1-2-3 Come Do Some Snowflake Alphabet Activities With Me
Because my Y5s need to review letters throughout the year, I thought it would be fun to design some snowflake-themed alphabet activities; thus this snowflake letter craft was born.
For added pizzazz have children glue their school photograph inside the small snowflake and write their name on the larger one, then arrange and glue them to their letter craft.
If your kiddos have lockers, laminate and display there.
I've also included 3 writing prompt worksheet options for older children.
Choose which one is most appropriate for your students, or give them a choice.They attach the worksheet to their initial.
So that the letter "pops" out, have children choose 2 colors to write their words.
For added pizzazz have them draw and color a picture of one of the words.
I find that children really enjoy sharing about themselves, so filling in the blanks on this worksheet (favorite color, food, animal etc.) is an especially fun activity for them. When everyone is done, have them "show & share" their completed project.
Since all of the worksheets are so different, you could easily stretch this activity over several days doing all 3 prompts.
Completed projects make interesting & awesome wintry bulletin boards too.
I've included a "Letters are 'snow' much fun!" poster for the center of your display.
Teachers can also assign a letter to each student then hang the completed alphabet cards up as a winter border, or use them as large flashcards.
These could also be collected, collated and made into a class-made, wintry alphabet book.
Introduce the craftivity with my snowflake “Hush!” poem. So that the poem easily transitions into the activity, I added another stanza on a separate poster: "We made our time together, snowing blowing better, making a snowflake letter!"
I’ve provided one in color, which can also be part of your bulletin board display, as well as a BW version for students to color, take home and read to their families.
The poem is packed with Dolch sight words and offers a nice rhyming review and easy way to include the poetry genre into your lessons.
* Besides the snowflake letter writing prompt craftivity, there’s also a Venn diagram compare & contrast activity, and a set of lovely snowflake cards perfect for sorting, patterning, or playing a Memory Match game with.
* For more letter practice, I’ve included 2 sets of snowflake-themed, upper & lowercase letter cards, along with a 4-page tip list of what you can do with them, including games like “What’s Missing?”, “Hidden Letter” and “Kaboom!”.
* There’s also a set of snowflake alphabet puzzles, plus a “How many words can you make using the letters in snowflake?” worksheet, with a 111-word answer key.
* The “I Spy a Letter!” game sheets are a quick, easy & fun way to whole group assess upper or lowercase letters.
There’s a strip for uppercase letters, and another for lowercase.
I have my students choose 2 different color highlighters, so that they can trace the letters in an ABAB pattern.
To play the assessment game, call out a letter. Students pull their slider strip up or down 'til they locate that letter in the "window" of their snowflake, then hold it up.
You can see at a glance who is having difficulty. My students absolutely LOVE making and collecting sliders, so we do one each month featuring a seasonal theme that practices a variety of standards.
Woo hoo! There are two featured FREEBIES today. The first one is a quick, easy & fun snowflake craftivity that your kiddos will really enjoy doing with their families.
Completed projects make an awesome bulletin board. My students love pointing out their family's picture, which is especially nice for preschoolers who often miss their moms during the day.
The next one is a "Shapely Snow Angels" emergent reader booklet featuring 2D shapes. I hope you find it useful.
Well that's it for now. Today's the perfect day to putz with more snowflake activities, as zillions of them are dancing in the breeze outside my office window.
Wishing you a snuggly day, filled to the brim with fun.
"Snowflakes may be delicate and fragile, but look what they can do when they stick together!"
1-2-3 Come Do Some Chinese New Year Activities and Crafts With Me.
There never seems to be enough time in the teaching day, so things like social studies and science don't get covered all that much anymore, if at all. This is truly a sad state of affairs, because our children are not as well-rounded as they used to be, when life was simpler and no one ever heard of CCSS or standardized testing.
For this reason, I really try hard to design things that cover the standards, while at the same time plugging in a few of the more fun extras. One of my Y5's favorite theme days was our Chinese New Year celebration. It was a great way to have my students learn about, compare and contrast another country. They were fascinated.
Even if you don't have time for an entire unit, many of the following activities can quickly and easily be added to your day. If nothing else, simply read several books about Chinese New Year during your story time, and have children locate Asia and China on a map.
