Sunday, February 23, 2020

DOG BISCUIT DAY

Bet you didn't know that February 23rd was International Dog Biscuit Day!  Let's see how we can recycle a box of dog biscuits in our classroom this week.

Woof!  Woof!
Make a “Woof! Woof” game. Cut out dog bones and write sight words, math facts, letters, etc. on them. On a few write “Woof! Woof!” Pass the box around and let each child pull out a bone and identify the information. If they select “Woof! Woof!” they have to get down on the floor on all fours and bark like a dog. (They love it!) 

                             


Dog Biscuit Math
Use the dog biscuits for math activities. Add, subtract, make sets, sort… This dog dish with two sections is perfect for tens and ones.


Who Let the Letters Out?

Place letters in a dog dish or empty box of dog biscuits. Children reach in
and pull out one letter at a time as you chant:
Who let the D out?
/d/ /d/ /d/ /d/ /d/

                                                                  

Our Pets

Make a book about pets. Cut the front and back off the box and cut paper the size of the box. Give each child a sheet of paper so they can draw a picture of their pet and write or dictate a sentence about it. (If they don’t have a pet they can draw a picture of a pet they would like to have.) Put their pictures between the covers of the box, hole punch, and you’re ready to read. 

                                 

Dog Food (O.K.  I know this isn't healthy, but its such fun!!!)
You will need:
12 oz. bag chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
1 stick butter
10-12 oz. box Multi-Bran Chex Cereal
powdered sugar


Directions:
1. Wash your hands.
2. Melt the first three ingredients in a pan over low heat.
3. Pour the mixture over the Chex cereal and mix until coated.
4. Put 2 paper grocery sacks together, one inside the other.
Pour ½ cup powdered sugar into the bottom of the bag.
Pour in the cereal mixture, close the bag, and shake.
Keep checking and adding powdered sugar until the mixture
looks like dog food.

For fun, serve in a clean dog food bowl!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

NATIONAL DAY OF UNPLUGGING

I'm telling you about this a few days early because it's going to take some planning to get "unplugged" for the day.

                             


National Day of Unplugging

www.nationaldayofunplugging.com
National Day of Unplugging a 24 hour global respite from technology. it highlights the value of disconnecting from digital devices to connect with ourselves, our loved ones and our communities in real time. Join us for national day of unplugging 2020 from sundown to sundown, march 6 - 7.

Check out this free booklet that you can download on the website:
            

I loved this little cell phone sleeping bag.
There are many things we do in schools that don’t have an impact on children, but I bet if you “unplugged” for one day it would leave a lasting impression. It could also lead to some great learning opportunities. Students could write opinions, do a T-Chart of things to do with a screen and without a screen, graph preferences, make a book about what to do without technology, do a Venn diagram...

Have you read BLACKOUT by John Rocco. It’s a delightful tale about what happens when a family in a big city loses power. I won’t tell you what happens, but I bet you can guess. I was talking to some children recently about the “olden days” before televisions, video games, cell phones, and computers. They were stunned and said, “What did you do?” I smiled and replied, “You know what? We played outside and had lots of fun!”

                                        


Several years ago a teacher told me that they asked the families at her school to record the amount of screen time their child had for a week. The next week they asked the parents to turn off all devices and spend the same amount of time interacting with their child by reading, playing games, doing chores around the house, going for walks, etc. Do you think most families could survive this? It certainly would be a meaningful challenge!
 

Kids DIY Resource Toolkit at nationaldayofunplugging.com





Friday, February 21, 2020

SEE YOU LATER, ALLIGATOR!

I've made this book many times through the years. First, I enlarge the words and put one line on each page. I make two copies of each page since there are 15 lines and usually at least 25 children in a classroom. After singing the song several times I let each child choose an animal and illustrate it for our book. Sometimes we do a little research on the internet if they are not familiar with an animal. I encourage the children to use lots of colors and to fill in the page. I let them dedicate their book and then add the school's name as the publisher and the copyright date. The children all sign their names as “Illustrators,” and then I punch holes and bind with book rings. I use the extra pictures on the cover, “The End,” “Comments and Compliments,” etc.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=13&v=1CG-4BPLm4s&feature=emb_title

                                          



Good-bye Friends!
See you later, alligator!

After while, crocodile!
In an hour, sunflower!
Maybe two, kangaroo!
Gotta go, buffalo!
Adios, hippos!
Chow, chow, brown cow!
See you soon, baboon!

Adieu, cockatoo!
Better swish, jellyfish.
Chop chop, lollipop.
Gotta run, skeleton!
Bye-bye, butterfly!
Better shake, rattlesnake.
Good-bye, my good friends!


*Write the words on a poster and have the children chant with you before they go home at the end of the day.

Todaloo 

Let the children make up their own verses and sing to "Down by the Bay."
Todaloo tennis shoe.

Give a hug ladybug.
Better scat alley cat.
Bye bye dragon fly.
Take care, Mr. Bear.
Wave to me, bumblee...

Thursday, February 20, 2020

WHAT'S IN YOUR WALLET?

This wallet is perfect for “saving” sight words, letters, math facts, colors, shapes, and other skills you want children to master.

