1-2-3 Come Do a Super-Fun Writing Prompt With Me
No matter what grade I taught, if I added a bit of craftiness to a writing prompt, I’d grab my students’ attention.
Once they saw my example, they were excited to make one of their own and get right down to business.
With that “focused & happy engagement” in mind, I thought a super-fun writing prompt, would be for students to pretend to be a school bus; which is a glimpse of “personification”, “point of view” and “text to self”.
If you’ve gone over bus safety with your kiddos, this is also an interesting way to reinforce those rules.
As one of the posters states: “I’m a bus and I’ve got something to say; which includes some rules that you need to obey.”
For example, my bus says: “Thank you for not eating or drinking. I hate getting all sticky and dirty. It makes me smell bad too.” Younger students can write a simpler sentence, like "Railroad crossing! Quiet please." etc.
To introduce the craftivity, read “Bus Chatter”.
It's a little ditty I wrote, as a fun way to grab students' attention, give examples, and motivate kiddos with an “It’s your turn” challenge.
The packet includes 5 large, (full page) black & white bus patterns for students to choose from.
There are also 2 speech bubble options.
Students choose a bus, color & cut it out, then fill in a speech bubble with their final draft of “bus chit chat”.
Add extra pizzazz to the “flashing lights”, with flat-backed rhinestones, or red and gold glitter.
I've included several posters to explain your display.
You can also use the two extra buses provided, as examples, then include them on your bulletin board for added interest.
One reminds students to check for traffic, the other reasures children that a bus is built for their safety.
Besides the craftivity, you can also make a class book. There’s a cover, last page and 5 page options.
As always, there are matching colorful templates for teachers.
I’ve also included my text-filled bubbles, if you’d like to use those, to expedite making an example to share.
Because students really enjoy this type of writing, you can certainly do both activities.
Since "National Bus Safety Month" is celebrated in October, do the craftivity for "back to school", then make the class book later in the fall; which will hopefully show lots of improvement!
For some word work, and vocabulary-building, I’ve also included a bus safety word find, which is a fun pre-writing activity.
There's also a few other goodies to round out the packet.
Often teachers are so busy teaching, that sometimes they can miss important things that are happening in their students' lives.
Putting up a tweet board on a door, wall or bulletin board, helps you stay informed and builds community.
A more caring classroom will be created.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stoppping by.
The thunder is booming and the lightning is crackling as it pours. Love a summer storm to soak my flower garden.
Great day to hunker down and design some more fun stuff for school. Woo Hoo!
"Children must be taught HOW to think, not WHAT to think!" -Margaret Mead
1-2-3 Come Do Some "Wemberly Worried" Activities With Me
No matter what grade I taught, to get students excited about writing, all I had to do was incorporate a bit of craftiness, to get & hold their attention.
With that in mind, I designed these super-fun writing prompt craftivities, which were inspired by Kevin Henkes’ book, “Wemberly Worried”, an all-time favorite back to school story.
I think realizing that others also have fears, helps children not feel so alone when dealing with their own emotions; especially if they find someone who shares the same worry (Like Wemberly & Jewel).
Hopefully, these various writing prompts will provide cathartic fun.
1. There are 14 cover options for the “Sometimes I worry about…” craftivity, which includes 5 girl & 5 boy patterns.
Students color & draw in the facial features. There’s also a generic pattern, plus one featuring Wemberly, as well as a blank template where students can draw themselves inside the “worry circle”.
The cover is then glued to the top of their writing prompt so it flips up.
2. So that you can do a variety of quick, easy & fun writing activities throughout the week, I’ve also included 4, “point of view” postcards, where students pretend they are Wemberly and then write a postcard to a classmate.
3. Students need to know that everyone worries; it’s normal and there are coping skills to help. Which is why I also designed the “Flip the Face” (Mice Advice) craftivity.
Students color, cut and glue Wemberly’s face together, so that it flips up to reveal something they do to help with their worries.
I think this prompt is easier for students to “share” because they feel they are helping others.
4. As another story extension, I’ve also included several Venn diagram options, where students compare Jewel with Wemberly, as well as Wemberly to themselves.
For a fun icebreaker, have students partner up, and do the “Venn Friend” activity, which make an adorable back to school bulletin board.
5. A discussion helps to alleviate fears as well, so I’ve included a whole-group activity, comparing young people’s worries with those of adults.
6. To help get rid of worries, I’ve also included 2 worksheet options, where students write their worries on a large W or “pencil page”, then rip their worries into small pieces, ball them up into a wad, then “toss their cares into the trash”.
