On large craft sticks write sight words on one end. Write letters on clothespins. Children attach the letters on the craft stick to spell the word.
Grouping Game (Jean Broad)
The children wander about the class and the teacher calls out a number. They need to form groups with that amount and then sit down together. If there are children left over that’s O.K. They remain standing. The teacher reviews the groups and might say, “I see 1,2,3,4,5 groups of four. That makes 20. We have 2 extras so we know that 20 + 2 = 22.” Then call out another number.
Establish these rules before playing:
*Never exclude anyone from joining your group.
*Help others who need to find people for their group.
This helps children with problem solving, collaboration, number sense, oral language, etc.
While children are waiting for the day to begin, let create math concept maps on individual white boards with dry erase markers. Photograph their completed boards, or select a few to present them to the class.
*Each child chooses what they are able to include. For example, older children could write number stories and younger children could draw sets.
Share Chair (Caroline, Tina, Megan)
Any special chair will do. Children sit in the chair and share writing, art, discoveries, Legos, etc. Their work or a photo of their work gets displayed on the “Wall of Fame.”
Note Tote (Caroline, Tina, Megan)
Use zippered bags from the dollar store to hold daily work and communicate back and forth with the home.
Top Banana (Caroline, Tina, Megan)
The special helper of the day is the “top banana.”
Coffee, Tea, and Me (Donna Petrocco)
Each child invites a guest to school. Set up coffee, tea, juice, fruit, and desserts. Eat and then share some classroom poems and songs. (Students take turns standing up in front of the room to share.) The teacher then passes out memory books for each child with the following:
Picture drawn by the student
Poems from the teacher
Photographs of child throughout the year
The children look at their memory books with their adult.
*The teacher can stand back, observe, and smile!
Buddy Sticks for Clever Kids (Terrie Voldimer)
Have as many sticks as kids in a variety of colors. On the end of sticks put something for the students to match, such as letters, numbers, shapes, stickers, etc. Each child selects and stick and then the teacher can choose what they should match up. For example, “Find someone with the same shape and color as you.” “Find someone with the same sticker as you.”
Four Seasons (Susan Aide)
Everyone holds up four fingers.
Point to the index finger and say “autumn” – this is a medium length season. Not too long and not too short.
Point to the middle finger and say “winter” – winter is sooo long.
Point to the ring finger and say “spring.”
Point to the pinkie finger and say “summer” – it’s too short.
Now everyone touches a finger as they say, “autumn, winter, spring, and summer, autumn, winter, spring, and summer…” Keep repeating faster and faster until everyone says “POP” and makes an explosion with their hands.
*Remember, this is Canada where winter is LONG!
Prepare a book with a letter on each page. Children can write (or paste a copy of their name) on each page that has a letter in their name.
Wooden Kleenex Box Alien (Terri Anne Gilpin)
Purchase a wooden tissue box at the dollar store. Decorate it to look like an alien. Children can put rhyming words in its mouth, upper/lowercase letters, numerals, words, etc.
*The back slides out so you can collect your things again.
Wash Mitt Monster (Terri Anne Gilpin)
Put two Styrofoam eyes on the wash mitt so it can eat letters, numbers, compound words, etc.
Hello Song (Laura Quinton)
Hello (clap, clap),
And how are you? (clap, clap)
Hello (clap, clap)
And how are you? (clap, clap)
Well, I’m feeling child names a feeling word and makes an action.
I’m doing action word,
Doing action word today.
To make a square, fold a sheet of paper diagonally and cut off the end. Fold in half diagonally again. Cut in on diagonal lines stopping 1” from the center. Hole punch every other corner and in the middle. Insert holes on a pencil or straw and put a little play dough on the end.
*Use for a review by writing vocabulary words, spelling words, math facts, etc. on the pinwheel.
Spray “magic dust” around the room daily as needed to bring happiness, brain power, etc.
*To make magic dust decorate the front of an empty spray bottle.
Justin Beiber Cheer (Misty Martin Gigliotti)
Make a heart with your hands and then pump and move in a circle as you sing, “Baby, baby, ooooo.”
Parent Observation (Misty Martin Gigliotti)
Prepare an observation sheet for parents who visit the classroom with the following:
-Is your child engaged in singing? Dancing? Listening? Hand movements?
-Does your child participate in activities? Centers? Are they playing alone, with a friend, friends? Are they watching other children play?
-Are they rushing through their work? Are they taking their time?
-What center did they visit first?
-Do you have questions about centers, the classroom, etc.?
Get a lack table from Ikea and glue several large Lego sheets to it to make a permanent Lego table. Build a wall with Lego/base on one end for building.
I Love to Read
Provide for the different reading levels in your classroom with individualized take home book bags and activities.
Put letters in the bottom of an egg carton. Insert a pompom and shake. The child opens and names the letter, sound, and a word that starts with that sound.
*You can make a similar game with numerals, shapes, words, etc.
WHEW! Writing up all these ideas is a lot of work! I’m off for a bike ride!