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Wednesday, December 31, 2014


A favorite book that I read several years ago was called THE MIRACLES OF SANTA FICO. It was the story of a beloved priest in a small village in Italy. His dying wish was to witness a miracle, and so all the villagers faked a miracle by gluing leaves to a withered fig tree. Of course, the priest wasn’t fooled, but his parting words were profound to me…
         His life stretched out before him and for the first time he
         realized that it had all been a miracle –everything—
         every day—every accident—every coincidence—every
         disappointment—every joy—all of it…It was all a miracle.

As teachers and parents we witness miracles every day. Children are born knowing nothing, and yet they miraculously learn to speak, walk, laugh, and sing. They come to school knowing very little, and they learn to read, share, write, cooperate, play games, and love learning.

As we say good-bye to 2014, think about all the miracles you'll see in 2015 as you polish your little stars.

The Star Polisher
(Source unknown)
I have a great job in the universe of occupations.

What do I do? I’m a “star polisher.”
It’s a very important job. If you want to know how important, just go out at night and look at the stars twinkling and sparkling. You see, I’m a teacher, an educator, a mentor. The stars are the children in my class. My job is to take them – in whatever shape they come – and shine and buff them and then send them out to take their places as bright twinkling beacons in the sky. They come into my room in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they’re bent, tarnished, dirty, crinkly or broken. Some stars are cuddly and soft. Some are prickly and thorny. As I buff and polish, I train and teach my little stars. I tell them that the world cannot do without them. I tell them they can be the brightest, shiniest stars in the sky and the world will be a better place because of them. Each night as I look at the sky, I’m reminded of my very important job and awesome responsibility. Then I get my soft buffing cloth and my bottle of polish in preparation for tomorrow…for my class of little stars.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Pick a Pic
Put children’s photos on clothespins and store these in a cookie tin. Use the clothespins in name songs, games, to ask questions, and so forth. 

Monday, December 29, 2014


How about some easy tips for positive behavior in 2015?

I found this idea that Brenda Lee Hernandez shared. Her statements are based on her school’s six pillars, but your students could think of 5 or 6 original statements. Write them on a language experience chart and then begin the day by sticking up your thumbs and repeating them.
         I am respectful.
         I am trustworthy.
         I am responsible.
         I am fair.
         I am caring.
         I use good manners.
         I use kind words.
         I can do it.
*Role-play these positive behaviors.
*Let students make books called “Thumbs Up for 2015.”


Sunday, December 28, 2014


Each week give children a poem to put in a sheet protector. On Monday they can use erasable markers to highlight words that rhyme. Tuesday they can use a different colored marker and highlight word wall words. Wednesday they can highlight punctuation. Thursday circle nouns, and so forth.
*Wouldn’t this be a great idea for a literacy center? 

Let the children make birthday crowns by writing letters on strips of paper.  They can wear these as you sing “Happy Birthday Letters.”

Saturday, December 27, 2014


I’m trying to start the year with a clean desk/computer, and you’ll love these ideas I found when I went through some old files. The funny thing is that nobody had ever heard of Common Core at that time, but you’ll be surprised how these activities fit right in with your standards today. Math today…literacy tomorrow! 

Write the numerals 1-100 on 2” foam squares and place them in a lunch sack. Each day choose 2 squares and count forwards from one number to the next. Next, count backwards. Which is greater? Less? Which has 3 tens? Can you show it with money? Which is odd? Even?
Hint! Adapt the numbers in the bag to the age and level of your students.

Here’s a way to help children “see” math and integrate writing.  Fold a sheet of paper into fourths and do the following in each section.
         Make: 4
         Draw: O O O O
         Tell: I have 4 cookies.
         Do: 2 + 2 = 4   1 + 3 = 4 (Children use manipulatives to create different ways to make a number and then write the equation.) 


