Monday, April 19, 2021


OWNERSHIP of materials is important to young children.  Here are some math tools that children can "own" and use in person or online.


Tape two file folders together for each child. Glue copies of math concepts you are working on to the folders. For example, a hundreds chart, days of the week, months of the year, shapes, and so forth. Use a pipe cleaner and pony beads to make an abacus you can attach at the top.

Children can set these up on their table or desk when it's time for math to help them focus.

*You could also use a pocket folder to make a math office.  Children put worksheets they need to complete on the left and then put them on the right when they are finished.


Encourage families to create a special math box for their child to explore materials and make up their own games at home.

Use a pencil box, bag, diaper wipe box, etc. and put manipulatives similar to the ones below in the box:


  • Math cards (1-10 or 10-20)
  • Math fans (
  • Deck of cards
  • Rekenrek
  • Inexpensive calculators
  • Counting items with a small cup
  • Set of tangrams
  • Dot cards
  • Small Calendars
  • Dice
  • Measuring tape

*Hint!  Most of these items can be found at a dollar store.

Sunday, April 18, 2021


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


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

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

Here's where you can get a free download this song.

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

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

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

It Is Time to Say Good-Bye
Here is a fun song to the tune of “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain” to end your day.

It is time to say “good-bye” to all my friends.
It is time to say “good-bye” to all my friends.
It is time to say “good-bye,” give a smile and wink your eye.
It is time to say “good-bye” to all my friends.
Good-bye, friends. Yee haw!

Saturday, April 17, 2021


Your students are going to be so proud of this “Earth Book” when they make it and take it home to share with their families.


Materials: 8” squares of the following colors:
2 orange, 1 green, 1 blue, 1 yellow, 1 brown, 1 purple

To construct the book place down the orange square for the back of the book. Place the “purple sky” on top of this, then the “brown mountains,” “yellow sun,” “blue water,” “green tree,” and finally the front cover with the circle cut out. Staple on the left side. Younger children can read this as a wordless book. Older children can write descriptive sentences on each page.






Hint! Your students will be overwhelmed to do this all in one day, so stretch this project out by asking them to just do 2 or 3 pages a day.

Here's a pdf with the patterns.

Friday, April 16, 2021


Did you ever hear of "Bean Counter Day"?  Well, April 16th really is "Bean Counter Day," so why not make a bean counter today?

Inches are an abstract concept for children, but bean counters will provide a concrete way to do measurement.

You will need a package of large, dry lima beans and wide clear packaging tape. Place a 12 strip of packaging tape on a table with the sticky side up. Put ten lima beans end to end horizontally on the tape. Fold the bottom up and the top down and seal. Trim off the edges. 




Demonstrate how to take the bean counter and place it on the end of the item to be measured? How many beans long is it?

Counting by Tens
To measure larger objects, lay bean counters end to end and count by tens.

Challenge the children to use estimation skills as they try to find something 5 beans long? Can you find something 9 beans long? Can you find something shorter than 3 beans? Can you find two objects that are equal beans long.

Cheez-It Measuring
Did you know that Cheez-Its are one inch squares? What a great way to measure! 


Thursday, April 15, 2021


April 19th is National High Five Day, but you can start any day with a high five and a smile! Wouldn't your kids be surprised if you drew a smile on your hand like this one?

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

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


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

High Five
Write sight words on hands and tape to your classroom door. Students must "high five" a hand and read a word before exiting the classroom.


*Adapt for letters, numbers, colors, vocabulary, or other skills children need to master.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021


One of the best ways to be on the "green team" is to keep the earth beautiful by picking up trash. There's nothing more frustrating to me than to see trash along the road, but maybe we can improve things in the future by getting our students to join the LITTER PATROL!

Litter Patrol
Well, here we go, (Clap and snap fingers to the beat.)
We’re on the litter patrol.
We’re going to work all day
To put the trash away.
The planet earth, you see
Is our habitat.
We’re going to clean it up,
Well, how about that!

Litter Bags
Ask your students to bring in an empty cereal box or cardboard food box.
1. Cut the tops off the boxes.
2. Punch a hole in each short side.
3. Tie on a piece of string. Use these to collect trash or have the children place these in their cars.


Trash Snack
How about a “trash snack”? You will need ice cream cones, Gold Fish crackers, Cheerios, pretzel sticks, and peanuts. Take 4 lunch sacks and put a different item in each sack. Write “old tires” on the sack with Cheerios, write "dead fish" on the sack with the crackers, “sticks” on the sack with pretzel sticks, and “stones” on the sack with peanuts. Take a large bowl and make up a story about collecting trash. As you name the different items, invite different children to dump the contents in the bowl. Stir with a large spoon and then serve the “trash” in trashcans (ice cream cones). The cool thing about this snack is that there is NO trash when the children have finished eating!


Hint! Substitute raisins for peanuts if you have students with food allergies. You can also use sunflower seeds or other snack foods.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021


Who wouldn't want to be a super hero on the green team? How about some membership cards?

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

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

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

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

*Ask children what it means to be on the "green team." How can they keep the earth green and healthy?

Naturalist Kit

Make a naturalist kit by recycling a cardboard box. Make binoculars by cutting a cardboard paper towel roll in half. Tape the halves together and hole punch at the top. Tie on a piece of string so children can easily take the binoculars on and off their heads. Add a magnifying glass, field guide, paper, pencil, etc. Talk about what naturalists do. Can you be a naturalist?


Nature’s Colors
1. Give children assorted pony beads and a piece of string or yarn 20-24” long.
2. Explain that they can select a bead to represent the different things in nature that they appreciate. For example, a blue bead might remind them of the ocean, or a red bead might remind them of a cardinal. (Hint! Limit one bead per color. To make it easier to string wrap a small piece of tape around the end of the yarn.)
3. Tie the ends of the string together to make a necklace.
*Older students could write sentences about each color.
4. Ask children to describe their necklaces and explain what each color represents.


Eat Green!

Will you eat green, oh my children dear, (Pretend to strum a guitar.)
Will you eat green my children?
Oh, we’ll eat green (Make sign language for green by a
Spinach, broccoli, and beans making “G” and circling it around.)
Veggie-weggie, fruity-tooty (Make fists with hands and thump together.)
Fresh foody, colors of the rainbow. (Wiggle fingers in a arch.)
Let’s all eat green.

Will you eat orange, oh my children dear,
Will you eat orange my children?
Oh, we’ll eat orange things (Sign language for “O” and circle.)
Carrots, peaches, tangerines
Will you eat yellow, my children dear, (Make a “Y” and circle.)
Will you eat yellow my children?
Oh, we’ll eat yellow corn,
Squash, pineapples, and more
Will you eat red, oh my children dear, (Make an “R” and circle.)
Will you eat red my children?
Oh, red we’ll eat
Apples, strawberries, and beets
Will you eat blue and purple, my children dear, (Make a “P” and circle.)
Will you eat blue and purple?
Oh, we’ll eat purple, blue
Grapes, plums, and berries too.
Oh what will you eat, my children dear, (Pretend to strum a guitar.)
Oh what will you eat, my children?
Oh, we’ll eat fresh foods
Good for us and for earth, too,Chorus

*Brainstorm different parts of plants that you can eat.
Leaves – lettuce, spinach, cabbage
Stems – celery, asparagus, rhubarb
Roots – sweet potatoes, carrots, onions
Flowers – cauliflower, broccoli
Seeds – sunflower, pumpkin, walnuts