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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Collective Nouns Apple Activities, Grammar Craft & Interactive Notebook

As our apple activities series continues
I wanted to show you some ways to include
grammar, specifically collective nouns,
into your apple theme.

Apple activities for 2nd and 3rd grade learning about collective nouns

Make An Apple Themed Chart

I like to incorporate a theme when I teach and 
an apple theme lends itself so well to teaching 
about collective nouns.  

Apple activities for 2nd grade grammar.  A bushel of collective nouns anchor chart.

Use apple shaped sticky notes to add 
words to a class chart as students encounter
them throughout the day. You can also make
these super easy reusable apple charts to
have students collect and write the nouns on.

As you read books about apples and their
life cycle, transparent tape comes in handy
for highlighting words during small
group reading!

Highlighting collective nouns in nonfiction books about apples.

Pick a Parts of Speech Activity

Apple activities-Collective nouns grammar craft for 2nd and 3rd grade.

I always love it when I can combine 
critical thinking with a craft and this one
does just that.

Apple activities-Collective nouns grammar craft for 2nd and 3rd grade.


Make this collective nouns bushel basket
booklet to identify, define, compare, sort
and apply new knowledge of this noun type. 

Apple activities-Collective nouns grammar craft for 2nd and 3rd grade.


Students identify the collective nouns by coloring 
them then apply their understanding by using 
the nouns in a sentence.

Apple activities-Collective nouns grammar craft for 2nd and 3rd grade.

Apple activities-Collective nouns grammar craft for 2nd and 3rd grade.

Next, they define this part of speech and 
compare two noun types.

Apple activities-Collective nouns grammar craft for 2nd and 3rd grade.


Apple activities-Collective nouns grammar craft for 2nd and 3rd grade.

Students compare the two types of nouns
by explaining the difference between 
a collective noun and a proper noun.

Apple activities-Collective nouns grammar craft for 2nd and 3rd grade.

The non-example words are sorted into a 
pocket and listed on the back of the booklet.
  
Apple activities-Collective nouns grammar craft for 2nd and 3rd grade.

This collective nouns grammar craft is available 
in my shop and is a fun, hands-on way to incorporate 
5 skills at once. It makes a great bulletin board 
display too!

 Apples In Your Interactive Notebooks

Carry the apple theme into your interactive notebooks 
with this fun grammar notebook for collective nouns.

Apple activities-Collective Nouns interactive notebook for 2nd and 3rd grade.

Incorporating the same skills as the grammar craft 
students opportunities in 5 different ways to 
identify, define, compare, match and sort 
collective nouns.

Apple activities-Collective Nouns interactive notebook for 2nd and 3rd grade.



Apple activities-Collective Nouns interactive notebook for 2nd and 3rd grade.

If you prefer a more student generated
 notebook, these templates enable students 
to write their own definition and create 
a word bank of their own words.

Apple activities-Collective Nouns interactive notebook for 2nd and 3rd grade.

Students define and compare by writing
 under the flaps, then use noun cards to 
identify and sort examples and non-examples.

Apple activities-Collective Nouns interactive notebook for 2nd and 3rd grade.
Here's a Quick Tip:

Try this little system for storing pieces
if kids aren't finished when it's time to clean up.
I call it borrow-a-bag. I place sandwich
baggies in a basket and students can 
"borrow a bag" to store parts in their folders.
Once they finish, they return the bag to the basket.

You can find this collective nouns
in my shop!

Apple activities-Collective Nouns interactive notebook for 2nd and 3rd grade.

I hope you've found something you can use 
in your classroom to carry on your apple
theme!

Read all the posts so far in this series,
Favorite Fall Apple Activities for Every Subject!


Apple Books & Videos for Kids
Publish Student's Writing in An Apple Tree!
Free Happy Kids Apple Basket Behavior Craft 

For more classroom ideas follow along

Don't miss a new time-saving resource!  
for notification straight to your inbox!

Happy teaching!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What's In Johnny's Appleseed's Knapsack?


The apple-fest continues with
my favorite apple activities for every subject!
Today I'll show you some fun activities
to do while learning about Johnny Appleseed.

