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Monday, September 23, 2013


Did you know that Mt. Rushmore and Graceland are the top two iconic places in the United States?  And my husband and I have been lucky enough to visit both of them this year!!!  Mt. Rushmore is breathtaking!  Crazy Horse is amazing!  The Black Hills are spectacular!  And the teachers and children in South Dakota are WONDERFUL!!!  Wendy Jarvis at the State Department of Education set up my whirlwind tour of Rapid City, Pierre, and Sioux Falls last week.  Memories of driving through cornfields and sunflower fields in the golden autumn sun will stay with me forever!  That’s what I call America’s heartland!

Squirrel Handshake  (Alicia S.)
One partner holds out their arm while the other partner quickly crawls up from the wrist to the shoulder with fingers.

Fire Truck Cheer  (Kayla & Students)
Make siren sound as you twirl your finger around.
Act like putting out a fire with a hose.
Point and say, “That’s smokin’.”

Backpack  (Amy Bruening)
Cut one inch off the top of a lunch sack.  Cut in half to make two straps to glue to the back.  Fold down the top about two inches.  You’re ready for a bear hunt or nature walk!

Let’s Make a Circle (Val Minihan)
(Tune:  “Lassie and Laddie”)
Let’s make a circle, a circle, a circle.
Let’s make a circle and hold hands right now.
Hold hands with a friend.
The circle won’t end.
Let’s make a circle and hold hands right now.
*What a sweet way to start circle time!

(Tune:  “Bingo”)
There was a very fuzzy duck
And Ducky was his name-o.
D – u – c -  k – y
D – u – c -  k – y
D – u – c -  k – y
And Ducky was his name-o.

Ring around the Rosie  (Rhonda Henschen)
Here’s a second verse after the children are on the ground…
Cows are in the meadow
Eating buttercups.
Thunder, lightning,
We all jump up!  (Children jump up!)

Lids of Learning (Lynn)
Save gallon milk lids to sort by color, make a tower, write a letter or number and match, etc.

Color Finders  (Meghan Kelly)
Give children binoculars or spy glasses (made from TP rolls) and they can be the “color finders”!
*Works with any concept, such as shapes, letters, etc.

Train Tracks (Carrie Spillman)
To help three and four year olds line up tell them to make a train.  Each child has to join the train and stay on the tracks.  If a child runs ahead remind them to “stay on the tracks.”

Attendance Math  (Heidi Stroud)
Write children’s names on index cards and hold up one at a time.  Children stand when they see their name.  Count all the children and then subtract the missing children.  14-2=12

Transition Song  (Sarah Jensen)
Here comes uncle Jesse.
He’s riding through the fields
On his horse and buggy
And he’s hollering  (Color # name).

Teamwork (Rhonda Henschen)
After playing a game, to encourage teamwork and good sportsmanship gather in a huddle, put hands in together, and cheer, “We had great teamwork!  Good job!”

Putting on Gloves   (Ardeth Egleston)
Little ones struggle with putting on gloves.  Cut the fingers off an old pair of gloves so they can see where to put their fingers and practice.

Sweet Smelling Day (Jill)
Put peppermint, lemon, root beer, or almond extract in a basket by the door.  When the children leave for the day, put a dab of extract on a cotton ball and rub it on the back of their hand to smell on the way home and remind them that they had a sweet smelling day!

Music Notes (Teresa Presner)
Use hands to help children learn music notes. 
Make a circle in the air and raise 4 fingers.  “A whole note is worth 4 beats.”
Lift 2 fingers.  “A half note is worth 2 beats.”
Lift one finger up.  “A quarter note is worth 1.”
Bend that one finger in half.  “An eighth note is one worth ½ beat.”

7 Little Letters  (Marj C.)
Give laminated upper and lowercase letters to children.  Insert letters in the song “Five little ducks went out to play…”  Children hold their letters up and go to the teacher when their letter is sung.

A Ram Sam Sam
A ram sam sam  (Tap fists on top of each other.)
A ram sam sam
Gooly gooly gooly gooly gooly  (Roll hands around.)
Ram sam sam.
A ram sam sam
A ram sam sam
Gooly gooly gooly gooly gooly
Ram sam sam.
A raffi, a raffi,  (Throw arms up in the air.)
Gooly goooly gooly gooly gooly
Ram sam sam.
A raffi, a raffi,
Gooly gooly gooly gooly gooly
Ram sam sam.

Flannel Boards  (Barbara Biwer)
Cover the lid of a pizza box with felt.  Keep flannel pieces inside so children can retell stories and them put them away.

Quieting Trick  (Paul Plume)
Explain to the children that Samari are loud and noisy, but Ninjas are quiet and patient.  Pretend to be Ninjas when you walk down the hall.

Phone Song  (Heather Tromp)
(Tune:  “Camptown Racers”)
393-9093 Do dah do dah
393-9093 Do dah do dah
The Pumpkin House Story.  Somethings never go out of style!