Five for Friday - May 15, 2015

I am up suuuper late (it's 4 A.M.) so this is pretty much Five for Fraturday but I haven't technically slept yet so Five for Friday it is! :) I remembered pretty late! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching as usual! Any other night owls out there??

 So I finally posted something I've been working on that I have been SO excited about...

A whole year bundle of writing crafts that are NO PREP. None. Zilch. You just print. The answer to all of my how-does-she-have-time-to-do-all-those-crafts-that-make-the-cutest-bulletin-board prayers. :)

So I made a bunch of different ones. You can find the bundle here on TpT.

I am obsessed with them because they are NO PREP. Literally. You just print them and hand them to your kids.. THEY write, color, cut, and glue. Instant bulletin board.. or just for fun!

You can read about them and see some of the other ones on my most recent blog post: Writing Crafts that are no prep... Seriously!

You can also check out some of the packs of them I have directly on TpT here: Writing Crafts

They're SO much fun!

I have them for pretty much every topic & every type of writing (narrative, how to, opinion, mystery, etc.) because I refuse to ever again cut out (and make poor Mr. Giraffe cut out) 48 monster ears, 48 monster eyes, etc. to do one little craft ;) Okay maybe not but it's definitely nice to just be able to grab a craft for any topic that doesn't take any time to prep and hardly any time to do.

Soooo this happened.

I got A LOT of hair chopped off this week. A lot a lot! It feels really nice to get all that weight off, especially now that it's summer. Long overdue!

Working on reading fluency and keeping it fun can be a challenge so I've been trying to find new ways to make it fun. So I've been making Reading Fluency and Sequencing Puzzles for the different sounds. Here are some examples of the CVCe ones:

For the puzzles, students read the small passage and then work to sequence the events in the story. I love these because they present fluency in a fun puzzle-y way (there I go with that puzzle-y word again :)) and students have to understand what they're reading in order to do the puzzle.

They were a hit so I've made several packs of them:
and more so I made a big Reading Fluency Passages Puzzles Bundle too!

Here are some of the Bossy R ones...

I just love anything that gets kids reading and especially if it tricks them into thinking it's a game. Tricky, tricky. :)

I also have a lot of phonics based reading passages too! They're fun as well, but I think the puzzles give it a little bit more of a game feel! :)

EDIT: I also love putting the black and white versions of these puzzles into Phonics Fluency Notebooks! That's a great activity to practice a ton of reading and phonics skills in one. I recommend checking out the pictures and ideas in that post if you've ever considered making notebooks for reading. It also gives you more looks at these puzzles too if you're interested in using them.

This week has been all about 2 digit addition and subtraction (without regrouping)! Here's one of the fun centers from this week - Just Sum Monkeyin' Around! Basically you have monkey mats with sums on them and you give the right banana to the right monkey. Simple but fun! This is included in my First Grade Math Unit 13 if you want to grab it and a bunch of other differentiated worksheets and activities for 2 digit addition and subtraction concepts (also including 10 more 10 less, adding and subtracting multiples of 10, and adding and subtracting 2 digit and 1 digit numbers). 

Mother's Day was this week! I usually am not a fan of Mother's Day, although I've always wished my dad a Happy Mr. Mom's Day since like elementary school, but we got to spend Mother's Day with Mr. Giraffe's mom and have her over for dinner so that was really nice! We tried to take her out but she didn't want to fight the crowds so we cooked for her instead.

We grilled up some chicken and steak kabobs and it was really nice weather so we got to eat outside by the pool so it was fun! When I say we grilled, I mean Mr. Giraffe grilled. He was cute and made different kinds of kabobs to suit the different tastes. You can see the middle ones have peppers and onions for Mr. Giraffe and I because we eat peppers and onions on our peppers and onions :) Then, the left is meat and potatoes only for his meat-and-potatoes dad and then the right is mostly veggies for his mom. Super yummy! 

It's crazy it's May already, isn't it??

I hope everyone had a great week!! I'm looking forward to reading all of the other Five for Friday posts. I'd love to hear from you in the comments! :)

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Writing Crafts that are NO PREP... seriously!

I feel like every time I look at any first grade or kindergarten blog or website, I see super cute writing crafts that they did with their students and just think.. where in the world do they find the time?! The time to prep it OR the time in the school day to actually do the craft. I am amazed by them and maybe there's some super secret trick for how to do writing crafts quickly and without hours of prep beforehand but if there is, I sure don't know it!

