123 Come Color With Me!
Color words were an important part of my word wall.
My Y5’s easily learned these because I included them in so many easy reader booklets, which really helped build their self-esteem.
This booklet Helps with Common Core State Standard: RF.K.1b
Students TRACE, WRITE, COLOR, & GLUE their way through 10 color words. (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, black, brown and white.)
It’s really a fun way to reinforce learning how to read, write and spell color words while reinforcing cutting skills as well as listening and following directions!
You can work on one page a day (perfect for Word Work for your Daily 5 activities) or one a week if you do "Color of the Week" like I did.
This is a great booklet for a portfolio as well, because it shows student improvement.
If you feel that color words are part of your "high frequency word list" then this activity would also help with Common Core State Standard: RF.K.3c
Click on the link to view/download My Color Words
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“What comes from the heart goes to the heart.” -Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Look Who's In Our Classroom!
One of my favorite books that I read during the first week of school was Chicka Boom.
My hallway bulletin board had a floor to ceiling palm tree on the side with a monkey hanging by it that would ooh ahh if you pulled its tail.
It was a great way to help anxious students calm down. “Do you want to hear my monkey talk?”
On the bulletin board was a monkey with each child’s name. During our Open House treasure hunt, students had to find their name.
Being able to recognize their name was one of our report card standards, so I was always trying to think of fun ways for my students to do that.
The caption on this b. board was: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Welcome To Our Classroom!
Another year, I skipped the b. board and used a wall to make the display even bigger because I wanted to include alphabet letters.
To get the wiggles out after reading the book, I pass out monkey masks and my Y5's played "Monkey See Monkey Do" and we copied the "Monkey In The Middle."
I know many teachers all over the country also read this book, so I wanted to design lots of activities for a variety of standards to go with it.
The Picka Chicka File Folder reinforces colors, upper and lowercase letters (Common Core State Standard RF.K1d) and shapes; as well as reading and writing.
Click on the link to view/download the 67-page Picka Chicka-Chicka Boom File Folder Packet.
Chicka Boom Boom Look Who’s In Our Classroom is an easy reader class book, that helps students get to know their new friends, reinforces name recognition, as well as upper and lowercase letters. (Common Core State Standard RF.K1d)
The 35-page Chicka Boom Trunk Tricks packet includes a variety of adorable Chicka Boom tree projects that reinforce letters, shapes, patterns, and other report card standards in a unique and fun way.
The packet includes:
Click on the link to view/download Chicka Boom Trunk Tricks
Finish up your Chicka Boom studies with this fun hands-on Chicka Boom snack.
To compliment all of the Chicka Boom activities I have a variety of monkey-themed activities as well.
Click on the link to view/download a variety of easy readers etc. This link will take you to the Monkey section, where I hope you’ll have a barrel of fun!
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“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why and pursued the answer.” –Bernard Baruch
Grammar Can Be FUN When You Make It A GAME!
Since the Goin On A Bear Hunt Punctuation and Capitalization activities were such a huge hit, as promised, I made cat, dinosaur, frog and pig, cards too.
They follow the same format. The beauty of this is, that it empowers students and builds their self-esteem.
Repetition of some activities is important, especially with young children, because they can’t read directions.
Once the teacher has read, explained and modeled an activity and students have done it, they are good to go the next time around.
This independence makes them feel great and the teacher is freed up to work one-on-one with struggling students or ESL children.
A definite win-win all around, and the big reason I set up my tabletop lessons and easy readers the way I do.
By sprinkling the cards around the room and having children search for them, you help get the wiggles out, add some variety into your students’ grammar routine, and make correcting sentences a lot more fun, than simply handing out a worksheet. + it only takes a few more minutes and your students are now excited and ready to “get down to business!”
Because of this, these cards and recording sheets make great Daily 5 or writing center activities and help students nail the Common Core State Standard: RF.1.1
Each set also includes a certificate of praise.
