Friday, January 19, 2018

TWINKLE THE ABC'S

Did you know you that “Twinkle Little Star,” “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” and “The Alphabet” are all sung to the same tune?

You can also use the tune to sing any of your alphabet books or the pictures on your classroom alphabet.  For example:

     A is for apple.
     B is for bear.
     C is for cat.
     D is for dinosaur….
     

It’s also fun to go around the room and use the children’s names in the song. For example:
D is for Daniel. K is for Karla. M is for Miguel. L is for Lisa....

Here are some other tunes you can use to sing the ABC's:

     “Amazing Grace”
     “Braham’s Lullabye”
     “Mary Had a Little Lamb”
     “The House of the Rising Sun”
     
“Coming Round the Mountain”


Are there any other tunes you use to sing the alphabet?

Here's a video where I demonstrate these tunes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMOjbqlWUww

Rhyme and Read
Here's a book you can make to sing nursery rhymes and letters to the tune of "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall."


Materials: file folder, 2 book rings, glue, alphabet letters, nursery rhyme posters (I downloaded the nursery rhyme posters from “rhyme a week” at curry.edschool.virginia.edu/go/wil/rimes_and_rhymes.) 

                             

Directions: Glue the alphabet to the right side of the file folder. Place the rhymes on the left side of the folder, punch two holes, and attach with book rings as shown. Sing the rhymes and then sing the ABC’s between each verse. 
     
*Have children clap, snap, tap, thump or make other movements as you sing.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

MOUSIE'S QUIET GAME

This was a great game to play when I needed a few minutes to organize or while waiting in the hall. I kept the toy mouse in my pocket and would just pull it out and start the game. It’s one of those simple little things that the kids loved – and it worked!

All you need is a toy mouse or another small animal. Hold the toy in your hand as you say:

          Mousie, mousie, how quiet can you be?

          When I clap my hands, 1-2-3, we shall see!


Clap your hands 3 times, and then pass the toy to a child who is standing/sitting quietly. That child holds the toy, walks around the room, and passes it to another quiet friend. The game continues as children pass the toy to friends who are sitting quietly.

*Use seasonal toys, such as a jack-o-lantern, snowman, or leprechaun.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

GET IT, GIRL!

Last week my friend Leigh Ann Towater said when she put on my DVD a little boy talked to me on the smart board and said, "Get it, girl!" I mean, what 70 year old wouldn't be tickled to death by a comment like that!

I wish I could get in my car and drive across the United States and just "pop" into your classroom. There's nothing that fills my heart quite like being in front of a group of children! Since I can't do that, I've decided to start making some little videos you can share with your class. If you and your children enjoy them, I'll make more and more and more.

"King Kong" and "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" in sign language are my first two. Let me know what you think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrw8gDd8_b0 (King Kong)

                                   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEtRphEBTT8 (Sing and Sign "I Know an Old Lady)
                                         


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

MATH LINE UP

Here's another simple idea from Carolyn Kisloski that can make lining up a learning game.

Why?  Taking advantage of those few minute transitions throughout the day can add
hours of instructional time to your year! These activities can make lining up to leave
the room another learning opportunity for your students.

When?  Large group

What?  3” X 5” cards with different numbers on each card

How?  Write one number, zero to twenty (or as many as students in your class), on each
3” X 5” card. Shuffle the cards and hand one to each student sitting at the desk or table. Have students line up in numerical order at the door. 



        

More?  Have students line up and organize themselves silently. 


As the year progresses, write one number on each card, but begin at a number
other than zero, for instance 12 or 36, and count on from there.

If your class has trouble recognizing certain numbers, for instance 12 and 20 or teen numbers, only hand out cards with those tricky numbers written on the cards. Call twelves to line up. Then, call twenties.

Make cards with numerals, ten frames, dots, or objects. Call a number to line up. 

                                              
Draw shapes on cards to practice shape names and recognition.

Use color cards and have students line up in an AB or ABC pattern.

