It's that time of year- the count down for summer break is on! It's always one of the craziest times of year for me between squeezing in instructional content, end of year testing, packing up the classroom, organizing the end of year celebration, and enjoying the final days with my students!
I always send students home for the summer with books and a packet of summer themed activities and worksheets to keep their mind sharp over the summer. I hope that the summer activities will prevent the summer slump!
I have created summer activities and worksheets for Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade. Each grade level has 20 summer worksheets- 10 summer math worksheets and 10 summer literacy worksheets. Worksheets are Common Core aligned and designed to review standards from the grade students just finished so they are ready to be all-stars in the upcoming school year!
Click on each picture to see the grade level summer activity packet! Scroll down and enter your email address to get a free sample of my summer activities and worksheets!
Check out some of my easy, no-prep End of School Year activities!
I love using literacy activities and centers in the pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classroom. I think they increase engagement and support social-emotional learning. I use them to compliment direct instruction and give students more hands-on practice with content.
I structure my centers to match the scope and sequence of our ELA curriculum. This year we are using the Wit and Wisdom curriculum for our literacy block. Wit and Wisdom is Common Core aligned and tells teachers which standards will be targeted during each Module.
I take this scope and sequence and create literacy centers that practice the same Common Core standards but in a different way. The centers are not linked to the Wit and Wisdom curriculum but do match the standards progression.
I am very excited about the new centers I made to go with First Grade Wit and Wisdom Module 1! Each center is Common Core aligned and can be completed by students independently.
Read about each center below. Click on each picture to see it in my TPT store!
Narrative Writing Prompts: The different task cards challenge students to think of a time they read a book that meets certain criteria- a book you read outside, a non-fiction book, etc. (Common Core Standard: W.1.3)
Adding Details: Students read sentences that match the picture on the card. They then improve the sentence by adding adjectives, verbs, or other details. (Common Core Standards: W.1.5)
Punctuation Sort: I love sort centers! They are very engaging! Students read sentences and decide if they need a period, question mark, or exclamation point. Students then write their own sentences for the punctuation marks (Common Core Standards: L.K.2, L.1.2, and L.2.2).
Parts of Speech Task Cards: Students mark up the sentences on the task cards using the given code- circle the nouns, underline verbs, and box adjectives. Students then write the words they found under the correct part of speech on the recording sheet. (Common Core Standards: L.K.1, L.1.1, L.2.1).
Vocabulary Clip Card Activity: Students use the context to determine what the underlined vocabulary word means. Students clip or mark the definition for the underlined word. They then pick a vocabulary word and fill out the recording sheet- writing and illustrating a sentence with the vocabulary word. You can have this center for FREE!!! Just fill in the form down below!
Center organization can be challenging. Read about how I try to keep pieces from getting mixed up or lost!
Read about other ways I supplement Wit and Wisdom in my classroom!
It is almost Earth Day! A great day to teach students about caring for the planet, recycling, etc. Also, a great reminder for us as teachers to save paper and recycle that huge pile of graded papers that has a way of piling up!
I created Earth Day Math Activities for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade! The worksheets are all Common Core aligned but can be used in any classroom. Each packet covers a variety of skills including word problems, comparing numbers, graphing, etc.
Click on each grade level to see the Earth Day activities. Scroll down and enter your email address to get the Freebie!!!
I have used Eureka Math for the past few years and I like to teach math in small groups. I have students rotate between 3 activities: Eureka lesson with teacher, math centers, ST Math (click to read about how I use ST Math).
I love this system- I think you can really target what each group needs and push students to learn more. But, the transitions can be a little tricky or time consuming.
It seems like the second half of Eureka Math Kindergarten is all about number bonds, addition, and subtraction. So I created a warm up routine that was no-prep and practiced these skills!
Every time a group transitioned to my rotation they immediately made a number bond about the students in their group. This gave me a few minutes to help the other groups get settled or to reset my materials.
This was a great prompt because the groupings changed every day and the students could be creative!!!
Some common groupings in my class were:
Once students finished the number bond they would write an equation to match it. This was an awesome time to differentiate. Some students wrote the part-part-whole equation but others were able to write the whole fact family!! This helped develop conceptual understanding of how parts and wholes go together in addition and subtraction equations.
This also led to many great teaching moments! As you can see in the above picture one of the equations is wrong: she wrote 3-7=10. We talked about how it was awesome that she went above and beyond to write multiple equations (yay for risk taking!!) for her number bond and then solved each equation to find the one that was incorrect. She was able to explain that she should have started with the whole number when subtracting and correct it herself! I love helping students to think through the concepts behind the mathematical principles and encouraging them to take risks and try tricky problems.
Some days (depending on timing) we had each student share their number bond with the groups, sometimes they shared with a partner, and some days I just picked one or two students to share.
This was a very engaging warm-up, the students got very creative in their groupings (rides the bus home and is a pick-up)! It was also easy to differentiate based on the abilities of each math group. Scroll down to get your freebie!
I have made a printable version of this math warm up! It can also be used as a challenge problem for early finishers!
You can use it as a paper and pencil activity or laminate the papers and use with dry erase markers so it can be used many times.
If you don't have math groups you could have students make number bonds of the people at their table, the members of their family, etc. Get creative!
Teachers Pay Teachers and Pinterest are filled with Easter activities but have very few Passover activities available. As someone who grew up celebrating Passover and not Easter I feel like there should be more Passover activities.
I made a packet of Passover worksheets for kindergarten, first, and second grade. There are Passover math worksheets and Passover literacy worksheets. The worksheets are Common Core aligned but can be used in any classroom.
