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Monday, October 29, 2012


Last week when I was in Pennsylvania and New Jersey I met some BOOOTIFUL teachers who gave me these tricks and treats to share.  Sandy is visiting many of you today, so I hope and pray you are all safe!

Karate Write the Room  (Nicole Sherman)
Instead of having the children write the room, let them do karate letters as they read words around the room.  What are karate letters?  You punch up above your head for letters that start at the top dotted line.  You punch out in front of you for letters that start at the middle dotted line.  You give a little kick for letters with a tail.

Zip Lines (Suzanne Boylan)
Get a 20" zipper and number from the bottom to the top 0-20.  Children can zip up numbers or zip down numbers to practice addition and subtraction.
*Suzanne said she asked each child to bring in a 20" zipper and they used them throughout the year.

Science Names (Suzanne Kaplan)
Alliterate each child's name with a science term.  For example, Michelle Molecule, Cathy Cosmic, Grady Gravity, etc.  During science period call them by their science name.

Envelope Game (March Schneider)
Seal an envelope and then cut it in half.  Write numerals 1-20 (or however many students you have) on the envelopes.  Mix up the envelopes and then pass them out to the students.  The students put them on their hand like a puppet.  #1 says, "Here is 1.  Where is 2?"  #2 holds up their envelope and says, "Here is 2.  Where is 3?"
*You could also write letters on the envelopes and do the letters in alphabetical order.
All About You  (Connie Richwine)
After completing an "All About Me" cycle, do "All About You."  Invite parents to come in and talk about their occupation.  Encourage them to bring in material from their company, a uniform, tools they use, vehicle (such as a police car), etc.

Gingerbread Man Career Visits (Michele Brymesser)
Here's another clever idea to encourage parents to visit and share their careers.  The gingerbread man runs away to the parent's place of employment.  The students wonder where the gingerbread man has gone, and they are surprised with a visit from their parents.

Show and Tell Challenge (Maribel Mohr)
Use gift bags and staple a note with a challenge, such as a letter, three dimensional shape, numeral, etc. Pass out the bags to the students at the beginning of the day.  At the end of the day they can share what they've found.
*You could also send these bags home for the children to do with their parents.

Chef Hat Book (Susan Leonard)
Here is an idea for Mother's Day.  Use a wooden spoon as a binder to make the popsicle stick book.  The child tells the teacher their favorite thing their mom makes.  The teacher types the directions as the child dictates.  Make copies of all students' recipes to make a class book.

Book Box (Kelly McLaughlin)
Children decorate a box at home with their parents.   Encourage the children to "present" their boxes at school and describe how they decorated them.  When they make books at school, they can save them in their special box.

Math Pizza Box
Open a pizza box and use colorful tape to make a line between the lid and the bottom of the box.  Also make a line with tape vertically to divide the lid into two sections.  Children use math counters to make sets in the top and then join them together in the bottom.

Portfolio Boxes (Angela)
Ask a local pizza shop to donate pizza boxes.   Send these home with the children to decorate with their families.  Keep examples of their work throughout the year in the boxes.  Send them home at the end of the year as a special momento of their school year.

Ping Pong Pitch (Shaina Soderstrom)
Get pink ping pong balls and write a digit from 0-9 on each ball.  (You could also draw a shape, write a letter, write a word, etc.)  Put the balls in a make-up bag with a zipper.  Unzip the bag a little and shake it.  When the balls fly out the students catch them and identify the information.
*Purchase drink stirrers at a dollar store and sue them for reading pointers.

October Math Counters
Spread dry lima beans on a sheet of newspaper.  Paint one side orange with spray paint.  Dry.  Draw a jack-o-lantern face on the orange side and a ghost face on the white side.