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
1-2-3 Come Do Some Back To School Sidewalk Chalk Activities With Me
I LOVE sidewalk chalk and so did my young fives. You can buy 6 to a dozen sticks at The Dollar Store, so I always had a big bucket on hand, for those crazy days when everyone has had enough, and you just need to take a break and get outside.
Keeping in mind, that just about everything we do has to be "educational" and include the "standards", I'd have my kiddos practice writing their names, letters, numbers and drawing shapes. After we got that out of the way, they enjoyed creating "mess-terpieces" 'til it was time to go in.
For quick cleanup, make sure you bring some wet wipes with you, so students can wipe off their dusty hands.
If you give your students a first day gift or treat bag of some sort, and are looking for something easy and inexpensive, then I think you'll enjoy my "Welcome! ___________ is 'chalk' full of learning fun!" treat bag. I have templates for preschool, kindergarten and first grade, plus a blank one to fill in with whatever you teach.
And... no worries if you've already started school. There's a generic "Wishing you a day that's "chalk" full of fun!" black & white, plus colorful note too.
My inspiration for this packet, came from My Sweet Sanity's blog spot. She used the "chalk full" play on words, for an end-of-the-year summer gift. Click on the link to zip on over and see her rainbow version.
So that you have a time-filler if you need it, run off the header on white construction paper, so that students can pull it off, color and use as a bookmark.
You could also run them off on a variety of colors of construction paper, or print the ones that are in color.
Attach the card to the front of a Snack Baggie, with a glue dot. (I don't like using staples with little ones.) Put a piece of sidewalk chalk inside and you're done!
Because students will want to play with the chalk right away, I wouldn't put them on their desks. Instead, put the treats in a big basket in full view and wait for children to notice, or show them one and let them know that they will get their Baggie at the end of the day to take home, or...
Use them as a behavior modification technique. Tell students that they need to work as a team with their new friends.
Each time they complete a task, or show great group behavior, you'll color in a letter on the "chalk" poster. When all of the letters have been colored in, they get their chalk and are able to go outside for some special fun.
As long as you're outside, why not take some pictures. Pinterest has quite a few photo op examples that involve sidewalk chalk. If you take a first day of school picture, one of these ideas would be adorable. Children tend to be less camera shy while playing outside, so you should get some adorable shots like the ones pictured here.
I've linked back to give credit when I could, however some showed just a photo and went no where. (Hover over the photo to see if it's linked and then bop over to those sites for more details.)
The balloon and crown idea are also easy and cute. That little guy is so joy-filled!
Keeping with the sidewalk chalk theme, I designed some writing prompts that I call "Chalk Talk".
There's one for boys and one for girls. Children complete the prompt: "I had a nice day at school. These are a few of the things that I did."
I've also included two "chalk talk" posters to use for whatever you deem appropriate.
Click on the link to view/download the Chalk Talk packet.
For 30 fun games and activities with sidewalk chalk check out this creative birthday party idea website.
You can buy a bucket of sidewalk chalk at The Dollar Store, but if you’d like to make some, you can find a recipe on wikihow. For 7 fun ways to make ice chalk, click on the link. I like the idea of using Popsicle sticks, so children's hands don't get as messy.
Finally, click on the link for a recipe for scented sidewalk chalk paint, (She used Kool-Aid for non-toxic fragrance) and says: "This is a super-simple and inexpensive paint recipe that rinses off with a hose."
Well that's it for today. Feel free to PIN away.
I'm headed outside with my brand new tub of sidewalk chalk to create some awesome photographs with my little grandson Kaiden. Hope you have a day full of giggles too.
"A picture is a poem without words." - Horace
1-2-3 Come Do Some Back To School Activities With Me
The other kiddie lit packets have been such popular downloads, that I thought I'd do a bit more with one of my all time favorite back to school stories. I designed this quick and easy-to-do packet, around Laura Numeroff's book, If You Take A Mouse To School.
The packet includes a class made book. Run off the master and have students complete the writing prompt: If you take a child to kindergarten they will...
I've included templates for preschool through second grade, plus a blank one to fill in with whatever you teach. There are also matching covers.
They color the mouse and then illustrate their page. Younger students can dictate their thoughts to you or a room helper. Collect, collate and add a cover. Read together as a whole group activity, as each child shares their own page.
Be sure and make a sample of your own. I made up an example that you could also share or use as a sweet poster.
I've also included bookmarks for children to color.
Older students can write why they had a great first day on the back.
Click on the link to view/download the If You Take A Child To School packet. Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away.
I've been designing so many things this morning that my brain is on overdrive and feeling very cluttered. One of those seasick kind of headaches is coming on, so it's time to take a much-needed break and go play outside to defog my mind. Wishing you all the best and a very happy day.
"Art enables us to find and lose ourselves at the same time." -Thomas Merton
1-2-3 Come Do Some Back To School Activities With Me
As children head back to school, it's helpful if you can do some early assessing with your kinders and firsties to see where everyone's at, yet that can be time consuming and really not all that fun for your kiddos the first week of school, when they're already antsy sitting through rules, regulations and procedure talks.
It's a wonderful back to school packet that you can use for a variety of activities.
Fill in your students' names on the "Look who's been spotted" worksheet. I've included templates for preschool, kindergarten and 1st grade, plus a blank one to write in whatever you're teaching.
Students find their name and color the circle their favorite color. Be sure and include your name on the heart.
Having simple worksheets like this gives your students something to do, and allows you a few minutes to work one-on-one with them.
To quickly and easily whole group assess where your students are at, play the "I spy" games for numbers, shapes, plus upper and lowercase letters. They'll have fun and you can see at a glance who's having difficulty.
The packet also includes 2 writing prompt activities. I've designed these as extra large bookmarks, with 2 on a page. Students can choose one, color it and complete the prompt.