Write, “You go 1st.” or “I am 1st.” on a card for an extra surprise.

Call the game, “Snowball Line-Up,” and have each number written on a piece of
scrap paper. When you call students with a certain number to line up, they can crinkle their paper into a snowball and throw it into the recycling bin on their way to line up.

You could also ask students to put their cards in a basket by the door when they line up so the cards are ready to use next time.

Monday, January 15, 2018

BOOK NOOKS

Carolyn Kisloski who created the "Happies" with me is a treasure of good teaching strategies.  Honestly, I've been at this rodeo a LONG time, but she constantly teaches me something new.  


SIMPLE, INEXPENSIVE, MEANINGFUL, FUN = HAPPIES FOR YOU AND YOUR KIDS!

Why?  Little changes make a big difference for children. Special reading spots add an exciting twist to independent reading.

When?  Independent center time, whole group quiet reading

What?  List of reading partners, large craft sticks with different, special reading areas in the classroom written on each stick 



*Have as many special spots as there are groups of partners.

How?  Divide the class into partners for reading. Change the partners often, sometimes matching students with partners on their reading level and sometimes mixing levels. Each pair draws a craft stick with a special reading nook on it which will be their reading spot for the day. Some special places could be underneath tables, by the teacher’s desk, on the rug, in special chairs, or in the hall outside of the classroom. Students can take turns reading one book to each other or take their book bin to their nook and read quietly for the entire independent reading time. After one student reads a book, the partner must ask the reader one question about the book and give the reader one compliment about her reading.

More?  Invite another class, either at your grade level or another grade level, to read with your students during a special reading time.

This is a letter that Carolyn sends home to her families to give them ideas to use when reading at home with their child.  Most parents want to help their children, and this will give them specific strategies that they can use.  Actually, it's a pretty good prompt sheet for teachers as well!

                 
                                                                 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YXPiO5z1ACt1_5Mq9sHyHXZR-23aG8bQ/view?usp=sharing

Want more "happies" for your classroom? 
http://drjean.org/html/songs/purchaseHappies.php 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

DANGER IN CYBER WORLD!

Cyber world is exploding with social media, smart phones, hand held devices, watches, toys, ad infinitum.  Children can use electronic devices for entertainment, but they are also wonderful tools to help children learn and explore. However, are young children really ready for all the experiences (good, bad, and ugly) that are in cyber world? Parents tell their children not to talk to strangers and not to go to dangerous places in the real world. Likewise, we need to set some boundaries and educate children on internet safety.

Daniel Sherwin (dadsolo.com) shared an article he wrote about an experience his child had with cyber bullying. I’m quite certain many of you with older children have had similar issues, and you’ll appreciate the tools and strategies he suggests to help both children and parents cope.



Behind the Screen: How to Help Your Child Overcome a Cyberbully
                                   
It used to be that bullying stopped once the final school bell rang, but with millions of children using a computer or phone each day, bullying has found its way onto the screen in the form of cyberbullying. As a parent, you try your best to protect your child, but you can’t always monitor them online.

After my son and I moved to a new city and I got him enrolled in school, he found himself screen-to-screen with an online bully. Two years later, and we have finally found some strategies that work, as well as helpful ways to ease anxiety both at home and at school. Moving creates many emotional challenges for teens, but cyberbullying shouldn’t be one of them. Here are a few tools to help your child cope.

What is Cyberbullying?

Before you can address cyberbullying, you need to first understand what it is. Cyberbullying refers to bullying that takes place using electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets via communication tools like social media, text messages, and chat rooms. So, what makes this type of bullying different? When it comes to cyberbullying, it can happen 24 hours a day, and it is often posted anonymously and distributed to a large audience of peers, making it difficult to trace back to the source.

