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 Make A Venn Friend With Me
Venn diagrams are a quick, easy and fun way to help students understand the concepts of comparison and contrast.
I thought making an apple Venn Friend would be a fun way to introduce this type of writing, as well as an interesting way for your students to get to know their new classmates.
It's a nice icebreaker for back to school, or can easily be plugged in during your apple activities. This "craftivity" also works well for Daily 5
There are 3 different types of apple Venn friends that you can make with this packet. If you teach preschool or young kinders (Y5's) who are just learning to recognize and write their names, you may want to do the letter Venn friend.
Run the letter tiles off on white paper. Students can easily add a bit of color to the black striped letters if they want to.
Students choose a partner to make a name Venn Friend with. Each pair of students needs only one upper and lowercase letter sheet.
To make this "craftivity" really pop, I used yellow and red 8" paper plates. You can get a pack of 20 at The Dollar Store. To expedite things, pre cut the plates, as well as the brown stems and leaves. I also trimmed off the tab on the file folders
Run off the file folder labels. Each pair of students needs only one sheet. They trim and glue to their file folder, writing their names in the spaces provided. (See photo.) I outlined the labels to add a bit more pizzazz and added school photos for that finishing touch.
Children add a bit of detail with markers to their stem and leaves. They can glue these to the front of their apple "plate" or you can come around with a stapler. They glue the white "same" section in the middle of their file folder, and then glue their apple plates on either side.
I always made samples to share with my students. A picture is really worth a 1,000 words, in helping to explain things. You could use your husband/wife or a friend for the 2nd Venn diagram. I'm sure your students will get a kick out of learning your first name. Mine were amazed that I even had one!
Children cut out only the letters that they need for their Venn diagram. So that students can use these letter tiles for other things, like Daily 5 word work, have them toss the extra letters in an alphabet box.
Looking at their names on the labels, children sort what letters are the same, and which ones are different from their partner. They glue them in the appropriate places on their Venn friend file folder diagram.
To add a bit of math to this activity, students count up how many letters they each have in their name. After adding a bit of color to their apple label, they write in the number of letters in each of their names and put a < = > symbol in the center of the green apple.
You can also have students add the total of letters in both of their names, as well as the total number of similar letters. Later, you can graph who had the highest Venn friend total of letters, as well as the greatest and least amount of similar letters. Did any team have zero letters for their "same" section?
Have students share their Venn friend with the rest of the class. Completed projects make an awesome fall bulletin board. This craft is also a wonderful extension after reading the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. If you don't want to do an apple-theme, use tan or brown paper plates as coconuts.
Another option for the paper plate, apple-Venn friends craftivity, is to have students compare and contrast their new friend.
This is an easy and fun way for them to get to know each other better. The whole class will become more knowledgeable as well, when students share their completed projects.
I found that the better my students knew each other, the more apt they were to become friends. This generated a caring community in the classroom, where students truly enjoyed being part of our team.
I've followed pretty much the same format in this file folder Venn friend, except that instead of letters, students each jot down similarities and differences.
I've provided a checklist with 41 ideas that they can chat about with their partner. This will hopefully jumpstart their writing and help students be more in-depth when finding out about their classmate, as well as ensure a nice variety of Venn friends.
I've also included a whole-group graphing activity: Did students find that they were more similar or more different than their Venn friend?
Finally, if you don't want to fiddle with paper plates, I've created flat apple templates that work in the same way.
To jazz things up, I've included Willie the worm. Run the pattern off on lime green construction paper.
Instead of labels that say "different" I used worms. Simply make a slit in each side of their apple, and have students color, trim, insert and glue.
Click on the link to view/download the Apple Venn Friends packet. These "craftivities" are different enough that you could actually do both. The letter Venn diagram is a simple icebreaker for the first week of school, and the flat apple Venn can be done during your apple activities, later in September.
I like to revisit certain activities, but with a new theme or twist, as my students feel empowered and can get right down to business, because they are familiar with the directions.
