Friday, May 25, 2018

OUTDOOR SCIENCE

Make your playground or backyard your very own science lab this summer.

Discovery Walks
Go on a walk and have children touch various objects. “How does it feel?”
Have them close their eyes and try to identify objects by their sense of touch.
*Take a listening walk where children close their eyes and try to identify different sounds in the environment.

Class Tree
Let the children “adopt” a special tree on the playground. Vote on a name for your tree and then take photos of it in different seasons. Read stories or sing songs in the shade of your tree.
*Draw pictures of your tree or write descriptions. (Great for non-fiction writing.)

Dirt Detectives
Use magnifying glasses and sticks to dig in the dirt. What is dirt composed of?

                        
Human Sun Dial
Have one child face north at 9:00 in the morning. Mark where they are standing and draw their shadow with chalk. Have the child stand in the same spot and record their shadow at various times in the school day.
*Play shadow tag where children try to step on each other’s shadows.

Cloud Watch
When there are cumulus clouds in the sky, have the children lay on their backs and look for animals and other objects in the sky.
*Let them draw pictures of clouds with white paint and a Q-tip on blue paper.

Melt Down
Give each child a paper cup with an ice cube in it. Who can make their ice cube melt fastest?
*Color the ice cubes with food coloring.
*Draw with ice cubes on the sidewalk.


Sit and Watch
Children can use a hula hoop or 7' piece of string for this activity.  Lay the hula hoop on the ground (or make a circle with the string) and sit inside.  Encourage children to sit quietly and use their senses to observe their habitat.
*Give them paper and a pencil to draw or write observations.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

BUG OFF!

Bugs are everywhere this time of year and children are fascinated by these little critters. Here’s a simple song to sing to the tune of “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” where children can learn the basic body parts of insects.

INSECT’S BODY
Head (Point to head.)
Thorax (Point to chest.)
Abdomen – abdomen! (Point to stomach.)
Head, thorax, abdomen – abdomen!
And eyes (Point to eyes.)
And mouth (Point to mouth.)
And antennae, two (Stick 2 fingers up.)
Six legs (Wiggle 3 fingers on each hand.)
And there’s an insect for you!
(Leave off a verse each time you sing and hum.)

Bug Hunt – Give children pipe cleaners that they can twist into a magnifying glass shape. Let them use these to hunt for bugs on the playground. 
*They could also use clipboards to draw insects that they find outside.
                        

Entomologist – Explain that an entomologist is a person who studies insects. Brainstorm different ways that they can study insects, such as checking out books at the library, looking on the internet, and so forth.

Carolyn Kisloski (ckisloski.blogspot.com) and I have a FREE “Bugs and Insects” packet for you.  There are 40 pages (QR Codes, Prezis, children's books, writing prompts) of hands-on activities and games.  
                                   
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Bugs-and-Insects-Unit-2513730

Swat the Fly
Cut flies out of construction paper and write numerals on them. Tape to the wall or staple to a bulletin board. Give one child a fly swatter and have them turn their back to the wall as you say this rhyme: 
            Turn around and swat the fly. 
            Tell me the number that you spy. 
The child turns around, swats a fly, and identifies the number. 

*Write letters, words, etc. on the flies. 

*Make a game with two teams. One child from each team holds a fly swatter. The teacher calls out a number, word, math fact, etc. and the first child to swat it correctly wins a point for their team. 

                    

Bug Me
Cut bugs out of construction paper and write letters, numerals, words, etc. on them. Place on the floor or tape to a wall. 

Download the fly and bug pattern here: 
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1SnEagA4jljS2NweVFYTlVTVWs/view?usp=sharing

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

LET'S PLAY!

If I were in charge of the world summer vacation would begin Memorial Day weekend and school wouldn't start again until after Labor Day. I guess I'm not in charge of the world! Some of you have "tested" and are out the door...some of you still have weeks to go. In or out, here are some variations of traditional games children always enjoy playing.
                                   
Hug Tag
Materials: none
                                 
Directions:  Designate a playing area. One child is “it.” “It” chases other children who must “freeze” when they are tagged. Players hug those who are “frozen” to “unfreeze” them.
     *Stoop Tag – Children stoop down on the ground when they are tagged.
     *Cartoon Tag – Children must name a cartoon show when they are tagged.


