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Getting to the Core

1-2-3 Come Do Some "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" Activities With Me

 

If you give a mouse a cookie activities, mice crafts, mouse craft, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities for Laura Numeroff booklsDo you read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Numeroff? 

I absolutely love her "If You Give A..." series of stories.  So do my students.  They truly get a kick out of the endings, where things come full circle and then repeat. 

Glad that a publisher finally agreed, as that best-selling book was rejected 9 times!!!! Puts new meaning behind the words, "Try, try again." 

These books are perfect for sequencing!  With that in mind, I designed a storytelling flip booklet, as well as a slider craftivity

Both packets will help practice the "sequencing & retelling a story" standards, and make for a wonderful transition activity, after you're done reading the story.  

If you give a mouse a cookie activities, mice crafts, mouse craft, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities for Laura Numeroff booklsFirst up is the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" flip booklet. 

Fun for your kiddos and easy-peasy for you too, as it’s simply “Print & Go”. 

If you give a mouse a cookie activities, mice crafts, mouse craft, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities for Laura Numeroff booklsSimply run the mouse pattern off on construction paper or card stock.
Students color & trim. This becomes the sturdy “base” of their booklet.

Students color, cut & collate the pages into a little book, which is then glued to the base.

I purposely did not number the pages, so you can assess comprehension & ability to sequence correctly.

I've included black & white patterns, as well as colorful ones, so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share.

Because children absolutely love giving their opinion, the last page allows them a chance to rate the story with a thumbs up or down, as well as coloring in a star ranking.

If you give a mouse a cookie activities, mice crafts, mouse craft, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities for Laura Numeroff booklsTo further check comprehension, I’ve included a “color, cut & glue” worksheet too.

As another way to assess comprehension, as well as include some writing practice, there’s also a “Here’s What Happened…” worksheet, which can be done as a whole group with younger children.

When everyone is done, have children pick a partner and take turns telling the story, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” to each other.
We sometimes do this sort of thing with our older reading buddies.

Afterwards, encourage students to share their mouse craft with their parents, once again retelling the story.

If you give a mouse a cookie activities, mice crafts, mouse craft, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities for Laura Numeroff booklsNext up is the slider.  There are several mouse options. I’ve included a large, full-page pattern for teachers, as well as a smaller, 2-on-a-page pattern for your students.

Children color the story elements on the “slider strip” then cut and glue it together.

As they pull on the end of the “slider” the various pictures go through the cookie “window”, so that children can take turns retelling the story to a partner or reading buddy, then take their mouse home to share with their family, once again practicing these standards.

Storytelling sliders are also an easy & interesting way to assess comprehension.

If you give a mouse a cookie activities, mice crafts, mouse craft, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities for Laura Numeroff booklsI’ve included a “sequence the story” slider activity for this, where students color and trim the picture “windows” then glue them in the correct order on the blank slider strip.

You also have the option to do the regular slider with the story graphics in the appropriate order, then assess comprehension afterwards, using the “Sequence the Story” worksheet.

I introduce the lesson by reading "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie", then share my completed "slider craftivity” with my students.

So that you can quickly, and easily make an example, I’ve included a full-color slider pattern.

After I read the story, we retell the tale together, using the picture prompts on my cookie mouse.
Have children guess which story element they think comes next before you pull the picture through the “window”.

If you give a mouse a cookie activities, mice crafts, mouse craft, retelling a story activities, sequencing a story activities, activities for Laura Numeroff booklsMy students now know what’s expected of them, and are very excited to transition to making a Cookie Mouse story slider of their own.

back to school icebreakers, M&Ms icebreaker, icebreaker games, As with the flip booklet, this packet also includes a "Here's What Happened..." worksheet, in black & white, as well as color, so that you can do this as a whole group discussion with little ones.

Today's featured FREEBIE is a fun little "back to school" icebreaker.

You can play this "get to know you game" with M&Ms or Skittles,   This activity works with a variety of ages and grade levels.  I hope you find it useful.

back to school activities, if you give a mouse a cookie activitiesWell that's it for today.  Thanks for popping in. 

Not sure about you, but my summer is going at the speed of light. 

Seems like we were all just cheering on the last day, and now we're getting ready for that exciting first week of school. 

Wishing you a blessed day free of stress, and those too long "To Do" lists.

"You do enough. You are enough. You've done enough. You have enough. Relax." - Unknown

1-2-3 Come Do a Back to School Icebreaker With Me!

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesNowadays, our classrooms are filled with lots of diversity, which sometimes makes starting a new school year a bit scary.

