From Crayons To College

My daughter and I worked together to create these ABCs for a bulletin board that ultimately became a guidance lesson to focus kids on skills they need to sharpen as they journey from Crayons to College. I'm thinking a lot about Kaitlyn today because she started her college classes this week; it seems like only yesterday that we were taking her to Cline with her kindergarten crayons.  Here's our list:
A is for Attitude.  Be a bucket-filler and hang out with positive 
people who will lift you up. 
B is for Behavior. Staying in control of what you think and feel 
will help you decide what to do. 
C is for Cooperation. Getting along and working together 
increase your chances for success.
D is for Determination. Set goals and see them through from start 
to finish with enthusiasm and drive.
E is for Effort. Give 100% in everything you do; don’t stress about 
being the best, just do your best.
F is for Family. Trust family and friends to be your safety net; let them 
laugh and cry with you.
G is for Good Grades. Do your best to achieve academically 
to open doors and opportunities.
H is for Honor. Show dignity and respect. Be honest, fair and 
courageous. Express appreciation and gratitude.
 I is for Initiative. Respond quickly to jumpstart your work; you know 
what they say about the early bird.
J is for Judgment. Think things through to make wise decisions 
and cut down on mistakes.
K is for Knowledge. Be a lifelong learner. The more you know,
the stronger you'll grow.
L is for LeadershipLead by example; make footsteps worth following.
Be friendly and kind to people. 
M is for Morals. Be in the right place at the right time 
doing the right thing. 
N is for Nutrition. Eat well, drink a lot of water, exercise, 
relax and get plenty of sleep.
O is for Organization. Find a system that works 
to help you get it together.
P is for PerseverancePersist with your purpose even when there are 
problems.  Keep on keeping on.
Q is for QualityStamp a quality assurance guarantee on 
everything you do.  Go for the gold.
 R is for Responsibility. Show up on time, make decisions carefully, 
and do what you’re supposed to do. 
S is for Study Skills. Sharpen those important tools to get through life 
by learning how to learn.
T is for Time Management. Be a good steward of your time; 
manage it well by watching your watch
U is for Understanding. Work to understand what people are 
telling you; listen with an opened heart.
V is for VolunteerismLend a helping hand and stand willing to serve.
Make the world better by showing up.
W is for Work Ethic. Spend extra time and energy working hard 
to earn what you want and need.
X is for eXcellence. Make excellence a habit; it will set you apart.
Y is for YearningLong to learn something new every day.
Dream it, desire it, do it.
Z is for Zeal. Race toward your future 
with everything you’ve got. Enthusiasm ignites GREATNESS!

If you were to adopt the ABCs of college readiness, 
which of these would you keep?  Change?  Why?

For a free download of these ABCs in book format courtesy of Jen, visit Runde's Room or click {here}. 

2016 update!


  1. Thank-you - I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this. I'm thinking of turning it into a back-to-school bulletin board display. I got my "Character ROCKS" bulletin board and supplies all set up. I wrote a blog post about it yesterday.

    Runde's Room

  2. Thanks, Jen - hopping over to see your board next! Such great synergy with this online collaboration resource.

    1. Hi, I realize this post was a year ago, but is it possible to make the ABC print-outs available again? I am able to view it in Google Docs but it only allows one page to print "Z" so I was going to create them again on my own. Thought it wouldn't hurt to ask. I'm sure others would love to use them as well.

      It's awesome! Love it!


  3. WOW! This is amazing! Thanks for sharing! I'll be blogging about you soon!

  4. Barbara,
    I've had a few people ask if I would share the ABCs I made from your Crayons to College Alphabet. Would you mind if I posted them as a freebie on my blog? I would link it back to you and include a page with your site in the product.
    Your idea was so wonderful - I had so many compliments from the teachers at my school. We read and discussed them as a whole group on the first day of school. Each student had to pick one that they really wanted to focus on this year, and they wrote it in their agendas. Their only homework for the night was to discuss the quote with their parents and come up with ways to work towards it. It was fantastic! And it gives me something concrete to remind them of when they may stray from that goal.

    Runde's Room

  5. Hey Jen -

    Absolutely - POST away!!! I love the way you adapted this to make it authentic for your students and I'd LOVE a copy of the 26 pages, too! Thanks for making our work look so amazing!


  6. Thanks, Barbara!

    Here is the link to google docs:

    You can also get it off my blog.

    Have a great week!

  7. You are amazing! :)
    Have a blessed week! :)
    Crayons and Curls

  8. OMG I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Could I share this with my Faculty?

  9. OMG I LOVE your ABC. I teach 2nd grade in Houston. I would love to show them your abc. And maybe even translated to Spanish if is ok with you.

  10. Hi Mrs. Cruz and thanks for your enthusiasm! It totally made my day. I'd LOVE it if these were into Spanish (could I have a copy?) and yes, share them with whomever you'd like! If you drop me an email, I'll send you a copy of the game we played with them in guidance!

    bgruener (@)

  11. Barbara,

    Thanks for posting so many great ideas. I came here looking for a school spirit display board. You have such an abundance. Great. Do you mind if I borrow some of your ideas? I'll gladly provide a link to your page.


    J Douglas, High School Teacher

  12. I just wanted to tell you how much I love this. I turned it into a bulletin board in our main hall for our College and Career Week celebration, and everyone loves it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh, I'd LOVE to see a picture of your board, Jennifer! I'm going to be using it when I talk with parents of juniors and seniors at a transitions conference this weekend.

    2. I have a really REALLY long bulletin board in the main hall, and that's where I did this. We are getting a renovation/new area so there is lots of construction in our building all year. I called it "Building a Strong Foundation: The ABCs of College" and used alphabet block letters for the alphabet. I cut the words out using a Cricut in a variety of colors and put them up, then the kids read the statements on the announcements over two weeks, a few letters each day. I'd have to email pictures, as I don't have a blog/website to display them. :-)

    3. I'd LOVE a picture . . . my email is gruenergang (at) - OR you could pin it on pinterest . . . sounds SO cool!

  13. Such a great idea!! Thanks for sharing with us!

  14. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!!!! I am actually working on a post called the ABC's of Teamwork. Many are the same as you posted! I love this idea for kinder... what a great visual for my parents to help them see how fast it is going to fly and to capture the moments!
    Simply Kinder, Simply Primary, & Simply Centers

  15. Hi Barbara,
    I love the ABC's from Crayons to College. Our school always focuses on college prep so it's perfect. I am not able to print them out in Google docs though. Is there another way to access them? Otherwise I was going to make them all by myself. :-( But that's what we do when we have to!


    1. Hi! I've updated the link so click where it says {here} and it'll take you to the Google Docs. If that doesn't work, please feel free to email me and I'll send the file.

      gruenergang (at)

    2. Hi,thanks alot for this amazing idea i used it in my classroom i will tell you the feedback of my students when we work with.

  16. I want to do this during career week, but how did you make the crayons is there a template? Awesome bulletin board!

  17. Hi Laura - Yes, we have a crayon die cut . . . if you fold the paper and put it slightly under the top edge, it'll cut the crayon but not the top so that they open up!

    1. Quick thought - if you don't have a crayon cut, send me your postal address and I'll make some crayons to send to you!! gruenergang (at)

  18. Love this! Just printed them all out and hung them on the library windows facing the hallway!


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!