1-2-3 Come Review Shapes With Me!
I found that the more I immersed children in shapes and shape vocabulary, the quicker they grasped the standards. I tried to give students a variety of activities to do, that would involve an assortment of standards, so that I was covering quite a bit, in a short amount of time, with just one activity.
Glyphs and games were wonderful alternatives, that my Y5's really enjoyed. I get quite a few requests for glyphs, and by the number of people who download and PIN them, they are obviously popular. The Quilt Glyph is covered with 2D flat shapes.
Run off and pass out the glyph quilts. Students write their name in the center. The teacher reads the Quilt Glyph directions and has students color the shapes according to their answers. To add that "finishing touch" students can glue a photo on their favorite shape.
Pre-cut a variety of colors of construction paper. Have students choose one and glue their quilt to it. Arrange all of the pieces on a bulletin board to resemble a large classroom quilt. Your caption can read: "We are all wonderfully unique, yet we go together perfectly!" Click on the link to view/download the Back to School Quilt Glyph.
Another way to review shapes is via the "Quick Quilt" game. Run off the template. Students take turns spinning the shape spinner.
Whatever shape they land on, is the one that they trace and color on their quilt. Encourage students to identify the shape by saying its name.
The 1st one who completes their quilt, or the one with the most shapes colored in when the timer rings, is the winner.
The rest of the players complete their quilts too. I've included a black and white spinner, as well as one in color, plus both options, with shape- word labels. Students can color they shapes any color that they want (I encourage children to use lots of colors) or they can color the shape to match the one on the spinner.
Click on the link to view/download the Quick Quilt Shape Game.
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"If you can't make a mistake, you can't make anything." -Marva Collins
1-2-3 Come Stack Apples With Me!
I like to combine a variety of skills and standards into one lesson, that way I'm covering quite a bit in a short amount of time. The "Apples Up on Top" Name Activity involves math, reading, science and writing, plus completed projects make an adorable back-to-school bulletin board!
For example, if you run off the apple printable on yellow, red and green construction paper, students can learn the science fact, that apples can be 3 different colors. You can also teach students an ABCABC pattern. I've included a graphing extension to cover that concept as well.
Click on the link to view/download the Apples Up On Top Name Activity.
To further reinforce lessons, whenever I read a story, some sort of activity followed. Dr. Seuss' (Theo. LeSieg's) book, Apples Up On Top is a wonderful first week of school book, as we are in full swing studying apples. After reading the story, ask your students who the main animal characters are. Run off the template that is appropriate for you, and have students choose one to color.
Print off the apples of your choice (plain red, numbered red, plain black & white, numbered black & white) for your students to (color), copy and glue "up on top" of their animal. When everyone is done, count to 10 forwards as well as backwards. There's also a graphing extension to see how many students chose a specific animal.
The printable can also be used as a dice game for older students. They choose a partner and take turns rolling first one die, for numbers 1-6, and then add a second die, enabling them to roll numbers 7-10, when they add the 2 together.
I've included numbered strips for this game. The numbered strips are also good for preschoolers who are not able to sequence yet. This is great 1-to-1 correspondence for them.
Click on the link to view/download the Apples Up On Top With Animals Activity.
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"You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give." -Kahlil Gibran
1-2-3 Come Make A Back To School Icebreaker With Me
"It's 'owl' About Me" is an easy and fun activity that help your new students learn about each other. Completed projects also make a cute bulletin board. If your boards are already filled, use these as a boarder on a hallway wall for an eye-catching display.
I LOVE owls, and by the looks of items available in stores, and PINS on Pinterest, I guess I'm certainly not alone. The word "owl" can be used for a variety of word plays, such as this "Owl" (all) about me activity.
Run off the template on white construction paper. Have students answer the numbered questions, by putting their short answers in the matching numbered areas of the books. The questions appear on the template.
Students color and cut out their owl, and share it with their classmates. Collect them and scatter across a bulletin board. I've included a large owl, with the questions inside, for you to use as the center of your board.
I like to use bright-colored material, burlap, or pin-dot wrapping paper as alternatives to plain b. board paper.
To add more pizzazz to your students' work, give them wiggle eyes and a photo to glue to their creation. Click on the link to view/download the It's Owl About Me Icebreaker.
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"When a person points a finger at someone else. they should remember that 3 are pointing back at them." -Louis Nizer
1-2-3 Come Rave On With Me!
