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Activities, Assessments, and Ideas for The First Day of Math Class

Looking for a First Day of Math Activity PERFECT for the Distance Learning Classroom… Keep Reading!

The first day of math class is right around the corner! Are you feeling those first day jitters yet? In hopes of easing your jitters I wanted to share a few ideas, activities, and my favorite way to assess student’s needs during those first few days of class. I’ve even included a freebie or two that I am confident you will love. One gives students the opportunity to struggle and fail, (don’t get me started on the importance of this). The other leads to meaningful discussion rich in math, and doubles as a fun bulletin board to be displayed throughout the year.

Before sharing the activities I wanted to share a couple thoughts pertaining to that first day of math. Most likely, of all the classes this will be the class filled with the most dread and anxiety. Address it. Many of your students already believe they are bad at math. They must know this is not the case. 3rd grade me can relate to this feeling, high school me can relate to this feeling, and college me can relate to this 2x over, for this I am grateful. In the end this empathy fueled my need to better support, explain, and practice. I am a better teacher because of this. Just because someone has had poor experiences with math in the past does not define them, nor their capabilities. When students realize the potential within them… they can do anything with the right support.  Be clear. There will be times this year they fail. There will be times of struggle, but if they don’t give up, and agree to put in the work… so. will. you.

1. Free Math Puzzle Activity:  

Naturally, this brings me to one of the first activities you can do on that first day of math class. Want it to be even more impactful, save the struggle speech for after. The suggestion of introducing students to struggle during those first few days of math class came from a dear friend, and teammate. SO. MUCH. WISDOM. Struggle reveals true character, and that is where growth and progress takes place. By having your students struggle in a controlled environment you are better able to reach them and instruct them about how to address and appropriately react to these strong emotions. That way when those same reactions come, at times when you aren’t aware, students will have already practiced and be prepared as to how to work through them. If this strikes a chord with you, make sure to check out my Grit and Growth Mindset Challenges.

Click Here to Purchase

The 7th challenge, The Nitty Gritty Bewilderer, is available for FREE Download here. The free download does not include the reflection sheet that all paid challenges do, however it is a great place to start! This activity introduces students to some fun math puzzles with a fascinating history. If you like this make sure to check out the other challenges that can last throughout the year. Watch the video below for more information. ***You may decide to save this as a second or third day of math activity… Remember anxiety and stress levels in students will be at an all time high that first day, It may be wise to allow them time to settle in before putting their mindset to the test!

Click Here to Purchase

Click here to purchase the Benjamin Franklin & Magic Square book I mention in the video below

Watch the video below for a quick run down of what the free sample activity includes:

 

 

2. Free Math is Everything Activity and Low-Prep Bulletin Board:

If ever there was a PERFECT first day of math class activity… this would be it. This activity can span across all grade levels due to the rigor you set through discussions, and expectations. This activity leads to meaningful discussion, an increased awareness of numbers, and an improved appreciation for mathematics. I was searching for a meaningful first day of math class activity when I stumbled across this quote by Shakuntala Devi:

Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.

After reading this I knew I had found the foundation for the activity. Essentially you will break the students into small groups. Together they will brainstorm examples that support the quote above. How is math involved in sports, food, art, daily tasks…etc Challenge them to be prepared to back up their ideas with evidence. Next, come together and discuss as a whole class. Keep a running list of all the ideas and topics listed. Take the discussion further by asking students to think of occupations or careers that involve math. After the discussion students will design a hexagon based on one of the ideas listed on the board. They will be tasked with illustrating and explaining the application. Gather student hexagons, print and cut out the other bulletin board materials, including that cute border… and assemble! This is an exclusive and FREE download to members of On Lemon Lane. Simply click below to download. Not a member? No problem! Sign up is Free and easy peasy Lemon Squeezy!

Click Here to Download

 

3. Math About Me Activity:

***Distance Learning| Virtual Math About Me Now Available!

Another favorite first day of math class activity is sticking to a classic all about me. I love all about me assignments, however many times students can get burnt out talking about their favorite thing to eat, listen to, read…etc. Assigning a Math about Me is a fun alternative to change the pace. When I first started teaching the only math about me assignments I could find were all very juvenile, and filled with fluff. I’m not a fan of fluff. I set out to create a Math about Me assignment that was appropriate for the upper grades, fun, and challenging, while still including problems that every student could answer. My Life in Numbers was the result of this effort. This is a really fun activity that requires students to work. Best part, the equations are fun and unique to each individual student. The majority of the time students don’t realize the effort they are exerting because they find the math fascinating. My Life in Numbers requires students to use multiplication, measurement, expanded form, counting, conversions, fractions and percentages…etc.

