## Back To School With Brown Bear

1-2-3 Come Do Some More Brown Bear Activities With Me

Do you read the story Brown Bear Brown Bear as part of your back to school activites?  If so, I think you'll enjoy these 3 Brown Bear packets, which practice a variety of standards.

First up is a set of number puzzles featuring all of the characters in the Brown Bear story.

Number strip puzzles, are a quick, easy & fun way for your students to practice sequencing numbers, counting from 1 to 10, counting backwards from 10 to 1, as well as skip counting by 2s, 3s, 5s & 10s.

There are 11 different character puzzles, plus a grouping of all of them.

Each character comes in a 1-10 numbered puzzle, as well as a skip count by 10s to 100 puzzle, plus an assortment of puzzles that count backwards, plus skip count by 2s, 3s, and 5s.

There are puzzles in full color, so you can use them for an independent math center, as well as black & white, so that children can make their own puzzles.

Next up, is  a “Brown Bear’s Colors" booklet.  There are two black & white booklet options, which feature all of the colorful characters in the Brown Bear story.

There’s a blank square with lines in one version, where older students can think of 3 items that are also that color, then write them in the space provided, while younger students can simply trace the words with the matching crayon or maker, in the other option.

I’ve provided pages in color as well, so that you can quickly and easily make a sample to share.

Besides using the patterns to make a booklet, you can also cut the 4 sections out and then glue them on a matching sheet of construction or scrapbook paper.

These can be hung up as a single poster or put together like a quilt

Finally, I made a Brown Bear Literacy Packet.  After reading the story, review each sentence using the pocket chart cards.

Don’t have a pocket chart? You can also put magnets or Velcro dots on the back and use on your white board or flannel board.

Make an extra set and use these for a sequencing game.

You can also pass this set out to students while you read the story. When you come to that character, the child holding that card places it on the board.

For more word work practice, I’ve included 6 worksheets where students read, trace, write, color, cut & glue, character and color words.

These are great for Daily 5 word work, homework, or early finishers too.  I’ve also included a “Which was your favorite character?” graphing extension.

For an individual center, or whole-group activity, print, laminate & trim the individual word cards. There’s a large set to use for your center, as well as a smaller set, to make for your whole group.

Children play “Build a Sentence” by arranging the cards in appropriate order, which will help reinforce beginning capitalization and end punctuation.

When they’ve “built” their sentence, they record it on their “construction” worksheet. (There are 5 options, which include BW & color versions).

For a job well done, give children a “We read Brown Bear. I can retell the story” bookmark, as a prompt to share the tale with their families.

This is also my first packet that I've made a Spanish version for!

The bundle is just a dollar more, so woo hoo if that helps you out too.

Today's featured FREEBIE includes back to school treats and a bulletin board, as it will "o-fish-ally" be that time all too soon.

Until then, wishing you a super relaxing summer.

Gotta dash; time to go buy some fireworks!

"Our nation will remain the land of the free, so long as it is the home of the brave." -Unknown

## Back to School Writing Prompt Craftivity & Bulletin Board

1-2-3 Come Make a Mary Had A Little Lamb Bulletin Board With Me

This cute schoolhouse craftivity, is a quick, easy and fun writing prompt that will make an adorable bulletin board.

I try to design things that practice a variety of skills & standards, so I’ve added the Mary Had a Little Lamb nursery rhyme to this activity.

There are 2 writing prompts to choose from: “I like school because . . .” and “My favorite things about school”.

Children color the schoolhouse then cut it in half, gluing the ends to their writing prompt page, in such a way that they flip open, to reveal the writing underneath.

Students complete the prompt, add some color & draw a picture of themselves.

For that finishing touch, have them glue their school picture on one of the windows.
I also added my photo to make this a special keepsake for them.

To help explain things, I’ve included colorful completed samples, so you can quickly make an example of your own to share with your kiddos.

Before or after this activity, share the Mary Had a Little Lamb nursery rhyme.

I’ve included background information, a poster poem, pocket chart cards, plus some “trace & write” color-me worksheets.

The pocket chart cards come in a full-page size, as well as two smaller sets on one template.

Laminate & cut them apart.  For an independent center, students read the cards and put them in proper order.

The poem fits the schoolhouse writing prompt, and is a nice segue for introducing the nursery rhyme genre, along with rhyming words.

Discussion: “What words rhyme in the poem?” (go-snow & school-rule). Can they think of anymore?

You can do this as a whole-group activity and write the words on the board, or have older students make their own lists on the worksheets provided.

