Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Five Little Kites 
One, two, three, four, five little kites (Hold up fingers as you count.) 
Flying up in the sky (Fly fingers in the air.)
Said “hi” to the clouds as they passed by, (Pretend to wave to clouds.)
Said “hi” to the birds, said “hi” to the sun, (Wave.)
Said “hi” to the airplanes, oh what fun. (Wave.)
Then “swish” went the wind, (Move hand down in a
And they all took a dive: swooping motion.)
One, two, three, four, five. (Hold up fingers one at a time and count.)
*Download this book on my website.

Paper Plate Kite - Cut the inner section out of a paper plate. Decorate the rim with markers. Glue tissue paper streamers to one side. Punch a hole and tie a piece of string on the other side. Go outside and run to make your kite fly. 

Kite Experiments – Let children make kites out of lunch sacks, plastic bags, and other materials. Have them predict which one will fly best. Experiment to see which one is best. Why did some work better than others?

Kite Tales – Ask each child to write a story about what it would be like to be a kite. What could you see? What could you hear? How would you feel? What would you do? 

Lion or Lamb? Explain the quote, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” Every day ask children what kind of day it is, and then let them color a “lion” or a “lamb” on the calendar. Graph "lion" and "lamb" days and compare at the end of the month.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Do you know what today is? That’s right! The Star-Spangled Banner officially became our national anthem on March 3, 193l. It was written during the War of 1812 by Francis Scott Key.  Seeing the American flag flying over Fort McHenry in the Baltimore Harbor inspired him to write the song. 

Although your students will be familiar with this song, today is a perfect time to discuss what the lyrics mean and to introduce vocabulary words. (I wonder how many adults could actually write the words to the national anthem?)

Put a copy of the first verse on the board and read over it. Invite children to tell you what they think the lyrics mean. Explain that when things are difficult to understand it helps to read one line at a time. Take each line and discuss the meaning. (This is really going to be a challenge for young children, but it’s good to stretch their brains - and maybe your brain as well!)

Vocabulary – Ask children to come up and highlight words they are not familiar with. (dawn, twilight, hailed, perilous, ramparts, gallantly…)

Invite children to close their eyes as they listen to the song sung. You could also show this video where the words are connected to photographs.

Want to learn more? Check out this website:

FYI Did you know that the famous write F. Scott Fitzgerald was a distant cousin of Francis Scott Key and was named after him?

Monday, March 2, 2015


Yesterday, March 1st, was National Pig Day. Why not celebrate this week with some little piggie ideas? Here’s an extension of the traditional rhyme where you can reinforce ordinal numbers. 

         The first little pig went to the market.
         The second little pig stayed home.
         The third little pig had roast beef.
         The fourth little pig had none.
         The fifth little pig cried, “Wee wee wee” all the way home.
         The sixth little pig ate some pizza.
         The seventh little pig ate a pear.
         The eighth little pig had spaghetti.
         The ninth little pig’s plate was bare.
         The tenth little pig cried, “Wee wee wee, I will share!” 

Glue pig faces to jumbo craft sticks. Write the ordinals at the bottom and use as you say the rhyme.

Ten Little Piggies Counting Book
Give each child an 8” x 8” square of paper. Let them take off their shoes and socks and trace around their feet. Next, let them decorate their footprints with markers or crayons. Tape their pictures together to make an accordion book. Write the numerals 10, 20, 30, 40….on the pages.

Piggie Bookmark
Let children take off their shoes and socks and trace around their foot on construction paper. After they cut it out and decorate it they can use it as a bookmark to “step into a good book.”

Sunday, March 1, 2015


Your students will catch “math fever” with the hands-on activities, games, and catchy tunes you’ll find this month on my website. Hopefully, if you tell your students that math is fun and that they are good mathematicians they will keep that positive attitude.

The free song download is "Hickory Dickory Dock." It's great for younger children because of the counting and rhymes. It can also be adapted for older students who are learning to tell time because they can use their arms like the hands on a clock as they sing.

Hickory Dickory Dock
Hickory dickory dock. (Palms together and tick tock back and forth.)
The mouse ran up the clock. (Wiggle fingers up in the air.)
The clock struck one, (Clap one time.)
The mouse ran down. (Wiggle fingers down.)
Hickory dickory dock.

Two – “Yahoo!” (Continue clapping the appropriate number of times.)
Three – “Whopee!”
Four – “Do more!”
Five – “Let’s jive!”
Six – “Fiddlesticks!”
Seven – “Oh, heavens!”
Eight – “Life’s great!”
Nine – “So fine!”
Ten – “We’re near the end.”
Eleven – “We’re sizzlin’.”
Twelve – “I’m proud of myself.”

*Make paper plate clocks and use to as you sing the song.

*Use your arms like the hands on a clock. Extend both arms over your head. On “one,” bring right arm down to the position of “one” on a clock. On “two,” bring right arm down to position of “two,” and so forth as you sing.

Digital Time - Place a digital clock by the wall clock in your classroom so children can associate both ways of telling time.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


Last Monday we danced, skated, played, and exercised our brains with paper plates. I’m not one to waste anything, so here are a few more ideas that teachers could do with their plates when they got home. Paper plates can be used for letters, numerals, shapes, words, math facts, or any skill that needs practice. 
Hint! Draw a star at the top on the back of the plates. Tell children to put the star next to their chin and the letters will be in the right position.

Musical Plates
– Place the plates on the floor and play some dance music. Children dance around, but when the music stops they have to find a plate and pick it up. After they’ve identified the information they place it on the floor and the dance music begins again.