I think you'll find it quite helpful, as it's a comprehensive annotated bibliography, where I explain and comment on each book.
It took me zillions of hours to put it together, and that was after I spent some time sorting through my huge collection, but I thought it was time well-spent, as most people are not that familiar with multi-cultural books.
I've also designed 4 Chinese bookmarks to pass out to your kiddos. Click on the link to check them out.
You can find a few of these stories being read on YouTube as well. A personal favorite, is Tikki Tikki Tembo.
My Y5’s were delighted when I repeated Tikki’s very long full name, and wanted to learn it themselves. Click on the link for an excellent animated version of this popular folktale.
Another wonderful YouTube fairytale video is The Story of Nian. It’s just 3 minutes and explains the meaning behind many of the Chinese New Year beliefs, because of this mythological half lion-half dragon.
This year, Chinese New Year is being celebrated on Friday, January 31st and runs for 15 days, which ends on our Valentine's Day, so there's plenty of time to try and fit something cultural into your lessons.
The Chinese typically don't refer to this celebration as Chinese New Year; instead, the festivities are known as Spring Festival 春節 or Lunar New Year 農曆新年 because their year is determined by the Lunar Calendar.
The Chinese aren't the only ones who observe it either. From late January to mid-February, Korea, Vietnam, Japan and other countries celebrate Lunar New Year too.
A fun way to add a bit of Asian flavor to your day, is with these Chinese dragon alphabet cards. Use them as flashcards, a bulletin board boarder, independent center or for group games.
I've included a 3-page tip list of things you can do with the cards. After laminating, cut up an extra set and make puzzles. Click on the link to view/download the Chinese dragon alphabet cards.
I found an awesome site "Free Chinese Name Translations" where you simply type in your kiddos names and they appear in lovely Chinese characters! The photo shows what my name looks like.
I copy and pasted my family's names in a document, so that I could shrink or enlarge them. I had such a great time diddling around here; my brain was going 90-miles an hour, thinking of fun things I could do with these.
A few names "could not be found" (my sister Kathie, for example) but you could adjust the spelling and see if that helps. Kathy did work. I simply corrected the spelling on my copy. If that doesn't work, you could also try a child's middle name.
These can be made into bookmarks, a certificate of praise, nametag, flag, greeting card, lantern, fan, or shrunk to make the center tag for a necklace, button, or magnet. The photo shows the fan I made.
To make one, enlarge the name card that you made, by cutting and pasting it into a Word or Pages document. I dragged the image to the full size of the length of the paper. Leave at least 2-3 inches of white border on the bottom when you cut it out, or your name won't show up.
When students are done, staple the bottom and gently pull apart. "Fan-folding" is an excellent fine motor skill that my Y5's really enjoyed doing.
Another quick activity your kiddo's could do when they were done with lessons, is to color a Chinese picture. Click on the link for the Chinese ChildBook site.
It has a large variety of Chinese New Year prints including these cute little Chinese children. Any of them could also be folded to make a prety fan.
Another simple way to add a splash of China to your day, is by playing some of their soothing music while your students work. There's something very calming in the melodic music that chinese instruments create.
I'm listening to "Music From The Tea Lands" as I blog. It's especially meaningful because 2 of our sons were born in Korea. If you don't have a CD, click on the link to hear 25 minutes of tranquil sounds from China.
As your students come through the door, wish them a Happy New Year in Chinese, and then teach them how to say: " Gong Hey Fat Choy." (gung-she-fah-tie)
After several hours of research, I made up a page of information that includes several ways to say Happy New Year in Chinese, as well as links for you to hear how it should sound, plus the Chinese characters that make up these greetings.
There are also some great links of Chinese children singing Happy New Year. This informational sheet is in the Chinese Bookmark packet. Click on the link to grab this FREEBIE. Choose which ever bookmark you like the best and tuck one in your students' desks or backpacks.
That’s it for today. I have so much more to share, but I don’t want these blog articles to get too long. Be sure and pop by tomorrow for some more great Chinese New Year Activities. Feel free to PIN away.
