Friday, October 25, 2013


You vs. Me  (Bonnie Bhasin)
Why?               review skills
                         cooperation and collaboration
What?              Partners need whiteboards, markers, and socks for erasers.
How?              Teacher poses a question.  Students whisper in pairs and try to figure out the answer.  They write it down and cover it up.  The teacher walks around after a minute or two saying, “Ready or not…here I come!”  The teacher checks answers.  If anyone has it wrong or says the answer out loud the teacher gets a point.  If all the student pairs have it right, the students get a point.

Ears and Mouths  (Jan Gleason)
Working with a buddy can be difficult for young children.  Give each pair a picture of an ear and a picture of a mouth.  The child holding the “mouth” is the talker and the child holding the “ear” is the listener.  Then switch.
Hint!  Use photos of an animal’s ears and mouth.

Macarena Months
Change the “Macarena Months” by doing different seasonal or holiday characters.  For example, in the fall you could be scarecrows, spiders, ghosts, etc.

Kinder Keyboard  (Jolene Saylor)
Make a kinder keyboard with a shoebox.  Glue the keyboard to the lid of the box.  Put CVC words or sight words in the monitor (box) for the children to choose and type.

Laptop (Barb Meimbresse)
Use a large grocery bag as a laptop computer.  Tuck the bottom under the flap and glue the keyboard as shown.

Animal Bottles  (L. Collins)
Use small water bottles for this activity.  Tape the picture of an animal to the front.  Students use tweezers to pick up small articles, letters, etc. that match the beginning sound and “feed” it to the animal in the bottle.

Rug Activity (Daria Chumielewski)
Before sitting on the carpet, children choose a flash card, identify the first letter of the word or picture, and then sit on the corresponding letter on the carpet.

Sign Language Numbers for Classroom Management  (Mary Rocheck)
Children make the following hand signs for numbers:
1 – I need to use the restroom.
2 – I need a tissue.
3 – I need my pencil sharpened.
4 -  I need water.
5 – I know the answer or have a question.

Syllable Circle Game (Tara Hess)
Using nursery rhymes, pass a ball for each syllable.
Mar (pass) y (pass) had (pass) a (pass) lit (pass) tle (pass) lamb (pass)…
Be careful with “Hickory Dickory Dock” because one syllable makes them very giggly!!!

Cheer Cards (Lonnie Hauer)
Print the cheers out on a color printer and glue them to fluorescent colored index cards.  Laminate and put in a cheer box.  When a child does something great or if they are a special helper, stop and let them choose a cheer.

Bang  (Jill Beltanzetti)
Make a “dynamite” container out of a paper towel tube.  Write sight words, letters, etc. on craft sticks.  Write “BANG!” on a few sticks.  Children pass the dynamite container around and choose a stick.  If they can read the word they can keep it.  If they choose “BANG!” all their sticks go back and the game goes on…

Twister (Ray Burns)
Using a Twister mat, place high frequency words on the colored dots.  Label the spinner with the words.  One student is on the mat and another spins the spinner.  The child on the mat has to find that high frequency word and put their foot or hand on it.
Nursery Rhyme Club
When a child can say a nursery rhyme, leave a white feather on their desk and say, “Mother Goose dropped off your membership card to the nursery rhyme club.  Congratulations!”
Give Me a Flap
(Tune:  “Addams Family”)
Give me a flap.  (Flap your wings.)
Give me a flap.  (Flap your wings.)
Give me a flap, give me a flap, give me a flap.
Now fold your hands and put them down into your lap.

Huge Happy Notes (Megan Geise)
To encourage positive behavior, try to send home a happy note to a different child each day.  If a child has exceptional behavior, then give them a HUGE happy note written on large chart paper.
*They will be proud as can be carrying the note down the hallway!

Good Reads
I’m always on the look out for good professional books.  Here are a few the teachers recommended:
Teasing, Tattling, Defiance and More… by Margaret Berry Wilson
The Next Step in Guided Reading by Jan Richardson
Educating African American Males by Baruti Kafele

Words of Wisdom (Brother Gerald Hopeck)
*Help students learn a story…because they might keep history from being lost!
*Don’t throw out the old before you know the new really works! 

Brother Gerald and I doing the Tango!  First time I’ve ever danced with a Franciscan Monk at a workshop!  And he was a good dancer, too!!!