Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cute and Cheap Mother’s Day Present!



This year I decided to try a new craft for my students to make to give to their mother’s for Mother’s Day.  The new craft idea turned out to be SUPER cute AND cheap – so I just had to share!
My students made these Shrinky Dink necklaces for their mom’s!



Here’s what it takes to make these super cute necklaces:

1. Shrinky Dinks Paper - I bought this paper from the craft store Michaels.  It cost 5.99.  (One package will make more than enough for a class set of necklaces.)

2.  Using a pencil, trace hearts onto the Shrinky Dinks paper.  You can download the heart shape template I used by clicking HERE.

3.  Cut out each heart you traced.  Using a hole punch – punch one (or two) holes in each heart.  The hole will become the perfect size to fit the string of the necklace through.

4.  Using colored pencils, have the students draw and color on the rough side of their heart.


5.  Follow the oven baking directions provided in the Shrinky Dinks packet to shrink the hearts.


(Here is a better look at the size the hearts start out at and the size the hearts shrink to.)




6.  Use some type of string (I used 1mm black string) or necklace chain to finish each necklace.  Finally, I tied the necklace ends onto the black string to complete the necklaces!



7.  I had each of my students color and decorate an envelope to wrap their mom’s necklace in!

______________________________________________________________________________
*UPDATED*

This year I took my Shrinky Dinks idea and altered it a bit.  Instead of making our mom's necklaces we made key chains!  They turned out super cute and took less time to make than the necklaces did. 
Here is how they turned out!


I also had my students wrap their gift in this super cute bag!


It was super easy for the kids to make.  All they had to do was color, cut, and glue the shirt together!  Then, they glued it onto a white paper sack.



Click HERE to download my Mother's Day Gift Bag from my TpT Store!


Sunday, April 23, 2017

End of the School Year Activities

A through Z Countdown to Summer

This A through Z Countdown to Summer is a great activity to help me get through the last 26 days of school!  This activity consists of 26 fun, low maintenance activities that correlates with each letter of the alphabet.  Each daily activity requires little to no prep work for me!!  Many of these end of school countdowns that I have found online require a lot of prep work, notes home, reminders, etc.  I did not want that!  These daily activities are simple activities that provide a fun brain break for the students!

Here is a look into each day's activities:
 Here is the poster I display the letter of the day on.


Here is a look into C's activity!


This is what the letter activity cards look like:



I begin this activity 26 school days before the end of the year.  I start with the letter A and do a letter each day until the last day of school.  Each day I surprise my students on what the letter activity for the day is going to be.  They love to guess what activity they will get to do for each letter! 

I roll up each activity card and place it in a balloon labeled with that letter. 


At the end of the day we pop the balloon and see what fun activity we get to do for the last hour of the day. 

I save the activity for the end of the day because the students are usually checked out by then.  Plus I use it as a behavior management tool.  If I have students that are not behaving during the day I have them miss out on the fun end of the day letter activity.

Click HERE to download my A through Z Countdown to Summer activity from my TpT store!

I pair this activity with this activity.....

End of School Alphabet Countdown Booklet

This activity is a great end of the school year concept review!  It's perfect to use for any grade!



I begin this activity 26 school days before the last day of school. Each day I have the students think of the concepts they have learned throughout the school year that begins with the letter of the day. For example, on the first day of the activity the students think of all the things they learned throughout the year that begins with the letter A. Some examples are: addition, antonyms, etc. 



I like to have the students work on this activity independently first. Then, after some time I allow the students to work with their group. Finally, we share and discuss what everyone put together as a class. As we share, I use it as a great review opportunity. The students will amaze you on how much they remember and what they can think of for each letter! 

Here is an example of how many things we think of for each letter!






If you don't want to make the entire booklet for this activity you could always use the one page A though Z worksheet instead!






Click HERE to download my End of School Alphabet Countdown Booklet from my TpT Store!


Autograph Booklet

At the end of the school year we always have a yearbook signing party.  It never fails I have tons of students who do not purchase a yearbook each year.  So I put together this autograph booklet for the students to sign during the yearbook signing party.  Since it's only one page I make one for each of my students...even if they bought a yearbook.  I made it just one page (copied front to back) because let's face it the last thing I want to do at the end of the year is make tons of copies.  LOL!  Also it never fails we are always running low on paper at the end of the school year.  This booklet works out perfect and there is always plenty of room for all the student's signatures.  You also can have the students spend some time coloring it! :)

Here is the front of the booklet.  There is a spot for the student's name, the school, and year.

I have made this page specific for each grade level.

Plenty of room for autographs!

The back of the booklet is reserved for the teachers to sign and write a message to the students.

Click HERE to download my Autograph Booklet from my TpT Store!


Summer Reading Challenge



I give this Summer Reading Challenge to my students on the last day of school. I have them complete it with their families over the summer to keep their reading skills up. Those students who complete the reading challenge over the summer and return it to me on the first day of the new school year get a reward!

Here is the note I send home to my parents explaining the Summer Reading Challenge and why it's important for their child to read over the summer.


Here is the summer reading challenge.  I have the parents initial in each box as their child completes the activity.


Click HERE to download my Summer Reading Challenge from my TpT Store!





