1-2-3 Come Do Some Grandparents Day Activities With Me
In 1978 President Carter made Grandparent’s Day an official celebration. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the holiday.
Although it’s celebrated the first Sunday after Labor Day, I like to plan some sort of grandparent activity later in the month, when my students have gotten used to the routines of school; before we invite grandparents for a fun-filled hour with their grandchild.
Because even a celebration has to have some sort of educational activity, I designed several items that fit the bill.
First up, “ABC My Grandparents Are To Me…” which includes an alphabetical list of adjectives that describe grandma and grandpa. Such as, A is for awesome.
Besides reinforcing letters, this activity is also a great way to build vocabulary.
The packet comes with several alphabet worksheet options, to fit the various needs of children: One for grandparents, a separate one for grandma, as well as grandpa; plus a fill-in-the blank one, so children can write in someone else, if they don’t have grandparents.
Younger students can “trace the letter” on their worksheet, while older students can think up their own adjectives and write them down after the letter.
There’s also a second page, handprint worksheet as well.
Handprints can be made with paint, or paper, which is less messy, but tracing, cutting and gluing takes more time.
Next up is a super-fun Grandparents Day craft that I call Instagrama & Instagrampa Grams.
For those of you who follow me, you know that I love diddling around with "play on words", so I had an absolute blast designing this Instagram-inspired craft.
The prep is easy-peasy “print and go”.
There are several pattern options to fit the needs of your students:one for both grandparents, another for just grama, as well as a separate one for grampa; plus a generic one, for those kiddos without grandparents.
Children can “post” a picture to their “grand person” by cutting and gluing a real photograph (perhaps their school photo) to one of the rectangles on their “phone”, or drawing a picture (perhaps of themselves or grama/grampa).
I’ve also included a set of small pictures for children to color, cut & glue inside the boxes of their paper phone.
I chose this particular clip art because it looks like it was drawn by a child.
Students can design their phone anyway they want, or you can give them guidelines; such as, include at least one photo, one drawn object, etc.
There’s also a set of 4 Emoji faces. Children can choose one, and glue that to one of the empty rectangles too.
As always, I’ve included full color options for teachers, so you can quickly and easily make an example to share, as well as black & white for students.
There’s also a second page option if you want to add a bit of writing, rhyming and math to this craftivity.
Ive included a pattern for grandparents, as well as one without the text message, so students can write something to another person.
The card can be done as a fun homework assignment, completed in class, or done during your grandparents day activities.
Finally, today's featured FREEBIE is also for your Grandparents Day celebration.
I thought you might like a time-saving "print & go" invitation, which your students can color and fill in, then take home.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
It's a fabulous 68 degrees, and I'm so loving the cooler weather. Really energizes me!
I'm so ready to bid adieu to summer heat and am really looking forward to the awesome colors of fall.
"Sweaters, vibrant colored leaves, football, bonfires, cooler weather. Fall is here!" -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some "Very Busy Spider" Activities With Me
Do you read Eric Carle's "The Very Busy Spider" ? It's one of my students' favorite spider stories, and perfect for sequencing!
First up is the "caught in a web of learning" spider web flip booklet.
There are a variety of options for you to choose from:
Pick your favorite, or give students a choice.
Children color, cut & collate their pages, then add the cover.
I personally like the "trace the word" pages best. Even tho' my Y5s can't read, they are practicing letters, while my first graders get the added benefit of word recognition.
There's also enough room if you want your students to write the word as well.
As always, the graphics come in full color patterns so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share, as well as black & white templates, for students.
I purposely did not number the pages, so you can assess comprehension & students' ability to sequence correctly.
When everyone is done, practice retelling “The Very Busy Spider” by calling on a child, who explains what is happening in that graphic.
You could also ask, “Is this the setting of the story?” “Is this the beginning-middle-or end of the story?” etc.
Afterwards, for more reinforcement, have students pick a partner and take turns sharing their booklet with each other.
Using Elmer's glue, have students "trace" the web lines, then sprinkle with glitter. Printing the cover on black construction paper really makes the silver glitter pop.
Since you're putzing with glue, you can also add a plastic or pom pom spider at this time as well.
Use the colorful template to do this as a whole group activity with younger students. This activity, with different graphics is also in the busy spider slider & wheel options.
Next up is the slider.
There are 2 outside slider options to choose from, which children color & trim.
Students color the story elements on the “slider strip” then cut and glue it together. (Both options use the same “slider strip”).
As they pull on the end of the “slider” the various pictures go through the “window”, so that children 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.
I introduce the lesson by reading "The Very Busy Spider", then share my completed "slider craftivity” with my students.
After I read the story, we retell the tale together, using the picture prompts.
Have children guess which story element they think comes next before you pull the picture through the “window”.
My students now know what’s expected of them, and are very excited to transition to making a story slider of their own.
Besides the "Here's What Happened..." worksheet explained previously, the "spider slider" and "wheel" options also include 2, “Let's sequence the story” worksheets, where students color and trim the picture “windows” then glue them in the correct order on the blank worksheet.
My students absolutely love this "game". As you can see by the photographs, the graphics for the slider and the ones for the wheel are different.
I purchased more clip art from two different artists, to add variety to your lessons, as teachers have told me that they've purchased both, using one as an independent center and the other for a whole group activity.
Finally, the storytelling wheel is yet another quick, easy & fun way for students to practice the “retelling & sequencing” a story standards.
Since there are quite a few characters and parts to this tale, I designed a “beginning of the story” wheel, with 6 sections; plus another 6-part wheel, to tell the end of the story.
This way, the 12 graphics are a nice size for coloring.
When everyone is done, practice retelling by using the manipulative. Everyone starts by turning their wheel so that the busy spider on the fence appears in the “pie-slice window”, then call on a child to begin the story,
Continue to turn the wheel, calling on different students to tell you that portion of the story, explaining the “picture prompt”.
After you've explained the picture with the pig, take the first wheel out by unfastening the brass brad, then insert the "end of the story" wheel to complete retelling "The Very Busy Spider."
Today's FREEBIE also features "The Very Busy Spider".
It's a sweet doorknob dangler, which you can hang on your classroom door, or have students make the BW one for their bedroom.
There are two options, so that you can have a front & back side.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
It's pouring rain. Perfect for working on some not-so-spooky spider stuff.
"Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet." - Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do a Super-Fun Writing Prompt With Me
No matter what grade I taught, if I added a bit of craftiness to a writing prompt, I’d grab my students’ attention.
Once they saw my example, they were excited to make one of their own and get right down to business.
With that “focused & happy engagement” in mind, I thought a super-fun writing prompt, would be for students to pretend to be a school bus; which is a glimpse of “personification”, “point of view” and “text to self”.
If you’ve gone over bus safety with your kiddos, this is also an interesting way to reinforce those rules.
As one of the posters states: “I’m a bus and I’ve got something to say; which includes some rules that you need to obey.”
For example, my bus says: “Thank you for not eating or drinking. I hate getting all sticky and dirty. It makes me smell bad too.” Younger students can write a simpler sentence, like "Railroad crossing! Quiet please." etc.
To introduce the craftivity, read “Bus Chatter”.
It's a little ditty I wrote, as a fun way to grab students' attention, give examples, and motivate kiddos with an “It’s your turn” challenge.
The packet includes 5 large, (full page) black & white bus patterns for students to choose from.
There are also 2 speech bubble options.
Students choose a bus, color & cut it out, then fill in a speech bubble with their final draft of “bus chit chat”.
Add extra pizzazz to the “flashing lights”, with flat-backed rhinestones, or red and gold glitter.
I've included several posters to explain your display.
You can also use the two extra buses provided, as examples, then include them on your bulletin board for added interest.
One reminds students to check for traffic, the other reasures children that a bus is built for their safety.
