1-2-3 Come Do Some Pussy Willow Activities With Me
"Fun With Pussy Willows" is another "From my Heart to your Hands" FREEBIE.
Spring is such a fun time to be outside, breathing in the beauty of nature, as things start to bud, bloom and grow.
Pussy willows are one of the first signs of spring here in Michigan, so I like to gather a bunch and bring them into the classroom for my kiddos to touch.
They exclaim at the softness of the little puffs, and can certainly understand how these lovely branches got their name.
With that in mind, I designed this "Fun With Pussy Willows" packet. I hope you enjoy the activities, as much as I did creating them.
. 2, intersting legends about how the pussy willow got its name. You can read these as part of your introduction as well.
. A pussy willow craft.
Students can draw a few “twig” branches on their paper and create their own pussy willow pattern, or for younger kiddos, who need a bit of guidance, you can run off my pattern on construction paper.
A bright blue or gray blue color looks like a spring sky, but to add variety to your display, you could give children a color choice.
So the "branches" of the pussy willow stand out, have children trace a thick, brown line over them using a brown crayon.
There are two options for making a pussy willow picture, and both look stunning.
One is made by pulling a pinch of cotton from a cotton ball, then balling it up a bit, and gluing it to the oval sections on the branches.
For less mess, I squirted a dollop of Elmers glue on a paper plate.
Children then dip their Q-tip into the glue and put a dab on the oval sections of their paper, then press the cotton in place. Older students can simply use the glue bottle.
I filled in the entire paper using just half of a cotton ball. As you can see by the photographs, the wonderful 3D results are quite realistic.
The other option is to have children make a "keepsake" picture, by dipping their pointer finger into a dollop of white, acrylic paint, then pressing their "print" onto the oval sections.
For this picture, I added a 3D effect by gluing a real twig to the center branch of my pussy willows.
While the paint is still wet, sprinkling on a bit of opalescent glitter really adds a lovely finishing touch to the picture.
I've included a little poem, inside of a heart, which children can cut & glue to the bottom left corner of their picture:
This pussy willow's special, as you can plainly see. I made it with my fingerprints, with lots of TLC. It's bringing springtime wishes, with love to you from me.
The packet also includes...
. Letters that spell “Pussy Willows” to use as a caption for your spring bulletin board or hallway display.
I made the letters using background paper featuring various pussy willow branches.
. Since April is Poetry Month, I thought it fitting to include a pussy willow poem, which you can use as the center of your display.
I love the stanza "...and I'll rub spring across your cheek." which provides th perfect opportunity to teach about metaphor.
Students can also try their hand at writing poetry, by coloring, and filling in the acrostic poem worksheet.
Acrostics provide wonderful practice for descriptive writing and learning about adjectives & synonyms, as well as being a nice vocabulary builder.
Students can use just one word as I did (especially because the S & L letters are used twice), or they can use several words or even a partial sentence or phrase.
The letter I proved a bit challenging, so you might tell students that they can use the I as a pronoun, as in "I like pussy willows." However, the word Interesting also works.
Here’s an example of another acrostic for the word spring, where I used phrases rather than single words.
Splashing in puddles
Plants are blooming
Rainbows in a sunny sky
I see buds sprouting
Nests are being built
Gray clouds threaten rain.
No matter what grade I taught, all of my students really enjoyed writing acrostic poems.
.There are also 3 additional worksheets, which include a Venn diagram comparing pussy willows to kittens.
Any of these worksheets, as well as the acrostic poems, can be added to your bulletin board display, and look really nice hung with the pussy willow craft, topped off with the "Pussy Willows" lettering.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
I'm wishing you a fun-filled spring, touched by many soft & tender moments.
For more springtime activities click this LINK.
"Spring is a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be."
1-2-3 Come Do A Winter Craftivity With Me
Having taken down all the decorations, plus sent home lots of wonderful student work that once festooned the walls, our hallways always look a bit bleak and bare after Christmas vacation.
It's time to begin again, and since I live in Michigan where snow lasts well into March, I like to do a big snow theme in January.
