Author Archives: Lessons for Little Ones by Tina O'Block

About Lessons for Little Ones by Tina O'Block

Prek & kindergarten teacher for 18 years with a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. Curriculum author of resources for preschool - grade 2.

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100th Day of School Ideas & Treats

100th Day of School Ideas and Treats / Snacks

The 100th day of school is a huge deal in kindergarten!  The students have worked hard to learn how to count to 100 and it is now time to celebrate! I have had the pleasure of throwing many 100th day of school celebrations over the years so I thought I would share some of my favorite ideas and treats.

Have a surprise waiting on their desks.

I love seeing my students’ faces when they walk in and see their desks decorated with confetti and a special treat and award waiting for them.  Since it is early in the morning I like to use the mini-doughnut treat with a wafer cookie to represent the number 100.  I place them in a Ziploc bag with a treat bag topper that says “Donut” you know it’s the 100th Day of School? You have learned a “hole” bunch!”.  I also give them a special, personalized award as a keepsake to commemorate our special day.

100th Day of School treat bag topper and award / certificate

In years past when I taught both morning and afternoon kindergarten, I would give my afternoon class these cookie treats since they arrived later in the day. I would place a wafer cookie along with 2 fudge stripe cookies in a baggie and attach a “Happy 100th Day! You’re a smart cookie!” treat bag topper. I would give them a different personalized keepsake award than the morning class to “change it up” a bit and make each class feel special. 100th day of school smart cookie treat bag topper and Happy 100th Day award

Our 100th Day Mascot, Spot

Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge dog lover, soooooo I had to incorporate a dog into our celebration! Since I couldn’t bring my 2 adorable beagles in for the party (lol) I decided to have a spotted Dalmatian named Spot as our official 100th Day mascot.  The students had to give Spot exactly 100 spots using either a bingo dabber or a Q-Tip dipped in paint.

100 dots on Spot 100th day of school activity

I Would Like 100…, I Would Not Like 100… Pic Collage Activity

I wanted to incorporate some technology into our celebration so I had students complete this activity using the free app Pic Collage (we use the version called Pic Kids specially designed for younger children).  I showed students the following sentence starters – I would like to have 100… , I would not like to have 100…. We discussed it as a group along with some possible answers then students made their own versions in Pic Kids.  They typed in each sentence starter and then searched for pictures to complete each one. Since Pic Kids web search is safe, they could use it if they needed it.

100th day of school Pic Collage activity

AgingBooth & Chatter Pix Kids App Smashing Activity

Another technology activity that I really enjoy doing is using both the AgingBooth app along with Chatter Pix Kids to create a “When I am 100 years old” video (when we use more than 1 app to create a project we call it app smashing).  I make sure to get a picture of each student prior to the 100th day of school.  I then use the free app AgingBooth to make them look older and save the pictures. I would advise to do this step yourself instead of allowing the students to do it because the app has ads that come up which are games that young students may click. It also has a More Effects button that when clicked shows other apps which have names that are not appropriate for students.  Here is an example of a before and after. Students love seeing the older version of themselves!

AgingBooth app When I am 100 years old 100 days of school activity

The students then upload their photo to Chatter Pix Kids and record what they think they will be doing when they are 100 years old.  You can also make this a writing activity by having students finish the prompt “When I am 100 years old…”.  I felt it was easier for my kinders to verbalize their answers so we used Chatter Pix Kids.

When I am 100 Chatter Pix Kids app activity for the 100th day of school

I’m Celebrating 100 Days Crown Craft

It just wouldn’t be a celebration without crowns LOL! I used to purchase already made crowns years ago but then I saw the idea of allowing students to decorate their own and I wanted to try it.  Turns out that the students like decorating their own crowns much more than just putting on a crown that looks like everyone else’s because then they can have a personalized, unique looking one. I also like them better because they are very simple to make plus I don’t have to purchase new packs every year.  I simply copy the crown template I created onto cardstock, have students color and/or write on it, and then attach and size the strip to fit their heads. They are so proud to show everyone that they are celebrating a super special day!

100 Chart Secret Picture (Number)

This is such a fun and cute way to practice number recognition!  I call out the numbers in random order and the students have to find each number on their 100 charts and color them in.  When finished, they realize that it creates the number 100 (well some youngsters figured it out before the end lol).

