Free First Day of School Printables

On the first day of school, things can be pretty chaotic! You have a class of new students who are coming in with a range of emotions and a backpack full of supplies that need to be organized, all while chatting with parents and trying to help the kids find their place and get settled. 

I love having fun, independent activities that students can start working on right away at their desks. Not only does it keep the classroom calm and quiet, but it also can settle the students' nerves as they adjust to a classroom setting again after summer break. Here are some of my favorite first day activities that are great for a variety of grade levels! 

1) Read & Find - This is my newest freebie I created. Students will read the words, then find and color in the pictures. There is also a bonus activity for students to write down their own words and have a partner find the pictures - great for getting to know their classmates! 



*Click the picture to sign up for my monthly newsletter and you can get this free printable! 


2. Play-Doh

Give each student a small container of play-doh and let them play with it at their desk. You can give them some instructions such as, "Create something that can tell us about your summer," or just let them play freely. It's such a great way to get out some nervous energy and get their hand muscles moving!

3. Finish the Picture - This fun freebie lets your students doodle and get creative right from the start! Put a copy on each desk with a sharpened pencil so they can get right to work when they arrive.



What are your favorite activities for students when they arrive on the first day? Leave a comment and let us know!

How to Teach Skip Counting - Ideas & Activities

Skip counting is such an important skill to teach your little ones. It helps with number sense, patterns, telling time, estimation, and multiplication! Here are some ideas and activities for practicing skip counting!

1. Use a blank hundreds chart and dot markers. Dot by 2's, 5's, or whatever number you are working on! You can also make a reusable version by putting it in a plastic sheet protector and using dry erase markers. 



2. Skip count out loud with a partner or group. Use 2 people to count by twos. One person will start and whisper or mouth "one". The next person says "two". Keep going so that the even numbers are heard but the odd numbers are not. Then the partners can switch so the other person says the even numbers. Try with 3 people to count by threes. This time the first two people mouth "one", "two", and the third person says "three!" Keep going the same way so the multiples of 3 are spoken aloud. Try it with any number by using the same amount of people as the number you are counting by. 

3. FREE practice pages - This is a set of 6 pages that I created to help practice counting by twos and fives. 



4. Skip Counting Dot to Dots - www.MathWorksheets4Kids.com has a ton of skip counting dot to dot puzzles like this one.



5. Popsicle Sticks Math Center - Read my post HERE about this fun activity that can be used to practice skip counting with any number!


First & Last Day of School Posters


Are you looking for a poster for your kids or students for the first and last days of school? I made these cute printables that you can take photos of your kids with, or just have them fill out and take home for a keepsake.

 I've made 3 versions (black and white, color, chalkboard) for Pre-K through 5th grade for the first day of school, and more for the last day of school.

First & Last Day of School Posters


First & Last Day of School Posters

Click HERE to get the download with all the versions to choose from!!

End of the Year Activity - Class Scavenger Hunt

Here's another fun idea for the last week of school. Let the kids go on a class scavenger hunt! They will walk around the class, ask each other questions, and find out who can fit in each square. It's a fun way for students to be active and engaged! Grab the free download in my online store HERE!

End of the Year Activity - Class Scavenger Hunt

Free Summer Mystery Picture Math Activities

The last week (or month) of school can be so difficult! It can be tough to keep the kids' attention and get any learning done at all! I love using fun and engaging activities that kids enjoy, but still provide some educational value.

I've compiled a set of some of my best selling mystery pictures for you to try for FREE! I have gotten so much good feedback from teachers who have used these in their classrooms. With these fun summer activities, your students won't even know they are learning! Click HERE to get the free download!

Free Summer Mystery Pictures Math Activites

Father's Day: Two FREE Printable Activities

I had some requests to make a Father's Day activity similar to the Mother's Day activity that I posted recently. So, here it is!
Free Father's Day Activity
 
 
I also just posted a Father's Day Free Tie Craftivity in my TpT store. With these two activities - you are set for Father's Day!
 
Free Father's Day Tie Craft Activity
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fathers-Day-FREE-Craftivity-2551047

 
 


Ten Apples Up On Top: Number Words Activity

This week with my kindergartener, we are focusing on number words. One of my favorite books to go along with this concept is Ten Apples Up On Top! by Dr. Seuss. It is such a cute book, and perfect for emerging readers!

