Sunday, August 7, 2016


The weather was wonderful in New Hampshire last week, and so were the teachers!!!  And the good news is all the great ideas they shared!

My State Book
Make a state book based on your state flower, animal, famous people, state bird, capitol, flag, insect, famous places, etc. Children can become EXPERTS about their state.
For example: New Hampshire, New Hampshire, what do you see?
I see the Capitol in Concord looking at me.

Capitol in Concord, what do you see?
I see the purple lilac looking at me.
Dartmouth, Dartmouth, who do you see?
I see Dr. Seuss looking at me....
*The teacher who shared this idea said her kids loved reading this book and the parents were so impressed that their children knew more than they did about the state!

The Big Cheese (Michele Busby)
This is a counting game the children love. Start in a circle and the teacher chooses a number for the children to count up to. (At the beginning of the year you can practice up to five, but increase the number as the year progresses.) The teacher begins at 0 and each child calls out the next number. If “5” is the number then that child who says “5” must sit down. This continues as children count 0-5 around and around until there is only one person standing – THE BIG CHEESE!
*This counting game can be used for skip counting by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s. It is also great for counting on.

The Vowel Game (Similar to the Big Cheese)
Students stand in a circle and begin by singing the vowel song. (A E I O U, A E I O U, A E I O U, these are the vowels of the alphabet.) Students start saying the letters of the alphabet, but when they say a vowel they must sit down. This gets repeated until everyone is seated.

Magic E Go Fish (Carrie Martin)
Make go fish cards with words with and without the silent “e.”
Example: can, cane, mad, made, pan, pane
Play like go fish, but say, “I have pan, do you have pane?”
Yes – give it to him/her
No – draw a card

Bottle Cap Math/Reading (Kathy Channon)
Collect colored bottle caps (Boost works well) and write letters or numbers on them. You can also write punctuation marks or math signs (+ - =) on them. Use them in a center and children can make words, work out math problems, etc.
Adaptation: Go through magazines and cut out letters with all different kinds of fonts. Sort and the children can use these to glue words together.

Personality Bag (Kathy Channon)
Find a large bag with a zipper and handles and put a note in similar to the one below:

Dear Families,
Your child is bringing home the personality bag which they need to fill with all the things that tell us about them. For example, a spoon for cooking, ballet slipper for dancing, photos of the family, hobby items, such as baseball cards, and so forth.

Each day at the beginning of the school year a child takes the bag home, fills it up, and then uses it to introduce themselves to their classmates.

Book Jackets (Rose)
Cut figures off book jackets and add a strip of Velcro to the back so the kids can use them to retell the story on a flannel board.
*You can also put magnetic tape on the back and use on a magnetic board.

Flip-a-roo (Rose)
Place the pencil point on the table pointing towards the child. Tell the child to pick it up and then push the top of the pencil “flip-a-roo” towards them and they’ll have the perfect pencil grasp.

Sight Word Library (Faith)
Put about 10 copies of each sight word in a pocket. Place all the pockets on a poster board that is easy access for the students. When they need a word they can get it, write it, and then put it back.
Hint! This is also a good motor break for kids who need to get up.

Picnic Book with a Window
Cut a “window” out of one section of a picnic book and children can draw a secret picture inside.
Here’s a new handwriting program that uses sensory-motor integration and visual-spatial concepts to facilitat the development of writing skills.

Talking Key (Laurie)
Let children use a skeleton key to “turn on” their voice when sharing at circle. Pass the key around and the child holding the key gets to talk.

Quiet Lamp (Laurie)
Use a small fancy lamp and turn it on when it’s time to work. Children must be quiet and concentrate whenever the light is on, but when you turn it off the students may talk.

Incentive to Tie Shoes (Catherine)
As soon as your students can quickly and independently tie their shoes they are allowed to take their shoes off. This is a BIG DEAL and really motivates kids to learn and practice tying their shoes.
Tips: Shoes must be kept side by side at their desk.
Shoes can only be off when they are at their seats.
If there’s a fire drill don’t worry about putting your shoes back on.

Bag About Me (Deb Penney)
In the beginning let the children introduce themselves with a “Bag about Me.” One child gets to take the bag home each night and fill it with special items. After sharing the contents of the bag with classmates they get to ask questions or make comments. It’s also a perfect time to talk about the difference between a comment and question.

French Fry Game (Sandy Dooley)
You will need 2 large McDonald French fry containers
Several yellow sponges cut in strips (French fries)
Children’s dictionary
Write “kids” on one French fry container and “teacher” on the other container. One child is the French fry person. They decide on a letter sound and give a definition or description of something. If a child raises their hand and is correct they get a French fry for the kids. If not, the teacher gets a French fry. If the class calls out the answer the teacher also gets the French fry.
*At the end play double or nothing. If the kids win they get all the teacher’s fries. If not the teacher gets theirs.
Count the number at the end in English or in Spanish.

Super Duper Number Troopers (Dee Kettlewood)
Here’s a game to reinforce odd and even numbers.
The children make 2 fists and that’s zero.
Put up one finger on right and say “1.” (“1” doesn’t have a partner so it’s odd.)
Put up one finger on left and say “2.” (That’s a partner so it’s even.)
Put up another finger on right and say “3.” (That’s odd.)
Put up another finger on left and say “4.” (That’s a partner so it’s even.)
Continue counting and saying if the number is odd or even.
When you do larger numbers just say like “30” and then count up from their on the fingers.

Contraction Crash (Karen Kearney)
Take 2 matchbox cars to demonstrate what happens when two words “crash” and some letters fall out.
               He + is (Crash!) He’s