Add some fun to explaining where things are located, by turning this necessity into a game, where your students become "I Spy!" detectives and locate important items in your classroom.
1-2-3 Come Make A Butterfly Keepsake Frame With Me
As I stated yesterday, despite the fact that summer has yet to be officially launched, I am enjoying designing back-to-school stuff. As long as I was putzing, I thought why not blog about these new items. I figure even if some sane teachers are truly on vacation, they can catch up later and scroll to their heart's content, hopefully getting some new ideas that will get them excited to go back.
My grandsons' last day of school isn't 'til this Friday the 20th, so if you too, are still in school because of those dreaded snow day make ups, perhaps you can even use this activity now.
As a good educator, one should not have the proverbial "teacher's pet" but realistically, every year there are always a few adorable students who become favorites. Even though you treat all of your kiddos equally, those children leave heartprints that become fond memories forever.
Sweet little Jenna is one of mine. Thoughts of her, as I type, make me smile. She was so quiet and shy, and bravely tried to fight those first-day of school tears. I confided to her mom that she came to me a tiny caterpillar, and by the end of Y5's she had blossomed into a lovely butterfly. Her mother agreed that Jenna had truly come out of her "crysalis" shell and wasn't afraid to fly!
She was my inspiration for this keepsake frame. I hope you enjoy making them with your students and that they tug on a few heartstrings as mommies tuck them away.
The reason this is a back-to-school item, even tho' you'll be doing it at the end of the year, is because you need to make copies of your students' first day of school photographs.
It's something that most early elementary teachers do, especially if they make an end of the year memory book. Simply make double prints to save for later, and do a photo shoot of some sort for a last week of school picture as well.
When I designed my sample, I didn't have any photographs to put in it, so I surfed the web and found "Ho ho" on Crystal's Little Bit Funky site. She was kind enough to give me permission to use her son's pictures in my butterfly frame. Click on the link to check out her helpful blog.
To make a butterfly frame, run off my templates on a variety of colors of construction paper. There are two on a page for easy printing. Trim and fold them in half. Students cut out the X-d sections and then glue their pictures behind the wings. Mount on a complementary color of construction paper.
If you think that this type of cutting is too difficult for your kiddos, have a room helper cut the butterfly frames ahead of time. Even young children should be OK to cut the leaf, caterpillar and flower out. They glue these to their frame. Students or a teacher can print the "First day of ________ ... last day!" portion on the wing sections.
For that finishing touch, I added a paper punch butterfly. To make it 3D, I used two butterflies, gluing the thorax of the top one to the thorax of the bottom one, and then bent the wings up, so that the butterfly looks like it's flying.
Click on the link to view/download the Keepsake Butterfly Frame. Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. That's how I found adorable little Ho Ho! Until next time, rest, relax, repeat!
"It's never too late to be what you might have been." -
1-2-3 Come Do An Alphabet Craftivity With Me
So that I could get a handle on the ability of my new students, I always liked to do some fun assessing of my first graders the first week of school.
Testing and assessing students can be tedious and overwhelming for young children, as well as time consuming for you. Keeping that in mind, I designed Alpha Bird.
Precut "Alfie's" body parts from a variety of colors of construction paper. Students choose the pattern pieces that they want, and glue them to their paper plate bird body.
To expedite things, I'd fold the paper plates and staple them shut ahead of time, leaving the bottom middle open so that students can insert their alpha-bird legs.
For extra pizzazz I added several feathers for a tail. You can buy a bag full at The Dollar Store.
Students cut and glue the alphabet strips to make Alfie's legs. When everyone has completed their alpha bird, play "I Spy" by calling out a letter.
Students find and trace both the upper and lowercase letters. When they have done so, children raise their hand, so that you know that everyone is done.
With just a glance, you can see who is struggling. Call on a child to choose the next letter. Play 'til all of the letters have been traced.
Alfie offers a simple, quick and interesting way to whole group assess, while providing a nice review of upper and lowercase letters. The birds also make a stunning hallway wall border. Simply tie a yarn loop at the top and suspend from the ceiling. Caption: "We know our letters and that's something to TWEET about!"
Click on the link to grab a copy of this fun FREEBIE: Alfie the Alpha Bird.
"If plan B doesn't work, don't give up; the alphabet has 25 more letters!"
1-2-3 Come Do Some Writing "Craftivities" With Me
My students really enjoyed Laura Numeroff's "If You..." books, particularly If You Take A Mouse To School. Since it's especially popular as a back-to-school book, I wanted to dream something up that your current kiddos could do for your next year's students that had a mouse theme. Thus the Nice Mice Advice packet was born.
The packet is perfect for some end-of-the-year fun, as children write some helpful advice to your in-coming students.
I've found that children really enjoy giving advice, as most of them feel that they are experienced experts on a variety of things. I'm sure you'll also enjoy reading what they have to share.