While the mean or hateful communication can be deleted, this might not happen until after it has been shared with others. For example, a cyberbully might create a fake social media profile and spread rumors. Even if the account is reported and deleted, others have seen and likely shared it, or taken pictures of it on their phone to share with others. While bullying that happens in person is often one or several isolated events, cyberbullying has a direct impact that can spread long after the initial contact.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open
When my son first approached me about his cyberbully, my first thought was to get the school involved – I wanted to put a stop to it immediately. However, the bully was anonymous, leaving everyone’s hands tied. After taking time to speak with my child, he revealed that a particular student was mean to him at school, even sending text messages and posting hateful comments on his social media page. Cyberbullying can take on various forms, including harassment, blackmail, and humiliation, so make sure you understand the entire story before developing a plan of action.

The first step to ending cyberbullying is to have a conversation with your child. Bullying is usually related to school life, and your child understands both the situation and context better than anyone, so getting their perspective will be helpful in getting to the bottom of things. Resist the urge to react quickly – the goal isn’t revenge. Your ultimate goal should be to help your child heal and restore their self-respect.

Set the Rules
Set rules as a means of protecting your child, not punishing them. The victims of cyberbullying are just that – victims—but by laying down a few rules, you can put some water on the flames. Sit down with your child and learn how the social networks they use work. Review your child’s online presence and help them set up safeguards against cyberbullying by utilizing privacy settings and reporting tools. While it is tempting to ban computer usage altogether, resist this urge. Taking away electronic privileges not only sends the message that you child is in the wrong, but it could lead them to be more secretive with their online life. Instead, set time limits for screen time and encourage positive activities.

One of the largest effects of cyberbullying is anxiety and stress, and due to its online reach, your child might feel like their home is no longer a place of solitude and calm. Make your home a stress-free zone by encouraging your child to do things they enjoy such as sports or hobbies. For my son and I, we found that escaping to the yard to kick around the soccer ball before dinner was a great stress reliever, and put us both in a comfortable zone to open up conversation about school, activities, and life.

Cyberbullying is far-reaching, making it seem scary and impossible to tackle. Spend some time talking with your child, set rules for online time, and build up their self-respect by spending time together unplugged.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

CANTANDO EN ESPANOL

I know many of you would like more materials in English and Spanish. My webmaster has created some videos just for you. Here are links to the “Weather Song,” “Opposites,” and “Days of the Week” in Spanish. We hope to add more in 2018. DISFRUTAR!

http://bit.ly/drjeanWeatherEnglish

http://bit.ly/drjeanWeatherEspanol

                                


http://bit.ly/drjeanOpuestos


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOOTu6O_fzw


                               


Days of the Week Spanish

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qye0EgZwPog&t=2s

                                 

Five Little Monkeys

http://bit.ly/drjean_FiveMonkeys_English

http://bit.ly/drjean_fivemonkeys_espanol



                               

My webmaster has been busy 

Friday, January 12, 2018

SCIENCE FAIR


If you’ve been to my workshops I always mention this idea. It’s a great way to involve parents and get some cool materials for your science center.

What do you need to do ahead of time?
Run off copies of my discovery bottles from my website (May, 2012). Send home a letter to your parents similar to the one below along with directions for one of the bottles:

Dear Parents,

We are excited that your child is going to participate in his or her first SCIENCE FAIR this week. Please help your child make a “discovery bottle” using the attached directions. You are welcome to look on the internet to find another bottle that you’d like to make. (Just search “discovery bottles” or “sensory bottles” for more ideas.)

Water bottles are perfect for this project. Soak the bottle in warm water or blow with a hair dryer to remove the label. The only difficult part is removing the sticky glue left on the bottle. (I’ve found the easiest thing to do is just put a piece of clear packaging tape over the sticky part.) You’ll find most of the materials for making these bottles in a junk drawer or in your kitchen cabinet.

Please send the bottle back to school this Friday. For our science fair we’ll let each child “show and share” how they made their bottle. We’ll create a special science center so the children can revisit the bottles and discover and explore over the next few weeks.

We hope you’ll stop by and see all of the creative ways children can recycle bottles and LEARN!


