Thursday, March 30, 2017

ABC YEARBOOK

A teacher in New York shared this idea with me years ago. It’s going to take a little work, but it will be something children will treasure the rest of their lives! You will need to assemble photographs of the children, as well as pictures you’ve taken throughout the school year. Take 26 sheets of paper and write a letter on each page. Glue pictures of the children on the page their name begins with. Next, sort through the pictures and glue them on appropriate pages. (I’ve give you some suggestions for each letter below.) Label the pictures and run off a copy for each child. Use card stock for the front and back cover and bind.
HINT!  This would be a great project for a parent volunteer.  (Some of you are thinking - I wish!)

A- apple tasting, art, alphabet, “Alligator”
B- “Bear Hunt,” blocks, birthdays, books, bus
C- computers, caterpillars, counting, cooking, CLIFFORD
D- dinosaurs, dancing, drawing, “Days of the Week”
E- easel, exercise, eating, exploring
F- friends, fall, first day of school, “Five Little Monkeys”
G- GINGERBREAD MAN, games, graphs, gym
H- Hundred Day, Halloween, holidays, handprint
I- ice and snow, insects, “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “I can___”
J- jack o’ lanterns, journals, jump rope
K- KISSING HAND, kites, kindness, “Katalina”
L- letters, library, “Lettercise,” lunch, LEO
M-“Macarena Months,” music, math, magnets
N- nests, nursery rhymes, names, numbers
O- oceans, outside, “Over in the Meadow”
P- pizza parlor, P.E., puzzles, painting, “Peanut Butter”
Q- quiet time, quilts
R- reading, rainy days, running, rabbits, “Rime Time”
S- singing, spring, shapes, senses, science
T- “Tooty Ta,” turkeys, teeth, tests, TACKY THE PENGUIN
U- upside down, under, umbrellas (April showers)
V- Valentine’s Day, VERY BUSY SPIDER
W- word wall, writing, winter, “Wally Acha,” weather
X- “X” marks the spot (treasure hunt), X with body
Z- zoo field trip, zigzag art, “Z” end of the year
                            
    
Here’s a poem for the cover:
We’ve learned and played in many ways,
But now the year must end.
Here’s a book to remember special days,
And all your kindergarten (first grade) friends!

Hint! If you don’t have photographs, let your children draw pictures for their books.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR PROGRAM!

It’s the end of March and it's time to get busy on that program for parents the end of the year. Here are a few ideas that might make it a bit less painful for you and a lot more fun for your children.

Who Let the Letters Out? (Kiss Your Brain CD)
Who let the A out? /a/a/a/a/a/
Who let the B out? /b/b/b/b/b/
Who let the C out? /c/c/c/c/c/…Z
                               
*Ask the kids to bring old white t-shirts from home. Paint black spots on the shirts and then make headbands with dog ears. You can even their noses black or tape on black circles. Pin a different letter to each child. Make something that looks like a doghouse to put on the stage with an arch cut out so children can walk through it. As their letter is sung in the song the children come out of the doghouse.

Happy Birthday Letters (Totally Reading CD)
Yo, A, it’s your birthday.
Let’s all read like your birthday.
/a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/
/a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/
Yo, B…Z

*Have children bring old baseball caps and sunglasses from home. Children turn the caps backwards and pretend to be rappers. You can even make microphones by covering paper towel rolls with aluminum foil.

The Very Eager Kindergartener/Preschooler, etc.
You can adapt "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" to the "Very Eager Kindergartener/Preschooler/etc." Think about a song you have taught your class each month and write it on a poster. Continue adding one new song each month and you’ll be all set to “perform” at the end of the year.

When school started some very eager (kindergarten) children wiggled in the classroom. Each month was exciting as they learned new things…
In September they learned colors..."The Color Farm."
In October they learned their ABC's..."Alphardy"
In November they learned the days of the week..."Days of the Week"
In December they sang a holiday song..."Jingle Bells"
In January they learned the months in the new year..."Macarena Months"
In February they celebrated 100 Days..."Zero the Hero"
In March they went on a bear hunt..."The Cool Bear Hunt"
In April they learned to pick up trash..."The Litter Patrol"
In May they voted to teach YOU how to do the "Tooty Ta." (Ask the audience to stand and join you.)
In June it was time to say good-bye and fly off to first grade..."May There Always Be Sunshine."

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

BUTTERFLY CRAFTS

It's spring and that means I need to share a few butterfly things!

