## Monday, October 21, 2019

### SHAPE UP!

How about some ideas for geometry?  You can use these activities with young children or school age by adapting the shapes.  You might even “spy” some of your state standards here!!!

The Shape Song  (Tune:  "I'm a Little Teapot"- "October Happies")
I am momma circle round like a pie. (Hands over head in a circle.)
I’m baby triangle three sides have I. (Use 3 fingers to make a triangle.)
I am papa square my sides are four. (Draw a square in the air.)
I’m cousin rectangle shaped like a door. (Draw a rectangle in the air and then knock.)

I am brother oval shaped like a zero. (Make oval with arms over head.)
I’m sister diamond with a sparkle and a glow. (Touch thumbs and index fingers and extend.)
We are the shapes that you all know. (Make circles with index fingers and thumbs and
Look for us wherever you go. place around your eyes like glasses.)

Note! Explain that “rhombus” is the correct term for the diamond shape. Sing the song calling sister a “rhombus” instead of a “diamond.”

*Have children draw shapes in the air with elbows, feet, noses, and other body parts.

*Place foam shapes or 3-dimensional shapes in a bottle filled with sand or salt. Children spin it around and try to identify the shapes.  Can they draw the different shapes that they spy?

Body Shapes
Divide children into small groups and challenge them to lay on the floor and make various shapes with their bodies.  How many friends will it take to make a triangle?  A square?  A pentagon?  Take pictures and make a book.

*Make spyglasses for “spying” shapes by wrapping construction paper around paper towel rolls.

*Cut geometric shapes out of construction paper and let children use them to make a collage.  Can they combine simple shapes to make larger shapes?

*Cut sponges into geometric shapes and have children dip them in paint and stamp on paper.

*Download highway shapes from makinglearningfun.com.  Children can drive around these with toy cars or they can roll play dough and place it on the shapes.

*Go on a walk and look for shapes in your school and on the playground.

Shape Book
Fold two sheets of paper in half and staple. Children decorate the front of their book with shapes. Next, they walk around the room and draw shapes that they see. Can they label the shapes?
*This would be a good homework activity to help children be more aware of the shapes around their home.

Play Dough Book
Draw lines, curves, and geometric shapes with a marker on file folders. Laminate. Bind file folders with rings to make a book. Children roll play dough and place it on top of the shapes.

Bendables
Offer children pipe cleaners, Wikki stix, etc. and challenge them to make various shapes with the items.

Pretzel Shapes
Give children pretzel sticks and pretzel twists and challenge them to make geometric shapes. How many pretzel sticks will you need to make a hexagon? How many pretzel sticks will you need to make a triangle?

*Challenge them to make letters with the pretzels.  This is fun to do with a partner as they take turns making letters and identifying them.

## Sunday, October 20, 2019

### MAGNETIC NUMBERS

What classroom doesn't have magnetic numbers?

They are a plentiful, multi-sensory tool to develop number concepts!

You can hide them, sort them, touch them, and take a look...

Numerical Order
Put numbers in order 0, 1, 2, 3…

Tens and Ones
How many tens? How many ones?
Can you make 56?

Fact Families
Give children two addends and the sum and have them make and write the
facts.

More? Less? Equal?
Place numbers in a bag. Children pull out two numbers. Which is more?
Which is less? Or, are they equal?

Pick a Number
Children choose a number from a bag and then make a set to equal that amount.

*Let children choose a number and then lead the class in doing that number of jumping jacks, toe touches, or other exercises.

Write addition and subtraction facts on a file folder. Children answer with a
magnetic number.

Daily Number
Put magnetic numbers in a bag. Each day select two from the bag and put
them together on the board. What’s the number? Count forwards. Count
backwards. How many tens? How many ones?

Number Sticks
Glue shapes and numerals to jumbo craft sticks. Children can match these up to shapes and numerals in the classroom. They can also use these as you count, tell number stories, or sing songs.

Little Red Number Box (Sarah Wilson)
Put magnetic numbers in a metal tin and then sing the song as you pull out a number. Then count to that number.
For example: I wish I had a little tin box to put a 6 in. I’d take it out and count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and put it back in.

