Getting to the Core

 

helpful things for back to school

Don't Forget!

These helpful "remember" items can be found in the 123-page Back-To-School Packet 

 

Click on the link to view/download it.

I had 4 timers at school.  I used them to REMIND me of a variety of things.  One of the most important was when I put a child in the Time Out Chair. 

Sometimes they were so good about thinking about a better behavior, they forgot how long they had been sitting there.

So that I wouldn't, because of the zillions of other things going on, a timer was a must-have for me! 

The timers were also very helpful to signal when it was time to clean up after centers, free play, etc.

I'd get busy working one-on-one with students, or assessing and you know how that time flies.  It's easy to forget about the time, and one does not want to be late for recess, lunch and specials.

I also had other things that I developed to help my parents and students remember things... from posters to magnets to assignment books and calendars. 

I think teaching organization to your students is an important life skill.  My parents have told me they appreciate the reminders and it makes for happier and smarter students; a win-win situation all around.

Here are some fun and easy things that you can do to help yourself, students and parents REMEMBER!

Time:

  • Set timers to go off.
  • Post times and clocks on the board.

back to school ideas, tips on remembering thingsEven tho’ my Y5’s can’t tell time, they can compare and match.

I have 3 times of the day that they are most interested in: When is recess; when is it lunch time and when do we get to go home?

I make 3 paper clocks and laminate them and post them on my white board.  Each one is labeled: Recess, Lunch, Done for the day! They can look at the hands of those clocks and can compare them to the hands of our class clock.

It's stopped children from asking me these same 3 questions all day long.  If they do; I tell them to look at the clocks and become a detective and see if they can figure it out.  I use it as a teachable moment to do some math.  i.e., How much longer is it before…

    • Notes:
     
  • Send reminder notes home. Sometimes these are half notes or just a strip of paper the size of a bookmark; sometimes they are a slap bracelet.
  • I put notes on children at the end of the day and pin them in the middle of their backs.  I find that some parents do not check backpacks.
  • Sometimes I run off labels with things that I need to remind parents of on a monthly basis.
  • I simply put the sticker on their child’s shirt at the end of the day.  Parents have given me wonderful feedback about this form of FYI-reminder. 
  • Labels save me time and paper and the hassle of having to pin things on children or put things in cubbies, folders or backpacks. 
  • Parents tell me they take the sticker off and put it on the mirror, door jamb or car window to help them remember.
Calendars & Other "Paper" Reminders:
  • Send a monthly calendar home.
  • Give students a weekly calendar for them to fill out.
  • Send a weekly newsletter home.
  • Make "to do" lists and encourage your students to do the same.

Assignment Booklet, back to school ideasassignment booklet, back to school ideas

 

Assignment Booklet:

  • Empower your students and teach them responsibility by having them keep track of their assignments. 
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  • Write them on the board and then have students copy them down.  If they complete them, they check them off.  Train parents to ask to see this assignment booklet.
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  • I’ve made one up for you to run off.  Have students glue the cover on a folded sheet of colored construction paper of their choice. 
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  • Glue the cover on AFTER  you have stapled pages on the inside of both sides.  This way the staples won’t show.