Butterfly Handshake 
Extend your right thumb and hook it with your partner’s right thumb. Stick out your fingers and then flutter them around like a butterfly.

Caterpillar Finger Play

A caterpillar crawled to the top of a tree. (Hold up right arm and wiggle left index finger up like a caterpillar.)
I think I’ll take a nap said he. (Wiggle left index finger.)
Under a leaf he began to creep, (Wiggle left index finger under right palm.)
He spun a chrysalis and went to sleep. (Make fist with right hand around left index finger.)
Spring came along, shook him and said,
"Wake up, wake up, you sleepy head.” (Shake right fist.)
Out of the leaf he spread his wings to fly, (Hook right and left thumbs together. Spread out fingers like wings.)
“Look at me! Look at me! I’m a butterfly!” (Fly fingers around.)

Hint! Butterflies hatch from a chrysalis, a life stage made of a hardened protein. A cocoon is spun from silk and surrounds the pupa of many moths.

Baggie Butterfly 

Make a butterfly by tearing up little pieces of colored tissue paper and putting them in a zip lunch bag. Gather up in the middle and twist on a pipe cleaner to make the body and antennae. Attach a string for flying.
                             
Smoosh Painting 
Cut butterfly shapes out of newsprint. Fold in half. Children drop paint with a spoon or eye dropper on one half. Fold and rub. Open to view a beautiful butterfly.

Life Cycle
Tell the lifecycle of the butterfly with a stick, a bean, and pasta. First, take children on a nature walk and ask them to find a stick that is as long as their arm from their wrist to their elbow. Glue the bean to the left of the stick for the egg. Next comes a spiral pasta for the caterpillar. Then a shell pasta for the chrysalis. Finally, a bow shaped pasta for the butterfly. 

                        
Informative Writing
Let children write factual stories about the life cycle of a butterfly.
*How about a step book or flip book for this activity?

Symmetry 
What does symmetry mean? Butterfly wings are a good example of symmetry. Cut paper into butterfly shapes and challenge children to make them symmetrical.
*Check out some books on butterflies from the library. Can children decorate their pattern to look like one in the book?


Here's a video my webmaster created to go with my song "The Butterfly"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In_akp9Fxbc


Monday, March 27, 2017

SOME BUNNY HAS A JOKE FOR YOU!


Sometimes I wonder if I write these blogs for teachers and children or for myself! Just kidding! It’s fun to look for jokes every month and share them with you. I hope you’ll find one or two here today to make you smile! 
                             
Hint! Some of your children will “get” these and some of your children will just fake laugh. This is a good opportunity to have children “think out loud” and explain the jokes to their friends.

Why did the egg go to school?
To get "Egg-u-cated".

What kind of jokes do eggs tell?
Egg yolks!

What did the mommy egg say to the baby egg?
You're "Egg-stra special".

How do eggs stay healthy?
They "Egg-cercize".

What happened to the egg when he was tickled too much?
He cracked up.

What kind of plants do eggs keep?
Eggplants

What flowers grow on faces?
Tulips (Two-lips)! 

                             
What is a bunny's motto?
Don't be mad, be hoppy!

How do you catch a unique rabbit?
Unique up on it.

How do you catch a tame rabbit?

The tame way.  Unique up on it.

What is a rabbit's favorite dance style?
Hip-Hop!

Why are rabbits so lucky?
They have four rabbit's feet?

Some “bunny’s” got some knock knock jokes for you!

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Ether.
Ether who?
Ether bunny.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Justin.
Justin who?
Justin other Ether Bunny.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Notta.
Notta who?
Notta nother Ether Bunnies.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Stella.
Stella who?
Stella nother Ether bunny.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Juan.
Juan who?
Juan more Ether bunny.

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Chuck.
Chuck who?
Chuck-olate bunny!

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Dewey.
Dewey who?
Dewey have to listen to any more Ether bunny jokes?

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Some bunny.
Some bunny who?
Some bunny is eating all my Easter eggs! 

                           
Knock, knock!

Who's there?

Noah.

Noah who?

Noah body . . . April Fool's!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

BUNNY TUNES AND TALES

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, 
You've all got to love bunnies a lot!
Here are some rhymes and crafts, too.
I've even got a rabbit story for you!

Flip, Flop, Hop
(Tune: “Wheels on the Bus”)
The ears on the bunny go flip, flop, flop (Hands over head and wiggle.)
Flip, flop, flop,
Flip, flop, flop.
The ears on the bunny go flip, flop, flop,
Flip, flip, flop.