     *Shadow Tag – children must freeze when “it” steps on their shadow.
     *Sticky Tag – Children must hold the part of their body that is tagged.

Relays
Relays are a little difficult at first for children under six. But, like anything else, if you practice and play several times they will catch on. I particularly like relays because they require self-regulation and are a team effort.
                                                           
Materials: none

Directions:  Divide the children into teams with five or six players on each. Have the players line up single file behind a line and run one at a time to a designated point and back. The first player tags the second player, who then runs the distance. The first team to have all players run is the winner.
                                   
*Ball Relays– Have the children pass a ball over their heads and under their legs. The last person runs to the front of the line and continues passing over and under. When the first person is in his or her original position, their team wins the game. Relays where children must dribble a ball, kick a ball, or throw a ball into a target can also be played.

*Animal Relays – Let the children walk like crabs (on backs with hands and feet), bears (on all fours), birds (flapping arms), monkeys (scratching sides), or elephants (swinging arms like a trunk.)

*Quick Change – Prepare bags with a shirt, pants, and hat for each team. The first player puts the clothes on, runs to a designated point, takes the clothes off, then runs and gives the clothes to the second person.

*Pig Relays - Move the ball with your nose.

*Movements- Have children hop, jump, skip, gallop, walk backwards, or do other movements.

*Toesie Relay – Have the children take their shoes off, pick up a peanut with their toes, carry it to a basket, and drop it in.

*Potato Relay – Ask the children to carry a potato in a large spoon without dropping it.

*Balloon Relay- Have children run with a balloon to a chair, then sit on the balloon and pop it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

WIN/WIN GAMES

Here are a few simple games to build summer memories, friendships, and fitness. Games are also a good way to develop the executive function. There's a beginning and an end, and children have to follow the rules and use self-regulation.

Hint! 
*Change these games for the level and interest of your children.
*Keep the rules few and simple.
*Play on soft surfaces and keep it SAFE!
*Emphasize cooperation and the joy of playing, rather than competition and scores.
*Encourage children to problem solve and work out their own differences.

Circle Soccer
My students loved this game. It was quick and it didn't require a lot of physical skills.
Materials: playground ball
                                         
Directions: Stand in a circle and hold hands. Place the ball inside the circle. Children try to kick the ball and keep it inside the circle. If the ball goes out of the circle between two people, then both people are out of the game. If a player kicks the ball too high and it goes over someone’s head, then the player who kicked the ball is out of the game. The game continues until there are just one or two players left.

Jump the Creek
This is another game my students always wanted to play.

Materials: 2 jump ropes (or you can make lines in the sand)

Directions: Children get in a line behind each other. Spread the ropes about one foot apart to make the "creek." One at a time children jump over the "creek" and then get at the back of the line. After each child has had a turn, move the ropes farther apart to make the "creek" wider. Children continue jumping over the "creek" as it gets wider and wider. If they don't clear the rope or touch the rope when they jump they are out of the game and become "cheerleaders." The game continues until one person is left.
*Sometimes we pretended there were alligators or crocodiles the creek!

Build the Castle
This game is similar to Jump the Creek, but it's for high jump rather than broad jump.
                                          
Materials: long jump rope

Directions:  Choose two people to hold the rope. The other players form a straight line and take turns jumping over the rope. The rope begins on the ground, but after everyone has had a turn, it is raised a few inches. If a child’s foot touches the rope, he or she is out of the game. Continue raising the rope until there is just one child left who can jump the height.

*A similar game called “school” can be played. When the rope is on the ground it is called “kindergarten.” Each time the rope is raised, it is called “first grade,” “second grade,” and so on.

What’s That Jive?
This game is like Red Rover, but a lot safer. 

Materials: none

Directions:  Divide the children into two teams and have them stand in a line facing each other 30 to 40 feet apart. One team calls for a player from the other team with this chant:
        (Child's name), (child’s name)
        What’s that jive?
        Come on over 
        And give me five.

