Powered by Blogger.

Pumpkin Day

We have been learning all about properties of matter in science and learning about pumpkins! On Friday we brought it all together and had Pumpkin Day! I send this note home asking each child to bring a pumpkin. I sent a simple note home asking for pumpkins.

We will spent the whole day learning about our pumpkin!

Download this free My Pumpkin printable HERE. 

We will also learn about the pumpkin life cycle! Here are a few of my favorite books to read:

My students will also make their own book about the pumpkin life cycle. They will write one sentence to go with each picture of the pumpkin life cycle. 

Check out this book HERE. 

We may even plant a pumpkin seed! They grow super fast! : )

My students can also make a Story Book Pumpkin! Students decorate a pumpkin to look like a storybook character and our librarian displays them in the hallway. I love them so much!

One year I created this Pete the Cat Rocking in my School Shoes Pumpkin! 

To encourage my students to participate, I like to give out homework passes. 

Download this Storybook Pumpkin Homework Pass FREE HERE. 

Pumpkin pie and pumpkin play-doh is always a hit too! What are your favorite pumpkin activities? 

Back to School Basics, Week 8

Y'ALL! This is it! We are down to our final week of Back to School Basics. We have spent 8 weeks doing little tasks to start the year off ahead. I really hope you are feeling a little bit more ready for August and all of the back to school craziness! This post does contain affiliate links.

This week's task is to: Plan your bulletin boards! When I plan bulletin boards, I try to create boards that will last the entire school year...or longer! 

I use this board for a photo backdrop at the beginning of the year. I used this amazing paper and just printed the letters myself ! It's so happy and bright! I will later take the letters off and just use it to display student work!

In the hallway, I always have a Meet the Authors board! I've done it 7 years in a row! It features student biographies and a place for work to be displayed. I get SO many compliments on it. You can read all about it HERE. 

Inside my classroom, I have boards set up for each subject and use them to display anchor charts! I love that they are used by my students and Here is an example of my Reading Board:

The text connections posters can be found HERE.  

Want to know a little secret? I have kept my boards the exact same for three years now. Really! They still look amazing too! My secret is this paper! It is seriously the best and looks just as bright years later! It is SO much easier to use than the butcher paper roll that I can't ever cut straight. It comes in lots of colors too! Way worth it! 

Oh and I'm sure you have heard by now that the BIG Back to School TPT Sale starts tomorrow! My entire store is on SALE! It's a great time to stock up on materials to make your school year easier like these math journal problems, vocabulary cards or Reading Notebook Essentials!

Thanks so much for spending your summer with me! I really hope that has been helpful!  Here is the entire summer series if you are just joining us! 

Back to School Basics, Week 7

Y'ALL! We are getting down to our final few weeks of Back to School Basics. I hope you are feeling a little bit more ready for August and all of the back to school craziness! This post does contain affiliate links.

The first day/week/month of school is always just a blur! The beginning of the year is just crazy and SO exhausting. Let's get a head start on planning! Your challenge this week is to start planning that first day and those first few weeks of school.  Here are a few tips and ideas to help you plan that first day and make it go as smoothly as possible!

Create a photo booth or at least take some pictures! Oh how I LOVE those precious first day of school pictures! It is amazing to see how much the kids grow in just a year and I love including them in my end of the year photo albums.  This is also a fun ice breaker for the kids to be silly and take a few fun pictures together. 

Props make it extra fun for your students! These are the cutest and can be used year after year! Don't forget big sunglasses too! 

I created this back drop on a bulletin board in the hallway with a tablecloth and paper a few years ago. Last year I found this amazing paper and gave the board a little update! It's so happy and bright!

Oh, I also highly recommend printing pictures throughout the school year, especially if you will be putting together a photo album for each student at the end of the year. Don't forget to take a class picture for the End of the Year slide show too!

Make a memory book. I have a big box of my personal school keepsakes in the attic and you better believe I have a precious little memory book I made the first week of first grade. Here are a few pictures of the memory book I use. I love how simple it is and is requires NO prep from you! Just print and go! 

I use this memory book as my writing for the entire first week of school. It's super simple and is a sweet keepsake. This year I want to hold onto each child's memory book and give it to them at the end of the year so they can see how much they have grown. 

It is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store for KindergartenFirst and Second Grade. 

Make some name tags. The other teachers will thank you! After Meet the Teacher, I usually have all of my students names down, but I only have around 22 to learn. Think about the poor P.E. coach (especially if he or she is new to the school!) who has a lot of names to learn. The teachers with cafeteria and recess duty would probably also appreciate name tags too! You can also put them in a name tag badge and save them for substitute days! I love these bright colors and they come in neon too!

Use a book. This is my new go to book for the first day of school! It's new enough that most of the kids haven't heard it before and it's just PERFECT for younger students. 

It is SO cute and sure to make your kids smile.  We will be using A Tiger Tail the whole first week for different activities. 

My book companion includes a craft and different reading responses to choose from!
One of my favorites is this cute class book inspired by the story. I love class books! They really send the message to students that their work is valuable and worthy of being shared. They love when I read the book aloud and come to the page they created. The books are always a hit in the library for many months to come too!

They have the cutest and most creative ideas!

Of course we will be sequencing the story too! 
This story sequencing can be downloaded FREE in the product preview HERE.  There are tons of other printables and response sheets included in the unit too!

I love these books for the first week too! Click on any book to order or check it out!


  Take a tour. When I taught Kindergarten we chased The Gingerbread Man around the school to learn all of the buildings and the kids loved it! I also created this around the school passport for students to collect stickers or badges as they tour the school. This is a great idea if many of your students have never attended your school before! 

It's also a great idea to take pictures of the places you visit in the school and important people to help students learn important names. You guessed it, I turn this into a class book!

Introduce routines that will be used for the entire year. I try to start class routines from Day 1, although you will be reviewing them for many days after that. : ) One of the most important routines is math journals! 

Everyday, my students solve a problem in their math journals to kick off our math lesson that day. From Day 1, I teach my students where to put the problem in their journal, how write the date on each page, etc. You can read more about math journals HERE!

It's a great time to review previously taught concepts or challenge students. I am SO excited to already have ALL of my math journal problems prepped and ready for the school year! It will save me SO much time for sure! Check it out HERE. 

I also introduce and set up Writing Workshop folders, Reading Notebooks and Science Journals sometime the first week too!

You can grab these labels HERE. 

Read more about the start of Writing Workshop HERE. 

Read more about Reading Notebooks and how essential they are in my classroom HERE

You can grab this free HERE or check out more beginning of the year science!

If you are going to be using technology this year, be sure to check these out too! Computer logging in is a great routine to start on those first few days!

Need more ideas? Be sure to follow my First Day of School Pinterest Board! I will be continuing to add to it throughout the month! : ) Go ahead and start on those first day plans!