Monday, January 26, 2015


Will You Be My Valentine?
(Tune: “Do You Know the Muffin Man?”)
Will you be my Valentine, (Point to various friends.)
Valentine, Valentine?
Will you be my Valentine?
I’ll be yours if you’ll be mine! (Point to self and then a friend.)

Some are red, some are blue, (Hold up fingers.)
Some have lace and ribbons, too.
Some are funny, some are not. (Smile and then shake head “no.”)
I like the candy ones a lot.

Will you be…(repeat)

Bringing Home a Valentine

(Tune: "Baby Bumblebee")
I’m bringing home a valentine for you, (Cup hands and move to the beat.)
One that says, “I love you.”
I’m bringing home a valentine for you
With a great big hug, and a (kiss) (kiss), too! (Hug self and then kiss 
in the air.)

Valentine for Parents - Let each child take off one shoe and trace around her foot on white paper. Cut it out. Give each child 5 small pieces of red tissue paper to wad up and glue at the end of each toe for toenails. Write “I love you from my head down to my toes” on the foot.

Download the book at
Mouse Bookmark – Cut a heart about the size of a child’s hand from red construction paper. Fold in half. Open. Tape a 6” piece of string in the middle. Glue closed. Draw a nose, whiskers, and ears on the heart as shown to make it look like a mouse. Use for a bookmark.

Chocolate Play Dough
– Make play dough using your favorite recipe. Omit the food coloring and let the children knead the dough in cocoa. It will look and smell like chocolate. Purchase a box of valentine candies and remove/eat the candies. Children can roll up the dough and put them in the paper containers.

Valentine Sandwich – You will need a heart shaped cookie cutter, bread, cream cheese, and red food coloring to make this sandwich. Mix the cream cheese with red food coloring until it is pink. Cut a heart out of the bread with the cookie cutter. Spread on the cream cheese.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Some of my “sweetest” memories of being in the classroom are of Valentine’s Day. To see the delight in the children’s eyes when they opened up those little paper envelopes! You can integrate many reading, writing, and math skills as you get ready for the big day.

Conversation Hearts

Conversation hearts are good to sort, count, read, and eat! Estimate how many will be in a bag, then count. Graph the ones that are the same. Make a game by cutting paper hearts out of construction paper. Write like phrases found on candy hearts (such as “Kiss Me, “Cool One,” “WOW!” “Cutie Pie”) on two of the hearts. Children can visually match up the ones that go together, or they can play a concentration game with them.              

Use Valentine stickers or paper conversation hearts to make a memory game.

Love Is… 

Do a language experience chart where each child completes the sentence, “Love is…” You could also make a class book where each child completes the sentence “Love is…” and draws things that she loves.

Predictable Books

Have children make blank books using one of these titles: Love is… I love… Happiness is… A friend is… My favorite things to love… Things I love from A to Z.

Geometric Puzzles

Cut a 4” circle and a 4” square out of red paper for each child. Name the shapes. Encourage the children to describe the shapes. Have the children fold their circles in half and cut down the crease to make two semi-circles. Challenge them to create a valentine out of their shapes.


King Kong (I almost forgot about my favorite finger play for this time of year!)

         (Say “King Kong” in a loud voice & “teeny tiny monkey” in a squeaky voice.)
         KING KONG (Flex arms.)
         Was just a teeny tiny monkey (Hold up pinky.)
         Compared to my love for you. (Cross arms over chest and then extend.)
         KING KONG (Flex arms.)
         Was just a teeny tiny monkey (Hold up pinky.)
         Compared to my love for you. (Cross arms over chest and then extend.)
         I love you day (Make circle with arms.)
         And night. (Lay head on hands.)
         My love is out of sight. (Hands in air.)
         KING KONG (Flex arms.)
         Was just a teeny
         Tiny monkey (Hold up pinky.)
         Compared to my love for you! (Softly say this line as you point to children.)

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Look up!  Look down!  Look all around at the art displayed at the California Pk,K,1st Conference in Santa Clara last week.  (What a clever twist to have the snowmen looking up!  The children then wrote about what they saw.)