“A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.” –Chinese Proverb
1-2-3 Come Write About Martin Luther King With Me
Getting students to WANT to write is one of my passions. It's pretty easy for me to whip together interesting writing prompts, because I LOVE writing. I truly believe that if you give students some creative, think-outside-the-box writing activities, they too will get excited and want to get started.
I've learned that having a list for students to choose from, is extremely helpful. Giving one a choice, seems more satisfying, and is a lot less overwhelming than to simply say: write about anything. Staring at a blank sheet of paper, can be quite inhibiting for most students, where as something specific, gets them started.
With that in mind, I put together a list of 60 writing prompts especially for Martin Luther King Day, and hope your kiddo's will find something that really interests them. Click on the link to view/download the 60 Martin Luther King Day Writing Prompts.
Yesterday, I posted a list of 35 of my all-time favorite quotes from Martin Luther King, and mentioned that many of these provide a great spring board for writing.
I thought it would be interesting to make some quotation papers for students to write on.
After they share their work, mount the writing on a variety of colors of construction paper and scatter on a bulletin board with a black background. Click on the link to view/download the MLK Stationery Prompts.
Finally, I had a request for Martin Luther King alphabet cards, so Stacy's preschoolers from Detroit, could play some letter games on MLK Day. Click on the link to grab some for your kiddo's too.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away.
"Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Making a Venn diagram will help students organize their thoughts so that they are better able to write a comparison and contrast piece. Children can compare Barrack Obama, the first black President, with MLK or choose the Venn diagram comparing him with Mahatma Ghandi.
1-2-3 Come Do Some Martin Luther King Activities With Me
Are you doing anything special for Martin Luther King Day? I’ve been thinking about this man and the era I grew up in. I’m in awe of the bravery it took for him to overcome injustice, while forgiving the people that were grossly unjust.
This year, we are celebrating his inspiring accomplishments on Monday, January 20th, in the year of Nelson Mandela’s death, whose trial in 1963 was 50 years ago, as well as the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. It's also the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision by the US Supreme Court, which desegregated public schools.
Although these are national headlines, I think it is sad that today’s generations are relatively clueless, as to what life was like before these individuals and historic events changed the world we live in.
Because of this, I think it’s extremely important to teach a bit of history and take students on a “Back to the Future” ride in time. To help you do this, I compiled a list of 95-Interesting Fast Facts About Martin Luther King.
I enjoyed wading through more than 40 websites and reading over 20 children's books + a few biographies and then fact-checked discrepancies. I thought I knew quite a bit, but learned so many more amazing things!
Did you know that Martin's birth certificate has his name down as Michael, or that he skipped 9th and 12th grade and went to college at the age of 15? Read through the pages, highlight what you feel is relevant and appropriate for your kiddo's, and then share: 95-Interesting Fast Facts About Martin Luther King.
Another way to make the 60's real for your students is to have them watch some brief videos about MLK’s life and listen to a portion of his infamous “I Have A Dream” speech. Click on the link for a list of short Martin Luther King Jr. videos on YouTube. Click on this link for footage of his peaceful march on Washington.
Start the day off by leaving a Happy Martin Luther King Day bookmark on your students' desks. I designed 7 for you to choose from.
You can also use them as incentives and pass them out as children complete tasks. Challenge them to collect all seven to share with their friends. Martin Luther King Day Bookmarks.
After your studies, have students complete their KWL by writing in what they learned.
Now it's time for a story. Simply and easily introduce the concept of discrimination and diversity by reading several books.
Click on the link for my 24 all-time favorite books for Martin Luther King Day.
These are tried and true resources, to help little ones wrap their heads around complex concepts, and really helped my Y5's comprehend the hard-to-understand stuff. Martin Luther King Day bibliography.
After reading some stories and watching a few videos your students can take a short online MLK quiz.
The people over at Kids Activites Blog, suggest comparing a brown chicken egg to a white one. They look different on the outside, but what happens when you crack them open? Students discuss how they are exactly the same on the inside.
You could also do this with M&M's. Have students suck the colored candy coating off, then stick out their tongue to check things out, or simply cut one in half.
An excellent book to read about diversity is Sesame Street's We Are Different, We Are The Same by Bobbi Jane Kates. The rhyming format makes it a wonderful read aloud: "We're different. Our noses are different. We are the same. Our noses are the same. They breathe and sniff and sneeze and whiff."