  • back to school ideas, tie a string on your finger to remember art activityArt Project:
  • Tying a string on your finger has been a symbol of remembering. For a fun art project, run off my drawing on a variety of flesh-toned construction paper; laminate the paper and have students cut the hand out and tie a piece of yarn or ribbon on the finger. 
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  • Staple the yarn/ribbon or tape it on the back.
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  • Students can write themselves notes with a dry erase marker, or a permanent marker and use a Mr. Clean eraser to rub their note off, or they can add sticky notes to the back of the paper hand.
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  • You can make these ahead of time and give them as a gift, or have students make their own.
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  • reminder magnet, back to school ideasReminder Magnet:
  • Make a “Don’t Forget” Happy Face magnet and hot glue it to a clothespin.  Students can help with these, or you can make them ahead of time and give them as a gift.  
  • Send home the magnet letter with the magnet for parents to jot themselves notes to remember important things.
       remember poster, back to school ideas, remember ideas Posters and Anchor Charts:
  • Print the reminder posters and have a wall area where you post important things to REMEMBER, everything from rules like “i before e except after c .” “When 2 vowels go walking the first one does the talking.” or your class rules,  or spelling words. 
  • In this “Remember” section I post who has the Secret Sack (my version of Show & Tell), who has the Snack Sack (Who is bringing in snack, My snack calendar) My “Where Am I?” poster for students who are pull outs and have to be somewhere on certain days.  
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  • There is also a hook hung with two-way tape that holds a set of laminated rainbow cards. (You can pick any kind of die cut card at a teacher’s store and laminate and then number them. ) Above it a sign says: How Many Students Are Here Today? This helps me remember at a glance how many children are in my room at any given time should there be an emergency and my brain leaves my head when bells, sirens, and screaming is taking place.
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  • I use this as a math extension every morning.  We count students together, find that number card, show the card and identify that number, compare it to yesterday’s number and see if it is lesser, greater or equal to? 
  • If a child leaves with another teacher, the card is changed and then changed again when they come back.  If a child goes to the bathroom a bathroom tag is put on top of the number so I know at all times how many children I have and who is where.
  • Click on the link to view/print all of these ideas and patterns that will help you remember!  Back To School Packet. 

I hope you REMEMBER  to RELAX for the rest of the summer and take time for yourself!

back to school ideas, decorating your classroom, anchor charts, posters for your classroom, back to school ideas, classroom management tips, help remembering things,Thanks for visiting today.  I hope you can stop back tomorrow for more back to school ideas.  Feel free to PIN anything that you think others will find worthwhile.

"Tell me, and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand." -Unknown

back to school ideas, tips on how to remember things

measuring, measurmentI launch into a big measurement unit during October when we go on a fieldtrip to an apple orchard that happens to have a huge pumpkin patch.  We get a class pumpkin.

If my A group picks a short-fat pumpkin, I steer my B group into choosing a tall pumpkin so that we can have a great comparison contrast activity.

I know lots of teachers who introduce measurement, with non-measuring instruments, like how many teddy bears long is the Kleenex box?  I just jump right in with rulers, measuring tapes and scales.

The children catch on quickly. I have them choose a partner to measure and they have a blast running around measuring each other and everything in sight.

Click on the link to view/print an I Measured My Friend page.

inchworm art project, measuring things, learning how to measureLater in the year we review measurement again with a Bob The Builder Day.

One of the fun things you can have your students do is make an Isabella Inchworm. 

Run off the master on green construction paper.  Students can add wiggle eyes and color the face.

Send them off on a measuring adventure to find 3 things that are exactly as long as Isabella.

Have them tally things that they find that are shorter than Izzy and then fill in another tally box that is longer than she is.  You can graph your findings.

Another fun activity to do is to weigh and measure all of your students.  Find out who is the lightest, heaviest, tallest, shortest and what the average height and weight of all of your students are, as well as the total pounds and inches of the entire class.

You can also graph these results.  I keep these statistics so that when I do this activity again in June, we can do all sorts of fun math extensions.

Click on the link to view/print Isabella Click on the link to view/print some measurement Certificates of Praise.

Just like the article before, these will be free for the week (June 23-30) and then roll into a 123-page Back-to-school packet for only $1.79

I also have a cute September Daisy Yarn Keepsake activity that incorporates a child’s height.  It’s in the FREE September Stuff. Click on the link to check it out.

Two awesome booklets that make measurement fun are My Scale Booklet and My Measurement Booklet. Click on the links to check them out.

 As always, if you have a fun idea that you do, to learn how to measure things, I’d enjoy hearing from you! diane@teachwithme.com

Happy summer! It’s officially here and what are most of my mail rings talking about? This fall and working on things for the upcoming school year!  My husband thinks we’re all crazy.

How does that saying go?  3 good reasons to be a teacher: June, July and August. What lunatic thought of that?  You are reading her blog.  Guilty as charged.

