1-2-3 Come Do Some Brown Bear Activities With Me
One of my all-time favorite books is Brown Bear Brown Bear. It's great for emergent readers, a super way to practice colors, and perfect for sequencing.
With that in mind, I designed a variety of Brown Bear-themed activities, and will feature 3 on today's blog.
First up is a Brown Bear Literacy Game Card packet, with 23 sets of playing cards to help practice a variety of standards.
The packet includes 2 sets of clip art character cards, with 2 sets of real photograph cards, so that students can match real to pretend, or real to real, or pretend to pretend. There’s also a set of character word cards.
Besides matching games, students can sequence the character cards in correct story order, or put them in alphabetical order, as well as sort the cards by color, or spatial directions of the picture. i.e. looking left, looking right, or looking forwards/front.
I’ve included 3 different sorting mats for these independent center activities.
So that children can make their own “Brown Bear Character Matching Game”, black & white patterns are also provided
Later, these can be sequenced in appropriate story order and stapled, to make an Itty Bitty booklet as a fun way for children to retell the story to their family.
Besides the smaller set of character cards, there's also a larger set in both color & BW, plus a matching "cut on the dashed line to make a puzzle” set of cards.
There are also ordinal number cards, ordinal number word cards, paint splat color cards, colorful bear cards, and color word cards to provide even more game options, which can be done as an independent center or played with a partner.
Another fun thing you can do with the cards is use them while you're reading the story. Choose whichever sets you like, then pass them out to your students.
When you get to that part in the story, the children holding those cards bring them up and place them in a container, or put magnet dots on your story telling set of cards, so that children can place them in correct sequential order on your white board.
Play an "I Have; Who Has?” game. i.e. “I have the red bird, who has the red color card, or the red word card or the real picture card?" or practice sequencing the story by playing the "What's Missing Flip?” game. Directions are included in the packet.
Next up are two Brown Bear packets that practice sequencing and retelling a story standards. One of the options is my ever-popular slider craftivity.
There are several bear options. I’ve included a large, full-page pattern for teachers, as well as a smaller, 2-on-a-page pattern for your students.
Children color the story characters on the “slider strip” according to the colors in the book, then cut and glue it together.
As they pull on the end of the “slider” the various pictures go through the bear’s “tummy window”, so that children can take turns retelling the story to a partner or reading buddy, then take Brown Bear home to share with their family, once again practicing these standards.
Storytelling sliders are also an easy & interesting way to assess comprehension.
I’ve also included a color as well as BW “Here’s What Happened…” writing prompt worksheet, as another way to check comprehension, plus practice sequential writing. (Hopefully students will be using a variety of ordinal numbers or other transitions.)
The other option for practicing sequencing and retelling the story is with a story wheel or pie puzzle.
There are full color patterns to use for centers, as well as a sample to share, plus a black and white pattern, so your students can make their own.
When everyone is done with their story wheel, take a moment to retell the story as a whole group by turning the wheel.
Besides the wheels, I've also included (BW + color) "Sequence the Story” Puzzles, which are a quick, easy and fun way to check comprehension as well.
There are also 3 writing prompt worksheets for further reinforcement.
Today's featured FREEBIE is a quickie apple-themed game that not only practices colors & color words, but counting, number recognition & patterning as well.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for popping in.
A warm summer breeze is calling my name, so it's time to take a much-needed break and unclutter my buzzy brain.
Wishing you a relaxing and rejuvenating day.
"It's a smile; it's a kiss; it's a sip of wine...it's summertime." - Unknown
1-2-3 Come Compare With Me The Very Hungry Caterpillar With The Very Lonely Firefly
Besides The Very Hungry Caterpillar, another of my students’ favorite Eric Carle stories is The Very Lonely Firefly.
I do a big butterfly unit in April, and a sampling of other insects in May/June (fireflies, ladybugs & bumble bees).
With that in mind, I designed some activities for The Very Lonely Firefly, along with a few, which also give students an opportunity to compare “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” story to “The Very Lonely Firefly”.
There are 2 Venn diagrams, as well as 2 graphing extensions and a writing prompt for this specific comparison.
The B&W “The Very Lonely Firefly” Itty Bitty” booklet, is another way to practice these standards.
There’s also a “color me” bookmark, and colorful set of sequencing cards, which can be used in an independent center, as well as for Memory Match and “I Have; Who Has?” games.
The packet also includes several worksheets, one you can use as a whole-group assessment of the story, while reviewing ordinal numbers too.