## Saturday, October 19, 2019

### WRITING NUMBERS

Oh, my! Those little hands may not be ready to write numerals, but the curriculum says they should. Believe it or not, 20 years ago we didn't even teach children to write numbers in kindergarten. We saved that for first grade. Now, we are expecting pre-k children to write numbers. I can't change your curriculum, but I can give you some songs and activities that may make it a little more positive and meaningful.

The Numeral Song (“Sing to Learn” CD)
This song goes to the tune of "Skip to My Lou." Have children stand and use their index finger to write in the air. Everybody's writing will look "good" when you do it in the air!

Come right down and that is all.

Come right down and that is all.
Come right down and that is all
To make the numeral one. (Hold up 1 finger.)

2 – Curve around and slide to the right…
3 – Curve in and around again…
4 – Down, over, down some more…
5 – Down, around, put on a hat…
6 – Curve in and around again…
7 – Slide to the right and slant it down…
8 – Make an “s” then close the gate…
9 – Circle around then come right down…
10 – Come right down, then make a zero…
We can sing the “Numeral Song”…
And make numerals all day long!

*Let children do air writing with other body parts, such as their elbow, foot, etc.

They can also practice writing on their palm or a friend's back.

*Squirt shaving cream on a safe surface so the children can practice making numbers.

*Have children practice writing numbers in salt, sand, and other sensory materials.

Number Chant
Children can associate numbers with the amount with this song and video. Encourage them to hold up the appropriate number of fingers as you sing.

Theme Books (Beth Cordier)
Let children make books for whatever theme you’re studying. Make a word wall with words from the theme. (Put magnetic tape on the back so children can take them off and copy them.) Children choose a different word for each page and illustrate it.

*Older children could write sentences with the words.

For example: Fall Theme
Page 1 “Pumpkin”
Page 2 “Leaves”
Page 3 “Squirrels”
Page 4 “Footballs”

Here's another song where children can stand and practice writing numerals without getting frustrated.

Chant and Write (“Totally Math” CD)

(Children echo each line.)
Zero is where it all begins- (Slap thighs to the beat.)
Curve down around and up again.
Number one is so much fun—
Pull straight down and you’ve got a one.
Number two is easy to do—
Up around down and across makes two.
Number three is simple to see—
Draw two humps sideways and that’s a three.
Go down, across, then down some more.
We’ve reached five, now let’s not stop—
Pull down, circle round, put a hat on top.
Number six is easy to fix—
Big curve, small loop will give you six.
Number seven is really sizzlin’—
Straight across, slant down, and that’s a seven.
Number eight isn’t very straight—
Make “S” then back up for an eight.
Number nine I think you’re fine—
A loop on top of a long straight line.
Number ten we’ve reached the end—
Put a one by a zero and count again:
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10!

Highway Numbers
Children can trace over numerals with toy cars or they can roll play dough and place it on top of the numerals.

## Friday, October 18, 2019

### RHYME ON...

Rhymes are words that end with the same sound. Rhymes are common in poems, songs, and many children’s books. Cat, hat, rat, and bat are examples of words that rhyme. Being able to identify words that rhyme is key to developing phonological awareness.
Now, teaching children to identify words that rhyme doesn’t happen in one day. The curriculum guide may say, “The children will learn to rhyme today,” but you and I know it takes many, many, many activities where children listen, speak, sing, and chant to develop that skill. Traditional nursery rhymes, songs, and books are the most natural way to nurture rhymes, but here are a few more activities where children can rhyme in a “playful” way.

Handy Rhymes
Have children extend their arms as they say pairs of words that rhyme and sing to the tune of “Skip to My Lou.”

sun (extend right hand)
fun (extend left hand)
Those words rhyme.
sun (extend right hand)
fun (extend left hand)
Those words rhyme.
sun (extend right hand)
fun (extend left hand)
Those words rhyme.
They both end with “un.” (Roll arms around as you say this.)

*As they progress, the teacher says a word as children extend their right hand. Children say their own rhyming word as they extend their left hand.

Rhyme Detectives
Tell the children that they will get to be detectives and listen for words that rhyme. You’ll say two words, and if they rhyme they put their pinkies up. Pinkies down if the words don’t rhyme.
For example: Cat - hat (pinkies up), run - dog (pinkies down).