I bet you never thought a teacher would dream up such an oxymoronic ditty!  I slapped it on a magnet for Russ Berrie for the sake of earning a few dollars back in the early 80’s, because I knew people who weren’t teachers would buy it.

question mark poster, back to school ideasTeachers of course knew vacations were “stay-cations” for cleaning, sorting, revamping, organizing, making stuff, and going to school to get SBCEU’s, our Masters or staying credentialed!

So I’ve decided to start making short little blogs about school stuff that might be of interest to the at-home “resting” teacher who is just dying to whip together a project or two.

This activity can be found in my Back-To-School Packet

The first little ditty for you to do is a big question mark with question words.  I don’t know about your students, but my Y5’s don’t know how to ask a question.

The librarian, after her introduction to the library, says: “Does anyone have a question?” and Corry “asks:” “My mommy reads to me.” Lanie “asks” “I have that book.” The librarian finally says: “We have time for one more question.” And Billie “asks:” “I wanna leave now.

The same thing happens in October when the fire department comes for Fire Safety Month and Aubrey “asks:” “I once saw a fire when…”

Now I teach my students HOW to ask a question and that those questions MUST begin with question words.  These question words make wonderful word-wall words too.

Header above question mark poster:  “Start a question with these words!”

Now…if you have questions, comments or suggestions; I’d enjoy hearing from you! diane@teachwithme.com

Make a cute end-of-the year bulletin board with summery flowers that will have your students using all sorts of skills and reinforcing lots of report card standards.  Here's how:

Flower bulletin board, end of the year ideas, writing prompts for June, end of the year activities, bulletin board ideas, summer activitiesLook How I've Blossomed & Grown!

I weigh and measure my Y5's at the beginning and end of the year, so I can do all sorts of math extensions of how much they've grown. This information used to be on their report cards.

They subtract their beginning and ending height and weight, we add everyone's height and weight for grand totals, we graph who was the tallest and weighed the most, and we compare these to last year's totals.

Children go on a hunt to see if they can find things in the room that are as tall as they are, and we guess-timate a list of things that might weigh as much as they do.

If you have weighed and measured your students too, you can include it on their flower, if not simply have them write how else they have grown.  Discuss with your students what it means to "blossom".

Brainstorm with them ways they have grown since the beginning of the year.  For example, they have not just grown physically, but they are smarter.  What new things can they do now?  Jot these down on the white board.

This could also be a Venn Diagram of how they are the same and how they are different since the beginning of the year as well.

Run off the petal master on red, orange, yellow, pink, blue, and purple construction paper if you're using white paper plates, and on white construction or copy paper if you're using colored paper plates. 

You can have students cut these out, or have some of them pre-cut for younger children.

To add some color to white petals, students can write with a colored marker, or draw some colored lines on the petals. (See photo.)

Each student will need 8 petals, 1 stem, and 1 leaf. (If you want the leaves 3-dimensional then they need 2.)

Have students cut out the petals and write something on each one.  If you've kept track of their height and weight, students can incorporate this information on their petals.

The ruler master should be run off on lime or light green construction paper so that you can read the numbers.  I like to run off the leaves on an emerald green paper so that there is a contrast.

If you want your bulletin board to be 3-dimensional, have students glue their petals to the front of an 8" paper plate.

Write student's name under their photo, along with the date they started and ended school. I also write the grade they were in above their picture.  (See photo.)

Flip the plate over, the flower will then look rounded and the bulletin board will "pop" out at you.  If you are using sturdier, colored paper plates, leave them face up, as they are deeper and the edges pop up. 

Glue the leaves to the back of the ruler- stem.  You can make the leaves 3-D as well by gluing 2 together and folding one half up.

Glue the leaves to the back of the stem and the stem to the back of the plate.  Make sure that when they cut out their stem-ruler, they leave some blank space at the top so they can glue it to the plate and not cover their numbers.

You can leave the center of the flower white or you can add colored construction paper circles. 

To make the flowers even cuter and more of a keepsake, enlarge your students' school pictures on the copier and have them glue the photo to the center of their flower.

Cover the bulletin board with blue paper.  Snip green construction paper and use this as a grass border on the bottom.  Add a yellow circle for the sun in one corner. 