There's also a graphic organizer for “beginning-middle-end”, plus pocket chart cards for story elements.
Since my "story sliders" continue to be really popular, I’ve also included 2 firefly “slider” craftivities, which will help reinforce the sequence of The Very Lonely Firefly, as well as the ability to retell the story.
The "whole-picture" slider, is perfect for little ones as they simply color the pictures, while the "color, cut & glue" version is great for fine motor scissor practice, which helps strengthen those finger and hand muscles.
As you can see by the photograph, there are 4 options for making the head of the firefly.
For that finishing touch, add some gold pipe cleaner antennae. Wiggle eyes give it that 3D pop too.
Younger kiddos can simply make the craft, while older students can "hinge" the golf ball to make a writing prompt card, explaining why they think their dad is "tee-rrific".
That's it for today. Thanks for visiting. Time to go water my garden and take my poodle pup Chloe for a walk. Wishing you a wonderful day.
"My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me."-Jim Valvano
1-2-3 Come Do Some Super-Fun Firefly Activities With Me
Fireflies are a special part of my wonderful childhood memories. Grama used to say that they are "nature's fireworks".
Studying them is a super-fun way to learn all sorts of science too, so with that in mind, I designed my newest packet: Firefly Fun.
I had such a great time researching and making firefly-themed goodies, that a few simple ideas exploded into a 244-page firefly packet a zillion hours later!
It’s stuffed with a helping of science, language arts, and a bit of math thrown in as well.
The packet includes:
* 5 Life Cycle Craftivities which include “Flip for Facts”, Life Cycle Fan Booklet, Cycle Circle Puzzle, Life Cycle Wheel, plus Life Cycle Number Puzzles, which practice counting forwards, backwards, as well as skip counting by 2s, 3s, 5s and 10s.
All of these craftivities come in full color, so teachers can easily make a sample to share, plus black & white for students.
* 15 worksheets that practice a variety of skills and standards, includes answer keys, along with a variety of Posters, plus 6 Poems.
* There's also a “Let’s Count Fireflies” keepsake fingerprint booklet, with 0-10 number & number word cards, plus a blank set to program more, as well as a set of math symbol cards for making equations and showing greater & less than.
* The “I Spy A Firefly” worksheet game is a super-fun way to whole group assess numbers 0-10, and the 60, firefly mini tiles on a page, can also be used math games showing groups/sets.
* The variety of colorful puzzles can be used for a center, while students can use the BW patterns to make their own.
* I've also included 10 real photographs of fireflies during their various stages of life; plus . . .
* Non fiction text about the life cycle of a firefly, with comprehension assessments and a list of interesting firefly facts.
* There are 26, (8x10) “Flash Me A Firefly Fact” posters you can use as flashcards or a bulletin board display, with blank patterns so students can write their own, plus a cover to make a class book.
* Use the upper & lowercase firefly alphabet cards, for a variety of games, like “Kaboom!”, which are explained in the 3-page tip list.
* A Firefly Slider Craftivity helps practice letters, numbers 0-30, counting backwards from 10-0 & 20-0, plus skip counting by 2s, 3s, 5s & 10s, as well as 2D shapes. For more math practice, I've included 4 graphing extensions.
* A “Rip & Tear” 3D firefly craftivity, is not only great fun, but will help strengthen your students hand and finger muscles. Completed projects make a sweet bulletin board too.
* There are also a variety of Writing Prompts, along with “Blinky The Firefly” A silly -ight word family story
* Since “Fireflies flit, flicker and flutter” I've also included an FL blend poster, worksheet and alphabetical list of words.
* My Y5s and grandchildren loved making the magical “Night Wash” watercolor craftivity, which you can also do with your students' names.
* “Have You Seen A Firefly?” and “If I Were A Firefly” are quick, easy and fun writing prompts, with covers to make class books.
* While the “Help Save The Fireflies” (Cause & Effect or Persuasive) writing prompt is great for older kiddos.
One of my personal favorite crafts, is the jar filled with fingerprint fireflies. We do this after reading the story 10 Flashing Fireflies, by Philemon Sturges.
For extra pizzazz cut the jar lids out of aluminum foil. The mommies of my Y5s especially loved this "You light up my life with love" keepsake craft.
I've included a bookmark with that sentiment that kiddos can also color.
* Finally, the ”Wishing a bright student a glowing year/summer” bookmarks are a quick & inexpensive little something you can give your students at the end or beginning of the year.
I attach a glow-in-the-dark bracelet as a special gift. You can buy a pack of 10 at The Dollar Store.
