Sunday, April 30, 2017

MOTHER'S DAY - TWO WEEKS AWAY!

Here are some special projects for all those marvelous moms!

A Box for Mommy (Tune: "Polly Wolly Doodle" - HAPPY EVERYTHING CD)
I wish I had a little box (Pretend to hold a box in your hands.)
To put my mommy in. (Pretend to put something in the box.)
I’d take her out and go (Take something out of the box
(kiss, kiss, kiss) and kiss in the air.)
And put her back again.

If my mommy were in my box
Were in my box, then she would always know.
School or play, night or day,
How I love her so! (Cross arms over chest.)

I made this box for mother’s day, (Pretend to hold a box.)
It’s full of love for you.
When we’re apart, hold it to your heart, (Put hands over heart.)
And know I’m thinking of you.


Here's a link where you can order the song:
http://bit.ly/EarthDay-MothersDay-BOGO
                                         
                                     
Box of Love Necklace
You can collect small boxes that jewelry come in or use matchboxes for this project. Spray paint the boxes and then let the children decorate them with stickers, glitter pens, etc. Glue a small picture of the child inside the box. Punch a hole and attach a ribbon so it can be worn around the neck. Teach children the song and let them present their necklaces at a Mother’s Day tea, or send the boxes home with the words to the song.




My Mom Can
Let each child make a predictable book about all the things their mom can do.
 
                                                     
 Hats off for Moms
These are adorable hats from paper plates that children can make for their mothers. Cut the inner section out of the plate. Decorate the outer rim with markers. Cut 4” squares out of tissue paper and wad up and glue on the rim to look like flowers. Punch a hole in each side and tie on a 16” piece of string or ribbon. Place the hat on your head and tie under the chin.

                                             

LOVE YOU Flower
Trace around children's hands on construction paper and cut out. Glue to a stem and fold down the middle and ring finger to make sign language for "I love you!"

A Gift from the Heart
Make a flip book and write the following on the flips:
Some gifts are round.
Some gifts are tall.
Some gifts are large.
Some gifts are small.

Open and write:
But a gift from the heart is the best gift of all!
                                    
(Glue the child's photo or let them draw a picture of themselves.)
*Hint! Write "flip book" in my search engine to see how to make this book.

Handprints
Have children dip their hands in mud (or use paint) and press them on a sheet of paper. Let them decorate and then add this poem:
Here are my handprints made for you
this happy Mother's Day.
These are ones you can always keep
and not have to wash away!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

PARTS OF A FLOWER

Learning to recognize and label plants, insects, and other objects they study about is a good way to integrate writing and science. With this song learning the parts of a flower will be much easier. Children will also be amazed about the parts of a flower that they eat!

Parts of a Flower  (Tune: “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”)
Flower (Hands around face.)
Stem (Point to neck.)
Leaves (Stick out arms.)
And roots (Touch feet.) –
Leaves and roots.
Flower, stem, leaves, and roots –
Leaves and roots.
All it takes is sun (Hands up in circle over head.)
And showers (Wiggle fingers down.)
And a seed (Hold out palm.)
Grows into a flower. (Spread fingers of right hand up through left fist.)

Flip Book
Make a flip book where children can label the parts of a flower. To make a flip book fold a sheet of paper into eighths. Open and fold in half. Cut down the three creased lines to the middle to make flips. Turn vertically as shown. Write “Flower," "Stem," "Leaves," "Roots” on the four sections from the top to the bottom. Open and draw the appropriate part of the plant under each label. Don’t forget to draw the seed!
  
Eating Plants
Discuss what parts of a plant you eat. What roots do you eat? What leaves? What stems? What flowers? What seeds?
*Divide a sheet of paper into fourths and label, “seeds,” “roots,” “stems,” “flowers.” Have children write or draw different foods they eat from each category.

Dirt Pie
Yeah, I know this isn't very healthy, but I'm sure somebody out there would like to do it at home or summer camp.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1SnEagA4jljVkxNQXRFYVRvVUE/view?usp=sharing

Friday, April 28, 2017

HAVE YOU PLANTED YOUR GARDEN YET?