If you want to make it more 3-D, twist some yellow crepe paper and staple on some strands as rays.

Add your students' flowers to the grass and you're set.  Caption: Look how  ____________'s Preschool / Kindergarten / 1st grade students have blossomed and grown this year!

Click on the link to view/print the flower bulletin board patterns.

 

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WRITE on!

Happy Father's Day Venn Diagram Comparison:

Brainstorm with your students how they are the same and different from their dads.  A fun way to do this is with a Venn Diagram. 

I like to use 2 brightly colored hula hoops to do this, and then write words on index cards. 

I then transfer this information to the white board so that students are seeing it again, and can copy what applies to them on their own Venn diagram. 

As an added writing extension students could also compare their grandpa's with their dads.  After they make their Venn Diagrams have them draw a picture of their dad and themselves/grandpa inside the diagram. 

You could also add their school photo.

This makes a cute card to give to their dad's on Father's Day by adding "We may be different, but we are also the same, and this you know is true: I LOVE you!" 


summer writing prompts, writing prompts for the end of the year, end of the year activities, ideas for the end of the year, June bulletin boards, bulletin boards for the end of the year, bulletin board ideas for the end of the year, summer bulletin boards, summer bulletin board ideas, ideas for the last week of school, end of the year ideas, activities for the last week of school, lessons for the last week of school, father's day ideas, father's day activities, whale ideas, whale activities, starfish ideas, starfish activites, bucket lists for kids,  The Sweet Taste of Summer:

Brainstorm with your students of all the fun things they like to eat during the summer that are a bit different than the foods they eat during other months, such as Popsicles, ice cream, things cooked on the grill, stuff they take on a picnic, watermelon, strawberries, etc. 

Run off my master of a Popsicle.  Students cut them out and write their favorite things to eat during the summer.

When they are done, tape a large Popsicle stick to the back of their work. Buy a checkered tablecloth at The Dollar Store, cut it into a small rectangle to look like a picnic table and staple it to your b. board.

Arrange the Popsicle sticks around the table as a border in a crisscross fashion.  The caption: The Sweet Taste Of Summer  

Or... cover your b. board with blue paper.  Cut out two Peach lips. (One top and one bottom) Make these so that the mouth looks open. Cut out a long pink tongue. Place the Popsicles in and around the mouth.  

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Wishing On A Summer Star:

Brainstorm with your students some of the places they'd like to go during the summer, if they could go anywhere in the world.  Write them on the white board. 

Run off my masters of the starfish on two different shades of light brown construction paper.  Each student will need one of each color. 

Children cut out their starfish.  On the larger, front view one, they complete the writing prompt: "If I could go any where in the world this summer I'd like to go to... and list all the places they'd like to visit. 

On the other smaller back of the starfish, they glue Cheerio's on the lines, for a nice 3-D touch.  Glue the two stars together in a kitty wampus way. 

Put light blue paper on your bulletin board. Buy a fish net from The Dollar store and staple it diagonally in the middle of the board. 

Sprinkle the starfish on the net.  Caption: Wishing On A Summer Star

Click on the link to view/download Summer Fun Writing Packet

I hope these ideas will excite your students and get them to WANT to write.

Thanks for visiting! I hope you can pop back tomorrow for more fun in the sun activities.

summer writing prompts, writing prompts for the end of the year, end of the year activities, ideas for the end of the year, June bulletin boards, bulletin boards for the end of the year, bulletin board ideas for the end of the year, summer bulletin boards, summer bulletin board ideas, ideas for the last week of school, end of the year ideas, activities for the last week of school, lessons for the last week of school, father's day ideas, father's day activities, whale ideas, whale activities, starfish ideas, starfish activites, bucket lists for kids,  As always if you have a creative idea that your students enjoy doing, I'd love hearing from you. diane@teachwithme.com

or feel free to post a comment here, especially if you use one of my ideas.

PIN away if you find something you think would be helpful or interesting to another teacher or parent that home schools!

Wishing you a super summer that simply sizzles with fun!

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