Favorite fall Johnny Appleseed activities for John Chapman's birthday, Johnny Appleseed day Sept. 26

A few years ago, on Sept. 26th,
Johnny Appleseed's birthday,
after reading aloud a book about
John Chapman to my class,
we were discussing some vocabulary I
had pulled from the text.  One of those
 words was knapsack. I suspected that most
of my students didn't know what a
knapsack was.  As I pointed out a knapsack
in several illustrations and explained what
a knapsack is, one of my little friends asked,
"What's inside Johnny's Appleseed's knapsack?
What does he have in there?"

Fall Johnny Appleseed activities and knapsack writing craft centered around this class anchor chart.

I thought it would be fun to get
everyone's opinion so.........
I did this Johnny Appleseed minilesson with
our Kindergarten and first graders
 this year and their responses were
priceless! You have to love the friend who
says, "Johnny has a phone in his knapsack
 so he can find Pokemon."!  Afterwards, we made these knapsack crafts and my friends wrote
about things they thought Johnny would have
 in his knapsack.

Johnny Appleseed knapsack craft booklet

This sweet friend wrote that Johnny had a teddy
bear in his knapsack so he wouldn't be scared.


One of my sweet teacher friends sent me
this picture of her class brainstorming things
Johnny might have in his knapsack
and explaining why.  You can find the
prewriting page and several minilessons 
in my shop.

Prewriting before making Johnny Appleseed knapsack craft booklets.

She recorded some of their responses on sticky notes
and added them to the class chart.

Fall Johnny Appleseed activities and knapsack writing craft centered around this class anchor chart.

Then added a smaller sticky with the reasons why.
(She reported that making the chart was a snap,
 with all the included chart parts and titles!)

Johnny Appleseed writing crafts and minilessons.

My second graders made a different
version of the craft.

Johnny Appleseed knapsack craft booklet for first and second graders.  We wrote mini-biographies inside.
 After reading lots of books about
Johnny Appleseed we wrote mini-biographies inside
our Who Was Johnny Appleseed? knapsack booklets.

Johnny Appleseed knapsack craft booklet for first and second graders.  We wrote mini-biographies inside.

It's a great little set of minilessons, printables
and this fun knapsack craft.  I recently added
the class chart, all the chart parts and
a few more printables so be sure to check it out!
If you've previously purchased this resource
 be sure to redownload to get the add-ons!

Stay tuned for some fun ideas for incorporating
apples into your grammar and word study!

Follow by email so you don't miss
the next post in this series,
Favorite Apple Activities for Every Subject!

Easy Apple Charts & Free Math Printable


What’s In Johnny’s Appleseed’s Knapsack?
Collective Nouns Apple Activities, 
Grammar Craft & Interactive Notebook
What’s In Johnny’s Appleseed’s Knapsack?
Apple Books & Videos for Kids
Publish Student's Writing in An Apple Tree!
Free Happy Kids Apple Basket Behavior Craft 

Follow me on Pinterest and
Instagram, too for more classroom ideas!

Happy teaching!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Easy Charts for Apple Activities & Free Math Printable

September is always a festival of apple activities 
in my classroom! There are so many fun ways to 
incorporate apples across the curriculum. Over the 
next couple of weeks I'll share some of my favorite 
apple themed ideas for every subject 
that are always a hit!

It's a recipe for FUN so be sure to follow along 
and don't forget to grab the freebies! 

Easy Reusable Apple Charts

These simple, DIY apple charts are a snap to make!
I use them for all sorts of things and my class loves
to write on them.


Easy reusable apple shaped anchor charts with FREE math printable

 For Apple Activities In Any Subject

Display September Poems
Target Spelling Patterns
Highlight Sight Words
Focus On A Letter of the Week
Use It As A Bubble Map To Describe
Acknowledge a Star Student with Pick of the Week
List Apple Words
Daily Journal Writing Prompts
Model Math Strategies
Display Daily Math Problems

Making The Chart Is Easy

Draw an apple shape as large or as small as 
you need on red butcher paper.  Add a stem and
leaf with construction paper and laminate
it as one piece. Write on and wipe
off with Mr. Sketch markers.

