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Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Do you know what it means when someone says, “We’re on the way to the barn?” That means you’re almost there…almost home…almost finished with the school year. This is also the time of the year when kids get spring fever and a little restless. I shared these tricks at a recent workshop and a teacher asked if she could buy a book with them. Sorry, you can’t buy a book, but I’ll give them to you FREE. I’ll also do a Facebook Live at Five where I demonstrate these tomorrow afternoon (4/20). 

Hint!  You will notice that I use hand movements in all of these.  I've learned that if I can get children to do something with their hands I have a better chance of engaging them.

Tootsie Roll
Tootsie roll, (Roll hands around each other.)
Lollipop. (Pretend to lick a lollipop.)
We’ve been talking, (Open and shut fingers.)
Now let’s stop! (Make sign language sign for “stop.”)
Hocus Pocus
Teacher says:
“Hocus Pocus!” (Stick out index finger and circle around like a wand.)
Children respond:
“Everybody focus!” (Make circles around eyes like spectacles.)
Student Heroes
5-4-3-2-1-zero (Hold up hand and put down one finger at a time.)
I’m looking for my (Make circles with index fingers and thumbs and place
student heroes. around eyes like glasses.)

Give Me a Clap (Tune: “Addams Family”)
Give me a clap. (Clap twice.) Give me a clap. (Clap twice.)
Give me a clap, give me a clap,
Give me a clap. (Clap twice.)
Give me a snap. (Snap twice.) Give me a snap. (Snap twice.)
Now fold your hands and put them down
Into your lap. (Model putting your hands in your lap.)
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Lap  (Tune:  "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes")
Head, shoulders, knees, and lap, (Point to appropriate body part.)
Knees and lap.
Head, shoulders, knees, and lap, (Point to appropriate body part.)
Knees and lap.
Legs are criss-cross applesauce (Cross legs and fold hands.)
And our hands are in our lap, lap, lap
*Cut the label from a can of applesauce and glue it to a stick. Hold it up when you want your students to sit criss-cross applesauce.

How Does My Teacher Feel about Me?
Teacher says: How does my teacher feel about me?”
Children respond: I’m as special as special can be (Sparkle fingers.)
because my teacher believes in me! (Hug self.)

Secret Signals
Explain that your class will have some secret signals that no one else knows. When you say “one”, they should sit criss cross applesauce.
When you say “two,” they need to put their hands in their lap.
On “three,” they put a smile on their face.
*Make up additional secret numbers, such as “four” stand up straight and “five” hands by sides.

Sitting Chant
1, 2, 3, 4 - glue your bottoms to the floor.
5, 6, 7, 8 - hands to yourself and sit up straight.

Hint! Choose one of these attention grabbers and use it consistently for several weeks. That way when the children hear it they will automatically “tune” in.

P.S.  Don't forget about those "oldies but goodies" finger plays.  After all these years I can still engage a group of children with "Miss Molly,"  "King Kong," and "Put the Baby to Bed."