24 April 2016

Fun Mother's Day Writing Activity & Craft Ideas

Getting my kids to enjoy writing can be a challenge. Anytime we can do a fun activity that includes writing practice, I consider it a win!
This cute Mother's Day page is a fun way to get kids writing, and it usually ends up being a great keepsake. Older kids can write their own answers in. Young kids can dictate their answers and have someone write their answers for them.
You can get this free activity HERE!

If you also want to make a cute craft for Mother's Day but don't want to deal with finger paints, (because let's face it, those handprint activities are cute, but can be a big mess, especially if you have a whole class full of kiddos!) here are some great ideas.

Put hearts on the wall and take pictures of each kid in this position, like they are blowing kisses.

Cupcake Liner Flower from I Heart Crafty Things

Salt Dough Fingerprint Flowers - Meaningful Mama
Salt Dough Fingerprint Flowers from www.meaningfulmama.com

10 April 2016

How to Get Kids to Love Poetry

April is National Poetry Month!  Poetry can be fun for kids to read, but scary when it comes time to write it on their own. Here are some tips and ideas to help kids look forward to and enjoy writing poetry!

1. Read poetry to them. Not just during National Poetry Month, but all year long. The more exposure kids have to different kinds of poetry, the more comfortable they will be with it. Consider having a "Poem of the Week" and make it a part of your routine as morning work or in a literacy center.

2. Give them a chance to respond. How did the poem make them feel? Which parts did they like or not like? Let them learn how to express their opinions about something and give reasons why.

3. Model how to write poetry, and practice composing poems together as a class.

4. Let them write about what interests them. Every kid is an expert on something, even if it's the latest video game or TV show. Have them write poems about a character, or how they feel while playing a certain game. Find out what evokes emotion in them, and let them write about that.

5. Brainstorm before you start. Have students think about their topic and write down nouns, adjectives, and verbs that describe the topic. This will give them a great reference to look at while they are composing and they will be less likely to feel "stuck."

6. Celebrate each other. It can be vulnerable to write poetry and share it with others. Be sure to create an atmosphere that is encouraging and supportive when students are writing and sharing poetry.

Try this free activity from my Poetry Unit: Finding Text Evidence & Writing Poetry. It is a power packed activity, full of fun and learning. Students will read about a type of poetry (cinquain), read an example, answer a few questions, citing text evidence to support their answers, and use the prompt to create their own poem!

The free download can be found HERE or by clicking on the pictures below.


Poetry is an important part of every culture, and it's our job to encourage a love of reading it and writing it in our classrooms!

05 April 2016

Invitation to Play

I have recently started setting up an "Invitation to Play" in the afternoon for the kids. These are tubs of materials that they can explore, imagine, and create with. While the younger ones definitely get more excited about it, my 8 year old son still enjoys playing once he gets into it!

Here are a couple we have done this week: Creating flowers with playdoh, beads, and construction paper. You could also use pipe cleaners and fake leaves, but we didn't have any, so we just used the paper.

Another day we played with our plastic eggs. I put some in a tub with different noodle shapes, and some in a different tub with some kinetic sand. 

I'm so excited to come up with more of these ideas. I'm going to try and incorporate some STEM and problem solving activities as well. Could you use ideas like these in your classroom? I think it would be great to try!