Friday, December 26, 2014


It’s the day after Christmas and time for leftovers and cleaning. I hope you all have a special memory to treasure in your heart. It’s sad to put away the lights and the “merry” until next year, so here are a few (inexpensive) ideas to make yourself feel better today!
1. Go for a walk or get some exercise.
2. Call someone (yes, on the phone) you haven’t talked to in a long time.
3. Read a book.
4. Go to a movie.
5. Make some hot chocolate or have a cup of tea.
6. Take a bubble bath.
7. Put on some favorite music and dance by yourself.
8. Look at photos or videos of Christmas.
9. Take an imaginary vacation on the internet.
10. Make a list of all the things you have to be happy about.

 P.S. I took K.J. and Kalina to see "ANNIE" and it was absolutely delightful! You'll leave with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in 
jars and open a jar of it every month. Harlan Miller

Isn't that a beautiful thought? You don't need any activities or songs from me this week, but you might need someone to remind you to take a deep breath, focus on the good things in your life, and keep a sweet thought in your head!

Saturday, December 20, 2014


I try to be professional on my blog, but every once in a while I’ve just got to speak my mind. I am tired of people picking on Santa. I LOVE Santa and I BELIEVE! He represents love and hope and dreams and goodness. Santa doesn’t say bad words or do drugs or hurt anyone. He spreads happiness to children everywhere and wants to put a smile on their faces. (Kind of like a lot of teachers I know!)

K.J., Santa, Kalina, Madeleine (grandniece)

Friday, December 19, 2014


Here's a little magic idea in case you need it today!

Use your finger like a magic wand as you wave it and say, "Abracadabra!." Explain that when you say a word, they must become the word. When you say, "Freeze!" they need to stand still until you wave your wand and say another word. For example, "Abracadabra! You're reindeer!"
*You can use candles, snowmen, bells, candy canes, and other seasonal words.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Yes, Virginia, this is actually Bake Cookies Day. Here’s what says:

'Ya gotta just love Bake Cookies Day.........
..... Christmas is for Christians
..... Hanukkah is just for Jews
..... Ramadan is for those of Islamic descent
..... Kwanzaa is for those of African origin
..... Native American Day is for American Indians
But, Bake Cookies Day is for EVERYONE!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I feel like I've been neglecting math lately, so here are some simple math games to play today.

Mingle Jingle
Children tiptoe quietly around the room as they whisper, "Jingle, jingle."  When the teacher calls out a number, they must form groups with that amount.  Those students who are leftover can do a jumping jack or other silly movement.  Continue having the children mingle and jingle and form different sets.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


I'm trying to remember the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid!) principle this week because I know you are overwhelmed with parties and programs and trimmings and trappings. This activity might actually help with behavior as you build vocabulary.


Monday, December 15, 2014


Welcome my guest blogger Bonnie Compton from  Here's a conversation we had that about the present of PRESENCE!  It might be something you'll want to share with the parents of your students.



Here's a hint for your parents if they ask your advice on what to get their child for Christmas this year.  Instead of buying expensive video games, suggest your parents give their children good old-fashioned board games like Go Fish, Old Maid, or Candy Land.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Here’s an “Emergency Kit” for this week (or any day when things get crazy)!
Calm Down Lotion - You know that drawer full of body lotion you've received as gifts. Take the label off one and print a new one that says "Calm Down Lotion." Give each child a little squirt to rub on their hands and arms to help them relax.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Yesterday’s the past.
Tomorrow is the future.
But today is a gift.
That’s why it’s called THE PRESENT!

One of my best presents was getting to sing at some of the schools in Charleston this week.  (Mary Ford Elementary, Chicora, Belle Hall, and Owens Christian Academy)  There isn't anything sweeter than watching their little faces light up!  (As one teacher reminded me when I told her how precious her students were:  "Dr. Jean, you were here 40 minutes.  Stay six hours and see how you feel!")

Friday, December 12, 2014


I won’t grow up! I won’t grow up!!! I’m the only old lady at our fitness with bells on her shoes this month. When I hear those bells it reminds me of all the precious moments I had teaching children. I miss the children – especially this time of year. (By the way, sooner or later you will all develop “selective nostalgia.” That means you only remember the good times and forget the noise – the pushing and shoving – the pouting - the complaining parents!) 