During the last week of school, I had my current kiddos make something for the new students that would soon be in my class. I scattered their completed work on a bulletin board.
They were really excited to do this, and I could check off one more thing that I didn't have to get ready for the start of school.
With that in mind, I wanted to design a quick and easy "craftivity" with a mouse that you could do, that would make a cute bulletin board.
Use my mouse pattern and make a template out of an old file folder. Trace once and then cut 3-6 mice out of a variety of colored construction paper.
Students choose one and fold the "head" portion down so that it will "flip up" to reveal one piece of advice that they have for next year's kiddos.
Have them glue on the ears, and add some wiggle eyes, a pom pom nose, and a yarn or ribbon "tail", for those finishing touches.
Scatter them on your bulletin board and use the "If you take a mouse to school, he'll want to give you some advice" poster, as your center.
A cheese border would be cute, as this advice comes from your former "all-knowing" students, who are now "big cheeses" in a higher grade.
After they have shared their projects, give them a bookmark from you, wishing them a nice summer. Write students' names at the top and then sign the bottom. You could jot a note on the back that says something like "Keep reading!" as your summer advice to them.
I've also included a black and white bookmark, if you'd like to have your students color one to leave inside their desk, as a sweet surprise for your new students.
Click on the link to view/download the Nice Mice Advice packet. This FREEBIE is part of my 58-page Mice Advice packet in my shop on TpT. Click on the link to check out all the super-fun activities, goodies and crafts. It's currently on sale for only $3.95.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope you have a simply wonderful last-week-of-school with your kiddos!
"Summer vacation is a time when some parents realize how grossly underpaid teachers are!" -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some "M & M" Stuff With Me
I'm a firm believer in making things personal for students. If you relate things to their world, you quickly grab their attention and enthusiasm for the activity follows.
With that in mind, I wanted to design some sort of "me math," where students could use a variety of math concepts to answer questions about themselves.
I find that most students really enjoy sharing this sort of information, and the result of showing them all the math that is a personal part of them, might be quite surprising to some.
The idea of "me math" led to doing something with an M&M theme. I originally toyed with the idea of each student making a colorful M&M character and filling it with "me math" information, but after I made a list of all of the number-related things that I could think of, that students might be interested in sharing, my list was so long that the idea of getting this inside an M&M creature, was now out.
When I was researching "me math" to see if anyone else out there was doing something along that line, I found quite a few poster and pennant ideas, so I didn't want to go that route.
No one had done a booklet, or delved into some deeper math extensions, thus my M&M Math & Me booklet was born.
To conserve paper, there are 2 pages on each master. Pick and choose whatever is appropriate for your grade level.
Your booklet can be a few pages, or add several math extensions to practice more standards and make a longer booklet, that students can work on a little bit each day for the first or last week of school.
I've included basic counting, measuring, greater & less than, equations, addition, subtraction, ordinal numbers, time, odd & even, skip counting by 2's, place value, number sentences, comparison, tally marks, and even fractions!
From teeth to travels, I think you'll find the personal math questions interesting and fun. I was especially excited to find a Scrabble and M&M font to use with the My Name Math pages.
Choose simple math concepts for kinders, or add a few more difficult pages and send the booklet home to have parents help their child with. Click on the link to view/download the M&M Math & Me booklet.
If you're looking for a "me math" poster that your kiddos can make, click on the link to take a look at Melissa Machan's Math About Me FREEBIE. I absolutely LOVE the poster poem she wrote. It would be a wonderful introduction to any "me math" activity.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. My "Pin it" button is at the top. Do you have a "me math" activity you'd like to share with us? Feel free to leave a comment or contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Math may not teach me how to add love, or subtract hate, but it gives me every reason to hope that every problem has a solution." -Unknown
A quick, easy and rather inexpensive treat bag to give your students on the 1st day of school.
1-2-3 Come Get Rid Of The First Day Jitters With Me!
If there are more Common Core Packets you'd like me to whip together, just drop me an e-mail email@example.com, or leave a comment here.
These packets truly are a very simple, quick, and easy way to cover the Common Core State Standards: RI.K5,RI.K6,RI.K9,RI.K10,RL.K2, RL.K3,RL.K6, L.K1d, RI.1.9, RL.1.2, RL.1.3 in a short amount of time.
Your students will enjoy them, as they are empowered by the consistency in format. To view/download the other common core packets, click on the following links: The Kissing Hand, Chrysanthemum, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, and If You Take A Mouse To School.
The packet includes:
The "Feelings" worksheet is great for a September writing prompt, and the one covering synonyms is great for Daily 5 "Word Work". Click on the link to view/download First Day Jitters Common Core packet.
Thanks for visiting today! I hope you're getting excited, rather than anxious for your first day! As for me, I'm off to take a break and get some fresh air. My brain's been on overload lately...perhaps basking a bit in the sunshine will help unclutter my mind.