All over the country people are planting their gardens.  There's still a little magic when a seed begins to sprout.  I remember eating a popsicle with my older cousins when I was a preschooler.  They told me if I dug a hole and put my popsicle in it then it would grow into a popsicle tree.  I'm still waiting!!!  I also enjoyed letting my students brainstorm different objects we could plant, like jelly beans and pennies. 
Hint! If you line a plastic up with a paper towel and fill the center with sand you can insert items and watch what happens.

The Planting Song
(Tune: “The Farmer in the Dell”
Let’s all plant some seeds, (Pretend to dig.)
Let’s all plant some seeds.
Hi, ho, it’s spring you know,
Let’s all plant some seeds.

The rain begins to fall… (Wiggle fingers down.)
The sun warms the earth…(Arms over head.)
The seeds begin to grow… (Pretend one arm is a plant.)

Growing, Growing! 

What does a seed need to grow? Brainstorm with the children and write their responses on the board. Take five cups and draw the following as shown:
soil, water, sun, air
soil, water, air
soil, water, sun
soil, sun, air
sun, air, water

Plant several bean seeds in each cup. Encourage the children to predict what will happen. Observe. Evaluate predictions after several weeks.


Seed Hunt
Brainstorm different seeds that come from foods we eat, such as apples, oranges, sunflowers, avocados, popcorn...  Challenge children to look in their kitchens at home and bring in seeds.  Plant the seeds in clear cups and label.  Place in a sunny window, water, and you might be surprised at what comes up!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

INDIVIDUAL RESPONSE TECHNIQUES

You're on your way to the finish line, but there are still a few skills that need to be reinforced.  Here are some activities where all children will be engaged and the teacher can quickly see who has mastered a skill and who needs additional work.

Yes/No 

Each child has two index cards. One says “yes” and the other says “no.” As you ask questions, children respond by holding up the card with their response. For example: “Our state is Arizona.” “Fish has the short a sound.” “Blue and glue rhyme.”
                            
*Cut an envelope in half. Write “yes” on one side and “no” on the other.

*Teach children signs for “yes” (shake fist forward) and “no” (extend fingers from thumb and then close. They can quickly answer questions without any props. If they know the signs for alphabet letters they can respond to a phonics review.

Pinch Cards

Cut construction paper or heavy paper into 8 ½ “ x 5 ½” rectangles. Down the left side write the numerals 0-10. Write the very same numerals on the reverse side. As the teacher calls out math problems the children pinch the correct answer and hold up their cards.
                                                                           
*Make pinch cards for words, numeral recognition 10-20, phonics, etc.

Zip It

Write letters, words, numbers, etc. on the left side of a sheet of paper as shown and insert the paper in a zip bag. Call out a question, and children “zip” to the correct answer and then hold up their bag.
       
*If you write numerals horizontally you can use it like a number line.


Note!  Cardstock works best.  I had to trim my paper a little to fit snugly into the zip bag.

Wipe Off Boards

Children write letters, words, or numerals on wipe off boards and hold them up. Erase with a sock and you’re ready to go again.

Hint! White plastic plates or laminated white card stock are great substitutes for white boards.





Wednesday, April 26, 2017

IT'S ABOUT TIME!


Even if "time" isn't in your standards, it's an integral part of all of our lives. This version of "Hickory Dickory Dock" is good for younger children because of the counting and rhymes. It can also be adapted for older students who are learning to tell time because they can use their arms like the hands on a clock as they sing.

Hickory Dickory Dock
Hickory dickory dock. (Palms together and tick tock back and forth.)
The mouse ran up the clock. (Wiggle fingers up in the air.)
The clock struck one, (Clap one time.)
The mouse ran down. (Wiggle fingers down.)
Hickory dickory dock.