Rhythm Rhyme
Start a beat by slapping legs two times, clapping hands two times, and snapping fingers two times. On the first snapping beat the teacher says a word. On the second snapping beat the children say a word that rhymes.

Slap, slap, clap, clap, snap, snap.
Slap, slap, clap, clap, mitten. (Teacher says.)
Slap, slap, clap, clap, kitten. (Children say a word that rhymes.)

Rhyme Ball
You will need a ball, beanbag, or other object to toss for this game. Children sit or stand in a circle. The teacher says a word and then tosses the ball to a child. As the child catches the ball, she must say a word that rhymes.

Rhyming Puzzles
Glue rhyming pictures on opposite sides of a 3” x 5” index cards. Cut a puzzle shape between pictures. Mix up and have children put rhymes together.

*Make games with socks, mittens, shoes, etc. where children use clothes pins to put the rhyming pictures together.

*Mr. Google has some great free printables with rhyming pictures.

Riddle Rhyme Game
Let children make up their own rhymes in this game. First, they choose an object in the room. Next, they say a word that it rhymes with, along with another clue.
For example: “This rhymes with hair and it is something you sit on.” “This
rhymes with look and it is something you read.”

Rhyme Bag Homework
Give each child a paper lunch bag and ask them to bring in two objects from home that rhyme. As children share their items the following day encourage them to think of other words that rhyme.

## Thursday, October 17, 2019

### COOKING UP A NURSERY RHYME

You know it makes me sad that so many of you are not allowed to cook in your classrooms any more. When I think of the cooking experiences I had with my students it makes me smile. One of my favorite memories was when we were making pizzas. I said, “Let’s put them on the pan so I can bake them.” Floyd, a precious red head said, “That’s O.K., teacher, I’ll just eat my raw!”

Years ago a teacher sent me these recipes to tie in with nursery rhymes.  I wish I could remember who to give them credit to!  Even if you can’t have food in your classroom, you might enjoy making these with your own child, a neighbor, a scout troop, or a grown friend!  They are too "sweet" to be forgotten!

Ole King Cole’s Coins
Every king has a treasure trove filled with coins so why not make these healthy coins to fill up your students.

Ingredients:
Fresh carrots
Ranch dressing

Have the students wash and scrub the carrots with a vegetable brush. Now slice them up so that they look like coins. Let the children dip their coins in the Ranch dressing.

Name Cakes
After singing the ABC’s the children can eat them with me!

Ingredients:
Rice cakes
Peanut butter, cream cheese or frosting

Find the letters of you name and place them on the table. Spread the topping of your choice over the rice cake and decorate with the letter that you name begins with.

Jack Horner’s Thumbprint Biscuits
Jack Horner stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plumb, but your children will get a kick out of sticking their thumbs in a biscuit.

Ingredients
Canned biscuits
Grape jelly

Give each child a biscuit and tell them to stick their thumb in the middle. Let them fill the hole in the middle with a spoonful of grape jelly. Bake according to directions on the package. Have your children say, “What a good (boy, girl) am I!

Moon Pizzas
The cow jumped over the moon and the astronauts landed on the moon. This recipe will add a whole new dimension to the rhyme or a study of the solar system.

Ingredients
English muffins
Pizza sauce
Shredded mozzarella
*Pepperoni, olive slices or cheeses shaped liked stars or moons are optional

Toast the English muffins ahead to time - especially if you like your pizza crust crunchy. Now spread the pizza sauce over the surface of the moon (English muffin) and add the mozzarella and other toppings of your choice. Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese melts.

Little Miss Muffet
Cottage cheese is very similar to curds and whey, so add a little fresh fruit to cottage cheese for snack.

Itsy Bitsy Spider Sandwich

Use a large plastic cup to cut a circle out of a piece of bread. Spread peanut butter, cream cheese, or Nutrella on the circle. Add eyes (raisins or chocolate chips), a mouth (M& M or cinnamon candy), and legs (pretzels, carrot sticks, or Cheetos).
*For a sweeter spider, put icing on a large sugar cookie and use licorice twists for legs.