Keeping that in mind, you may want to do a few other seasonal Venn friends when those months roll around. I have a heart one for February, a Leprechaun Venn friend for March, a Bunny Venn for April and a Tulip Venn Friend for May. I'm currently working on a pumpkin one for October, an acorn for November, a gingerbread one for December and a snowman Venn friend for January.
Thanks for visiting. I can't believe it took me most of the day to get this done and blogged about. Time for some fresh air. Wishing you a wonderful school year filled with lots of Venn friends.
"Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers." - Josef Albers
1-2-3 Come Scribble Away With Me!
As you know, when you scribble something, you write or draw it quickly. Scribbles are random and abstract and often done without lifting your pencil off the paper.
Since my Y5's were wonderful scribblers, and each scribble is unique, I thought I’d turn some scribbles into an interesting get-to-know-you piece of art - and add some dice, turning it all into a fun icebreaker, for a creative back to school activity. So...
Come scribble away and get to know your students today! Completed projects, make an eye-catching bulletin board. (Woo hoo!)
If you need help doing this with preschool students, have this be an open house or meet the teacher activity that children can do with their parents. Collect and have them share during the first week of school.
Here’s How: Make your own example and share it with your students. A picture is definitely worth a 1,000 words.
Demonstrate how to make a full-page scribble. Explain that they need to create something simple, but that takes up the entire sheet of paper. I’ve found that little ones write large letters, but often draw tiny objects.
While they are scribbling, they should keep in mind that they need to leave enough room in their design to write something inside the sections. (A room helper can assist little ones with writing, recording what they want to say.)
Scribbles can have rounded shapes, angular shapes or a combination of both. If you think this is too difficult for your kiddos, I’ve included six templates that you can run off that they can choose from.
Pass out paper and scribble away. If time permits, allow students to scribble several examples and then choose their favorite.
For young children, you may want to have them practice on a sheet of newspaper to get the feel of scribbling larger abstract-like shapes instead of little squiggles.
Have children use a different color crayon or marker to fill in 6 to 8 of their sections. I chose this amount because I wanted to reinforce the names of the various colors.
Results would also be more colorful, as young children sometimes choose to color with only their favorite color.
As a quick and easy icebreaker, and fun way to get to know your students, have them write some things about themselves inside the abstract shapes that they colored in.
This can be whatever they want to share, or you can give them further directions for what you’re looking for.
This was my rubric: Jot down 2 to 4 things you enjoy; 1 thing you did over the summer; 2 interesting facts about yourself; and 1 favorite thing. (Adjust numbers to fit your other directions.)
I've made a poster for you to hang up, so students can refer to it while they're scribbling.
This is what I wrote inside my scribbles:
Because of limited space, I kept my answers short when I wrote them down, but encourage students to add some adjectives when they orally share. i.e. On my paper: I have a pet poodle. Sharing: I have a black poodle named Chloe.
You can have students hold up their scribble and share one thing, or turn it into a get-to-know-you game and add some dice.
To play with dice, have students number 6 of their scribbled sections. Take turns passing and tossing the dice and then sharing the matching numbered section that they rolled. I use big foam dice to cut down on the noise. They also stay on a desk or table better.
If you want to reinforce colors, make a list of colors and then number your list. Whatever number they roll will have a matching color that they share. I’ve included a rubric for this that you can display on the board.
I used rainbow colors, but you might want to adjust it to include pink. I found that my little ones rarely chose yellow, but almost all of the girls consistently chose pink or purple.
To turn this into an interesting bulletin board, have students choose from a variety of colors of construction paper, and glue their scribble in the center. Gluing on a photo adds that finishing touch.
A caption could be: We are a unique and colorful bunch. OR... “We scribbled away to learn about our classmates today!”
Click on the link to view/download the Scribble Icebreaker. Thanks for visiting. Feel free to PIN away.
It's time to stop scribbling for awhile and start a bit of cleaning...or not!
"This world is but a canvas to our imagination." -Henry David Thoreau
1-2-3 Come Make An Ice Cream Cone With Me!
