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Sunday, September 25, 2011


For many years it has been my pleasure to visit Pinellas County, Florida, to share with their teachers.  Although this is a large county, they have the “heart” of a small community and they’ve always been totally dedicated to children.  They embrace change and technology, but balance it with creative, engaging activities similar to these:

Fun with Phones  (Janice Pires, Tarpon Springs Elementary)
Recycle used/non-working cell phones with this game.  Write high frequency words or fluency phrases on jumbo craft sticks and place them in the box the cell phone came in.  Children hold the phone, reach in the box, and then say the word as if they are talking on the phone.
*Adapt for letters, numerals, math facts, etc.

Chalk Talk  (Cari Barnes)
Draw names, shapes, numbers, or letters on sidewalks with chalk.  Give children cups of water and paintbrushes so they can paint over the chalk lines.  The water evaporates so children can do it over and over.

Cari also suggested that when you make books from zip bag you can cover the stapled spine with duct tape to add a finished edge and protect little fingers from staples.

Bottle Lid Phonics (Lana Lillie)
Collect water bottle lids (white ones).  Write uppercase letters on one set with a permanent marker and lowercase letters on another set.  Children say the sounds as they put the lids in alphabetical order.  They can match upper and lowercase letters, make words, etc.