Muffin Man Zucchini Muffins
The Muffin Man didn’t have this recipe in his cookbook, but now you do.

Ingredients
½ cup grated zucchini
1 egg
2 Tablespoons of oil
¼ cup of honey
¼ cup of grated lemon peel
¾ cup of flour
½ teaspoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cinnamon

Add the first five ingredients and mix well. Now add the rest and pour into muffin tins that have liners added. Bake at 400 degrees for twenty minutes. I’ll bet the Muffin man steals this recipe.

Humpty Dumpty
What could be better than hard boiled "Humpty Dumpty" eggs?  Let children draw Humpty on a hard boiled egg, crack the shell, eat the egg, and then try to put the shell back together again.

## Wednesday, October 16, 2019

### DICTIONARY DAY

Did you know that October 16th is Dictionary Day? It's actually Noah Webster's birthday and a perfect day to let each child make her own personal dictionary.

Materials: pocket folder, prepared pages with alphabet letters, markers

Directions: Ask students to tell you what they know about dictionaries. Brainstorm the many uses of dictionaries. Model looking up words and reading definitions. Explain that each of them will get to create their own dictionary that they can use to help them the rest of the school year. First, let the children decorate the outside of their pocket folder. Insert the alphabet pages. As you add new words to the word wall or have new spelling words, ask the children to write them in their dictionary.  These would also be a meaningful way to introduce vocabulary words.  Encourage students to use their dictionaries when they write independently.

Hint! You might want to go ahead and type your core sight words on the pages before running them off.

Here are some other activities you can play with their dictionaries.

*Play “mystery word” where you give clues about words.
Can you find a word that starts with /m/ and ends with /d/?
Can you find a word that is the opposite of “fast”?

*Play the “rhyme” game.
Can you find a word that rhymes with “bike”?
Can you find a word that rhymes with “log” and is a pet?

*How many one letter words can you find? How many two letter words? Three letter words?

*Ask children to clap out the syllables in words.

*Can they match up words in their dictionaries with words in the classroom?

*Sort words that refer to people, things we do, describing words, etc.

*Have children find a word that starts with each letter in their name.

*Have children make up sentences (oral or written) with the words.

*Ask children to illustrate words or find magazine pictures that match the words.

## Tuesday, October 15, 2019

### TEACH ON WITH NURSERY RHYMES

You can take any rhyme and reinforce reading skills in a natural and meaningful way.  Here are a few ideas you can adapt for large group or small group instruction.

FLUENCY

Take a Turn – The teacher reads a line and then the children read the next line and so forth.

Magic Word – Select a special word in the text. Every time you come to that word the children clap their hands or shout it out.

PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS

Rimes - Make a list of words that rhyme. Circle the letters that are the same. Can the children think of additional words that end with the same sound?

Syllabication - Clap, jump, or snap to the beat of the rhyme.

PUNCTUATION

Use a highlighter to circle capital letters and punctuation.

VOCABULARY

When you come to unfamiliar words in rhymes model looking up definitions in a dictionary.

COMPREHENSION

Story Elements - Discuss the characters, setting, problem, resolution, etc. in the nursery rhyme.

Sequence - What happened first, next, last? What do you think will happen next?

PRINT CONCEPTS

Track the words from left to right and top to bottom. Identify letters in the rhymes.

WORD RECOGNITION

Identify high frequency words in rhymes.

KEY IDEAS AND DETAILS

Compare and contrast rhymes.

Describe the relationship between illustrations and rhymes.

CRAFTY IDEAS FROM NURSERY RHYMES

Jack and Jill
Trace around the puppet pattern on heavy paper. Challenge the children to make the puppet look like “Jack” on one side and “Jill” on the other side. Attach a straw and use as a puppet.

What happened after Jack fell down? Here’s more to the story!

So up got Jack
And said to Jill
As in his arms he took her.
You’re not hurt, brush off that dirt.
Now, let’s go fetch that water.
So up got Jack and
Up got Jill to fetch that pail of water.
They brought it back to mother dear
Who thanked her son and daughter.

Humpty Dumpty
Give children the oval shape and scrap paper. Have them tear the scrap paper into little pieces and then glue it on the oval to make a collage. Attach a stick and use it as a puppet.