To practice another skill, have them alphabetize the words on their list. I’ve included answer keys.

Students can also share their schoolhouse at this time.  Completed projects make a sweet bulletin board.

To tie them into the poem, I’ve included a “_______________’s little lambs have found their way to school” poster for the center of your board, the nursery rhyme poster, plus some large sheep to go on each side. The photo shows the start of my bulletin board display.

You or your kiddos write their name on the little lamb cards, which are placed next to their schoolhouse. Add some border & you’re done.

Click on the link to pop on over to my TpT shop for my newest back to school writing prompt craftivity.

While you're there, I would so appreciate it, if you'd follow me.  I just need 11 more people to hit 500 followers.  I love designing milestone FREEBIES and have a really cute one that I'm working on, in anticipation of reaching that goal soon.  Thanks in advance.

Today's FREEBIE features a variety of popular road signs that are perfect for your classroom.  They are especially fun if you're going to do a transportation theme.

I've included large as well as small sizes.  Use the bigger ones as posters; I put a few back-to-back & suspended from my ceiling as gentle reminders.

The smaller ones can be bookmarks, magnets or pencil toppers for your kiddos. Click on the link to grab this fun FREEBIE: Classroom Road Signs

That's it for today.  It's only 57 degrees out this morning, so fall is definitely in the air here in Michigan.  I am so not ready to let go of summer.  Wishing you a warm & wonderful day.

“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.” ~ Sylvia Plath

## Literacy Packet For The Kissing Hand

1-2-3 Come Do Some Kissing Hand Activities With Me

My kiddos LOVE the story The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.  Little ones identify with the anxious feelings of Chester the raccoon, when he doesn’t want to go to school.  The warming kiss from his mom, resonates in comfort for them as well.

With that in mind, I created a whopping 102-page Kissing Hand literacy packet.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I loved designing it.

The packet has a ton of super-fun activities to help reinforce a variety of standards and includes the following:

* A note home to parents to provide a family photograph for a special We are loved” bulletin board.
* 2 posters to help create the bulletin board.

* A tiny welcoming note for your students with a place to put a Hershey Kiss. ("Hooray!  Hooray!  So glad you're here today.  To show you that it's true, here's a little kiss for you!")
* Graphing activities

* Parts of a book poster & worksheet
* Pocket Chart cards for: character, setting, events
* Literacy Graphic organizers
* Beginning-Middle-End of the story worksheets & activities

* A who, what, where, when, why worksheet
* Venn diagrams comparing: 2 books, 2 characters, the child with Chester, Chester’s school & their school, plus some completed samples to share.

* Games: “How many words can you make using the letters in raccoon?” Includes an answer key; “Rr is for raccoon and….” race;  plus a Nocturnal Animal Memory Match game.

* A variety of worksheets for various levels.
* Lot of creative & fun writing prompts
* Several class-made books, with covers and inside pattern pages to make them.

* Nocturnal animal activities, including an interesting facts sheet, an alphabetical list of 34 nocturnal animals, a classroom poster, with a matching “color me” one for students, plus several games.

* Sign Language activities (The last page of the story, is a picture of Chester’s hand “signing” I love you.) Includes a poster and worksheet.

* Skidamarink a-dink-a-doo I love you song, poster & bookmarks.  My Y5s LOVE singing this sweet song.

* Retell the story bookmarks
* “Color me” first day bookmarks

* Comfort discussion poster and matching class-made book

* “I had a great 1st day” slap bracelet.
* 12 pocket chart cards for reviewing the story.  They double as a punctuation and capitalization activity too.

* Feelings activities
* Raccoons "Are, Can, Have" worksheet

* Craftivities: A raccoon mask; a hand print fold out note; and a  “red, white & blue I love you” sign language heart.  Both make a wonderful keepsake.

* I also designed a sweet full-body raccoon on a 1/2 sheet of paper, with 2-on-a-page for quick printing.

Little ones can simply color him, then color, trim & glue the tail to the bottom.

Older students can write 3-4 things they liked about school or 2-3 emotions they felt during the first day or week.

The larger raccoon is just a head & tail.  I call it "A Tale About Me!"  With a play on the word "tale/tail".

It's an interesting alternative to the "All About Me" booklets.

The tail of the raccoon provides simple writing prompts for kiddos to finish: name, birthday, an interesting fact about themselves; what they want to be when they grow up, plus favorites: color, candy, activities, animal, foods, & TV show, all written on the raccoon's tail.