100 chart secret number

Roll Your Way to 100

This activity is a fun way to practice estimating, counting, adding, subitizing, and number recognition all rolled into one (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun).  It can be done as a whole group, in pairs, or individually.  To begin, students estimate how many rolls of the dice they think it will take to reach 100 and write it at the top of the page. Then they roll the dice and color in the correct number of squares on the 100 chart using a different color crayon each time. After they reach 100, they count the number of colored sections that represent each roll of the dice and write it on the top of the paper and compare their prediction with the actual results.

100th day of school dice game

100 Chart Puzzles and 100 Piece Puzzles

Cut up a 100 chart into puzzle pieces and have students put it back together again for fun number sequencing practice.  I also put out some of our favorite 100 piece puzzles for students to put together.

100 chart puzzle

100th Day of School Snack Ideas

I have been doing the trail mix snack idea for years and still love it. Each student is responsible for bring in exactly 100 pieces of their ingredient for our trail mix (M&Ms, Cheerios, mini-pretzels, Chex cereal, Goldfish crackers, mini-marshmallows, raisins, chocolate chips, popcorn).  We combine them together to create a trail mix snack.

I have recently started adding this cute and healthy snack as well – a baby carrot and 2 cucumber slices to resemble the number 100.  I make them either the night before or first thing in the morning and place them in snack bags with the topper “Hip Hip Hooray! It’s the 100th Day!”.100th day of school healthy treat / snack idea

Can You Be Silent for 100 Seconds?

This is a fun challenge to do with students – see if they can be completely silent for 100 seconds!  You can also pair it with the next activity by telling them if they are quiet for 100 seconds they will get a $100 bill LOL.

 Personalized $100 Bills

100 dollar bill for the 100th day of school

Students love seeing their face on $100 bills! You can create these free at PhotoFunia.com (please note that you do NOT have to download anything – ignore the green download buttons – they are ads).  Click the Choose Photo button, upload your photo, and click Go.

Which Container Has 100 Items?

Set out 3 containers with candy and only fill one of them with exactly 100 candies.  Have students guess which container they think has exactly 100 candies in it.  Record their guesses.  After everyone has put in their guess, dump them out and count.

100th day of school estimation activity

100 Link Paper Chain

Before we create our paper chain, I have students estimate how long they think a 100 link paper chain will be.  I take them out in the hallway and show them where we will place the beginning of it and then have them go stand where they feel the chain will end.  I give them each a piece of masking tape to mark their spot and they write their names on it.  Then, we split up into groups.  Each group gets strips of paper with numbers on them and they must put them in order and link them together.  Next, we come together as a class and link all of the group chains in order from 1-100, take it out into the hallway, lay it down and see if anyone’s guess was close to the actual length (I couldn’t get a picture of the entire chain – here is a section with some of the students’ guesses beside it).

100th day of school paper chain

100th Day of School Take Home Treats

I also like to give students a little something special to take home to commemorate our special celebration. Here are some of the treats I have given out over the years.

100 Days Smarter treat tag and student award / certificate

100 Days Smarter Treat Tag and Certificate – The students always enjoy getting Smarties candy for being 100 days smarter – they think it is funny.  I like to pair it with this special certificate that students can keep for years to come.  Our grocery store sells the Smarties candy rolls in the bulk candy section and you can also find them here on Amazon.

100th day of school 100 Grand candy bar treat tag

You are Worth More Than 100 Grand Treat and Tag – Since the name of this candy bar goes with our 100 days party theme I had to use it as a treat!  I simply attach it to this cute tag!

 

100th day of school treat tag and editable student certificate

Crazy Straw Treat with Tag & Personalized Certificate – I like to give these crazy straws as a non-candy treat along with these personalized certificates.

100 days brighter treat / gift tag

You are 100 Days Brighter Glow Stick – This is another non-candy favorite treat idea. Attach this cute tag to a glow stick and brighten your students’ day before they go home.

If you would like to use the printable treat tags, editable awards / certificates, or printable crown with your students during your 100th day of school celebration they are available here.