What happened to Humpty Dumpty?
So the good children got
Some tape and some glue
Til’ he looked like new.
Then they carefully placed him
Back on the wall
And said, “Humpty Dumpty,

Baa Baa Black Sheep
Cut the sheep and the tops of the 3 bags of wool from the front of a file folder. Insert colored paper starting with black. Remove the black paper and then fill in the appropriate color word. (This would be something for the teacher to make and use with the children.)
Baa baa green sheep
Have you any wool?

Would you like patterns for the above craft activities?

Websites
Here are some good websites where you can download free nursery rhyme posters:
curry.virginia.edu/go/wil/rimes_and_rhymes.htm
enchantedlearning.com
prekinders.com

## Monday, October 14, 2019

### NEVER ENDING NURSERY RHYMES

A teacher recently told me that her administrator said, "Don't do nursery rhymes." What??? That administrator hasn't looked at the research!

rhymes:www.earlyliteracylearning.org

Saying nursery rhymes is a delightful way for children to practice oral language. Rhymes also develop auditory memory (good for the brain) and phonological awareness (key to beginning reading). Nursery rhymes have a simple plot and can be used to introduce story elements: characters, setting, problem, solution.

Nursery rhymes have been kept alive by children for hundreds of years. That is certainly testimony to their appealing quality to children. Nursery rhymes are short, simple, and are part of our literary heritage. Nursery rhymes are also FREE and can be integrated throughout the day to engage children.

What skills can children develop by saying nursery rhymes?
*oral language,
*auditory memory
*phonological awareness (rhyme, rhythm, alliteration)
*concepts about print (left to right, words)
*story elements (characters, setting, problem and resolution)

Hint! Although some claim nursery rhymes are violent and stereotypic, the children only hear the surface level and the music of the language.

Piggy Back Tunes
You can sing traditional nursery rhymes to tunes such as “100 Bottles
of Pop on the Wall,” “Yankee Doodle,” and ”Gilligan’s Island.”

Story Elements
Discuss the characters, setting, problem, resolution, etc. in nursery rhymes.

Rhyme of the Week
Select a rhyme each week and write it on a poster or language experience chart. Reread the rhyme each day.
*Clap the syllables.
*Find words that rhyme.
*Listen for words that start the same.
*Look up unusual words in the dictionary.
*Dramatize the rhyme.
*Say the rhyme the wrong way and let children correct you.
*Leave out a word and let the children fill in the missing word.
*Connect with art by letting children make puppets, play dough characters, etc.

Nursery Rhyme Club
Make a poster that says “Nursery Rhyme Club.” Whenever a child can say a rhyme, they get to sign their name on the poster. It would also be fun to give them a membership card!

Would you like some membership cards?

Rhyme Pops
Cut 3 1/2" circles out of heavy paper and glue them to jumbo craft sticks. As you learn new rhymes write them on the circles and save them in a can. When you have a few extra minutes children can pull out a "rhyme pop" and lead their classmates in saying the nursery rhyme.

Puzzles
Write rhymes on sentence strips. Cut between the words and let children put them in the correct order in a pocket chart.

My Nursery Rhyme Book
Every child will need a spiral notebook or composition book for this project. Each week run off a copy of a rhyme you want to focus on. (Be sure and increase the font for little eyes.) Children cut out the rhyme and glue it on the left and then illustrate the rhyme on the right. Use the rhyme for choral reading and to reinforce specific skills (letters, left to right, sight words, punctuation, etc.) throughout the week. On Friday children take home their books and read the rhyme to their parents. Encourage parents to write their "comments and compliments" in the book.

## Sunday, October 13, 2019

### I SEE THE MOON

I see the moon
And the moon sees me...

October 13th is a full moon and it's also called a HUNTER'S MOON because it lights up the sky.

From the time children are toddlers, most of them are fascinated with the moon. The moon is FREE and it belongs to EVERYONE! Wouldn’t it be interesting to have children look at the moon every night for a month with their parents and draw a picture of what the moon looks like? What a meaningful way for families to do a little science together.

Facts for kids about the moon:

The moon goes around the earth.