Note! The only thing you’ll need to do is glue the lids on with E6000 or a similar glue. Shake, rattle, and roll those bottles!


Of course, you'll want to award a "participation" ribbon to each child!
What a great way to get students excited about SCIENCE!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

PUZZLED DAY?

Did you ever sing the song "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold..."? This rings true in early childhood. We want to be ready and excited to try new things, but we also need to treasure activities and materials that have always worked with children. Puzzles are one thing that will never go out of style, and to celebrate National Puzzle Day on January 29th, here are some "old" and "new" activities with puzzles.

There have been numerous research studies that confirm the importance of puzzles in cognitive development. Other benefits of puzzles include:
     Small motor skills
     Eye-hand coordination
     Task initiation and completion
     Sense of accomplishment

Puzzles also provide the opportunity for children to collaborate and cooperate with a partner or small group.

Here are a few ideas to incorporate puzzles into your plans this month. You might be surprised at the standards you’ll find! 


Jigsaw Puzzle
Put a jigsaw puzzle (50-100+ pieces depending on the age and ability of your students) on a table. Explain that you will leave it out all week and if they finish their work early they can try and put it together. (You’ll quickly be able to identify the children who have done puzzles at home with their families.) 

Story Puzzles

                     
Have children draw pictures and write stories on cardstock. Next, let them cut the paper into puzzle pieces. (I’ve found it best to give them a limit of 8-15 pieces or they’ll end up with confetti.) Put these in an envelope and exchange with friends. After putting the puzzles together they can read each other’s stories.

Word PuzzlesWrite vocabulary/spelling/sight words on sentence strips. Cut between the letters and place them in an envelope. Children put the letters together and read the word. 

                                    
Hint! Write the word on the back of the envelope so they can self-check.
Ask them to write the words after they complete the puzzles.

Poem Puzzles
Make 2 copies of nursery rhymes or poems. Glue one to the front of a clasp envelope. Make a puzzle of the other rhyme by cutting between the lines or words. Store in the envelope. Children place the puzzle pieces on top of the original and then read.

          

Magazine Puzzles
Let children cut out favorite pictures from a magazine. (These could relate to a theme or unit.) Glue pictures to a piece of cardstock and then cut into puzzle pieces. 

Cereal Box Puzzles 
                                               
Ask children to bring empty cereal boxes from home. Cut the front sections off the boxes and cut into puzzle pieces.
*For younger students it works best to use two boxes that are the same. One can be cut up and then they can place the pieces on the whole.

Greeting Card Puzzles
Ask parents to save old greeting cards. Child can cut off the front of the cards and then use them to make puzzles.

                       

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

COMPLIMENT DAY AND NATIONAL KAZOO DAY

January 24 is Compliment Day and it's a good time to talk about what a compliment is. How do you feel when someone gives you a compliment? What are some different ways you can compliment someone? How many compliments can you give during the day?

Compliment Jar
Get a clear jar and a bag of gems. Whenever someone compliments your class put a "gem" in the jar. When the jar is full the children get a special reward such as a popcorn party, extra recess, etc.

*You can use cotton balls, marbles, or other items for the compliment jar.
                              
Hint! Be sure and let your special teachers and other school staff know about your gem jar so they can compliment your class when they EARN it.

Compliment Board (Kalli Lemley)
To encourage kindness and appreciation for others, place a bulletin board outside the room dedicated to compliments to each other. Vary the theme throughout the year:
“Leaf a compliment.” (Leaves)
“Snow’s some kindness.” (Snowflakes)
“Send a ray of sunshine.” (Sunshines)
“Watch our friendship grow.” (Flowers)


How could you miss celebrating National Kazoo Day on January 28th?
Ask your students to bring in paper towel rolls. (For sanitary reasons it is best to collect paper towel rolls rather than TP rolls!) Cut the paper towel rolls in half and punch a hole ¾” from the top. Let children decorate the cardboard rollers with markers or crayons. Cut 6” circles out of wax paper and use a rubber band to attach to one end of the roller and you’re ready to hum. March around the room as you hum some of your favorite songs.