This craftivity is a super-fun way to learn about your new students, and completed projects make an adorable bulletin board

Click on the link to pop on over to my TpT shop to grab this comprehensive Kissing Hand Literacy Packet.

In celebration of getting ready for back to school, I've knocked 2 dollars off for a limited time, so this 102-page packet is just \$5.95.

The featured FREEBIE today, also involves The Kissing Hand. I actually have 2 for you that are featured in the packetThe first one is the quick, easy & fun "fill up the hand with feelings" craftivity.  Click on the link to grab it.

The second one is the Comfort Class-Made Book.  There are two writing prompt options to choose from, a color cover, with full & half page options, plus the discussion poster.  After children share their page, collect, collate, add the cover & place it in your classroom library.

Be sure and set your student-made booklets out during Open House as well as Parent Teacher Conferences.

I hope your kiddos enjoy creating this one.  Well that's it for today.

Thanks for stopping by.   It's a lovely sunny day in the 70's.  My grandchildren are coming over, so it will be especially enjoyable.  Wishing you a love-filled day as well.

"Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation." - Lois Weis

## What's On Your Mind? Back to School Icebreaker

1-2-3 Come Do An Icebreaker Craft With Me

What’s On Your Mind?  Is an easy and interesting way to get to know your students.  Use it as a fun icebreaker for the first day or first week of school.

No matter what the age group, I've always found that everyone seems to like sharing a little bit about themselves.  This is a creative and entertaining way to do that.

If you have the time, do these in class, or send them home to be done as a home-school connection.

Older students can draw their own self-portrait (head) outline, or use one of mine.  I've included two boy options, as well as two for girls to choose from.

I find young children do much better if they have some sort of pattern, as they tend to draw rather small circles that items would not be able to fit into.

If you’d like to have a ready-to share activity for the first day of school, include the directions and a template in your “Welcome to school” summer letter or tuck it in the packets you give out during Open House or Meet & Greet the Teacher  Night.

Explain to students to fill their "head" with "stuff" that's always on their mind.

• Filling it with favorite things, hobbies, interests, people; things that they're always thinking about.
• You can fill it with dreams and hopes for the future too.
• These will mostly be positive things, but if something is always on your mind that’s bugging you or that you’re worried about, feel free to include those too.
• You can show these things by drawing them, clipping out & gluing symbols/logos or pictures from magazines, using stickers, clip art, and photographs.
• Writing down thoughts, words, a quote or an idea is also OK.

Completed projects make an awesome back to school bulletin board too. In my directions, I let students know that they will be sharing their minds with their classmates, as an interesting way to get to know each other.

Be sure and make one for yourself to use to introduce the activity and explain what you want students to do.  No matter what grade I taught, my students always liked learning a little something about their teacher.

I really enjoyed making my sample; it only took about 15-minutes. I used clip art , a photo of my husband and poodle pup Chloe, and added in a few words, plus my favorite quote.

Making a list of things they want to include in their mind, then looking for pictures to represent those things, provides an excellent pre-writing activity, and helps students organize their thoughts.

This fun getting to know you craftivity, is a special FREEBIE in my TpT shop.  Click on the link to pop on over and grab your copy today, and let the thinking begin!

Thanks for stopping by.  Time to take a break and unclutter this mind, which is a bit overwhelmed with all the back to school things I want to get done.

Wishing you a stress-free day and a mind filled with peace.

"A negative mind, will never give you a positive life." -Unknown

## Having a Whale of a Wonderful Time!

1-2-3 Come Do Some Whale-Themed Craftivities With Me

Ever since I visited Sea World, I've become a big fan of whales.  I know that an ocean-theme is really popular with a lot of teachers, and since children of all ages love whales, I decided to design a whale-themed writing prompt craftivity packet.

It took a lot longer than I thought it would, but I truly believe that making an example of everything that I design, plus including samples, great directions and lots of photographs, really helps teachers and parents.  What say you?

Any hoo, this packet serves double duty, as I included writing prompts for back to school, as well as the end of the year.  The poor gals across the street from me, who teach in a charter school, go 'til June 23rd!   Maybe some of you late-vacation bloomers, can use a few of these activities now.

This packet is very versatile and uses the idioms “I had a whale of a great . . .” and “Spouting off about . . “ where students complete the writing prompt, with something appropriate for back-to-school or the end of the year.  Such as ”I had a whale of a wonderful summer because . . .” or “I had a whale of an awesome year in ________ grade!”

The simple prompts make these activities suitable for little ones, as well as older kiddos, whose writing will be longer and more descriptive. Choose a whale topper for your students or give them a choice.  These activities make terrific independent literacy centers and plug in nicely with Daily 5 or your writing block.