Are you looking for some quick and easy back to school things? I love doing activities that can be made into a student-generated bulletin board, which helps check one more thing off my long "to do" list. If you need help with that too, you'll enjoy my Quoth The Raven packet filled with fun.
I don't know of any teacher who does not cover rules and regulations on the 1st day of school; seems like that takes up the better part of the day and can be a bit boring for the average kiddo. Why not let your students have a say in the rules? With a little teacher guidance, you can pretty much steer your students into thinking up everything you'd have put on a list anyway.
I thought a cool way to do this was with Edgar Allan Poe's "nevermore raven". If your school mascot is a raven, you'll find this even more appropriate. Choose one of my "Nevermore" headers and then ask students what they think should NOT happen in their class. Examples for older students would be texting, put-downs, having cell phones ring, and checking Facebook on their laptops. Younger children will think of name calling, kicking, biting, spitting, pinching, pushing, hitting etc.
Jot down things as they come up with them. Have a discussion of why they think avoiding this kind of behavior will be helpful to the class. After you have made and voted upon things that need to be on your classes' Nevermore List, type it up, laminate and post it. Employing student participation, makes children feel important and part of the process. You may want them to sign the document, as further reinforcement of your class's rule commitment. Red ink anyone?
To expand on the "Nevermore" theme, discuss why it's important to try and do your best and improve throughout the year. Discuss your students' goals and what they want to accomplish. Afterwards, discuss any behavior that might get in the way of reaching those goals. i.e. missing assignments, not doing homework, not studying, not reading, procrastinating, etc.
Have students reflect on their own personal goals and things they'd like NOT to do anymore. Have them write their thoughts down on the template. Make a copy of their 1st day photo and have them glue it to their paper to make it extra special.
Another interesting writing prompt for the 1st few days of school is done with word art.
I absolutely LOVE Tagxedo. It's a FREE, and an extremely easy word-art program. I have a multitude of ideas of how to use this site that is never ending. With the help of an adult, even a young 5 or kindergartner can make a word picture. Since most of us have a computer in the classroom to use as a center, this offers relevant technology time. I call this writing "craftivity" Quoth the Student Forever More. Run off the raven holding a sign so each of your students has one.
If you'd like to cut and paste your students' photo and type in their name, as I've done on the sample, visit the very creative and generous Tidbits and Trinkets for the raven graphic. If you like the font I used, it's called Kelly Ann Gothic. You can find it for free by clicking on the link. Otherwise, simply use my template and have students glue their photo in the frame and write their name.
Play around with Tagxedo before you demonstrate it to your class. I suggest making your own sample. Students always enjoy learning things about their teacher. For your convenience, I've included my raven silhouette so that you can import it. I didn't want to make this blog too long, so I've included a Tagxedo "how to" with the packet. There's also a word art "Nevermore" raven poster.
Have students think of adjectives that describe themselves. These are qualities that are worth "raving" about, and the words that they will type into the "load" section of Tagxedo.
Explain to students that quoth is an old English way of saying "said." This is why they'll be attaching their raven with the sign to their word art. i.e. Kelli is raving about the wonderful qualities she possesses, that make her special.
I've also designed a hanging tag to help make your bulletin board pop. Explain to your students that they "earn" one of these when they have given their best effort and completed the activity. The portrait of Poe is from a real US postage stamp. I got the free digital clipart tag over at Granny Enchanted. I stumbled upon her wonderful site late last night and am thrilled to be using some digital clip art now. My wheels are turning of all sorts of things I want to create!
Students print out their word art ravens, attach them to a sheet of black construction paper, along with their photo-name. Punch a hole somewhere and tie on their tag. After students share their work, scatter them over a b. board covered with aluminum foil, newsprint, or wrapping paper with a vintage look. I've provided a header that says: "Writing worth raving about." as well as one that says: "Here's something to rave about: ___________'s new students!" Insert your name.
If this is too crafty for you, I've also made a 5-point "rave on" writing extension. Students could also comment or write about Poe's quote that I used in a mini poster, that you can throw up on the bulletin board There are bookmarks to match as well.
If you have older students, (8th -12th) have them listen to a rendition of The Raven poem on YouTube. I've given you a list of 4 of my all-time favorites, complete with spooky sound affects. I've also included a writing prompt for this activity + 2 awesome raven photographs, that students can also ponder about.