The team calling the chant holds their hands out in front of them with their palms up. The child called proceeds down their line giving each player “five” by slapping their palms. If the child who is “it” slaps the palms and then slaps under their palms, that child chases “it” back to his or her original team. If “it” is caught, he or she must return to the opposing team, but if not, the chaser must joint “it’s” team. The game continues with teams taking turns calling players from the opposite side.

Monday, May 21, 2018

GO OUTSIDE AND GO WILD!

Several years ago I read Richard Louv’s book LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS: SAVING OUR CHILDREN FROM NATURE-DEFICIT DISORDER. It reminded me that exposure to nature is essential for healthy physical and emotional development in children AND adults. (This book first came out in 2005, but you can imagine the decrease in outdoor time and increase in screen time over the past 13 years!!!!)
                                                   


Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and let children explore in a less controlled environment. Educators, as well as many parents, are concerned about all the time their children spend in front of a screen. But, you can’t always give children a choice. If you say, “Do you want to go outside and go for a walk or play video games on your computer?”  You know what the answer will be!

We need to engage children in outdoor activities and create opportunities where they will choose to play and “be wild”! These are some suggestions I adapted from the website that you might want to share with your parents:

Climb a tree

Roll down a really big hill

Build a tent

Hunt for stones

Watch the sun wake up

Go on a nature walk at night

Plant it, grow it, eat it

Discover what’s in a pond

Go to a park

Play in the sand

Run around in the rain

Fly a kite

Hunt for bugs

Go fishing

Cook on a campfire

Look for objects in the clouds

Make a mud pie

Swing on a rope swing 



I loved this UK website:   kidsgowild.org 
Our site strives to help you as the parent be informed and motivated to get your kids into nature and go wild with fun! Also to teach them to interact and get along with other kids from all ages, not just their own. All for the betterment of their future success, and yours as a parent of course!
                         
                                       
Just think how giving children 30 minutes of OUTDOOR WILD TIME every day this summer could impact their lives!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

MY STATE

Yesterday I shared "My Town" and "My School." How about a book about your state? Here's a book about New Hampshire that a teacher shared several years ago. She said her kids loved reading this book and the parents were so impressed the their children knew more about their state than they did!!!

My State Book
Make a state book based on your state flower, animal, famous people, state bird, capitol, flag, insect, famous places, etc. Children can become EXPERTS about their state.
For example: 


New Hampshire, New Hampshire, what do you see?
I see the Capitol in Concord looking at me.

Capitol in Concord, what do you see?
I see the purple lilac looking at me...

Dartmouth, Dartmouth, who do you see?
I see Dr. Seuss looking at me....

                      

Singing the World (Tune: “The Wheels on the Bus”)
The name of my school is ___, ___, ___.
The name of my school is ___.
That’s the name of my school.

The name of my city is...

The name of my state is...

The name of my country is United States...

The name of my continent is North America...






The name of my planet is the Earth...

Saturday, May 19, 2018

MY TOWN

This is a great book you can make to help children become familiar with their city/town. 

Lovely City
Here's the book that I made several years ago about Charleston. 
                                    
You will need construction paper and photos of your city, school, state symbols, and so forth. I used a rhyme similar to “Brown Bear” for each page.

Charleston, Charleston, what do you see?
There’s ___site____.
Come with me.


On the last page I wrote:

Do you like Charleston?
Do you like your city?
“Yes,” said Dr. Jean.
“I LOVE IT!” said she. 

(I used my pirate picture to add a smile!)
                                 

On the last page of your book you could write:
Do you like (name of your city)?
Do you like your city?
"Yes," said the children.
"It's the best place for me!"


My School
You could tie this in with technology by inviting the children to take photos of different places in their school or community.  This would be a wonderful book to share with your new group of students when school starts.



End with:
(Teacher, Teacher) who do you see?
I see all my new friends ready to learn with me!

Friday, May 18, 2018

GOT PLANS FOR THE SUMMER?

If you don't have plans, why don't you come spend some time with me? Here are some of the places I'll be presenting this summer. I can't wait!
                                    