Students really enjoy the “craftivity” portion of their writing, which makes them really want to get started and keeps them focused.  Completed projects make beautiful bulletin board displays too.

The packet includes:

9 bookmarks: 5 are “writing prompt bookmarks” where this year’s students write a note to your in-coming students, or pick a partner and make one for their current classmate, or “spout off”.

There are also 4 “from the teacher” bookmarks, appropriate to welcome your new students, or say farewell to this year’s bunch.

Create a “teachable moment” about homonyms/homophones with the “Whale of a ‘Tale’” whale’s tail topper.  Students can write a tale about anything they find interesting, or you could narrow things down and have them write a tale about school or summer.

The “Tiny ‘Tales’ of School” as well the “Tiny ‘Tales’ of Summer” are mini-flip booklets. The “tiny tale” could be the most exciting, embarrassing, fun, scary, or funny thing that happened to them during the school year, or over summer vacation.

Another booklet option, is “Wally”.  He’s the “standing tall” blue whale. Behind his “face” are oval pages.  This too could be done individually, in a small group, or as a whole group activity.

Run the silhouette whale off on a variety of colors.  Students trim and complete whatever writing prompt you choose right on the whale.  For that finishing touch, add a school picture.

There are also 4 “Spouting Off” activities: a writing prompt "color-me" worksheet, a writing prompt bookmark, a writing prompt craftivity. and a definition-anchor chart poster.

For one of the activities, I made a "speech bubble" that represents the water being squirted from the whale's blow hole."

As with the other prompts, I've included a sample for you to share.

4 different whale toppers, with 7 different writing prompt worksheets to go under them, make especially cute bulletin boards.

Caption Ideas: “We’re Going to Have a Whale of a Great Time!”  “Having a Whale of a Wonderful Time in PK.”  “Making a Splash in Kindergarten!”  “So Glad You Swim in our School.”   "____________’s 'Fintastic' 1st Graders."  “Fintastic” Writing or "Looking Forward to a Whale of a Super Summer/School Year".

I’ve included black & white, as well as full-color worksheets, so that you can easily make an example to share.  Don’t have time? I’ve included samples too.

There are 5 cover options for a full-page class-made booklet, with 6 inside page options for students to choose from.

A simple, “color-me” writing prompt worksheet, is easy-peasy for little ones.

Finally, I’ve included several pages of my top picks for kid-friendly websites, which have interesting information, games and facts about whales, plus links to video and audio clips of real ones.  These sites offer a quick, easy & fun way to toss in some science & geography that there never seems to be enough time for.

I play the whale sound “music” while my students are working.  It’s soothing and they are amazed by the sound that whales make while communicating with each other.

Just like a whale, this whale-themed writing prompt packet is “whopping”, with 80-pages, and on sale today (June 9th through Friday the 12th) for just \$3.19.  Click on the link to pop on over to my TpT store to check it out. Sales help support my clip art & font habits, as well as pay bills to run my TeachWithMe FREEBIE site.  (It's averaging a little over \$200 a month to do so, thus the need for a bit of income).

And now for the FREEBIE, as I always like to provide at least one with each packet.  I chose “Walter” because he was my first attempt at whale drawing, and my personal favorite. Click on the link to take Wally home.

He comes complete with a large and small wave pattern (write your prompt right on the large one) or glue the smaller wave to one of 4 traceable-writing prompt worksheets.

Well that’s it.   Thanks for visiting today.  Apologies for being long-winded.  Whether you’re winding down the year and counting down the days, or making your own vacation-splash in the ocean, I’m wishing you a whale of a wonderful summer!

"We owe it to our children to be better stewards of the environment.  The alternative?  A world without whales.  It's too terrible to imagine!" -Pierce Brosan

## Look Who's Leaping End of the Year and Back to School Activities

1-2-3 Come Do Some Frog-Themed Craftivities With Me

Woo hoo for some of you lucky duckies who are now basking in the sunshine, enjoying the start of your vacation.  For those of you who are still in school for a few more days, or even weeks, boy have I got a super-fun, frog-themed packet for you!

Even the vacationers can enjoy it, as this whopping packet not only features end-of-the-year stuff, but matching back-to-school activities as well!

The versatility continues because it includes templates for Pre K4 through 3rd grade, so you can make things specific to your grade level!

Getting students to WANT to write and really enjoy it, is one of my hot buttons.  With that in mind, I stuffed the packet with lots of creative writing prompt choices with an adorable frog theme that encompasses "leaping" into summer, a new grade, and a new year in school.