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Here are some ideas for your holiday party or any other celebration. They are easy to adapt for any event. For example, instead of playing pin the red nose on Rudolph you could play pin the carrot on Frosty's nose. Rather than using sweet treats you could use pencils, stickers, or another prize.

Pass the Parcel

This is actually a game a student from England taught me. Thus, “parcel” instead of “present.” My students LOVED this! Fill a box with sugarless bubblegum, pencils, small toys, or stickers. There should be enough for everyone in the group. Next, wrap the present over and over again with wrapping paper, tissue paper, or funny pages from the newspaper. Children sit in a circle and begin passing the “parcel” around as music is played. When the music stops that child gets to open one layer on the package. (If the package lands on someone who has already had a turn they pass it on to the person sitting next to them.) Continue the game until the gift is reached. That child then passes out the goodies to the rest of the group.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


No, there's nothing wrong with your computer!  That's "Tooty Ta" in French and you have to read about what Coco Banks is doing to entice her students to learn French through music.

Imagine teaching a foreign language to 3 and 4 year olds and keeping them convinced that this is worth their time and attention on a daily basis. Needless to say, a little creativity is needed. Songs are definitely a favorite tool and we have days when all we do is sing (or so it seems). Walking into class, we have a song for that. Sitting on the carpet, we have a song for that. Keeping quiet, we have a song for that. Saying “Bon app├ętit” at snack time, we have a song for that, too. And all these songs are made up. Sometimes on the spot. We all do it, singing to the tune of “B-I-N-G-O,” “I’m a Little Teapot,” or “Are you sleeping?” But some of these do get a little stale and even young children get sick of recycling tunes over and over. So I started translating Dr. Jean’s songs for my students and these remain all time favorites.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


I had my final workshops for 2014 last week in Springfield, MA, Albany, NY, and Binghamton, NY. It might have been cold outside, but the teachers warmed up the room with their energy and enthusiasm. I bet you’ll all find at least one super idea just right for your class from the activities they shared! 

Monday, December 8, 2014


Your kids are going to love this “Santa Hunt” that Sara Lensing adapted from “The Cool Bear Hunt.”  It would be great to have the children draw a story map after you've done this several times.

Santa Hunt  

Get out your backpacks.
Open ‘em up.
Let’s put in some cookies for Santa and his reindeer.
And, let’s put in a thermos of milk in case he gets thirsty.
Oh. and don’t forget your Christmas lights in case it gets dark.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Mercy me!  What to do with all those advertisements and catalogs!  Here’s an idea you will love!  And, it might encourage children to think about others rather than themselves.

Encourage your students discuss why they like to give gifts to others.  How does it make them feel when they do something special for someone they love?  Explain that they will each get to make a book of things they would like to GIVE to others.  You can use construction paper or cut wrapping paper into 8 ½” x 11” pieces.  Lay two sheets of white paper on top of a piece of wrapping paper.  Fold in half and staple.  Provide children with catalogs and store advertisements.  Let them cut out objects they would like to give others and glue them in their “Giving Books.”  Encourage them to label the presents with the recipient’s name.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Wrapping Paper

With tissue paper, paper plates, paint, and cookie cutters you’ll be all set to create your own wrapping paper.  First, fold a paper towel and place it on a paper plate.  Pour paint on the paper towel.  Let children dip the cookie cutters in the paint and print on the tissue paper.

Friday, December 5, 2014


Didn’t see anything you liked yesterday?  Well, here are a few more gifts to choose from.


Materials:  cardboard, puzzle pieces, glue, photograph
Directions:  Cut cardboard into 4” x 8” picture frames.  Let children glue puzzle pieces around the edges.  Tape a photo to the back.
Adaptations:  Add a magnetic strip to the back so it can be hung on the refrigerator.
Decorate with buttons for mom and say “Cute as a button!”
Decorate with golf tees for dad.
Stack colored craft sticks to make a frame.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


It’s important to be sensitive to different beliefs children may have this time of year.  Gifts don’t have to be for Christmas or Hanukkah ~ you can give someone a gift anytime just because you care about them! 

Hint!  Make sure that children DO these projects themselves!  They need to reflect the children’s individuality and efforts. 


