Wednesday, October 18, 2017

THE VOWEL FAMILY

First, I have a song that introduces the long and short sounds for the vowels.  Making manual signs for the letters or holding up letters will help add the visual connection as you sing.

The Vowel Song  (Tune: “Are You Sleeping?” Is Everybody Happy CD)
A makes two sounds. (Echo each line.)
/A/ and /a/.
/A/ for apron, /a/ for apple.
/A/ and /a/.
/E/ and /e/ - eagle and elephant…
/I/ and /i/ - ice cream and inchworm…
/O/ and /o/ - open and octopus…
/U/ and /u/ - ukulele and uncle…
                              

The long vowel sounds are easier for children to remember because "they just say their name." Here's a song that will help put those short vowel sounds in the brain. Of course, the letter U will be their favorite!

The Vowel Family (Tune: "BINGO" - Just for Fun CD)
Aunt Aggie had an allergy
and she would always sneeze-o (Pretend to sneeze.)
/a/a/a/a/a/ /a/a/a/a/a/ /a/a/a/a/a/
And she would always sneeze-o.

Grandpa Eddie stayed in shape
and he would exercise-o (Pretend to lift weights.)
/e/e/e/e/e/ /e/e/e/e/e/ /e/e/e/e/e/
He liked to exercise-o.

Baby Izzi had chicken pox
and she would always itch-o. (Scratch body.)
/i/i/i/i/i/ /i/i/i/i/i/ /i/i/i/i/i/
And she would always itch-o.

Cousin Otto’s throat was sore
And this is what he’d say-o. (Put hand on throat.)
/o/o/o/o/o/ /o/o/o/o/o/ /o/o/o/o/o/
And this is what he’d say-o.

Uncle Unk wore underwear
and it did stink-o. (Hold nose.)
/u/u/u/u/u/ /u/u/u/u/u/ /u/u/u/u/u/
And it did stink-o.

Let the children use the attached sheet to make vowel puppets. Tape the letters to craft sticks or glue to an envelope that's been cut in half.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1SnEagA4jljRjhzN3oxNFliSEU/view?usp=sharing

Five Little Vowels  (Adapted from "Monkeys and the Alligator")
Five little vowels swinging from a tree (Hold up 5 fingers.)
Teasing Mr. Alligator, “Can’t catch me! (Point finger.)
You can’t catch me!”
Along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be (Open and close arms.)
And snatched that A right out of the tree.
/a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ (Make sign language A with hand.)

E…I…O…U

*Draw a tree on a magnetic board and remove magnetic letters as you say the chant.
                                                 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

CVC WORDS

The ability to blend simple three letter words is a big step in learning to read.  Here are some hands-on activities where children can identify initial, medial vowel, and final sounds.

Body Touch  

Blend words touching parts of the body. Touch the head as you say the beginning sound in the word. Touch the stomach as you say the middle sound. Touch the feet as you say the final sound. Quickly move from head to feet and blend the sounds. Next, challenge children to isolate where they hear the sound.
For example: Where do you hear the /p/ in cap? (Children touch toes.)

Park the Car
Make a parking lot with three spaces. As you say a word children park the car according to where they hear the sound (beginning, middle, end) of the word.

                                                           
Letter Tin 
Place magnetic letters inside a cookie tin. On the inside cover make three lines with a permanent marker. Have the children take out the letters and place them around the lid. Call out a sound and have the children select that letter and place it on the first line in the lid. Call out a second sound. Call out a third sound. Blend the sounds and read the word.
                      
Hint! Adapt the number of letters to the ability of the students.
*Store small magnetic letters in a breath mint tin.
*Let children use magnetic letters on a cookie sheet.

Unifix Cubes 
Place dot stickers on unifix cubes. Write letters on the dots.  Children can use these for constructing words.
                                             
Donut Words

Cut donut shapes out of construction paper. Write consonants on either side of the donut as shown. Write vowels on small circles. Children place the donut “holes” between the consonants and blend the sounds.
         