SO I bring to you... NO PREP Writing Crafts!

They are just about my favorite thing ever!

All you have to do is print. Seriously. No more cutting out 24 green ears and 48 yellow eyes or whatever for a craft! Students do the writing and coloring so they turn out super unique and cute. 
They make a GREAT colorful bulletin board!

The 4 steps students take to make each writing craft are...

                     Copy their writing onto the lines                              Color the picture

Cut it all out as one piece

 Glue it onto construction paper

As you can see, they are much quicker to make than typical crafts which is another thing I love about them. With everything you have to fit in a day, the fun stuff can easily get tossed out.

I make each prompt in 3 different levels: 4 lines, 5 lines, and 6 lines. All of the examples pictured (except for "If I Met an Alien" and "The Best Field Trip") are the easiest version with 4 lines. As the writing page levels get harder, the picture takes up less space on the page while the lines take up more. There are "EXTRA" pages included for all 3 levels so students can add pages so they can write as much as they want no matter what level you give :) That way you can pick the writing level of your class (or individual students) to make it the perfect fit!

To add an extra page or pages, students just continue their writing on the extra pages. Then, they cut them out and glue them underneath the page connected to the picture. See the empty white space at the top on the extra pages? Have them run their glue stick across that and press it to the back side of their craft.

This causes more of a book look where they can lift the pages to continue reading their story like this:

Above is my cheesy example with the little spider I drew on the cover :) This is an example for opinion writing where students describe their favorite book. I think it's also fun to have them draw the title, author, and a picture for the cover like I did above to personalize it more (I meant to underline Spiders but put it in quotations instead - please ignore that :)) but that's up to you!

I have these for all different types of writing and topics!

For more opinion writing, you could take multiple topics and have students justify which is better. You could do it with the animal prompts, sports prompts, etc. 

For example, let your students pick either the Fall, Summer, Winter, or Spring craft and write about which is the best season and why like below. It makes a great display!

You could also use these during each season to describe the season.

Most of the pictures are pretty easy to cut out but for pictures that have detailed edges, you just teach your students to cut around the edges like the above pictures. If you think they might have any trouble doing that, just draw a line around the picture where you want them to cut before you run them through the copy machine.

Do you have to teach How To writing? Make it fun with a craft! To make a cute bulletin board display, print the boy version for your boys and the girl version for your girls so they can each color it to look like themselves. Then, let them pick the color construction paper they want to make a really colorful display! 


I made them for a lot of fun topics too & they're really quick so they can be a great Friday Fun activity or something to throw in a sub folder or in your oh-no-I-didn't-plan-anything-and-they're-coming-in-from-recess bucket. :) 

Here's some space examples...

Space writing crafts that are great activities to learn and write about space

(Notice the middle one has the 5 lines - middle level - template)

What they'd do if they were a superhero...

etc. etc.

They're also great for non-fiction writing for science or social studies. For example, after you learn about sharks, have students do the shark writing craft to demonstrate their learning. Don't forget you can have students add extra pages or do the longer writing pages to make it more rigorous. 

Sharks writing craft that kids just write color cut and glue for an easy no prep craft

I am working on making them for all of the holidays :) I also try to make a boy version and girl version when possible. This is the girl version of the 4th of July.

4th of July writing activity that's an easy 4th of July craft kids just write color cut and glue

Here's an example of a boy/girl version of the same craft: (sorry the color quality isn't that great on this one)

I actually included 2 different girl options and 2 different boy options for this particular activity - this is one of each.

Is it sad that I made so many examples? They were actually fun to make so I just kept coloring :)

So if you want to have a writing craft for every type of writing and for a lot of topics,
grab them ALL in my NO PREP Writing Crafts BUNDLE!

I also have a lot of the crafts available in smaller packs you can see HERE. All of those are available in the bundle and there are some crafts you can only exclusively get in the bundle so I do recommend the bundle if you love these! 

To check out some more of my writing crafts by month, check out these posts:

Thanks for listening to me ramble about my writing crafts. I'm really excited about offering a way for teachers to have awesome bulletin boards and students to do awesome learning crafts without all the hours of prep and I-lost-one-of-my-ear-pieces drama :) I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Follow me on Pinterest for more teaching ideas!

Also - don't forget to join Miss Giraffe's Class so you never miss out on fun ideas and exclusive free stuff from me only for subscribers!