June is the time to celebrate fathers and other special men in our lives. Check below for some activities and things that I have done with my students and some special cards that I have created for Father's Day.
This special bug kit was created for Dads to have handy when barbecuing. To find out how to create one of your own, check out this blog.
Wordles are a great way to make something cool for Dad. Just think of all the special words that describe Dad and then put them together to make word art. Here are some examples made by a couple of my students. I put them in glass frames from the dollar store. To find out more, click the image below.
Games are fun to play together. Here is a travel tic tac toe board that we made. To get the directions for your own diy board, click the image below.
Whatever the gift, it was always fun to make the wrapping paper to go with it. All you need is some newsprint and markers. This made every gift special.
Here are some Father's Day cards that I just created that can be printed as is in color or printed in black and white so that the children can color them and make them more personal. Click the image to see more.
Click the image below to get a free card for Dad and Grandpa.
Happy Father's Day to all the special men in your life.
Games are a great way to interact with family members. Here is a simple DIY for making a tic tac toe game board that can be used for travel or at home.
To make this board, you will need the following materials:
1 piece of card stock cut out so it is a 8.5 inch square
10 puffy balls (2 colors - 5 of each color)
10 foam shapes
ribbon or brickbrack for the lines and border (8 pieces 8.5 inches long)
Step 1: Glue the ribbon around the edges of the card stock
Step 2: Glue the lines for the spaces
Step 3: Glue the foam shapes on the puffy balls. These will help keep them from rolling away.
Now your game is ready to use. Find a partner and start playing.
When you finish, you can easily store your game in a ziplock bag.
This is a simple game to make, but can provide hours of fun. My students made this one year for their fathers for Father's Day. They just added a card and made some gift wrapping paper and it was ready to go. For more Father's Day ideas and activities, click here.
Teaching children about money is different now than it was a few years ago. We live in a plastic world and children rarely handle actual cash. This makes paying for things and dealing with change a challenge.They still need to understand how to use money, but they need to be taught in a different way for this to make sense to them. Here is a unit that my class created with me that is called "Money Lessons For Children".
Just before I retired, I created a unit on money with my students. It started out simply, but very quickly became the focus of our math classes. Because my students were directly involved in creating the unit and working through the different aspects of it, they were able to apply what they learned to future activities.
The older students in the school had been learning about becoming Young Entrepreneurs earlier in the year. When I saw what they were doing, I decided to modify this to work with my grade 3 students. They were very excited about this and they worked hard to create materials for a Spring fundraiser.
Before they were able to start working on the projects, they needed to learn about money and how to work with it. We talked about debit cards and money in the bank. Most of them didn't realize that there needed to be money in the bank in order to take money out or use the debit card to pay for things. They thought that people could just use the card whenever they wanted to buy something.
They were given a "debit" card and they were assigned a starting amount of money. They were then taught how to spend money and keep track of the balance. They were shown ways to earn money to add to the card in order to continue buying things.
The challenge was to come up with ideas of ways to earn money as children. We brainstormed different jobs/chores that could be done and decided on how much money might be earned for each job. Then we used the classroom money and practiced earning and spending money to see how it worked.
These are only some of the activities we did as we developed this unit. It was definitely one of the most valuable units that I have used and it had a great finale as it helped us to earn money for a special field trip.
Here is a sampling of the unit that we created together.
If you check out the DIY category on my blog, you will find the directions for making many of the items we used for our Spring Fundraiser.
Christmas is an special time for both children and adults. You can't help but feel the excitement in the air as December approaches. Christmas lights blink everywhere, Christmas music plays in the stores and on the radio, and the Christmas movies start to show up on the television.
There are so many opportunities to use this excitement and the feelings associated with Christmas in your classroom writing. For years I did Christmas writing with the senses. When I retired last year, I still had the chance to introduce this idea one more time when I was helping out in another teacher's classroom.
Here is my blog post about what we did.
When I wrote about the writing we did, I mentioned a special gift that we were creating, but I couldn't say anything more because a parent might see the post and it would spoil the surprise.
Here is more information about what we did and how it was special.
The teacher I was working with began by showing some different Christmas scenes. Each scene was going to be the topic of the verse that would be written.
We first generated ideas using my juicy details templates. We had used them for some other activities earlier in the year, so the children were familiar with them. We began as a group and then they went to their desks and selected the words that they wanted for their poems.
I have always found that using a framework for writing helps some of the struggling writers get started. Stronger, more confident writers develop more descriptive pieces of work and use it as a springboard for future work.
Using fancy paper for the final product is a great motivator for kids. I also find that they are more willing to do the writing and add to their work if they know that it is going to be typed up afterwards. (Those that have difficulty writing often write less if they know they have to do a re-write for publishing.)