Two – “Yahoo!” (Continue clapping the appropriate number of times.)
Three – “Whopee!”
Four – “Do more!”
Five – “Let’s jive!”
Six – “Fiddlesticks!”
Seven – “Oh, heavens!”
Eight – “Life’s great!”
Nine – “So fine!”
Ten – “We’re near the end.”
Eleven – “We’re sizzlin’.”
Twelve – “I’m proud of myself.”


Here's where you can get a free download this song.
http://www.drjean.org/html/monthly_act/act_2015/03_Mar_css/index.html

*Make paper plate clocks and use to as you sing the song.

*Use your arms like the hands on a clock. Extend both arms over your head. On “one,” bring right arm down to the position of “one” on a clock. On “two,” bring right arm down to position of “two,” and so forth as you sing.

Digital Time - Place a digital clock by the wall clock in your classroom so children can associate both ways of telling time.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

SHOW ME THE MONEY

State standards vary as to when money is introduced.  The reality is that money is a part of all our lives, and it just make sense to talk about it.  I've heard teachers comment, "That isn't part of our curriculum.  We can't do it."  Your standards represent the baseline of what you should teach in your classroom.  It's always good to raise the bar because sooner or later everyone needs to know about money.  Prior learning (or exposure) before something is introduced formally can be very meaningful.

This is one of my favorite songs about money.  It's just a "catchy" tune that the kids enjoy singing.  However, one day I got a phone call from a mother who said I was making children "capitalists" and "greedy" with my song.  I think sometimes adults take a little song too seriously.  That being the case you can change the words to "Let's learn some more" instead of singing "I always want more."


Money Song (Tune: “Shortnin’ Bread” Is Everybody Happy? CD)
Chorus: I like money to buy things at the store. (Point to self.)
Money, money, money,  (Open and close fists.)
I always want more! (Palms up and shake.)


A penny’s worth one cent. (Hold up 1 finger.)
A nickel’s worth five. (Hold up 5 fingers.)
A dime’s worth ten cents. (Hold up 10 fingers.)
A quarter’s twenty-five. (Open and shut hands for 25.)
Chorus

Lincoln’s on one cent.
Jefferson’s on five.
Roosevelt’s on ten cents.
Washington’s on twenty-five.
Chorus

A building’s on one cent.
A building’s on five.
A torch is on ten cents.
An eagle’s on twenty-five.
Chorus


Note!  All things change.  Some of the coins minted now have different figures on them than in the song.  Use this as a "teachable moment" to talk about the differences.  

*For homework have children ask their parents if they know who is on the penny, dime, nickel, and quarter.  They will be tickled to know something that their parents don't know!


Change Please
                                
Draw four square on a file folder. Label with “penny,” “nickel,” “dime,” and “quarter.” Give children a coin purse with change and ask them to sort the coins. Can they count the total amount?

Rubbings
Have children do rubbings of coins. Tape coins under a sheet of paper and rub with the side of a crayon. (Roll tape and put it on the back of the coins to keep them from sliding around.) Who do they see? What’s it worth? 
*Let children examine coins with a magnifying glass. Encourage them to discuss details. How old is the coin?
     
Money Tree
Does money really grow on a tree? Where does money come from?  Brainstorm how you pay for things when you go to a store? Do your parents use dollar bills, checks, or credit cards? Run off pretend checks for the children to fill in. Let children make play credit cards by cutting 2” x 3 ½” rectangles out of Styrofoam plates.
                                        
Coin Value Song 
Here's a clever song that Paris Garrett came up with to the tune of “Who Let the Dogs Out?”
Who let the penny out?
1, 1, 1, 1 (Hold up one finger.)
Who let the nickel out?
5, 5, 5, 5 (Hold up five fingers.)
Who let the dime out?
10, 10, 10, 10 (Both hands up.)
Who let the quarter out?
25, 25, 25, 25 (Two fingers on one hand and five fingers on the other.)





Monday, April 24, 2017

KEEP A POEM IN YOUR POCKET

"Keep a Poem in Your Pocket Day"  is officially April 27th.  Here are some ideas you might want to include in your lesson plans for next week.
                                   