Click on the link to view/download the Quoth The Raven packet.
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"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things, which escape those who dream only by night." -Edgar Allan Poe
1-2-3 Come Make A Class Family Tree With Me!
Going to school can sometimes cause separation anxiety in young children; this doesn’t just happen to “first timers” who have never been to school. No matter what the grade, students often miss their families at some point during the day. Sometimes all it takes to comfort a lonely child, is to look at a photograph of their loved ones.
With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to decorate a class family tree, where children could go to catch a glimpse of mom, dad, siblings and even pets.
You can include the instructions and leaf in your summer letter, or open house packet, or you can wait, and allow students a color choice and then send the leaf and note home on their first day of school.
Run off the maple leaf template, on a large variety of colors of construction paper. Make only 2 of every color, to avoid a mostly pink and purple tree, due to the fact that little girls are very likely to choose only those 2 colors. By offering weird color choices for leaves, you will get a whimsical and very colorful tree, that won't look out of place when fall is over.
Run off copies of the instruction letter asking parents to please take a picture of their family, including pets. They will also glue the photo to their leaf and cut it out. Children fill in the blank with their name. i.e. Kelli's family.
Write in a due date for the leaves, as students will be showing and sharing them with their classmates, and then putting their leaf on your big family tree. A good place to put your tree is on a wall in the hallway.
Use brown bulletin board paper, or butcher block paper to make your tree. I liked to make my trees flat, but I've also seen teachers make trees by twisting paper, for a 3D effect. Cut out a large red paper heart and glue the "Our Class Family Tree" sign on it. You could also diecut letters to spell: "Come and see, our class family tree!"
I hope you and your students enjoy this back to school activity and that it helps alleviate those first-day blues. Click on the link to view/download the Class Family Tree packet.
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Sign on a high school bulletin board in Dallas: "FREE knowlege every Monday through Friday; bring your own container."
1-2-3 Come Make Some Back To School Things With Me
As I stated before, I know we all just got out of school, and the summer has barely begun, but somehow, June as usual, has simply flown by. For a lack of anything better to write about throughout the summer, I decided to design some more back to school items.
Hopefully when you've recovered from the past year, and are starting to get excited about school stuff, you'll find this blog article featuring a few goodies to make for your new students.
If you're looking for something easy and inexpensive and an alternative to candy, I think you'll enjoy the Pencil Packet.
Since large office supply stores and retailers will be decorated to the hilt in the middle of July, with back to school stuff; offering wonderful loss leaders, you can usually find a pack of 20 to 40 pencils for only a dollar.
Choose either a pencil tag in color or the black and white tag and run off on yellow construction paper. Punch a hole in the top and tie to a pencil and you're done!
If you want a bit more, inlclude a few goofy erasers that you can buy packages of at The Dollar Store, or attach to a notebook that Target and others sell for just 15 cents at this time.
You can also print off the cute bookmarks and place both on your students' desks for a special "Welcome to school" surprise.
To keep the theme going, print the large pencil on card stock and hang on your doorknob. I've included two on a page so you can hang them on the front and back of your door, or put one up above your pencil sharpener.
For a sweet back to school bulletin board, print off the pencil template, make an extra copy of your students' 1st day of school photos; trim and glue to the center of the pencil and write their name on the top.
Scatter them on your b. board with a school-themed boarder. Using a piece of cloth or burlap as your background, adds a nice touch. Your caption: Mr(s). _______________'s sharp new bunch of students.
Finally, there are 2 student roster posters. You can fill in your students' names, or pass the other one around, for everyone to sign.
Click on the link to view/download the Back To School Pencil Packet.
Thanks for visiting today. Here's hoping this coming year is filled with your sharpest students ever!
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"An education is not received, it is achieved." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Make A Back-To-School Treat With Me!
Are you looking for an inexpensive little something to give your students as a welcome treat on the first day of school?
You've come to the right place.
I've designed several money templates that you might enjoy: A "You're going to have a grand time in (grade)" and "Welcome to school. You're worth a million!" that make sweet bookmarks.
The US never created a million dollar bill, but some novelty shops sell them for gag gifts.
They feature everything from The Statue of Liberty, to various presidents and even Betty Boop!)
There was however, a real thousand dollar bill (featuring Grover Cleveland).
