Friday, February 22, 2013

Letter N Activities

This was a short week, but we managed to get a lot done. Our letter N activities included:

* using chalk to draw Night on black construction paper
* jumping onto the letter N taped on the floor
* recognizing everyone who had an N in their name
* cutting Newspaper and glueing it onto an N

* cutting out pictures of Nickels and glueing them to a Nine
* and on Fun Fun Friday, making Neckties

* and snacking on Nuts (The packets contained peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and pecans. For many of the students, they had never eaten anything other than peanuts.)

Later we did a quick yay/nay inventory of which nuts they liked the most/least. Then, instead of graphing the number of each kind of nut, I had each table check among themselves to see which nuts they had the most of/least of altogether.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Two Minute Book Report

Like all teachers, I read a story to the class every day. The majority of the time, the book tends to deal with something we're currently studying. Or it may be about a particular holiday we're about to celebrate. Either way, it's directly tied to something we're doing.

A problem came up recently at my school about upper grades having to do book reports, and I remembered how difficult it was to find something to say about what I'd read when I was in grade school. Which got me to thinking...was there any way I can start to prepare my students for book reports?

Here's the method I've adopted.  Using this simple wipe-off board, after reading the book, I get a quick consensus from the group. How many liked it, and how many didn't? (Show me thumbs-up or thumbs-down.) The number of likes goes underneath the happy face, dislikes go beneath the sad face.

Now, why did they like or dislike the book? What was their favorite part? And what part of the story did they not enjoy?

Not only do the children get into the spirit of discussion, but their answers are a great way to build their vocabulary, and use correct grammar.

In addition, I've often caught the children continuing the discussion, aka debate, during recess and center time!

Monday, February 18, 2013


There are times when I need to send home a reminder to the parents for the following day, like no school on Monday, picture day tomorrow, etc. I used to hand them little slips of paper with the notices printed on them, but half the time the slips got lost before they got home, or were forgotten in the depths of their backpacks.

So I came up with the wristlet idea. You can get a copy of the template (see below) here.
When you print out the template, use the 5x7 PHOTO option. You'll see 6 vertical wristlets.

Then select 2 copies. Your template will then hold 12 wristlets. Hit Print.

Write in your information, then run enough sheets to have a copy for each student. Cut out the wristlets and either tape them on the arm, or staple the ends together. Voila! An instant message each student will remember to give to their mother as soon as they see them.

(Wristlets stapled, above, and taped, below.)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Letter V Activities - and Valentines Day!

This week, we worked on the letter V, but a lot of what we did went into preparing for our Valentines Day party.
Aside from the usual (jumping and calling out the letter name/sound), and recognizing the V in students' names, we...
* cut and glued hearts onto our letter V
* made a Vase of flowers out of our block letter V

* made our own Valentine bags to hold all our Valentines (note that we used photos instead of having the students write their names on their bags)

* on Fun Fun Friday, we celebrated the end of the week with Vanilla ice cream!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cute Idea for Game Markers

The other day while I was getting some feathers at Hobby Lobby, I came across these cute buttons. Bought a couple of bags and put them in my game center, to be used as markers. The kids almost fight over them! The little shaft in the back keeps the button tilted at an angle, so that it's easier for their smaller fingers to pick up and move.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Letter L Activities, with a Freebie pattern!

While we were studying the letter Ll, we did the following activities:

* jumped the letter L on the floor every time we entered the classroom

* recognized everyone who had an L in their name

* colored our Lollipops and added yarn for swirls (I got the pattern by googling for a coloring sheet.)

* created our own Lunch tray of food by cutting and gluing pictures from catalogs (You can get my lunch tray pattern here!)

* collected Leaves and glued them to a capital L

* decorated our Lions with yarn manes (I used an old coloring sheet that worked perfectly.)

* and on Fun Fun Friday, first we taste-tested fresh Lemons and Limes, then had Licorice for a treat

* ate Lunch in the classroom - a very different experience!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Today Was Our 100th Day of School!

We started our day with everyone wearing their 100 Days t-shirts. Kudos to my assistant, Loretta, for doing the shirts!
Our day was thrown out of kilter because of the parade through school, and all the other activities. So I kept our "festivities" to one major activity - the 100 Toppings Pizza.
Each of my 5 tables was giving a color of construction paper and a "topping" (yellow for cheese, white for onions, black for olives, green for bell peppers, and brown for hamburger). They had to "make" 20 toppings, then come and glue them to the pizza.

We hope your 100th Day of School is memorable!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Letter D Activities

For the letter D, we did the following activities:

* made our Dd anchor chart by finding pictures in catalogs

* recognized everyone who had the letter Dd in their names

* jumped the D on the floor every time we entered the room

* turned the lower case d into a dinosaur

* took pictures of a Duck, Dolphin, and Dog, and worked on our ABC patterns

* learned to do a Dot-to-Dot worksheet (it was our first "connect the dots" paper for everyone!)

* learned to play a new game with Dominoes (go here to see how to play MORE OR LESS?)

* Science Experiment: How many Drops of water will fit on a Dime?

* turned the upper case D into a Duck, complete with feathers

* and on Fun Fun Friday, we got to snack on Donuts!