I've done crayon rubbings on leaves before, but I've never done them with several different colors of crayons.  Lovely!
And what a great way to integrate art and science.  The children created unique rainbows using ROY G. BIV.  (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet)

Here are my new besties from the CAK Conference!


Meet my new BFF's from Burton Hill Elementary in Forth Worth, TX.

If Your Mouth Says It... (Mechelle Burg)
If your mouth says it...(Point to your mouth.)
Your brain learns it! (Point to your brain.0

Octopus Grip (Mechelle Burg)
Move your thumb and first two fingers like a squid in front of you. Tell your students, "We are going to use our octopus tentacles to hold our pencils" as you wiggle your fingers. Remind them, "Don't forget our octopus grip!"

Line Up Chant (Sing to "Buckle Your Shoes")
1, 2 I'm looking at you.
3, 4 I'm going to shut the door.
5, 6 You better get it quick.
7, 8 We don't want to be late.
9, 10 I don't want to say it again!

Why would I ever want to retire when I keep making such wonderful friends?

P.S. A teacher in CA requested I put the songs I used and the CDs where they could be found on my blog. Here they are!

Feeling Fine #2 Move It! Learn It!
Kick Box the ABC's #7 Better Bodies and Brains
Alphabet Remix #17 Move It! Learn It!
Karate Writing #11 Disk 2 Better Bodies and Brains
Zero the Hero #6 Just for Fun
Addition Pokey #22 Totally Math
Tooty Ta #11 Dr. Jean & Friends
Rules Rap #8 Is Everybody Happy?
Letter Pops #9 Better Bodies and Brains
Cool Bear Hunt #1 Silly Songs
“Alphardy” Inspired Book and Word Wall Visuals

Friday, January 23, 2015


Goodness gracious, it's getting close to the end of the month.  Where does time go?  Over the next few days I'll be sharing activities for your February lesson plans.  Be sure and visit for more great resources, cutouts, games, etc.

Groundhog Day – February 2nd

(Tune: “Say, Say, My Playmate” – HAPPY EVERYTHING CD DISK 1)
February 2nd, (Hold up 2 fingers.)
Is Groundhog Day.
Gather round his hole (Make circular motion.)
To hear what he’ll say. (Place hand by ear.)
Will spring be early
Or late this year?
Watch and listen
To what you’ll hear.

If he sticks his head out (Make a hole with one hand.)
On a sunny day (Stick the index finger from the other hand
His shadow will frighten him up through the hole and wiggle.)
And he will say,
“I’ll go back in my hole (Tuck finger in your fist.)
And go back to sleep.
You’ll have winter
For six more weeks.”

If he sticks his head out (Make a hole with fist and stick up finger.)
On a cloudy day
He’s not frightened
So he will say, (Wiggle finger.)
“I think I’ll stay out
And the weather should clear.
Spring will be here
Early this year.”
Download this book at

Cup Puppet

Let children draw a groundhog or download an image off the internet. Staple to a straw. Punch a hole in the bottom of a paper cup and insert the straw in the cup. Raise and lower the groundhog as appropriate in the song.

Sidewalk Shadows

Go outside on a sunny day and have children stand with their backs to the sun. Let them make silly motions and play “Guess what I am?” Give them chalk and let them trace around each other’s shadows.
*Draw shadows at 10, 12, and 2 and compare.

Where’s the Groundhog?

Cut twenty 4” squares out of heavy paper. Write high frequency words, math facts, letters, etc. on the cards. Glue a picture of a groundhog on one square. Have the children sit on the floor in a circle. Mix up the cards and place them face up on the floor. Identify the word (etc.) on each card as you place it down on the floor. Tell the children to turn around. Hide the groundhog under one of the squares. Children turn back around and try and guess where the groundhog is hiding. One at a time children call out a word and then “peek” to see if the groundhog is under it. The first child to find the groundhog gets to have a turn hiding it. The game continues as children hide the groundhog and then try to discover his whereabouts.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


This is a simple idea that will engage all of your students and can be used in a variety of ways to reinforce math skills. It's perfect if you finish a lesson early or have five minutes at the end of the day.