To celebrate summer and all that parents and teachers do for children, I'm pricing this 244-page whopper at just $6.95. I truly hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating this labor of love. Click on the link to take a look: Firefly Fun.
Well that's it for today. TGIF and time for some super-fun in the sun.
Wishing you a relaxing and enjoyable rest of the school year as you count down the days.
"The roots of education are sometimes bitter, but the fruit is sweet." -Aristotle
1-2-3 Come De-Stress With Me
As teachers and parents we know how hectic the end of the school year is.
Giving certificates, ribbons, candy bar awards etc. is truly exciting and fun for students, but let’s face it; it’s another thing that takes more work on your part.
With this in mind, I designed the Do It Themselves (DIT) Awards. All you do is decide what you want your students to work on, then run off the “ingredients”. The focus is now off you, and on your students.
They pick a partner, interview them and design an Achievement Folder especially for their classmate. There is a huge variety of award options in the packet, so each student's will be different and tailor-made for their friend.
Many of the activities in the packet also work perfectly for "bucket fillers" and as separate end-of-the-year writing prompts that make awesome bulletin boards; such as the "high-flying balloon".
This can be done as computer-generated word art using words to describe a fellow classmate, themselves, or things associated with their wonderful year in kindergarten, or done by hand using the balloon template. (The photo shows it being used on the Award Folder).
The "You're a Sharp Student" writing prompt pencil, is another one that also stands alone, and perfect for an end-of-the-year "bucket filling" activity.
On awards day children also run the show, as they call their friend up and give this awesome gift to them, proudly sharing with the rest of the class what they’ve created.
Believe me, your kiddos will really be excited for Awards Day, not so much because they are receiving an award, but because they made one and get to be a presenter!
Because students are making these, they are practicing a variety of skills you’ve helped them master throughout the year.
They also know how much work went into creating it, so they are much more appreciative than if you had done all of the work.
This activity fits in well with your Daily 5, writing block, or as an independent center.
You decide how many award items you want your kiddos to include. I've made samples using 2 folders glued together, as well as a single Award Folder using a variety of options.
What would have been a pile of extra “homework” for you, now turns into a super-fun classroom crafivity for your students that they can happily work on independently, freeing you up to check other things off on your "to do" list!
You can still buy those candy bars, but keep in mind this might not be your students' favorite candy. Just because a particular kind of candy fits a cute slogan, does not mean they'll be thrilled with it.
Once again, I like to make the "treat" thing totally DIT, so I’ve included a note home to parents letting them know what their child is working on.
Via their interview, each child now knows their classmate’s 3 favorite types of candy. Parents are asked to give their child a job to earn that dollar, then take them to the store to buy ONE of those items.
Shopping for the candy goes on our "chore" list. However, children get truly excited about this, which helps make them beyond thrilled on Awards Day, and that favorite candy treat especially sweet.
I've also provided headers for them to add to their treat Baggie
As children present their awards, self-esteem is built on both the receiving end, as well as making the presenter feel especially important too.
You’re teaching valuable life skills, and each child is getting a treat that they will truly enjoy, plus you save yourself time, gas, and at least $15, at the same time shortening that “To Do” list in the process!
Win-win; woo hoo! Take a bow! You deserve an award. The packet is a whopping 150 pages long (!) so you have plenty of options to choose from.
After students pick a partner, give them several days to work on their folder. Remind them that this is all "top secret" and they shouldn't share what they are doing with anyone.
The packet includes:
14 "I'd like to praise my friend" writing prompt worksheets
An alphabetical list of 236 positive adjectives to help describe their classmate.
An interview-investigation worksheet to collect data.
53 page options to make a "Flipping Over Your Awesome Achivements" booklet. With a full-color sample booklet for you to share with your students, to help explain things.
An explanation and list of word search options, to make a complimentary word find that describes their classmate, plus 4 samples.
Since you waded through this long blog, you deserve not one, but 3 little FREEBIES from the packet.
There's the iPhone "Text It" freebie with 2 samples, the "Tweet It!" bookmark writing prompt, with a sample, a "Wow!" mini award certificate, where you can write in whatever you want in the "speech bubble", and finally, the list of 236 positive adjectives. Click on the link to enjoy them.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you a wonderful time celebrating the end of the year and all you've accomplished.
"Tan lines may fade, but summer memories last a lifetime." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some End Of The Year Activities With Me
I was always looking for some quick, easy and educational activities that would be fun for my kiddos to do during those last few weeks of school.