                                      
Play “name that tune” as different students stand up and try to stump their classmates by humming a familiar tune.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

OPPOSITE DAY

If you didn't get to see my Facebook Live last night here's your chance 
to see how to chase away those January Blues.

Opposite Day is January 25 and this will be an easy one to tie into standards.  Reverse the daily schedule by starting the day with your good-bye song and ending with a good morning song and the morning message. Say your Z Y X’s (alphabet backwards) and count backwards. Turn around in your chairs and face the back of the room. Read a book backwards. Oh, and don’t forget to eat your dessert first at lunch!!!

Sing the opposite song and play the opposite game.

Opposite Song (Tune: “Shortnin’ Bread”)
We can do opposites, opposites, opposites.
We can do opposites follow me.
Top and bottom… (Touch top of head and bottom of foot.)
Front and back… (Touch tummy and then back.)
Happy and sad… (Smile and then frown.)
Left and right… (Hold up left hand and then right.)
Up and down… (Point up and then down.)
Loud and soft… (Say, “Loud,” loud and “soft,” soft.)
Open and shut… (Open and shut hands.)
Stand and sit…and put them in your lap! (Stand and then sit and put hands in lap.)

Let children suggest other opposites you could sing in the song.

Opposite Game
Whatever the teacher says, the students do the opposite. For example if the teacher says “cry” the children laugh. If the teacher says “up” the children point down.

Have children fold a sheet of paper in half and illustrate opposites.
                                      
Use a T-chart to write words that are opposite.

Take photos of children acting out antonyms and use them to make a class book.

Hint! Introduce the word “antonym” and explain that it means the same thing as “opposite.”

                                  

You can also celebrate Backwards Day on January 31st by reading a book backwards, walking backwards, wearing your shirt backwards, saying a poem backwards, etc. You get the picture!


P.S.  Here's a link to a pdf for the "Little Snowman" that my webmaster made for you.  Thanks, Alex!
http://bit.ly/drjeanSnowman

Monday, January 8, 2018

NATIONAL HUGGING DAY AND HANDWRITING DAY

Coming up January 21st is National Hugging Day. Could anything be better than a hug on a cold winter day? Let children make a list of people they like to hug.

Hint! If your school is cautious about hugging, demonstrate how to give an air hug by squeezing your arms in front of you.

“Hug” in sign language is done by making fists and wrapping your arms around your chest.

Show your students how to give a “hall hug” to friends by crossing your index and middle fingers and wiggling.
                                                  

Give children a paper plate and ask them to draw their face on it. Let them trace around their hands and cut them out. Give them two strips of paper (12” x 2 ½”) for arms. They can glue the arms to the paper plate and then attach the hands. Use the “hugs” for a bulletin board or let children give them to someone special.


(Sorry, this looks a little sick-o. Your kids will do a better job than I did!)

January 23 is Handwriting Day, so students should remember to do their best. It might be fun to let them use pens, colored pencils, or different writing utensils that day.  They will also get a kick out of doing fancy writing.

                               

Sunday, January 7, 2018

JANUARY CELEBRATIONS TO CURE THE WINTER BLAHS!

I don’t know about you, but when I was in the classroom January was always a LONG month. I started doing a little celebration every Friday for me as much as for the children. It gave us something positive to focus on and look forward to during the cold, dark days. This week I will share some of the Fantastic Fridays I did, as well as other special days to celebrate in January. These are the activities that build memories, create a classroom community, and nurture social-emotional development because they are positive and playful. Take a look and I hope you’ll find one or two that are just right to include in your January lesson plans to chase those winter blahs away!

Note! I even have a few coming up that will turn standards into a party!

