Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Halloween Projects, Crafts, Activities and More!

Halloween projects, crafts, activities and more with FREEBIES for kindergarten, first, and second grade. Reading, math, science and craft activities included to keep your students engaged despite the excitement of Halloween (K, 1st, 2nd grade)

Halloween is right around the corner and I have some great ideas for you for crafts, projects, activities, freebies and more!

Let's start with some cute crafts. I do a craft project every year on Halloween afternoon since most of the kiddos are beside themselves with excitement and are only listening to an eighth of what I say anyway....





This is so cute and so easy! Go to https://www.craftymorning.com/paper-plate-witch-craft-kids/ for directions.

The kiddos can make these as gift, use them as bookmarks, or as puppets.

You can use Q-Tips, straws, or spaghetti to make these adorable skeletons.
Your first, second, and third grade students will love making this fun, engaging, and adorable Halloween themed witch writing craftivity!   With six different writing prompts to choose from in both primary lined and single lined spaced options, these look adorable displayed in the hallway or on a bulletin board.



Incorporate writing and craft fun with this witch writing craftivity.

6 different writing prompts are included!  You can find it here




Goodness knows they can't sit still on Halloween!  Task cards are a perfect way to keep them learning and still keep them up and moving. You can use these task cards here.

Do you need a fun and engaging way to review addition and subtraction skills? Halloween themed addition and subtraction task cards offer your students a way to review basic skills in an interactive format. Hang them up and students can walk around the room with a clipboard or place them at student desks for students to walk around to read and answer each problem. You can even leave them in a bin for early finishers. (K, 1, 2)
Do you need a fun and engaging way to review addition and subtraction skills? Halloween themed addition and subtraction task cards offer your students a way to review basic skills in an interactive format. Hang them up and students can walk around the room with a clipboard or place them at student desks for students to walk around to read and answer each problem. You can even leave them in a bin for early finishers. (K, 1, 2)

Do you need a fun and engaging way to review addition and subtraction skills? Halloween themed addition and subtraction task cards offer your students a way to review basic skills in an interactive format. Hang them up and students can walk around the room with a clipboard or place them at student desks for students to walk around to read and answer each problem. You can even leave them in a bin for early finishers. (K, 1, 2)+

Do you need another way to keep them learning?  How about candy?  Well...not really...but close!


Great for math centers, Halloween, early finishers and more, this patterning activity has students using orange, yellow, and white snap cubes (the colors of candy corn) to show various patterns (color combinations). How many ways can you use the 3 colors to show various combinations? (K, 1st, Halloween)
Students can use orange, yellow and white snap cubes - just like the colors of candy corn, to show many different colored patterned creations you can make using those 3 colors

You can get this for FREE here.


You really can't talk about Halloween without mentioning pumpkins.  Why not make it fun by exploring pumpkins and recording your findings with an interactive lapbook?


Kindergarteners, first and second graders will love this fun, interactive, and engaging pumpkin investigation resource as they study and examine a pumpkin. This is an engaging way to "show what you know" using a re-folded file folder. (K, 1st , 2nd grade, science, Halloween)

All you need is a pumpkin, the lapbook and a file folder. You can find the Pumpkin Investigtion lapbook here.




Help your students learn the meaning of the holiday with this differentiated close read.  With 3 different ability levels, you are able to meet the needs of all learners with this Close Reading Fall resource.






Are you so tired or writing morning messages?  These October morning messages are projectable and editable.  All you have to turn is turn on your computer and your SMARTboard (or interactive whiteboard) and the whole month's worth of morning messages have been done for you. Best of all....they are editable, so you can type and project your own message and still use the adorable graphics if you like.

You can find October Morning Messages here.


Do you need an engaging and fun resource for your early finishers? Do you need another option for homework? Would your students enjoy a quiet activity to help them unwind after recess?

My students LOVE KidsQuest! With Mazes, crossword puzzles, hidden pictures, directed drawings, coloring pages, dot to dot, and more this is a must-have in my classroom!

Do you need an engaging and fun resource for your early finishers? Do you need another option for homework? Would your students enjoy a quiet activity to help them unwind after recess? With dot to dot activities, mazes, crossword puzzles, directed drawings,  diagram labeling and more, your first and second grade students are sure to be engaged with this fun yet educationally enriching resource. (K, 1st, 2nd grade)

I hope you have found some great Halloween resources!

Happy Fall!

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Halloween projects, crafts, activities and more with FREEBIES for kindergarten, first, and second grade. Reading, math, science and craft activities included to keep your students engaged despite the excitement of Halloween (K, 1st, 2nd grade)


 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

What to Do With Students During a Writer's Conference

Learn how to use writing conference planning sheets to inform your writing instruction, provide topics for mini-lessons, and determine focus work for writing conferences.