Things they could work on independently that didn't take a lot of prep or explanation on my part, which would free me up to finish assessing or complete the myriad of other "have to get done" things.
Today's article features 2 of my favorites. First up is my "Autograph Packet". There are 3 autograph booklets to choose from.
* The pencil, is for older students,
* The schoolhouse works for just about anyone, as well as the "play-on-words" auto-themed auto-graph booklet.
However, I did have an early-elementary crowd in mind when I made the automobile one, as I included a full-page option because little ones tend to write so big. The others are 2-on-a-page for speedy printing.
The packet includes black & white autograph pages, featuring adorable graphics for your kiddos to color, should you choose the auto or schoolhouse options. (More "happily engaged" time.)
Unlike an entire memory book that would be a bit difficult for little ones to do on their own, they feel extremely proud that they can write their name and really enjoy collecting their classmates' signatures as well.
Because the pencil is for older students, simply cut some blank pages (perhaps fun neon-colored copy paper) and staple together.
Another super-fun activity is making some thank you cards to show your appreciation for staff and others that have helped you through the year.
This is an educationally relevant activity, plus a great way to teach this valuable life skill. Letting people know you care, especially fits in with those schools who have taken part in a bucket-filling program.
I find that children are anxious to make something for these individuals, as they have really come to care for them. With that in mind, I designed the "Thank You! End-Of-The-Year Appreciation Packet", which includes a nice variety of "craftivities" for you to choose from.
The "Thanks a Bunch Bouquet" is a quick, easy and lovely thank you card for a room helper, librarian, secretary, student teacher, or whomever else you’d like to show your appreciation for. A parent could also make this for the teacher.
Simply print off the vase of flowers, along with a color or black and white copy of your class’s group picture. Cut the children’s head shots into circles. You or they can glue to the center of the flowers.
I made enough centers for 30 students and one teacher. I’d put your photo in the flower that’s fallen, as it stands out. For a less feminine option, I’ve also included a "Thanks a bunch!" pattern, with a set of balloons.
I’ve also written a little thank you poem that generically fits just about anyone. You can glue this inside the card as well, then sign Love, Mr(s) ______________’s 2016 kindergarten class etc. (You fill in your name, the year and grade.)
If you want this activity to include some writing practice, students can also complete the “Thank you for . . .” writing prompt worksheets or bookmarks that can be glued inside, or on the back of the card as well. Each child simply writes one sentence.
This can be done at an independent center, or you can fill in the page as a whole group. For preschool children, have each child dictate what they’d like to thank that person for and you write it down.
Another option is the Thank you acrostic poem. Older students can each do one.
To make things easier, I allow students to write a "sentence" or phrase, if they can’t think of an adjective that starts with that letter; such as "A" = “Always there for us.” or for the letter "Y", “You are great!”
Younger students can do this with you during a whole-group brainstorming session. Choose children to color in the letters. This too, is another little something that can be glued inside the card along with the heart that says: "Thank you! Thank you! You're so nice. Simply had to say it twice."
For another option, I’ve also included large 8x10 letter cards that spell out “Thank you!” . Break up your children into small groups and have them color their group's letter. For a truly awesome-looking stained-glass appearance, remind them to color each section a different color.
Glue each letter to a variety of colors of construction paper. Arrange your students in a group. The front nine children each hold a letter and the exclamation point card, so that they spell “Thank you!” Take a picture. Use this photo to glue to the inside, or for the cover, of your thank you card(s).
If you have the time, why not thank the bus drivers?
Simply run off the bus pattern on yellow construction paper. Children trim and “hinge” the "grill" to the matching section of the larger bus, so that it flips open to reveal a handwritten message from the child.
For that finishing touch, add a photo of themselves in the bus seat. I cannot begin to tell you how many of my students' bus drivers LOVED this card.
Theirs is often a thankless job (I certainly couldn't do it!) and they were truly touched. Some taped them inside the bus!
These simple acts of kindness, go a long way in touching an individual’s heart and making them feel truly appreciated. I hope you make the time to "pay it forward" today. You just never know how far that "ripple" of joy grows.
Today's featured FREEBIE is an end of the year alphabet poem. Simply run it off and tuck in your kiddos' backpacks on that last day of school. I've included full color, as well as black & white templates for PK-4 through 1st grade.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for visiting. I love my early morning time before things get hot and sticky. Once again Michigan has skipped spring and zipped into summer weather.
Wishing you a day filled with everyone and everything you enjoy the most.
"Educating the mind without educating the heart, is no education at all." -Aristotle