Click Here to Purchase

I decided to add another version of Math about Me to the mix. Again I wanted one that was appropriate for Upper Grades, that wasn’t “fluffy”. I also wanted to try and integrate different skills. The “In the Numbers” version is a lot of fun, and has a layout appropriate for older students. This one turned out to be so fun, and based on the rigor you assign to this product it can be appropriate amongst many grade levels. In the Numbers reviews concepts such as: area, perimeter, sq footage, scaling, base 10 blocks, ratio, percentage, fractions, math fluency <>, Pie Chart, time, mental math…etc.  Both are available for separate purchase, or you can save big with both in a BUNDLE. Read the next suggestion to see how I use these Math about Me pages in my classroom.

Click Here to Purchase

Click Here to Purchase

ORIGINAL VERSION: My Life in Numbers or Math All About Me is a wonderful and Best Selling tool! This activity allows students to explore math concepts that surround them every day! Get to know your students better while they complete this FUN and relatable math activity. Primarily for upper Elementary grades (3rd – 6th), It includes mathematical concepts such as Basic Operations, Measurement, Decimals, Percentages, Fractions…etc. *** If you are looking for more difficult concepts try the In the Numbers version.

Click Here to Purchase My Life in Number Math About Me 

 

In The Numbers is a wonderful tool that can be used as a Back to School Activity, in a Math-Center or any whole-class instruction time. It’s perfect for the first day of school Math Activity, first week of school math activity, or simply any time of the school year! This activity allows students to explore math concepts that surround them every day! You get to know your students better while they complete this FUN and relatable math activity, and you are able to assess their needs on the first day and first assignment.

Primarily for upper grades. It includes mathematic concepts such as: Basic Operations, Base 10 Blocks, Measurement, Decimals, Percentages, Ratios, Scaling, Multiplication with Decimals, Area, Perimeter…etc! There is something everyone can confidently complete, and something that will require the students to think and be challenged.

Click Here to Purchase In the Numbers Math About Me  

 

Click Here to purchase BOTH Printable Versions!

 

As if that weren’t enough… the desperate need for a virtual and interactive version of a Math about Me presented itself. With Distance Learning being a very viable option for the classroom nowadays, as well as the need for paperless products, I was excited to adapt this product to the need of today’s digital resources.

These Virtual Math about Me activities are the perfect assignment for you to get to know your students and connect them to their peers even if you may not all be in the same classroom! I’ve added tutorials to add an animated GIF or even an avatar from Pixton for an extra measure of fun, as well as a few editable text features to allow you to better customize this assignment to your needs and preference. Though both are very similar to the originals, these virtual math about me activities do have their differences and benefits!

***If using these products I would take the time to walk through each example using your self as the subject. This is a great way to scaffold as well as create an opportunity for the students to get to know YOU better.

My Life in Numbers – DIGITAL VERSION: This is the perfect first day of math class activity! Created with Distance learning in mind, this virtual activity allows you to get to know your students, and allows them to connect with their classmates, all while learning that math is ALL around them and can even be used to describe and introduce themselves! Some of the text is editable allowing you to personalize it to your classroom needs, or the measurement system your country uses! Primarily for upper grades. It includes mathematical concepts such as Basic Operations, Measurement, Decimals, Percentages, Fractions…etc.

IN THE NUMBERS: DIGITAL VERSION: Looking for the PERFECT First Day of School activity that works in the Distance Learning Classroom? This Virtual Math Activity or Digital Math About Me is the perfect addition to your interactive tool belt. This virtual first week of school activity is completed and the majority of the text can be edited through Google Slides, and can easily be assigned through Google Classroom. This product is adaptable and can also be printed and used as a hard copy in the traditional classroom setting. This is SUCH a fun way to get to know your students, and for your students to connect with their classmates! Primarily for upper grades. It includes mathematic concepts such as: Basic Operations, Base 10 Blocks, Measurement, Decimals, Percentages, Ratios, Scaling, Multiplication with Decimals, Area, Perimeter…etc!