7. On the same order, is “Give your worry warts away”, where students give their warts to Wharton the toad, who never worries about anything.
The warts are simply colorful stickers they sprinkle on one of two toad options.
To expedite coloring, I ran the patterns off on tan construction paper. Students add some shading with crayons.
On the back of Wharton, they write down 3-8 worries that they have, numbering them as they go.
The "worry ball" that Wharton sits on says: Don't Worry Be "HOppy". While students are working, I play Bobby McFerrin's song. Click the link to have a listen.
I've included several photo posters of real toads to help introduce your lesson, then later they can spice up your bulletin board display.
The packet includes:
* A “Chalk” behavior modification, positive reinforcement activity, that will help promote working as a team to achieve a desired goal, building self-esteem at the same time.
* Black & White “color me” headers, for a sidewalk chalk treat Baggie, as well as patterns in full color for preschool, kindergarten, & first grade, with a blank template for you to fill in with any other grade. I’ve also included a generic one you can give at anytime of the year.
* A “Chalk Talk” bear poster you can write a daily message on.
* A “Chalk Talk” kitten poster wishing children a “purrr-fect” day. Plus...
* 2, Chalk Talk ("I had a nice time at school today. These are a few of the things that I did:" ) writing prompt worksheets.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
It's the middle of August, so my feet have hit the floor running. My "To Do" list is way too long, but it's also a ton of fun.
Wishing you a zippidy-do-dah kind of day, filled with lots of zip and not so much "to do" dah.
"You're off to great places. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting so get on your way!" - Dr. Seuss
1-2-3 Come Make A "First Day Jitters" Booklet With Me
Do you read “First Day Jitters”, by Julie Danneberg?
It’s one of my all-time favorite back to school books. If you haven't read it, put it on your "to do" list. You'll LOVE the ending.
After I read a story, I like to have my students transition to some sort of activity, which practices a variety of standards, using the book as a springboard.
With that in mind, I designed this "First Day Jitters" class book.
It's a wonderful little icebreaker that I think your students will enjoy.
There’s a blank area where students can draw their own “face”, as well as 8, black & white patterns featuring girls, plus 8 with boys.
I find that my little ones may “write” big, but often they draw rather small.
Because of this, they do a much better job if they have some sort of outline to add features too.
Students draw their features on the face, of how they think “jitter feelings” look.
They color the picture to represent their hair, face, eye color etc.
Children also color any of the emoji faces that depict the variety of emotions that they have felt during the day.
Older students can explain those feelings by writing on the back.
Completed projects make a cute bulletin board.
You can use the various posters to introduce your lesson, then add them to your display for extra pizzazz.
After you take your back to school display down, collate the pages, then add the cover and turn into a class book. (Great to share during parent-teacher conferences.)
Later, take the book apart, and include this page in your students’ end of the year Memory Books.
When students are reading a book from your classroom library and discover that it needs some repair work, to avoid further damage, have them fill out an Rx form of what's wrong with the book and how you can fix it.
They tuck the note on the page that needs repair, so that the end sticks out and then drop the book in the "hospital" basket.
Repairing a book is a great job to delegate to a room or classroom helper.
There are two patterns on a page for easy printing, so why not make a "book hospital" for a fellow teacher or your librarian, as a "Hope you have a great year!" surprise.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for popping by.
I have a few more "back to school" ideas rolling around in my head, so I best make some notes before they flutter away.
Wishing you a day filled with giggles galore.
"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people." - Victor Borge
1-2-3 Come Do a Back to School Icebreaker With Me!
Nowadays, our classrooms are filled with lots of diversity, which sometimes makes starting a new school year a bit scary.
I truly believe that making the time to do some “get to know you” activities the first few days of school, is so very important in building community, camaraderie and a team spirit.
Once those things are established, children build friendships. That bond helps them enjoy school more, learn better and feel safer.
Discipline problems are lessened as well because of mutual feelings of genuine caring and respect.
With that in mind, I designed this super-fun icebreaker craftivity, I call it, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, which not only helps everyone get to know each other, but also practices writing skills in a fun way.
I find that students truly enjoy sharing things about themselves.
Use them as an attention grabbing way to introduce the lesson, or jump start a discussion of why it’s important not to prejudge others.
Later, sprinkle them throughout your display of children's book stacks.
As another discussion starter, I've also included a set of 4, interesting quote cards. These too, can become part of your display.