A Poem
By Dr. Holly

A poem, a poem
Is a very special thing.
It takes the words
And makes them sing.

A poem is a present,
A poem is a treat
With words piled like ice-cream
In your bowl to eat!

A poem, a poem
Is a treasure and an art
So always carry one
With you in your heart.

Let children make a pocket and keep their favorite poem in it. Encourage them to exchange poems with classmates and read to each other. 

                    
Hint! To make a poetry pocket seal an envelope, cut it in half, punch holes and tie on a string. Children can decorate these and then wear them around their neck.

A Poem a Day
Choose a poem and read it to your class at the beginning of each day. You can read it and “let it be.” Or, you could use the poem to introduce vocabulary or to spark a discussion.
*Assign each child a different day to be responsible for bringing in the poem. This would be a good activity for children to do with their parents.

Poetry Club

Write “Poetry Club” on the poster board and decorate with glitter and glue. Explain that anyone who stands up in front of the class and recites a nursery rhyme or poem can be a member of the poetry club. (You might want to model reciting a poem for them.) After they’ve recited their poem, let them sign their name on the poster.
*Design a membership card for the poetry club and run off on cardstock.
Present one to the children after they’ve recited a poem.

Poetry Café’
Plan a poetry party for your students called the “Poetry Café.” Involve children in planning refreshments, making decorations, writing invitations, etc. Encourage each child to learn and practice reciting a poem. Explain that in the coffee houses instead of clapping, the audience would “snap” their fingers for the poets.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

POETRY MONTH


April is National Poetry Month.  Here are eight great reasons for using poetry in your classroom:

1. Poetry develops oral language.
2. Poetry develops auditory memory.
3. Poetry helps children make print connections.
4. Poetry develops phonological awareness (rhyme, rhythm, alliteration).
5. Poetry enhances fluency.
6. Poetry develops vocabulary.
7. Poetry sparks children’s interest in reading.
8. Poetry helps children fall in love with language.

Although we teach in an educational system that is skill-based, it is O.K. to include something in your curriculum just because it brings you JOY!
"The Swing" was my favorite poem when I was young because I loved to swing and the rhythm of the poem made me feel like I was actually swinging. We didn't have many books in my home, but this one was treasured.
                                      

Have your students close their eyes and make pictures in their brain as you share this poem with them today.

The Swing
By Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

Did you have a favorite poem as a child? Share it with your students this week. For homework have them ask their parents to say a poem they liked as a child.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

KINDERGARTEN BILL OF RIGHTS


Kindergarten Bill of Rights

Kindergarten children have the right to the pursuit of happiness.

Kindergarten children have the right to wooden blocks and a housekeeping center.

Kindergarten children have the right to play dough and puzzles.

Kindergarten children have the right to hold hands with their friends and play games.

Kindergarten children have the right to free play outside.

Kindergarten children have the right to sing and dance and be silly.

Kindergarten children have the right to explore with paint, crayons, markers, glue, scissors, and to make a mess!!!

Kindergarten children have the right to have books read to them…many, many books.

Kindergarten children have the right to go on field trips.

Kindergarten children have a right to a quiet time every day so their brains can process information.

Kindergarten children have the right to think school is the most wonderful place in their world.

Kindergarten children have the right to think that they are capable and worthy.

Kindergarten children have the right to hopes and dreams.

Kindergarten children have the right to smiles and hugs.

Friday, April 21, 2017

KINDERGARTEN DAY

Today is "Kindergarten Day" in honor of Friedrich Froebel who started the first kindergarten in Germany in 1837. Kindergarten originated to help children adapt to learning and social interactions in a fun way. Froebel believed in self-directed play, singing, dancing, blocks…a “garden” where children could grow! He’d probably roll over in his grave now if he saw what was going on!!

