Monday, October 3, 2011


Last Friday I flew into Albany and I arrived early enough to do a free concert.  (Katie read about my offer on my blog and took me up on it.)
WOW!  Was I impressed with the Balston Spa School District!  They have more great projects and programs going on for children than I’ve ever seen!  One thing that really amazed me was how well behaved the children were.  They are doing something called PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support) and it’s working!   I don’t usually promote commercial programs, but if your school has issues with classroom management and behavior you might want to check it out.

You know, it really bothers me when I hear reporters trashing teachers or when I read articles about the faults of our educational system.  Those people need to visit a school and see just how HARD all of you teachers are working!  And the children are doing their very best as well!  Nobody is slacking off!  Everybody is hard at work – with their “heart” at work.  Teachers come in early to help struggling students – teachers shampoo the hair of children who have lice – teachers ask relatives to give bikes to children in the classroom instead of buying them a present – teachers buy shoes or snacks for children….  Every single day there is a teacher who is making a positive difference in the life of a child!  So instead of finding fault, start looking for the GOOD and THANK A TEACHER!

Saturday I was lucky enough to present at the Capitol District Child Care Conference.  The teachers were wonderful and shared these ideas:

Our Hands on Ourselves  (Rhonda Haynes, Albany YMCA Child Care Center)
(Tune:  “Think Boxer”)
Our hands on ourselves
That’s what we see.
We keep our hands
On our own bodies.
Own bodies, own bodies,
That’s the best place
To keep everyone safe!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!  (Melissa Allen, Albany, NY)
Chick, chicka, boom, boom,
Look who’s in our room…
Tear brown paper for the trunk of a tree.  Use fingerprints or handprints for the palm leaves.  Cut circles out of brown construction paper and adhere Velcro to the back.  Write the letters in each child’s name on the coconuts.  Letters are removable and can be arranged to make each child’s name in the room.

Authostrator  (Terrie Perkins)
Terrie was reading to a group of children one day and they were discussing the author and illustrator of the book.  It happened that was the same person, so a little boy came up with a new word – AUTHOSTRATOR!  Don’t you love it?

Terrie also shared this Halloween chant where the children add the “Woo, woo, wooooo,” after each verse.
There was an old woman of skin and bones.
         Woo woo woooooo!
She lived down by the old graveyard.
         Woo woo woooooo!
One day she thought she’d take a walk.
         Woo woo woooooo!
She walked down by the old graveyard.
         Woo woo woooooo!
She say the bones all laying around.
         Woo woo woooooo!
She went to the closet to get a broom.
         Woo woo woooooo!
She opened the door and

I Like Myself (Rachelle at TOAST Albany City Schools)
After reading a book called I LIKE MYSELF each child picks out a favorite body part and Rachelle takes a super close up picture of that body part.  On an 8” x 10” piece of paper write “I like my ____” on each picture.  Laminate and hang together to make a quilt or class book.  Children learn to track print and are motivated to learn to read words.

Clean Up Song  (Amy Bielinski)
Put ‘em away.
Put ‘em away.
Put your things away.
Clean it up.
Clean it up
So the next time that
You play you can find them.
Clean it up…(Continue singing until children have finished cleaning up.)