Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Let me give you your first gift this December.  Last year Sam Williams and I created a set of four songs and printables called "Kindergarten Karaoke." We'd like to "give" them to you to add some “funness” to your day.

Each of the song packets contains many tools and suggestions to bring reading to life in your classroom including:
• Download of the song
• A colorful sing and read book
• A reproducible independent reading book
• Lyric sheet
• Extension Activities
• Worksheets to use in centers
So go to drjean.org today, click, and start singing and reading these songs!
          Color Farm

          Five Little Hotdogs

          Nursery Rhyme Rap

          Shape Song

Monday, November 30, 2015


Note!  My granddaughter goes to a school where they are not allowed to celebrate holidays or have any outside food.  My daughter and I were devastated when we heard that because we have so many special memories from holiday parties and sweet treats.  It makes me sad that Kalina can't sing some of my songs and do holiday activities.  But the truth is Kalina doesn't know what she's missing and so it doesn't bother her at all.  She absolutely loves school.  Her teacher and school have bent over backwards to do other special things with the children, such as a sock hop on Halloween.  You can only control what you can control, so you just have to be a little creative to give children alternative memories.

S A N T A (Tune: "BINGO")
There is a jolly bearded man
And Santa is his name-o.
S – A – N – T – A,
S – A – N – T – A,
S – A – N – T – A,
And Santa is his name-o.

He lives at the North Pole…
His wears a suit all red and white…
He makes toys for girls and boys…
He drives a sleigh with 8 reindeer…
He’ll visit you on Christmas Eve…

                          *You can download this book on my website.

Write a different letter on five sheets of paper. Draw a hand on the back of each sheet. Choose five children to hold these as you sing the song. Explain that as you sing the song, when you turn over the letter and see the hand they should clap.

Your kids are going to love this “Santa Hunt” that Sara Lensing adapted from “The Cool Bear Hunt.” 

Santa Hunt
Get out your backpacks.
Open ‘em up.
Let’s put in some cookies for Santa and his reindeer.
And, let’s put in a thermos of milk in case he gets thirsty.
Oh. and don’t forget your Christmas lights in case it gets dark.
Zip ‘em up and repeat after me.
(Children repeat each line.)
We’re gonna find Santa (March and slap thighs.)
Before Christmas day.
He has a big, round belly (Extend arms.)
And a long, white beard. (Pull down from chin.)
Look over there! (Point.)
It’s a Candy Cane Forest!
Can’t go over it. (Arms over head.)
Can’t go under. (Arms down low.)
Can’t go around it. (Circle arms.)
I guess we’ll go through it. (Open palms and shrug shoulders.)
Slurp, slurp, slurp! (Pretend to suck on candy cane.)

We’re gonna find Santa
Before Christmas day.
He has a big, round belly
And a long, white beard.
Look over there!
It’s an egg nog river.
Can’t go over it.
Can’t go under.
Can’t go around it.
I guess we’ll swim across it. (Stroke arms as if swimming.)

We’re gonna find Santa
Before Christmas day.
He has a big, round belly
And a long, white beard.
Look over there!
It’s a gingerbread house!
Can’t go over it.
Can’t go under.
Can’t go around it.
I guess we’ll go through it.
Yum, yum, yum! (Pretend to eat gingerbread.)

We’re gonna find Santa
Before Christmas day.
He has a big, round belly
And a long, white beard.
Look over there!
It’s Santa’s workshop.
Can’t go over it.
Can’t go under.
Can’t go around it.
I guess we’ll go through it.
Shhh! (Finger over lips.)
Get out your Christmas lights. (Pretend to get out lights.)
Turn them on – click.
Let’s set out the cookies and milk.
I see a big, round belly.
And a long, white beard!
It’s Santa!
He-he-he! We can’t let him see us!
Tip toe! (Tiptoe.)
Quick! Go through the gingerbread house! Yum, yum, yum,!
Swim across the egg nog river!
Go through the Candy Cane Forest! Slurp, slurp, slurp!
Go home.
Open the door.
Shut the door.
We found Santa.
Merry Christmas to all!
*Children could do a time line or a story map of the hunt for Santa as a follow up activity.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Someone once told me that ringing bells make you happy.  Sounds good to me!  I'm tying bells on my shoes and I'm ready to "jingle all the way."
Sleigh Riding – Have children sit on the floor facing the same directions.  Demonstrate how to hold the person’s waist in front of you.  As you sing "Jingle Bells" sway forwards and backwards to the beat as if riding a sleigh.

