Wednesday, February 21, 2018

WHISPER AND RELEASE!

Some children need more “thinking time” than others. When students blurt out the answer, it deprives some students of that time. These strategies will also develop self-regulation and encourage your students to think of divergent answers.

Whisper and Release
Have children hold up their hand and whisper their answer in their fist. When most children have responded say, "1, 2, 3, release!" Children open their fist and whisper their answer.

Thumbs Up Thinking
Explain that you are going to ask a question. If they know the answer they can put their thumb up next to their chest.

                                  

*If they know more than one answer, they can put up a finger for each additional thing they know.

Pop Up Q & A
To review information, divide children into partners. Ask the question or give a math problem. Students discuss the answer with their partner and then stoop to the ground. When all the groups are squatting down, the teacher says, “One, two, three!” Children pop up and say the answer. If they arrived at different answers, let the class evaluate the correct response.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

DO YOU RECALL?

Have you ever heard the saying:  "Work smarter, not harder."  That's what I like so much about the brain research.  There are some very simple strategies that you can easily integrate into your day that can improve learning in powerful ways.  

According to brain research children need to recall information throughout the day. (Think of it as that extra pat on the back or a second helping of dessert.)  Here are a few tips for having children recall information after you’ve read a story, taught a lesson, or at the end of the day.

Thumbs Up Thinking – If you’ve learned something new you can stick up your thumb. If you’ve learned more than one new thing you can stick up a finger for each additional thing.

Right Now! Right Now! - Stop at random times in the day and shout, “Right now, right now, right now, right now! Who can raise their hand and tell me something they know right now that they didn’t know when they came in the classroom this morning?”

Partner Share – Have children turn to a friend and share something new they learned.

Toss and Tell – Take a bean bag or wadded up paper ball. Ask a review question and then toss the ball to a student. The student answers the question or says something they learned and then tosses the ball back to you. Continue as time permits.

                          

Draw – Let children make “thinking pads” by cutting scrap paper into fourths. Staple about 10 sheets together. Use thinking pads to have children illustrate what they’ve learned after a lesson or after reading a book.

Visualize – Have children close their eyes and reflect on what they did well and what they learned.

Microphone – Pass around a play microphone or telephone for children to state what they’ve learned.
*Let children pretend they are a news reporter and state facts about the day.



Catch a Star
Ask children to think of something new they learned or something they did that made them feel proud. Tell them to reach up and grab a star and then put it in their hearts.

Close Your Eyes and Smile
Have children close their eyes. If they can see something new they learned they can open their eyes and smile at you.

Fist List
Children make a fist and then hold up a finger for each new thing they learned that day. 

                                              

Kiss Your Brain – Write “Kiss Your Brain!” on a poster and tape it to your door. Before children leave for the day they must say something they learned and then kiss their brains.


Chant – Start a beat for this chant by slapping thighs and clapping hands. Go around the room as you say the chant and children respond:
     Hey, Hey, what do you say?  
     What did you learn in school today?

So, what do you RECALL from reading my blog today? Can you use one of these ideas in your classroom this year?

Monday, February 19, 2018

SHHHH! DON'T WAKE UP THE BIRDIES!


SHHHH!  DON'T WAKE UP THE BIRDIES!!!

 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfZuGmjlyPM

Here's another short video I made with a silly song that the kids adore. I'll also attach the directions for the story because I bet your children will want to hear it again and again.

Birdies
Way up in the sky
The big birdies fly.
Way down in the nest
The little birds rest.
With a wing on the left,
And a wing on the right.
The little birds sleep
All through the night.


SHHHHHH!
DON’T WAKE UP THE BIRDIES!

Then up comes the sun,
The dew falls away.
Good morning! Good morning!
The little birds say.

                             

Here's the link for the story.


https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1SnEagA4jljOGhrSnJKWVVfekU

Sunday, February 18, 2018

ALPHAGATOR

Nothing motivates me like a compliment! Someone said her students enjoyed the videos that I made "just for kids," and so I have a new one for you. "Alligator" is an engaging chant where children echo the words. I also tell my "Alphagator" story on this video.



http://bit.ly/drjean_AlphaGator

Here are the words, as well as the pattern for the story.

Alligator
Chorus:
Alligator. (Extend arms and open and close like a mouth.)
Alligator.
Alligator.
Can be your friend, can be your friend,
Can be your friend, too! (Point finger.)