The nose on the bunny goes twitch, twitch, twitch… (Wiggle nose.)

The eyes on the bunny go blink, blink, blink… (Blink eyes.)

The tail on the bunny goes wiggle, wobble, wobble… (Wiggle hips.)

The feet on the bunny go hop, hop, hop… (Hop up and down.)

Drawing Rabbits - Teach children how to draw a bunny from two circles. Add details to the bunny as you sing the song.
*You can also make bunnies out of play dough.


Here Is a Bunny
Here is a bunny (Hold up index and middle fingers.)
With ears so funny. (Wiggle fingers.)
And here is his
Hole in the ground. (Make hole with fist of the other hand.)
At the slightest noise he hears,
He pricks up his ears, (Wiggle fingers.)
Then hops to his
Hole in the ground! (Pretend to hop bunny ears into the hole.)

Handprint Bunny


Trace around children's hands and cut them out.  Cut off the middle finger and bring the pinky finger and thumb finger down to make arms as shown.  Decorate and there's your bunny!

Bunny Basket – Fold the sack in half lengthwise as shown. Draw ears on the sack similar to those shown. Cut on the lines and then cut off the sides. Open the sack. Staple the top points to make ears. Put a face and cotton tail on your bunny basket.


A Bunny Tale (Tell and Draw Story)
1. One day a man went walking with his arms behind his back.
2. It started to snow.
3. He got a sled so he could play in the snow.
4. But after awhile he got cold and decided to build himself a house with two stories.
5. He put two windows in the top floor and divided them in half.
6. Then he built two chimneys.
7. He threw some sticks on the fire.
8. And soon he was snug as a bunny. 


Saturday, March 25, 2017

THE BLOCK BOOK and PLAY DOUGH BOOK

                                       
These books are a perfect way to integrate literacy in practical ways in learning centers. Children will be engineers and mathematicians as they develop small motor skills and eye-hand coordination.

WHAT? 

 file folders, construction paper, markers, glue, book rings

BLOCK BOOK
1. Cut small squares and rectangles similar to unit blocks out of construction paper.
2. Arrange on file folders to make structures similar to the ones shown.
   
                        
                                                      
3. Punch holes and bind together to make a book.
4. Place in the block center and challenge children to look at the designs and then make them with the blocks.
5. Can they look at the design and then turn it over and make it without looking?

PLAY DOUGH BOOK
1. Write “Can you make lines?” at the top of one folder.
Make lines similar to the one shown. 

2. Draw curves on another folder and write “Can you make curves?” at the top.
                          
3. Make shapes (square, rectangle, circle, triangle) on another folder and write “Can you make shapes?”
                                                   
4. Draw simple objects (nest and eggs, hotdogs, bunny, etc.) on the last folder and write “What else can you make?”
                                                                    
5. Punch holes in the folders and attach with book rings.
                                                                                             
6. Place the book in a center with play dough and challenge the children to roll the dough and place it on top of the lines and shapes.











Friday, March 24, 2017

LOOK! LOOK!

This is a meaningful way to encourage children to observe nature. It’s also a powerful way for them to make print connections and write descriptive sentences.

WHAT? 

cardboard paper towel rolls, string, hole punch, wide packaging tape, markers, crayons

HOW? 

1. Cut the cardboard rollers into 4” sections and tape together to make binoculars.  Punch a hole in each side and tie on a piece of string that can easily go over children's heads.
                          
2. Let the children decorate their binoculars with markers.
3. Go on a nature walk and encourage children to observe through their binoculars. What do you see when you look up? What do you see when you look down? 
4. When you return to the classroom give each child a sheet of paper with two large circles. Ask them to draw their favorite thing they saw through their binoculars in the circles.
5. 
Older children can write descriptive sentences about what they saw.  
           
Younger children can dictate this sentence:
     (Child’s name) saw (what they saw).
Encourage each child to read over the sentence with you as you point to the words.
6. Make a cover for the book that says “Look! Look!”
Add a page that says “Authors and Illustrators” where children sign their names. Put their pictures together, bind, and you’ll have a wonderful class book that all your students will want to read.

                                
*Let one child take the book home each evening to share with their families.

Hint! Use binoculars to focus on themes you are studying in science. This time of year they could look for signs of spring. When you are studying birds they could try and identify different birds.