It's a quick home-school connection that lets parents know what their child did that day.
I've included completed samples for you to share as well.
Another writing activity is D is for dog. Students can roam the room and spot items and words that start with the letter Dd.
If you do Daily 5 this is a nice option.
The packet also includes a Whose Name Is On The Bone? activity. Because my Y5's were learning how to recognize their name, I filled a dog dish (I bought mine at The Dollar Store) with paper bones that I had written their names on.
For a few minutes each day, I'd hold up a bone and the child who recognized their name would bark. I know it sounds silly, but they absolutely LOVED this. As time permitted, we'd do 3-6. To help get the "wiggles" out, after they had sat through whatever else I had planned for carpet time, I'd play the song Who Left The Dogs Out?
They'd pretend to be puppies and crawl around on all fours singing and barking 'til the song ended. I'd reign them in and we'd transition to our next activity. (Too cute and rather hilarious!)
Click on the link for a nice YouTube video featuring the song and cute dog animation. Who Let The Dogs Out? For a shorter version, sung by kids and showing some nice dance moves for them to imitate, click on this link: Who Let The Dogs Out?
As another simple fill-in, I've also included 4 dog-themed bookmarks in color as well as black and white, plus one you can give for good behavior.
Click on the link to view/download the Back To School Puppy Packet. Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away.
Work's done for today, so I'm off to play. As always, summer is flying way too fast!!!
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." -Scott Adams
This is a quick, easy and fun icebreaker for back to school. Completed projects make a terrific bulletin board.
1-2-3 Come Make A First Day Activity With Me
I know a lot of teachers have a Dr. Seuss theme for their classrooms, so I thought I'd make an activity you can do with your students on the first day of school.
Simply run off the template. On each stripe of the cat's hat, students write the things that they enjoyed doing the most and then color the stripes. Add a first day photo for that finishing touch.
Encourage older students to use complete sentences. Younger students can simply write a word or two.
You may want to start by brainstorming with your kiddos. To help them with spelling, jot their answers on the board.
There's a hat without the 1st day sentence as well, so you can also use this activity during March's celebration of Seuss or a Cat in the Hat Day.
I've included a poster with another similar Seuss quote. Use it to introduce the above activity, or for a discussion at the end of the day of what your students enjoyed the most, and how everyone contributed to making that first day special.
Click on the link to view/download the Seuss Hat First Day Writing Craftivity.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope your days are as filled with fun as mine are.
I'm off to watch my grandson (22 months) play in his kiddie pool. So loving summer...
You've heard of an apple for the teacher, well this is an apple from the teacher. They are a quick, easy and healthy alternative to a back to school treat bag. If you'll be studying apples in the fall, this snack fits right in.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." -Nelson Mandela
1-2-3 Come Do Some Icebreaker First-Day Activities With Me
My favorite classes in school, even up through college, were those that we had a real community going. These were usually conducted by my favorite teachers, who felt that a classroom was sort of like a family. They made time to make us all feel welcome, safe, and important. I truly felt cared about.
One of the ways they promoted these feelings, was that they spent some time getting to know all of us. This also helped build camaraderie, and developed our classroom “family” plus a positive-caring atmosphere.
Icebreakers are a perfect way to do this, and are especially important on the first day of school, when students are a bit nervous and looking at a bunch of strangers. They are quick, easy and a lot of fun. I've always found that no matter what the age, most students really enjoy sharing something about themselves.
I not only did an icebreaker on the first day, but included a simple one in the morning or at the end of the day, for our entire first week of school. I even do icebreakers with my college comp classes. I truly believe that if students get to really know each other, the class is much more interesting and fun, which I feel is conducive to learning, as well as a great motivational factor.
It's always worked for me. Thus, I’m forever searching for something new to add to my icebreaker bag of tricks and came upon the M & M's or Skittles Game, which goes by as many names as there are colors, and can be played in a variety of ways as well, so I made up a few of my own versions.
You can have students choose 2 or 3 pieces of candy and then announce that they will be sharing something about themselves. Whatever color of candy that they chose will match a question on the poster. Go around the room and have students share that information one question at a time. As they share, they get to eat that color candy.
Remember to let students know in advance not to eat their candy before it’s their turn to share. Since this may be extremely difficult for a young child, to expedite things, you can put one of each color candy in a mini cup on their desks.
Tell students that they’re going to share the red candy question and then have everyone eat the red one at the same time. As soon as the first person shares then the next one goes, til everyone has answered that color question.
Remind students that you have limited time and to keep their answers short. Most of the questions that I’ve thought of can be answered with one or two words. Teachers need to keep things moving.
If you have a large class, and don’t have enough time to share all of the questions, you can tell your students to pick out their favorite flavor or color and then answer that question.
I’ve included 4, different question template options, for you to choose from, (using both an M & M's and Skittles template) as well as a blank color copy of the poster, to make up your own questions.
Remember to keep questions simple, easy to answer, not embarrassing or intrusive, and something that would be easy and fun for children to share about themselves.
As a writing option, I’ve included a blank black and white M & M's and Skittles copy. You can run these off and have students color their candies, and then fill in the answers to the questions that you read.
For sharing time, they can look at their papers and choose one or two that they want to read and share with their classmates.
Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to PIN away. It poured today, so I'm off to empty my flower pots, and rescue some drowning plants.
Wishing you a blessed day from over here in Michigan.
"Nature does not hurry; yet everything gets accomplished." -Unknown
This is a quick, easy and inexpensive little gift that you can have lying on your students' desks for that first day of school. Be sure and write their name on the puzzle to make things extra special. These can be precut to expedite things, or to give yourself some extra "sanity" time, you can have students cut up their own puzzle after they have colored the picture.