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Monday, April 2, 2012


Oh, what a week I had in South Dakota!  The weather was incredible and the teachers were amazing!!!  From the beautiful Black Hills through the Badlands and the prairies to Sioux Falls, it was an exciting week.  If you’ve never seen Mt. Rushmore, it will take your breath away!!!
South Dakota Song (Shirley Whitney)
(Tune:  “Frere Jacques”)
Are you going?  Are you going?
To South Dakota, to South Dakota?
Buffalo are a grazing
Pheasants are a flying.
Come, come, come!
Come, come, come!

The Word on the Bus (Laura Gerlach)
Draw the outline of a bus and place flashcards on the bus as you sing:
The word on the bus is was, was, was.
The word on the bus is was.
That’s the word on the bus.

Counting in Spanish (Judy Knodel)
Sing to ten in Spanish to the tune of “I Had a Little Turtle.”  Flip and clap your hands as you wiggle your hips.
Uno, dos, tres,
cuatro, cinco, seis,
Siete, ocho, neueve, diez.

Earworm (Kathy Liesinger)
When a song gets stuck in your brain it’s called an “earworm.”
Use the letter bus song to sing the different sounds one letter can make.  For example, the “A” on the bus says /a/ /ay/ /ah/.

Attention Grabber (Vanessa Prasnicki)
Teacher sings to the tune of “Old MacDonald”:  (Teacher’s name) had a class.
Kids respond:  “A – E – I – O – U”

Search “decorah eagles” and you can watch eagles hatching and growing.

Buggy (Denise Harford)
Write letters of the alphabet on popsicle sticks.  On some of the sticks have a picture of a bug.  Children pull a stick out of a bag and tell the name and make the sound.  When they pull out a picture of a bug they stand up and go “buggy” until you swat (clap hands) the bug down.

Hugs and Bubbles (Jo Ann Hittle)
Before going in the hall remind children to give themselves a hug (cross arms over body) and put bubbles (puff out cheeks) in their mouths.

Tisket A Tasket Letters (Pam Uecker)
I can make a letter.
I can make a letter.
I use my arms (or hands),
I use my legs,
And I can make a letter.
(Call out a letter for the children to make with their bodies.  You could use these for sign language or other signs from your phonics program.)

Cell Phone (Janet E.)
You will need a picture of a cell phone for this activity.  Children can practice punching in their phone numbers, lunch account numbers, etc. on the phone.

Picture Walk (Melissa Roel)
Invite your students to take a “picture walk” through a new book.  Ignore the words and have them focus on the pictures as you ask questions:
“What’s happening?” 
“Who is that?”
“Where are they?”
“What do you think this story is about?”
You can use this for vocabulary development, prediction, and other pre-reading skills.

Post It Letters (Lisa Miller)
Teach the children to recognize their name and learn letters with this activity.  Put their name on a folder or poster board and laminate.  Write letters on post it notes and have them match the letters in their names.

Singing Names (Erin Rempfes)
Teach children how to spell their names using the tune of “BINGO.”  Write their names on flash cards and have them hold them up as you sing:
I have a friend who has a name and child’s name is his/her name-o.
(Spell out), (spell out), (spell out),
And child’s name is his/her name-o.

Stove Burners (Ruth Stabile)
Give children stove burners to use as their “work station” with magnetic letters.

Spinners (Ann Parsells)
Make a circle board with a spinner.  Divide into pie wedges and put letters, colors, shapes, pictures, etc. in the wedges.  Children can spin and identify the information.  Adapt for categories, math, vocabulary, phonics, etc.

Letter Chart (Kathy Barren)
Pass out cards with the children’s first names.  Place a letter you are working on in a pocket chart.  If their name has that letter they place it on the pocket chart.  If their name does not have the letter, place it under the “no” sign.  Count the number of names with and without the letter.  Repeat for last names.

Names (Pam Bonenberger)
Make flash cards with children’s first and last names and their picture.  Place 8 names at a time in a pocket chart and sing to the tune of “Are You Sleeping?”
Joe Smith,
Frank Wilson,
Amy Craft,
Susan Wells….

Pumpkin Teeth (Susan Kraemer)
Draw a pumpkin face with teeth using a permanent marker and laminate.  Color in some of the teeth with a water soluble marker to make them dirty.  Let children brush the teeth with a toothbrush and water as you sing, “This is the way you brush your teeth…”