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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

THE MAN IN THE MOON


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.

The Full Moon for October will occur on Sunday, October 9th. The New Moon will happen later in October on Tuesday, October 25th. According to the Farmer's Almanac, historically, the Native Americans who lived in the area that is now the northern and eastern United States kept track of the seasons by giving a distinctive name to each recurring full Moon. October's full Moon was called the Hunter’s Moon because this was the time to hunt in preparation for winter.


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.

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:



*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:



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

                      





Tuesday, September 27, 2022

ALPHARDY

The more senses you activate, the more likely the message will get to the brain and stay in the brain. This song can be used with younger children to introduce them to letters and sounds, but it's just as much fun as a review for older students.

Alphardy  (Tune from "Jeopardy")
A for apple /a/ /a/ /a/ (Pretend fist is an apple.)
B for bounce /b/ /b/ /b/ (Bounce a ball.)
C for cut /c/ /c/ /c/ (Open and close index and middle fingers as if cutting.)
D for dig /d/ /d/ /d/ (Pretend to dig.)
E – elbow (Point to elbow.)
F – fan (Fan self with hand.)
G – gallop (Gallop in place.)
H – hop (Hop on one foot.)
I – itch (Scratch self.)
J – jump (Jump up and down.)
K – kick (Little kicks with foot.)
L – love (Hug self.)
M – munch (Move mouth as if eating.)
N – nod (Nod head.)
O – opera (Extend arms and sing dramatically.)
Q – quiet (Index finger on lips.)
R. – run (Run in place.)
S – sew (Pretend to hold a needle and sew.)
T – talk (Open and close fingers like a mouth.)
U – upside (Lean over.)
V – volley (Hands in air and pretend to volley a ball.)
W – wiggle (Wiggle all over.)
X – x-ray (Make “x” with arms.)
Y – yawn (Extend arms and pretend to yawn.)
Z – zigzag (Make an imaginary “z” in the air.)
Letter sounds are all you need.
Put them together and you can read! (Hold palms together and open like a book.)

Thanks to Mariela Anderson for this sign language version of Alphardy.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3JKf4vCeKA


How about a book to go with the song? 
https://www.drjean.org/html/monthly_act/act_2005/03_Mar/Alphardy.pdf

Alphardy Poster
Run off this chart for each student and glue to a file folder. Children can use this for choral singing or for independent work at the listening center. If you give them a pretzel stick or Bugle for a pointer they’ll get a little snack at the end of the song!

Monday, September 26, 2022

B SEES D

Someone recently asked if I had any “tricks” for helping children discriminate b and d. Most experts suggest that it is developmental and you shouldn’t be too concerned before the age of 7. However, I looked through my files and here are some tips.

B and D (Mary Ann Rosier)
Make a fist with each hand and put up the thumbs with fists facing each other. “B” comes first in the alphabet so the stick is first. “D” comes after “B” so the stick is on the right.


B C D
Using a copy of the alphabet underline “b c d.” Explain that “b” /c sees/ “d.” 




B and D Discrimination (Mary Marsionis)
Children use left hand to make a sign language “b” and right hand to make a “d.” Say “big dog” to remember “b” and “d.”


B vs. D (Mary Myers)
Here’s another idea for helping children distinguish these letters. “B” has the bat (stick) and then the ball (circle). “D” has the doorknob (circle) and then the door (stick).




BED
Draw a bed. Use a lowercase “b” for the headboard and a “d” for the foot of the bed.



Sorting
Write "b" on 10 index cards and "d" on 10 index cards. Shuffle the cards and then ask the children to sort them.


Sensory Activities
Practice writing “b” and “d” in the air as you say:
Make a line and then a circle for “b.” Make the circle and then the line for “d.”

Have children roll play dough and place it on top of the letters.

Trace over letters in a sand tray.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

NATIONAL COMIC BOOK DAY

Did you know that today is National Comic Book Day? What a treat when I was a kid to get a new comic book! No, we didn’t have videos or computers, but friends would come over and we’d read comic books together. I know! I know! Sounds corny now, but it was a favorite indoor pastime when the weather was bad. Let me tell you, if the weather was good our mothers would say, “GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY!”

I also remember sitting on my grandpa’s lap as he’d read the Sunday comics to me. I think the cartoons were much more “child friendly” in the 50’s than they are now. However, it might be interesting to save some of the comics from the newspaper this weekend and share them with your class. Explain how cartoonists use “bubbles” to let you know what the characters are saying.


Invite children to draw a picture of you and make a bubble with something you frequently say coming out of your mouth. You might be surprised!!!!

You could also let the children draw pictures of themselves or their friends and then use bubbles to make them talk.

Comics can also be used to reinforce standards. Start off by giving children copies of a 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.

*Have children recall the sequence of a story with comic frames.

*Use comic frames to illustrate the life cycle of a butterfly, the water cycle, plant growth, and so forth.

Here’s a link to download blank cartoon frames:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1SnEagA4jljTjMyU21nWDZTN00/view?usp=sharing

Cartoons That Move
Would you like to learn how to make cartoons that move? It’s easy peasy, but you’ll surely impress your students when you teach them how to do this.

Hint! I would only do this with primary grade children.

Materials: white copy paper, stapler, black pen or pencil

Directions:
1. Fold the paper into fourths and cut on the creased lines. 

