Main Idea Cones with Delicious Detail Scoops!

It's July...who doesn't have an ice cream cone on their mind nearly every evening?  I must admit, I'm a soft-serve fan... the more swirls of soft, creamy vanilla goodness topping a flaky cone the better!  And I have to ask - does anyone else absolutely relish that last bite of the cone, once it's gotten all soggy and mushy?  I pop it into my mouth and savor as it melts on my tongue.  Okay, so I totally digress...

Anyway, cream...all make me feel like this is the perfect time to feature my second best-seller at my store - my Main Idea Ice Cream Cones craftivity!

Click HERE to purchase!
I have to say, when I did this craftivity with my fifth graders, they had a ball with it!  I saw some very creative cones!  I had birthday cake flavored scoops, candy bar scoops, fruit-filled scoops, you name it! 
A close up look at some creative scoops!
Here's "the scoop" on how this craftivity works.  Six cones contain a "main idea" sentence.  Nine scoops contain a sentence that is a supporting detail to one of the six main idea sentences.  Students must find the three supporting detail scoops that match each main idea sentence.  Once the have done this, they glue the scoops onto the cones and decorate their cones to their heart's desire.

Some teachers reported having this as a center activity, while others did it as a whole group activity.  A good number of teachers have provided feedback that this activity really helped students grasp the concept of main idea and how supporting details help to "hone in on" the main idea.  

Now I'm off to the freezer... 

Adjectives, Adverbs... and Apples!

It only seems appropriate to have my first featured craftivity to be filled with the first letter of the alphabet! (Hmmm...maybe I should make my way through the alphabet with future craftivities...On second thought, maybe not. That seems like way too much work for no good reason!)

I think this craftivity would make a great review to do with upper elementary students at the beginning of the school year. In fact, I'd probably tell them this activity is meant to help them clear those cobwebs from the learning room of their brain that was enjoying a nice, long break over the summer, but now needs to be cleared for more learning with you this year!  :) Besides that, apples are in season during the fall...who doesn't love a shiny, crunchy apple on a September or October day? (Okay, I have to admit that I'd take mine dipped in caramel, but that's beside the point!)
Check out this FREE Parts of Speech Craftivity! Students differentiate between adverbs and adverbs written in sentences!

Anyway, in this adjectives and adverbs craftivity, students are given worksheets with 20 apples. Each apple contains an "apple-themed" sentence, and students must identify whether the one word underlined in each sentence is an adjective or an adverb. From there, they color adjective apples red and adverb apples green... then create adjective and adverb baskets... and finally sort their apples into the appropriate baskets. As with all my craftivity products, there are detailed directions and a page outlining supplies you will need to gather to prepare for the craftivity. ENJOY!

Just click on the image above to download this FREEBIE!  

If you like this craftivity, check out my other craftivity products as you prepare for the new school year! Just click HERE!

Finally, if there's a concept that you feel some students have difficulty with year after year, and you would like to see a craftivity made for it, just let me know! I love coming up with new ideas to help learners craft connections.

Allow me to introduce myself!

Hello!  For my first-ever blog post, I thought it only right to share a bit about myself!  This fall I will begin my 15th year of teaching.  I currently teach ESL, although my teaching experiences include 2nd grade classroom teacher and Title I Reading teacher.  I teach in an elementary school in Nebraska with a very diverse population.  I am one of three ESL teachers in our school, and I currently work with the upper elementary students (3rd-5th graders).

After teaching pull-out ESL for ten years, my district switched to a co-teaching model.  This required some adjustment for all of us, but thanks to great colleagues, I really enjoy my various roles within each classroom I visit throughout the day.  I co-teach in about five classrooms, primarily in the area of language arts.  (That's why most of my posts will be related to ELA.)

Do any of you watch The Next Food Network Star?  The Food Network executives are continually reminding the competitors to develop and focus on their "point of view".  Well, I thought about that as I tried to come up with a creative name for my blog.  I arrived at Crafting Connections based on the fact that I always try my best to help my students create meaningful and memorable connections between their prior knowledge and new information.  I believe connections are important for all students, but critical for English language learners as they encounter academic vocabulary and advanced language structures as they strive to master academic content.  One of my favorite (and most successful!) ways to help students build these connections is through hands-on craft activities (a.k.a. craftivities).  Not only do my upper elementary students enjoy completing these activities, I have also found that they remember the vocabulary and content associated with each craftivity long after they complete the project!  It is not unusual for me to hear one of my students remind a classmate of the "synonym rolls" or the "theme-filled cupcakes" that we made earlier in the year.  (In fact, I just LOVE when that happens!)  Anyway, stay tuned as I develop my Crafting Connections point of view with future posts!      

Deb, Brooke, Troy, Kayla
As for my life outside of school, I enjoy reading, hiking, and baking.  My husband, Troy, and I have two wonderful daughters.  Kayla is almost 9 and Brooke is 6.  We like to play board games and go on bike rides- especially if a stop at DQ is part of the plan!

Thank you for taking the time to find out about me.  Feel free to drop me an email sometime.  I would love to learn about you, too!  One of the reasons I decided to finally start a blog is to build connections with teaching colleagues throughout the country (maybe even the world!)

Finally, I'd be honored to have you as a follower!  I love following my favorite bloggers through BlogLovin' (I have a link to it on the right side of this page).  If you haven't already done so, I encourage you to use it.  It is such a handy way to keep up on all your favorite blogs!  Please visit me here again in a day or two, when I will be giving a craftivity to all my blog followers!