The alligator is my friend, (Point to self.)
And he can be your friend, too. (Point to a friend.)
If only you could understand, (Hold up palms.)
Don’t wear him as a show! (Chorus)

The alligator is my friend. (Point to self.)
He likes to dance and flirt. (Shuffle feet and fluff hair.)
If only you could understand, (Hold up palms.)
Don’t wear him as a skirt. (Chorus)

The alligator is my friend. (Point to self.)
He likes to sing and dance. (Snap fingers and dance.)
If only you could understand, (Hold palms up.)
Don’t wear him as your pants. (Chorus) (Point to pants or legs.)

Alphagator
Directions: Use the link to download the alligator pattern. Cut it out of the front of a file folder. Insert 10 sheets of green paper and print the underlined letters in his stomach so they are displayed as the Alphagator eats them. Glue a copy of the story to the back of the file folder so you can read it as you remove one sheet at a time.

 
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1SnEagA4jljUW9BT0JIN1p0UkE/view?usp=sharing

I love letters! How many of you boys and girls love letters? When you learn letters and their sounds you can put them together and make words, and then you can read! Well, once there was an Alphagator and he absolutely adored the letters of the alphabet! He’d eat letters and dream sweet dreams all night long.

On Monday he ate the letters A B C D E F,
But the pointy part of the “A” kept poking his tummy,
And he couldn’t sleep a wink all night long.

On Tuesday he ate the letters G H I J K,
But “H” and “I” made a word and said over and over, “Hi! Hi! Hi!”
And he couldn’t sleep a wink all night long.

On Wednesday he ate the letters L M N O P,
But “O” kept rolling back and forth in his tummy,
And he couldn’t sleep a wink all night long.

On Thursday he ate the letters Q R S T U V,
But “S” kept playing snake in his tummy and going, “Ssssssss!”
And he couldn’t sleep a wink all night long.

On Friday he ate the letters W X Y Z.
Then he closed his eyes and dreamed sweet “Zzzzzzz’s” all night long.
See you later Alphagator!


Saturday, February 17, 2018

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS DAY

February 17th is officially Random Acts of Kindness Day, but these activities are perfect any day!  You'll definitely want to check out this website: randomactsofkindness.org. 

What does "random acts of kindness" mean? Brainstorm examples and then challenge each of your students to do at least 3 acts of kindness today. 

Write "The Kindness Club" on the board or a poster and have students write the names of classmates who do something kind for them.

Give each child 3 "kindness tickets" to distribute to friends who do something nice for them.

                       
Make bracelets from pipe cleaners. When they do a good deed they can get a bead and add it to their bracelet.

Make a "Kindness Book" where students can record something positive a classmate has done for them.



I LOVE THIS RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS TEACHER CHALLENGE
 THAT MY FRIEND DREW GILES CREATED!

Friday, February 16, 2018

BINGO SONGS

Piggyback tunes have been used forever because once the melodies are in the brain you can easily change the words. I read a book called MOZART FOR THE BRAIN several years ago and it pointed out that children can only focus on one thing at a time. It’s difficult to learn words and melodies at the same time, but if the tune is in the brain it is much easier to learn the lyrics.

Everybody knows “BINGO” so here are a few new learning opportunities for this familiar tune.

Zip Code
There is a zip code where we live and we know our zip code.
3 - 2 – 1 – 5 - 5
3 - 2 – 1 – 5 - 5
3 - 2 – 1 – 5 – 5
Now we know our zip code.

                                
Vowels
There are some letters you should know and they are the vowels.
A – E – I – O – U
A – E – I – O - U
A – E – I – O - U
And now you know the vowels.
               
Senses
There are five senses that we use to help us learn each day.
See (Point to eyes.)
Hear (Point to ears.)
Smell (Point to nose.)
Taste (Point to mouth.)
Touch (Hold up hands.)
See, hear, smell, taste, touch,
See, hear, smell, taste, touch,
We use them every day.

                                          
Word Families
There is a word family you should know and ILL is it’s name-o.
WILL
FILL
HILL
They end in ILL you know.
              
Number Bonds
There are some facts that you should know and they all equal seven.
2 + 5
3 + 4
6 + 1
7 + 0
                           

Now it’s time to say good-bye
And end our school day.
We learned a lot today.
We worked hard and we played.
We were kind in many ways.
So long, friends, for today.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

ARTISTIC TOUCH

When I visited Mitchell School last week I was impressed with the “little artistic touches” I saw there. These are such simple ideas, but they add a special feeling to the learning environment.

How about addition facts on the stairs? The science vocabulary leads to the upper grades. Letters, numbers, shapes and so many skills could “step up” learning.

       

What a clever idea to use a real picture frame to display children’s artwork!

                              

And you know how much kids love to look at themselves in a mirror. You could put a full-length mirror in each hall with a positive word or character trait.