Besides the craftivity, you can also make a class book. There’s a cover, last page and 5 page options.
As always, there are matching colorful templates for teachers.
I’ve also included my text-filled bubbles, if you’d like to use those, to expedite making an example to share.
Because students really enjoy this type of writing, you can certainly do both activities.
Since "National Bus Safety Month" is celebrated in October, do the craftivity for "back to school", then make the class book later in the fall; which will hopefully show lots of improvement!
For some word work, and vocabulary-building, I’ve also included a bus safety word find, which is a fun pre-writing activity.
There's also a few other goodies to round out the packet.
Often teachers are so busy teaching, that sometimes they can miss important things that are happening in their students' lives.
Putting up a tweet board on a door, wall or bulletin board, helps you stay informed and builds community.
A more caring classroom will be created.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stoppping by.
The thunder is booming and the lightning is crackling as it pours. Love a summer storm to soak my flower garden.
Great day to hunker down and design some more fun stuff for school. Woo Hoo!
"Children must be taught HOW to think, not WHAT to think!" -Margaret Mead
1-2-3 Come Do Some Bus Safety Activities With Me
Do you read the story, "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" by Mo Willems? Click the book cover to see a cute YouTube video.
Because it’s a favorite of young children, I thought it would be fun to spice up bus safety with a pigeon. (Bus Safety With a Pigeon Packet)
If you don't read that story, or are just looking for some super-fun bus safety activities, I also made a matching packet with no bird. (Bus Safety Activities).
Listening to lots of rules can become tedious and boring for little ones, but playing a game, doing a center activity, or making a "flip-the-flap" booklet, helps get the “you need to know this stuff” into a child’s head, in a hands-on way.
Both these packets includes a nice assortment of quick, easy and interesting activities, that help make learning about bus safety super-fun.
Since “National Bus Safety Month” is in October, I do a few of the activities the first few weeks of school, then others later in the fall, which is a nice review.
There are 12, colorful cards on a one-page pattern to conserve paper and ink.
Simply print, laminate and trim. Children decide if the behavior pictured on the card is a do or don't rule, then place the cards under the correct do/don't header.
You can also pass the cards out to students, then have them show and share their card with the class, explaining the rule on the card.
* To whole-group assess comprehension, I designed a super-fun, Popsicle stick “puppet pal” craftivity.
There's a pigeon one for that packet, and a bus puppet pal in the other packet.
The flip side of this paddle is a green circle (Green = "Go! Do".) Adding a wiggle eye provides the "finishing touch".
I've included a list of 20+ statements for you to choose from, then read aloud. Students decide whether that statement is a "Do" or a "Don't" then flip their paddle accordingly.
I kept the booklets short, with just 9 pages to choose from, which feature the graphics for some of the most important rules.
Children color the picture, then circle a "Do" or "Don't" word to describe what's going on in the graphic.
The pigeon's "wing cover", flips open to reveal the pages, while the booklet for the bus, is on the "windshield".
* There’s also a set of 24, colorful graphic rule posters, which show the various “Do’s & Don’ts” for riding the bus. I printed mine on card stock then laminated.
Use them to introduce bus safety, then hang them on the wall; or... add the cover & last page ("No muss. No fuss.We know the rules for riding the bus!") and make a booklet with a split ring.
* The packet also includes some “paper praise” options: a slap bracelet, a bookmark, and a brag tag necklace, plus a “color me” bus safety certificate.
Making a bus safety necklace, provides fine motor practice, which helps strengthen finger muscles.
This also practices counting as well as showing a pattern too. Plus studets really enjoy making them.
Hopefully, people will ask children about their necklace, giving them an opportunity to explain some of the bus safety that they learned, once again reinforcing the lesson.
There's also a "High fives from ________ who knows bus safety" craft in the pigeon packet, which makes a sweet keepsake, as the bird's wing is a child's hand print.
There are two FREEBIES today. Both come from these new packets.