100th Day of School Awards, Tags, Crown

 

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Student Gift Ideas & Gift Tags for Positive Reinforcement, Testing, Motivation

Back to School, Open House, Meet the Teacher Student Gift Tags

Student Birthday Gift Ideas & Tags, Certificates, & Brag Tags

Christmas Student Gift Ideas & Gift Tags

100th Day of School Ideas and Treats / Snacks

how to make a candy cane heart Christmas ornament

Candy Cane Heart Christmas Ornaments

Candy Cane Heart Christmas Ornament

These sweet ornaments are always a hit with parents and very simple to create! Take a holiday picture of each student. Print the pictures out on card stock or heavy, stiff paper. If you are unable to print the pictures directly onto heavy paper, print them on photo paper and then glue them onto heavier paper. The paper needs to be thick and stiff enough to hold the candy canes.

Give each student their holiday picture and have them glue 2 candy canes in the shape of a heart around their face.  I do a demonstration of this beforehand so they know where to put the glue and how much to use.

After the glue dries, use scissors or an exacto knife to trim the excess picture around the candy canes.  Attach a loop made of ribbon on the back.

 

Students can sign their name and write the year on the back if you wish.  And there you have it! An adorable parent Christmas gift!

how to make a candy cane heart Christmas ornament

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Christmas Candy Cane Bulletin Board – Have a Sweet Holiday

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Christmas Silhouette Window Decorations

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How to Turn a Coloring Page into a Stained Glass Window Decoration

Nativity Craft with Popsicle Sticks

 

Christmas Candy Cane Bulletin Board – Have a Sweet Holiday

This idea reviews patterns and makes a sweet holiday classroom display! Candy canes are a festive and fun way to review patterns with students. Give each student 2 candy cane patterns (one with the “hook” facing right and one with the “hook” facing left).  You can use blank ones or ones with lines for younger students.  I couldn’t find a blank candy cane pattern so I used a bubble font letter J for a pattern.  Have the students color each candy cane in a pattern. I give the students the freedom to choose any colors they wish as long as they make a pattern.  Some choose to use 2 colors, some choose to use 4 colors, some make both of their candy canes the same, others make each one different.

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Christmas candy cane bulletin board and craft

Glue a picture of each student in the middle of a green heart cut out shape (to make the heart pattern, I put 2 of the candy canes together to form a heart and traced around them).  Have the students glue their candy canes onto their heart to form a heart shaped frame.

candy cane heart craft for bulletin board

Hang the candy cane hearts on a bulletin board entitled “Have a SWEET holiday”.  I used a candy cane font I found on dafont.com.

Christmas candy cane bulletin board - Have a SWEET holiday

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Christmas Student Gift Ideas & Gift Tags

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Christmas silhouette window decorations

Christmas Silhouette Window Decorations

Christmas Silhouette Window Decoration Crafts

I love decorating my classroom windows with the look of stained glass for the holidays and the black contrast of these silhouette decorations with the brightly colored “stained glass” really create a stunning display.   If you would like to create these Christmas silhouette window decorations with your class, follow these steps.

Print the silhouette patterns onto cover stock or construction paper. Cut them out around the outside and the inside with scissors and an exacto knife.
I have included the silhouettes I used at the end of this post.  I posted them as individual JPEG pictures so that you could resize them to fit your needs.  Insert them into PowerPoint or your favorite editing program, size and group accordingly, and print.

If you are not able to print onto heavy paper or do not wish to print all of the silhouettes, make one pattern and trace it onto sheets of black construction paper. Cut out each silhouette.

tracing Christmas window silhouette onto black construction paper

You can choose to use either wax paper or contact paper.  I have used both with my younger students. Honestly I don’t have a preference, it basically depends on what I have available. If you don’t wish to have your students use glue then the contact paper option is best.

Trace around the outside of the silhouette pattern onto either the wax paper or the contact paper and cut it out.

If using wax paper, give each student watered down glue, a paintbrush, cut up tissue paper squares, and a wax paper cut out.  Have them paint some glue onto the wax paper and then place various colors of tissue paper on it.

how to create a Christmas silhouette window decoration

If using contact paper, give each student cut up tissue paper squares and a contact paper cut out.  Have them place tissue paper squares on the sticky side.

directions for creating Christmas silhouette window decoration

Have students completely cover their cut out patterns with the tissue paper squares.

directions for creating Christmas silhouette window decoration

Add glue to the back of the black silhouette and place it on top of the tissue paper shape. Younger students may need help placing the black silhouette in the exact location.  Trim off any excess around the edges with scissors. Display in a brightly lit window.