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Do you have a back to school idea or teaching grammar tip you could share with us?
I'd enjoy hearing from you! firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment here.
Thanks in advance for taking the time to do that.
If everyone took a moment to share, just think how full our bag of tricks would be, and how much easier our lives would become!
“It’s possible we could teach kids anything. I get them to live the concepts. My job is to push them. I want 30 Rocky Balboas, 30 students who are thirsting to learn.” -Joseph Vicari
A Fun Way To Get To Know Your Students
Stamp of Approval Stamps make a great icebreaker for the first week of school and a terrific way to get to know your students + they are an instant back to school bulletin board showcasing your new students!
Send a copy in your Welcome to School - Summer Letter, or tuck them in your Open House packet, so that they can be completed ahead of time, and then shared on the first day of school.
You can also show your example on the first day, so that your students can learn a little bit about you, and then send the stamps home as an assignment for that first day.
How to fill in a stamp:
Students can write, type (using a fun(ky) font), or cut out letters (like a ransom note), or use stickers to make their name.
This goes on the wavy line portion of the cancelled stamp, in the top left-hand corner.
The PLACE where they were born, goes around the top of the circle.
The YEAR they were born, goes on the bottom-middle of the circle.
The MONTH and DAY they were born, goes in the center of the circle.
Months should be abbreviated, unless they are 4 or less letters long.
Places and dates appear on real cancelled stamps; making it personal, makes this assignment more relevant and fun!
Students draw a self-portrait of themselves. (Just a headshot) This needs to be colored. Hair and eye color etc. need to be appropriate, so students can possibly guess whose picture belongs to whom, if the teacher wants to add that activity before the “real” student comes up to share.
Students need to think of their favorite things to do, their hobbies, or sports or “stuff” they are involved in, or possibly what they want to be when they grow up. Basically, anything that represents them or will help us get to know them.
After they have thought up their “list” they need to find pictures, clip art, or stickers of those things and glue them around their self-portrait.
Students write or cut out 3-5 words that describe them. These should be scattered around on their stamp.
Challenge older students to include a word that begins with the same letter as their name. i.e. I chose driven (Diane) for mine.
Students share their stamp with their classmates. I always had my students clap for each person when they were through.
Hang them in the hallway or on a b. board, along with the “Stamp of approval star student” poster.
To add some 3D effects, suspend some glittery stars of various sizes, from fish line, just above the board, at various lengths.
Click on the link to view/download Stamp of Approval Stamp activity
Do you have a “Getting To Know Your Students” activity you can share with us? I’d enjoy hearing from you! email@example.com
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“Teaching is a lighting of sparks and setting minds aflame;
it’s a creative mind that knows what kind of gasoline to throw on to get it glowing and burning even brighter the next day and the next…” -Diane Henderson
Picture Clues Help Students Read
How Do You Go To School? Is a fun easy reader for your students to do the first week of school.
It’s a great way to reinforce the end of the day routine and who should line up where, because of how they will get home.
Graphing how everyone does that, will help children get to know the different means of transportation available, plus get to know their new friends better.
Children read the simple sentences using picture clues, trace and write the mode of transportation word, and then cut and glue the matching numbered picture to the page.
When everyone has completed their booklet, read it together as a whole group activity to reinforce concepts of print.
This will also enable students to share it with their families at home.
Click on the link to view/download the How Do You Go To School? easy reader.
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“Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.” -E.M. Forster
Teaching Beginning Word Capitalization and Ending Punctuation Common Core Standards, By Hunting For Sentences And Fixing Them!
I’ve been trying to think of some fun activities to go with Common Core State Standards and thought sprinkling sentence cards around the room for students to find would be something different.
My Y5’s LOVED Goin' on a bear hunt during our hibernation studies, so I dreamed up sentences that would go with the adorable clip art bears of Laura Strickland.
