Circle Cut-Outs

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)
  • crayons

Here are some more examples:

bouncy ball
a person yelling
a camera

Salad Sort: Syllable Practice

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!


TeacherTube: Salad Sort

*here is a link to buy the Teaching Reading Sourcebook on amazon

Teaching Reading Sourcebook



Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).


Count, produce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.

Mama, Is It Summer Yet?

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
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Black construction paper for mounting
  • Black Sharpie

*download the boy and his mother by swiping over MAMA IS IT SUMMER YET TRACING AND CUTTING




With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.