I truly believe that making the time to do some “get to know you” activities the first few days of school, is so very important in building community, camaraderie and a team spirit.

Once those things are established, children build friendships. That bond helps them enjoy school more, learn better and feel safer.

Discipline problems are lessened as well because of mutual feelings of genuine caring and respect.

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesWith that in mind, I designed this super-fun icebreaker craftivity, I call it, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, which not only helps everyone get to know each other, but also practices writing skills in a fun way.

I find that students truly enjoy sharing things about themselves.

A bonus is that completed projects also make an awesome back to school bulletin board as well.

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesI’ve included a variety of posters, for your display.  

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesThere's also a nice selection of "Don't judge a book by its cover", thought-provoking photo posters. 

Use them as an attention grabbing way to introduce the lesson, or jump start a discussion of why it’s important not to prejudge others.

Later, sprinkle them throughout your display of children's book stacks. 

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesAs another discussion starter, I've also included a set of 4, interesting quote cards. These too, can become part of your display.

So that this idea works for a variety of grades, ages and skill levels, I’ve included patterns for lower elementary kiddos, as well as patterns for older students

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesThere are 6 young boy "topper" options, along with 6 for girls.

Patterns come in black & white so students can color them. I've also included several in color, so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share.

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesThis "topper" sits on a stack of books.

Each book features a "favorite" writing prompt. Such as favorite food, animal, color etc. 

Making this a quick, easy and a super-fun way to get to know your students. 

Younger kiddos can dictate their answers to a parent, which makes this an interesting activity to do during your open house or "Meet the Teacher" night.

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesThere are also 2 options for “teacher toppers” so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share. Students love learning things about their new teachers. 

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesFor older students there's a taller stack of books, with a pattern for a boy as well as a girl. 

These come with "favorites" book headers, as well as a pattern where the books are numbered, so you can taylor your questions for your own class.  

I've included a list of ideas you can choose from, to help design your own categories.

Simply peruse my list, circle your favorite 14, then number them. 

After students have colored, cut and assembled ther book stack, read the first item you want them to write down on the first book: ie. "What is your favorite movie? " 

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesFor extra writing practice, I've also included several writing prompt worksheets.

Because "Don't judge a book by its cover" and "I can read them like a book" are idioms, be sure and take that teachable moment to explain what that term means. 

I've included some definition posters to assist you. 

Today's featured FREEBIE is a set of two coloring pages, inspired by two of my all-time favorite back to school books: "The Kissing Hand" and "Chrysanthemum"

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, Chrysanthemum activity, kissing hand activities, first day coloring pages, getting to know you activitiesUse them for a few minutes of sanity-saving time. While children are engaged and happily coloring, you 're freed up for a bit. 

Plus, kiddos have a nice little something to bring home to share with their families.

icebreakers for back to school, back to school activities, first day activities for school, back to school bulletin boards, idiom activities, no bullying activities, getting to know you activitiesWell that's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by. 

Our weather here in Michigan has been absolutely gorgeous! Feeling very blessed. 

Wishing you a stress free and very relaxing day.

"Life seems to begin all over again during the summer."  - Unknown

 

1-2-3 Come Do Some Name Writing Activities With Me

Put some fun into “name writing” practice.
This important skill can be daunting for little ones just learning how to hold a writing utensil.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsLikewise, “practice makes perfect” can become tedious and boring.
With these things in mind, I designed this “kid topper” name craftivity.

There are a variety of ways you can use this packet.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsThe first way is to use as a worksheet with a “child topper”.
Run off the boy & girl patterns on copy paper, or to make them sturdier, use white construction paper.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsThere are 18, BW girl options, as well as 18 boy options. Children color the child, then trim and glue to the top of one of the worksheets.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsThere are 4 “I can write my name" worksheets. Choose which is most appropriate for your students.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsTo add variety & make things more fun, students write their name with a crayon, pencil, marker, pen & piece of chalk.

If your kiddos are like mine, this is a “big deal” that meets with lots of enthusiasm.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsAnother option, is for students to simply write with one utensil. My kiddos’ favorite is markers.

They can do this all at once, writing their name six times, or do this once each day for the first week of school.

IDEA: Have students choose two different colored markers, then show an ABAB color pattern to cover yet another report card standard.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsCompleted projects make an adorable bulletin board. I’ve included 2 posters to add extra pizzazz.

IDEA: After you take your bulletin board down, save your students’ work, then have them repeat the assignment, the last week of school.

You should see wonderful improvement in coloring, as well as writing! What a great keepsake too. 