Phonics Fingers 
You will need 3 pairs of white cloth garden gloves for this project. Cut the fingers off the gloves. Write a letter on each finger with markers. (Write consonants in blue and vowels in red.) Children insert glove fingers on their own fingers to make CVC words. Have them substitute letters to make new words.
                                                       



Monday, October 16, 2017

SHAPE UP WITH SHAPES

How about some ideas for geometry?  You can use these activities with young children or school age by adapting the shapes.  You might even “spy” some of your state standards here!!!

The Shape Song  (Tune:  "I'm a Little Teapot"- "October Happies")
I am momma circle round like a pie. (Hands over head in a circle.)
I’m baby triangle three sides have I. (Use 3 fingers to make a triangle.)
I am papa square my sides are four. (Draw a square in the air.)
I’m cousin rectangle shaped like a door. (Draw a rectangle in the air and then knock.)

I am brother oval shaped like a zero. (Make oval with arms over head.)
I’m sister diamond with a sparkle and a glow. (Touch thumbs and index fingers and extend.)
We are the shapes that you all know. (Make circles with index fingers and thumbs and
Look for us wherever you go. place around your eyes like glasses.)

Note! Explain that “rhombus” is the correct term for the diamond shape. Sing the song calling sister a “rhombus” instead of a “diamond.”

*Have children draw shapes in the air with elbows, feet, noses, and other body parts.

*Place foam shapes or 3-dimensional shapes in a bottle filled with sand or salt.  Children spin it around and try to identify the shapes.  Can they draw the different shapes that they spy?

*Divide children into small groups and challenge them to lay on the floor and make various shapes with their bodies.  How many friends will it take to make a triangle?  A square?  A pentagon?  Take pictures and make a book.

*Make spyglasses for “spying” shapes by wrapping construction paper around paper towel rolls.  

*Cut geometric shapes out of construction paper and let children use them to make a collage.  Can they combine simple shapes to make larger shapes?

*Cut sponges into geometric shapes and have children dip them in paint and stamp on paper.

*Download highway shapes from makinglearningfun.com.  Children can drive around these with toy cars or they can roll play dough and place it on the shapes.

*Go on a walk and look for shapes in your school and on the playground.



*Check out Carolyn's idea for creating SHAPE TOWN in your classroom.  It's a great way to involve families and give children hands-on experiences.
                              
You'll find Shape Town and Shape family in our "October Happies" preview.  

Sunday, October 15, 2017

DICTIONARY DAY

Did you know that October 16th is Dictionary Day? It's actually Noah Webster's birthday and a perfect day to let each child make her own personal dictionary.
                                      

Materials: pocket folder, prepared pages with alphabet letters, markers

*Here’s a link where you can download the pages with letters: http://www.drjean.org/html/monthly_act/act_2007/02_Feb/pg01.html

Directions: Ask students to tell you what they know about dictionaries. Brainstorm the many uses of dictionaries. Model looking up words and reading definitions. Explain that each of them will get to create their own dictionary that they can use to help them the rest of the school year. First, let the children decorate the outside of their pocket folder. Insert the alphabet pages. As you add new words to the word wall or have new spelling words, ask the children to write them in their dictionary.  These would also be a meaningful way to introduce vocabulary words.  Encourage students to use their dictionaries when they write independently. 


Hint! You might want to go ahead and type your core sight words on the pages before running them off.

Here are some other activities you can play with their dictionaries.

*Play “mystery word” where you give clues about words.
Can you find a word that starts with /m/ and ends with /d/?
Can you find a word that is the opposite of “fast”? 


*Play the “rhyme” game.
Can you find a word that rhymes with “bike”?
Can you find a word that rhymes with “log” and is a pet? 

*How many one letter words can you find? How many two letter words? Three letter words? 

*Ask children to clap out the syllables in words. 

