Tuesday, August 11, 2020


It’s often been said that, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!” That is particularly true with children and their parents!  I shared the brochure below at some "online" back to school workshops that I did.  Several teachers sent messages asking for more details, so here you go!

Make a brochure about yourself, your school, and fun activities you have planned for the year and mail it to the children before school begins. To make a brochure, fold a sheet of paper into thirds. On the front section write “Welcome to your name’s Classroom Family!” On the left section place a picture of yourself and write some personal information about your family, pets, experience, etc. On the inside write “We’ll have a great year together…" list all the fun activities with pictures.

*I think an emoji paper doll teacher would be a big hit as well.  
Note!  That Dr. Jean doesn't have any wrinkles!!!

Tell Me About Your Child
Give parents an envelope and ask them to write you a letter about their child.  What a simple way to encourage parents to share special information and show how much you care!

Monday, August 10, 2020


Several years ago I wrote a poem called “What’s in Your Backpack?” It was meant to help parents understand how children learn through ACTIVE learning and PLAY.

I shared similar thoughts about how children learn through singing, dancing, finger plays, etc. at my recent “Dr. Jean’s Toolbox for the Virtual Classroom.” A teacher questioned, “But how do you help parents realize the value in these things?” Great question, so here’s an adaptation for distance learning.


What did you do
at school today?
Where are your worksheets?
Did you just play?

I sang a song with
Alphabet letters.
Those sounds will help
me read much better.

I counted and did some
Math facts, too.
I used my brain
Like a math whiz would do!

We I played a game
Called “I spy a shape.”
I found shapes in my room
It was great.

Story time is what
I always like best.
I can use my imagination
And give my body a rest.

My fingers got a workout
With finger plays.
Those same small muscles
Will help me write one day.

I sang and danced,
Laughed with friends, too.
I learned to take turns
And say “please” and “thank you.”

There will be time
For worksheets and tests,
But talking and playing
Is how I learn best.

I love to go to school!
Active learning for me!
I look, listen, and learn.
I’m glad to be me!

Sunday, August 9, 2020


I am so excited to share these Spanish translations of some of my "Transition Tips and Tricks" with you.  Thank you, thank you, Claudia Hernandez of the Garland ISD!  

TRANSLATIONS BY CLAUDIA HERNANDEZ                                                        




Tootsie Roll

Tootsie roll,                   (Roll hands around each other.)

Lollipop.                         (Pretend to lick a lollipop.)

We’ve been talking,   (Open and shut fingers.)

Now let’s stop!             (Make sign language sign for “stop.”)


Tootsie Roll

Tootsie roll,                               (Roll hands around each other.)

Chupete.                                 (Pretend to lick a lollipop.)

Hemos estado hablando        (Open and shut fingers.)

¡Ahora detengámonos!          (Make sign language sign for “stop.”)


Hocus Pocus

Teacher says:  

“Hocus Pocus!”                      (Stick out index finger and circle around like a magic wand.) 

Children respond:  

“Everybody focus!”              (Children make circles with fingers and thumbs and place

                                                   around eyes like spectacles.)

Hocus Pocus

Teacher says:  

“Hocus Pocus!”                      (Stick out index finger and circle around like a magic wand.) 

Children respond:  

“Todos concentrados!”         (Children make circles with fingers and thumbs and place

                                                   around eyes like spectacles.)



Teacher says:              Is everybody happy?

Children repeat:          Yes, ma’m.  H –a- p – p – y.  Happy!  (Clap on letters.)


Teacher says:              ¿Están todos felices?

Children repeat:          Si, maestra.  F-e- l- I -c- e -s.  Felices!  (Clap on letters.) 

Give Me a Clap (Tune:  “Addams Family”)

Give me a clap.          (Clap twice.)

Give me a clap.          (Clap twice.)

Give me a clap, give me a clap,

Give me a clap.          (Clap twice.)

Give me a snap.         (Snap twice.)

Give me a snap.         (Snap twice.)

Now fold your hands and put them down

Into your lap.   (Model putting your hands in your lap.)


Give Me a Clap (Tune:  “Addams Family”)

Aplaudamos              (Clap twice.)

aplaudamos               (Clap twice.)

aplaudamos, aplaudamos,

aplaudamos.  (Clap twice.)

