Monday, November 18, 2013


I went coast to coast last week from Corning, New York, to Los Angeles, to Phoenix, and back to Charleston.  Don't you love my new BFF's?  You're also going to love some of these ideas you can use this week in your classroom.

Connecting with Books (Audrey Yoshioka)
As you read books have students touch index fingers to show that they have a personal connection with the book or whatever you are talking about.  You can quietly acknowledge individual connections without stopping the story.
*Students love to make connections and you will know that they are listening!

How Do You Feel?  (Bonnie Lewis)
Teacher:        How do you feel?
Children:       We feel good.  Huh!  (Children bend over slightly and flex their muscles.)

Who Let the Letters Out?  (Angela Curtiss)
Write letters on dog bones.  Have children stand in a circle and place a dog bowl in the middle of the floor.  When they hear their letter sung in the song they place their bone in the dog bowl.

Attendance Activities (Claudia Castaneda)
*While taking attendance say a rhyming word for each child's name.  Maudia instead of Claudia...or Dr. Mean instead of Dr. Jean.
*Say a sound and children respond if their name starts with that sound. /m/. Mary!  Manuel!
*Say a letter and they must answer with a word that begins with that sound.

Chapstick (Judi Little)
You can reward children with a dab of scented Chapstick on their hand.  Call it a scentacular or  smellicious!

Right Hand (Kathy Crowe)
Always put the Chapstick on children's right hand.  By the end of the year they will know their right from their left.

Build a Bear Hangman (Judi Little)
Play a game similar to hangman except building a bear is so much more positive than a noose!  Put blanks on the board for each letter in a word.  Children take turns calling out letters.  If the letter is not in the word draw the bear's head, body, ears, arms, legs, etc.

My Little Thumbs Keep Moving (Judi Little)
(Tune: "The Bear Went over the Mountain")
My thumbs wiggle around, my thumbs wiggle around,   (Wiggle thumbs.)
My thumbs wiggle around and then I tell them STOP!
My hands tongue, etc.

Name Rhymes (Nicole Cracco)
Think of a silly rhyme with each child's name.

Ziplock Baggie Book (Jennifer Nelson)
Put a few baggies together and sew them along one side opposite the zipper.  This creates a refillable book that you can use for letters, sounds, numbers, etc.  Students can also illustrate things that start with that letter.

Peek a Boo Book (Heather Wade)
Fold a piece of paper into fourths.  Open and fold in half.  Cut slits to the crease as shown.  Open and fold in to the middle to make little flaps.  Use for compound words, letters, etc.

The Olden Days  (Amanda Baroody)
Do a unit on the "Olden Days" and bring in a record player, typewriter, rotary phone, old camera, etc.  Churn butter for snack, say nursery rhymes, wash clothes on a wash board, etc.

Voting Pictures (Kirsta Gilliam & Megan Shelanskey)
Print children's names and glue their photos to cards.  Let them vote for snacks, books, and other activites by placing their picture by the one they want to vote for.  This allows children to see what they (and their friends) voted for and they get excited to tell their families about it
when they get picked up.

Letter Tickets  (Kieren Pennypacker)
Put the first letter of children’s names on a piece of paper and that is their
"ticket" to the carpet.  When they come to the carpet they must identify their
letter and make it's sound.  Put their letter in a "treasure box" and that's their ticket to go home.  Letters are saved in the cubby until the next day.

Ilene and Gayla from Sierra Vista made books from Super Hero napkins (instead of doing worksheets) with their students on Friday.  "They loved it...they ate it up and wanted to share!"