Materials: juice or vegetable can, glue, pasta, spray paint
Directions: Remove the label from the can.  Let children glue pasta (bow ties, spirals, macaroni, etc.) around the can.  Spray paint gold or silver.
Adaptation:  Children can also cover a can with construction paper.  Next, let them create a collage on the can with pictures and words cut from magazines.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Snowman Soup 

You’ll need instant hot chocolate with miniature marshmallows, zip sandwich bags, wrapped candy canes, and red ribbon to make this treat.  Put the package of the instant hot chocolate in the zip bag.  Tie on a candy cane with these directions:
Here’s a little snowman soup – Complete with stirring stick. Add hot water, sip it slow. It’ll warm you up real quick!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


It's 24 days until Christmas, but you only have 11 days left to sign up to win special prizes from ESGI! To register for the contest, be sure to sign up for the ESGI newsletter in the Rafflecopter entry block below.


Holiday Alphabet

(Tune: “Deck the Halls”)
Deck the room with letters and sounds,
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la. (Arms out like an opera singer.)
Read and use them all year round,
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la. (Arms out.)

Monday, December 1, 2014


NEUROBICS is a term for exercises for the brain. Kids are full of wiggles this time of year, so I’ve got some videos, songs, and activities on my website that will activate children’s brains and release all that energy. You can watch me on the video or use the arrangement with your students. You’ll also find the instrumental version so you can change the words or translate to another language. Happy singing and moving!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Holiday Activities
It's always exciting when you go in the store and hear those first Christmas songs of the season. (Although you might be a little tired of them by the end of the month!) Here are some new ideas for some old songs - and some old songs with new ideas.

Jingle Bells

Jingle bells, jingle bells, (Pretend to hold bells and shake.)
Jingle all the way.
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh. Hey! (Fist in the air.)
Jingle bells, jingle bells, (Pretend to jingle bells.)
Jingle all the way.
What fun it is to ride and sing
In a one horse open sleigh.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


After all those finger stories yesterday, here are some holiday projects with those little hands. They can be used for classroom decorations, cards, or wrapping paper. You can trace around children's hands and cut them out, or let children dip their hands in paint and print. You could also use fabric paint and make holiday shirts with their handprints.

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. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014


I invited an old friend to visit and she wrote, "It makes my heart happy just thinking about it." For some reason, the idea of a "happy heart" really touched my heart. 

I wish you have a happy heart today!

Say the blessing and pass the dressing!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Some of you will be cooking today. Some of you will be traveling today. And some of you will be shopping around BLOG CITY. I bet you’ll be able to “harvest” an activity for your classroom from these ideas teachers shared in Alabama and Oklahoma last week. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

OH, MI, OH, MI! (Oh, my! Oh, my!)

How about these great ideas from teachers in Columbus, Toledo, and Grand Rapids?

Thankful Song (Kathleen Lambrix) 

(Tune: “Are You Sleeping?”)
I am thankful.
I am thankful.
For so much.
For so much.
For the world that I see.
For my friends and family,
I say thanks!
I say Thanks!

Monday, November 24, 2014


Look what I thought of in the middle of the night!!! We are having ten for Thanksgiving dinner and I only have 8 napkin rings. Taa daa! I cut pipe cleaners in half and I’m going to let K.J. and Kalina make napkin rings with beads similar to the Thanksgiving bracelet. So now you know what to do with all those leftover beads.


Don’t you love it when you find something “old” and it’s “new” again to you? This is a cool nursery rhyme book that you can read and sing with your class whenever you have a few minutes during the day.

Materials: file folder, 2 book rings, glue, alphabet letters, nursery rhyme posters (I downloaded the nursery rhyme posters from “rhyme a week” at


Directions: Glue the alphabet to the right side of the file folder. Place the rhymes on the left side of the folder, punch two holes, and attach with book rings as shown. Sing the rhymes to the tune of “100 Bottles of Pop on the Wall” and then sing the ABC’s between each verse.
Have children stand and clap as you sing the rhyme, then have them tap left hand to right knee and right knee to left hand as you sing the alphabet.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Here are a few easy ideas to engage children in book making and writing their opinion.