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsThe other option is to make a “strip booklet”.

To make one, staple X number of pages together, add the cover, then staple to the base of each students’ “kid topper”.

Children write their name on the first day, then again, once each month.

This is great to share during parent-teacher conferences, and also makes a wonderful keepsake at the end of the year.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsI've also included 3, "bookmarks of praise" for boys, and another 3 for girls, which you can hand out when they pass this report card standard.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. name map icebreaker activity, icebreakers, 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boards, nameToday's featured FREEBIE is a "Getting to know you!" name map.

name writing activities, back to school activiteis, activities for the first day of school. 1st day activities, back to school bulletin boardsWell that's it for today. Thanks for popping in. 

It's summer; it's Friday, and I'm feelin' oh so fine! 

Time to don my straw hat & flips flops. Hoffmaster Beach here we come.

"A little sand between your toes, is a simple way to take away your woes. " -Unknown.

 

1-2-3 Come Do A "Dog Gone Great" Writing Craftivity With Me

No matter what grade I taught, all I had to do to grab my students’ attention and get them excited about writing, was to add a bit of craftiness to an interesting and fun writing prompt.

back to school activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, dog activities, dog crafts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing, summer bulletin boardWith that in mind, I designed this (flip the flap) “Dog Gone Great!” activity, which is another one of my “double duty” writing prompts.

I call them double duty because they have patterns that serve a dual purpose.

You can use them for either the beginning of the year, for a super-fun back to school activity, or plug them in at the end of the year, for pre-summer writing.

There are 5 different dog designs to choose from, as well as 3 writing prompts:

back to school activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, dog activities, dog crafts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing, summer bulletin board“I had a dog gone great summer!”

“I had a dog gone great school year!” and...

"________________________ is dog gone great!” where students fill in the blank with something they think is awesome: a sport, activity, subject, book, person, vacation, etc.

There are also 3 writing page options as well: 2 with different sized lines, plus a blank pattern.

back to school activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, dog activities, dog crafts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing, summer bulletin boardPick which is most appropriate for your students, or give them a choice.
There’s plenty of room to write, as the patterns take up almost a full page.

back to school activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, dog activities, dog crafts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing, summer bulletin boardI’ve included black & white patterns for students, as well as 5 colorful patterns, so that you can quickly and easily make an example to share.

back to school activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, dog activities, dog crafts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing, summer bulletin boardWhen everyone is done, have students pick a partner and take turns sharing, or make some time for children to share with the entire class.

Completed projects make an adorable bulletin board.

back to school activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, dog activities, dog crafts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing, summer bulletin boardI’ve included 2, “Dog Gone Great Writing!” posters to add some extra pizzazz to your display.

shape games, shape activities, 2D shapes, shape centers, 2D shape activitiesToday's featured FREEBIE is a super-fun "Shape Matching Game For Fall"

Print, laminate and trim.  Students place the colored shape tile on to the matching shape on the leaf, spider, bat, owl, or turkey card.  

I've included a blank template for each theme, so you can program with more shapes or whatever. I hope you find it useful.

back to school activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, dog activities, dog crafts, end of the year writing prompts, end of the year activities, end of the year bulletin boards, summer writing, summer bulletin boardWell that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by. 

Since the heat index is 110 I'm going to continue to craft away in my blessedly cool office today. 

Wishing you a stress-free & happy-go-lucky day.

"It's summer! If you're not barefoot, you're overdressed." -Unknown

1-2-3 Come Do Some "First Day Jitters" Activities With Me

activities to go with first day jittersDo you read “First Day Jitters” by Julie Danneberg?
It’s one of my all-time favorite back to school books. My students absolutely LOVE the surprise ending.

With that in mind, I decided to make 3 different "Jitter" crafts, to help students sequence and retell the story. They are a super-fun transitional activity after you're done reading.

back to school activities, back to school crafts, icebreaker activities for the first week of school, back to school stories, back to school writing prompts, activities for First Day Jitters, back to school crafts, back to school writing promptsFirst up is the “First Day Jitters”   flip the flap, schoolhouse booklet.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/40-Off-First-Day-Jitters-Storytelling-Craft-3885395So that you can differentiate your lessons, I’ve included a simple flip booklet with just 4 pages for little ones, as well as pattern pages for a super-cool schoolhouse, where the pages are cut down the middle, so the "double-doors" of the school house flip open on both sides.

I purposely did not number the pages, so you can check comprehension.

