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Friday, November 28, 2014


If you're not out getting all those bargains today you can check out this article that Jana Byrd sent me.  It’s a MUST READ for any pre-k or kindergarten teacher because it’s a clear reminder of the importance of hands-on experiences for developing number sense.

The author, Janice Novakowski, is a teacher in British Columbia and you’ll appreciate her down to earth and practical ideas using popsicle sticks, cubes, stories, and finger plays. It was interesting that she would ask her students to “read” and share their combinations. “Talking out loud” and “thinking out loud” are critical to children’s understanding. It reminded me that DEATH IS SILENT AND LEARNING IS NOISY! Our little guys NEED to talk!

Here are some finger plays that can build number sense while you focus children’s attention. 


Down around the corner
At the bakery shop, (Hold up 5 fingers and wiggle.)
Five little doughnuts
With sugar on top.
Along came (child’s name)
With a penny one day.
She bought a doughnut and
She took it away. (Put down 1 finger.)
*Change the rhyme to cupcakes, pumpkin pies, or other seasonal treats.

Cut five finger size holes out of a paper plate and
insert your fingers as you say the rhyme.


One small noodle (Hold up one finger.)
On my noodle plate.
Salt and pepper,
Tastes just great. (Pretend to shake salt.)
Mother’s going to the store.
Mother, mother, get some more. 


Five Little Ducks

Five little ducks (Hold up 5 fingers.)
Went out to play
Over the hills (Move hand up and down.)
And far away. (Put hand over your eyes as if looking.)
When the mother duck called,
“Quack, quack, quack!” (Put palms together and open and shut.)
Four little ducks (Hold up 4 fingers.)
Came waddling back.
No little ducks went out to play (Make fist.)
Over the hills and far away.
When the daddy duck called,
“QUACK! QUACK! QUACK!” (Open and close arms and say loudly.)
Five little ducks came waddling back.
*Staple the sides of a file folder and glue felt to the front to make a flannel board.  Cut ducks or other figures out of felt to use as visuals for finger plays.

Alligator and Monkeys

Five little monkeys (Hold up 5 fingers.)
Swinging from a tree,
Teasing Mr. Alligator, (Point finger as if teasing.)
“Can’t catch me!
You can’t catch me!” (Shake head “no.”)
Along came Mr. Alligator (Put palms together and slowly
Quiet as can be, move like an alligator.)
And snatched a monkey (Open and clap palms as if
Right out of the tree! chomping on something.)
“Missed me, missed me! (Put open hands on either side
Now you gotta kiss me!” of your head and wiggle.)

Five Little Hotdogs

Five little hotdogs (Hold up 5 fingers.)
Frying in the pan.
The grease got hot,
And one went BAM! (Clap hands.)
Four little hotdogs… (Hold up 4 fingers.)
Three little hotdogs… (Hold up 3 fingers.)
Two little hotdogs… (Hold up 2 fingers.)
One little hotdog… (Hold up 1 finger.)
No little hotdogs (Hold up fist.)
Frying in the pan.
The pan got hot,
And it went BAM! (Clap hands and say the last word loudly.) 

*Draw the shape of a pan on a file folder.  Cut a 6" slit across the center as shown.  Cut hotdogs out of construction paper and tape to spring clothespins.
*You can change “hotdogs” to “sausages.”
*Change the rhyme to popcorn and say:
Five little kernels sizzling in the pot.

The grease got hot and one went POP!”

I’ve Got Ten Little Fingers

I’ve got ten little fingers, (Hold up both hands.)
And ten little toes, (Point to feet.)
Two little eyes, (Point to eyes.)
And a mouth and a nose. (Point mouth and then nose.)
Put them all together, (Circle arms as if hugging.)
And what have you got? (Hands on hips.)
You’ve got me, baby, (Put thumbs in chest.)
And that’s a lot! (Wiggle hips.)

Ten Little Friends 

Ten little friends (Hold up fingers.)
Went out to play (Wiggle.)
On a very bright
And sunny day.
And they took a little walk.
Walk, walk, walk. (Walk fingers in front of your body.)
And they had a little talk.
Talk, talk, talk. (Put fingertips together.)
They climbed a great big hill (Move fingers over your head.)
And stood on the top very still. (Keep hands still.)
Then they all tumbled down (Roll hands around and down.)
And fell to the ground.
We’re so tired, (Hold up fingers.)
They all said.
So they all went home
And went to bed.
10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – (Put down fingers one at a time as you
5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1. count backwards and lower your voice.)
Good night! (Lay head on hands.)

Bringing Manners Back

Stephanie Burcombe is a kindergarten teacher who has just recorded her first video called #bringingmannersback.  Talk about talented!  I think your students will enjoy it as much as I did!