Paper Plate Book
Give each child 2 paper plates. Use the plates as a pattern to cut circular pages for the book. Children can draw, write, or cut out pictures of things they are thankful for on the blank paper. Insert their pages between the paper plates, punch a hole at the top, and use a ribbon or a piece of a pipe cleaner to bind the book. Encourage children to decorate the front plate with a title and their name.


Saturday, November 22, 2014


Here I am in my sixties and I still have to look at my rings to know my left from my right!   jokingly blame it on my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Myers because she’d say, “Show me your right hand” and it would look like my left hand. The truth is that we need to remember to reverse movements when we model for children. If we say show me your right hand, we actually have to hold up our left hand. When we demonstrate how to make the numeral 3 in the air, we must do it backwards. Confusing, I know, but with a little practice you’ll be a pro. Another tip is to focus on the right hand. Then what is leftover is always their “left.”

Friday, November 21, 2014


Those of you who have attended my workshops might have heard me say, “We’d go to jail now for things we used to do in the classroom.” I don’t mean that literally because we never did anything mean to children, but many of the restrictions were just not an issue in the “old days.” We could take our class out for recess (Yep! Run around and play time.) whenever we wanted and we had a lot more flexibility and creativity in terms of the curriculum.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Will you be going over the river and through the woods in a sleigh, plane, or train next week?

Over the River  (Traditional Tune – Happy Everything CD)

Over the river and through the woods 
(Pretend to hold reins of a sleigh as you bounce up and down.)
To grandmother’s house we go.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I was cleaning out my “teacher stuff” and I came across a bag with a bunch of pointers. I’m sure you’ve seen many of these, but I think you’ll “spy” at least one new one. 

Why use pointers?

Children love anything novel and different. They can use these pointers to track from left to right, identify key details in a picture, point out letters or words in print, highlight capitalization and punctuation, touch shapes…I think you get the “point”!

Magic wand – dip the end of a chopstick in glue and roll in glitter
Finger nail – glue a fake fingernail to a craft stick
I Spy – glue a googly eye to a craft stick
Jewel – glue a fake jewel to a craft stick
Witches’ finger – great fun

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


This will build on some of the creative strategies for reading that I shared yesterday. You can also use these different styles for counting, going over word wall words, and reviewing other information.

Write “Voice Box” on a small box or gift bag. Write the different styles on index cards and place them in the box. Let several children choose cards and then use that “voice” to repeat information.

Monday, November 17, 2014


Creating synapses in the brain is like making pathways in the woods. The more you walk over the same path through the woods, the clearer it will become. Similarly, it’s important to repeat information to make pathways in the brain so that children will remember. These are some strategies that will keep children engaged as you repeat poems, chants, and other choral reading activities.

Three Bears

Read papa bear style (with a deep voice), mama bear style (with a prissy voice), and baby bear style (with a wee voice).

Sunday, November 16, 2014


November 16 is Button Day…for real! Here are some thoughts on how to integrate buttons into your lesson plans any day. 
Hint! I bought my bag of buttons at Walmart, but you could ask parents to send in extra buttons they don’t want for a learning activity. (That might be a good homework assignment.) 


*Have children count the number of buttons they have on. Who has the most? Who has zero? Tally how many in the entire class.
*Have children form groups with friends who have the same number of buttons.
*Use the buttons children bring in for math activities. Let them sort the buttons. What was their sorting rule? Can they sort them another way?

Saturday, November 15, 2014


It breaks my heart when teachers say, "They took my blocks away!” Blocks are a natural element and in this world of plastic and manufactured goods, it feels good to just hold a block.  Blocks can be used to help children develop concepts of numbers, size, shape, and weight.  They also encourage imagination, language, social skills, self-confidence, and motor skills.

Friday, November 14, 2014


I love what I do, but you know that because I tell you all the time!  I get so excited when a teacher writes and tells me how she "harvests" one of my ideas and makes it even better.  Here's an email from Dawn Scroggins and a "stinky" idea for you to use this week for any skill you want to reinforce.  Just take a look at the picture to see how much her kids enjoy this game!