Monday, March 27, 2017

Egg Activities to do around Easter!

Around Easter time I like to spend that week doing fun, educational activities using those little plastic eggs!  My students LOVE the activities during this time so I decided I would share some of the different ones we do in class...

Counting Money Eggs
This activity puts a fun twist to the popular scoot game! I fill 24 plastic eggs with different amounts of money. Then, I place an egg on each student's desk. I give each student a recording sheet.  Finally, I have the students walk around the classroom counting the money in each egg.  They write the total amount of money that was in each egg on their recording sheet. Once everyone has finished counting and recording I have the students go back to their desk.  We go around and check our work together.  Each student counts and gives the total amount for the egg on their desk.   This is a perfect, fun activity to do around Easter to practice counting money! 






Click HERE to download my Counting Money Egg Scoot Activity from my TpT Store!


Addition and/or Subtraction Classroom Egg Hunt
Another egg activity we do is an Easter Egg Hunt in our classroom!  My students absolutely LOVE this activity and it's a fun way to practice addition and subtraction facts!

I place either addition or subtraction problems in the little plastic eggs.  I hide the eggs throughout the classroom.  The students find an egg, open it, record the problem, and solve it.  Once they are done they place the egg back where they found it and search for a new one!
 




Click HERE to download The Great Addition and Subtraction Egg Hunt Activity from my TpT Store!



CVC and/or CVCe Egg Word Scramble
This is a fun egg activity I like to use at Literacy Centers or for another whole group "scoot" activity.  I fill 20 small plastic eggs with CVC and/or CVCe words. 


The students crack open the egg and unscramble the word.


Finally, they record the answer on their recording sheet!



Click HERE to download the Crack the Egg CVC & CVCe Word Scramble Activity from my TpT Store!

Noun, Verb, Adjective Egg Word Sort
This activity doesn't use the small plastic eggs....but it's too good not to share! LOL
We complete this egg word sort activity together as a class.  Then, I put it at one of my literacy centers for the students to practice throughout the week!



I also have my students complete this page at their literacy center.  They love decorating eggs...so why not let them decorate one and then describe it using adjectives!



Click HERE to download the Noun, Verb, and Adjective Egg Word Sort Activity from my TpT Store!


Friday, March 3, 2017

Parent-Teacher Conferences


I tried something new this year for parent-teacher conferences.  It ended up working so well that I thought I would share!

In the past I would always have tons of information to show the parents how their child was doing academically at parent-teacher conferences.  BUT it never failed that year after year the parents I needed to meet with to discuss their child’s academics would never set up a parent-teacher conference.  Also, those parents that their child was doing great would always be the ones that filled my designated conference times.

So this year instead of preparing all the information and holding onto it for parent-teacher conferences - I decided to send the information home BEFORE conferences.  This allowed all my parents to see beforehand if it was necessary or not to meet during parent-teacher conferences.
This year I had every parent that I wanted/needed to meet with sign up for a conference!  I also had many of those parents that I did not need to meet with decline a conference.  Usually our designated conference times are in 15 minute blocks to be able to fit everyone in.  Since I did not have everyone sign up for a conference this allowed me more time (sometimes up to 30 minutes) to be able to talk with those parents that I really needed to meet with.  By sending out all the information beforehand all my parents felt well informed on how their child was doing in 1st grade – even if they did not set up a conference.


Here is a look into the packet of information that I sent home before conferences. 

This was the cover page in the packet.  This form explains the packet of information that I sent home.  It also has an area where parents can write down their questions or concerns.  This form gets sent back to me before conferences.  This form really helps me make sure I am not caught off guard by any questions the parents might have and make sure I have all the resources available to answer their questions during their conference time.  
Next was the various 1st grade benchmark pages.  The benchmark pages explained to the parents the different tests and data we use to measure how a child is performing academically in 1st grade.  It explained where a first grader should be at this point in the school year.  It also listed how their child is performing compared to those benchmarks. 




Not only did I include academic information on their child.  BUT I also gave an evaluation of how their child’s work habits and behaviors are at school.


Finally, the last page of the packet had the parent-teacher conference request form.


When the parents returned this form requesting a parent/teacher conference I marked them down on my conference schedule.

 

 I also sent home an appointment notice letting them know the day and time their conference was set for.  

Finally, to prepare for each parent's conference I put together a folder for each child that had all the information, paperwork, etc. that I was going to discuss during conferences with the parents. 

As you can tell each folder has the student's number instead of their name.  This lets me reuse these folders year after year.

  

During conferences I always like to give the parents handouts, practice pages, ideas, etc. on how they can help their child - especially in those areas that their child is struggling with.  Here are some of the items I pass out.  It includes sight word practice pages, handwriting practice pages, math fact practice, reading fluency pamphlet, writing prompts, non-sense word practice, syllable count practice, etc.







During conferences I also sit this bulletin board outside my classroom door.  This bulletin board has helpful information for parents to read while they are waiting for their conference.  The bulletin board includes handouts and practice pages they can take home to help their child at home.  Many parents want to help their child at home, but just don’t know how.  These handouts and practice pages give the parents easy ways to help at home.




 Click HERE to download my Parent/Teacher conference folder, forms, bulletin board, and practice pages on my TpT store!