Christmas nativity silhouette window decoration

Christmas  silhouette window decorations

 

Silhouette Patterns

Christmas  nativity silhouette window decorations

Christmas candle silhouette window decorations

Christmas gift silhouette window decorations

Christmas tree ball silhouette window decorations

You can use any simple silhouette pattern you wish for these window decorations.  I found most of these at this website and then tweaked them a bit in PowerPoint.

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How to Turn a Coloring Page into a Stained Glass Window Decoration

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STEM Toys for Children Ages 4-8

STEM Toys for Children Ages 4-8

During this time of year I am often asked by parents for Christmas gift recommendations for their children.  Since students LOVE doing STEM projects and science, technology, engineering, and math concepts are a vital part of their learning development, I put a list together of the STEM toys that I feel are appropriate for children ages 3-8.  Feel free to share this list with your parents or add the link to this blog post in your holiday newsletters or parent notes.

Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set by Learning Resources

With this cute Code & Go Robot Mouse Set children as young as preschool age can begin to learn coding, analytical thinking, practice if-then and cause-and-effect logic, and spacial concepts all while having fun. They begin by building a maze (lay the foundation, put up walls and arches, place the cheese wedge). Then, they use the coding cards to create a step-by-step path for the robot mouse, Colby. When they feel they have figured out the correct path, they program the mouse and watch him race to find the cheese.  I not only love all of the educational concepts that children will learn with this toy, but also the fact that they get practice learning from their mistakes and then using logical thinking to correct them.

Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-pillar

This is another STEM toy for children as young as preschool that helps them begin learning coding in a fun way. Children easily snap together the segments of the Code-a-pillar to program his path – forward, left, right, or pause.  Then they have fun watching him move along their programmed path with his motorized head, blinking eyes, lights, and sounds. For more of a challenge, they can set up included targets somewhere in the room and use trial and error to see if they can program it to hit them. Not only will young children have fun learning the beginning skills for coding but they will also be learning sequencing, analytical thinking, problem-solving, trial and error, and cause and effect.

WowWee COJI The Coding Robot Toy

This another cute toy that promotes learning coding for children ages 4-8.  Children program Coji using emoji symbols. It also includes games and activities that further develop coding skills.

Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Discovery Kit

I have always been a fan of the Snap Circuits line of toys and this Jr. version is perfect for younger children ages 6-8.  It uses young children’s natural interest in building toys to teach them the basics of electricity. The pieces easily snap together and can be used to create a number of projects. Children will learn how to create working circuit boards similar to the ones found inside TVs, radios, and other electronic devices.

Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Super Set

The object of this set is for children to connect the colored gears to build movable structures and see if they can keep the gears turning.  Children will have to use fine motor skills, counting, sorting, design skills, problem-solving, and critical thinking to figure out how to align and order the gears so they’ll all turn in unison and not get jammed up.

Kano Computer Kit

I know this one is on the expensive side and parents may feel like they can get a better computer for the price, BUT this kit is really more about children as young as 6 learning how the basic parts of a computer work together and “building” a computer on their own. Once your young engineer builds the computer they can use KANO to learn coding, play games, on Kano’s OS, and use a number of other free apps available through Kano.

Wonder Workshop Dash Robot

This one is on the expensive side also but I included it because it is a program that many schools are using and is one of the best robots for children as young as kindergarten. It also has apps for varying ages and ability levels so children can use it for years to come. Dash is a cute little Bluetooth-enabled robot on 3 wheels that responds to voice cues or app-based commands from an Android or iOS device. Younger children can use the Path app to draw a route for Dash to follow as well as drop in picture commands for sounds, dance, flash lights, and other actions. Kids learn how to map their 3D environment into a 2D drawing. Older children can use the more advanced apps to program and code behaviors and challenges.

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Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Sale 2016 Save 28%

Relax on your couch and save 28% on everything in my Teachers Pay Teachers store during the Cyber 2016 sales event November 28-29.  Use promo code CYBER2016 during checkout!

Make the holiday season less hectic by easily creating personalized, cute Christmas student gifts with this set of EDITABLE Christmas student gift tags.

Christmas Student Gift Tags

Trim trees and learn ABCs with this fun holiday learning center!  Students decorate Christmas trees in a variety of ways while practicing letter recognition, matching uppercase and lowercase letters, letter sounds, beginning sounds, and visual discrimination with Christmas Tree ABC.

Motivate students to learn their alphabet letters with these unique Alphabet Letters Brag Tags.

