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Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Oh, my, what a glorious trip to Merced County, California!  The teachers were incredibly enthusiastic, friendly, and appreciative!  LOVED them!  And the best part was doing a free concert in the park with their children.  (I wish I had a video of it because it would make you smile to see the happy children singing and dancing!)  It never ceases to amaze me that I do, indeed, learn something new each day.  I’ll bet you can find a new idea or two as well!

Note!  As I was typing these it dawned on me how many of the activities align with CC Standards, 21st Century Skills, and the Executive Function.  “Oh, well!” can help children with impulse control.  The writing song is perfect for R.F.K.1.a, Silly Simon Rhymes reinforces R.F.K.2.b, “Horizontal, Vertical” for geometry, etcetera, etcetera!  Above all, they are FUN!

Oh, Well!  (Anne Rye)
Teach children this self-soothing routine to help them cope when they lose a game or something doesn’t go their way.  Say, “Oh, well!” as you open up your palms and shrug your shoulders.  You can also teach them to ask for “a minute” when they feel like pitching a fit.
*Anne said they practice this as a group and role-play how to handle different situations.  I thought this was a brilliant idea because we assume children have these skills.  Also, by practicing as a group the children can learn to “prompt” each other.

Writing Song  (Dawna Hunter)
(Tune:  “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”)
Top to bottom,
Left to right.
Top to bottom,
Left to right.
My mind knows that writing always goes
Top to bottom,
Left to right.

Silly Simon Rhyme Time  (Charleen Cahill)
Silly Simon says touch your fair.
But what he really means is hair.  (Children touch hair.)
Silly Simon says touch your tree.
But what he really means is knee.  (Children touch knees.)
*Adapt to colors, things in the classroom, etc.

Horizontal, Vertical  (Carrie O’Bara and Terri Miller)
This song goes to the tune of “Where Is Thumbkin?”  Carrie and Terri said they wanted the children to know the academic terms for different writing strokes, and by adding the movements it “puts it in the brain.”
Horizontal, horizontal,  (Forearms held up horizontally in front of chest.)
Vertical, vertical.  (Forearms bent at elbows to form right angles.)
Horizontal, horizontal,
Vertical, vertical.

Then diagonal, then diagonal.  (Right arm slants in front and then left.)
Add a curve.  Add a curve.  (Make a “c” with right hand and then left.)
Then diagonal, then diagonal.
Add a curve.  Add a curve.

Eye Winker  (Megan Mitchell)
Eye winker  (Point to eyes.)
Tom thinker (Point to brain/head.)
Nose smeller (Point to nose.)
Mouth eater (Point to mouth.)
Chin Chomper (Point to chin.)
Gully, gully, gully, gully  (Tickle under the chin.)
P.S.  Megan said her grandmother, Betty Jean Ramsay, would play that with her grandchildren just to hear them laugh.  It’s been in her family for three generations.

Broken Books (Magadalena Valdes)
When a book tears, put the pages in clear sheet protectors in a pocket folder.  Children can play with it and use it to show beginning, middle, and end.
*You can also cut up old books and use the pictures for flannel boards, stick puppets, or games.

Color Song
If you have on red, stand up now.
If you have on red, stand up now.
If you have on red, stand up now
And take a bow.
Pass out shapes and sing, “If you have a square…”
Pass out letters and sing, “If you have a B…”
Pass out numerals and sing, “If you have a 5…”

I’m a Little Kindergartener (Brenda Hall)
(Tune:  “I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a little kindergartener (first grader, preschooler, etc.)
Short and smart.
Here is my hand.
Here is my heart.
When I get excited I want to shout -
All my joys come tumbling out!