Easy to make apple shaped reusable anchor chart with FREE math printable

I've found that Mr. Sketch markers work the
 best on laminated charts.  Since they're a 
water color base, they wipe off easily with
a damp paper towel. 
No more smudgy charts!

Easy to make apple shaped reusable anchor chart with FREE math printable

One of the ways I use my chart is to 
post an apple related problem of the day.

Easy apple chart with FREE editable problem of the day math printable



Students solve this problem on whiteboards 
or in their math journals by drawing the strategy  
they used, showing a second strategy they
 could use, writing a math problem,
and then an answer statement.  I make 
sure to have them restate the question 
in their answers.

Free editable math printable. Add your own apple themed problem of the day!

If you don't use math journals or just need 
something for a sub, I've put together an 
you can use.  To create a file of word problems, 
insert a duplicate slide into the editable PowerPoint 
and add a new problem.  Be sure to save it so that
next year, you'll be all set! Click here to download 
this free Johnny Appleseed math printable.

I hope you'll take a try at making these charts.
You can make all sorts of seasonal shapes!

Easy reusable apple shaped anchor charts with FREE math printable

Be sure to follow along by email so you
don't miss these next posts in this series:
Favorite Apple Activities for Every Subject!

Easy Apple Activity Charts & Free Math Printable
Apple Grammar Craft & Interactive Notebook
Apple Books & Videos for Kids
Free Happy Kids Apple Basket Behavior Craft 
Apple Up Your Fall Bulletin Boards!
Publish Kids' Writing in an Apple Tree!

 Find me on Pinterest for lots more classroom
ideas and teaching tips!  Find me on Instagram too!

Happy Teaching!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Fostering the Home-School Connection Through Friday Letters

Teachers everywhere embrace the importance of
a solid connection between home and school and
strive to build positive and respectful parent partnerships.
All teachers understand the value of volunteers
and the need for parent involvement and support,
but not all parents can spend time in our classrooms.

Fostering the home-school connection through Friday Letters. Tips for using this simple, yet powerful tool with your students -plus a free letter writing starter kit with parent  note to get you started.

Connect Parents to Your Classroom
Every parent wants to know what their child is learning
and how they are doing in school. One fun and informative
way to keep your parents connected to your classroom
is through Friday letters. Every Friday my students 
write a letter home telling their parents and families all
about their week at school. 

Fostering the home-school connection through Friday Letters. Tips for using this simple, yet powerful tool with your students -plus a free letter writing starter kit with parent  note to get you started.

Parents respond by writing a letter back to their child on 
the reverse-side of the page.

Fostering the home-school connection through Friday Letters. Tips for using this simple, yet powerful tool with your students -plus a free letter writing starter kit with parent  note to get you started.

Students return the letters to school where we file
and save them.  At the end of the year, I bind all
of their letters into keepsake books for students to
take home.  

Fostering the home-school connection through Friday Letters. Tips for using this simple, yet powerful tool with your students -plus a free letter writing starter kit with parent  note to get you started. 

A Simple, Yet Powerful Tool
Friday Letters.  Writing a letter every Friday to
Mom and Dad. It's such a simple little thing,
but a powerful one. Besides cultivating a
consistent connection between my students' homes
and my classroom, I learn a lot from these letters.
They give me weekly insight into my students' thoughts and feelings, excitements and anxieties,
about school, their friends, what happens at home,
and even how they feel about the food in the cafeteria. 

Friday letters give me a window into things that my
students may not tell me, but tell their parents.
They afford me opportunities to see where I can
quietly intervene or partner with parents to help
a child socially, support them more emotionally,
or even to celebrate accomplishments outside
of school that I may not otherwise know about.

Skills At A Glance
Academically speaking, I can see at a glance who
is mastering and applying a variety of skills:
  • writing conventions
  • grammar
  • capitalization 
  • correct use of punctuation
  • complete sentences
  • writing the date
  • use of transition words
  • compound sentences
  • vocabulary knowledge
Review The Format Of A Friendly Letter 
At the beginning of the year, we review the format of,
and how to write, a friendly letter.  This is something our
first graders learn, but I always spend time reteaching
the purpose, the parts and the punctuation of a friendly
letter. My goal is to get them started towards writing
these letters independently.

