1-2-3 Come Do Some Back To School Sidewalk Chalk Activities With Me
I LOVE sidewalk chalk and so did my young fives. You can buy 6 to a dozen sticks at The Dollar Store, so I always had a big bucket on hand, for those crazy days when everyone has had enough, and you just need to take a break and get outside.
Keeping in mind, that just about everything we do has to be "educational" and include the "standards", I'd have my kiddos practice writing their names, letters, numbers and drawing shapes. After we got that out of the way, they enjoyed creating "mess-terpieces" 'til it was time to go in.
For quick cleanup, make sure you bring some wet wipes with you, so students can wipe off their dusty hands.
If you give your students a first day gift or treat bag of some sort, and are looking for something easy and inexpensive, then I think you'll enjoy my "Welcome! ___________ is 'chalk' full of learning fun!" treat bag. I have templates for preschool, kindergarten and first grade, plus a blank one to fill in with whatever you teach.
And... no worries if you've already started school. There's a generic "Wishing you a day that's "chalk" full of fun!" black & white, plus colorful note too.
My inspiration for this packet, came from My Sweet Sanity's blog spot. She used the "chalk full" play on words, for an end-of-the-year summer gift. Click on the link to zip on over and see her rainbow version.
So that you have a time-filler if you need it, run off the header on white construction paper, so that students can pull it off, color and use as a bookmark.
You could also run them off on a variety of colors of construction paper, or print the ones that are in color.
Attach the card to the front of a Snack Baggie, with a glue dot. (I don't like using staples with little ones.) Put a piece of sidewalk chalk inside and you're done!
Because students will want to play with the chalk right away, I wouldn't put them on their desks. Instead, put the treats in a big basket in full view and wait for children to notice, or show them one and let them know that they will get their Baggie at the end of the day to take home, or...
Use them as a behavior modification technique. Tell students that they need to work as a team with their new friends.
Each time they complete a task, or show great group behavior, you'll color in a letter on the "chalk" poster. When all of the letters have been colored in, they get their chalk and are able to go outside for some special fun.
As long as you're outside, why not take some pictures. Pinterest has quite a few photo op examples that involve sidewalk chalk. If you take a first day of school picture, one of these ideas would be adorable. Children tend to be less camera shy while playing outside, so you should get some adorable shots like the ones pictured here.
I've linked back to give credit when I could, however some showed just a photo and went no where. (Hover over the photo to see if it's linked and then bop over to those sites for more details.)
The balloon and crown idea are also easy and cute. That little guy is so joy-filled!
Keeping with the sidewalk chalk theme, I designed some writing prompts that I call "Chalk Talk".
There's one for boys and one for girls. Children complete the prompt: "I had a nice day at school. These are a few of the things that I did."
I've also included two "chalk talk" posters to use for whatever you deem appropriate.
Click on the link to view/download the Chalk Talk packet.
For 30 fun games and activities with sidewalk chalk check out this creative birthday party idea website.
You can buy a bucket of sidewalk chalk at The Dollar Store, but if you’d like to make some, you can find a recipe on wikihow. For 7 fun ways to make ice chalk, click on the link. I like the idea of using Popsicle sticks, so children's hands don't get as messy.
Finally, click on the link for a recipe for scented sidewalk chalk paint, (She used Kool-Aid for non-toxic fragrance) and says: "This is a super-simple and inexpensive paint recipe that rinses off with a hose."
Well that's it for today. Feel free to PIN away.
I'm headed outside with my brand new tub of sidewalk chalk to create some awesome photographs with my little grandson Kaiden. Hope you have a day full of giggles too.
"A picture is a poem without words." - Horace
You've heard of an apple for the teacher, well this is an apple from the teacher. They are a quick, easy and healthy alternative to a back to school treat bag. If you'll be studying apples in the fall, this snack fits right in.
1-2-3 Come Make Some 1st Day Of School Gifts With Me
Throughout my many years of teaching, I made all sorts of cute little gifts and treat bags for my students. I especially wanted to have a little surprise to delight them on that first day.
Because I had two classes of Young Fives, which usually added up to 40 students, I was always on the look out for something that was quick and easy, but also rather inexpensive.