One is the "Stop-Look and Listen" poster.
The other is the "Stay Out of the Danger Zone" poster.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
I feel fall in the air, as the lovely breeze is cooler and a sprinkling of leaves are actually turning!
As long as we have to be inside at school, we may as well have lovely fall weather.
"There is a time in the last few days of summer, when the ripeness of autumn fills the air." - Rudolfo Anaya
1-2-3 Come Do Some "Wemberly Worried" Activities With Me
No matter what grade I taught, to get students excited about writing, all I had to do was incorporate a bit of craftiness, to get & hold their attention.
With that in mind, I designed these super-fun writing prompt craftivities, which were inspired by Kevin Henkes’ book, “Wemberly Worried”, an all-time favorite back to school story.
I think realizing that others also have fears, helps children not feel so alone when dealing with their own emotions; especially if they find someone who shares the same worry (Like Wemberly & Jewel).
Hopefully, these various writing prompts will provide cathartic fun.
1. There are 14 cover options for the “Sometimes I worry about…” craftivity, which includes 5 girl & 5 boy patterns.
Students color & draw in the facial features. There’s also a generic pattern, plus one featuring Wemberly, as well as a blank template where students can draw themselves inside the “worry circle”.
The cover is then glued to the top of their writing prompt so it flips up.
2. So that you can do a variety of quick, easy & fun writing activities throughout the week, I’ve also included 4, “point of view” postcards, where students pretend they are Wemberly and then write a postcard to a classmate.
3. Students need to know that everyone worries; it’s normal and there are coping skills to help. Which is why I also designed the “Flip the Face” (Mice Advice) craftivity.
Students color, cut and glue Wemberly’s face together, so that it flips up to reveal something they do to help with their worries.
I think this prompt is easier for students to “share” because they feel they are helping others.
4. As another story extension, I’ve also included several Venn diagram options, where students compare Jewel with Wemberly, as well as Wemberly to themselves.
For a fun icebreaker, have students partner up, and do the “Venn Friend” activity, which make an adorable back to school bulletin board.
5. A discussion helps to alleviate fears as well, so I’ve included a whole-group activity, comparing young people’s worries with those of adults.
6. To help get rid of worries, I’ve also included 2 worksheet options, where students write their worries on a large W or “pencil page”, then rip their worries into small pieces, ball them up into a wad, then “toss their cares into the trash”.
7. On the same order, is “Give your worry warts away”, where students give their warts to Wharton the toad, who never worries about anything.
The warts are simply colorful stickers they sprinkle on one of two toad options.
To expedite coloring, I ran the patterns off on tan construction paper. Students add some shading with crayons.
On the back of Wharton, they write down 3-8 worries that they have, numbering them as they go.
The "worry ball" that Wharton sits on says: Don't Worry Be "HOppy". While students are working, I play Bobby McFerrin's song. Click the link to have a listen.
I've included several photo posters of real toads to help introduce your lesson, then later they can spice up your bulletin board display.
The packet includes:
* A “Chalk” behavior modification, positive reinforcement activity, that will help promote working as a team to achieve a desired goal, building self-esteem at the same time.
* Black & White “color me” headers, for a sidewalk chalk treat Baggie, as well as patterns in full color for preschool, kindergarten, & first grade, with a blank template for you to fill in with any other grade. I’ve also included a generic one you can give at anytime of the year.
* A “Chalk Talk” bear poster you can write a daily message on.
* A “Chalk Talk” kitten poster wishing children a “purrr-fect” day. Plus...
* 2, Chalk Talk ("I had a nice time at school today. These are a few of the things that I did:" ) writing prompt worksheets.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
It's the middle of August, so my feet have hit the floor running. My "To Do" list is way too long, but it's also a ton of fun.
Wishing you a zippidy-do-dah kind of day, filled with lots of zip and not so much "to do" dah.
"You're off to great places. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting so get on your way!" - Dr. Seuss