Sunday, 28 February 2021

St. Patrick's Day Lucky Me Art

Are you looking for an eye catching display for St. Patrick's Day?

This St. Patrick's Day art and writing project will have everyone stopping to take a look.
This project is also a great way to get your students reflecting on their life and all they have to be lucky for. 

You will need at least 2 work periods to complete the entire project. 

1.) For the first period, I read them a mentor text (see below) and we talk about the great things, people, moments they have had in their lives. This leads to the writing activity (see below for free templates)

While students are busy writing about all the things they are lucky for, I take the pictures of their hands.

Tip: When taking the pictures of their hands have them put hands on top of a white background (I use poster board) and also have a sticky note with their name on it off to the side of the picture (it will be cropped out).

Before day 2 you will have to print out your photos in black and white. See the free download for tips and templates. 

2.) This part can be done on the same day at students put together their picture, writing, and shamrock. If you have never used oil or chalk pastels before you will want to teach your students how to blend the color by doing a darker outline and then dragging the color towards the middle of the shamrock. 

I have them cut out the shamrock shape AFTER they have blended their color so they don't get any of the pastel on their desk. It will not matter if they go outside the lines because it is going to be cut out. 

Once the shamrocks are colored and cut out, bend the petals up so that it gives the shamrock some dimension and it doesn't lie flat on the hands photo.

Glue the shamrock on to the photo. 

Have students glue or staple their finished writing paper on the photo paper. I had students glue them just below the photo. 

I also trimmed all the writing papers so there were no extra lines after what they had written. 

FREE Templates and Tips:

To help you out with this project and make prep much quicker I have created a pdf file with photo taking/editing and printing tips along with templates of the writing paper and shamrocks. 

The writing paper comes with intermediate and primary lines so you can use it no matter what grade you teach!

Mentor Text Idea:

I love using picture books as mentor texts for both Writing and Art and a few years back I found the perfect one for this project. It is called Fiona's Luck by Teresa Bateman (aff. link). It is a folktale about how Fiona tries to bring the luck back to Ireland after a leprechaun king takes it away. 

I would wish you luck with this St. Patrick's Day art and writing project but I know you will rock it!


If you are looking for more St. Patrick's Day activities, check out these FREE differentiated alphabetical order worksheets. Included is a link to get a Google Slides option.  

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Using Attendance Questions to Make Connections

Why Attendance Time is Our Most Valuable Time

Taking attendance is a valuable part of my day and it is something that students look forward to. In my classroom we go beyond just having students respond with "Here" and we use this time as a way to build classroom connections. 
Building a strong classroom community using attendance questions Terri's Teaching Treasures

Everyday an attendance question is asked where students get to share a small part of themselves. The questions allow students to share who they are, what is important to them, and how they are doing/feeling.

The questions are always safe and easy to answer because I don't want them to get anxious or dread having to answer. 

Questions can be as simple as:
  • "What is your favorite type of pizza?"
  • "How many pets do you have?"
  • "What is one special talent you have?"
By asking attendance questions students start to see the similarities and differences they have with their peers. It is always great to hear the reactions when 2 students, who normally don't hang out, start talking about how they both like a certain video game or how they also put mustard on their hot dog. 

Who Asks the Questions?

At the beginning of the year I am the one asking all the attendance questions. Once I feel that my students have become more comfortable with each other and are at ease talking in front of the class, I have a student ask the questions for the week. 

As part of my classroom jobs there is a mayor (they say Mayor of Browne Town ... lol) who is responsible for taking attendance and asking a daily question. This (and gym helpers) is the job that they are most excited about and cannot wait to do. 

The mayor can come up with a question by themselves (which they usually do) or they can pick a question from a list provided (see below for the list).

A Cherished Part of Our Day

With all the changes that have had to be made to our daily routines because of COVID, this is one thing that I would not give up. 
taking attendance can build student connections Terri's Teaching Treasures

Sure, I could have cut this out and had attendance time only take a minute or two but then we would lose the easiest way to start building a classroom community and foster connections among classmates. 

If you are not currently asking attendance questions, I highly recommend giving it a try. Do it for a couple weeks and see how it changes your students' interactions with one another. 

I have used this strategy to help foster a positive, caring classroom community with every grade I have taught. If you have been part of the Terri's Teaching Treasures community for a while now you may remember that I have taught Grades One through Seven.  

A Free List of Questions!

To help you get started here is a free pdf with a list of 100 attendance questions. Use it to get started or have it handy for students if they are the ones asking the questions. 
printable attendance questions for free Terri's Teaching Treasures
I keep this list in our attendance binder so it can easily be accessed by students or guest teachers. 

I have left some space on the last page so that you can add your own questions as you think of them. 

Click on the above picture or right HERE to get your free copy today. 


How to foster student connections using attendance questions Terri's Teaching Treasures

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