Click Here to Purchase the VIRTUAL Math About Me Versions Perfect for Distance Learning!

Click Here to Purchase

Can’t make up your mind? Go for the BIG Math About Me Bundle and gain access to ALL of the above. This Bundle includes both the ORIGNAL Best Seller: My Life in Numbers, and its virtual counterpart. As well as the original In the Numbers printable and the version that was adapted for Distance Learning DIGITAL version! This product allows you to save by bundling and leaves you prepared for no matter what the school year throws at you. Whether you are in a traditional, Distance Learning, Hybrid, or paperless classroom setting, this download prepares you for a great first day of math class!

Click Here to Save BIG by purchasing the BIG Math About Me BUNDLE

4. FREE Math Pre-Assessment: 

This next resource is one near and dear to my heart. In one way I hope that I’m the first to introduce you to it, and in another, I hope you’ve been utilizing it in your classroom for years. I began using this website when it was first known as Front Rowed, now Freckle. Funny name… Powerful tool. Freckle is the “first and only differentiation platform. It works with students at THEIR level. All teachers everywhere, cue happy tears. The user face is adorable and fun, yet appropriate for older students. Based on student’s performance you receive data telling you exactly where your student is, WHAT THEY NEED, and where they are going. Here’s the kicker… IT’S FREE. Math platform is available (K-9) I love this so much, this program became my student’s homework assignment throughout the year, allowing me to use my Daily Math & ELA Workbook & Student Planner Hybrid as a Bell Ringer instead of homework! One of the first things I have students complete that first week of math class is the pre-assessment/placement quiz on Freckle. Because students work at such a wide range of rates, as well as technology being limited I always had a Math about Me on hand for students to work on once they have finished or while they are waiting to get started. See above for more details. Watch the video below for more information on my all-time favorite Freckle…. and I have A LOT of freckles… Couldn’t help myself.

Click Here to Purchase

Click Here to Purchase

 

Technically you should have enough here to cover the first 3 days of math class! I would start with the bulletin board activity for Day 1. The next class we would complete the pre-assessments and Math About Me pages, and Day 3 we would start things off with some struggle… and wonderful discussion. Don’t forget to set clear expectations, and go over procedures for math manipulatives. Focus on building trust and a relationship those first few days. The foundation you set will carry you throughout the rest of the school year. So make sure you’ve built upon a strong and steady one.

I hope these activities, ideas, and assessments brightened your day, and lightened your load. I hope that your jitters were replaced with excitement for the approaching days. Know that what you do is important. Good luck with the school year, be kind to yourself and your students. They need the best version of YOU. 

Like this post? Check out More First Day of School Activities that are a MUST! (Even if You’re 100% Virtual)

Click on the picture to read the post!

 Please, please, please take pictures! I want to see student examples, and the finished result, I especially want to hear about your experience with these projects.

  

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Following David Whitmer’s death the Richmond Conservator wrote:

“On Sunday evening before his death he called the family and his attending physician, Dr. George W. Buchanan, to his bedside and said, “Doctor do you consider that I am in my right mind?” to which the Doctor replied, “Yes, you are in your right mind, I have just had a conversation with you.” He then addressed himself to all present and said: “I want to give my dying testimony. You must be faithful in Christ. I want to say to you all that the Bible and the record of the Nephites, (The Book of Mormon) are true, so you can say that you have heard me bear my testimony on my death bed….”

“On Monday morning he again called those present to his bedside, and told them that he had seen another vision which reconfirmed the divinity of the “Book of Mormon,” and said that he had seen Christ in the fullness of his glory and majesty, sitting upon his great white throne in heaven waiting to receive his children.[6]“

The Richmond Democrat also added this comment:

“Skeptics may laugh and scoff if they will, but no man can listen to Mr. Whitmer as he talks of his interview with the Angel of the Lord, without being most forcibly convinced that he has heard an honest man tell what he honestly believes to be true.[7]“
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Do you follow @the.red.crystal ? Since stumbling across Crystal’s website, she continues to AMAZE me at the FREE and creative content she makes WEEKLY. I can’t wrap my mind around the commitment, time and talent she devotes each week. If this isn’t an example of sharing your talents to build up the Kingdom, I’m not sure what is.... Make sure to check out @the.red.crystal activities for the week! ...