So that this idea works for a variety of grades, ages and skill levels, I’ve included patterns for lower elementary kiddos, as well as patterns for older students.
Patterns come in black & white so students can color them. I've also included several in color, so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share.
This "topper" sits on a stack of books.
Each book features a "favorite" writing prompt. Such as favorite food, animal, color etc.
Making this a quick, easy and a super-fun way to get to know your students.
Younger kiddos can dictate their answers to a parent, which makes this an interesting activity to do during your open house or "Meet the Teacher" night.
There are also 2 options for “teacher toppers” so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share. Students love learning things about their new teachers.
These come with "favorites" book headers, as well as a pattern where the books are numbered, so you can taylor your questions for your own class.
I've included a list of ideas you can choose from, to help design your own categories.
Simply peruse my list, circle your favorite 14, then number them.
After students have colored, cut and assembled ther book stack, read the first item you want them to write down on the first book: ie. "What is your favorite movie? "
Because "Don't judge a book by its cover" and "I can read them like a book" are idioms, be sure and take that teachable moment to explain what that term means.
I've included some definition posters to assist you.
Plus, kiddos have a nice little something to bring home to share with their families.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Our weather here in Michigan has been absolutely gorgeous! Feeling very blessed.
Wishing you a stress free and very relaxing day.
"Life seems to begin all over again during the summer." - Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some Name Writing Activities With Me
Put some fun into “name writing” practice.
This important skill can be daunting for little ones just learning how to hold a writing utensil.
Likewise, “practice makes perfect” can become tedious and boring.
With these things in mind, I designed this “kid topper” name craftivity.
There are a variety of ways you can use this packet.
The first way is to use as a worksheet with a “child topper”.
Run off the boy & girl patterns on copy paper, or to make them sturdier, use white construction paper.
There are 18, BW girl options, as well as 18 boy options. Children color the child, then trim and glue to the top of one of the worksheets.
There are 4 “I can write my name" worksheets. Choose which is most appropriate for your students.
To add variety & make things more fun, students write their name with a crayon, pencil, marker, pen & piece of chalk.
If your kiddos are like mine, this is a “big deal” that meets with lots of enthusiasm.
Another option, is for students to simply write with one utensil. My kiddos’ favorite is markers.
They can do this all at once, writing their name six times, or do this once each day for the first week of school.
IDEA: Have students choose two different colored markers, then show an ABAB color pattern to cover yet another report card standard.
Completed projects make an adorable bulletin board. I’ve included 2 posters to add extra pizzazz.
IDEA: After you take your bulletin board down, save your students’ work, then have them repeat the assignment, the last week of school.
To make one, staple X number of pages together, add the cover, then staple to the base of each students’ “kid topper”.
Children write their name on the first day, then again, once each month.
This is great to share during parent-teacher conferences, and also makes a wonderful keepsake at the end of the year.
I've also included 3, "bookmarks of praise" for boys, and another 3 for girls, which you can hand out when they pass this report card standard.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for popping in.
It's summer; it's Friday, and I'm feelin' oh so fine!
Time to don my straw hat & flips flops. Hoffmaster Beach here we come.
"A little sand between your toes, is a simple way to take away your woes. " -Unknown.
1-2-3 Come Do A "Dog Gone Great" Writing Craftivity With Me
No matter what grade I taught, all I had to do to grab my students’ attention and get them excited about writing, was to add a bit of craftiness to an interesting and fun writing prompt.
With that in mind, I designed this (flip the flap) “Dog Gone Great!” activity, which is another one of my “double duty” writing prompts.
I call them double duty because they have patterns that serve a dual purpose.
You can use them for either the beginning of the year, for a super-fun back to school activity, or plug them in at the end of the year, for pre-summer writing.
There are 5 different dog designs to choose from, as well as 3 writing prompts:
“I had a dog gone great summer!”
“I had a dog gone great school year!” and...
"________________________ is dog gone great!” where students fill in the blank with something they think is awesome: a sport, activity, subject, book, person, vacation, etc.
There are also 3 writing page options as well: 2 with different sized lines, plus a blank pattern.
Pick which is most appropriate for your students, or give them a choice.
There’s plenty of room to write, as the patterns take up almost a full page.
I’ve included black & white patterns for students, as well as 5 colorful patterns, so that you can quickly and easily make an example to share.
When everyone is done, have students pick a partner and take turns sharing, or make some time for children to share with the entire class.
Completed projects make an adorable bulletin board.
