Tuesday, August 14, 2012


It’s been a busy summer, but it’s been a GOOD summer!  I LOVE seeing old friends and meeting new friends when I travel!  Teachers are the most resilient and positive people in the world because no matter what gets thrown your way (standards, assessment, needy children and parents, demanding administrators) you are able to put a smile on your face, sing a song, and make school a happy, exciting adventure for children!

Here are some super ideas I brought back with me from Manchester, NH, the Osage Nation, and Chicago.

Country Countdown (Kori Wichell)
Put on your “hats” and “boots” and put your hands on your hips.  As you count forwards and backwards to twenty, tap out your heels in front of you like a cowboy or cowgirl.

Command Hooks
Are you tired of things falling off the wall?  There’s a new product called command hooks (available at Lowe’s or Home Depot) that will keep pocket charts or anything on your walls once and for all.

Giant Brain Tickets (Janice Vinci)
Enlarge brain tickets and when a child does something difficult give them a GIANT BRAIN TICKET!

A Visit with Mother Goose (Ruth)
To review nursery rhymes, invite a visitor to dress up like Mother Goose.  She can bring props or pictures to prompt the children to recite or sing the nursery rhymes.  Mother Goose will be “so proud that the children are keeping her rhymes alive.”  Take a photo of each child with Mother Goose and the prop and make a class book with the words to the rhyme.

Little Jack Horner (Trisha Keddie)
Teach children the rhyme about “Little Jack Horner.”  Make a pie from a disposable plate with felt glued to the top.  Cut a slit in the felt. Make plums out of purple fun foam and write letters on the plums.  Children take turns selecting a plum and identifying the letter.
*You can also use the pie for sight words and math facts by writing words or numerals on the plums.

Bug and a Wish (Linda Carr)
Make a poster with a bug and a magic wand.  Children are encouraged to use a “bug and a wish” instead of tattling.  “It bugs me when you ______.  I wish you would ______.”

Class Scrapbook  (Lisa Booker)
Hostess a potluck dinner so families can get to know each other.  After dinner invite everyone to your classroom to make a scrapbook page about their kindergartener.  (Families know ahead of time to bring 2 or 3 photos.)  The scrapbook stays in the classroom all year for the children to read and enjoy.

CD Organizer  (Mary Charnley)
Burn a CD with greetings and morning message.  Make a literacy CD and a math CD.  You’ll be all set to match music with your curriculum.

CD Art Cases  (Louise Childerhose and Deirdre Marssalek)
Recycle old CD cases into Christmas gifts using clay art pictures.  Popular Canadian author Barbara Reid gives examples of how to make clay art pictures on YouTube.  Integrate discussions of line, shape, and form when creating these pictures.

Going on a Treasure Hunt  (Rhonda Frisch Cooper)
The teacher can do this finger play on a child’s back or students can do it with a partner.
Going on a treasure hunt.  (Make a circle with hands on back.)
“X” marks the spot.  (Make an “x” on their back.)
Shall we go up?  (Walk fingers up back.)
Or shall we go down?  (Walk fingers down back.)
Or shall we go all the way around?  (Walk fingers in a circle.)
Take three steps forward.  (Walk 3 steps with fingers up to their neck.)
Give it a pinch.  (Gently rub neck.)
Give it a squeeze.  (Gently squeeze shoulders.)
Then…  (Blow on their neck.)
(Pretend to crack an egg on the top of their head and slowly dribble all ten fingers down their neck and shoulders.)
*Hint!  Always ask child permission before starting.

Fancy Nancy Day
Look at these little dolls who stopped by the workshop in Pawhuska, OK.  They were all dressed up for their "Fancy Nancy Day."  They had manicures, pedicures, and a tea party.  (The boys went fishing for the day!)

Rock Chic??? 
I was so flattered with the poem and book the teachers made me in New Hampshire.
Dr. Jean, you really are a solid gold rock star!
From “Tooty Ta” to “Kiss Your Brain,”
We think of you with each refrain!
To our kiddos you are number one!
You help make learning so much fun!
Stretching, kick box, and “Banana Dance,”
Will help us wiggle, jiggle, and prance!
You are such an inspiration to us all!
We’ve learned so much and had a ball!
So until next time when we meet…
Please don’t change- you are so sweet!