I made this page for her to complete after reading the book:

 
 
She read the number words at the bottom, then made the correct number of "apples" on top using dot markers (bingo daubers). You can also just use crayons to draw circles if you don't have the dot markers. Other ideas: for a literacy center, you can put it in a plastic page protector and have students use white board markers to draw the apples, then wipe them off for the next students. You could also just have students use manipulatives like bingo chips.
 
You can download the page HERE if you'd like to use it with your kids!
 
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5dsPzSlPOCecU5RNmtDRFg1Vjg/view?usp=sharing
 

Fun Mother's Day Writing Activity & Craft Ideas

Getting my kids to enjoy writing can be a challenge. Anytime we can do a fun activity that includes writing practice, I consider it a win!
 
This cute Mother's Day page is a fun way to get kids writing, and it usually ends up being a great keepsake. Older kids can write their own answers in. Young kids can dictate their answers and have someone write their answers for them.
 
 
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5dsPzSlPOCeUGFzdi0yRE1HZm8/view?usp=sharing
 
 
You can get this free activity HERE!

If you also want to make a cute craft for Mother's Day but don't want to deal with finger paints, (because let's face it, those handprint activities are cute, but can be a big mess, especially if you have a whole class full of kiddos!) here are some great ideas.


http://honeynfizz.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-im-loving-today.html?m=1
Put hearts on the wall and take pictures of each kid in this position, like they are blowing kisses.

http://www.iheartcraftythings.com/2015/03/simple-kid-made-mothers-day-card.html
Cupcake Liner Flower from I Heart Crafty Things



Salt Dough Fingerprint Flowers - Meaningful Mama
Salt Dough Fingerprint Flowers from www.meaningfulmama.com

How to Get Kids to Love Poetry



April is National Poetry Month!  Poetry can be fun for kids to read, but scary when it comes time to write it on their own. Here are some tips and ideas to help kids look forward to and enjoy writing poetry!

1. Read poetry to them. Not just during National Poetry Month, but all year long. The more exposure kids have to different kinds of poetry, the more comfortable they will be with it. Consider having a "Poem of the Week" and make it a part of your routine as morning work or in a literacy center.

2. Give them a chance to respond. How did the poem make them feel? Which parts did they like or not like? Let them learn how to express their opinions about something and give reasons why.

3. Model how to write poetry, and practice composing poems together as a class.

4. Let them write about what interests them. Every kid is an expert on something, even if it's the latest video game or TV show. Have them write poems about a character, or how they feel while playing a certain game. Find out what evokes emotion in them, and let them write about that.

5. Brainstorm before you start. Have students think about their topic and write down nouns, adjectives, and verbs that describe the topic. This will give them a great reference to look at while they are composing and they will be less likely to feel "stuck."

6. Celebrate each other. It can be vulnerable to write poetry and share it with others. Be sure to create an atmosphere that is encouraging and supportive when students are writing and sharing poetry.

Try this free activity from my Poetry Unit: Finding Text Evidence & Writing Poetry. It is a power packed activity, full of fun and learning. Students will read about a type of poetry (cinquain), read an example, answer a few questions, citing text evidence to support their answers, and use the prompt to create their own poem!

The free download can be found HERE or by clicking on the pictures below.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5dsPzSlPOCeOUlac3pQX1JWMlk/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5dsPzSlPOCeOUlac3pQX1JWMlk/view?usp=sharing
 
Poetry is an important part of every culture, and it's our job to encourage a love of reading it and writing it in our classrooms!


Invitation to Play

I have recently started setting up an "Invitation to Play" in the afternoon for the kids. These are tubs of materials that they can explore, imagine, and create with. While the younger ones definitely get more excited about it, my 8 year old son still enjoys playing once he gets into it!

Here are a couple we have done this week: Creating flowers with playdoh, beads, and construction paper. You could also use pipe cleaners and fake leaves, but we didn't have any, so we just used the paper.



 
Another day we played with our plastic eggs. I put some in a tub with different noodle shapes, and some in a different tub with some kinetic sand. 
 


I'm so excited to come up with more of these ideas. I'm going to try and incorporate some STEM and problem solving activities as well. Could you use ideas like these in your classroom? I think it would be great to try!
Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget