Sunday, February 23, 2020

DOG BISCUIT DAY

Bet you didn't know that February 23rd was International Dog Biscuit Day!  Let's see how we can recycle a box of dog biscuits in our classroom this week.

Woof!  Woof!
Make a “Woof! Woof” game. Cut out dog bones and write sight words, math facts, letters, etc. on them. On a few write “Woof! Woof!” Pass the box around and let each child pull out a bone and identify the information. If they select “Woof! Woof!” they have to get down on the floor on all fours and bark like a dog. (They love it!) 

                             


Dog Biscuit Math
Use the dog biscuits for math activities. Add, subtract, make sets, sort… This dog dish with two sections is perfect for tens and ones.


Who Let the Letters Out?

Place letters in a dog dish or empty box of dog biscuits. Children reach in
and pull out one letter at a time as you chant:
Who let the D out?
/d/ /d/ /d/ /d/ /d/

                                                                  

Our Pets

Make a book about pets. Cut the front and back off the box and cut paper the size of the box. Give each child a sheet of paper so they can draw a picture of their pet and write or dictate a sentence about it. (If they don’t have a pet they can draw a picture of a pet they would like to have.) Put their pictures between the covers of the box, hole punch, and you’re ready to read. 

                                 

Dog Food (O.K.  I know this isn't healthy, but its such fun!!!)
You will need:
12 oz. bag chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
1 stick butter
10-12 oz. box Multi-Bran Chex Cereal
powdered sugar


Directions:
1. Wash your hands.
2. Melt the first three ingredients in a pan over low heat.
3. Pour the mixture over the Chex cereal and mix until coated.
4. Put 2 paper grocery sacks together, one inside the other.
Pour ½ cup powdered sugar into the bottom of the bag.
Pour in the cereal mixture, close the bag, and shake.
Keep checking and adding powdered sugar until the mixture
looks like dog food.

For fun, serve in a clean dog food bowl!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

NATIONAL DAY OF UNPLUGGING

I'm telling you about this a few days early because it's going to take some planning to get "unplugged" for the day.

                             


National Day of Unplugging

www.nationaldayofunplugging.com
National Day of Unplugging a 24 hour global respite from technology. it highlights the value of disconnecting from digital devices to connect with ourselves, our loved ones and our communities in real time. Join us for national day of unplugging 2020 from sundown to sundown, march 6 - 7.

Check out this free booklet that you can download on the website:
            

I loved this little cell phone sleeping bag.
There are many things we do in schools that don’t have an impact on children, but I bet if you “unplugged” for one day it would leave a lasting impression. It could also lead to some great learning opportunities. Students could write opinions, do a T-Chart of things to do with a screen and without a screen, graph preferences, make a book about what to do without technology, do a Venn diagram...

Have you read BLACKOUT by John Rocco. It’s a delightful tale about what happens when a family in a big city loses power. I won’t tell you what happens, but I bet you can guess. I was talking to some children recently about the “olden days” before televisions, video games, cell phones, and computers. They were stunned and said, “What did you do?” I smiled and replied, “You know what? We played outside and had lots of fun!”

                                        


Several years ago a teacher told me that they asked the families at her school to record the amount of screen time their child had for a week. The next week they asked the parents to turn off all devices and spend the same amount of time interacting with their child by reading, playing games, doing chores around the house, going for walks, etc. Do you think most families could survive this? It certainly would be a meaningful challenge!
 

Kids DIY Resource Toolkit at nationaldayofunplugging.com





Friday, February 21, 2020

SEE YOU LATER, ALLIGATOR!

I've made this book many times through the years. First, I enlarge the words and put one line on each page. I make two copies of each page since there are 15 lines and usually at least 25 children in a classroom. After singing the song several times I let each child choose an animal and illustrate it for our book. Sometimes we do a little research on the internet if they are not familiar with an animal. I encourage the children to use lots of colors and to fill in the page. I let them dedicate their book and then add the school's name as the publisher and the copyright date. The children all sign their names as “Illustrators,” and then I punch holes and bind with book rings. I use the extra pictures on the cover, “The End,” “Comments and Compliments,” etc.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=13&v=1CG-4BPLm4s&feature=emb_title

                                          



Good-bye Friends!
See you later, alligator!

After while, crocodile!
In an hour, sunflower!
Maybe two, kangaroo!
Gotta go, buffalo!
Adios, hippos!
Chow, chow, brown cow!
See you soon, baboon!

Adieu, cockatoo!
Better swish, jellyfish.
Chop chop, lollipop.
Gotta run, skeleton!
Bye-bye, butterfly!
Better shake, rattlesnake.
Good-bye, my good friends!


*Write the words on a poster and have the children chant with you before they go home at the end of the day.

Todaloo 

Let the children make up their own verses and sing to "Down by the Bay."
Todaloo tennis shoe.

Give a hug ladybug.
Better scat alley cat.
Bye bye dragon fly.
Take care, Mr. Bear.
Wave to me, bumblee...

Thursday, February 20, 2020

WHAT'S IN YOUR WALLET?

This wallet is perfect for “saving” sight words, letters, math facts, colors, shapes, and other skills you want children to master.

How to Make a Wallet
 

Materials: construction paper 9” x 12”, markers, green paper cut 4” x 2”

1st Place the paper lengthwise and fold up the bottom to an inch from the top.
 











2nd Fold in half.

 

3rd Open and glue both sides.

 










4th Let the children decorate the outside.

 

5th Cut 4 ½ ” x 2 ¼ ” green rectangles and write high frequency words on them.
When children learn a word they get to “save” it in their wallets.
 






 


Letter Wallets
Younger children could save letters, numbers, or shapes in their wallets.


Math Wallets - Write addition and subtraction facts on dollars and save them in math wallets.

Vocabulary - Have children write vocabulary words on dollars and store them in their wallets.

Word Families - Use wallets to reinforce word families.


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

BUILDING BAGS

Here's a great art activity for integrating STEM with a unit of study.

                             
 

Here’s an art/engineering project that my students always enjoyed. Erik Erikson believed that children aged 5-12 were in the age of “industriousness” and needed opportunities to feel confident in their ability to achieve and produce. If you watch children as they work on these projects you can almost see their brains firing away as they create and problem-solve.

What?
2 lunch bags
old newspapers
scissors, tape, glue, markers
construction paper scraps and other art media




How?
Decorate one bag with construction paper, markers, paint, and your imagination to look like a building.  Open the second bag and stuff with wadded up newspaper.  Insert the decorated bag over the stuffed bag to make a rectangular cube.


Why?
Tie these sack structures in with a unit on community helpers by asking children to make buildings in their community.

Let children make places from a book they have read and use them to retell the story.

Divide children into small groups and let them collaborate in designing buildings and structures. Can they make a city in the future? Can they make dwellings from other cultures and countries?

Now that's what I call building skills for the 21st Century!  Cooperation, collaboration, communication, and creativity all rolled into a fun thing for children to do!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

INDOOR GAMES - HOORAY!


 
                                       The weather outside is frightful,
                                       But inside our game is delightful.
                                       If you can't go out one day,
                                       Here are indoor games to play.

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.


Monday, February 17, 2020

JOIN ME!!!

I've got some exciting presentations coming up this spring! We'll sing, dance, have fun - and you'll leave with tons of new ideas you can use in your classroom. 

February 28 & 29, 2020
Pasadena, CA
Southern California Conference for Pre-K, TK, Kindergarten, and First
socalkindergartenconference.org




March 6, 2020
Atlanta, GA
Georgia Preschool Association
georgiapreschool.org


April 4, 2020
Vicksburg, MS
Early Educators Conference 

msullivan@vwsd.org


April 18, 2020
Wise, VA
Southwest Virginia Early Childhood Conference
scr5e@uvawise.edu


April 25, 2020
Mt. Vernon, IL 

johnsonp@rlc.edu

 
My goal is to remind you how much fun teaching can be!!!! 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

TAILS THAT TEACH

If you are an animal lover like I am you are going to be THRILLED to learn about TAILS THAT TEACH!  You can get a free teacher kit with books, a stuffed animal, and learning activities.  I'm so excited to share this special program with you!!!
 
Non-profit organization Tails That Teach educates young children about kindness, compassion, and empathy by bridging the connection between people and animals through its captivating books, Love Me Gently and Gray Whiskers written by founder, Lisa Wiehebrink. These books parallel the needs of pets and people and offer age-appropriate lessons for proper care and safety. They are ideal for grades K-2 and provided at no cost to elementary schools to supplement character education and promote literacy.
The organization’s goal is empower the next generation to make good choices and to respectfully care for pets and people. Teaching kids to properly care for pets helps them grow up to be compassionate adults and responsible pet owners.  By fostering the human-animal bond, children learn caring connections toward all living beings simply by observing how their actions directly impact others. Studies prove that children who are taught to be kind to animals often limits bullying and other abuse. Children are inspired as they observe how small acts of kindness toward peers and pets can make the world a better place for all.
Children have a special relationship with pets.  Younger children are just beginning to learn about themselves and their world and they are fascinated by the response they receive from animals.  Caring for a pet gives children a sense of empowerment when they are caring for another living being.  This sense of empowerment turns into compassion and children are able to manifest that compassion toward other human beings.  Children who live with pets in their home seem to make that transition more easily than those children who have no interaction with animals.
Children also develop social skills from talking to and playing with pets. They learn what unconditional love feels like and they have a companion that they can talk to and tell secrets to.  They are able to learn basic effective social interaction skills and what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior.  Pets respond to emotional cues and can teach children to respond appropriately and show compassion for those who need it.
In addition to free book donations, Tails That Teach also provides the Adventures with Cooper Kit to teachers.  This kit is provided to teachers for a unique expansion activity to teach kindness and inspire students to act with compassion and empathy toward pets and peers. Included in the reusable canvas tote bag is a set of our books, a stuffed plush dog, and journal.  Students take turns bringing the kit home so they may read, write, and even draw about their adventures while learning responsibility and kind care. Classroom teachers across the country have reported improved critical thinking, decreases in bullying behaviors and overall increases in morale at schools where these and other programs are being used.  Early education and literacy are key!
For more information about Tails That Teach, please visit www.tailsthatteach.org
 



Saturday, February 15, 2020

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS CHALLENGE

IT'S  THE DAY AFTER VALENTINE'S AND THIS POST FROM MY FRIEND DREW GILES IS GOING TO FILL YOUR HEART WITH LOVE!  IF WE COULD ALL LIVE LIKE THIS IT WOULD TRULY BE A WONDERFUL WORLD!  THANK YOU, DREW, FOR REMINDING US TO BE GRATEFUL AND KIND!

“Love and kindness”. This may seem like a simple or overused expression in today's world, but leading with these two words through each interaction can have an astounding impact. Whether I’m working with children or their families, my superintendent, community members, grocery store checkers, members in the yoga classes I lead, or countless others crossing my daily path, I strive to offer love and kindness to each of them. I have found that it makes the world a more empathetic, compassionate and kind place when I am able to truly see the best in people in every situation. Always presume positive intent and make the most out of each exchange that you have with people. One of the most powerful quotes I live my life by is from the late Mother Theresa, “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” I cannot guarantee that every exchange will be positive, but using Mother Theresa’s quote as a guiding principle, reminds me to be a helper, be grateful for this day, and after having an unpleasant interaction with someone, to reflect and use that experience as a teachable moment.

I am grateful for Dr. Jean. Grateful that she asked me to share some of my favorite kindness strategies with you and that she has been such a remarkable educator who has brought joy to so many children, families, and educators across the world over her amazing career. In 2014, we partnered together to produce the resource Teacher Survival Guide - What They Didn’t Teach You in College. It’s been rewarding to hear from educators, like you, who have found value in this ebook! 

Below are some ways that I incorporate kindness activities in my school and the strategies that I use in the classroom. 

Gratitude Circle
At the beginning of each staff meeting, we begin with a gratitude circle. Expressing gratitude for our children, families, colleagues, etc. is a great way to set the tone for a positive and energizing meeting. To start, have everyone in the room form a circle so that everyone can see and hear each other. This helps build relationships and trust among colleagues. Ask for a volunteer to kick-off the gratitude circle. This is an open forum where anyone in the circle can appreciate anyone else in the group (or send other positive energy into the universe).
We have seen that offering gratitude is a powerful and transformative tool. Often we don't realize that we forget to share our gratitude with those we feel it towards. This method offers an opportunity to do exactly that!


Tip: If you’re interested in beginning a gratitude circle in your classroom or at a staff meeting or training, be consistent. When we first started our gratitude circle at my school, only a few folks felt brave enough to share their gratitude with the group. But now that we have cultivated this practice, our staff members are much more eager and feel safe to share their appreciation among colleagues or in their classrooms.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
- William Arthur Ward

How Does My Teacher Feel About Me?
Looking for an attention grabber that also promotes social-emotional learning?  Try this one from Teacher Survival Guide - What They Didn’t Teach You in College.  Hint! Check out this free video of Dr. Jean demonstrating this strategy (Did you know that there are nearly 100 videos of Dr. Jean sharing strategies, tips, and tricks in the ebook?).

Teacher says:
“How does my teacher feel about me?”
Children respond:
“I’m as special as special can be 
because my teacher believes in me!”

Kindness Pledge
As kindness is such a focus in my life, I always enjoy sharing the following pledge at the beginning of each year with so much enthusiasm and joy. We teach the children how to sign the pledge’s keywords in American Sign Language. If you’re unsure how to sign the words, there are several online dictionaries, like Handspeak.com or Lifeprint.com, that you can use to learn the words.

The Kindness Pledge
I pledge to myself,
On this very day,
To try to be kind,
In every way.
To every person,
Big or small,
I will help them,
If they fall.
When I love myself,
And others, too,
That is the best,
That I can do!

A-W-E-S-O-M-E
Use this cheer during transition times or when a child or the whole class deserves a CHEER!  Cheers are great because all of the children can receive them – not just the smartest or the fastest kids. Cheers are also excellent attention grabbers that can be used in a positive way. Click here to watch Dr. Jean demonstrate the cheer!

Clap and sway as you cheer for your children.
“You’re A-W-E (slight pause) S-O-M-E”

Pretend to dust your shoulder with your fingernails like you’re polishing them one hand at a time a say, “You’re Awesome, Awesome”

Now open arms outward one at a time and say, “Totally!”

Catch A Star
This cheer works well as a cheer for the end of the day before children go home. Click here for the example.
Tell children to think of something kind they did, something new they learned, or something that made them feel proud.

The teacher says:
Reach up (stretch hand up in the air),
grab a star (pretend to grab a star),
and put it in your heart (put your hand near your heart).”

Fantastic
Here’s one of my all-time, favorite cheers! Click here for the example!
Tell the children: “Get out your spray bottle.”
Hold up one hand and pretend to spray.
Say, “You’re psh, psh, psh. . . ” (spray once for every ‘psh’).
Hold up other hand and pretend to wipe in circles over the liquid you just sprayed as you say,    “Fan-tastic!”


Predictable Class Books
At this point in the school year, many of the older children in my school enjoy making their own books at the writing center as they’ve been making books together as a class or with partners since August.  During the month of February (or anytime!), encourage your children to make books using blank paper. They can write a word or sentence on each page that is related to one of the topics below. Encourage the children to illustrate their book so that it matches the text that they wrote.

Here are some examples of predictable class books that our kids love:
      Love is…
      I love…
      Happiness is…
      A friend is…
      My favorite things to love…
      Things I love from A to Z.
                                          


Random Acts of Kindness Week 2020
Also known as RAK Week, it is observed during one week in February. This year, it begins February 16, which coincides with RAK Day (February 17th).  Visit the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s website for free lesson plans, resources, and research for educators.  Also, be sure to participate in the Random Acts of Kindness Teacher Challenge that we created! Print the image, below, and post it in your classroom, staff lounge or the main office to encourage the adults at your school to share random acts of kindness in your school community!


Be a Beauty Hunter
I recently read an article in the June edition of Yoga Journal called, “5 Ways to Radically Love Yourself Today.” I was truly inspired by the first strategy that the author listed, which is Be a Beauty Hunter. Below is an excerpt from the article that I really enjoyed, and hope you do as well:

Beauty hunting means looking around and counting as many gorgeous, amazing miracles you can possibly take in in that moment. The sound of rain on the roof. Clouds parting in the sky. Puppies. Baby feet. The smell of barbecues and fresh-cut grass and a hoppy IPA. It’s actually kind of impossible to be miserable and ungrateful when you’re collecting lovely things. The crooked smile of the concierge even after you’ve missed your flight (I did on the way to this retreat). The fact that humans even know how to fly at all. Beauty hunting. You’ll be surprised. The more beauty you seek and appreciate about a person or place or experience—quieting the inner monologue about what’s annoying you (a screaming baby, impossibly small airplane seats, no room in the overhead bin)—the more you’ll actually like yourself, too. Love and compassion are just muscles. Use them on others when it’s too hard to use them on yourself, and pretty soon it’ll be difficult to remember why you were so self-critical in the first place.

Since reading the article, I have been determined to be a Beauty Hunter and I encourage you to be one, too! Try finding beauty in everyday moments and interactions, whether they are at school, at the store or at home. Let’s try to consciously seek out the kind and beautiful gifts that are in the world. It has the power to change our DNA and make the world a better place. Who doesn’t want THAT!?

Research has shown that practicing acts of love and kindness can improve people’s mental and physical health as well as improve their patterns of sleep and increated self-esteem and empathy. What an incredible gift to give to your children, families, school community and the world. I hope that these strategies inspire you to create opportunities to share gratitude, compassion, and kindness each and every day. It has the power to change the world! 

I’ll leave you with one final quote: “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” Princess Diana

In community,

Drew Giles, MA, RYT

Friday, February 14, 2020

SMILE BREAK

Here's a simple little classroom management trick that might help your kids keep their "cool" with all the candy and partying today.

When children are wound up, help center them with a smile break. Tell them to look at the clock and smile for 30 seconds. (Use the timer on your phone or have them look at the clock until the big hand is on the 6.) 


                       


You can also ask them to hug themselves, sit and freeze, or do other motions for a specified amount of time.

Breath Through Your Nose

I love this idea to help children focus and clam down.  Have them close their lips and breath through their noses. (Works like a charm because they can’t talk!)




Babble Break
A brain break that students will love is a “talking break.” Set a timer for one minute or whatever and tell students they can talk with a friend until the timer goes off.  Once the time goes off there's no more talking!

Hint! You can focus the talking break by having children discuss a story you’ve read or talk about a topic you are studying.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE AND FREINDSHIP LOTION

Since it's the day before Valentine's, I thought this idea that Christen Hulgan (Richland Elementary in Memphis) shared with me several years ago might be a good idea for you.  It's so simple and sweet and could really start any day in a positive way.

Friendship Circle
During morning meeting the class forms a friendship circle. The teacher asks one child to stand in the middle. Then the teacher says, “Child’s name, there are many things I love about you.” The teacher makes 3 or 4 positive comments about that child. The teacher squeezes the child’s hand on her right. That child says, “I love (whatever they love about that person or something that person has done that was kind).” The child in middle must look them in the eyes and say, “Thank you.” When you have finished going around the circle the teacher says:

      Give child’s name a clap. (clap hands)
      Give child’s name a cheer. (fist in air)
      We love you child’s name. (hug self and then open arms)





Friendship Lotion (Jennifer Smith)
Write “friendship lotion” on a bottle of lotion or disinfectant. (You could also use an empty bottle.) Children take turns passing it around as they put some in their hands. When everybody has some rub your hands together as you say…”It smells like friendship.”


*This is a perfect way to remind students to be kind to friends on Valentine's Day and every day!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

VOCABULARY PASSWORD

This is a simple way to expand children's vocabulary.  You could tie it in with a holiday or unit of study.  For example, since today is Abraham Lincoln's birthday you could use the word "Honorable" or "Trustworthy." 

Choose a stuffed animal to introduce the daily vocabulary word.  Write it on a sentence strip and tape it to the classroom door.  Explain that it is the "password" for the day and they must read it each time they go in and out the door. 

Here's a chant for Mr. Bear:
     Mr. Bear, Mr. Bear, (or whatever your stuffed animal is),
     Oh, what do you say?
     What is the password for today?



                      
 

*For attendance, the children say the password instead of “here.”

*Cut out a giant hand and write the word on the hand. Tape it to the door and every time the children enter or leave the classroom they “high five” the hand and say the word.



*Make tally marks on the board for every time a student uses the word during the day.

*Decorate a name badge with fake jewels.  Put a new "sparkle word" (aka vocabulary word in the badge each day. Focus children’s attention by singing this song to the tune of “If You’re Happy.”


     If you can read this word shout it out. (Children shout word.)
     If you can read this word whisper it out. (Children whisper word.)
     If you can read this word spell it out. (Children spell word.)
     If you can read this word act it out. (Children dramatize the word.)


                                                                  

*Go to asl.com and click on the dictionary to learn how to sign the password.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

NATIONAL DON'T CRY OVER SPILLED MILK DAY


Yes, it really is DON'T CRY OVER SPILLED MILK DAY. I love this comment from dayoftheyear.com:

The main lesson of Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day is that you can take the time to look around you. Find joy in the small things and don’t worry about things that you don’t have control of! If something happens (spilled milk) don’t cry or yell. Take a deep breath and find your happy place!  
This is a good concept to model and encourage in your students. When you make a mistake it's O.K. Pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and start all over again.

I thought it was important to model making mistakes in front of my students. "Oops! Let me try that again." If something we had planned didn't work out I'd say, "We'll try and do that another time." Things don't always go our way. That's life and that's O.K.

Oh Well!
It's helpful to teach children strategies for coping when things don't go right. Role play spilling milk, losing a game, and other incidents. Teach children to say, "OH, WELL!"

IT LOOKED LIKE SPILT MILK
Life has ups and downs and the world keeps on changing, but this book by Charles Shaw is a classic. 



 

This was a book my students wanted to hear/see again and again. It was also fun to go outside and look for objects in the sky. Tie in with descriptive writing by having your students draw pictures and write what they saw in the clouds.

Art
Fold blue construction paper in half. Have children put a spoonful of white paint in the middle, fold, and then rub. Open. Dry.
What does their spilt milk look like? Have them write a story about it.

I think my picture looks like two angels dancing...or maybe cherubs kissing!




P.S.  I hope you don't spill your milk today!!!!

Monday, February 10, 2020

IT'S UMBRELLA DAY!


National Umbrella Day is celebrated across the nation each year on February 10th. On this day, we honor one of the world's most useful inventions, the umbrella! Not only does the umbrella help keep us dry from the rain, but it also protects us from the heat of the sun. Umbrellas can also be used as a fashion accessory.



Who thinks of silly holidays like Umbrella Day? But did you know that you could actually "entice" children to read with an umbrella? Next rainy day place a large golf umbrella in a corner of the classroom. Put some popular books under the umbrella and explain that two children at a time can get under the umbrella and read together.

Vocabulary
Introduce other names for umbrellas, such as parasol and brolly (British).

Brainstorm
What are some different types of umbrellas? (paper cocktail umbrellas, patio umbrellas)

*What are some different uses for umbrellas? (shade on a sunny day, cane, carry things, protection)

Writing
Write 4 facts about umbrellas.

Art
Let children use the scrap box to design their own umbrellas.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

HONEST ABE

Who doesn't love Abraham Lincoln?  His birthday is this Wednesday (February 12th) so here are some ideas to remember this famous man.

Abraham Lincoln
(Tune: “Pop Goes the Weasel”)
Abraham Lincoln, past President, (Point to a picture of Lincoln.)
Loved and honored by many.
To help us remember this famous man,
We put his face on a penny.

Hold a penny in your hand (Hold up a penny.)
And his face you’ll see.
He always tried to tell the truth.
He’s Honest Abe to me.

                              

*Talk about what it means to be honest. Why did they call him Honest Abe?

You can download this book on my website.

Put Your Face on a Penny
Give children a sheet of paper cut in a circle. Draw what you would you look like if your face were on a coin?




Log Cabin Snack
This is an "engineering" activity that's good enough to eat!  Give children pretzel twist sticks and a spoonful of peanut butter or cream cheese. Children try to build a log cabin by stacking the pretzels with the peanut butter.

Penny Inspection
Let children look at pennies with a magnifying glass.

Rubbings
Make rubbings of pennies.

Penny, Penny
Three children leave the classroom. The other children cup their hands as if holding a penny. The teacher hides the penny in one child’s hand. When the three children return to the room, they walk around the room and open their friends’ hands. The first one to find the penny gets to choose 3 new friends to leave the room and she gets to hide the penny.

Time Line
Give children a sentence strip. At the left write the year they were born. Write each additional year up until the present. Children take the time line home and try to find a penny with each year’s date.
Hint! Explain that’s it’s O.K. if they don’t find all of them.

                                                    
Did you know? If you look closely at pennies minted from 1959 to 2008 you can see Lincoln's statue in the Memorial.
       
 

In 2009 they introduced four new designs celebrating the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth year.

Birth in Kentucky Formative Years in Indiana



              
Professional Life in Illinois Presidency in DC
                               

In 2010 the shield design was coined.