The natural element kids have to see the world for what it could be…or should be, always amazes me. They have an innate understanding of right from wrong (even though they don’t always act accordingly). Every time MLK Day comes around and we have conversations about how the world used to be, how it is today, and hopes for the future, I am reminded of how far the human race has to go before we experience true harmony. It is so hard to survive in this world without being selfish, without hurting others, and without pretending to be someone we are not. With that said, I love the opportunity MLK Day gives us to have some real talk. Schools are generally not a place teachers can have genuine conversations with their students because there is so much risk involved; parents getting upset, someone taking conversation out of context, and families who might misunderstand what happens in a healthy classroom.
This year, my kids made “clouds” and wrote down dreams they have for the world, our school, and themselves. Everyone chose one of those dreams to share on a video. Sometimes I watch it just to feel a little better about life, my job, the importance of diversity, and youth. Click the link below to get inspired!
I’m sure other teachers do something similar to this, but this has been my best time saver so far this year. I love that kids are interested in my life, but they usually ask questions at the WRONG time! In an effort to solve this problem, I used an old tissue box and a Target dollar store bin along with the form (I attached at the bottom). The kids know there are appropriate times to fill out this form:
in the morning when they are done with warm-up work
free choice time
when all work is finished
I hope you guys can use this and it will save you some time!
This is a really good project that looks nice but also includes the kids. The first photo is what I did on a 2’x1.5′ canvas ($6 from Michael’s!). I used masking tape and star stickers and then painted over it with gray tempera paint. After it dried, the kids used red, blue and white paint to cover it. They did what I call “splat paint” (although I’m sure there is a more technical term). The kids dipped a paintbrush in red, white, or blue paint and “splatted” it against the canvas.
Here is the final product. Hopefully someone bids high!
This is a great activity for younger students as well as upper primary grades to practice compound words. I recently switched from kindergarten to second grade and I still use this activity to reinforce what they already know, and as spelling help.
Basically the students practice putting together compound words and practice taking them apart. They get to “sing” a fun jingle if you choose to do this as whole group and pick a food (that’s a compound word) they like to eat. All the work is done for you, except for printing and cutting.
I included some alternate activities that you can use the picture cards for.
I can’t remember when I started doing this activity, but I have done it with preschool thru second grade and I LOVE what the kids come up with! It’s a great way to stir up creativity. FYI: the pictures above are an eye and a flower.
Tell the students to think of something that has a circle shape in it (don’t tell them to think of things that are in a circle shape). I start my giving them an example. I make a snowman, with the circle in the middle being it’s body.
I tried to find an example I had from a couple years ago of a boy who made “echolocation.” I thought he was just scribbling on the page but came to find out I was wrong! There are endless possibilities to this activity!
What You’ll Need:
white construction paper with holes cut out of the middle (I use a dixie cup to trace and then cut it out)
My students are OBSESSED with this activity! It started as a whole group, teacher led activity. But…they ask it for it so much, I now use it during reading rotations at small group time. I got the idea from the book Teaching Reading Sourcebook. It’s a fairly thick book, but it has ideas and tips for all ages so you can take it with you if you switch grade levels.
The activity is pretty simple. Fill a big bowl with play items that would go in a salad (you could also print pictures). Get 4 additional bowls or containers and label with 1 sticker, 2 stickers, 3 stickers, and 4 stickers.
Students pick a food item from the big bowl and then clap out the syllables. If there are 2 syllables, he/she puts it in the container marked with 2 stickers and so on.
There are examples on my teachertube page…you can click the link below to check it out!
My school uses the WONDERS curriculum for reading, and the book Mama is it Summer Yet is one of our weekly big books. The kids really like it because there is repetition so they can read along, and I really like it because of the interesting art work. The author and illustrator, Nikki McClure cuts out black paper to make the leaves and other designs. I thought it would be fun for the students to do this, but with their own twist.
I traced a picture of the the little boy (the main character) feeding his mother a berry. Then I let the kids decide what kind of berry they want to use and cut out leaves to cover the bottom of the paper. They also colored the boy’s swim trunks, the same way the illustrator often colored one article of his clothing.
When the students finished, they wrote the title of the book at the top of the paper and mounted it on black construction paper. I told the students to write the title in pencil and then run it by me. If the title was written correctly, I gave them a black sharpie to trace it with.
What You Need:
A copy of the boy and his mother
Black strips of paper, 8 1/2 inches long
Pink, red, blue, and green squares of paper for the berries and leaves
Black construction paper for mounting
*download the boy and his mother by swiping over MAMA IS IT SUMMER YET TRACING AND CUTTING
This is a great activity for getting the kids up and out of the classroom!
The format goes with WONDERS kindergarten reading curriculum, but anyone can use this.
Each student gets a worksheet with different spaces (rooms) in the school (playground, office, etc…) on it. I give students a clip board or hard surface to write on. We walk around the school, and stop in each room listed. I give students time to look around the room and write down words that begin with the letter of the week.
When we get back to the classroom, we talk about the words we wrote down.
*head to my teachers pay teachers page to download the product.
I started doing this letter building activity this year, and the kids love it! It’s definitely a challenge for my approaching-level students, but I find it to be a great opportunity for the students to help each other.
There are shapes to build each letter, upper and lowercase. Kids get practice cutting and gluing and it also helps with fine motor skills. My students glue the letters onto a “letter monster” worksheet, but I have also asked students to glue them in interactive notebooks.
I print the letter shapes on card stock so they’re easier to cut.
*head to my teachers pay teachers page to download the product.
I use this activity for my lower level kinders, and also my students who are starting to add. It’s great for math centers, and/or a math station for kids who finish early.
I laminate the “milkshakes” and include visa-vis pens for easy clean up and ongoing use! I am working on some retro hats the kids can wear while they do it…but my crafting skills might not be up to par for that ;).
*head to my teachers pay teachers page to download the product (it’s free).
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.3 Write numbers from 0-20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.B.4 Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.B.4.A When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.B.4.B Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.