I made up 12 bear sentence cards, that are missing a capital letter and end punctuation, so you can work on the Common Core State Standard: RF.1.1
Here students need to demonstrate an understanding of the organization and basic features of print, by recognizing the distinguishing features of a sentence. i.e. first word capitalization, and ending punctuation.
Here’s how to Go On A Bear Hunt:
Print and Laminate the cards.
Decide which 10 you want to use for the bear hunt and number them with a dry erase marker.
If you use a permanent marker, a Mr. Clean Eraser will wipe off the numbers.
Put a magnet on the back, so students can put them on your white board, or use a pocket chart.
The one pictured I just bought at Target. They were in their Dollar Deal section. They also had red and green.
This pocket chart only has 8 pockets so you’ll need 2, or you can put a magnet strip on the pocket chart and a magnet on card number 1 and card number 10. Students place the cards in the pockets and put card #1 above the chart and card #10 under the chart.
Sprinkle the cards around the room. Students find them and put them on the white board or in your pocket chart in 1-10 order so that they can rewrite the sentences on their recording sheet,.
When students write their sentences they put a beginning capital letter, and the appropriate end punctuation on their sentences, circling both for easy identification.
Before students take their seats and work on their own papers, read the cards as a whole group, adding inflection so that students can determine where an exclamation mark goes,
You may want to give students an FYI that the Oh no! The bear sees me. and Help! I see a bear. cards are made up of two sentences.
Have students gather in front of the board and have them take turns filling in the correct answers with a red dry erase marker.
A nice "get the wiggles out" activity to do afterwards, is to play "Goin On A Bear Hunt." and have students go through the motions.
One of my favorite versions of this is from Greg and Steve's Kid's In Action CD. It's on YouTube. Click on the link to have a listen. My Y5's begged to do this all the time.
Later, you can use different sentences and use the recording sheets as an assessment.
This packet also includes a certificate of praise.
Click on the link to view/download Goin On A Bear Hunt Sentence Punctuation Packet
If you like this way of working on capitalization and punctuation, be sure to watch for my up coming Piggy Punctuation, Kitty Capitalization, Hop To It Frog Capitalization and Punctuation, and I’m Dino-mite At Doing Capitalization and Punctuation.
They all follow the same format as Goin’ On A Bear Hunt and will be completed this week. To find them click on the reading apple on my home page and then click on capitalization or punctuation in the list under grammar.
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“Everyone who remembers his own educational experience, remembers the teacher, not methods and techniques.” -Sidney Hook
Nailing Common Core State Standards With Fun Vocabulary Building Word Books!
Dictionaries are a great way to practice the skill of alphabetizing.
They help students become aware of new words, and by writing them down, defining and categorizing them, students are building their vocabularies.
At the end of the year students have a great keepsake and are truly amazed at all the words they have learned and can now read, spell and use!
Choose one dictionary for your students to work on, or pick several; there are 8 to choose from, including several generic ones.
The cute cover designs are the artwork of Laura Strickland and Phil Martin.
Use the common ABC page template for all of the dictionaries.
Students write their name on the cover and then jot down the word on the appropriate letter page, and define it.
It would also be a good idea to have students trace the upper and lowercase letters for extra alphabet practice.
Run off more pages if students find more words that begin with a certain letter, such as T, S, M etc.
Run off and collate these booklets at the beginning of the year.
Students can keep them in a folder, file, portfolio or their cubby for easy access.
So that my students are empowered and can find their booklets quickly, each child has a number at the beginning of the year.
This is far easier than alphabetizing things. I quickly collect booklets etc. and put them in numerical order.
The dictionaries make a perfect addition to your “Word Work” for Daily 5.
If you don’t do Daily 5 they are terrific as independent work for your writing center.
If you do a sight word or the Dolch word dictionary you will be helping to fulfill the Common Core State Standard: RF:K.3c
I've also included a tip sheet of how to guide 1st graders so that you can also incorporate Common Core State Reading Standards: L.1.4a, L.1.5b, L.1.5c
Click on the link to view/download Student-Made Dictionaries.