*Can they match up words in their dictionaries with words in the classroom? 

*Sort words that refer to people, things we do, describing words, etc. 

*Have children find a word that starts with each letter in their name. 

*Have children make up sentences (oral or written) with the words. 

*Ask children to illustrate words or find magazine pictures that match the words.

Homework Hint!  Let the children take home their dictionaries one night a week and do some of the above activities with their parents.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

FREE IPADS AND CELL PHONES

Would you like an iPad and a cell phone for all your students? Today is going to be like winning the lottery because I've got a "pretend" iPad and iPhone for each of your students. These can help children with keyboard, letter recognition, sight words, spelling words, number recognition, math facts...Slow down, Jean!

IPad
Materials: pocket folders, keyboard pattern (link below), glue, index cards



 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1SnEagA4jljb1NUajZXTWZxc1U/view?usp=sharing

Directions: Cut around the keyboard pattern and glue it to the inside top right of the pocket folder as shown. On the index cards write letters of the alphabet. Place them in the pocket. Students choose a card and place it on the top of the screen. After visually matching the letter and "typing" it on the keyboard they place it in the left pocket.

*Write sight words on index cards and place them in the pocket. Children choose a word, type it, and then place it in the pocket on the left side.

*Write children's names on index cards so they can practice typing.

*Use iPads to reinforce spelling words or vocabulary words.

Cell Phone
Materials: copies of the cell phone, heavy paper, scissors, markers, glue

Directions: Make copies of the attached cell phone. Children cut out the front of the phone. Next, let them trace around the back of the phone on heavy paper and cut it out. Glue the front of the cell phone to the back. Decorate the back with markers.

Note! If your copy machine will work with card stock you can copy the pattern on that.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1SnEagA4jljb0hMY2hKSjJPV1k/view?usp=sharing

Hint! Use a hole punch to make a viewfinder so they can take pictures with their phones. They can take pictures of shapes, words, letters, nouns, tools, friends, and so forth.

*Call out letters or numbers for children to identify.


*Type out phone numbers or zip codes.


*Spell words. How much is a word worth?


*Use for math facts or number stories.


*Teach children how to type 911 in emergencies.


*Let children make up their own learning activities to do with their phones.

Friday, October 13, 2017

ARE YOU ENGAGED?

Springfield, IL, November 2
San Antonio, TX, November 8
Oklahoma City, November 30
Come get "engaged" with me as you learn ways to make standards FUN and Active!

Engagement is a term that is appearing frequently in educational discussions because so many teachers seem to be struggling with getting children to focus and pay attention. Children are increasingly disengaging from the real world because they are living in a passive state on the screen.

First thing to do is TURN EVERYTHING OFF! If there is a screen on the children will look at it and not at you.
                                        
Here are some other tips to engage your students.

1. Look children in their eyes and smile. I don’t care where I go when I sing “I like you there’s no doubt about it” I have the children in the palm of my hand.
     I Like You (Tune: “Shortnin’ Bread”)
     I like you, there’s no doubt about it. (Point to self and then a friend.)
     I like you, there’s no doubt about it.
     I like you, there’s no doubt about it.
     You are my good friend. (Point to friend and then self.)

2. Give your students 100% of your attention. Be in the moment!!! Send the message that YOU are the most important thing in the world right now. I’m giving you my best and I need to you to do the same.

4. Be enthusiastic! Teachers can add the magic to anything with their facial expression, voice, and body language.

5. Be dramatic and break into a song or do something silly. The brain loves novelty!

6. Physical proximity! Get close to your students. Create an intimate space by having the children sit on the floor in a circle. A gentle touch can send a positive message to the brain.

7. Use their name frequently. You might have a child day dreaming and simply saying their name will bring them back to reality.

8. Do a movement activity to focus those busy hands. Lead children in a cheer or a clapping pattern. Use call backs and attention grabbers.
     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.”)
                         