With that in mind, I designed this sled-themed packet.
The name sleds are a quick, versatile, and fun craftivity, that creates a super-cute, winter bulletin board or hallway display.
I’ve included letters which spell out “Brrr-illiant Work!” to use for a header.
I've gotten a bit more tech saavy and was able to use this beautiful, blue background paper to make the letters.
Simply print, laminate, trim and hang on or above your bulletin board or wall display,
Choose your favorites or give children a choice. Younger children will find the rectanglular shape easy to trim, while older students can opt to cut around the picture.
Besides the 28 graphics, there are also 3 different style options: 1. Graphic with a face on the child, 2. Graphic with a blank face, so that students can draw on their own, and 3. Graphic with a white "photo circle" over the face, so that children can glue on a picture of themselves.
There are three writing worksheets to choose from.
My personal favorite is: “Sledding With My 5 Senses”.
I share my examples, which i've included in the packet. We close our eyes and pretend we are sledding, then discuss some things we might see, hear, feel etc.
"Expand" these thoughts with older students. For example. "I see snow" is appropropriate for little ones; while "I see sparkling white snow" is expanded to include adjectives.
This more descriptive sentence helps everyone "see" what the author does. If your students are like mine, they will really enjoy "growing" a sentence.
I’ve also included a “Come Sledding With Me” poem. Use the colorful poster for the center of your display.
"Oh no! Sloping snow. Here we go!" This rhyming poem is chock full of over 20 Dolch sight words. Have older students use the black & white version to practice reading, along with a variety of other standards.
There’s a question sheet that you can share with your class. For example, "What words rhyme in the first stanza?" "Can you think of another rhyming word?"
Have older students write their answers on their BW copy of the poem. I've included my completed sample to use as an answer key.
Another quick, easy and fun way to continue with the poetry genre, is having students make an acrostic poem, using the word sledding.
Completed projects can be displayed with the name sled craft for a really cute language arts bulletin board.
And woo hoo! Look at how many standards your students have practiced, all while enjoying making a name sled.
Ripping and tearing strips of paper into small square scraps and then gluing them to their #100 worksheet, is not only fun for your kiddos, it helps strengthen their finger muscles.
Children can do a multi-colored "rainbow" 100, like my sample, or choose 2 or 3 colors and do an AB-AB or ABC-ABC color pattern.
Completed projects make a sweet bulletin board. I've included a poster to use for the center of your display.
Well that's it for today.
The snow outside my office window is falling softly, and all over town children and teachers are rejoicing in having a "snuggle in" snow day.
Wishing you a sparkling day.
"If you listen carefully, the silence of the snow is beautiful." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Make A Thank You Card With Me
As Bob Hope was fond of singing: "Thanks for the memories." The end of the school year is near! Woo hoo. I always found myself with a bit of time on my hands for that last week of school, particularly when we had to make up a bunch of snow days.
Making some thank you cards to show your appreciation for staff and others that have helped you through the year, 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 2015 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. I’ve included a completed sample for you to share. This is a great activity to reinforce adjectives. A helpful adjective site is: http://adjectivesstarting.com/
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 took me quite awhile to design. They 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).
I also used these letter tiles to design several sizes for a "stained-glass" Thank you” template. These too can be used as a cover, or an inside page.
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!
And now for some FREEBIES. One of the really quick and easy cards to make in the packet, is the "Thank you 'berry' much for lending a helping hand!" strawberry card. It's especially "sweet" for secretaries and classroom volunteers.
Trace one of your student's hands to make the leaves, flip the card up, add that group "Thank you!" photo and have all of your kiddos sign the back. Click on the link to grab the strawberry thank you card.
Finally, teachers definitely need to be thanked for all they've done throughout the year.
The "Teachers take a hand, open a mind, and touch a heart" poster, makes a wonderful keepsake card.
Simply mount it on construction paper and have all of the children sign it, or send the note home to parents and enlist their help.