There are 18 writing prompt craftivities in all, with lots of options for both the end of the year, as well as for back-to-school.   I enjoy drawing frogs; and had a fun time creating some real cuties.  "Ferdinand" is a fat and sassy frog that's a "peek-over".

Run him off on lime green construction paper.  Students trim and add colorful details with crayons, then glue him to the top of their "I'm leaping" writing prompt for the end of the year, or choose another topic and use the blank frog pattern, for back-to-school.  I've included a "Look Who's Leaping" poster to use in the center of your bulletin board when you display your students' finished projects.

"Fred" is another fun-frog craft.  Here the writing prompt is written on his "tongue".  You can display Fred with a "flat tongue" or include some great fine-motor practice, and have students curl it, by rolling the paper strip on a crayon.

For that finishing touch, I've included some "flies".  There's a "This stuff stuck. Look what I learned!" end-of-the-year pattern, as well as one that says: "I had a delicious summer.This is what I did..." for back-to-school

"Jose'" is a "belly flipping" writing prompt frog.  There are 8 cover options.  Four for the end-of-the-year, and 4 for back-to-school

Jose' can be done as a whole-group, class-made book, where everyone contributes a "belly page"  or as an independent writing prompt, where each child makes their own booklet.  The "Before We Go We'd Like You To Know" booklet gives advice to next year's kiddos.

The "Frogtastic Memories" can be turned into a quick, easy and fun end-of-the-year Memory Book, by simply having students write pages about the favorite things that they did in school or during the summer.

"Frankie" and "Fern" are the cute Frog Face Flip book twins.  Frankie sports a bowtie, while Fern wears a bow on top of her head.  Their "face" flips up to reveal a writing prompt.

There are 5 to choose from, plus a blank one to program with whatever, and a sample for you to share to help explain to your students what you want them to do.

As with "Fred" this too can be done independently, or as a whole-group, class-made booklet.  The back-to-school "I'm 'hoppy' to be me" writing prompt is a personal favorite.

I've also included a "We're flipping over leaping into a new grade!" poster that you can use for the center of your bulletin board display

There's a poster for pre k4 through 3rd grade, plus a blank one to fill in with whatever.

If you've followed me, you know that I like to incorporate things with a play-on-words.  It's a fun way to expand horizons and build vocabulary.

Since a frog says "Ribbit!" I decided to make a "Ribbit, Write It, Read It" writing prompt using the word "riveting" as the twist.

Students write about their "ribbiting" summer or "ribbiting" things that they enjoyed during the school year, inside "Rodney's" circular-frog belly.

I've included a definition-poster for introducing the word riviting, along with a "Ribbit; Write It; Read It" poster for the center of your display.

If you're not into "craftivities" I've also included lots of quick, easy and fun coloring-page, writing prompt worksheets. Simply print and go.

There's a sampling of some of them in the photo.  The "So long school, hello summer" or "So long summer, hello school" worksheets, where the froggy is opening a 3D school door to reveal the writing prompt are especially cute.

There's a similar writing prompt with a different frog, that may be more appealing for older students.

I've included samples for both, and each one has prompts for both seasons. Completed projects make darling bulletin boards too.

One bulletin board display that's especially adorable, is the frog on a lily pad.  I made the water lily flower out of a coffee filter.  In the top photo I simply scrunched the filter.

In the bottom picture I folded it into 1/8ths, then folded it one more time, snipping the end to create scallops. When you open it, it looks just like a large flat water lily.

I edged it with a pink watercolor marker, then spritzed it with water so it smudged into the paper.  Easy-peasy with awesome results.

You have a nice teachable moment to discuss fractions, while children are following your step-by-step directions and folding their filter.   The final writing prompt craftivity features "Fritz".  This frog sits on a pail of sand.

I cut an oval out of sandpaper and glued it to the bucket, so that it looks filled!  Children write things they'd like to do over the summer.  The back-to-school writing prompt option tells what they've done during the summer and what they'd like to do in school.

I realize this "bucket list" idea is all over Pinterest, but I've been doing it way before TpT or Pinterest came into being.  Click on the link for my original "Summer Bucket List" FREEBIE. It's in a FREE summer writing prompt packet with 6 other fun "craftivities".

Besides writing prompts, there are lots of end-of-the-year AND back-to-school themed "goodies" stuffed into the packet, with templates for Pre K4 through 3rd grade.

One group features another play-on-words using "toad-ally" for totally, which fits in perfect with my frog/toad theme.

