My school (Santa Cruz Children’s School) celebrated its 20-year anniversary on Valentine’s Day by burying a time capsule in the school’s garden. Students filled the capsule with valentines expressing their hopes and dreams for the future. In the year 2018, on the school’s twenty-fifth anniversary, they will dig up and open the time capsule. My baby will be 5-years-old by then and my preschooler will be eight. Wow. They will both be students at SCCS and- I’m sure- eager to dig! The V-day ceremony was moving and inspiring, and it got me thinking… I should do a time capsule project with my class at the end of the year! How have I never done this before? My students can document life in kindergarten or first grade, capturing a moment in time, and I can seal the information in an envelope that I’ll tuck away in a safe place and hand back to them at their sixth grade graduation. From idea to blog in just four days. I’m so excited about doing this project in May! Get in on the fun; download my dirt-free time capsule here.
Because I’m on maternity leave, I’ve lost track of the school days, but I know the 100th day is near because it’s always around Valentine’s Day. It’s even fallen on V-day a couple of times; double the fun! So this time of year, it’s all about numbers and love at school! On the 100th day my kinders bring in 100 items of their choice, grouped in ten groups of ten, twenty groups of five, or four groups of twenty-five, and my first graders write a 100-word autobiography. We walk to the fabric store near our school and buy ten 10-inch pieces of ribbon to make a total of 100 inches and also complete a number project that we started on the first day of school- The Number Wall. The classroom number wall is the numbers from 1-100 each written on a post-it and attached to the wall in ten rows of ten. The students’ version is a blank grid that they add to every five school days. On the fifth day of school they write the numbers 1-5 with a pencil in the top row of page #1, making sure that they write their numbers right like I taught them! After I check their numbers, they trace in marker. We designate different colors for the ones, fives, tens, and twenty-fives to help identify and “count by” these numbers. The colors match the colors on the number wall. On the tenth day of school, they write the numbers 6-10 in the top row of page #2. On the fifteenth day of school, they write the numbers 11-15 in the second row of page #1, and so on… On the 100th day, they write the final numbers (96-100) and then we tape all six sheets together so that each student has their own number wall to take home. I use this activity as an ongoing project, but you could do it all on the 100th day if you’d rather. Visit my TPT store to download my FREE Blank 100 Grid.
Children are full of imagination and observation. I like to capture their thoughts and ideas and put them on paper… in mini-books that they write, illustrate, and take home to read to their families. I print and bind books for my students using a one-page document that has three lines for writing on the bottom and room for illustrating on the top. My students love to write their own fictional stories, but my favorite project is an “All About Me” book in which my students write eight pages (one sentence per page), each beginning with a different prompt: I am… I like… I have… I want… I wish… I know… I see… I think. It’s delightful to see how they complete the sentences. Download this FREE document today at my Teachers Pay Teachers store and see what your students come up with tomorrow!
What kid doesn’t love a birthday party?! My featured homework kit for February is The Birthday Bag. With this kit, children pretend they are making a cake using measuring cups and water, then they get to “decorate” one on paper. Other activities include exploring numbers with numeral candles, doing math with gift bows, and creating an invitation. I won’t have to do any pretending this month since my oldest son’s 3rd birthday is tomorrow (can’t believe it!) and my 33rd is a week later. Okay, enough blogging. I’ve got a volcano cake to make…!
Would you like instructions for making The Birthday Bag, related worksheets, and an activities list so parents will know how to use it with their children? You can request them through the “contact” tab on my website and I will send you the PDF files via email. My kits make homework magical for children. I hope you will take the time to make one and experience the joy and excitement they will bring to your classroom (or your home)!