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Thursday, September 12, 2013


Sutter’s Creek might not have much gold any more, but the fields around Merced, CA, have another kind of gold…fruits, vegetables, almonds, grapes…as far as the eye can see!  Although I live thousands of miles from there, I bet my grocery store is full of their bounty!   

The central valley of California is also an special place for children to "grow."  I was impressed by how the MCOE (County office of Ed), First 5 Merced, GAEYC, Merced City Schools, Atwater Elementary School, and Head Start collaborate to make it a better world for children!  It's a reminder to all of us that the only way we can really make a difference is to hold hands and work together!

Kiss Your Brain (Deana Abraham)
Mar Harmon wrote this song several years ago.  Deana has come up with some great motions.  She says they always sing this song before testing to get the children “pumped up”!
Kiss your brain!  Kiss your brain!  (Kiss fingers, touch head, hand in air.)
It’s something you can do.  (Point to students.)
Kiss your brain!  Kiss your brain!
When you feel proud of you!  (Arms up like muscles.)

You’ve done something you’ve never done before,  (Shake head and shrug.)
You’re feeling good about it.  (Hug self.)
You are thinking, “Good job, me!”
And you want to shout it.  (Hands over head and wiggle fingers.)
So…Kiss your brain!  Etc.

You wrote a book all by yourself.  (Open palms like a book.)
You learned on the computer.   (Wiggle fingers as if typing.)
You played checkers with your mom,  (Pretend to move checkers on a board.)
And you beat her!   (Fist up in air.)
So…Kiss your brain!  Etc.

You can kiss your brain ‘cause you feel good.  (Hug self.)
You can kiss your brain ‘cause you’re smart.  (Finger to head.)
You can kiss your brain ‘cause you’re learning. 
You can kiss your brain with a happy heart!   (Hands to chest and extend.)

Family Pages (Dana Hale)
Provide each family with a file folder (cut to the size of the laminating machine).  Send it home with a note asking parents to make copies of special family pictures (such as people, pets, events, mom and dad at work, etc.) and glue them to the folder.  Ask them to label the pictures. (No glitter or puffy paints, please.)  Laminate these and use them throughout the year to talk about their home, relate to community helpers, develop oral language, etc.

Time for Lunch  (Linda Marvin)
(Tune:  “Frere’ Jacques)
Time for lunch.
Time for lunch.
Let’s get ready.
Let’s get ready.
I’m getting very hungry.
I’m getting very hungry.
How about you?
How about you?

Shout Out (Lynn Stapp)
When you work on a letter, do a “shout out” for the child whose name begins with that sound.  For example:
Aubrey says…
Give me an A (class responds A)
Give me a U  (class responds U), B…R…E…Y
What’s that spell?  (class responds Aubrey)
Aubrey, Aubrey, give a cheer.
We’re so glad that Aubrey is here!

Secret Hands (Melinda Ainslie)
Melinda said that when her daughter started kindergarten she came home from school and asked, “Mama, can you keep a secret?  When you put your hands together like this (cross your fingers), it’s MAGIC because you can see better and hear better!”

To Peel a Banana  (Anabella Felber)
Flip over a banana and pinch the brown part on the end.  Then you can easily peel the banana.  Finally, eat and enjoy!

Waiting, Waiting  (Anabella Felber)
When children need to speak to an adult, but the adult is speaking to someone else, try this technique.  The child places her hand on the adult’s arm and then the adult touches the child’s hand to acknowledge them.  When the adult is able, she will speak to the child.

Treasure Box  (Tyra Toney)
Put a mirror in the bottom of a box.  Pass it around during circle time and tell the children to open the treasure box to see something very special.  Have them open it up.  It’s them!

3-D Movie Glasses  (Carissa Stewart)
Save 3D movie glasses and use them for games and dramatic play.

Name Game (Shirley Winzer)
We are going to play a game by using your name.
When I point to you just introduce…
(Point to the child and say..)  What’s your name? 
(The child says his or her name.)  Shirley!
Let’s say Shirley.
Shirley, Shirley, bo birley
Bonana nana foe farley
Fee fli mo mirley, Shirley!

Another One  (Shirley Winzer)
Say, “I’m going to see if I can trick someone!”
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes.
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes.
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose.
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes.
*Keep going faster and faster.

Little Gray Pony (Juanita Burns)
The little gray pony looked out of his barn.
He wants to gallop and play.
The little gray pony looked out of his barn.
He wants to gallop and play.
And gallop and gallop and play.  (clap, clap)
And gallop and gallop and play.  (clap, clap)
The little gray pony goes back to his barn.
He wants to sleep on the hay!  (Lay head on palms.)