Saturday, May 5, 2012

End of Year Filler #2

Here is another time filler or center activity:

Picture writing
Step 1: get pictures- from magazines, calendars, greeting cards,pokemon cards, baseball cards, anything and everything
Step 2: hand out - or if using in a center, put in a box
Step 3: students write about the pictures.  For my firsties, I wanted them to write 5 sentences. 1 descriptive sentence. 1 question.1 exclamatory sentence. 2 sentences about the tells about the picture and answers a "wh" question.
Some of the best writing I ever got was from this activity.  They loved my example and couldn't wait to get their picture.

from Pat Pavelka - check out her video here

Friday, May 4, 2012

Planning for Next Year

I know...The school year has not officially ended and I am writing about next year, but this was one tough year.  Hence, my non-existent posts. So I really need to look forward to something right now other than summer.

I found a wonderful site ( through a teacher friend and I have to say I am hooked.  I am so ready to start planning my classroom decor.  I am planning on going with the bird theme right now, but there is a lot of time between now and the beginning of next year.

I especially like her ideas about decorating to keep a fire marshall happy.   

Check it out! You won't be disappointed.

Hope it helps.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

End of Year Tip

Are you looking for fillers to review your year that kids can do independently and leave you time to complete all those end of year closing tasks? 

Here is a tip:

Top Ten lists (from
Step 1: Have kids write a list of ten things - you provide the topic. 
Step 2: Then after they have generated a list give them a list of activities to do with the list:
draw a picture, write a description using adjectives, use in a sentence, put in ABC order, catergorize the words, write as questions, the list of possibilities are endless

Today, I had about 30 minutes of math time to fill and I pulled this out. We are studying length (shorter and longer).  I wrote on the board Top Ten Things that are longer than a pencil.  Then draw them, put in ABC order, and use in a sentence.  I handed out an 18x24 construction paper and let them go.  I got some really interesting ideas, like cars, whales, shoes, bookcases, schoolboxes.  They were challenging each other to try to think of things that others didn't already have. 

To watch a video of Pat Pavelka explaining in more detail her wonderful idea, go here.

Have fun!