Friday, September 9, 2016


I was searching for something on an old blog and I found these ideas from a few summers ago. They are certainly worth repeating and adding to the tricks up your sleeve.

When a child gets hurt…
The Booboo Whisperer (Kim Brodie)
When a child comes to Kim in tears with a booboo, she sits them down and says, “Lemme have a chat with your booboo.” She holds their arm or leg and pretends to have a conversation with the hurt spot. “Now, listen here. You need to stop hurting my friend ____. Stop it now!” It always calms the child and gets her to smile while the others gather around and show empathy.

At the end of the day…
Good-bye Handshake or Hug (Cathy Richardson & Jeanette Wannop)
Children give the teacher a handshake or hug before they leave at the end of the day.

When children finish their work early…
I’m Done Jar (Deb Rocco)
Put pictures of activities that children can do if they finish their work (puzzle, etch-a-sketch, easel) on sticks. Place these in a jar that says “I’m Done.” When children finish their work they can choose a stick and do that activity.
To form a circle…
Let’s Make a Circle (Val Minihan)
(Tune: “Lassie and Laddie”)
Let’s make a circle, a circle, a circle.
Let’s make a circle and hold hands right now.
Hold hands with a friend.
The circle won’t end.
Let’s make a circle and hold hands right now.

To get children quiet…
Echo Chant (Martha Edwards)
1, 2 (Students repeat each line.)
3, 4
We’re not talking.
5, 6
7, 8
9, 10
Let’s begin!

Line Up Call Back (Jeana Rhoades)
I say “line.”
You say “up.”
Line (teacher)
Up (Children)
I say “sit.”
You say “down.”
Sit (teacher)
Down (Children)
“Happy” – “Monday” etc.

To reinforce skills…
Crumple Balls (Linda)
Take a piece of recycled paper and write or draw something on it. It could be a letter, color, word, shape, number, math fact, question, etc. Children crumple their paper into a ball. On the count of three, they throw the ball into a circle or around the room. Each child picks up a crumpled ball and answers the question, gives a word that starts with that letter, etc.
*You can repeat the activity with the same “balls” because they’ll usually pick up a different question.

To encourage reading…
Rock Solid Readers (Cathy Richardson & Jeanette Wannop)
Children earn a polished rock (from the dollar store) for every 15 books that they read. Young children love to collect things and you could get a “class granny” to sew little bags for collecting or purchase small bags at the dollar store.
If a child doesn’t know the answer…
I Don’t Know
Here’s a tip for getting a response from a child who is hesitant or typically replies, “I don’t know.” Just say, “Well, if you did know what would you say?” Nine out of ten times they will give you an answer.

If children need to work on scissor skills…
Scissor Wizards (Sandy Spoon)
Buy cheap drinking straws and let the children use these to practice cutting. They make a “snapping” sound that the children love when they cut. Keep the straws in a tub and they can cut and recut until they are tiny pieces that can be used for stringing on plastic lacing.
Note!   This really is fun!  They make a cool sound and pop all over.  Your kids will love it!

To reinforce numbers or letters…
Little Red Number Box (Sarah Wilson)
Put magnetic numbers in a metal tin and then sing the song as you pull out a number. Then count to that number.
For example: I wish I had a little tin box to put a 6 in. I’d take it out and count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and put it back in.