June 14
College of Charleston Early Childhood Summit
Charleston, SC
http://ecsummit.cofc.edu

June 21
Children’s Learning Institute
Arlington, TX
https://tsrsummerinstitute.org

July 21
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
Shippensburg, PA
http://www.ship.edu/coehs/ece/

July 25
Northeast Alabama Childhood Conference
Albertville, AL
bethrigsby@albertk12.org


August 10
Aldenbridge Presbyterian Preschool
The Woodlands, TX
admin@aldenbridgepreschool.org


Thursday, May 17, 2018

UP IN THE AIR WITH CHILDREN

As a frequent traveler, I love to observe parents interacting with their children at the airport.  Some parents KNOW how to engage and entertain their children.  It's a beautiful thing!  Some parents are totally frustrated and just hand them an electronic device.  It's all I can do not intervene and demonstrate some positive techniques.  I know I need to "mind my own business," but sometimes parents need a little help.

I’m writing this blog in hopes that you can share these ideas with families of children you teach. You are welcome to put this on your class website, blog, or send it home with a summer fun packet.
                                                               
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when you travel with children. And if you’ll read these tips, I bet your fellow passengers will thank you for being on top of the game! Take advantage of the one-on-one time with your child by giving them 100% of your attention. After all, isn’t family time the best part of any vacation?

Planning Ahead
Several days before the trip start talking about your adventure and give details about what is going to happen. Have children close their eyes as you describe the trip – checking in at the airport - going through security - waiting for your flight to be called – getting on the plane and fastening your seatbelt – taking off – looking out the window – landing – how much fun you’ll have on your vacation, etc. Explain that there are many other people who will be sharing a small space on the plane and that everyone needs to be respectful and use their best manners and quiet voices. The pilots and flight attendants are there to keep everybody safe, so you will have to listen carefully to them.

Packing
Let your child pack a bag full of special objects that they want to carry on the plane. (You’ll have to give some guidelines for this so they don’t try and bring their entire collection of stuffed animals.) A few books, a notebook and markers, a card game, a bedtime buddy or blanket, and some healthy snacks should do the trick. You might also suggest a change of clothes, tissues, and bandaids in case of emergencies.
Note! I did not suggest a computer or IPad. Parents, you can pack this in your bag and save it for emergencies. Too often children play with these while waiting for their flights to take off and then they are bored by the time they get on the plane.
              
Waiting
After going through security, walk around and look out the windows at the other planes. Look at all the passengers and guess where they might be going. Talk about special things that your child hopes to do on the trip. If the flight is delayed you can play “I Spy,” “Tic Tac Toe,” “Hangman” or another quiet game. Oh, and don’t forget a last minute stop in the restroom!

Taking Off
When boarding a plane, you’ll find most pilots enthusiastic about meeting children and letting them take a “peek” inside the cockpit. Can your child find her own seat? Once seated, encourage your child to explore her space. (It’s fine to open and shut the window shade a few times, look in the seat pocket, talk about the airsick bag, etc.) Playing with the flight attendant call button is NOT ALLOWED! When the boarding door has closed, then everyone must buckle up!

Up in the Air
Once you are in the air, it’s time to open the backpack and read some books, play a game, draw some pictures, or eat a snack. If a beverage is served, show your child how to put down their tray and discuss their selection. Keep on talking and engaging your child.

O.K. Now, it’s time to get out the iPad or computer and watch a movie. Wait until the last possible moment to do this. This is like the 8th inning stretch on the plane. (I might also recommend a bag of M & M’s – for emergencies only!)

Before you know it you will hear those magic words, “Please fasten your seatbelts. We will be landing shortly.”

Remember, YOU are the parent and you are directing this event. With a happy, positive, attitude you’ll have a great flight and the other passengers will as well! How many opportunities do you have to give your child 100% of your attention? That may be the best part of your trip!

Wishing you safe and happy travels!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

CARTOON TIME

What child doesn’t like cartoons? And what child wouldn’t be thrilled to have the opportunity to create their own cartoon? 

Save your funny papers from the Sunday newspaper and take them to share with your class. (All of them will not be appropriate, so select the ones you think your children will enjoy.) Explain how cartoonists use “bubbles” to let you know what the characters are saying. Tell the children that they will get to draw their own cartoons and they can use bubbles to let their characters talk.


                     
Attached are cartoon frames with 2, 3, and 4 sections. Start off by giving them copies of the cartoon frame with 2 sections. Tell them to think of a story that has a beginning and an end and draw it. 
                     