I had fun designing a few writing prompts, as well as goodies using this fun word.   There are color, as well as black & white covers for the mini-flip booklets and notes, as well as 2 posters and some labels.

"Brag Bracelets" are another "goodie". They are super-fun to make and wear.  I designed one that says: "I'm Leaping!" and another with "Welcome!" on it.

Simply run off the pattern and trim using a paper cutter.  Slit a toilet paper roll up the side and cut it into sections, the width of the pattern. Children glue to their "slap bracelet" folding the edges under.  It's the perfect size for little ones, and the bent shape keeps it on their arm!  When other kiddos ask them about their bracelet, they can "brag" that they made it and are "leaping" into a new grade. Nice little self-esteem builder!

If you're looking for a quick, easy and inexpensive little end-of-the-year, or back-to-school treat to give your students, take a look at my "tiny tags"

These are sweet little notes from the teacher, that you can attach to a "Flavor Ice" Popsicle (They sell them 50 to a pack for only \$2.95!).

Putting them on a  Fruit Roll Up (sticky frog tongue!) or attaching to a Snack Baggie is also fun.  The Dollar Store sells a package of 12 gummi rainbow frogs that would also work.

I've also created a cute, keepsake-photo magnet.   Laminate them for durability.  The Dollar Store also sells magnet strip.  (I'm a frequent shopper there; can ya tell?)

I've also included a variety of bookmarks suitable for the beginning, as well as the end of they year.  They come in color, as well as black and white.

One is a writing prompt that students complete (nice bucket-filler activity), while another they color for one of your in-coming students.

My personal favorite is the keepsake photo bookmark, but the foreign language (Hello-Goodbye) ones are also really cute.

Another "goodie" in the packet are the "color-me" certificates for pre K4 through 3rd grade, (there are 4 styles to choose from, or give your kiddos a choice), plus there are 2 word-art frog-shaped posters that I created using Tagxedo.com.  I've included my silhouettes, so that your kiddos can also make their own.

Well that about covers this frog-themed packet, which is a whopping 201 pages (!) and on sale now for just \$6.95 (regularly \$8.95).  It took me a zillion hours to finish, but I think it was well worth the time. Click on the link to pop on over to my TpT shop and let the fun begin.

As always, I try to include a few FREEBIES from the packet as well.   You can get the frog-word art posters, the word-art certificates (for pre-K4 through 3rd grade) stars and labels, plus the brag bracelets by clicking on the link: frog-themed end-of-the year mini packet.

To grab the FREE frog back-to-school banners, click on this link. The end pennants come in color as well as black line, and have templates for Pre K4 through 3rd grade.  The frog-face pennants spell out "Welcome" and are in black and white, so that your kiddos can color them, taking ownership of helping to decorate their new home-away-from-home classroom.

This year's kiddos can make the banner to welcome your new students in the fall, or the new kids on the block can do it.  Either way, it's kid-made and will look awww-dorable. Well that's it!  Whew! That's a lot of frog stuff!

I apologize for such a long post.  Thanks for hanging in there if you've read to the end.  I'm just so excited to share my latest "mess-terpiece".  You should see my office; it's a pile of craft supplies and samples...everywhere!

Thanks for visiting today.  It's clean up time.  Maybe I'll hum the "clean-up song" that my Y5's used to love singing.  On second thought, the sun is shining and a warm breeze is beckoning to me to come play.  I think I will. Wishing you a delightful day, crammed with creativity.

"For life to get easier, you have to get better." -Billy Cox

## End of the Year Activities

1-2-3 Come Do Some Super-Fun End-of-the-Year Stuff With Me

My students LOVE Laura Numeroff’s books: “If You Take A Mouse To School” and “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.”  With those stories in mind, I designed the “Nice Mice Advice” packet.

It will help you check off some “To Do” activities for next year, with the help of this year’s kiddos!

The packet is loaded with fun end-of the-year activities that will keep your students happily engaged, while helping you make some special things for the fall.

There are 4 class-made “Advice” booklets for you to choose from.
Pick one and have your students write advice to the in-coming children.  Collect & collate.

This year’s kiddos can share their page when you read the book aloud, then tuck it away to share with your new class in the fall.

My personal favorite is the circle-shaped Cookie Book.

It's a perfect go-along with the "If You Give A Mouse a Cookie" story, and includes advice from the teacher, principal and each student.  For that finishing touch, add a school photo.  I've included a sample page to help explain things to your kiddos.

