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!
Playdough: Building Motor skills and having fun while learning (with a 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!
Mardi Gras Writing WIth Freebie!
It is almost time for Mardi Gras! If you aren't from New Orleans, Mardi Gras means days and days of awesome parades, marching bands, dance troops, and catching all the sparkly and shiny gear you can! Imagine the best block party or tailgate you've ever been to and then multiply that by 100 and you are getting close to the level of fun.
Teachers are excited. Students are excited. Instead of trying to stick to your scope and sequence channel some of that excitement into your academic activities. Students will be engaged in the Mardi Gras theme and eager to produce some great writing!
These resources are great for students who celebrate Mardi Gras and students who are just learning about the holiday for the first time!
I created the Mardi Gras Writing Packet! There are 6 different writing prompts included. Some prompts ask for students to pick their favorite element and explain why. Others ask for a more creative thinking: designing floats, masks, etc.
These prompts are Common Core aligned and give students great practice at opinion and narrative writing!
I wanted this resource to be accessible to many grades so I created 3 versions of each prompt.
3. Full page for writing
Many schools have the whole week of Mardi Gras off. I think this resource could be sent home and completed over Mardi Gras break or completed once students come back to school to reflect on their experience.
New to Mardi Gras? No problem! Learn with your students about Mardi Gras traditions before diving into the writing prompts. Here are some videos about Mardi Gras: PBS, National Geographic, Mardi Gras Music Playlist. Here is a great list of Mardi Gras read alouds.
Check out my other Mardi Gras resources! Click on the picture to go to the resource!
And as we say....
Teacher Tip: Center Organization
I LOVE centers! I think they are a great way for kids to learn academic and social skills while also having fun. I do not love organizing centers. I really do not like finding center pieces around the classroom and not knowing where they go.
Despite talks with students and modeling center expectations, center pieces will get lost! They are kids. They are busy learning. They will make mistakes and pieces will get lost.
That is okay!!!! Here is how I set up my center organization to be easy on teachers but effective in the classroom.
I print out and laminate many centers for all parts of my day. I like to make multiple versions of each center so that different students can work on it at the same time. In my class students can complete centers at a table, laying on the ground, in a pocket chart, under a table... I don't like to limit them too much which can mean more scattered center pieces.
COLOR CODING CENTER PIECES IS THE SECRET!
After I print my pages but before I laminate them I color code the centers. This takes approximately 2 seconds. I grab the closest coloring implement (crayon, pen, pencil, highlighter, whatever was left by the copy machine) and scribble on the back of my centers. Each set of a center is one color. The scribbles aren't beautiful, they just need to have a little bit of the color on the back of each piece. I then laminate, cut out the pieces, and put the center in my classroom!
Now when I find that random piece on the floor I simply need to flip it over and see what color it has. I then find the container with the rest of the pieces and reunite them! This is so simple that students can take ownership. It can even be a classroom job.
I had tried numbering the back of my pieces before but that takes more time and if a student is not fluent with number recognition they cannot take the same ownership in the problem solving process as they can with color coding.
It also works well to print different copies on different colors of cardstock. However, this can make the copying process more difficult, and let's be real sometimes you don't have colored cardstock available.
Enter your info below to get a FREE center! Try out the color coding and let me know if it works!
Check out some other center options on TPT and read about sight word centers, a post card writing center, and a letter matching center.
Miriam taught kindergarten and first grade for 5+ years in New Orleans.