Next, let them think of a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Finally, challenge them to create a story with 4 sections.

*Use cartoon frames to recall the sequence of a story.

*Use cartoon frames for the life cycle of a butterfly, the water cycle, plant growth, and so forth.


*Let them draw a picture of you and make a bubble with something you frequently say coming out of your mouth.  You might be surprised!!!!



Here's a link so you can download the blank cartoon frames:

FISHY FOOD FUN

You might not be able to catch a real fish, but you can certainly 
catch an idea with Gold Fish crackers today.

You’ve got to love Gold Fish crackers. They don’t have sugar, they are not messy, they are not expensive, and they are perfect for many math activities.

Prepare snack size bags with colored fish so children can dive into these activities…

Estimation- How many fish are in your bag?

Counting- Count and see how many you have.
Did you estimate more or less?
Is it an odd or even number?

Sorting- How can you sort the fish?


Graphing – How many of each color? 

Patterning- Can you make a pattern with the fish?

Addition and Subtraction – Make sets and join them together.
Eat and subtract. Can you make up a number story with the fish?


Catch and Eat 
You’ll need large pretzel rods, peanut butter (or cream cheese), and fish crackers for this snack. Dip the end of the pretzel rod (fishing pole) in the bait (peanut butter) and see how many fish you can catch and eat. 
                                     
There’s even a website (goldfish.com) where you can learn about Finn and his friends and play games.   


Rainbow Fish
After reading "Rainbow Fish," cut strips of paper 8  1/2" by 1  1/4."  Cut slits half way through 1 1/2" from each end as shown.  Children can color their fish and then hook the tabs to make a fish. Toss in the air and watch your fish fly!!!
P.S.  Older kids could use ROY G. BIV to color their fish.
     

                           

                                                                           

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

GO FISH!!!

Who doesn't want to go fishing on a beautiful spring day?

Have You Ever Been Fishing? (Tune: “Turkey in the Straw” - Keep on Singing CD)
Have you ever been fishing (Pretend to fish.)
On a bright and sunny day, (Circle arms like the sun.)
When you see those little fishies (Fold hands and wiggle.)
Swimming up and down the bay?
With their hands in their pockets (Put hands in front.)
And their pockets in their pants. (Put hands in back.)
All the little fishies do the (Hands on hips and wiggle.)
Hoochie coochie dance!

*Sing fast, faster, and super duper fast!

Catch a Fish
Staple an 18” piece of string to the end of straw. Let children make fish out of construction paper and tie to the other end of the string. They can use these as they sing the song.
                                

Catch and Eat
Give children a pretzel rod, some gold fish crackers, and a spoonful of peanut butter. Children dip the end of the rod in peanut butter and then catch a fish.
             

Fish Finger Play
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, (Slowly hold up one finger at a time on right hand.)
I caught a fish alive. (Clap hands together as if catching a fish.)
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, (Hold up fingers on left hand.)
I let it go again. (Open palms and pretend to release.)
Why did you let that fishy go? (Shrug shoulders.)
Because it bit my finger so. (Hands on hips.)
Which finger did it bite? (Shrug shoulders.)
The little finger on my right. (Hold up pinky on right hand.)

Hint! Talk about double meanings of words by explaining what a "school" of fish means.

                                                            


Paper Plate Fish
You will need paper plates, brad fasteners, markers, and crayons for this project. Cut a triangle out of the paper plate to be the mouth of the fish. Attach the triangle to the back with the brad fastener to make the tail. Color with crayons or paint with water colors.

Hint! Tie in "greater than" and "less than" with the fish's mouth.

Baby Fish (Silly Songs CD)
Baby fish, do-do, do-do-do-do, (Open and shut index
Baby fish, do-do, do-do-do-do. fingers to the beat.)
Baby fish, do-do, do-do-do-do, (Open and shut index
Baby fish, do-do, do-do-do-do. fingers to the beat.)

Momma fish… (Open and shut hands.)
Daddy fish… (Open and shut arms.)
Giant whale… (Extend arm and leg to make whale’s mouth.)

*Let children make up other verses, such as one about uncle fish, grandma fish, etc. Have the children suggest arm movements to do for the different fish.