The largest bill the government ever made was for 100 thousand dollars (featuring Woodrow Wilson).
Whenever I'm designing something, I love doing a little research. I found an excellent article telling the stories behind large-denominaton currency. Click on the link to learn some fascinating facts.
How To Make A Back-To-School Bookmark:
Print a copy of the template of your choice. I've made one for every grade from preschool to high school.
Trim a photo of yourself so that it fits into the oval. Run the template off on light green construction paper.
If you want, buy a 100 Grand candy bar for each child and include that as an extra special TAKE IT HOME treat.
You can also wait, and take a first-day photo of each student.
To make cutting ovals of student photos quick and easy, make an oval template by printing off mine.
Trim and then trace onto a sheet of clear contact paper, lamination scrap or overhead projector paper, and trim.
You can now place the clear oval on your students’ pix, trace and cut out.
Run off the blank money template on green construction paper.
Print, trim and glue their photo inside the oval. Laminate the page to make a bookmark that's sure to become a special keepsake.
You may want to make extra copies and turn this into a back-to-school bulletin board.
Die cut black and green letters to say: "We’re having a grand time in (grade)." Alternate the letters in an ABAB color pattern. A yellow background will really make your board pop.
Click on the link for the Back-to-school money bookmark templates.
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"We are all capable of climbing so much higher than we usually permit ourselves to suppose." -Octavia Butler
1-2-3 Come Do A Back-To-School Icebreaker With Me.
My Y5's LOVED playing games as icebreakers for the first week of school. They are a quick, easy and fun way for students to learn about each other.
With a wave of my "magic magnifying glass" I'd often turn my kiddo's into ABC-De-tectives. They especially enjoyed running around with a clipboard interviewing their classmates. With that in mind, I designed this "Find A Friend" icebreaker.
Here's What To Do:
Teacher runs off “rap sheets.” (A list of 5 simple questions.) Older students can fill them out in class; you may want to send the questionnaire home with younger students, to have parents help them out.
Remind students NOT to put their name on their paper. Pass out a rap sheet to each student. Make sure that no one has their own.
Inform your students that they are all detectives and that their mission is to find their new friend.
Explain to your students, that by interviewing their classmates, they will eliminate suspects, until they find their new friend.
When everyone has found their friend, detectives will introduce them to the class, using their rap sheet to tell about them.
For added fun, I've included detective badges, a congratulations certificate of praise, that students earn when they find their new friend, a rap sheet, as well as an interview form.
Click on the link to view/download the Find A Friend Icebreaker Activity.
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"Education is not received. It's achieved." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Make A Shape House With Me!
Since the last "my home" craftivity was so popular, I decided to whip together another social studies lesson you can use when you're studying family and neighborhoods. It's also a fun way to get to know your new students.
Completed projects make an adorable back-to-school bulletin board, and are a nice "icebreaker" for the first week of school, when students are getting to know about their new classmates.
So that math is also covered, I've included all of the 2D standard shapes that children can use to decorate and "build" their home with. Common Core State Standards: K.G.1, K.G.2, K.G.3, 1.G.1, 1.G.2, 1.G.3 can all be covered.
Remind students that 2D shapes are flat shapes. (Lying on a plane.) You can make templates of the shapes using an old file folder.
Have a room helper trace once and then cut out 5-6 at a time, or you can print off the masters, rough cut, and have students trim up their own pieces.
Provide lots of colors, so you can review those as well. You'll also have a nice variety of different looking houses.
I've designed the square windows in such a way, that you can review small, medium and large, as well as fractions: a whole is "cut" in 1/2 and then into 1/4ths to make the windowpanes.
To cover this standard, encourage students to draw windowpane lines on the shapes that they are using for windows.
Be sure to make a sample for yourself to help explain what you want students to do. Have children share their homes, pointing out which shapes they used.
To reinforce more of the shape standard, encourage them to use spatial direction words as well. i.e. "My rectangle door is beside the window. The square window is under the triangle roof." etc.
If you are working on CCSS fractions, students should also use the vocabulary whole, half and fourth when explaining their window shapes. If "Knows their address." is a standard in your school, you can have students write theirs in the middle of the H.
Cutting their school photo into an oval and having them "peek" out a window, adds pizzazz. Click on the link to view/download H Is For House shape craftivity.
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"They can, because they think they can." -Virgil