One of the things I gave my kiddos every year, was a mini bottle of water. I made labels with their names on them and stuck them to the front, and to make sure they stayed intact, I put a clear piece of contact paper over them.
As a great fine motor skill, I let students decorate their bottle with stickers. Because I think keeping children hydrated is extremely important, I allowed them to keep their bottles on their desks for those often hot, first few weeks of school.
We'd rinse them out at the end of the day and then fill them up. I had a tiny refrigerator in my room and we'd set them inside. First thing in the morning, I put them back on the tables. This could be a room-helper job if you wanted, as it’s a great way to help children learn to read each other's names.
If you're wondering about spills, I only had one mishap in the 10 years I taught young fives. I paid a bit more, to have the caps that didn't have to be unscrewed.
They had the "pull up" things to sip out of, where you shoved the cap back down. No taking caps on and off, and if they forgot to push it back down, only a little water trickled out if they tipped over. At the beginning of the year I simply told my students not to remove the caps, and if they misused their water bottle, they would lose the privilege of having one. No one ever lost the privilege!
And even if I would have had some problems, the good of keeping students hydrated, far out weighs the worry about spilling (unless of course they're sitting at a computer.) If you teach little ones, you know what a time drain it is getting everyone lined up and down the hall to get drinks throughout the day.
The need for water can hardly be overstated. I did a few hours of research on the wonders of water. "You don't slosh when you walk, or gurgle when you talk, but most of you is water." (60-70% depending on the source you're reading.)
I read all sorts of studies, and articles about articles; the gist of it all, is that water has been proven to be extremely beneficial, "So don't say no to H2O!"
If you're interested in how beneficial, you can read the summary of my findings, which is included in the packet; like research showing that dehydration can affect mood and make people grumpy and confused. If drinking water helps my kiddos think more clearly and be less cranky, then bottoms up!
The bottom line here is that if we do something as simple as giving our students access to drinking water throughout the day, we help them avoid fatigue, headaches, irritability, confusion, dizziness, inability to concentrate and make decisions, and a myriad of other maladies that a simple sip helps deter.
When the body is functioning at its best, students will feel better, which translates into happy campers. Let’s face it, if our students are content and focused, things run smoothly and teachers are happier as well.
One study even showed that students who were offered water three to four times throughout the day had a boost in brain power. Another, saw a dramatic decrease in challenging classroom behavior! Woo hoo for water...
All that smiling has its own benefits: "When you smile, neuropeptides are released throughout the brain that send messages to your body. Some of these feel-good neuropeptides are dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. They help your body relax, lower your heart rate and blood pressure, plus give you an energized happy feeling!"
Enough said on the merits of giving your kiddos this beneficial gift. I’ve covered the “sense” of it, now here’s the dollar part. This is such an inexpensive gift!
You can get a case of forty 16.9 oz bottles of water (Members Mark) from Sam's Club, for only $3.98. That's less than 10 cents a bottle! What else can you get a child for only ten cents?
If you'd like to jazz up your bottles, take the labels off. They are not glued on, and fall off as soon as you cut them in half. Run off my "labels" on a variety of different colors of copy paper. The first line says: "I can't spell success without u."
Cut the "labels" out (but don't trim the left and right edges, as they fit around a water bottle perfectly.) A simple piece of tape keeps them snuggly in place.
Besides the generic one above, I have 3 others to choose from. If you visit often, you know I LOVE goofing around with word play. I substituted the word WATER for "What are" and came up with a few interesting questions.
Thus the water bottles are not only a refreshing gift, they are an icebreaker as well. Choose whichever question you like best, or give your students a choice, by the water bottle that they pick. Go around the room having everyone share their answer.
I personally like "'Water' you thinking you'd like to be when you grow up?" as it's super simple and students can answer with just a few words.
To incorporate some writing, you could have older students write "Water" their goals, or "Water" the things they want to learn, and use those labels on their water bottles. My husband gave me that "you've got to be kidding" look, when I excitedly shared my “water” word play with him. (Heavy) sigh...
I hope I'm not the only one who thinks this is sort of cute. Your students may roll their eyes as well, but it's all in the name of hydrating fun and getting to know one another. Click on the link to view/download the Water Bottle Packet.