Monday, May 14, 2018

CHICK BLOG

You're going to love this blog post by my friend Barbara Lees. She teaches first grade in Las Vegas and you'll be as intrigued as I was when you hear about her baby chicks.

I know some of you have done similar science activities in your classroom. Each student in my granddaughter's class got a caterpillar that they named, observed, and then set free. Kalina might forget many things about second grade, but she'll never forget her little caterpillar Coconut.

As academics continue to be pushed, it's refreshing to remember that you can still do little "things" that will make a lasting, positive memory in your students.

HATCHING CHICKS

by Barbara Lees

Materials needed:

Incubator, water for the incubator, box or plastic bin, heat lamp, wood chips, chick feed, water container

Chicks take 21 days to hatch in the incubator. It’s best to get an incubator with a built in turner so you don’t have to manually turn them every day. It’s also good to look for one that has an automatic cool down period, for an hour each day. This is the easy part- just put the fertilized eggs in the incubator, turn it on, add water as needed and wait 21 days!

It’s fun to be able to “candle” the eggs. This is when you have a light source to look through the shell and see the chick growing. You can use a flashlight, but a very dark room is needed, such as a bathroom. After the chicks hatch, they can stay in the incubator for up to 24 hours. They will need to stay in there for a minimum of 2-3 hours to make sure they are dried & fluffy. When they hatch, they are very wet.

Once they’ve hatched and dried, they are ready for their new home. I’ve always used a cardboard box, but a plastic bin would work, too. I put an old towel on the bottom of the box and then a generous amount of wood chips on top of that. They need a heat lamp, as well. Young chicks cannot make their own heat, so this is very important! The lamp needs to stay on the whole time you have the chicks! A food and water dish is important, too. The water container I use is specifically designed for young chicks so they don’t drown. They fall asleep very easily, so if one is used with a wide opening, make sure you put marbles in the water so that doesn’t happen. Put the chicks in the box and enjoy!
                                    
I let the kids play with the chicks every day that I have them. They sit in a circle, criss-cross applesauce, knee to knee. Chicks are fast and will escape out of the circle! They must use a one finger touch and pet them on the head and the back. No touching the face, beak, feet or eyes. We use sanitizer before and after. Chicks poop! I use baby wipes and the kids always fight over who gets to clean up the poop!

I let my kids pick them up the 2ndweek. The chicks are a great motivator for the kids. You get your work done and behave and you get “chick time.” It’s very simple!
                                                               
I usually keep them two weeks. By then the chicks are ready to live on a farm and get out of the box. I got my eggs from a local person who has lots of chickens on her property. It’s very important to find homes for the chicks before you commit to hatching them. Most people are willing to give out eggs, but do not want them back once they’ve hatched.

Here are some activities I did about chicks with the kids. I found them on tpt and pinterest. I found the books on Amazon.
        

Enjoy! They are a lot of fun. 

For more information you can contact Barbara Lees at Leesbj@nv.ccsd.net.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

MY MOTHER WAS A SMART WOMAN

You know, it’s amazing how SMART my mother was! And, she never went to college. What my mother had was a rare thing these days called COMMON SENSE. When I was growing up there were no kits or programs to teach babies to read…no computers…no reading research. My mother did what parents have done naturally and well for hundreds of years.  She talked to me, sang to me, read to me, and gave me lots of time to PLAY. She sewed new dresses for my birthday and always made me proud by making cupcakes for school parties. She supported me without hovering and loved me unconditionally.

I wish I had told my mother more often how wonderful she was. 

I wish I had showed my love to her and embraced her as she grew older. 

If I love a child…if I make a child smile…if I give a child a song to sing…if I comfort a child…if I give a child a special memory…if I give a child a dream and hope…it’s because of my mother!

It’s what she gave me and I am trying to pass it on!!! Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS

Seal those memories in a positive way with these end of year projects.

Autograph Book
As simple as this project is, the children will be thrilled to have their very own autograph book. (Oh, yeah! And it will keep them busy!) Cut paper in fourths. (I like to use colored paper.) Have children count out 10 pieces. Hole punch and tie with a ribbon. Children walk around the room and get their friends’ autographs.
                                       
Friendship Necklace
You will need construction paper, yarn, markers, and hole punches for this project. Cut the construction paper into 2 ½” squares, circles or other simple shapes. Each child will need as many pieces as there are students in your room. Have them write their name and draw pictures on their shapes. Punch holes. Now comes the fun part! Children get to go around the room and give a shape to each of their friends. Encourage them to say something kind they remember about their friend as they pass them out. Finally, children string the shapes on yarn and knot the ends to make a necklace.