2. Take two sheets and staple them at the top.

3. Lift the top layer and draw a simple shape on the bottom. Keep your drawing on the bottom half of the page.
4. Now, place the top sheet over the bottom and trace over the lines. Vary one or two features, such as arms, ears, mouth, etc.

5. Take a pencil and roll the top sheet up around the pencil.

6. Quickly move the pencil up and down to bring life to your cartoon. Waalaa!

*Connect this activity to literature, science themes, or social studies.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

"TREE" RIFIC IDEAS

Here's a simple craft activity that you can tie into science (seasons), reading (letters and word families), and writing. It's good for small motor skills as well as cutting.

Directions: Tear or cut 3 or 4 strips half way down from the top of the bag as shown. (You might want to draw these lines for younger children.) Open the bag and twist in the middle to make a tree.


Seasonal Trees
*Tear red, yellow, and orange scrap paper and glue them on the strips to make an autumn tree.
*Pink and white tissue paper can be waded up to make blossoms on a spring tree.*What fruits and nuts grow on trees? Let children make their favorite fruit tree.




Letter Tree
*Write letters (or use letter stickers) to make a "chicka chicka boom boom boom" tree.
*Make a word family tree by writing all the words they can make from a specific rime.



Family Tree
*Let children make a family tree by writing names of family members on their tree.


Spooky Old Tree

Twist the strips of paper as shown to make a spooky tree. Let children cut bats, cats, and other spooky things to go on their tree.

*Use these trees to prompt descriptive writing or poems.


Fall Centerpiece


If you're entertaining this fall here's a centerpiece will get rave reviews. All you need is a large paper grocery sack. Wad and crush the sack until it is soft and pliable. Next, make a large tree using the same process you did with the lunch bag. Use silk leaves, small pumpkins, and other seasonal objects to decorate your tree. Taaa daaa!!

Friday, September 23, 2022

STEAM ON WITH LEAVES

Take advantage of the science lab on your playground with these leaf activities.


Leaf Hunt
Give each child a lunch sack and let them collect 2 or 3 leaves from the ground. Bring these back in the classroom and sort by shape, color, etc. You could also graph the leaves by shape. (Whenever you collect items outside emphasize the importance of taking things from the ground. Return the objects to where you found them after exploring with them in the classroom.)

Science Center
Let children investigate leaves in the science center with a magnifying glass or microscope. Ask children to draw the enlarged leaf.
Hint! You can also take a photo of a leaf with your phone and enlarge it to show the veins and details.

Research
Check out a leaf identification book from the library or look online. Can children match up their leaves to identify which tree they came from?

Leaf Rubbings

Lay a sheet of paper on top of a leaf. Remove the paper from an old crayon and rub the side over the leaf to make a print.Hint! Use rubber cement to glue the leaf to the table. It will be easier for the children to make a rubbing, and you can just rub off the rubber cement after the activity.



Leaf Book
Let each child find a "favorite" leaf. To preserve, place the leaf in a sheet of newspaper and put a book on top overnight. Place the leaf in a zip baggie. Encourage children to dictate or write a sentence about their leaf. 


*Put several baggies together to make a book.

I Wonder Why?

Brainstorm why leaves turn colors and fall off trees in the fall. Have children go home and do a little research with their parents and report results in class the following day.

Deciduous Trees (Sandra Kelley)
Tune: "Do Your Ears Hang Low?"
Do your leaves fall down?
Do they tumble to the ground?
Do you lose your leaves in the fall?
Then you are deciduous that we know
because in the fall your leaves all go!

*What's the difference between deciduous trees and evergreen trees? Take a nature walk and ask children to identify both types of trees.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

HAPPY FALL Y'ALL!

It's the first day of fall! Football, pumpkins, colorful leaves, and FUN are in the air!

Leaves Are Falling
(Tune: “Where Is Thumbkin?”)
Leaves are falling (Echo song. Children repeat each line.)
Leaves are falling (Flutter fingers down.)
To the ground. (Touch the ground.)
To the ground.
Red, orange, and yellow (Flutter fingers.)
Red, orange, and yellow
Falling down. (Touch the ground.)
Falling down.

*Let children dramatize being leaves and dancing in the wind. As the song ends they fall quietly to the ground.

*What happens to leaves after they fall from the trees? Later in the fall when there are lots of leaves on the ground demonstrate how to pick up a handful of leaves and crumple them in your hands. Explain how those leaves will decay and turn into soil.

Fall
Why do you think they call this season “fall”? What’s another name for fall?
What season comes before fall? What season comes after fall? Fall is a cool off time between hot summer and cold winter.

Signs of Fall
Brainstorm signs of fall and write them on the board. What kind of clothes do we wear in fall? What’s the weather like in the fall? Are there any special seasonal foods we eat? What kind of sports are popular in fall? What holidays do we celebrate in the fall? What do animals do to get ready for winter? What do plants do in the fall?

*Let children make an attribute web and label it with pictures or words of things that remind them of fall. Older children can do this as a writing assignment, but for younger children this can be an opportunity for the teacher to model writing and develop vocabulary.



Nature Walk
Go on a nature walk and look for signs of fall. Provide children with tablets, paper, and pencils so they can record their “observations” on the walk.


I Like Autumn Language Experience Chart

Let children dictate sentences about why they like autumn. Older children could write their own original stories about, “Fall, Fall, Best of All!”


Acrostic Poem

Write the words “fall” or “autumn” vertically down the side of a sheet of paper. Children think of a word that starts with each letter that relates to fall.