Finally, making a Venn diagram will also help students "see" similarities and differences, and is a great way to help them organize their thoughts, before they write a comparison-contrast piece.
Children can compare Barrack Obama, the first black President, with MLK or choose the Venn diagram comparing him with Mahatma Ghandi.
It was while at college that MLK started to study Ghandi's passive resistance ideas. Martin thought this peaceful means of protest, could be successful in changing unfair laws in the United States.
To futher understand similarities and differences, students can also choose a friend to compare themselves with, and work together to fill in their Venn diagram. Click on the link to view/download the Martin Luther King Venn digrams.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope you can stop by tomorrow for some more really interesting and fun FREEBIES for Martin Luther King Day. Feel free to PIN away.
"I have decided to stick with love; hate is too great a burden to bear." -Martin Luther King Jr.
Your students will enjoy this New Year writing prompt as they reflect about things they'd like to do less of, like fighting with a sibling, goofing off, being late, . . . as well as things they think they'd like to do more of: studying, reading, exercising etc.
What do students see in their future for the New Year? This "craftivity" makes a fun January writing prompt. Students can write their goals, resolutions, or hopes for the New Year around the glasses. So that you can redo this activity each year, I've included numbers for any year in the future.
1 2 3 Come Do Some New Year Writing With Me
I realize people have been wishing each other a Happy New Year for a week now, but I thought a few more New Year-themed writing prompts would still be appropriate, since quite a few schools in the midwest have not gone back yet, because of all of the cancellations due to snow and below zero weather conditions.
My home state of Michigan included, as we are enjoying another snow day with a -25 windchill as I blog.
This photo is of the St. Joseph Lighthouse on Lake Michigan. with the caption: "Today, it is encased in ice as the Midwest is hit with a "polar vortex", causing wind chills to reach -50 degrees! " The waves froze as they crashed over the pier.
Inez, from equally cold Canada, requested some New Year puzzles that counted down from 10 to 0. Great idea Inez! I so enjoy hearing from other countries. On any given day we have visitors from over 150.
I'm always amazed at how the Internet makes everything so much cozier. Click on the link to view/download 5 New Year counting puzzles.
When I'm designing within a theme, the ideas just keep coming, so I also made a pair of New Year spectacles.
I enjoyed seeing these goofy glasses being worn by a lot of New Yorkers as they watched the ball drop. I thought it would make a cute writing prompt "craftivity."
Students can write what they "see" in their future for the New Year, or write things they are hoping and wishing for. i.e. health, happiness, success etc.
After I finished my sample, the only "person" I could find to model them, was our poodle Chloe. She'll do just about anything for a treat, and kept the glasses on long enough for me to take a picture.
I've included a set of numbers so that you can make future years. Click on the link to view/download the New Year Writing Prompt Glasses.
I really liked that chunky number font and thought it would make a nice writing prompt as well, so I designed a New Year craftivity entitled "Past and Present."
Students reflect on the prior year, jotting down memorable moments from that year, as well as their activities, goals and hopes for the New Year. My sample is from a high school student's perspective.
I've also included templates through 2024 so you can reuse this idea for awhile. Who knows where we'll all be in 10 years. Completed reflections make a sweet January bulletin board. Mount them on a variety of colors of construction paper, scatter on a few snowflakes and you're set. Click on the link for the New Year Past & Future writing prompt.
While doing research I came across a cute poster over at Dimple Prints. Show the poster to jumpstart your students' creative minds, and have them design their own word poster.
Finally, my personal favorite, is a January writing prompt that I call "More or Less." It's a nice way to toss in a little math as well.
Have students brainstorm a list of things that they think they should do less of (watching TV, playing computer games, fighting with siblings ...) as well as a list of things that they think they should do more of (studying, reading, exercising etc.).
Write these on the board to help with spelling. Students return to their desk and write their own list on the pre-writing paper.
When they are happy with their lists, they write complete sentences on the greater than and less than symbol pages. Have students color the symbols their favorite colors.
When they are done, students trim their papers. To turn this into a really interesting January bulletin board, have students trace their foot (with their shoe on). Offer a variety of colors for students to choose from.