Make a set of “show me” cards for each child by writing the numerals 0-10 on 3” squares of heavy cardstock. Have children store these cards in a zip bag in their desk. When you have a few extra minutes, ask the children to get their cards and arrange them on the floor or table in numerical order from 0-10. Use the cards for some of the games below.

How Many? 

Clap, snap, or stomp a set. Show me how many. (Students hold up the correct card.)  

  • How many toes do you have? Show me.
  • How many days in the week?  Show me.


Make a set with felt pieces on the flannel board. Show me how many.

Mystery Number

I’m thinking of a number between 4 and 6. Show me. I’m thinking of a number two more than seven. Show me.

Math Facts

4 plus 2. Show me. 9 minus 3. Show me.

Number Stories

I had four pennies. I found three more. Show me how many I have in all.

Fact Families

Call out numbers in a fact family. Can children write the equations in that fact family?

Decompose Numbers

How many ways can you make seven?

Expanded Notation

Put 3 in the tens spot and two in the ones spot. What’s the number?

Odd and Even

Sort the odd and even numbers.

Slap Happy Math

Children get a partner and lay a set of numeral cards on the floor between them. The teacher calls out different math problems. The first child to slap the correct numeral gets a point.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Skip counting is counting in multiples and a way to help children with multiplication. Of course if you sing and move it will be much more fun and will “stick” in the brain.

Whisper Skip Count

One (Touch head as you whisper “one.”)
Two (Touch shoulders and say “two.”)
Three (Touch head and whisper.)
Four (Touch shoulders and say “four.”)
Five (Touch head and whisper.)
Six (Touch shoulders and say “six.”)
Seven (Touch head and whisper.)
Eight (Touch shoulders and say, “eight.”)
Nine (Touch head and whisper.)
Ten (Touch shoulders as you say “ten.”)

To count by 3’s, touch shoulders and whisper “one,” touch shoulders and whisper “two,” touch waist and say “three.”
To count by 4’s, whisper on 1-3 and touch knees as you say “four.”
To count by 5’s, whisper on 1-4 and touch toes as you say “five.”

Karate Chop Skip Count (“Move It Learn It” CD)

Feet out, knees bent, karate chop as you count by 2’s to 50
2, 4, 6, 8…
Leg curls and chops as you count by 5’s to 100
Kick front and back as you count by 10’s to 200.
Wax on, wax off as you count by 100’s to 1000.

Macarena Skip Count

You can count by 10’s, 5’s, 2’s, or any number as you dance. 

Patty Cake Skip Counting

Patty cake as you count to 100 by ones.
Cross and give high 5 as you count by 5’s.
Clap both hands (10 fingers) to count by tens. 

Sing and Skip Count

Sing and skip count by 2’s to “Twinkle Little Star.”
2, 4, 6, 8, 10,
12, 14, 16, 18,
20, 22, 24
Then start over and count some more.
2, 4, 6, 8, 10,
Numbers, numbers never end.

Practice counting by 3’s to “Are You Sleeping?”
3, 6, 9, 12 (Children repeat each line.)
15, 18, 21
24, 27
30, 33, 36

4’s “Row Your Boat”
5’s “The Bear Went over the Mountain”
6’s “London Bridge”
7’s “Ten Little Indians”
8’s “This Old Man”

Hundreds Chart

Let children color in a hundreds chart to visually show skip counting.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Counting is a key principle in mathematics instruction, but it’s important to tie counting into nouns, such as “How many steps to the lunchroom?” “How many boys are here today?” “How many jumping jacks can you do?” 

Using real objects is also critical to developing number sense. Here are two simple tools that connect the oral with the concrete.

First is a pipe cleaner with ten beads attached. (I also used beads as knots at the end so the other beads wouldn’t fall off.) Children can slide the beads from left to right as they count from 1-10. Then flip it over and count 11-20, and so forth. Hold it vertically and say, “I wonder how many beads there are now?” Continue holding the pipe cleaner in different directions and counting. Imagine that? There are ten beads no matter which way we hold it!!!  

  • Use the beads for doing simple addition and subtraction problems.

The cotton shoelace has numbers written with a fabric marker. Slide on a bead and children are ready to count. This shoelace counter can also be used for addition, subtraction, one more, one less, etc.