Upper grade friends.... check this pretty little thing out. DIGITAL VALENTINE EXCHANGE!
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Head to my story for more details and a swipe up! Snag this while it’s still on sale 😱
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Students decorate their own box, and create Valentine cards using #figurativelanguage 😆 Here’s the kicker, students then EXCHANGE their cards with their classmates! I’ve been SO excited to share this with you! More details on the blog!
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Comment below if you want to try this out with your class❤️🤜🤛
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Oliver Cowdery, who was with the Prophet on this occasion, was filled with awe and wonder, for it was his first experience with a heavenly messenger. He wrote:

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Head to this week’s Blog Post to read the rest, and check out all of the AWESOME and FREE resources to supplement your Come Follow Me study this week!
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Have you joined the conversation in my story?? I want to know what are your FAVORITE resources for studying the Doctrine and Covenants through Come Follow Me! Comment below your new finds, your constant go to, and the fun finds a friend has recommended💛
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OR if you offer your time and talents to create resources for Come Follow Me, please comment below with a brief description of what you do!
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Comment below and tag the account!
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One of my favorite resources is this Journal edition D&C by @lineuponline this is actually what I gave both of my sisters for Christmas this year! What’s YOUR favorites, comment below 💛
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“So, clearly, this was not a quid pro quo in the development of the final Book of Mormon product. It was not tit for tat, this for that—you give me 116 pages of manuscript and I’ll give you 142 pages of printed text. Not so. We got back more than we lost. And it was known from the beginning that it would be so. It was for a wiser purpose. We do not know exactly what we missed in the 116 pages, but we do know that what we received on the small plates was the personal declarations of three great witnesses, three of the great doctrinal voices of the Book of Mormon, testifying that Jesus is the Christ. …

-Elder Holland
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Fear Not, Little Flock; Do Good. Has been on repeat in my mind since reading Doctrine and Covenants 6. It just felt so... Relevant.
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I decided to create a piece centered on the verses that felt so delicate and powerful all at the same time.
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This 24x36in print is available exclusively to Living on Lemon Lane members for FREE Download. It is meant to be printed as an engineer print (less than 5$) head to the website to learn more💛
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This week’s round-up of Free Resources for Come Follow Me is truly exceptional. I couldn't choose and I don't how you will. I'm especially excited to share videos from Doctrine and Covenants Central an organization with the vision and purpose of making D&C both comprehensible and defensible, and they are doing JUST. THAT.
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Head to this week’s blog post to learn more, make sure to tag a friend and share 💛
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Come Follow Me Doctrine and Covenants Ideas and Activities FREE
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Love this “Translating” activity from @comefollowmefamily for Come Follow Me this week! Such a fun idea that's perfect for your older kiddos! Head to this week’s blogpost for this and other great FREE ideas to supplement your study! Thanks for sharing your talents and creativity @comefollowmefamily 💛 ...

Fear not; only believe. This is a time to make resolutions that will be binding upon you. This is a season to set standards that will hold you to the right course and make you happy now and in the years that follow. Remember, there is no happiness in wickedness. There is no happiness in sin. There is no happiness in disobedience. There is no happiness in going contrary to the teachings of the Church.

– Gordon B. Hinkley
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I’ve got ANOTHER one I couldn’t wait to tell you about! I stumbled across @colorwinkstudio page and was THRILLED when I found that Hadley had been creating BEAUTIFUL coloring pages for Come Follow Me! Each week Hadley shares a new illustration that corresponds with that week’s lesson! Though appropriate for any age, I feel like your “tweens” and above will really appreciate Hadley’s fresh new take on Come Follow Me coloring pages/ activities! Head to this weeks Come Follow Me Blog post for links to this and other awesome FREE Resources!
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Don’t forget to tag a friend or two that will LOVE to add these to their study!
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I’m so excited to share @savingtalents “Scripture of the Week” These weekly printables make my teacher heart SWELL💛💛💛 this is such great practice for your kinesthetic learners. Each week Tiffany creates both a cursive and print option of the corresponding verse of the week. Head to this week’s Come Follow Me post for links to these and other awesome FREE resources!
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😳 Be right back.... I’m off to read section 4 again, but slower 😬 Anybody else feel the same way after reading this quote?!
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“[Doctrine and Covenants 4] is very short, only seven verses, but it contains sufficient counsel and instruction for a lifetime of study. No one has yet mastered it. {…}Perhaps there is no other revelation in all our scriptures that embodies greater instruction pertaining to the manner of qualification of members of the Church for the service of God, and in such condensed form than this revelation. It is as broad, as high and as deep as eternity.