I’ve included 2, “Dog Gone Great Writing!” posters to add some extra pizzazz to your display.
Print, laminate and trim. Students place the colored shape tile on to the matching shape on the leaf, spider, bat, owl, or turkey card.
I've included a blank template for each theme, so you can program with more shapes or whatever. I hope you find it useful.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Since the heat index is 110 I'm going to continue to craft away in my blessedly cool office today.
Wishing you a stress-free & happy-go-lucky day.
"It's summer! If you're not barefoot, you're overdressed." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do a Back-to-School Icebreaker Craft With Me
I think it’s super-important to build a classroom community and team spirit right from the get go.
I find that when students really know each other, they bond and make wonderful friendships. Caring & kindness result & discipline problems are minimal, making teaching much easier & learning a lot more fun.
For these reasons, I do quick, easy & fun icebreaker activities for our 1st month of school. It is definitely time well spent!
With that in mind, I designed this “Let’s Flamingle!” craftivity.
There are 6, “getting to know you” writing prompt page options.
Do one each day, then break students into small groups and “flamingle”. Woo Hoo! A week’s worth of writing, with no additional prep.
I’ve found that students absolutely love sharing things about themselves, so this is an especially fun activity for them, and a simple way to get to know a lot about your students too.
Introduce the lesson by asking: “What do you think ‘flamingle’ means?”
After discussion, share my definition poster. (Flamingle: To socialize and become familiar with your new flock of friends.)
As a whole group discussion, fill in the “Why is it important to flamingle and get to know our classmates?” poster.
Because they are so colorful, completed “flamingo friends” make a terrific back to school bulletin board, or hallway border.
I’ve included 4 photo posters of real flamingos flocking together, as well as 3 other posters you can scatter throughout your display as well.
The “We are all the same; we are all different” poster provides a great diversity discussion as well.
Simply choose which pages are most appropriate for you students, or do all six.
The packet also includes a flamingle treat tag in both color as well as BW. There are 5 on a one-page pattern for quick printing.
Run them off, make two slits on the dashed lines, then insert a colorful marker. Place them on your students’ desks as an inexpensive surprise for them to use to fill in their “wing” pages.
The packet also allows you to grab those extra "teachable moments" to practice using descriptive adjectives as well as simile. Use the "simile definition poster" to introduce that page.
One of the prompt page options has students think "outside the box" and compare themselves: "I am most like this animal, color, insect & invention." i.e. I am like a bee because I am always busy flitting from this to that.
Since a lot of teachers like to start planning for back to school later in the summer, today's featured FREEBIE is another little "first day" or first week of school activity.
The packet is a set of 30 number puzzles, which come in color as well as black and white. Your students will enjoy coloring & putting their puzzle together, which will give you a few moments of peace.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
The forecasted rain hasn't come, so I'm off to go water my very thirsty flower garden. Wishing you a relaxing & fun-filled day.
"One of the benefits of summer, was that we had more light to read by." -Jeannette Walls from "The Glass Castle"
1-2-3 Come Make a SPLASH With Me!
It's a fun icebreaker & interesting way to get to know your students too.
Simply choose the appropriate writing prompt “cover” for the flip-up booklet:
* “Diving Into Summer and Looking Forward to…”
* “Diving Into a New School Year and Looking Forward to…”
Use the “Diving Into ____________ and Looking Forward to…” option, so that students can fill in their new grade, or something else that they are looking forward to. (Diving into sports & looking forward to playing soccer & baseball.)
As you can see by the photo on your right, the writing prompt is the "title" on the "cover" of a mini booklet that flips up to reveal what students have written.
The writing prompts are also easily diversified for various ability levels & grades; as you can keep things simple for younger students, who can write one or two sentences, or a list; while having preschool children dictate a few one-word answers.
Older students will be expected to write one or two pages of more in-depth explanations.
There’s a blank page pattern for this.
There’s also several “brainstorming” worksheets for the various prompts, which can be used for prewriting.
As with all of my products, I’ve included completed samples to give you some ideas, as well as enable you to quickly & easily zip off an example to share with your students.
Adding a sprinkle of glitter and a school photo, along with a few 3D options, gives extra pizzazz to the project.
Completed projects make a terrific bulletin board, or wall display in the hall.
Because students trace & trim their own foot, each project looks a bit different.
I’ve included several "Big Splash!" posters you can use for that as well.
For additional writing options, there’s also an “I’m Ready to Make a Big Splash!” writing prompt cover, which works for both summer & back to school, allowing you a chance to touch on idioms if you want.
