.

Run off the "inside" pages and give children a choice. There are 7 girl-themed pages, plus 7 for boys.

I share Dr. Seuss’s story “Too Many Daves”, then include those pages, along with the rose-quote poster in our booklet as well.

chrysanthemum activities, chrysanthemum crafts, name activities, Kevin Henkes stories, back to school stories, first day of school activities, name craftsWe make several class books each month.  They are always a favorite in our classroom "book" basket, and a big hit with parents at conferences.

Adding a school photo to each page makes things extra special. 

free back to school treat bags, back to school treat bags, treat bag ideas, lucky charm treat bagsToday's featured FREEBIE is also perfect for back to school. I not only give my students a little surprise treat on the 1st day of school, I do a little something extra special the entire week.  

For a quick, easy and inexpensive treat bag, fill up a Snack Baggie with Lucky Charms cereal and include my little note.  There's also 2 "header" options if you want to put 1 at the top of your bag.  

lucky charm treat bags, chrysanthemum activitiesWell that's it for today. My mom's visiting from Wisconsin, and I hear her stirring on this beautiful morning, so time to switch gears and go play outside.

"Tears of joy are like the summer rain drops pierced by sunbeams." - Hosea Ballou

1-2-3 Come Do An Apple Puzzle With Me

Do you study apples? If so, I think your kiddos will enjoy this quick, easy and super-fun apple game.

apple activities, apple games, apple crafts, apple centers, back to school treat bags, Play as an independent center, or as a whole group activity where children plck a partner.

The game will reinforce numbers 1-6 for PK kiddos, while older students can use the 1-12 number puzzle to practice addition.

There are several ways to play:

* Run off the 6-on-a-page pattern and trim.
* There are 3 different apple puzzles for #s 1-6, as well as 3 for #s 1-12.
* Students pick a partner or play in groups of 3, taking turns rolling the dice.

* Whatever number they roll they color in the matching section on their puzzle.
* Older students will play with one dice for numbers 1-6, then use two dice, adding them together, for numbers 7-12.

apple activities, apple games, apple crafts, apple centers, back to school treat bags, * To reinforce the fact that apples are 3 different colors, I have my students color with a red, yellow, and green crayon.
* You can give children a choice of how they want to color, or to practice “color by number” following directions, hang up the poster(s) for them to refer to.

* The first child to color in all of the numbers, or the one with the most filled in when the timer rings, is the winner.

To play this as a Center Game:
* Run off the larger apple puzzles on red, yellow and lime green construction paper, laminate and trim.
* Run off the same number of patterns on white card stock, so younger children have a base to place the puzzle pieces on.

* Challenge older students to try and figure out the puzzle without using the base template.

apple activities, apple games, apple crafts, apple centers, back to school treat bags, * Children play the same as above, only instead of coloring a section, they find, and place that puzzle piece over the correct number.
* To assist children who are not using a base, print & laminate the “Challenge!” sample posters for them to refer to.

Another Idea:

* I’ve also included “header” cards, if you’d like to make these as an inexpensive gift for a back-to-school treat bag.
* They come in color as well as BW

apple activities, apple games, apple crafts, apple centers, back to school treat bags, It’s a super-simple, 1st day activity that children can do independently, which allows you to be freed up. Woo hoo!

Children are happily engaged putting their own personal puzzle together.
When they’re done, they pick a new friend to play the dice game with; using the base that they built their puzzle on, which they’ll now color for the “Roll & Color” dice game.

I’ve included a different “Welcome!” apple pattern for this, where the sections are a bit larger, so that you have room to write the letters of each child’s name if you want.

You can have these pre-cut, or to make the activity last longer have children cut out their own pieces. 

Today's featured FREEBIE is an icebreaker activity perfect for the first day or week of school. 

icebreakers for back to school, icebreaker games, icebreaker activitiesThe M&M or Skittle Game has been around for a while, and goes by as many names as there are colors.  There's also a variety of ways to play. 

These are my versions. I hope you find them useful and an intersting and easy way to get to know your new students, as you build community and cameraderie.

apple activities, apple games, apple crafts, apple centers, back to school treat bags, Well that's it for today.  The grand babes are coming, so it's time to put my beloved "Nana" hat on. 

Nothing like grandchildren to make you feel young and old at the same time. 

Wishing you a day filled with happy hugs and giggles galore!

"Grandchildren fill a place in your heart that you didn't know was empty."

1-2-3 come do Some Apple Activities With Me

Because apples are a big deal here in Michigan, I've spent a lot of time designing quick, easy and fun apple activities that teach a variety of standards. 

