Spring Teaching Ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade

Springtime is one of my favorite times of the year to teach! Flowers bloom, everything is new, sun shining, and engaging resources.  I use lots of spring themed lessons including Easter activities. My all time favorite thing to do, is to step away from the curriculum, just a little and teach poetry! Students really learn to love literature when they see how much fun they can have with words!

Spring also means new plants and flowers are in the process of growing.  Students have a blast learning all about plant parts, dissecting the plants, germinating their own seeds and more in this 3 week Plant Unit.

I also use Spring Worksheets with my kindergarten students that are themed in all subject areas!  This creates a connection across the curriculum areas.  The printables also meet most state standards in reading, writing, math, and science.

Of course celebrating springtime would not be the same without some fun spring and Easter activities in the classroom for our students! Students get creative with art supplies making butterfly glasses, bunny headbands, jellybean math, and life cycle books.  Whatever you do with your students, make sure you are having fun right a long with them! Happy SPRING!

 

Read Across America Ideas

Dr. Seuss is the perfect author to inspire students of all ages to read.  As teachers, we love to share his work during Read Across America Week and to celebrate his birthday with March activities.

Here are some great ideas to help you inspire your students with reading themed activities.

Red fish

One Fish , Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish is a classic delightful book that helps students with colors and counting skills.  Have students make their own colored fish to display in the room.

Oh The Places

Read Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss.  Then, have students make their own hot air balloon craft.  They can even write about where they would go.  I like to use tissue paper or wallpaper squares to decorate the balloon.

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Wacky Wednesday is a fun way to spend a Wednesday during Read Across America with Dr. Seuss.  While the students are at lunch or recess, make your classroom “wacky” by changing the clock, hanging things like shoes from the ceiling, putting socks inside the tissue box or turning a desk upside down.  Then, have students see how many “wacky” items they can find out of place.  They can play rhyming games this day or make a “wacky” animal using different animal body parts.

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How about these cute Halloween printable glasses?  You can easily turn them into something creative during the week for students to wear during reading time.  Tell them that the glasses are magical and help them to focus on the story you are reading.

Invite a guest in who dresses up like one of the characters from Dr. Seuss’ books to read to the class. Make sure to have a CRAZY SOCK day also to go with the Fox in Socks books.  I also like to ask students to send in their favorite Seuss books to share with each other during reading time.  I have them find rhyming words in the books.   They love it!

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Ask parents to send in a special treat for a day like these yummy Thing 1 and Thing 2 cupcakes.  Make task cards with Seuss colors like this WHAT CAN I DO WHEN I’M DONE for Early Finishers.

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Of course, no Read Across America celebration would be complete without making Green Eggs and Ham with your students. (Check for allergies first.)  I had my students make these hats out of paper plates.  No matter what, have fun with your students this week.  This is a great week for students to explore new words, use their imaginations, and feel inspired to read a good book!

 

Sources for Printables: http://bit.ly/2HLe8s3

Thanksgiving Activities Including Tortilla Tepees

Where has all the time gone this school year?  It is already time for the turkey which also means Christmas is here now.  I must admit I LOVE this time of year, but it is so busy.  This blog is all about saving you time and money as a teacher.  So, here are a few ideas for Thanksgiving Crafts.  Follow this post to the end to see the huge giveaway ending November 15th at 12:00 EST so you can get some holiday CASH.

One of my favorite crafts to do each year no matter what grade I teach is Tortilla Tepees! They are super easy to make and the kids love decorating them!

Materials: 1/2 of a round Tortilla for each student, pretzel sticks, markers, toothpicks

Directions: 1. Cut the tortilla in half. 2. Fold it into a cone shape. 3. Cut the pointed end off. 4. Unfold the tortilla. 5. Let the kids use markers to draw a picture on the tortilla. (I like to go review Native American symbols prior to this activity, so they can use some on the tepee.) 6.   Place a small amount of blue on the edge of the fold using a toothpick to hold it together. 7. Use 3 or 4 pretzel sticks with glue in the top of the tepee and lay sideways, so it will dry overnight.

Placemats are always nice to send home as a keepsake.  Here is a FREE download to make prep easy.  Just have kids cut, color and glue!

Thanksgiving Placemat

MORE Thanksgiving Resources:

Native American Headbands, Disguised Turkey Home Project, A Plump and Perky Turkey, The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey, Turkey Trouble Writing, November Writing PromptsTurkey Opinion Writing, Thanksgiving Play

As promised, I said if you stick around to the end of this I would tell you how you can win some holiday MONEY!  Here is a raffle that you can join easily.  I joined up with lots of other authors to bring some lucky teachers some holiday joy! PRIZES include $200 in gift cards to Amazon, TpT, and a Rose Gold Heart Locket.  Good Luck!

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Spring and Easter Crafts and Activities that ROCK the Classroom!

Springtime is so much fun for students. It’s a time to celebrate change, colors and happiness. In my classroom, I always enjoy ordering caterpillars for the students to see them emerge into beautiful butterflies. The excitement from the students is priceless! Students send in jelly beans, and we learn math by sorting, counting, classifying and graphing the beans. Then they get to eat or take the jelly beans home. Another great spring activity that is gaining popularity in our area, is painting positive messages on rocks and hiding them around the campus for other students to find. Students really get into the activity, and it’s easy to get some other classrooms to participate in the fun. You can integrate science, writing, math and reading in this “Kindness” unit. Whatever you decide to do to make the season with your class special and memorable, make sure it’s so fun that the kids are blinded by the rigor of the assignment! Happy Spring!
Below are some links to useful printables:



School Holiday Door Decorating Contest

This year our school decided to do a door decorating contest.  Although I didn’t win, the contest made the school look festive, challenged teachers to a little friendly competition, provided a fun tour of doors for the kids, and inspired me to share some of my favorites in this blog post. Enjoy!

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Oh Deer Holiday Door Decorating Contest
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Gone to the Beach – First Place Winner – $100 Gift Card

 

 

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Read Your Way Through Some Snowy History Door Contest
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Elves At Work Door Contest
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My Door – Let It Snow Sight Words – Students made sight word snow flakes for the walls and windows.

 

 

Halloween Crafts and Centers

Fall is one of my favorite times of year!  Not only does the weather feel nice, but the fall activities for Halloween are so much fun for children and adults to participate in during this season.  Here are some ideas for family fun crafts or classroom centers when you are celebrating the holiday. This is my sweet daughter img_4475sporting a spider hat she personalized with a bow.  There is also a witch hat a child could add.  I let my students go outside and gather fall leaves.  Then they use the leaves to paint and press to drawing paper to make leaf prints.  You can add writing to it to hit some more standards. Want some low prep or no prep simple centers?  Check out the Halloween Centers Pack full of fun ideas like puppets, books, letter id games, pumpkin math, and so much more. Another fun activity is for the students to read Where’s my Mummy by Carolyn Crimi.  You can find the story on You Tube, if you dohalloween-squaren’t have the book.  Have students make their own mummy and use the printable to help them make a Text to Self connection after reading the book.  It makes a cute bulletin board or window display for your parents to enjoy!  No matter what have fun with the children!

halloween-mummy