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Monday, May 18, 2015


We ended our seminar last week with some awesome ideas. Take a look, and I bet you’ll find something quick and meaningful you can use this week! 

Finger Math Game (Karen Rosenkranz)
This “show me” game can be used for math facts 1-10. The teacher says a number like “5” and holds up one finger. The other children show 4 fingers. The teacher can easily see who knows the facts.

Porcupine Words (Mica Ike)
Students collect “porcupine words” that are prickly, sticky, and hard to pronounce. Make porcupine folders (folder with colored porcupine on it) so children can write the words.

Kids vs. Teacher (Jenna from Round Lake)
During reading group the students follow along as you read. When it’s their turn they get a point for the “kids” if they keep up. If they don’t keep up the “teacher” gets a point.

Ask Me Badges (Jenna)
Pass out badges that say “Ask me! I can help!” for students to wear during independent work. Students must go to “ask me” friends before coming to the teacher. This empowers low level students and it’s good for high level students to explain concepts. 

Blurt Light (Jenna)
Use a tap light for children to develop self-regulation. When the light is on no blurting out or telling stories is allowed. When the light is off the students can talk off topic or tell a story.

Popcorn Freeze Dance (Debbie Mendelson)
Here’s a great game for a literacy brain break. Write sight words on small, yellow pieces of paper and crumple them up to look like popcorn. Store these in a popcorn container from the dollar store. Play music and encourage creative dancing/movement. Stop the music and the children have to freeze. Children who are totally frozen get to pick up a piece of popcorn and read the word. After several children have had a turn put the music back on.

20 Questions (Megan Pacella)
The star student gets to bring in a mystery object. The rest of the class can ask 20 questions to try and guess what the mystery object is.

Savings Account (Megan Pacella)
Each child has a baby food jar that is their savings account. They can earn plastic coins and save them in their jars. They can use the money to buy prizes or they can use them at a bake sale.
*The money earned from the other students an be used to buy “needs” and “wants.”

Picture/Word Charts (Kathy Kilgore)
Use picture/word charts around the room for students to practice asking questions. Students take turns asking questions and the answer has to be on a picture/word chart in the room.

Park That Comment (Jess Pesola)
This idea will help you with students who have tons of stories or interjections. Create a parking lot from a poster for ideas, questions, and stories. Students write a word or phrase on a post it and put it in the parking lot to remind them. Come back to parking lot comments at the end of the lesson. 

Valentine’s Day
I love you a little.
I love you lots.
My love for you would fill ten pots, fifteen buckets, sixteen cans, three teacups, and four dishpans.

Busy Baskets (Alicia A. Rivera) 

This idea works for students who finish first or have behavioral issues. Fill several small baskets with magnetic letters, numbers, color blocks, etc. Students can put the letters in order, numbers in order, or reproduce a block pattern. This will keep them engaged until you are ready to do the next activity.