What Can I Write About?
At the beginning of the year when I introduce our writing 
journal routines, one of the first mini-lessons we do is 
"What Can I Write About?"  We make a list on the first page 
of the journals of all the things they can write about.
These come in handy on Fridays, too.



For the first few weeks, we brainstorm whole group
and list on the board all of the things we learned and
did during the week they could write about in their
letters. Sometimes we make a big bubble 
map and sometimes we make a list. Sometimes
we even make a tree map with the days of the week
as the categories.  These are quick teachable moments
to talk about the purpose of different graphic organizers
and how they can help us plan our writing.
Later, they will do this on their own in their writing journals. 
The one thing we always do the same 
every.single.week is to end our letters with a question.
This gives the recipient a start to writing back.

Make It Manage Itself
This routine will manage itself after a few weeks
of practicing the procedure. I train my class to file 
their letters all going the same way, behind their 
previous letter.  They can do this when they first 
arrive or at the end of the day. I found this filing cart 
at a garage sale years ago and it's been perfect for storing 
and saving students' writing portfolios.   A crate would 
work well also.  

Friday Letters manage themselves once you train your students.

Each hanging file has a student number and a file folder 
(their writing portfolio) inside.  The Friday letters go 
behind the file folder. At the end of the year I even have 
my students go through their own letters to make sure 
they're set and organized before binding.

Managing Friday Letters and writing portfolios.

If you don't have access to a comb binder a heavy duty
stapler works great too.

But the Year Has Already Started
It's easy to get started writing Friday letters
with your class.  You don't have to start at
the beginning of the year, you can start
anytime.  Just send home this parent letter
explaining how it works and start writing!

Fostering the home-school connection through Friday Letters. Tips for using this simple, yet powerful tool with your students -plus a free letter writing starter kit with parent  note to get you started.


Download this Free Friday Letters Starter Kit
to save you time and get you going. This editable
file includes the parent letter and book cover
that I use plus some back-to-school stationery
to get you started. Download it now or pin this for later.

Fostering the home-school connection through Friday Letters. Tips for using this simple, yet powerful tool with your students -plus a free letter writing starter kit with parent  note to get you started.

For the rest of the year, I use lined stationery from
a combination of these Scholastic books.
You can use my affiliate links to purchase the
same books from Amazon.   These come in really
handy and my class loves all the different themes!


I hope this post has been helpful as you consider ways
you can continue to foster your home-school connections
and parent partnerships!

Fostering the home-school connection through Friday Letters. Tips for using this simple, yet powerful tool with your students -plus a free letter writing starter kit with parent  note to get you started.

For more ideas and resources on this topic follow my
Home/School Connection board on Pinterest!

Be sure to follow by email by signing up below and
get all new posts sent directly to your inbox!

Happy teaching!

Monday, August 1, 2016

5 Fun Favorite Activites for the First Week of School

As back to school season draws near, I know you're already 
thinking about your first week of school.  What can I do
to make my new class comfortable?  How can we all get 
to know each other? Where can I snag a snapshot of 
everybody's ability level?
But the biggest question is 
How can I make our first week FUN?

Are you looking for a fun and full first week back to school? Click to visit this post and see 5 of my favorite first week activities, games, and crafts that will have your kids laughing, learning, and getting to know all about you and each other!

Here are 5 of my favorites to make sure you
have a FULL first week of FUN!

Break the Ice With 
You're Finally Here!

Lots of back to school activities for kids with the best first week of school book ever, You're Finally Here! We started with this hilarious anchor chart and did lots of activities all week!

Break the ice by making them laugh
with the MOST perfect first day book ever, You're Finally Here!
by Melanie Watt.  Set the premise that you've been waiting 
and waiting and waiting for them to arrive!

We made these adorable character writing crafts to go with the best back to school book for kids ever, You're Finally Here!

Hilarious activities, games, crafts, roam the rooms 
and writing opportunities will have your kids giggling and 
laughing to break the ice in no time! 