Tronemos los dedos.                (Snap twice)

Tronemos los dedos.                (Snap twice)

Dobla tus manos y ahora bájalas

En tu regazo.                           (Model putting your hands in your lap).


Sit Down Chant

Clap your hands.         (Clap 3 times slowly.)

Stomp your feet.         (Stomp slowly 3 times.)

Put your bottom

in your seat!


Sit Down Chant

Aplaude.                     (Clap 3 times slowly.)

Marchando.                (Stomp slowly 3 times.)


en tu lugar!


How Does My Teacher Feel About Me?

Teacher says:       “How does my teacher feel about me?”

Children respond:  “I’m as special as special can be because my teacher believes in me!”


How Does My Teacher Feel About Me?

Teacher says:                              “¿Qué piensa mi maestra de mí?”

Children respond:                       ¡Soy más especial de lo que especial puede ser,

                                                      porque mi maestro cree en mí!"


Hands on Top

Teacher says:              Hands on top.  (Place hands on head.)

Students respond:       Everybody stop.  (Place hands on head and freeze.)


Hands on Top

Teacher says:              Manos arriba (Place hands on head.)

Students respond:       Todos paramos. (Place hands on head and freeze.)


Criss Cross

Criss cross,                               (Sit on floor and cross legs.)

Be your own boss.                   (Fold your arms and nod head.)


Criss Cross

Cruza tus piernas.        (Sit on floor and cross legs.)

Tu estás a cargo!        (Fold your arms and nod head.)


Sitting Chant

1, 2, 3, 4  -  glue your bottoms to the floor.

5, 6, 7, 8  - hands to yourself and sit up straight.


Sitting Chant

1, 2, 3, 4  -  siéntate en el piso.

5, 6, 7, 8  - manos en tus piernas y sentado derechito.


I Think I Can

This is a great song to sing to encourage children to always give it a try.  It goes to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”

I think I can are words I like to say.

I think I can are words I like to say.

In time I’ll get it right if I try with all my might.

I think I can are words I like to say.

“Creo que puedo” son palabras que me gusta decir.

“Creo que puedo” son palabras que me gusta decir.

Con el tiempo lo haré bien, si lo intento y me esfuerzo.

“Creo que puedo” son palabras que me gusta decir.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

TARJETAS DE PORRAS (Cheers in Spanish)

We've had so many requests for 

"Dr. Jean's Toolkit for the Virtual Classroom"

that we've created a way so that you can 

attend anytime you need a song, an idea, 

a cheer, or a little inspiration!

I’m so excited to share these cheer cards that Carla Ureno (El Paso ISD) created!  It’s not easy to translate some of these things into Spanish, so Carla needs to KISS HER BRAIN!  


P.S.  And thanks to Teacher Toni for updating the graphics.  She made them the perfect size to put on a ring.

¡Que las disfruten! 

Friday, August 7, 2020


Someone once said that the mind can only comprehend what the seat can endure. And that's why children need to do songs where they can reduce wiggles and energize their brains.



Wiggle Willie




Jump Rope Rally



My Bonnie Bounce





Kids on the March



Button Factory


Thursday, August 6, 2020


Draw a line from your forehead down the middle of your body. That’s called your midline. The brain is made up of two hemispheres and when you cross that midline it helps both hemispheres of the brain work together. Here are some songs where you cross the midline.  They’re perfect for a brain break online or in class. 

Hint! Put a piece of masking tape or painter’s tape down their bodies so they can visually see how they cross the midline when they sing and exercise.











When you patty cake you cross the midline, develop eye-hand coordination, oral language, and social skills.


Wednesday, August 5, 2020


Mindfulness suggests slowing down and paying full attention to what you are doing.  Learning to self-regulate and center themselves is a challenge for young children, particularly in the virtual classroom.  Here are some songs that can relieve stress and help children focus.

Balancing Act
Directions: Have children stand and follow along as they balance and relax.

Balancing Act

Tony Chestnut
Directions: Point to the body parts as you sing. Sing each verse softer until you are doing the silent version.


Tony Chestnut

Morning Stretch
This video does simple yoga moves as children slowly breath in and out.


Morning Stretch