Bell Bracelets – Let children thread several jingle bells on a pipe cleaner.  Twist the ends together to make a bracelet children can shake as you sing.

Jingle Bell Painting - You will need an empty cheese ball container or similar cylinder shape with a lid. Cut a piece of paper so you can roll it and put it in the cylinder. Take two jingle bells. Drop one in red paint and the other in green paint. Use a spoon to transfer the bells to the can. Put on the lid, then shake up the can as you sing “Jingle Bells.” Take out the paper and you’ll have a jingle bell painting!

Candy Canes

This is a craft idea that you can use to decorate your classroom.  Take a square sheet of paper (8 1/2" x 8 1/2" works well) and color around the edges with a red marker or crayon.  (Demonstrate how to cut a square by folding up the bottom edge to the side to make a triangle.  Cut off the top and you'll always have a square.)  Put a pencil at a bottom point and roll up as shown.  Tape the end, remove the pencil, and use as a pointer or decoration.
*Use the candy cane as a prompt for descriptive writing.  Children could also brainstorm creative ways to use candy canes or write original stories about how candy canes were invented.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


Don't let standards be the Grinch and steal away your fun this month. Take a look at some of these ideas I’ve got for you!

Sight Words- Each day let children write a high frequency word on a strip of paper and glue the ends to make a link in a chain. They can practice reading over previous words each day as they add a new word and link.
Snowman Math - Give children the outline of a snowman similar to the one shown. They can take buttons or other manipulatives and place sets in the top two sections. Join them together in the bottom circle to make the sum. Ask students to write the equation.

*Give children a certain number of buttons. How many different combinations can the make on the snowman to come up with the same sum?

Timeline – Give children long pieces of paper so they can make a time line of the “Gingerbread Man.” (I cut my strips from grocery sacks.)
*Read several versions of the “Gingerbread Man” and compare and contrast.

Descriptive Writing – Fold 2 sheets of paper in half and staple to make a book for each child. Children think of a title for their books and add their name as author and illustrator. Have them write and complete the following statements on each page:
     My (holiday) smells like…
     My (holiday) looks like…
     My (holiday) sounds like…
     My (holiday) feels like…
     My (holiday) tastes like…

*For younger children run off the sentences and let them dictate sentences.

Preposition Elf – Hide an elf (Elf on the Shelf or one of his friends) or similar seasonal toy in a different place in the room every day. Encourage children to use complete sentences as they describe where the elf is.

*Let children take turns hiding the toy and calling on friends to describe its location.

Friday, November 27, 2015


Some of you will be shopping today and some of you will be working on lesson plans for December.  Over the next week I’ll post art projects, gifts children can make, recipes, and lots of FUN ideas.  Although you probably haven’t finished your turkey leftovers, I know you need ideas sooner rather than later so you can collect materials and integrate these ideas into your lesson plans. 

Note!  If you do not celebrate holidays in your schools, feel free to adapt these projects. 

*You can trace around their hands and cut them out, or let children dip their hands in paint and print.  You could also use fabric paint and make holiday shirts with their handprints.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Some of you are cooking, some of you are traveling, some of you are sleeping, but I hope you all take a moment today to pause and...

     Make a list of your blessings. 

     Call someone who has done something nice for you.

     Write an email or send a card to someone you appreciate.

     Acknowledge the positive traits of others around you instead of their negative traits.

     Think of all the people who have done you good and forgive those who have hurt you.

     Do a little act of kindness today and every day.

Several weeks ago my exercise instructor said her church gave everybody a twenty dollar bill and told them to give it to a random person who looked like they needed a little love.  As they handed the $20 they were to smile and say, "You are special and God loves you."  I thought it was such a great idea I've given away five $20 in the past two weeks.  One went to a convenience store clerk, another to a housekeeper, a tired looking fast food server... I've been blessed more than the people I've given the money to.  And, it's not the money.  It's an acknowledgment that I recognize you and appreciate you.  Somebody cares.

I appreciate each of YOU!  Thank you for caring for children every day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Yay!!! It's almost Turkey Day!

I'm in eating and party mode and I hope you are as well. Here's a flash mob we did at the NAEYC Conference last week in Orlando. It was a last minute thing, but it was so much fun!!!

California Here I Come!
I've got a few more workshops coming up in December if you live in CA or NJ.  (I'm smiling because one teacher said her principal wouldn't give her permission to go so she said she had a "doctor's appointment."  She wasn't lying because she went to see "DR." Jean!)

December 3rd - Concord, CA  (sde.com for details)
December 4th - Rancho Cordova, CA   (sde.com)
December 11th - West Orange, NJ  (sde.com)