To help you grab that extra teachable moment, I’ve included some background information, samples & links about idioms, as well as a definition poster.
Introducing this terminology is not just for “big kids”, as my 1st graders easily understood the concept & excitedly shared all sorts of examples!
Since the end of the year is fast-approaching for many of us, you may be thinking about an end-of-the year slideshow, or perhaps you're getting ready for preschool or <strong>kindergarten graduation</strong>.
I hope you find it a helpful stress-buster, and one less thing you have to look for.
Well that's it for today. I marathon-shopped for flowers and plants all day yesterday, so I'm super-excited to play in the mud this afternoon.
Wishing you a sunshine & love-filled day.
"A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfull good intentions. They thrive because someone expended loving effort on them." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some More Pete The Cat Activities With Me
Since Pete the Cat stories are so popular with students, I decided to design a “getting to know you” cat-themed writing prompt.
I think building a community in your classroom is one of the most important things teachers can do to ensure appropriate behavior, kindness, camaraderie and a team spirit.
One of the easiest ways to do this, is for your students to get to know their classmates. Thus the reason for “Check Meowt!”
Although this is a super-fun icebreaker for the first week of school, I continue to do “getting to know you” activities throughout the year.
No matter what grade I taught, whenever I tossed in a bit of craftiness to the lesson, my students were excited to get down to the business of writing.
They particularly enjoyed sharing things about themselves, interests, opinions, likes and dislikes.
In this packet there are several options.
Children can make the cat head, then complete that worksheet and attach it under the “Check Meowt!” header, or they can simply fill in and color the worksheet.
If your kiddos are crazy over Pete the Cat, then run the pattern off on blue paper, if not, a variety of crazy colored cats makes for a vibrant display.
There’s an easier version for younger students, as well as one with more questions for older children.
PK kiddos can dictate their answers to a reading buddy, classroom aide or the worksheet can be completed at home with the help of a parent.
The inspiration for this craftivity came from the song “I’m a Cat”, which is on YouTube. The link’s in the packet.
If you like it, why not play it while children work on their “Check Meowt!” writing prompt, or use it to introduce the lesson.
Completed projects make a cute bulletin board.
I’ve included several posters to use for the center of your display, as well as a color copy of the worksheet so you can easily make a sample to share.
While I was in the "creating cats" mood, I thought it would be fun to learn about, and practice the 5 senses with a cat theme as well.
This packet includes an Itty Bitty “My Cat” booklet, as a fun way to reinforce the 5 senses as this cool cat sees, hears, smells, & tastes things as he moseys along. When you pet him, how does he feel?
Children color their cover, complete the prompt by writing one or two words of what their cat saw, heard, tasted etc. then draw a picture.
Encourage older students to write short, but descriptive sentences and turn this activity into an emergent reader.
When students have completed their worksheet, they cut out the pages, put them in any order they want, then staple them to the “purr-fect” section on the cover of their booklet.
There are pages with word prompts for K-1, as well as ones with picture prompts for PK kiddos.
I’ve also included pages that go along with the story “Pete The Cat’s New White Shoes”.
Besides the booklet, the packet also includes:
* A colorful cool cat 5 senses poster.
* 2 “Label the cat’s senses” worksheets, with write-in, or cut & glue options. There are 2 size choices as well.
* For more practice, students can also think of one more thing their cat could see, hear, smell etc. and write those answers on the bookmark-size worksheet.
* There’s also an “I listen with my whole body” classroom management poster, as well as one for students to color.
Today's FREEBIE also features Pete the Cat.
Even before Pete the Cat made the saying "It's All Good!" popular, others felt the same way, like Glennon Melton, so I used her quote to make a cat-themed poster.
There's one in black and white for kiddos to color, as well as a colorful one for you to introduce the writing prompt with, then hang in the center of your display of students' work.
Using the worksheet, children write whether they agree or disagree with the quote and why.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Praise the Lord that the 90 degree temps have flown the coop to be replaced with a wonderfully sunny, 70 degree day.
Time to clear my brain and walk Chloe (my poodle pup). Wishing you a fun-tastic day filled with everyone and everything you enjoy the most.
"There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some "Getting To Know You" Activities With Me
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.
Completed projects make an adorable bulletin board. I’ve included a poster to use for the center of your display.
For 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.
Gluing 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.”
Another interesting way to get to know your new students is with this welcome glyph. No 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.
You 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.
Glyphs 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.
Today'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.
Well 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