They trace their child's hand and jot down a message on it. You glue the hands around the poster, or inside, as additional pages to a stapled card. Click on the link for the teacher thank you poster. If you'd like the entire Appreciation Packet click here.
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.
Thanks for visiting. I popped out of bed early because a zillion "want-to-do things" are buzzing through my brain. Fun, fun, fun in the sun! These will definitely be taking precedent over the "should-really-dos".
Wishing you a happy day, filled with light-hearted moments and lots of giggles.
"Direction is so much more important than speed. Many people are going nowhere fast!" -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some Winter Craftivities With Me
PTL things are FINALLY back to normal in my little cyber-world. Few things have the capicity to incapacitate me, as much as computer problems. I'm such a control freak that when something happens that is out of my control, it is way beyond frustrating. Anyone relate?
We now have a brand new server and everything seems to have transferred well. Sorry if you experienced broken links and error messages while I was swinging from the ceiling pulling my hair out. I'm all better now, and can't wait to share lots of new stuff that I played around with, to keep my sanity, while experiencing insane glitches.
This is a potpourri of winter-themed "stuff." My new personal favorite I call My Shapely Snowflakes. I was watching the overhead at church Sunday; they had a lovely snowflake posted on the message. The center was of all things a hexagon! That's a "toughy" shape that I'm always on the look out for fun things to do with it.
Beside the Pentagon and a few nuts and bolts, it's hard to give children an example. My husband thinks I should shut off my creative enthusiasm every now and then, especially at church, but I was so excited to design My Shapely Snowflakes I sketched a note to myself.
You can make a set to use as flashcards, a bulletin board, interesting assessment, or independent matching center. I've also included a spinner, so students can play a game. Click on the My Shapely Snowflakes link to grab it.
One of my Y5 standards was that students could recognize and spell their names. Although my kiddo's accomplished this by the end of September, they always enjoyed any activity that involved their names.
With that in mind, I designed this wintry alphabet snowman. You can give your students the option to spell their name, so they have a sweet sign to decorate their bedroom door with, or have them think of a winter word they'd like to spell out like: peace, love, joy, snow, winter or even welcome. Hang them in the hallway with the caption: "_________________'s Kinders Are Simply Brrrr-illiant!"
There are 4 different sets of alphabet cards to choose from. You can also print, laminate, trim and use for a variety of games. A 3-page list of ideas is included in the packet. This is the one I made for my grandson. Click on the link to view/download the Snowman Alphabet craftivity.
If you're tossing in some poetry to cover a variety of genres, have your students make an acrostic poem. Students of all ages enjoy making them, and they are a nice way for children to review letters and words that begin with those letters. I've made a template for a snowman, winter, and frozen word acrostic. Click on the link to check out The Snowman Acrostic craftivity.
I know many of you are out there searching the web for quick, easy and inexpensive ideas for your kiddo's to make as a gift, or for you to give to them. How about a pin? The snowman tea light is not my original idea. I found it all over Pinterest as a magnet and decided to diddle around with one as a pin.
As a child I LOVED my Santa, Rudolph and Snowman (pull-the-string and light-up-the-nose) pins you could buy at the "dime" store. Anyone else remember those?
I used E6000 to glue on the pin back, wiggle eyes and bow; added the mouth with a permanent Sharpie, and cut off the finger of a black glove to make the hat. Yes it stretches that much! Roll the end up, so they don't look frayed and add a dot of glue to keep it rolled.
The Dollar Store sells these gloves in all sorts of colors. I think red or green would have looked nicer, but I had black around the house so tada! (2 pair makes 20 inexpensive pins/magnets.) You can also buy a pack of tea lights there too. Make sure you position the hat so that you don't cover the light switch.
Finally, another sweet gift is the Christmas Tree Lights bookmark made out of finger prints. "You light up my life with your love, so I left some finger prints to brighten yours." Baby Kaiden and I made this sample; my daughter loved it.
Thanks for visiting today. I try to design and blog daily, so I hope you can stop by tomorrow for more FREEBIES hot off Diane's sketch pad. Feel free to PIN away.