How Random! Fun Writing for K-3

I'm so excited to share a project in SIX years in the making, since before I ever even heard of TpT!

Long ago I started using picture prompts to get my students to write.  Not your average picture prompts, totally random and fun picture prompts. Here is a quick peek at what's in this file:

The point of these pictures is for the kids to write a story around the objects in the picture.  They create a setting and a story for what they see.  When I began using these types of prompts, I was drawing everything by hand!  (I hadn't yet discovered the beauty of clip art.)  The problem with that was that sometimes my drawings looked nothing like what I intended or I would create awesome ones and lose the originals.  Many months ago I finally thought about making these digitally with professionally drawn clip art!  Such a no-brainer.  So here it the final product:

 I wish I could show you every example, but that would make for a very long post, so here are a few student examples with our pig and spaceship prompt:

I love how different they all end up!

Here is how I use them.  Each week I focus on one or two things during writer's workshop.  The kids write in their notebooks every day.  I tried taking all of those notebooks home to grade, but that wasn't very efficient.  So instead of doing that, I assign one a week and grade that. While grading I look for neatness, spelling, capitalizations, and my focus skill(s) for the week. From doing this I get more ideas to work on for writer's workshop and get a good idea on how my kids are progressing.  MUCH easier than grading 28 notebooks.  I try to collect them all and bind them for each student at the end of the year.  The parents love these keepsakes and I love seeing how much my kids have grown as writers throughout the year. I'll assign some for fun and sometimes even a couple for homework or morning work.  I love having a couple on hand in case I have time for some extra writing time or for sub days.

So far there are about 80 picture prompts in this set, but I will be adding more as the year progresses. 

To pick up your own set, please click HERE.

Thanks for stopping by to visit!

Clouds, School and Owls

1. We began our weather study and I launched it with Mrs. Cupcake's Weather Unit.  I love how the unit is set up starting with seasons and going into the water cycle, clouds, and different types of weather. The unit came with a little book for the kids that explains each stage of the water cycle in detail and I think this is the first year where my kids really understood the water cycle!

2. We learned all about how clouds are formed and made our cloud chefs from Dragonflies in First.  How cute is this craftivity?  The kids wrote a recipe for a cloud.

This is one of my favorites!

3. I am in my last course of my masters program.  Only four more class days and my case study will be over and I will be celebrating my last day of school...ever! Maybe.

4.  Arizona is allowing teachers to get their Early Childhood endorsement without having to take all the classes that usually go along with it, so I ran and took my AEPA test and I passed!

5. I picked up this cute little acorn owl and it made my house all ready for fall and it goes with my old pumpkin owl too :) 
I love Pier 1!! 

That's it for me, now link up with Doodlebugs Teaching for Five for Friday.


Apples, Sentences, and Minions

I have to admit that I have never done a full apple unit in my life! I always assumed that it had been done in first grade, and I just realized that isn't the case.  So that is awesome for me because now I get to do this unit with my kids!

One of my Saxon math lessons is graphing our favorite apples, I wanted to get more im depth with apples this year so I began poking around my favorite blogs and Pinterest and found a few ideas.

Here is what I ended up doing:

These darling apples from The First Grade Parade!  The kids went nuts over these apple people!  
These just made me smile!  This anchor chart with descriptive words also is from The First Grade Parade!  The funny thing is that I was planning on making the little apple people on a different day but after the kids saw the giant apple, it was hard to stop the momentum so we kept on going.

Next up:  Apple Diagrams
These diagrams were tons of fun! The kids learned so much from making them and they were absolutely perfect with our informational text focus we have going on right now.
When I can't fit them all on my wall, I move some over to the window.  I LOVE putting stuff on my windows, but the sun fades things so quick, so I try not to do it too often.  The kids are so proud of having their stuff on display on the windows though, they don't seem to care that their stuff gets faded.  They think its cool that the paper changed colors LOL! 
The genius idea for these diagrams can be found here: A Cupcake for the Teacher, What the Teacher Wants, and Mrs. Drakes Room.

Writing Anchor Chart
My kids are struggling so much with writing complete sentences!  We are focusing on this right now.  This chart was made by Mrs. Crofts.  She has a ton of anchor charts that you can view right here: Mrs. Crofts' Classroom

We made these Minions a while back and forgot to share them.  They were so cute!  The kids wrote about something that they loved about second grade. You can get this craftivity from Pamela Zweygardt at her TpT store.

Chalk Board:
I'm a huge fan of chalk board art!  We bought our house one year ago and I can't decide on any art.  I kept telling my husband that I wished we could find some art that changed...then I had a lightbulb moment.  Why not make my own art and change it up with the holidays (or anything else that inspires me) using a chalkboard?  So I began to look around online for some big chalkboards.  Ummm...they are expensive.  So I decided to put my plan on hold and practice on some little ones for now.  I headed over to Marshall's to get some small ones and that is where I ran into this huge chalkboard against the wall! I couldn't believe it!  I dragged it out of the store just to find that it wouldn't fit into my car.  Fast forward a half hour later and my mother-in-law was able to save the day with her truck!  Now to hang it up in the living room and start chalking it up.

So that was my week.  Now to plan for this last week! Fall break can't come fast enough:) 
I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday- on Sunday.

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