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"Anyone can be cool, but awesome takes practice!" - Unknown
Dots of Glue Pictures and Pinch and Pokes Help Fine Motor Skills
Use these seasonal dotted clips to help your students learn to use glue bottles and use just a dot of glue with the cute rhyme-song that goes to the tune of “If You’re Happy And You Know It!”
I’ve seen it all over the Internet with no credit given to who is the originator, so if you’re that creative person, let me know and I’ll acknowledge you + link up.
Simply run off the art work and have students color it if you want, for that extra fine motor practice and then placing it on a sheet of scrap paper to avoid the “oops spills” give students a small glue bottle and have them practice plopping a small dot (not a lot) on each little spot on the picture.
Remind them to sing the little ditty while they plop and dot.
If your kiddo’s are like mine, they will enjoy this activity. It will strengthen their finger muscles as well as their aim, (hand-eye coordination) and in no time you won’t dread passing out liquid glue, because there won’t be lakes of it running all over the place.
You can also use these as mini-Pinch & Pokes.
Students LOVE doing these, and they help increase the same finger muscles as the above activity.
Plus they strengthen the upper body, because students lie on their tummies on the carpet. The paper needs to be on a carpet square or the carpet, so the “poker” can go through the paper.
My Y5’s had no problems being trusted with a fat tack as long as I explained the rules: No poking themselves, another child or anything but the dots on the paper. Any infractions and they had a time out and could no longer do Pinch & Pokes, period.
Since this was an activity as fun as Play-Doh, they behaved. If you still cringe at the “sharp object” idea, a golf tee works well, but makes a bigger hole and is a bit harder to poke into paper and sometimes tears things rather than gives a nice circular hole.
Since this is seasonal and themed clip art, with 4 to 5 on a page, I’m sure you can dream up cubby tags and a variety of other “stuff” to use them for. Enjoy!
Click on the link to view/download Just a Dot Not A Lot Pinch and Poke Picture Packet
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"I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’m A Te-rrific Student T-shirt Writing Prompt.
This is a really fun end-of-the-year activity, but could also be a wonderful way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year too! Use as an icebreaker for the first week.
The hands in the photo are neon orange. The feet are much larger, but I took the shot with Elliot upside down, so they look smaller, they are actually much bigger than the hands. Because this artwork is so big, when I took the photo feet fist, the head looked shrunken. Oh my!
Anyway, you get the idea. I know yours will turn out really cute and be a great keepsake that your students will enjoy making.
I've included 2 different headings on the shorts so you have that option to use at the end or beginning of the year.
The end of the year shorts say: My short shorts of what I want to do this summer, The one for the beginning of the school year says: My short shorts of what I did this summer.
Run off copies of the t-shirt and shorts on a variety of brightly colored construction paper. Students will fill in the writing prompts and cut the clothing shapes out. Buy a few pair of wacky sunglasses at The Dollar Store in bright colors. Have your students put a pair on and take a head shot of them.
Print the photo off in black and white and enlarge them on the copier. Students color the sunglasses in with a magic marker to compliment the color of their T-shirt or shorts. Students trace their hand and foot on a folded sheet of bright or neon-colored construction paper. By cutting on a folded piece of paper they will get a pair of hands and feet.
Children glue their hands to the cuffs of the T-shirt and their feet to the bottom of the shorts. These paper kids make an adorable wall display. Run them under the ceiling, as a border in your hallway.
For another writing extension, I’ve also included a T-shirt where students can list all the Te-riffic things they’ve learned during the year, jotting down the thing they feel they are the most terrific at.
Click on the link to view/download Te-riffic Student T-Shirt Writing Prompt
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Do you have something that you do as an icebreaker that you could share with us? I'd enjoy hearing from you. firstname.lastname@example.org You can also leave a comment here. If everyone adds to each other's bag of tricks how easy our lives become! Thanks in advance.
"I am not a teacher, but an awakener." -Robert Frost