     Call Backs
     Teacher says: Hands on top (Place hands on head.)
     Children respond: Everybody stop (Children freeze.)
     Teacher says: Macaroni and cheese.
     Children respond: Freeze please (Children freeze.)
     And so forth….
                                                                      
9. Use positive redirection to get them to do what you want them to do. Instead of saying, “Sit down and be quiet,” trying singing this tune:

     Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Lap  (Tune: "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes")
     Head, shoulders, knees, and lap, (Point to appropriate body part.)
     Knees and lap.
     Head, shoulders, knees, and lap, (Point to appropriate body part.)
     Knees and lap.
     Legs are criss-cross applesauce (Cross legs and fold hands.)
     And our hands are in our lap, lap, lap.

10. Lower your voice and pretend to be calm as you cross your hands and smile.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

SHOW AND SHARE FROM LAKE CHARLES, LA

Thank goodness Hurricane Nate took a turn and I got to visit Lake Charles on Monday. Talk about friendly, fun, and fantastic teachers!!! Here are some of the great ideas they shared with me.
                               

Tattle Tale Thursday (Brittany Cormier)
When the children come to tattle remind them that they can only tattle on Tattle Tale Thursday. (They usually forget by then!)
                                                
Take a Seat (Annie Sarver)
Take a seat. (Clap)
Take a seat. (Clap)
Take a load off your feet.
Just sit on down, sit on down. WHAT?
Sit on down, sit on down. WHAT?

Happy Birthday Karate Style (Lanetta Boyette)
*When you say, “Chop, chop,” put your hands out like a butcher’s knife and chop the air.
*When you say, “Hiyah!” kick your let out like a karate expert.

Happy birthday to you. Chop-chop, chop-chop.
Happy birthday to you. Chop-chop, chop-chop.
Happy birthday dear (child’s name). Chop-chop, chop-chop.
Happy birthday to you. CHOP-CHOP! HIYAH!

Name Song (Mary Aleshire)
You can sing any name to the tune of “Ten Little Indians.”
M – a – r – c – u - s
M – a – r – c – u - s
M – a – r – c – u - s
That spells Marcus.

Sit Down Chant (Jazzma Reese)
Our hands are in our laps. (Place hands in lap.)
Our feet are crossed. (Cross hands and feet.)
You’re looking at me. (Point to teacher and eyes.)
And your mouths are off. (Turn invisible knob off by mouth.)

Morning Meeting Song (Jazzma Reese)
Sing children’s names in this song to the tune of “Frere Jacques.”
Hello (child’s name). Hello (child’s name). (Wave hello.)
How are you? How are you? (Hand behind.)
We are glad to have you. (Wave hand.)
We are glad to have you.
Here at school. Here at school. (Open palms.)

Parts of a Book (Angela Hollis)
Children repeat each line to the tune of “Frere Jacques” as the teacher points out the different parts of the book.
This is the front cover. (repeat)
This is the back cover. (repeat)
This is the spine. (repeat)
This is the title. (repeat)
The author write the words. (repeat)
The illustrator draws the picture. (repeat)
This is the beginning. (1 time)
This is the ending. (1 time)
And this is the middle. (repeat)

Kiss Your Heart! Lynette Jensen)
When a child is “caught” being kind tell them to “kiss your heart.”
          
Turtle Feet (Kelly Burgess)
(Say this to the children to encourage them to walk slowly down the hall.)
Turtle feet,
Turtle feet,
Nice and slow.
Eyes to the front
Watch where we go.

Stop Interruptions (Kelly Burgess)
To stop storytellers from taking time of learning tell them to “save it in your brain.” (Touch the back of your head.) Then tell them to you tell you later on.

DREAM SHAPES by Rebecca Dargin Rigmaiden
This is a delightful book written by a Head Start teacher in Lake Charles. It’s a wonderful way to reinforce shapes and teach children to follow their dreams. The illustrations were vibrant and charming! Loved it!