They cut out their foot, glue on the "More or less I will try to put my best foot forward in the New Year" square, add a photo, name and the year. Click on the link to view/download the More or Less New Year Writing Prompt packet.
Thanks for visiting today. I try to design and blog daily, so I hope you can stop by tomorrow to check out the newest FREEBIES. Feel free to PIN away.
"While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best." -Tom Allen
When your students return after Christmas break, have this interesting writing prompt ready for them. Run off the balloons on a variety of colors of construction paper. Students choose one, trim and complete the 3 writing prompts. A school photo adds that finishing touch.
1-2-3 Come Frolic With Me: Winter Craftivities, Bulletin Boards and Games
I was really on a creative roll yesterday. All one needs to do is spend a little time on Pinterest and your brain will shoot into over drive! So many ideas and not enough time in my life to do everything I'd like to. Sound familiar?
While browsing, I found a wooden snowman used as a countdown to Christmas. I found versions of this idea all over, so not sure who was the originator, but I thought the moveable carrot nose would be perfect for the classroom.
It was fun designing a paper snowman face that can review upper and lowercase letters and numbers to 20. I've included a face for skip counting by 2's, 3's, 5's or 10's.
You can also simply make one for your calendar center and countdown the days in January.
These make a quick and easy way to whole-group assess too.
Call out a number/letter and have students move their snowman's nose to that position or... move your teacher sample to an uppercase letter, and have students find the matching lowercase letter on theirs.
For added pizzazz I ran the carrot noses through my crinkle machine. My Y5's called this the "Cruncher Muncher." It provided great fine motor practice as students turned the crank to get the paper through the rollers.
Poke a hole at the end of the carrot and use a brass brad to fasten the nose to the snowman. Click on the link to view/download the Snowman's Nose packet.
For more letter and number practice, have your students put together these winter pine tree puzzles. They can be done as an independent center activity, or you can make copies for your students.
Children cut the green number/letter tiles and then glue them in appropriate order on the boxed grid. For that extra bit of pizzazz, run the template off on blue construction paper and have students dot on "snowflakes" with a Q-tip.
If you celebrate 100 Day in January, this is a wonderful "craftivity" that makes a cool bulletin board. Caption: Mrs. Henderson's Kinders Are Doing Tree-mendous Work! Click on the link to view/download the Pine Tree Puzzles
Another awesome bulletin board for January, features a New Year's writing prompt.
Basketball, soccer and football are all sports where players score goals, so I thought it would be fun to have students write what their goals were for the New Year on the ball of their choice.
I've included a poster that you can put in the center of your bulletin board as a caption.
Besides the balls, there are also 2 writing prompt pages for journal writing, which includes one with a hockey theme. Click on the link to grab the New Year Goals Packet.
Another New Year's activity you can have your kiddo's do, is see how many words they can come up with, using the letters in Happy New Year. I've included a list of 267 words.
When students are done, share your list to see if there are any words that they aren't familiar with; have them write them on their paper and look them up. Click on the link to check out the How Many New Year activity.
They write it in the center of the snowflake and then write all of the equations that they can think of, on the outer sections of their snowflake, to show that number.
Do one each day; to make their booklet, have students glue their snowflake to an igloo-shaped page. Add their photo for that finishing touch. Click on the link to view/downlaod the Frosty Fact Family Fun packet.
For More number fun, I think you'll enjoy the snowflake number cards. Use these for your word wall, a bulletin board, flashcards, games, or an independent center.
Print; laminate and cut into puzzles for even more ideas. I've also included 3 sets of snowflake tiles so students can sort, pattern and make groups/sets to match the number on the cards. Click on the link to grab the Snowflake Number cards.
Finally, I had a request from Karla out in Vermont, for penguin alphabet and number cards.
She wanted something small that her pre-schoolers could manipulate. She only needed numbers to 10, but I included a blank template for you to program with more.
There's also a list of ideas you can use the cards for, including games like "Kaboom!" Click on the link if you'd like a set of these mini-penguins.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. My "Pin It!" button is at the top. As you can see I design and blog daily, so I hope you can stop by tomorrow to see all the newest FREEBIES, created by this brain that needs a shut-off button!