I was blessed to attend a Dr. Jean event, at which she shared the game “Stinky Cheese.” I returned to my kindergarten classroom and immediately set about creating the game for my children, making one for shapes and one for letters. They loved it! How much fun to hear children calling out “stinky cheese” while learning/reviewing. I began to create more versions of the same game, and thought….boring! I went on to make “Stinky Socks” and “Stinky Feet” for sight word learning/review. They were definitely a hit! Today, as I was trying to come up with a way to practice numeral recognition and counting, I was again hit with a brain

Thursday, November 13, 2014


The or thee? That is the question. But it doesn’t really matter if you spell it 
“t – h – e.”

“The” Book

Fold two sheets of paper in half and staple. Children write the word “The” at the top of each page and then draw a picture. What a simple way for beginning readers to feel successful.
*Advanced children could write a sentence using the word “the.”
You could also make an “a” book. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


I didn’t find the Emerald City or the Wizard of Oz when I visited NW Kansas this week, but I did find teachers with big hearts and great brains that shared these ideas with me! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


A few things are timeless, such as this story. It might take you 15 minutes to make, but you can tell it over and over again this year...and next year...and the next year!

Monday, November 10, 2014


Here’s a simple cooking activity you can do with your students. Today I’m calling it “turkey food”, but I’ve also called it “reindeer oats,” “stir friend O’s,” and other things that fit with the season or a unit of study. It’s simple to prepare, inexpensive, healthy, and something the children will enjoy.

You will need:

Small cups

Large spoon
Electric skillet (Note! I kept this in my classroom and used it to make everything from play dough to bananas foster.)

Sunday, November 9, 2014


What to do with all of those leftover pumpkins? You won’t believe how easy, delicious, and fun to serve this recipe is. Watch the smiles as you pull the pumpkin out of the oven, take off the lid, and dish up some fantastic stew just right for a cool autumn day! I’m busy packing for my workshops this week, but here is a one pot/pumpkin dish I can prepare ahead of time. My husband only cooks eggs and popcorn, so he’ll have some good leftovers to eat while I’m gone.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!

He is big and fat and he (Spread arms wide.)
Gobble, gobble, gobbles. (Wiggle from side to side with hands on hips.)
He spreads his tail and he (Fan arms behind you.)
Gobble, gobble, gobbles. (Wiggle from side to side with hands on hips.)
But when Thanksgiving Day is here, (Point finger.)
Then it’s our turn to
GOBBLE! GOBBLE! GOBBLE! (Pretend to spoon food in your mouth!)

Friday, November 7, 2014


Albuquerque Turkey

(Tune: “My Darlin’ Clementine” – HAPPY EVERYTHING CD)
Albuquerque is a turkey (Put hands on hips like wings.) 
And he’s feathered and he’s fine.
And he wobbles and he gobbles (Strut and wiggle.)
And he’s absolutely mine.

He’s the best pet you can get, (Pretend to stroke a turkey’s head.)
Better than a dog or cat.
He’s my Albuquerque turkey,
And I’m awfully proud of that.

Albuquerque is a turkey,
And he’s happy in his bed. (Lay hands on palms as you smile.)
Cause for our Thanksgiving dinner,
We’ll have pizza pie instead! (Palm up in the air like a pizza.) 

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Every year I receive requests for the “Thanksgiving Story Bracelet.” You will need to purchase the beads and pipe cleaners and demonstrate how to make the bracelet before asking the children to do it. Practice reading the poem several times as children touch each color. Encourage the children to tell the story of the first Thanksgiving independently using the beads as a clue. Send home a copy of the poem so the children can share it with their families.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Did you vote yesterday? Here's a super simple idea that you can use throughout the year to help children understand the democratic process and that "the majority rules."  First, each child will need to decorate a jumbo craft stick with their name. Second, you will need two cups or cans to hold the sticks when the children vote. Write options on index cards and tape them to the cups. (For example, if they were voting on a book you could write the names of the books and tape them on the cups. If they were voting on a game they'd like to play you could write the names of the games on the cards.)