My district is undergoing a big shift in how we teach reading and writing at the elementary level. As a result, we are fortunate to be getting a lot of professional development centered around incorporating balanced literacy in our classrooms.

One area I have always grappled with was what to conference with students about after teaching a writing mini-lesson.  As I walk around the tables observing children read, there seem to be those that struggle and ask me to help them phonetically spell and sound out words, and then there are those who are writing pages and pages and seem to need little to no help at all.

I have learned that by having conversations with my students about what they are writing, I can learn a lot about what their needs are and, in turn, how best to help both individual and class needs.

The best way to illustrate this is by giving you a peek inside my classroom.  We'll look at some writing samples to determine what student needs are based on the writing they are doing.


To maintain privacy, I'll call this student "Sally"

Let's first look at Sally's strengths in her writing.  She has some good content and stamina. Sally has wrote about losing her tooth last night.  She has some good detail in her story and her story does follow a sequence.  

Sally needs support with organization. Her letters are written in all capital letters and she is not utilizing the lined spaces correctly.

By just casually walking the room, this student would present as engaged, focused, and hard at work. A closer look, reveals a student who has good ideas and details in her story telling but would benefit from writing conventions and organization.  She could also add more detail to her picture.

I carry around a writer's conference planning sheet on a clipboard that looks like this:

Learn how to use writing conference planning sheets to inform your writing instruction, provide topics for mini-lessons, and determine focus work for writing conferences.

As I walk around, I add things inside the circle that I notice to be a student need.

So in Sally's case, I would write "organization" in a circle. I could also write "picture details" and "conventions" in other circles since those were also an area of need for her. Now my writer's conference planning sheet would look like this:


Learn how to use writing conference planning sheets to inform your writing instruction, provide topics for mini-lessons, and determine focus work for writing conferences.

Let's look at another writing sample.


To maintain privacy, I'll call this student "Eli"

Eli has a fantastic illustration that truly matches his story.  His developmental spelling is age appropriate for a first grader and his story remains on topic. What is great about this piece is you are juuuuust getting to see a teeny bit of Eli's personality shine through as he says "I worked hard...." That tells us a bit about, Eli doesn't it?  What the piece is missing, though, is some more of those "feeling words." Wouldn't it be great if Eli talked more about how we felt when we scored those goals?  Was anyone there watching the game? How did they feel?  

When I asked Eli these questions he started to tell me a lot more. His family went to the game and they were really proud.  When I asked him how he could tell he said "They were cheering."

"That's great, Eli!  Put that in your story. Write that down so I feel like I was there!"

On my planning sheet I added feeling words in a bubble and added Eli's name next to the bubble.

Let's look at one last writing sample.

To maintain privacy, we'll call this student "Greg"

Wow! Look at this detailed drawing!  Greg really know how to write a personal narrative. His story is about the day our SMARTboard wasn't working and had no sound.  His story starts off with a good ending. He has great sight word spelling and his writing is neat and organized well.  But.....his story just stopped. Oh no! Greg, you're leaving us hanging. We need to know what happened. Was the SMARTboard fixed?  Your story needs an ending.

I added the word ending to a bubble and added Greg's name.

I continued walking around to various students, asking them to "touch and tell" me there story.

By the time writer's workshop ended my writer's workshop planning sheet looked like this:


What does this tell me?

Many students needed reminders to add more details to their writing. Therefore, this needs to be a mini-lesson. Also, starting off a writing piece with a solid beginning appears to be a need.  This could be a mini-lesson for a small group during writer's workshop while the rest of the class is writing or perhaps a whole group lesson.

If I find myself filling all around a bubble with names- that tells me that topic needs to be a lesson. Just 1 or 2 names is a small group or conference.

Do you think these Writer's Conference Planning Sheets would be helpful to you?  You can download for free here in my store.



I hope they help you as much as they have helped me!





Monday, August 14, 2017

Over 20 Morning Meeting Ideas for the First Week of School

Over 20 ideas for morning meeting for kindergarten and first grade the first week of school. Greetings, morning messages, group activity ideas, freebies, sharing ideas and more! (K, 1st grade, responsive classroom, classroom management)


Well folks, it's about that time. Perhaps for some, you are already back.

The first week of school....ahhh....it's exhilarating, it's fun, it's busy....and....it's downright exhausting.  

What am I going to do without my mid-morning nap? And my mid-afternoon nap?

Hopefully, I have some ideas for you to use here to ease that transition back.