Several times in the past, I used this idea of writing about Christmas using the senses as part of a bigger idea. Parents love to receive special gifts from their children that have been made by them. The poem was all written on one page and then put onto special paper. It was then placed on the back of the "stained glass" picture. This way, it could be shared each year as the kids grow. What better way to display it than to make it part of the Christmas decorations!
Instead of making a single page poem, this time, we made a special Christmas booklet with each verse on a separate page. A special note was written for each parent to add to the back of the "stained glass" picture instead of the poem. The booklet went along with the picture.
If you would like to make your own special "stained glass" decoration and poem keepsake, check out how we did it here.
Some of my teaching friends have also shared some holiday activities. See below to hop along and check them out.
Years ago, I went to a math workshop put on by Kim Sutton. There, she taught us to use hands to help kids remember to count by fives when learning to tell time on the analog clock. At the time, most people were still using analog clocks. Now that digital clocks are the norm, analog clocks are harder for kids to relate to.
I decided to revive the hands concept and my class made analog clocks with hands for the numbers. This is the one I made at the workshop. I am using magnets to hold it on my whiteboard.
Here is what the ones my students made look like. They are easy to make. Follow the steps below to make your own.
You will need some large pieces of construction paper, a protractor, or some other object that will let you create a circle, and some scissors to cut it out. I used a marker to draw the circle so that it was easy to see when I took away the tracer.
Next, you will need some hands with the numbers on them. For my original, I used a child's hand and traced it. This time, I created some hands that were ready for cutting. I printed them on regular paper, and then I enlarged them on the photocopier so that I had a size that I was happy with. You can decide what size you would like based on the size of your circle.
Cut out the circles and then place them on the construction paper circle. If you would like to have them stand out more, you can color them in.
When they are colored, you can laminate them so that they last longer. After laminating them, cut out the hour and minute hands. On my original, I just made arrows, but for these ones, I created some pointer hands. I made multiple sets on cardstock so that I had enough for everyone. Attach them to the clock with a brad fastener.
If you would like a copy of the hand numbers and the pointer hands, click here.
Wow, it is hard to believe how quickly the weather has changed. Fall has definitely arrived. We decided to do a poem about this. First we generated ideas of what types of things we would do or see in the summer and fall. Then we chose some of the things from each group and created a poem.
We used some cute fall themed papers by Mr. Hughes. Click on the image to check it out.
We also created some fall leaf similes. We used the framework and planning sheets from this great center by Kelly Everoski. Click on the image if you would like to check it out further.
We used the planning sheet to generate things of different colors and things that were crunchy, then these words were used in the poem frame provided. There were also a couple of lines for other descriptors.
All About Me
The theme for September has been self-esteem and becoming the best Me I can be. We have done many different activities in this area. We began by creating the All About Me booklets created by Jaime Pink.
We also created Name Acrostics using success words. These words focused on positive talents or attributes.
We also chose a power word that was important to us. I made these little boards to display the power words. I used Kids Alphabet graphics.
Graphics From the Pond http://frompond.blogspot.com
These were put up just in time for the open house on Wednesday. I blogged about how to make them here.
Our math focus this month has been graphing and reviewing basic number facts/place value. I tried out this Build-Count-Tell activity, created by Susanna over at Whimsy Workshop, with my class. They loved it. We had so many different kinds of manipulatives to use that they were able to create many awesome things. Here is one done with the pattern blocks.
These are just a few of the things we have been doing in class recently. I hope to have more to share soon. I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Hop on over there to see what other things have been going on with teachers this week.
Here is another quick gift that is sure to add a smile to Dad's face.
container to put candle in
feather clip bookmark
After making the kit, decorate a paper bag and add a label to it. Then you are set to go. A simple Father's Day gift that is sure to make Dad smile.
Here is a very popular Father's Day gift with my students. It is easy to make and the Dads really like receiving it.
To create these frames, I had my students create lists of words about Dad. They did them in their notebooks and underlined the most important ones. This is because I didn't have access to internet for everyone at the same time when doing it.
Later during other quiet work times, I called them over and put their words into the Wordle program. They got to choose the image they wanted. If you have limited colored ink available, you may have to specify that black backgrounds cannot be chosen.
Once an image is selected, you can choose to print it. On my computer, this allows me to choose a pdf option. I save all the images as pdf and then I put them in a word processing document. I put 2 on each page and then cut them to size when they are printed.
If you have access to a lab and are able to do all of them at the same time, this will speed up the process.
Stress balloons are easy to make and the kids love them. It is a project that they can do by themselves. It was such a success at our spring fundraiser, that we had to take orders to make more.
- large balloons (small ones don't work well)
- a funnel
- bowl to hold the flour
- scoop for the flour
These little bottles are a great gift and they are easy to make. All you need is a few small items that can be found when turning the jar around and around so that the seed moves and the items peek out.
Click the image to get a copy of the blank labels.
There you have it. Some cute I Spy jars. Have fun making them.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.
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