Word Worm – Decorate a plate to look like a worm or caterpillar. Pass out words (or letters or numerals) to the class. First child places her word next to the worm’s head and reads it. Second child places her word next and reads both words. The third child reads all three words. The game continues as the worm grows.
Hint! Allow children to ask the audience if they don’t know a word.

I Have – Who has? Write numbers (1-25) or letters on plates. The child with number one stands and says, “I have one, who has two?” The child with two stands and says, “I have two, who has three?” The game continues as children count in order.
*A similar game can be played with letters in alphabetical order.

Push, Pull, Click, Click – Susan Shomo shared this chant that's perfect for the plates.
Push (Push in the air.)
Pull (Pretend to pull.)
Click, click (Snap fingers.)
Read this (word, letter, numeral, etc.)
Really quick. (Show plate to children.)

And, now for some NEW ideas from New Jersey!

Name Change (Cathy Richards)
Children choose a letter from a bag or use the letter of the week. Change the child's name to that sound to sing good-bye to the tune of "Good Night, Ladies.)
For example: "T"
Good-bye Tonathan. (Jonathan)
Good-bye Tophia. (Sophia)
Good-bye Tyan. (Ryan)
Good-bye Tilly. (Lilly)

My Messy House (Lorraine Clark)
Cut shirts, pants, socks, and other clothing out of construction paper and write sight words on them. Put them in the middle of the floor in a pile and explain that mom's so busy she needs their help to clean up. One at a time children pick a word/piece of clothing and read it.
*You can even let them hang the clothes on a clothes line with clothespins.

Ivory Soap Experiment (MaryAnn Kressling)
Put a bar (unwrapped) of Ivory soap in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Observe. It will transform into a cloud.
*Great for writing or drawing observations.

Friday, February 27, 2015


There aren't too many songs for St. Patrick's Day, but my daughter Holly wrote this one several years ago. (You can download the book on my website.)
St Patrick’s Day!
(Tune: “Sweet Molly Malone”- Happy Everything CD)
On the 17th of March (Point heels on opposite feet as if doing a jig.)
About when spring starts
The lassies and leprechauns
Come out to play.
We’ll find four-leafed clovers (Hold up 4 fingers.)
And wear green all over, (Move hands over clothing.)
And that’s how we’ll celebrate (Put hand in the air as if cheering.)
St. Patrick’s Day!

The legends of old
Say there’re pots of gold (Extend arms in a circle.)
A’ sparkling and shining (Open and close fingers to make sparkles.)
At each rainbow’s end.
The leprechauns know (Point to brain.)
Right where to go,
So if you see a leprechaun (Hand over eyes as if searching.)
Make him your friend!

On the 17th of March
About when spring starts
The lassies and leprechauns
Come out to play.
We’ll find four-leafed clovers
And wear green all over,
And that’s how we’ll celebrate
St. Patrick’s Day!

*Cut the rim off a paper plate and cut in half as shown. Let children color it like a rainbow and then attach tissue paper streamers. They can use their rainbows as they dance and sing.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


I played this game as a kindergartener and I always played it with my students this time of year.  It's an "oldie but goodie."

Did You Ever See a Lassie?
(Traditional Tune)

Children form a circle as you explain that a "lassie" is a girl and a "laddie" is a boy.  A girl is chosen to be the "lassie."  She gets in the middle of the circle and makes a funny motion that the others must mimic as you sing.  The girl then chooses a "laddie" to stand in the middle and make a motion.  The game continues as girls and boys take turns leading in the game.
Did you ever see a lassie, a lassie, a lassie?
Did you ever see a lassie go this way and that?
Go this way and that way,
Go this way and that way.
Did you ever see a lassie go this way and that? 
Did you ever see a laddie...

One of K.J.'s favorite memories from preK was St. Patrick's Day.  They got to take off their shoes at nap time and put them in the hall.  When they woke up the leprechaun had left them a Rice Crispie Treat in their shoe.  It's those little things that make memories for our "little things."  Here are a few other "little things" you might want to include in your lesson plans next month.

Hunting for Gold - Spray paint pebbles or rocks gold. (Spread out on newspaper. Spray with gold paint. Dry. Shake. Spray the other side with gold paint. Dry. Shake. Spray a third time.) Hide the pebbles on the playground before children arrive at school. Tell the children a leprechaun hid some gold for them. What fun they will have hunting for the gold nuggets!
Hint! Need a little bucket for collecting that gold? Hole punch opposite sides of a plastic cup. Insert a pipe cleaner handle and you’ve got a perfect “pot of gold.”
What If? Have children write stories (or draw pictures and dictate) what they would do if they found a pot of gold.

Leprechaun Mischief – While the children are at lunch or on the playground, turn over a few chairs, put books on the floor, and mess up the classroom. Sprinkle a little green glitter around. Have the children write stories about what they think happened.

Catch a Leprechaun - Challenge children to design “traps” to catch a leprechaun in the block center. Give children an empty sack out on the playground and see who can catch a leprechaun.

Green Snack – Eat foods that are green like celery, broccoli, lime gelatin, snap peas, edamame, etc. You could also use green food coloring to dye cream cheese, milk, yogurt or other snacks.

Leprechaun Lunch – Purchase miniature peanut butter crackers (Ritz), cookies (Chips Ahoy), and other mini-foods. Serve these on dessert plates with napkins cut in fourths. Milk or juice in medicine cups makes this a perfect snack for “wee folks.”

Field Trip - Take a field trip (on the internet) to Ireland. Find Ireland on the globe. How could you get there? Could you go in a car? Why or why not?

Math Manipulatives – Spread out dry lima beans on a newspaper. Spray paint one side gold. Dry. Flip over and spray paint the other side gold. These golden nuggets are perfect for making sets, adding, and subtracting.