I think setting the tone with Morning Meeting is the most important part of the day.  It is the one area of the day that I have more flexibility with and it a time for students and I to connect.

In following with a Responsive Classroom approach Morning Meeting in my classroom has 4 components:

1. Greeting
2. Share
3. Activity
4. Message

Sometimes, the 4 components may become a bit intertwined based on time and the nature of the activities.

I allocate about 30-40 minutes for Morning Morning and it always incorporates a read-aloud as well. Usually, the read aloud is a picture book of some kind.

Let's break down the four components and give you some ideas for each...


  I keep greetings very low key at first, as students are still getting to know one another and the classroom rules. 

Therefore, physical contact is limited and is gradually built up, depending on what your class can handle.

Here are some ideas:

1. Name Game: Everyone sits in a circle. Start with your arms Criss-crossed arms to make an X across your shoulders and then uncross them and tap your thighs.  As students to repeat this motion.  Once mastered, start saying student names as you go around the circle "My name is Mrs. Pettersen, Mrs. Pettersen, Mrs. Pettersen. My name is Mrs. Pettersen and what's your name?"  The person to my right says his/her name and we repeat "His name is Justin, Justin, Justin. His name is Justin, Justin, Justin, etc.  This continues until everyone in the class has had a turn. The last person is the teacher "Her name is Sara, Sara, Sara. Her name is Sara and we're all here!"  The kinesthetic motion helps students to remember names.

2. Walk and Greet: Teachers says greets each student by walking up to each student (not in order) waving and smiling and making eye contact.  Ask students "What did you notice?" when you are done. You are looking for students to notice that you made eye contact, that you gave a friendly wave without touching and that you smiled. This exercise models for students how you expect them to greet one another for morning meeting. Tell them so.

3. Ball Roll: Roll a small ball to a student after you say good morning "Good morning, Sam."  Sam responds and I roll the ball to him. Then he rolls the ball to a student. It is important to review rules and expectations with the ball before beginning this activity.

4. Mirror, Mirror:  Greet a student with a motion and have them repeat that motion.  If you are silent, they are silent.  They then repeat the same motion to a classmate of their choice.

5. Mirror, Mirrored:  Play the same way as above, but this time the after the student mimics your motion, they make up their own motion for a classmate to follow. Greetings continue with each student making up their own greeting motions.

6. Hola!:  Greet one another in a different language. Instead of saying "Good morning, the teacher greets a student with a greeting in a different language such as "Hola, Lila". Lila then does the same with another classmate. Switch it up as the year goes on with different languages.

7. Round Robin: Model how to shake hands using the right hand and how to shake appropriately without hurting a classmate. Then do a "round robin" greet" where the teacher shakes hands with the person to the right of them, that person shakes hands with the person to the right of them and so on until everyone has been greeted.

8. Meet and Greet: Students pull a name from a hat and greet that student.

9. Guess Who: Using the info gained from the share activity below the teacher pulls a name from a hat (without letting students see the name). Give the students clues on whose name was pulled "This student likes to play soccer. She has 2 brothers and a dog."

10. Sing this song or chant it as a rhyme:  

"If your name starts with A turn around.
If your name with B touch the ground.
If your name  then down and touch your knee.
If your name starts with D say "that's me!"

If your name starts with E reach up high.
If your name starts with F touch the sky.
If your name starts with G that wave up here to me
If your name starts with H say "Yippee!"

If your name starts I wink your eye.
If your name starts with J pretend to fly.
If your name starts with K then move and start to sway
If your name starts with L say "Good Day!"

If your name starts with M touch your head
If your name starts with N start to bend
If your name starts with O bend down and touch your toe
If your name starts with P say "That's me!"

If your name starts Q touch your shoe.
If your name starts with R stay where you are
If your name starts with T wave up here at me
If your name starts with U say Yoo-hoo!"

If your name starts with V say "Who me?"
If your name starts X say "Oh yes?"
If your name starts with Y please don't cry.
If your name starts with Z say "End with me."





Over 20 ideas for morning meeting for kindergarten and first grade the first week of school. Greetings, morning messages, group activity ideas, freebies, sharing ideas and more! (K, 1st grade, responsive classroom, classroom management)



O.k....I'm just going to put this out there....I don't like Sharing. There. I said it. Not sharing as in....I don't like to give my things to others. No, not that kind.

I don't like having a Share time in the classroom. I just feel like it terms into "This is what I have and you don't so I'm going to stand up here and tell you all about it and make you feel bad so you can go home and tell your parents and beg them to buy it for you too" time.

Therefore, Share time in the classroom for me has to have a bit more direction and purpose.