The best back to school book and first week activities pack ever! My class LOVED You're Finally Here!


Check out last year's post to see our first week of school 
with  You're Finally Here!

Purchase the book from IndigoBooks 


Getting to Know You With Math
Send home a math autobiography the first day of school
so parents can help their student gather math related
information about themselves!

Math About Me math autobiography page for students to use to describe themselves using math! Available in a Math About Me  set on TPT

Students then use their math information to write math
related sentences, word problems, and drawings to describe
themselves using math!

Math About Me math craft- Such a fun getting to know you, all about me activity where kids describe themselves using math!


Math About Me math craft- Such a fun getting to know you, all about me activity where kids describe themselves using math!

These make a really fun (and standards based!) display for
your Back to School Night or beginning of the year open house!

Math About Me math craft- Such a fun getting to know you, all about me activity where kids describe themselves using math!

Find the Math About Me resource I used.


Set Goals for the New School Year
Another of my favorite first week activities are these little 
goal setting guys and gals. 

Are you looking for a fun and full first week back to school? Click to visit this post and see 5 of my favorite and most fun activities, games, and crafts that will have your kids laughing, learning, and getting to know all about you and each other!

We make these Go for the Goal sort-of-self-portraits 
and display them all year. 
This year they're wearing Olympic medals 
that say Go for the Goal!

Favorite first week of school activities for kids. Have your students set back to school goals inside this Olympics themed craft!


We make these goal setting crafts the first week of school and display them all year. Such a fun back to school activity for 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade!

This one looks EXACTLY like the child who made it.
And I love her goal for the year!

We make these goal setting crafts the first week of school and display them all year. Such a fun back to school activity for 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade!

This one is my all-time favorite!


"My goal is to skip 2 grades so I can be a fourth grader."

My students make these selfie style goal setting crafts the first week of school.  I dsiplay them all year and the kids revisit their goals at the end of the year!


Set Up A First Day Photo Booth

First Day Photo Booth bulletin board set for PreK-5th grade from Simply Kinder

Capture memories on the first day of school with a first day 
photo booth!  This adorable chalkboard photo booth
from Simply Kinder an be used for PreK-5th grade!

Fun first day (or last day) photo booth with a Superhero theme! The set also includes an editable card.  My parents will treasure these!

If Superheroes are your style, check out this fun  
Superhero themed photo booth set with signs to use 
on the first AND/OR last day! 

Fun first day (or last day) photo booth with a Superhero theme! The set also includes an editable card.  My parents will treasure these!

Use the editable card template included to send home 
a first day picture and message that your parents will treasure!

Play A Get To Know Your 
Teacher Game 

Editable all About My Teacher first week of school roam the room from Angie Neal on TPT- Fall Into First
Help your new class get to know you by posting 
answers about yourselfall around the room. 
 The questions are on the students' answer sheet!
I've done this really fun All About My Teacher roam the room 
from Angie Neal at Fall Into First for a several years now
 and my class always loves it! Angie's bee theme
 and her brand new firsties are adorable!

Editable all About My Teacher first week of school roam the room from Angie Neal on TPT

The file is completely editable so you can make up 
your own questions on the student page and make 
answer cards to post around the room.


Editable all About My Teacher first week of school roam the room from Angie Neal on TPT

Get them up and moving as they roam the room trying to
find and match the questions to the answers on their page!

Editable all About My Teacher first week of school roam the room from Angie Neal on TPT

You can have a lot of fun with this! 
(I've been 29 for several years now ha! ha!) 

Love the calm and clean look of this blue classroom decor. The labels give it a clean and consistent look. I really like the use of space with baskets inside a desk!
And of course, in case they couldn't already tell, 
by our blue classroom decor my favorite color is blue!

Those are my top 5 favorite first week of school activities!

Are you looking for a fun and full first week back to school? Click to visit this post and see 5 of my favorite and most fun activities, games, and crafts that will have your kids laughing, learning, and getting to know all about you and each other!

I hope you've found something you can use to
save you some time and plan a full week of fun!

For even more ideas head over to my
Back To School board on Pinterest.

Find @aroundthekampfire on Instagram and follow along!