"I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow." - Woodrow Wilson
If You Take A Mouse To School You'll Have A Lot Of FUN!!!
The Common Core packets using kiddy lit continue to be one of our most popular downloads. I started with The Kissing Hand added Chrysanthemum, then If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, and today I bring you If You Take A Mouse To School, which was one of the most requested books that I do a packet for. I also just finished First Day Jitters.
Like all of the others, Taking A Mouse To School, follows the same format. it nails the Common Core State Standards: RI.K5,RI.K6,RI.K9,RI.K10,RL.K2, RL.K3,RL.K6, L.K1d, RI.1.9, RL.1.2, RL.1.3
I feel following a specific format when you do things, empowers students and builds their self-esteem.
They feel smarter, because they know right from the start, what is expected of them and they can get "down to business"right away.
Less time is wasted because you are not reinventing the wheel preparing, nor are you having to continuously explain the directions and then having to repeat them to children who aren't listening or still don't "get it."
The packet includes:
The mouse "craftivity" makes a cute back to school 3-D bulletin board as the doors are slit open to reveal what "thing" each student has brought to school.
Make the schoolhouse extra special by having students write the name of your school over the door and gluing their picture in one of the windows.
This is also great for a September writing prompt or Daily 5 activity. Click on the link to view/download If You Take A Mouse To School Common Core Packet.
This is truly a quick, easy and fun way to review a lot of common core state standards, so if there are other books that you’d like me to make packets for, just shoot me an e-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment below.
"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you can help them become what they are capable of becoming." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A Great Back To School Book: Chrysanthemum!
I designed the Chrysanthemum packet to help reinforce LOTS of Common Core State Standards in quick, easy and fun ways.
As with The Kissing Hand Packet featured in yesterday's article, this packet reinforces Common Core State Standards: RI.K5,RI.K6,RI.K9,RI.K10,RL.K2, RL.K3,RL.K6, L.K1d, RI.1.9, RL.1.2, RL.1.3
The packet includes:
I use the book Chrysanthemum as a wonderful lead-in story that the nursery rhyme: “Sticks and stones may hurt my bones but names will never harm me” is simply NOT true’ as words can be very mean AND hurtful!
I Xerox off the cover of the book Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes, and read the story.
Each time someone hurts Chrysanthemum's feelings, I pass the paper around the circle.
We each crumple up the paper, say "I'm sorry" and then smooth it out. By the time I am done reading the story, the picture of Chrysanthemum is in shreds and full of holes as well.
We discuss the fact that words hurt, and even though we say that we are sorry and “smooth things out” with that person, we have still hurt them.
The words sort of leave “scars” on their heart and in their mind, just like the dilapidated paper visually demonstrates.
I cut out a large red paper heart and glue the poor shredded cover of Chrysanthemum next to a fresh cover, as a gentle reminder to think before you speak, as words DO make a difference.
I also want children to understand that being critical of each other and saying things like "I don't want to be your friend” and leaving them out of a group when they play, is also hurtful.
I'll ask them a question like: “How would you feel if Mrs. Henderson said that to you?”, or how would they feel if I gave everyone else a toy or piece of candy, or let everyone go out for recess and didn't let them go? It really gives them a wake up call.
Chrysanthemum discusses making fun of a child’s name. Hooway For Wodney Wat is a wonderful book that delves into bullying and making fun of a child with a speech impediment.
This is a great comparison-contrast book to work on that Common Core Standard, using a Venn diagram that once again brings home the fact that teasing is hurtful.
Click on the link to view/download Chrysanthemum Packet Thank you for visiting today. Hope you can pop back tomorrow for more helpful tips. Feel free to PIN anything you think others may find useful.
“All you need is a plan, a road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.” –Earl Nightingale
1-2-3 Come Do Some Kissing Hand Activities With Me
Since the first Kissing Hand Activity Packet was such a huge success, I decided to make another packet designed specifically around Common Core State Standards.
This packet will reinforce: Common Core State Standards: RI.K5,RI.K6,RI.K9,RI.K10,RL.K2, RL.K3,RL.K6, L.K1d, RI.1.9, RL.1.2, RL.1.3
It has a variety of fun reading and writing activities to go along with Audrey Penn's adorable story The Kissing Hand, about a little raccoon who doesn’t want to go to school. This is one of my all-time favorite back to school books.
This packet, is the first in a series of quick and easy common core packets, where I use kiddie lit to teach standards. I'll be posting and blogging about these FREEBIES for the next few days.
The Kissing Hand Packet includes:
Stay tuned for a similar packet for First Day Jitters. For lots more activities forThe Kissing Hand click on the link to zip on over to that section ofTeachWithMe
I'm off for a swim to cool off! (90's today.) Hope you're enjoying a sunny summer day as well!
“Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” –John Wayne