Saturday, March 29, 2014


Honestly, I get so frustrated with some of the stories I hear these days I could scream!!!! It breaks my heart the way teachers are getting beat up and children are having their joy taken away! We have a friend who is seriously ill and my daughter reminded me that “life is fragile.” I’d like to remind some of the decision makers and people who evaluate teachers that CHILDHOOD IS FRAGILE! The way we are shoving academics down children’s throats is like giving them steroids. Sure, they may be able to pass the test today, but what kind of person will they be 20 years from now? 
I can’t do anything about assessment and your curriculum, but I can tell you to shut your door and sing and love and make learning fun. So, here are some great ideas teachers in Utah, Louisiana, and Mississippi shared this week that I hope will add a few smiles to your day!

Home, Home in Alaska (Elisa Erickson said her mom Deanne Ellis sang this to her growing up in Alaska)
Tune: “Home on the Range”
Oh, give me a home between Fairbanks and Nome
Where the moose and the caribou play.
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are colorful all day.
Home, home in Alaska,
Where the lynx and the lemming play.
Where seldom is heard of discouraging words
And the skies are colorful all day.
*Adapt to other habitats and places.
Kathleen Wright sent me an email telling me about her website and blog. Her freebie list paper is a perfect way to encourage writing and reading.
Line Up Rhyme (Pre-K & K Teachers at Cook Elementary, Columbus, MS)
Tootsie roll and lollipop. (Roll hands and pretend to lick lollipop.)
We were talking and now all stop! (Hands out and clap above head on stop.)
(Children then put pretend bubbles in their mouths and fish tails behind their backs as they walk down the hallway.)

Photo Album Fun (Sierra Kennedy)
Take a dollar store photo album and put flashcards in it. Let children trace over the words, letters, shapes, etc. with a dry erase marker.
*Put cheers on sticks for the students to choose.

Index Card Book (Heather)
Staple several index cards together to make a book. One side will be plain for a picture, and the other side will have lines for writing. 
Spot Light (Barbara Nemes)
Make a black headband with a yellow circle on the front. Attach a letter to the circle so the children can go around the room and “spot” the alphabet.

Quiet as Clouds (Taylor & Amanda)
Give cotton balls to students who are exceptionally quiet because they are "quiet as clouds."