Sock Hop

Children get to wear silly socks to school and have a dance at the end of the day.
*Teach the children the “Twist,” “Swim,” “Pony,” or other dances from your past.
                                                     
Talent Show 
One of my favorite memories is of a Talent Show we had one Friday. I just invited all the children to think of a “talent” (song, dance, story, joke, gymnastic stunt) they could do. We sat in a circle and they all got up and performed! We clapped and laughed and cheered!

Board Game Day
Let children bring board games from home. Set aside the last hour in the day to share games and play games with friends.
Note! It might be good to have parent volunteers or older students in your school help.
                                                                     
Pajama Party 
Have children wear pajamas and bring pillows and stuffed animals to class. Read books, watch a movie, and eat popcorn.

Career Day 
Children come dressed for the career they’d like when they grow up. After sharing with friends, have each child draw a picture (or take a photograph) and make a class book.

Beach Party
Bring beach towels and wear sunglasses, shorts, and T-shirts. Play beach ball games, beach music, and have a “cool” snack like popsicles.
                                            
Toy Day 
Children bring a favorite toy from home and share with their friends the last 30 minutes of the day.

Book Day
Invite children to bring their favorite book from home and share with classmates.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

GAMES FOR A WINTER DAY


 
     The weather outside is frightful,
     But inside our game is delightful.
     And since we can’t go out to play
     Here are some indoor games for today.

Silent Touch
This is a great game to quiet children and build memory skills. The first child gets up and touches an object and then sits down. The second child gets up, touches the first object, then touches an additional object. The third child touches the first object, second object, and adds a third object. The game continues as classmates touch what the previous children have touched in sequential order and then add a new item. When a child forgets, simply begin the game all over again.
                       

Four Corners (This is the BEST indoor game ever!)
Number each of the corners in the room ~ 1, 2, 3, 4. (You can write the numerals on paper and hang them up if you want.) Choose one person to be “it.” “It” hides their eyes and slowly counts from one to ten as the rest of the class tiptoes to a corner in the room. When “it” says “freeze,” everyone must be in a corner. “It” then calls out a number (1, 2, 3, or 4) and the children in that corner are out of the game. They sit down in the “stew pot” in the middle of the room. “It” counts to ten again as everyone moves to a new corner. The game continues until there is one person left. That person becomes the new “it.”
Hint! Shorten the game by having “it” call out two corners at a time.


*If there is no one in the corner, ask “it” to call out another number.

*Label the corners with sight words or vocabulary words.

Detective
One child is the “detective.” The detective describes a “missing child” (classmate), giving their eye color, hair color, description of clothing, likes, etc. The first person to identify the missing child gets to be the new detective.


Hint! Here is another variation of this game. Send the detective out in the hall. Select one child and hide him or her under your desk or behind a shelf. The detective returns to the classroom and tries to identify the missing child. (You can also let two children exchange seats and see if the detective can spot the switch.)

Hot Potato
You can use a small ball, bean bag, or stuffed animal for this game. Children sit or stand in a circle. Children begin passing the “hot potato” (ball or bean bag) around the room when the music starts. Explain that it is a “hot potato” and they need to pass it quickly to the next friend. When the music stops, the one holding the “hot potato” is out of the game and must leave the circle. If two children are holding it they are both out. The last child remaining is the winner. Begin the game again.

Silent Ball
You will need a small, soft ball for this game. Explain that the object of the game is to see how many times you can toss the ball without talking. Look at the person you are throwing the ball to so they will be ready. Silently count how many times we can throw the ball without talking or dropping it. If someone talks or drops the ball, then the game begins all over again.
                                                                      

Tower Topple
This game is similar to Jenga.  Have children get a block and then sit in a circle.  The first child begins building the tower by placing her block in the middle of the circle.  The second child places his block on top of hers...The game continues as children try to build the tower higher and higher.  When it falls over every shouts "tower topple" and the game begins again.