In the beginning of school, Share time consists of us getting to know everyone so everyone takes home a brown paper bag with this little poem attached.

We’d like to get to know
a little about you
So fill this bag with photos,
a small toy, a momento or two.

Bring your bag to school on _______
Know what you want to share and say.
We can’t wait to see what’s in your bag
On your sharing day!

Each student gets assigned a day (actually I assign 2-3 students per day) to share their bag and tell us about themselves.

This All About Me Paper Bag Activity is a FREEBIE in my store. You can grab it here.

All About Me Paper Bag Activity FREEBIE  is a great get to know you activity for back to school. Students fill the bag with various mementos, photos and trinkets to tell about themselves and share with the class. Use the included poem as a bag topper.


During the remainder of the year, share time is a time when students can share something that they made or earned (such as an aware, trophy, etc) or an addition to their family (such as a new family member or pet).

If someone returns from a vacation, they can share their travel journal with us during Share time too.


Back to School Trading Cards are a great way for kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders to get to know school staff and collect trading cards while touring their school!


1. Four Corners:  Designate 4 separate corners of your classroom. Choose one student volunteer to close his/her eyes. The remainder of the class will walk quietly to a corner.  The student with his/her closed chooses a corner number and any students in that corner are out and must come sit down.

2. Four Corners 2: Play the same as Four Corners except students go together to a corner based on your directions "Go to corner number 1 if you have a dog.  Go to corner number 2 if you have a cat. Go to corner number 3 if you have both a dog and a cat. Go to corner number 4 if you don't have a dog or a cat."

3. Sticky Numbers: One student is given a sticky note with a number written on it. He/She must ask her classmates questions about the number in order to guess it. Questions may be "Is it greater than 10? Is an even number?,etc?




4. Warm Winds:  Students sit in a circle. One students is the volunteer and asks a common attribute such as "A warm wind blows for anyone who likes pizza." Anyone who likes pizza must then get up and switch places with someone else. Last person standing is the next volunteer.

5. 7 Up: Played just like the traditional game. 7 people choose 7 people who are seated at a table with their heads down. Those7 people who are chosen try to guess who chose them. If guessed correctly, they can then be "it."

6. Back to School: Get to know staff in your school with these Back to School Trading Cards.  Give to staff ahead of time or place them in the mailbox. Take students on a tour and collect the cards as your tour. Kids just love collecting cards! They can learn who the staff members are, their names, and their job responsibilities at the same time!



7. Would you Rather: Kids LOVE "Would you rather?" games. You can do a few and then ask a student volunteer to do some.

8. Circle: Students sit in a circle. Send one student out of the room. Choose one student volunteer to be "it". This student makes a pattern of repeated motions. the remainder of the class copies the motions. Call the student who was sent out to come back in. This student now has to guess who is it.



Over 20 ideas for morning meeting for kindergarten and first grade the first week of school. Greetings, morning messages, group activity ideas, freebies, sharing ideas and more! (K, 1st grade, responsive classroom, classroom management)

I am so bad about writing morning messages.  As I'm making photocopies, catching up on who watched "The Bachelor" last night, setting out morning work, making sure I have work set for the parent volunteer I kept saying to myself "I need to write the morning message."

Well...9 times of of 10 the students were walking in and I was either


A. Writing the message right there and then OR
B. Still hadn't written in

Morning messages have always been my nemesis but I do they think they are so important for my early readers.

Soooo... I spent a lot of time going through the curriculum and creating a YEAR's worth of morning messages that I can always have on my computer so I could just pop it on and BAM!  There they are ....every day.


 An entire school year's worth of morning messages (11 months: August-June) have already been prepared for you with adorable graphics, a morning greeting, and a review of academic skills. This editable, projectable year long bundle also enables you to type in your own morning messages to suit your needs too! Great for kindergarten and first grade (k, 1st grade, back to school)


I never have to write a morning message again! 

Literally all I do is turn on my SmartBoard and my morning message for each day is right there! When I have a sub, I just leave her my login directions for my computer and it's a piece of cake.

I love how it's review for my students.  They are editable too so you can adapt them however you want.


 An entire school year's worth of morning messages (11 months: August-June) have already been prepared for you with adorable graphics, a morning greeting, and a review of academic skills. This editable, projectable year long bundle also enables you to type in your own morning messages to suit your needs too! Great for kindergarten and first grade (k, 1st grade, back to school)

 To pin for later:
Over 20 ideas for morning meeting for kindergarten and first grade the first week of school. Greetings, morning messages, group activity ideas, freebies, sharing ideas and more! (K, 1st grade, responsive classroom, classroom management)