This also allows you to choose less pages for preschool students, who can easily sort beginning-middle-& end, then retell the story with a limited number of “picture prompts”.

Simply run the schoolhouse pattern off on construction paper or card stock. Students color & trim.

back to school activities, back to school crafts, icebreaker activities for the first week of school, back to school stories, back to school writing prompts, activities for First Day Jitters, back to school crafts, back to school writing promptsOpen the doors to the schoolhouse to retell the story.

Students color, cut & collate the pages into a little booklet, which is then glued to the base of the schoolhouse.

For writing practice, I’ve also included several prompt options that are written on the schoolhouse base patterns. Simply choose which is most appropriate for your kiddos, or you could give them a choice.

back to school activities, back to school crafts, icebreaker activities for the first week of school, back to school stories, back to school writing prompts, activities for First Day Jitters, back to school crafts, back to school writing promptsNext up is a super-simple "First Day Jitters" storytelling wheel.

If your kiddos are like mine, they will really enjoy making a wheel of their own. It’s a wonderful activity to transition to after reading the story.

To once again grab my students’ attention, I share my sample as a story review, then ask, “Who’d like to make one?”  Woo Hoo for excited enthusiasm!

As a whole group, when everyone is done with their craftivity, practice retelling “First Day Jitters” using the wheel manipulative.

Everyone starts by turning their wheel to the “pie slice”, where Mr. Hartwell is calling to Sarah. Pick a child to explain what’s happening in that ”beginning of the story” graphic.

Continue to turn the wheel, calling on different students to tell you about that portion of the story.

back to school activities, back to school crafts, icebreaker activities for the first week of school, back to school stories, back to school writing prompts, activities for First Day Jitters, back to school crafts, back to school writing promptsTo check comprehension, and reinforce the “sequencing a story” standard, I’ve also included a “color, cut & glue” sequencing worksheet.

Use the larger, colorful pattern for a whole group activity with younger kiddos. 

Print, laminate & trim the patterns.  Attach the grid to your white board, then pass the pieces out to your students.

"How does the story start?"  "Who has that story piece?"  That child comes up and places it on the grid. (I attach magnet dots to the backs, but you can also use Velcro or tape.)

back to school activities, back to school crafts, icebreaker activities for the first week of school, back to school stories, back to school writing prompts, activities for First Day Jitters, back to school crafts, back to school writing promptsThis activity is also included in the final "Jitters" craftivity,  a super-fun "First Day Jitters" storytelling slider.

Students color the story elements on the “slider strip” then cut and glue it together.

back to school activities, back to school crafts, icebreaker activities for the first week of school, back to school stories, back to school writing prompts, activities for First Day Jitters, back to school crafts, back to school writing promptsWith just six, nice-sized graphics, this is easy peasy for even preschool children, making it perfect for explaining the beginning-middle & end of a story too.

As children pull on the end of the “slider-strip” the various pictures go through the “window” on the “door” of the schoolhouse, so that students can take turns retelling the story to a partner or reading buddy, then take their slider home to share with their family, once again practicing these standards.

All three packets include black & white patterns, as well as colorful ones, so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share.

As another way to assess comprehension, as well as include more writing practice, I’ve also included a “Here’s What Happened…” worksheet, which can be done independently, or as a whole group with younger children. This worksheet is included in all three packets as well.  

No matter if you're flippng & flapping, or turning & learning, or simply sliding along, I hope you have an absolute blast with your new students. 

back to school poster, Meet the teacher night noteToday's featured FREEBIE is also a little something for back to school. 

I found an "author unknown" quote in various place on the internet, and decided to revamp & expand it, making this "poster poem" appropriate for a teacher to share with their students. 

You can hang it up as a poster, or tuck it in your "Welcome Packet".  Just a little something fun for "Meet & Greet the Teacher" night too. 

back to school activities, back to school crafts, icebreaker activities for the first week of school, back to school stories, back to school writing prompts, activities for First Day Jitters, back to school crafts, back to school writing promptsWell that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.

As we head into the weekend we will be topping 90 degrees. I'm so grateful that we have air conditioning in our home. 

Despite the heat, I may venture out to walk my poodle pup and water the flowers.  Wishing you a relaxing and super-fun summer & jitter-free school year. 

Oh and if you too love "First Day Jitters" be sure and check out Danneberg's "Last Day Blues" it too is a sweet story that proves teachers & students have a lot more in common that they think.

"Summer: Hair gets lighter; skin gets darker. Water gets warmer; drinks get colder. Music gets louder; nights get longer. Life gets better in the good ole' summertime. " -Unknown

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