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Monday, August 10, 2015


Yee haw! Yippee ti yi yo! 
I was at Region 13 Service Center last week and I also did Summer Camp in Austin. Take a look and I bet you’ll find at least one or two ideas you’d like to try in your classroom this year.

Guess My Socks (Jackie Foshee)
This activity is similar to a yes/no chart. Wear silly socks that coincide with a current theme or holiday. (Jackie said she gets many of hers in the dollar bin at Target. She also said she had to wear long pants so they didn’t “peek.”) Draw a T-Chart that says, “Guess My Socks.” Give children two options and let them vote. Once all of the children have voted and written down their name do a big reveal. (If children have not signed the chart they will race to write their name before the big reveal.) Follow up by counting the names on both sides and comparing the numbers. 

Theme Books (Beth Cordier)
Let children make books for whatever theme you’re studying. Make a word wall with words from the theme. (Put magnetic tape on the back so children can take them off and copy them.) Children choose a different word for each page and illustrate it. Older children could write sentences with the words.
For example: Fall Theme
Page 1 “Leaves”
Page 2 “Rake”
Page 3 “Squirrel”
Page 4 “Pumpkin”

Be an Author
I’m not sure who “donated” this idea, but I thought it was brilliant. Beginning the first day of school give children blank books. Explain that they are “authors” and encourage them to write. It’s open-ended, challenging, and could be a real springboard for writing.

Ring, Ring (Denise Wertz)
Get the children quiet with this idea.
Teacher says: Ring, ring!
Children respond: Hello!
*Keep doing this until all the children join in and are paying attention.

Bacon and Eggs (Janet Toles)
Use this technique to help children sit quietly. (Janet said she had a little boy who had a difficult time settling down to read, but this worked like a charm.)
Bacon (Stand and put hands and arms straight above your head.)
And Eggs (Arms down with hands touching in front of the body.)
(Repeat “bacon and eggs” two more times.)
Sizzle! (End with your arms by your sides as you wiggle and sit down.)

Welcome Step Book for Parents (Kristine White)
Prepare a book for parents with important information.
Welcome – All about the teacher
Contact Information – email, phone, conference schedule
Daily Schedule
Weekly Folders – expectations for the parents
Morning Procedures and Afternoon Dismissal

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I Know an Old Lady (Naomi Matthys)
In the song instead of saying, “perhaps she’ll die” or “perhaps she’ll cry”
lightly slap both cheeks as you sing, “Oh, me, oh, my!” End with, “She’s full, of course!”

I Know an Old Farmer (Angie Olivarez)
Make an old farmer with overalls for the boys to use when retelling “Old Lady” stories. They can say, “I know an old man who swallowed a…”

Laminate Samples (Paula Robbins)
Get free laminate samples from Lowe’s or Home Depot. Write numbers or math facts on them. Students hang links to find the answer.
*You can also put a capital letter on one and a lowercase letter on one and then link them together.
*Use these for opposites, rhyming words, compound words, etc.

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Lady Bug Dress (Kati Barnett)
Isn’t this the cutest dress ever! Here’s where Kati said she found it: – type into the search bar.