Encourage and reward students all year long with these editable Student Gift Tags for Rewards, Incentives, Testing, & Growth Mindset.

student gifts, student gift tags that reward, encourage, & motivate students

Shop for winter and holiday resources.

winter and holiday teacher resources discounted

Reindeer student gift bag & Christmas student gift tag

Christmas Student Gift Ideas & Gift Tags

We are planning ahead to Christmas (it will be here before you know it!) figuring out the theme for our big Christmas pageant we put on for parents, planning the Christmas party, and deciding on Christmas gifts for the students.  I’m usually asked to create the gift tags for the student gifts we choose (and I love doing it!).  I’ve put together all of the ideas I have done over the years and decided to share them in case you need a new idea or two.  These are gifts that are easy to create (because the holidays are hectic enough) and they won’t break the bank.  If you are like me and have to buy for multiple classes, you probably need items that are not too extravagant.  If you like the printable tags attached to the gifts you can find them here.

Reindeer Gift Bag and Christmas Gift Tag

I have used several versions of a reindeer gift bag for student gifts over the years but this one is my favorite.  I think the candy cane antlers are just too cute!  Any small student gift or treat can be placed inside the bag.  To create the bag, simply fold down the top of a brown lunch bag several inches, cut small holes on each side for the candy canes and slide a candy cane in each hole (I secure the candy canes on the inside of the bag with tape to prevent them from moving), glue on 2 googly eyes, a pom pom nose, and draw a mouth. The “A little gift for a DEER student” tag can be attached to one of the candy canes or to the bag itself.

Reindeer student gift bag & Christmas student gift tag

Gift Tags for Playdough Student Gifts

Playdough is a popular and wonderful gift for young children.  You can choose to make your own or buy the packs of small cans.  They are reasonably priced and you can find the multi-packs at stores such as WalMart or they are also on Amazon in a variety of amounts (10 pack, 24 pack, 36 pack)

Have a “Dough-lightful” Holiday Christmas Student Gift Tag

These round playdough Christmas gift tags can be attached to the top of small playdough cans or attached to a bag containing playdough.

playdough Christmas student gift tag

Wishing You a “Dough-lightful” Holiday Christmas Student Gift Tag

This playdough gift tag can also be attached to a small can of playdough or attached to a bag of playdough.

playdough Christmas student gift tag

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas Student Gift Tag

Our students LOVE Jolly Rancher candies!  I attached this Holly Jolly tag to a small bag filled with Jolly Rancher candy and they loved it!

Christmas student gift tag for Jolly Rancher Candies Have a holly jolly Christmas

Christmas Student Gift Tags for Books

One of my favorite Christmas gifts for students is to give them a book and I know a lot of other teachers feel the same way.  Because I’ve given books as gifts many times I have several gift tags for them.  The tags can be placed inside the front cover or on the outside of the package if the book is gift wrapped.

Get Wrapped Up in a Good Book Student Gift Tag

Christmas student gift tag for a book

Season’s Readings Student Gift Tag

Seasons Readings Christmas student gift tag

Warm Up With a Good Book Student Gift Tag

Get Wrapped Up in a Good Book Christmas Student Gift Tag

Christmas Student Gift Tags for Glowsticks

Another favorite gift of students are glowsticks – they think they are so cool and magical! Since we have given these as gifts several times I have 2 different versions of gift tags for them.  Simply tie them to the glowsticks!

May Your Christmas Be Merry & Bright Student Gift Tag

Christmas student gift tag for glowstick

Christmas Bulb Student Gift Tags for Glowsticks

Christmas bulb student gift tags for glowsticks

Christmas Student Gift Tag for Crayons

A popular gift for young students is a box of crayons. They love opening a brand new box and creating something special. Attach this Wishing you a COLORFUL Christmas tag right to the box!

Wishing You a COLORFUL Christmas Student Gift Tag

Christmas student gift tag for crayons

It’s Snow Secret! You’re a Great Student! Gift Tag

I’ve used this cute tag for a number of different gifts – snow globes, snow dough to name a few. It can be attached to any Christmas gift to add a special holiday message.  It can also be used throughout the winter season as a reward or motivator.

student gift tag for Christmas gift

Wishing You an EXTRA Special Christmas Gift Tag

Attach this gift tag to a pack of EXTRA gum for an extra special Christmas treat for your students.

Christmas student gift tag idea

If you liked the tags pictured above and would like to use them for your student gifts they are available here.

Christmas Student Gift Tags

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