Memory Shirt
Have children bring in an old t-shirt from home. (White works best.) Provide them with fabric pens and let them have friends write their names and draw pictures on their shirts.
Hint! Plan several days for this project. It’s “no fun” if you have to do it all at once.
                                                        
Car Wash
Have students make two lines facing each other. They should stand 2-3 feet apart. Demonstrate how to move your palms in a circular direction like a car wash. Choose one child at a time to walk “through” the car wash. Students should gently pat the friend going through the car wash as they make positive comments about that friend.

Memory Book
Run off copies of a memory book for each child to color and fill in the missing information. Here are some suggestions:
1st page – “My Memory Book” with teacher’s name, school, year.
2nd page – “This is me.” (Child draws self –portrait.)
3rd page – “This is my teacher.” (Child draws teacher’s picture.)
4th page – “Here are my friends.” (Child draws friends.)
5th page – “My favorite thing at school is...” (Draws favorite activities.)
6th page – “Something I’ve learned this year…” (Draws accomplishment.)
7th page – “When I grow up I want to be…” (Draws future self.)
8th page – “This is my handprint.” (Trace around child’s hand.)
You could also have children draw their favorite sport, color, book, song, food, etc.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1SnEagA4jljZG1Xb3A5TG9nSDQ/view?usp=sharing

Friday, May 11, 2018

SUMMER SKILL KITS

As summer approaches, I know you’re brainstorming ways to encourage children to read, write, and practice skills over their summer vacation. Here are a few projects that may encourage your students to continue to practice sight words.

Note! You can adapt these activities to letters, math facts, or other skills you want the children to master.

Treasure Boxes for Lifetime Words
Ask parents to send in empty mint cans. Cut paper into 1 ¾” by 3” rectangles. Have children write sight words on these rectangles and store them their containers.
                              
Hint! Explain that lifetime words are words you will need to be able to read all your life. They are like a “treasure” because they will belong to you forever!!!

Word Pockets
Seal envelopes and cut in half. Cut down 1” from each side and fold down the flap as shown. Punch holes in the sides and tie on a piece of string or yarn. Give children strips of paper cut 2 1/2” x 4” on which to write their sight words. Students can take the words home in their little pockets for summertime practice.
       

How about some games parents and children can play with the flashcards?

Hide and Seek
Hide the words around the room. Children find them one at a time, bring them to you, and read them.

Sentence Makers
Children choose a word and use it in a sentence.
*Older students could write a sentence.

Sidewalk Words
Children practice writing words with chalk on the sidewalk.

Sort the Words
Put all the one letter words together, two letter words, three letter words, and so forth.
Sort the nouns and verbs.
Sort the words by syllables.

Can You Find?
Can you find the words in a book? Can you find them printed on food labels or other things around the house?

sightwords.com is a website I'd definitely recommend to parents.  It's a good free resource for games and activities based on grade level expectations.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

CAMP KINDERGARTEN

Here's another idea for a fun way to end your school year.

Camp Kindergarten (Michelle Page)
We do camp kindergarten the last two weeks in the school year. Every morning we meet at the flagpole for the pledge and camp songs.
*“Baby Shark,” “The Ants Go Marching,” “Banana Dance,” “Chicka Boom,” and “Calamine Lotion” are a few songs we sing.

The parents write letters for “mail call” and the children write back.
                                    

We take an ABC nature walk and try to find objects for each letter in the alphabet.
             

We make s’mores and trail mix for snack.
                                                                             
The children bring blankets, towels, and sleeping bags. They get to take off their shoes to read, do work, listen to a story.

We go fishing for words (plastic pool and words with magnets).

We go on a bear hunt and then draw pictures of our adventure.

To tie in science we study about bugs and worms.

What an amazing way to celebrate and end the school year!

Look at our camp t-shirts with the kids’ names on the back.