If the "water" sharing and writing don't fit the bill, I also putzed with some picture poetry and came up with a water drop poem.
I made a large one to use as an example and anchor chart, as well as a small one (5 on a page) that you can run off on blue construction paper, trim and attach to older students' water bottles.
After reading mine, and/or a sample of your own, challenge students to write their own water drop poem.
As a whole-group activity, brainstorm a list of your own, and then have students alphabetize the list, or challenge them to come up with their own, awarding a prize of some sort to the one who thinks up the most appropriate answers.
Can you top my list of 125? Afterwards, you can share mine. If you think of more, I'd really enjoy hearing from you. email@example.com or post a comment below.
Click on the link to view/download the Water Bottle Gift packet.
Thanks for visiting. Feel free to PIN away. My "Pin it" button is at the top on the menu bar.
Well that's it for today. I sure learned a few interesting tid-bits about water consumption and hope you did too.
All this thinking, typing, and looking at tantaliizing pictures of icy-cold water, has made me thirsty, which is a sign that I'm already dehydrated! Oh my... time for some major slurping out of a "big gulp".
1-2-3 Come Make Some Back To School Things With Me
While I was working on the coloring-autograph page: "I made a lot of friends today!" for a first day of school activity; I thought making some number puzzles that students could color, cut and glue, would also give teachers a little bit of "sanity" time, to get some of the zillions of trivial tasks done, that must be accomplished before dismissal, on that hectic first day.
The "friends" coloring worksheet was a very popular download. It's so simple, but such a great way to give your kiddos something they can do independently, which frees you up. When you're working with energized little ones, some of whom don't even know how to write their name, the word "independently" is imperative.
The number puzzles also double as a quick, easy and inexpensive little gift that you can have lying on your students' desks. Be sure and write their name on the puzzle (after the word Hi or Welcome! to make things extra special for them.
The puzzles can be pre-cut to expedite things for preschoolers. To give yourself even more time, have students cut their own puzzle pieces (after they have colored the picture) then tell them to mix up the pieces and put their puzzle together.
To make a cool looking mosaic, have children glue the pieces to a sheet of construction paper, leaving a little space in-between the pieces.
After they share their creation with the class, mount them on a bulletin board. Caption: Mrs. Henderson's kinders stick together, or fit in just fine, or whatever else you deem appropriate.
If you take a first day of school photo for a future memory book, make an extra copy and cut it into the shape of a puzzle piece, then put it along side that child's completed puzzle. Adding a puzzle border, or scattering some real puzzle pieces through out your bulletin board, adds the finishing touches. The Dollar Store sells a huge variety of puzzles that you can use to jazz things up.
The Back To School Puzzle packet, includes 30 puzzles. Some of them are vertical, others are horizontal. They come in black and white, so that students can color them, and others are in full color, so you can print; laminate and trim, then use in an independent center for early finishers.
Make a game of it by having children choose a partner to see who can complete their puzzle first. Some of the puzzles use numbers from 1-10 for little ones, others skip count by 10's to 100, for first graders.
I've also included little "Welcome" tags. (There are 16 on a page.) Write in your students' names and then paperclip one to their set of number strips and lay them on your kiddos' desks as a sweet surprise.
So that I had quiet time to check bus numbers and "going home" tags that needed to be changed, I always had some sort of independent activity towards the end of the day. My Y5's were exhausted, the room was usually hot and stuffy, so they were happy to simply veg-out a bit. This puzzle packet is perfect for that.
If you decide not to precut the strips, you may want to lay out a selection of black and white puzzles, and allow your students a choice of which one they want to color, cut and glue. Put a variety of colors of construction paper out as well. If you're all set for your first day, the puzzles also make a great Open House activity.
Thanks for visiting today. As always, feel free to PIN away. Do you have a first day or back to school activity you could share with us? I'd enjoy hearing from you. firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
Time to go water my flower garden. I hope you're enjoying summer and making time to rejuvenate. Blessings to you from my little corner of cyber space.
"Your life is your garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. If your life isn't awesome, you've been watering the weeds." -Unknown