As I write this I am remembering my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Myers. I LOVED her! I mean, I worshipped her! She was a fairy godmother and the center of my world. She seemed ancient to me at the time, but I’m probably way older now than she was when she taught me. Thank goodness for hair dye and make up!!!
                                 

Do you see me?  I'm in the center front with the dress my 
mother made me for my first day of kindergarten.

I remember playing “The Farmer in the Dell” and other circle games. I also remember the finger play “Here are grandma’s glasses…” We had sugar cookies with a hole in the middle that we would put on our finger as we ate and we also had orange kool-aid. (Oh, my goodness! The sugar police would get Mrs. Myers for sure!!!) My favorite activity was painting. I especially liked to paint princesses. Back in those days the only princess I knew about was Cinderella, but I longed to be like her. One day as I was at the easel I painted a stripe down my leg. It looked so good I painted another…and another…and another…until my legs had beautiful stripes all over them. Mrs. Myers could have squelched my creativity right then and there, but she just laughed and said, “Don’t do it again.”

Another memory I have is learning to tie my shoes. I wore corrective saddle oxfords I feared would come untied at school and then what would I do? Everyone would know that I couldn’t tie shoes!!! Well, one day they came untied and Mrs. Myers said, “You’re a smart girl. Now, you just sit down and figure it out.” And you know what? I did!!!! She knew when to coddle and when to push.

And incredible as it may seem, although all I did was PLAY in kindergarten I can actually read and write now!!  I imagine most of the adults running our country, writing curriculum, and running schools actually PLAYED when they were in kindergarten and look at them now.  It would be interesting to ask those who preach "rigor" and "instructional time" and "high test scores" what they remember about being in kindergarten.


We have to remember that we will all grow up one day and sit in front of a computer, but we have one chance in a lifetime to be in kindergarten and hold hands, sing, dance, and PLAY! So shut your door today and "play kindergarten"!
                            
My "kinderoos" in the 1980's.  
I'd love to know where they are now.

If you missed my Facebook Live yesterday here's a link:
http://bit.ly/drjean_HocusPocus

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A FEW MORE TRICKS

One of the first things I learned when I did brain research was that the "brain likes novelty."  These are all unique tricks that you can try to grab children's attention.  I bet you'll find at least one or two that will work for you.


Music Box
Play a music box to indicate to the children it’s time to get quiet.
*One teacher said she wound up the music box at the end of the day and challenged the children to get quiet quickly so there would still be music at the end of the day.
                                               

Bubbles
Blow bubbles and see if the children can be sitting quietly before all the bubbles pop.
                     
Happy Chappy
You will need some lip balm with a fragrance. Gently rub children’s right hand with a “happy chappy” when they are following directions.
                                                            

If You Don’t Know What to Do
(Tune: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
If you don’t know what to do look at (child doing the correct thing).
If you don’t know what to do look at ---
She will show you what you ought to do

So you can do it, too.
If you don't know what to do look at ---

Flashlight Spotlight
Take a flashlight and shine it on a child who is modeling the behavior you are looking for. “Spotlight on (child’s name). He’s got his math book and he’s ready to learn.”
                                       
Breath through Your Nose
Challenge the children to practice breathing through their noses. Guess what? You can’t talk of your lips are sealed and you are breathing through your nose! (The teacher who shared this said she could run to the office and back and her kids wouldn’t make a peep!)

       
Peace and Quiet
Make the “peace” sign with one hand as you put the index finger from the other hand on your mouth.

Magic Clap
The teacher begins a clapping pattern which the students try to repeat.

ZYX
Can children sing the alphabet backwards and be sitting quietly by the time you get to A?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

CALL BACKS

Call backs are similar to the game “Marco Polo.” The teacher says one thing and the children respond. Call backs work like a charm to focus children’s attention.

Teacher says: Criss cross.
Children respond: Be your own boss. (Cross arms and sit up straight.)

Teacher says: All set? (Snap fingers twice.)
Children respond: You bet! (Snap fingers twice.)
*If they are not ready they respond “not yet.” Keep saying “All set?” until the entire class is responding “You bet!”