How to Make a Wallet
 

Materials: construction paper 9” x 12”, markers, green paper cut 4” x 2”

1st Place the paper lengthwise and fold up the bottom to an inch from the top.
 











2nd Fold in half.

 

3rd Open and glue both sides.

 










4th Let the children decorate the outside.

 

5th Cut 4 ½ ” x 2 ¼ ” green rectangles and write high frequency words on them.
When children learn a word they get to “save” it in their wallets.
 






 


Letter Wallets
Younger children could save letters, numbers, or shapes in their wallets.


Math Wallets - Write addition and subtraction facts on dollars and save them in math wallets.

Vocabulary - Have children write vocabulary words on dollars and store them in their wallets.

Word Families - Use wallets to reinforce word families.


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

BUILDING BAGS

Here's a great art activity for integrating STEM with a unit of study.

                             
 

Here’s an art/engineering project that my students always enjoyed. Erik Erikson believed that children aged 5-12 were in the age of “industriousness” and needed opportunities to feel confident in their ability to achieve and produce. If you watch children as they work on these projects you can almost see their brains firing away as they create and problem-solve.

What?
2 lunch bags
old newspapers
scissors, tape, glue, markers
construction paper scraps and other art media




How?
Decorate one bag with construction paper, markers, paint, and your imagination to look like a building.  Open the second bag and stuff with wadded up newspaper.  Insert the decorated bag over the stuffed bag to make a rectangular cube.


Why?
Tie these sack structures in with a unit on community helpers by asking children to make buildings in their community.

Let children make places from a book they have read and use them to retell the story.

Divide children into small groups and let them collaborate in designing buildings and structures. Can they make a city in the future? Can they make dwellings from other cultures and countries?

Now that's what I call building skills for the 21st Century!  Cooperation, collaboration, communication, and creativity all rolled into a fun thing for children to do!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

INDOOR GAMES - HOORAY!


 
                                       The weather outside is frightful,
                                       But inside our game is delightful.
                                       If you can't go out one day,
                                       Here are indoor games to play.

Silent Touch
This is a great game to quiet children and build memory skills. The first child gets up and touches an object and then sits down. The second child gets up, touches the first object, then touches an additional object. The third child touches the first object, second object, and adds a third object. The game continues as classmates touch what the previous children have touched in sequential order and then add a new item. When a child forgets, simply begin the game all over again.
                       


Four Corners (This is the BEST indoor game ever!)
Number each of the corners in the room ~ 1, 2, 3, 4. (You can write the numerals on paper and hang them up if you want.) Choose one person to be “it.” “It” hides their eyes and slowly counts from one to ten as the rest of the class tiptoes to a corner in the room. When “it” says “freeze,” everyone must be in a corner. “It” then calls out a number (1, 2, 3, or 4) and the children in that corner are out of the game. They sit down in the “stew pot” in the middle of the room. “It” counts to ten again as everyone moves to a new corner. The game continues until there is one person left. That person becomes the new “it.”
Hint! Shorten the game by having “it” call out two corners at a time.


*If there is no one in the corner, ask “it” to call out another number.

*Label the corners with sight words or vocabulary words.

Detective
One child is the “detective.” The detective describes a “missing child” (classmate), giving their eye color, hair color, description of clothing, likes, etc. The first person to identify the missing child gets to be the new detective.


Hint! Here is another variation of this game. Send the detective out in the hall. Select one child and hide him or her under your desk or behind a shelf. The detective returns to the classroom and tries to identify the missing child. (You can also let two children exchange seats and see if the detective can spot the switch.)

Hot Potato
You can use a small ball, bean bag, or stuffed animal for this game. Children sit or stand in a circle. Children begin passing the “hot potato” (ball or bean bag) around the room when the music starts. Explain that it is a “hot potato” and they need to pass it quickly to the next friend. When the music stops, the one holding the “hot potato” is out of the game and must leave the circle. If two children are holding it they are both out. The last child remaining is the winner. Begin the game again.

Silent Ball
You will need a small, soft ball for this game. Explain that the object of the game is to see how many times you can toss the ball without talking. Look at the person you are throwing the ball to so they will be ready. Silently count how many times we can throw the ball without talking or dropping it. If someone talks or drops the ball, then the game begins all over again.
                                                                      


Tower Topple
This game is similar to Jenga.  Have children get a block and then sit in a circle.  The first child begins building the tower by placing her block in the middle of the circle.  The second child places his block on top of hers...The game continues as children try to build the tower higher and higher.  When it falls over every shouts "tower topple" and the game begins again.


Monday, February 17, 2020

JOIN ME!!!

I've got some exciting presentations coming up this spring! We'll sing, dance, have fun - and you'll leave with tons of new ideas you can use in your classroom. 

February 28 & 29, 2020
Pasadena, CA
Southern California Conference for Pre-K, TK, Kindergarten, and First
socalkindergartenconference.org




March 6, 2020
Atlanta, GA
Georgia Preschool Association
georgiapreschool.org


April 4, 2020
Vicksburg, MS
Early Educators Conference 

msullivan@vwsd.org


April 18, 2020
Wise, VA
Southwest Virginia Early Childhood Conference
scr5e@uvawise.edu


April 25, 2020
Mt. Vernon, IL 

johnsonp@rlc.edu

 
My goal is to remind you how much fun teaching can be!!!!