If you'd like each of your students to make a mini-advice booklet for your new students, then you'll like the small, advice- flip booklet, with 2 different cover options in black & white, plus color, with 4 inside writing-promt pages.

The other two class book options feature the creative clip art of Scrappin Doodles and D. J. Inkers.

As you can see there are plenty of options.  You can choose, or show the samples and have your students vote on which one they'd like to do.

Since a lot of advice has to do with following the rules, this is an interesting and fun way to present them.

Check another thing off your list.  I've included a set of 25 "Advice Rules!" pocket chart cards that you can use as well, plus a blank set for you to program with whatever.

I've also included an advice definition poster incase your students are not familiar with this word, along with a sweet "If you give a kid some advice, they should take it." poster to start things off.

Do you give your students a little treat on the first day?  Cross that off your list too because I’ve included several “treats” they can make as well.

There is an assortment of bookmarks and a lollipop-nosed mouse: (“A sweet treat for someone they’d like to meet.”)
The bookmarks come in black and white, as well as full color.

There are several for this year's kiddos, as well as one for them to color and give to the in-coming cuties, along with a sweet "peek over" mouse bookmark that you can make and use as a pointer when you read Numeroff's stories.

The mouse, writing-prompt craftivity makes an adorable back-to-school bulletin board. so check that off your list as well.

Simply run off the super-simple mouse pattern on a variety of colors of construction paper.

Students trim, fold the "head" section over and write some "nice mice advice" under the "flap". For that finishing touch, add some ears, wiggle eyes, a pom pom nose, and a yarn "tail".

The packet also includes:

• A “Hip Hip Hooray! We’ll follow the good advice each day” poster contract. Students feel important signing their name, which makes them more accountable too.
• A “Tips and Tidbits” poster.  Review what students have learned and jot down the highlights.
• 2 “If you take a mouse to school he’ll want to give you some advice!” posters. And . . .
• A mouse, reading pointer bookmark craft.

Finally, there's a "welcome card" that everyone signs. What fun ways to help your in-coming students feel special and chase away those first day jitters.

This 58-page packet is on sale in my TpT store for just \$3.95.  Click on the link to pop on over to my shop.  I still can't believe that I have a little store.  Hopefully I'll make enough to help pay for all of the clip art and fonts that I buy!  That would definitely make my husband happy.

And now for the FREEBIES  from this packet.  I've included the "Mice Advice" writing prompt mouse craft, several bookmarks, and a poster. Click on the link to grab them.

Well that's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by. It's going to be in the 80's this afternoon, so it's time to take my grandbabies swimming.

Wishing you a delightful day filled with everything you enjoy the most.

"Sometimes you never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory." -Unknown

## Apple Icebreaker Craftivity

1-2-3 Come Do An Apple-icious Writing Activity With Me

Because many teachers decorate with an apple theme, and a lot of children study about apples in the fall, I decided to design a back to school apple icebreaker.

It's a quick, easy and fun way to get to know your new students.  Be sure and make a sample to help explain what you want them to do, as well as an interesting way, for them to get to know you too.

Students complete the writing prompts and then color their apples in an ABC pattern.

I chose this pattern, because apples come in 3 colors, and I wanted to toss in a bit of science as well as math, plus it helps younger students to use more than only one color, which they are notorious for.

By having them cut their apple out, you provide an opportunity for practice, and can see at a glance who is having difficulty with fine motor skills.

If you take a first day of school photo, make copies and trim, so that students can glue one to their leaf, for that finishing touch.

Completed projects make a sweet bulletin board. (A new crop of kids, Kindergarten is a bushel of fun, The apple of Mr(s). ______'s eye, apple-icious work are just a few captions.

I've included 3 samples to give you some ideas of what children can share.  An example will help jumpstart their minds and set them in the right direction.

There's also a blank apple for you to fill in with whatever information you'd like to learn about your students.

Click on the link to view/download the Apple Icebreaker Packet.

Thanks for visiting today.  It's Friday and that means garage sales! (Woo hoo.)

I'm off in search of more treasures to fill up my already too-full basement!  As a teacher, you can probably relate to suffering from the Pack Rat Syndrome.

"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow." -Anthony J. D'Angelo

## Fun Back To School Writing Prompt Craftivity

1-2-3 Come Make A Writing Prompt Craft With Me

Summer is an especially wonderful time to ride a bike, so I thought I'd make a "craftivity" using a bicycle.  If you're a frequent visitor, you know that I enjoy designing things involving a "play on words".