Teacher says: Hands on top.
Children respond: Everybody stop! (Put hands on head and freeze.)
       
Teacher says: Macaroni and cheese.
Children respond: Freeze please! (Freeze and look at the teacher.)
                                      
Teacher says: Ready?
Children respond: Spaghetti! (Stand up straight.)

Line Up Tips 
Teacher says: Locket. (Pretend to lock lips.)
Children respond: Pocket. (Pretend to put the key in their pocket.)

Teacher says: Hips (Put one hand on your hip.)
Children respond: And lips. (Put index finger on lips.)

Teacher says: Standing straight?
Children respond: Check!
Teacher says: Hands to self?
Children respond: Check!
Teacher says: Mouth closed?
Children respond: Check!
Teacher says: Ready for the hall?
Children respond: Check!

It’s also fun to play the “Marco Polo” game as you wait for children to get ready to go home, clean the room, and so forth.
              
Teacher: Marco
Children: Polo


Teacher: Okeedookee
Children: Artichokee 

Teacher: Peanut butter
Children: Jelly
                   
Teacher:  Da da da da da...
Children:  I'm loving it!  (MacDonald's advertisement)
*Let the children make up their own call backs.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

ON THE WAY TO THE BARN!

Do you know what it means when someone says, “We’re on the way to the barn?” That means you’re almost there…almost home…almost finished with the school year. This is also the time of the year when kids get spring fever and a little restless. I shared these tricks at a recent workshop and a teacher asked if she could buy a book with them. Sorry, you can’t buy a book, but I’ll give them to you FREE. I’ll also do a Facebook Live at Five where I demonstrate these tomorrow afternoon (4/20). 

Hint!  You will notice that I use hand movements in all of these.  I've learned that if I can get children to do something with their hands I have a better chance of engaging them.

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.”)
                                                       
Hocus Pocus
Teacher says:
“Hocus Pocus!” (Stick out index finger and circle around like a wand.)
Children respond:
“Everybody focus!” (Make circles around eyes like spectacles.)
                    
Student Heroes
5-4-3-2-1-zero (Hold up hand and put down one finger at a time.)
I’m looking for my (Make circles with index fingers and thumbs and place
student heroes. around eyes like glasses.)

Give Me a Clap (Tune: “Addams Family”)
Give me a clap. (Clap twice.) Give me a clap. (Clap twice.)
Give me a clap, give me a clap,
Give me a clap. (Clap twice.)
Give me a snap. (Snap twice.) Give me a snap. (Snap twice.)
Now fold your hands and put them down
Into your lap. (Model putting your hands in your lap.)
        
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
                                              
*Cut the label from a can of applesauce and glue it to a stick. Hold it up when you want your students to sit criss-cross applesauce.

How Does My Teacher Feel about Me?
Teacher says: How does my teacher feel about me?”
Children respond: I’m as special as special can be (Sparkle fingers.)
because my teacher believes in me! (Hug self.)

Secret Signals
Explain that your class will have some secret signals that no one else knows. When you say “one”, they should sit criss cross applesauce.
When you say “two,” they need to put their hands in their lap.
On “three,” they put a smile on their face.
*Make up additional secret numbers, such as “four” stand up straight and “five” hands by sides.

Sitting Chant
1, 2, 3, 4 - glue your bottoms to the floor.
5, 6, 7, 8 - hands to yourself and sit up straight.

                
Hint! Choose one of these attention grabbers and use it consistently for several weeks. That way when the children hear it they will automatically “tune” in.


P.S.  Don't forget about those "oldies but goodies" finger plays.  After all these years I can still engage a group of children with "Miss Molly,"  "King Kong," and "Put the Baby to Bed."

Monday, April 17, 2017

HIGH FIVE DAY

April 16th was National High Five Day, but you can start any day with a high five and a smile!  Wouldn't your kids be surprised if you drew a smile on your hand like this one?
                                  

