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Sunday, August 2, 2015


Several teachers at my workshops have asked, “How do you fit it all in? How do you make it work?” That’s one of the reasons I wanted to give you the free download for the monthly music mix to start your year. (Go to if you haven’t downloaded it.) Each class and curriculum and age level is different, but I’m going to suggest ten tips that might be useful to you. 

1st Instead of asking the children sit down and be quiet for morning meeting, have them stand up and start your day with a song. You’ll get blood going to the brain and release wiggles.

*Connect personally and physically by greeting each child with one of my handshakes.
*Do the Pledge and review the rules with the “Rules Rap.”

2nd When the children sit down read the morning message and review the day’s activities and goals.

*Pass around the “I” phone” so each child can say something they are looking forward to doing that day. 

*Choose a “supervisor” to wear the visor with a focus skill.

*Create a “reading calendar” where you can focus on a word family, sight words, letters, or a poem each day. (I’m working on a blog about this that I'll have up in a week or so.)

3rd Be prepared with brain breaks so the children can move every 15 or 20 minutes. In between guided reading groups do an alphabet song, wiggle song, patty cake, or another brain break. (I’ve got TONS of these on my website.)

4th When you want to focus the children’s attention try using a finger play or attention grabber. (I’ve got free YouTube videos with both of these.)

*Take a finger play each week and glue it on an index card. Keep it in your pocket or put it on a book ring and practice it over and over. Yes, doing rhymes repeatedly is good for children’s short-term memory as well as oral language.  

5th Turn transitions into teachable times with “Letter Bears.” (Check out the blog I did on those on July 25, 2015.)

Hint! Think about making seasonal cutouts for each month with specific skills you want the children to master that month.

Okeedookee! Five tips is plenty for today. Come back tomorrow for a few more ideas.