The end of the year is super-charged with energy. You can literally feel it in the air and it's obvious in your students' excited behavior. Many kiddos are already sharing about vacations that their family is going to take and what they want to do for the summer, so I thought it would be fun to have them write about that, and make a craft as well.
When I think of summer, I think of ice cream cones. It seemed the perfect "craftivity" for an end of the year writing prompt, and led to the "Here's The Scoop" packet.
Run off the cone pattern on brown construction paper, run the ice cream scoop template on a variety of pastel colors of construction paper that would be the shades of real ice cream flavors. Scrapbook paper really looks awesome; I used it for several of my samples.
Students cut out their cone and scoop. They also trim and glue a plain scoop of "vanilla" to the top of their cone. This is where they will complete the writing prompt. Remind students not to write beyond the indentations, as you can see by the photo, the white scalloped section will peek out to give the illusion of another scoop.
Using a tiny piece of Scotch tape, students "hinge" the top scoop to the right hand side of the bottom scoop, so that it flips open to reveal the writing portion. For that finishing touch, add a cherry with a school photo to the top.
There's a template for "Here's the scoop ! These are some of the cool things I'd like to do this summer..." as well as one you can use at the beginning of the year: "Here's the scoop! These are some of the cool things that I did this summer..."
After students have shared their creation, give them a "Wishing you a sweet summer" bookmark. Write students' names at the top, and sign yours under the greeting.
Completed cones make a cute bulletin board too. Make the background out of a plastic picnic table cloth and scatter the cones on it. Your caption could be "Cool writing by some sweet 1st graders." or "Looking foward to a sweet summer!"
For another writing prompt, have students color the "I hope you have a cool year!" bookmark and write a note to a new student, who will be in your class in the fall. What a fun surprise for them to find this on/in their desk on the first day of school.
Also included in the packet is the "Secret Sweetie" game. Have students fill out the cone portion, write a clue on the scoop and then glue their photo on the inside.
Collect them and read several a day. Call on students to guess who they think the "secret sweetie" might be, then flip open the top scoop to reveal the photo.
This can be used at the beginning of the school year to help children get to know their new classmates, or at the end of the year to see how well they know their friends.
Click on the link to view/download the Here's The Scoop packet. Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away.
"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. ~James Dent
1-2-3 Come Do An Icebreaker Craft With Me
What’s On Your Mind? Is an easy and interesting way to get to know your students. Use it as a fun icebreaker for the first day or first week of school.
You can do these in class, if you’re looking for a filler, or if you're pressed for time, send them home to be done as a home-school connection.
Older students can draw their own self-portrait (head) outline, or use one of mine. I've included two boy options, as well as two for girls to choose from.
I find young children do much better if they have some sort of pattern, as they tend to draw rather small circles that items would not be able to fit into.
If you’d like to have a ready-to share activity for the first day of school, include the directions and a template in your “Welcome to school” summer letter or tuck it in your Open House packet, if you have one before the start of school.
By doing this, you'll also have an instant bulletin board ready to go up, after students share their creations. Be sure and make one for yourself to use to explain things and then post as an example. This is my sample that took about 15-minutes, using clip art + adding a photo of my husband and poodle pup Chloe.
I think you’ll enjoy doing it as will your students. No matter what the age group, I've always found that everyone seems to like sharing a little bit about themselves. This is a creative and entertaining way to do that.
You could follow this up with some technology time, and have students type in words to their thoughts and make a word-art picture on the computer using the free tagxedo program as well! I did a sample for me and one for my husband, so you could see a male sample. I filled in the caricature templates (see pix) so they don't look as much like a silhouette as I would have liked.
If you want to use my boy and girl "head templates" click on the link. You'll need to change them to jpegs to use them in Tagxedo, otherwise find a sideview of some other clip art to import.
Click on the link to view/download the What’s On Your Mind activity packet.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. My "Pin it" button is at the top on the menu bar.
“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing so great as real strength.” –St. Francis De Sales