High Five Cheer
Teach children how to give themselves a “high five” for a job well done. Hold up both palms facing each other in front of your chest. Pretend to wave with one hand as you hold up five fingers on the other hand. “Hi 5!” Get it? 

Pat on the Back
Trace around each child’s hand on construction paper and let them cut it out. Write a positive comment about each child on the hand and tape it to their back at the end of the day. Parents will be proud when they see their child’s “pat on the back.” 


Pickle Tickle Partner Game
Up high. (Give a high five up in the air.) 
Down low. (High five down by knees.) 
Cut the pickle. (One child touches fingertips horizontally as the other child pretends to slice in between.) 
Give a tickle. (Gently tickle each other.)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

I CAN LAY HARD BOILED EGGS!

Are you busy dying eggs, hunting eggs, or laying eggs today?  Here's a true story about how I used to lay eggs for my kindergarteners.  

In the old days we had "snack" that we provided.  We tried to encourage the children to try healthy foods and so one day we had hard boiled eggs.  I think the kids groaned when they came in from recess and saw the hard boiled eggs on the table.  While they weren't looking I took an egg, tucked it in my skirt between my legs, sat down on the floor, and started flapping my arms like a chicken as I made a clucking sound.  I released the egg, stood up, and they all thought I'd laid the egg.  They said, "Do it again!  Do it again!"  I explained that I was all worn out from laying their eggs for snack, but the next time we had hard boiled eggs I'd do it again.  Well, guess what?  They wanted hard boiled eggs for snack every day.  As time went on they became much wiser and made me turn around to make sure I didn't have an egg behind me...yes, I became wiser as well...but I can't tell you all my secrets!

                                

Here's another funny story about an egg hunt.  I was visiting a Head Start when a mother brought in a big bag of duck eggs.  They were brown and green and beautiful.  The teacher remarked, "They are still warm.  Wasn't that nice of her to boil them for us?"  Well, the next day the teachers hid the eggs on the playground, but this story doesn't have a happy ending.  Apparently, the eggs were not cooked.  They were just warm from being under the ducks or in the car.  They cracked all over the children, their baskets, their clothes...you get the picture.  

Blessings for a beautiful weekend wherever you are and whatever you are doing!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

GREEN TEAM SUPER HEROES

Who wouldn't want to be a super hero on the green team?  How about some membership cards?
                                          
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1SnEagA4jljUFdXTkFpR2ZOUE0/view?usp=sharing

The Green Team (Tune: “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”)
We are on the Green Team. (March in place as you swing your arms.)
Hoorah! Hoorah! (Fist in air as if cheering.)
We can recycle every day. (March in place as you roll your arms around.)
Hoorah! Hoorah! (Fist in air as if cheering.)
Aluminum, glass, tin, (March in place.)
Put paper and cans in recycle bins. (March in place.)
Join the Green Team, (March in place.)
Defend the earth and keep it clean. (Put both fists in the air like a hero.)

We are on the Green Team. Hoorah! Hoorah!
We can reduce what we use. Hoorah! Hoorah!
Turn off water and the lights.
Walk, take a bus, or ride your bike.
Join the Green Team.
Defend the earth and keep it clean.

We are on the Green Team. Hoorah! Hoorah!
We can reuse many things. Hoorah! Hoorah!
Share old toys and old clothes, too.
Give away what you don't use.
Join the Green Team,
Defend the earth and keep it clean.

We are on the Green Team. Hoorah! Hoorah!
We can keep our planet clean. Hoorah! Hoorah!
Pick up all the trash you see.
Protect wildlife and plant new trees.
Join the Green Team.
Defend the earth and keep it clean.

*Make a language experience chart of children’s suggestions for what it means to be on the “Green Team.” Have children dip their thumb in green paint and “sign” it on the list to signify that they are going to join the “Green Team.”
                   
*Walk around the school and encourage the children to draw pictures or write suggestions for conserving energy and making the learning environment “green.” Compile results and ask the principal to visit your class and discuss improvements that can be made.