(Church History and Modern Revelation, – President Joseph F.Smith
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The most beautiful illustration by @paigepayne_creations Keep reading for some of the most powerful quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King’s powerful, “I have a Dream,” speech:
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“I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream.”
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“I have a dream that one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”
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“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
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“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed — we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
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“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.”
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“When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
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🎉🎉VISION BOARD G.I.V.E.A.W.A.Y
YOU GUYS!!! This one turned out better than I expected 😍😍😍 EVERYONE NEEDS A VISION BOARD.
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This became more and more apparent as I created this product and researched the value in having one. Due to it’s late debut in the #goalsetting season you can snag it at 50% off (the lowest price it will EVER be).
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In a nutshell, you and your students will create a digital vision board that will act as a daily reminder when you set it as your computer, tablet, or smart phone’s new wallpaper or lock screen! I’ve created 26 EASY to use templates that create completely customizable and BEAUTIFUL designs, along with over 150 moveable “stickers” to make something truly eye catching (one of the requirements of an effective vision board) If that weren’t enough, I wanted to make sure you had the support materials to provide a really complete and educational project. So I’ve also included over 30 support activities, video tutorials, and extensions. Students will learns about vision boards, what makes them effective, the elements of a wellness, their circle of control, SMART goal setting.... and MORE! I know you are going to love this and so will your students. Even more, I know this has the potential to make a difference and lead to growth, and that is pretty satisfying. I’ve been working hard on this beauty and I NEED to get it in some classrooms!
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Looking for an activity that’s SURE to bring the spirit of Elijah into your heart while you study Doctrine and Covenants Section 2 for #comefollowme this week. I’ve got two @familysearch activities guaranteed to make your heart swell, both take less than 30 seconds, and absolutely no family history know how is required. Trust me, I’m as novice as they come.
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The first activity requires you to upload a picture of yourself, it will then calculate who you look like the most in your family tree! Sarah Mae Eden was a consistent front runner in my results, which sharing the same middle name Mae, felt extra serendipitous.
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Head to this week’s blog post for the second @familysearch activity idea and more details! Comment below who you look the most like, or tag a friend💛
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I was so excited when I saw @angiemaek had released a new song. (Composer of My Own Sacred Grove) I was even MORE excited when I realized it was about Family History, then I was the MOST excited when I realized this week’s Come Follow Me focused on Elijah’s promise to turn their hearts to their fathers 💛
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Head to this week’s blog post to listen! Thank you again @angiemaek for sharing your talents with us. Absolutely beautiful 💛
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This isn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, as I look back I can think of a handful of times where something similar has happened, in relation to preparing these posts or hoping they will come together.

You see, I’ve been praying, sometimes as a formal prayer, but mostly a plea from the depths of my heart, that Heavenly Father would help me to figure out how to make these weekly posts work. Because genuinely, I WANT to do them. They are good for my soul. However, putting these posts together takes a lot of sacrifice in the sense of time and dedicated thought, which as a mother with 3 young children, and a business on the side, time and dedicated thought are two of my most precious and rare resources....
(Head to this week’s post to keep reading 💛)
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Did you catch this week’s free printables and activities for Come Follow Me?! This coloring page of Joseph Smith and Emma, melts my heart.
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Side Note: Who has used @familysearch Famous Relative app? It’s the PERFECT family activity for this week with the focus being on #familyhistory
You may be asking what this little side note has to do with this coloring page... well through the #familysearch I found I’m related to BOTH Joesph and Emma!
Head to this week’s blog post for more information and a link to the activity, then comment below with a famous relative In YOUR family tree!
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Did anyone else see @latterdayfamily suggestion for recreating the first vision using rocks! Such a fun and creative idea💛 She used Canvas, making it a durable piece of art that can be displayed for the year. Absolutely LOVED this idea.
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Head to the blog for more ideas for this week’s Come Follow Me Lesson
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