I'm featuring 3 of my newest creations on the blog today, along with a special FREEBIE. 

life cycle of an apple activities, life cycle of an apple crafts, apple crafts, apple activities, activities for Real Stuck Way Up story, apple games, apple songs, apple writing prompts“Real Stuck, Way Up”, by Benette W. Tiffault, is  my Y5s’ favorite apple stories.

      A boy wants to eat an apple “way up” in the tree, so he tosses his baseball to knock it down and it gets stuck; so he tosses his shoe, a baseball glove and a variety of other items ‘til all of them are “real stuck, way up”, including himself when he decides to climb the tree.

life cycle of an apple activities, life cycle of an apple crafts, apple crafts, apple activities, activities for Real Stuck Way Up story, apple games, apple songs, apple writing promptsIt’s a perfect “sequencing” story and super-fun way to practice retelling a tale.

With that in mind, I designed a story “slider” craftivity, along with 4 worksheets to test comprehension, plus 4 interesting writing prompts, that I think your students will really enjoy.

life cycle of an apple activities, life cycle of an apple crafts, apple crafts, apple activities, activities for Real Stuck Way Up story, apple games, apple songs, apple writing promptsThe slider patterns come in BW as well as color, so that you can quickly & easily make a pattern to share. There are also 2 size options: full-page or 2-on-a-page.

For an independent center activity, there’s a set of colorful sequencing cards. Make a double set to use for a Memory Match game.

life cycle of an apple activities, life cycle of an apple crafts, apple crafts, apple activities, activities for Real Stuck Way Up story, apple games, apple songs, apple writing promptsI’ve also included a set in BW, so that children can color, cut and make their own sequencing game.

You could use these as a whole-group assessment to check comprehension.

Later, have students pick a partner to see who can be the first to sequence the story correctly.

Afterwards, have them add the cover to make an “Itty Bitty” booklet.

life cycle of an apple activities, life cycle of an apple crafts, apple crafts, apple activities, activities for Real Stuck Way Up story, apple games, apple songs, apple writing promptsTo make reading the story especially fun, pass out the picture cards to your students.

When you get to that item in the story, the child holding that card places it on the apple tree poster.

After the story, pass the cards out to different children; challenge the class to put them in the correct order.

You can also use these patterns as an independent math center.

Children roll 1 dice to place picture cards 1-6 on the tree, then roll 2 dice. add them together to place picture cards 7-12 on.

Make a double set and have children play against a partner, to see who can be the first to get all of their items “real stuck”.

life cycle of an apple activities, life cycle of an apple crafts, apple crafts, apple activities, apple games, apple songs, apple writing promptsNext up is a set of "Life Cycle Of An Apple Number Puzzles", which are a simple way to not only learn the life cycle, but some of that science vocabulary as well.

Students also practice sequencing numbers from 1-10, counting backwards from 10-1, as well as skip count by 2s, 3s, 5s & 10s.

There are 14 different kinds with 65 puzzles in all. Some are vertical, while others are horizontal.

Print, laminate & trim the full color options and use as an independent math or science center.

Use the black & white ones, so that students can color & cut up their own puzzle.

life cycle of an apple activities, life cycle of an apple crafts, apple crafts, apple activities, apple games, apple songs, apple writing promptsDoing a bit of singing at the end of our day, is something my students really enjoy and look forward to.

One of their favorite songs is B-I-N-G-O.  The song is an easy-peasy & great way to practice letter recognition, spelling and subtraction! Woo Hoo!

With that in mind, I made up a little “B-I-N-G-O” song for each month.  These apple & cider ones are for September.

My Y5s were recognizing lots of letters and understanding “taking 1 away”, before we even got to specifically studying those letters or the concept of subtraction, all because of the simple BINGO songs!

The A-P-P-L-E  one is now there personal favorite. You know you've got a "winner" when your kiddos break out in song while working on their apple-themed morning work!

ice breaker activities for back to schoolToday's featured FREEBIE is a super-fun Name Map.  It's a nice icebreaker for the first week of school and a great way to get to know your new students.

The completed activity makes a wonderful back to school bulletin board too! 

life cycle of an apple activities, life cycle of an apple crafts, apple crafts, apple activities, activities for Real Stuck Way Up story, apple games, apple songs, apple writing promptsWell that's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by. 

We've had quite a few record-breaking, hot and humid 90-degree days, so it's time for a dip in the pool.

So in need of that energizing refreshment.  Wishing you a fun-filled day.

 "It's never to late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot

 

 

 

 

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