Friday, January 5, 2018

SPORTS AROUND THE YEAR

Let's get those kids moving and learning in 2018!  A Sports Day on Friday might give them something to look forward to at the end of the week.
                                    


Sports Around the Year
January, let’s all skate – (Slide feet from side to side with big steps.)
Slipping, sliding, feeling great.
In February, grab your skis (Squat and swing arms from left to right.)
Down the mountain, fast and free.
In March we’ll do some hoops (Pretend to dribble a ball and then shoot.)
Basketball dribble, shoot, and loop.
In April let’s do track and field (Run in place and jump.)
Running, jumping down the field.

Chorus:
Biking, dancing, playing ball (Do jumping jacks, march, or
Winter, spring, summer, fall. a dance step.)
Staying fit and staying strong.
Playing sports all year long!

In May we’ll kick and punt the ball (Right foot kicks to the left
Playing soccer, one and all. and then left foot kicks to the right.)
In June baseball is so much fun (Pretend to swing a bat.)
Pitching, batting in the sun.
In July we’ll swim in the pool (Swim forwards, backwards, sidestroke.)
Backstroke, sidestroke, feeling cool.
In August we’ll all be gymnasts (Balance on right foot and lean forwards.)
Balancing, tumbling on the mats. (Balance on left foot and lean forwards.)

Chorus

September, now it’s football time: (Feet out and run in place.)
Down, set, hut on the scrimmage line.
October’s great for cheerleading, (Hands in air and jump up and down.)
Cheering on our favorite team.
November: let’s karate chop! (Pretend to chop right and then left.)
Kick and block – now don’t you stop!
December, swing your hockey stick- (Pretend to skate and swing a stick.)
Hit that puck, we never miss!

Chorus

Sports Day 
Liven up a boring winter day with “sports day.” Invite children to wear clothing from their favorite sport or team.

Pantomime
Let children take turns pantomiming different sports as their friends try to guess.

Sportsmanship
Discuss what it means to be a “good sport.” Role-play being a good loser and a good winner.

Equipment
Encourage children to bring equipment from sports they like to play. Write down the names of the equipment on the board and use for a writing activity.

                                        
Graph 
Make a graph of their favorite sport or sports team.

College Days
Talk about where you went to college and why it is important to go to college. Let each child make a pennant of the college they would like to attend. Use the pennants to decorate your classroom.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

CHORES AROUND THE HOUSE

Focusing on "chores around the house" can be a positive project for 2018.  Although most children grumble about doing chores, jobs at home can be a powerful way to develop “task initiation and task completion” and nurture the executive function.  Chores also help children feel “worthy” and a valuable part of the family unit.

We often “assume” that children know how to do a task and then we get frustrated when they don’t do it correctly. That’s why it’s important to model expectations and demonstrate specific steps. Here's an activity that would be perfect for a learning center or housekeeping area.



Set the Table

Bring in some plastic plates, utensils, and cups and demonstrate how to set the table. You might want to trace around the items on a paper placemat so the children can match one to one.
                                 


Training Tools

Go to the dollar store and purchase a dustpan, broom, duster, etc. Demonstrate how to use these and then invite children to help you keep the classroom clean. 

*I had a Dust Buster in my classroom that the kids loved to use. If there was a mess we would say, “Who you gonna call? Dust buster!”



Teeny Tiny Duties

There are some tasks that young children can do at home and some that are way too difficult. Let children share the chores that they have at home. Make a list of these tasks on the board. Ask children to choose several three or four that they could do to help at home and make a job chart. Tell them to hang it on the refrigerator and keep track for a week. Demonstrate how to make a check mark each day when they complete the task.
        
*Remind your students that they are responsible for doing the job without having their parents tell them!

Parent Conferences
One teacher explained that when she had parent conferences she emphasized the importance of having children do chores and take responsibility for helping their family. There are several good website with ideas for chores children can do:
                                      
www.webmd.com/parenting/features/chores-for-children

www.focusonthefamily.com/...kids-to.../age-appropriate-chores

parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/.../age-appropriate-chores-for-children