I hope these worksheets make more students feel included in the cultures celebrated in the classroom!
Put your email in below to get the Passover Freebie Worksheets! Check out the full product here.
Spring Break is great break to gear up for testing and end of year activities. Plus, then the countdown to summer can officially begin!
I wanted to make it as simple as possible for teachers so created packets of Spring Break worksheets by grade level! Each Spring Break packet is filled with Common Core aligned ELA and math skills so all you have to do is print and stick in backpacks on the way to enjoy your spring break!
I have a Spring Break Worksheet packet for Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade! Click on the pictures to see the full Spring Break pack.
Enter your email below to grab a free sample!
HAVE A GREAT SPRING BREAK!!!
Somehow I think teaching in the spring feels like there is so much to teach and so little time and like time is passing very slowly. I like to fight the drag by using seasonal resources that liven up our classroom routines.
Now that Mardi Gras is over I am moving my attention to St. Patrick's Day!
For Math I made some No-Prep Worksheet packets! There are packets for kindergarten, first and second grade. Each packet includes 20 worksheets tied to grade level standards. These are so simple to use and could work perfectly in homework, morning work, or your math lesson!
For ELA I have made a Word Family Bundle with 2 different sorts (sorts are my favorite center and worksheet activities because they are so engaging)! I also made a STEM and writing response that can be used with the book "How to Catch a Leprechaun."
Click on the pictures to go to the product! Scroll down and enter your email to get a St. Patrick's Day Math FREEBIE!
Even as an adult I find playing with playdough very satisfying. You can make anything and the squish is fun no matter what age you are!
But playing with playdough is not just fun, it has some great benefits! It helps to strengthen fine motor skills and the muscles used for writing. We don't usually think about our hand muscles but they are essential to writing, drawing, cutting, etc. Playdough is one way to strengthen those muscles and help children build stamina they need to be successful.
I love using playdough for academic centers-- making letters, numbers, sight words, etc. But, I decided to use playdough to liven up my writing center and incorporate some social-emotional learning!
Playdough Faces asks students to make a face using playdough. They can be as creative and detailed as they want. It can look like a human face or a silly face. There is even a chart of emotion ideas to help push them past "happy" and "sad." There are optional writing pages where students can either describe the face they made or write a story about the character they created. This ties in those Common Core writing standards in a fun way! Click on the picture to see it in my store!
Fill out the form below to get my Playdough ABC for free!
Writing words, solving math problems, practicing spelling words are just a few of the things students write every day. It can be boring as a teacher and even more boring as a kid. Which brings us to this weeks TEACHER TIP!
Dry erase markers are probably my favorite school supply! I love to use them in math, phonics, writing, you name it.
I have found that writing on the table with dry erase markers is the best! You don't have to pass out white boards and students are engaged and eager to participate! It is easier to erase with your finger and fix a mistake than to erase with pencil on paper.
I have even given spelling tests this way! I ask the students to write the words on the table in front of them and go around and mark how many words they got right. Students are invested and there are no papers to grade!
Clean up is pretty easy- I used clorox wipes or if I didn't have any hand sanitizer and a paper towel. I've also used it as an incentive by choosing a student at each table who has done a great job to wipe away the dry erase marker.
Have you tried this in your classroom? How has it worked? I'd love to hear your ideas!
How many times a day do you write your name? How many times a day do your students write theirs? I bet the answer is A LOT! It is important that students master name writing because they will be doing it all their life and in the classroom less time writing the name on the paper means more time learning and completing the work!
Teaching your child how to spell and write their name is one of the best things you can do to ensure they are ready to be successful in school.
We know that writing the name over and over again is BORING! We do not want that! We want this to be a fun and enjoyable activity so we have come up with some suggestions for how to make name writing fun!
Make a song! Choose a song based on how many letters are in the name. Don’t let a bad voice hold you back, songs make recalling information much easier for many kids!
FIND THE LETTERS:
Have them find the letters of their name in books, magazines, on cereal boxes, and anything else with letters. Make the letters into a collage!
Play "I Spy" with the letters in their name while you are out and about. Can they find the first letter of their name on a license plate or street sign? What about on the cereal box?
We love playdough! It makes everything more fun. Make the letters out of playdough! Playdough helps strengthen the muscles that are used to write but it is much more fun than just tracing your name.
Start by writing the letter on a piece of paper and then have your child put the playdough on top. Gradually switch to making the letters without the paper.
We have lots of letter tiles, magnets, and blocks around. These are perfect for building names! Start with playing "I Spy" with the letters: "I spy the first letter in your name." Then build the name and have the child touch and say each letter or sign their special name song.
If you have more than one child practicing their name make comparisons between the two! Which name is longer? Which has fewer letters? Are any of the letters the same?
This is our OxBox best seller! The editable file lets you type in your child’s name and generate the puzzle. Print out the puzzle (you can also laminate it for durability) and cut out the individual letters. Start by having your child name the letters in their name. Then have them match the individual letters to the full name. Gradually have them build their name with the letter tiles, without referencing the completed version. Go slowly to build confidence and avoid frustration!
*Teachers: this name puzzle is a perfect morning work or center activity! Have students complete their name puzzle every day until they can do it perfectly!
Check out the Editable Name Puzzle on Teachers Pay Teachers!
Have another way to practice? We would love to hear it! Please comment here or tell us on Instagram at @oxboxteaching!
Happy name writing!
Miriam taught kindergarten and first grade for 5+ years in New Orleans.