As I putzed with a writing prompt I thought substituting the word "wheel" for real would be fun.  Thus "I had a 'wheel' great summer!" was born.

There are two templates to choose from.  One is for back to school, the other for the end of the year. Use as an interesting icebreaker for the first week of school, where students write about the places they went and the things they did over vacation.

This is a fun way to find out about your new students, as they complete the prompt inside the spokes of the wheel.

For added pizzazz, and to learn a bit more about your kiddos, have students write using their two favorite color markers.

Simply run the bike off on a variety of colors of construction paper.

Students trim and glue to the wheels. (I ran off on white card stock.)  If you want them to spin, poke a hole in the center and attach with a brass brad.

For that finishing touch, have students attach a school photo.  Children read one or two items from each wheel, as they share it with their classmates.

You can do these in class; as an activity for open house; or send home on the first day of school for children to complete with their family.

While I was at it, I thought this idea could also be used at the end of the year, where students wrote about their favorite things, activities, subjects, etc.

There are six wheels they can choose from, including a blank one to fill in whatever prompt you want.

Completed projects make a sweet bulletin board

Click on the link to view/download the bicycle writing prompt craftivity.

Thanks for visiting.  Feel free to PIN away.

Do you have a back-to-school activity you could share with us?  I'd love to hear from you: diane@teachwithme.com  or leave a comment below.

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." -Nelson Mandela

## Writing Prompts For Next Year's Students From Your Current Ones

1-2-3 Come Do Some Interesting "Craftivities" With Me

Congratulations!  You're heading down the home stretch.  The first and last month of school arrive quickly and seem to be the most hectic.

One of the things that helped me check a few more things off my "to do" list, was several "Welcome Back To School" activities and bulletin boards that my current students made for my next year's kiddos.

This served a dual purpose, as it gave my Y5's something to do when I was running out of ideas for make up snow days, plus accomplished decorating and making a few things, so I didn't have to do them by myself come August.

Here's a photo of my completed apple back to school bulletin board, with a close up of my sample.  I made sure that all of these children were still in our school before I passed out the apples to my kiddos.

Since Kindergarten and Y5's had the same lunch hour it was fun for them to look for their older new friend.  Simply use any apple dicut.  We ran ours through a crinkle machine.

With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to design several things that your current sweeties could make for your incoming kiddos, as well as a keepsake for themselves if you wanted to do the entire packet.

The "Tree-mendous" Year craftivies include the writing prompt: You're going to have a "tree-mendous" year in ______ grade, where   students cut and color a tree and then flip it up to reveal their message to the new student.  What a nice surprise for them to find on or in their desk, on the first day of school.

The packet also includes a tree that they help design by tracing their hand (fingers spread to make the branches) plus part of their arm (which becomes the trunk).

The caption here is: I had a "tree-mendous" year in __________ grade.

The treetop is 3D as students cut out two, fold them in half and then glue one side of them together.   Add some red circles (apples) to the flat side and have students write some of their very favorite things, people, and places that revolved around that grade.  Add a photo for the finishing touch.

Click on the link to view/download The "Tree-mendous" Year packet.

Another option, with the same idea, is The "Bee-utiful" Year packet.  Students make a bumblebee out of a toilet paper tube using yellow construction paper, black electrical tape (stripes), cupcake liners (wings) and a pipe cleaner (antennae).

I've included a bee pattern with a face drawn in for them to color, or they can use the oval and design their own.  Add wiggle eyes for a bit more pizzazz.

Students complete the writing prompt page that says: I'm wishing you a bee-utiful year in __________.  Here's the buzz about what you'll learn and then roll it up and insert it inside the TP tube.

For an easier writing prompt, I've included 2 bookmark options that can also be rolled up and put inside the bumblebee, which say: "You'll have a great year bee-cause..."  or "My favorite things about 'bee-ing' a first grader:" (Fill in the blank with your grade level.)

Click on the link to view/download the "Bee-utiful" Year packet.

Along the same lines, is the larger bee craftivity, where students make a big bee with wax paper wings and complete the writing prompt: "You're going to have a great year 'bee-cause'"... in a little apple booklet that they glue to the bee's tummy.

This makes a sweet back-to-school bulletin board as well.  A caption could be: What's the buzz about kindergarten?

When your own students have time to get some work done for their own bulletin board, take this one down and give everyone a bee.  Click on the link to view/download the "Bee-cause" packet.

Thanks for visiting today.  Feel free to PIN away.  If you'd like to see some more end-of-the year activities, click on the link to zip on over to June to grab even more FREEBIES.

"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." -Muhammad Ali

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