*Make a naturalist kit by recycling a detergent box or similar container with a handle. Make binoculars by cutting a cardboard paper towel roll in half. Tape the halves together and hole punch at the top. Tie on a piece of string so children can easily take the binoculars on and off their heads. Add a magnifying glass, field guide, tweezers, film canister (for collecting specimens), paper, pencil, etc. Talk about what naturalists do. Can you be a naturalist? Divide children up into groups of two and let them take turns playing “naturalist” on the playground.
                                                        

*Put out scrap materials in the art center and encourage children to make “Green Team” badges. You can also let them decorate sheets of newspaper and staple them around their necks to make “Super Green Hero” capes. Let children dramatize what they would do if they were a “Super Green Hero.”

                                    
Here's a packet Carolyn Kisloski and I created with songs, writing prompts, QR codes, and activities to help your class GO GREEN!
                      https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Going-Green-2636782

Friday, April 14, 2017

WHAT WILL I BE WHEN THEY RECYCLE ME?

You know all those cardboard food boxes you throw away?  Well, here's a great opportunity to give them a second life, teach your children to recycle, and make some cool materials for your classroom.  Send a note asking families to save their cardboard food boxes for a week and then let the fun begin!

Cardboard Castle – Let children use masking tape to create a castle or other play sculpture.
                                        
What's for Breakfast? Book - Each child chooses the front of their favorite cereal box.  They can write original sentences or fill in the blank "(Child's name) likes (cereal)."







Puzzles – Cut box fronts into puzzle shapes. Store in zip bags. For younger children use two like boxes. Cut one up and let them place the pieces on the second box.
                                                                             
Fronts and Backs – Cut front and back panels off of boxes. Mix them up and then ask the children to match up the ones that go together.
*Play a memory game where you place the fronts and backs face down on the floor. Children try to match up pairs.

Stencils and Templates – Cut geometric shapes out of box fronts. Children can trace these with colored pencils, crayons, or markers.
*Cut seasonal shapes or objects that relate to a unit of study for the children to trace.
                                                  
Sewing Cards – Punch holes around the sides of boxes. Children can sew these with yarn, string, or old shoelaces.

Weaving – Cut notches around the sides of boxes and let children weave through these with yarn.

Fractions – Give each child the front panel off a box. Can you cut it in half? Fourths? Eights?
                                                                               
Math – Have children sort the boxes by product, size, etc. Graph favorite cereals, cookies, crackers, etc.

How about a free song download and flip book about recycling?    


http://www.drjean.org/html/monthly_act/act_2015/04_Apr_css/index.html

                         
What Will I Be When They Recycle Me?
(Tune: “Oh, Dear, What Can the Matter Be?”)
What will I be when they recycle me? (Roll hands in a circle.)
What will I be when they recycle me?
What will I be when they recycle me?
I’ll come back to life—you will see! (Clap your hands and then point your finger.)

I am an empty soda can (Pretend to hold a soda can in front of you.)
Made of precious aluminum.
I can save lots of energy
If you will recycle me. (Roll hands in a circle.)

I’m an old bottle of plastic (Pretend to hold a plastic bottle.)
But I could be fantastic!
Toys, pipes, car bumpers, and much more—
That’s what my plastic is for. (Roll hands in a circle.)

A pile of used boxes and papers we (Make an invisible square in the air.)
Come from the precious wood of trees.
Recycled we’ll be as good as new (Roll hands in a circle.)
And save some other trees, too.

I am a fine jar made of glass— (Cup hands to make a bowl.)
Please don’t treat me like plain old trash! (Shake head “no.”)
I’ll make new jars again and again
Recycle me—yes you can! (Roll hands in a circle.)

Though we may look like old used stuff, (Open palms.)
Stop, wait! Please don’t give up on us! (Make sign language for “stop.”)
Think of the great possibilities— (Put index finger on your head and tap.)
Recycle us, set us free! (Roll hands in a circle and then throw up hands in the air.)