The moon has no light, but it reflects the sun’s light.

The light of sun on the moon creates the different phases of the moon.

That’s why it looks different to us throughout the month.

It’s called a new moon when you can’t see it.

When the moon gets a little larger at night it’s called waxing.

A full moon is when it looks like a circle.

As the moon gets smaller it’s called waning.

The moon is always up in the sky, but during the day when the sun is bright you can’t see it.

Here’s a neat website where you can get a calendar of the moon’s phases and other learning activities:
http://stardate.org/nightsky/moon.

*Let one child pretend to be the earth and stand in the middle of the room. Let another child pretend to be the moon and circle the earth.

*What other things can you see in the sky? Take children outside and let them draw pictures of the things they see.

*Is there really a man in the moon? The moon has craters that make it look like a face.
Give children uncolored play dough and let them make a moon/pancake. Have them make craters in their moon with a pencil eraser or the end of a marker.

Here’s a book from Scholastic with the phases of the moon:
http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/free-printable/science-printables/minibook-moon-phases

Don’t forget to read two of my favorite books GOOD NIGHT, MOON, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOON.

## Saturday, October 12, 2019

### SCHOOL GLUE - JUST A LITTLE DOT WILL DO!

Just think if you were a little kid and you had never held a bottle of glue before. Wouldn’t it be fun to squeeze it all out? Sometimes we forget that children need directions on how to use school materials.  Tell children, “We just need to use a baby dot of glue. Not a mama dot or papa dot. Just a tiny, little baby dot.” (Be dramatic with this and say “baby dot” in a high little voice.) Demonstrate how to put a dot on a sheet of paper. “What does that look like? A little bug? A cookie crumb?”

*Put food coloring in a bottle of glue and use it at a center for children to practice making “baby dots.”

If you use glue sticks, you will also need to demonstrate how to use them. “If you barely touch the page you can’t see anything. That means nothing will stick to it. Press it gently down and then look to make sure you can see something. That means your paper will stick.”

School Glue
(Tune: “This Old Man”)
School glue, school glue,
Just a little dot will do.
Put a dot and spread it around.
It will hold your paper down.

School glue, school glue,
Don’t use more than a dab or two.
When it dries up, it will disappear.
Your work will look good never fear.

Glue Ghosts
Someone taught me how to make these years ago and I wanted to pass on the idea to you.  Children squirt glue in the shape of a ghost on wax paper.  Add googly eyes and let dry overnight.  When they are dry, peel off the wax paper, punch a hole, and tie on a string for a necklace.  If you didn't want to make ghosts, they could do aliens or other creatures.  My kids loved these!

## Friday, October 11, 2019

### THE DOT

If you've never read THE DOT by Peter Reynolds you can find out more about it by visiting www.thedotclub.org.

I think we’ve all had experiences similar to the child in the book where we think, “I can’t draw.” “I can’t sing.” “I can’t dance.” “I can’t do statistics.” “I’ll never be able to cook.” Etcetera, etcetera. The book is a beautiful lesson for children about just getting started and TRYING!

THE DOT also reminded me of some simple art activities we can do with our students.  These activities are open-ended and can be used with any age or integrated with a unit of study.

Sticky Dot
Materials: sticky dots, paper, crayons or markers
Directions: Give each child a sheet of paper and a sticky dot. Ask them to place the dot anywhere they’d like on the paper. Next, challenge them to create something out of the dot.

Dot to Dot
Materials: 2 dice, paper, crayons
Directions: Children roll the dice and add up the dots. They take a black crayon and make that number of dots randomly on a sheet of paper. Can they connect the dots and create something out of it?

*Have children make dots and then exchange papers with a friend.

Negative Space
Materials: paper, scissors, markers or crayons
Directions: Cut a hole out of the middle of each sheet of paper. Ask children to look at the hole and then create an object out of it.

*Extend the activity by having children write about their pictures.

Wiggles and Squiggles
Materials: crayons, paper
Directions: Have the children close their eyes and make a design on their paper with a black crayon. When they open their eyes, have them turn their paper all around and try to create something out of their design.

*Have children exchange papers of wiggles and squiggles with a friend.