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Saturday, June 30, 2018


Hmmm?  Let's see how emoji can be used to reinforce standards.
Vocabulary – Children can match emojis with words.

Synonyms - Brainstorm synonyms for various emojis.

Descriptive Writing – Place emoji faces in a bag. Children choose one and then write a descriptive sentence about the expression.

Rebus Stories – Children can cut out emojis and use them to write original stories.
*Can children read each other’s stories?

Characters – Match emoji expressions with characters in books.

All About Me – Children can find emoji to complete these statements:
        My favorite foods
        My favorite color
        My favorite places
        My favorite holiday
        My favorite season
        My favorite sport
        My family
        My pets
        Things I like to do
*This would be a super way for older students to get to know their new classmates.

Daily Schedule – Use emojis to explain your daily schedule.

Classroom Management – Instead of giving oral directions, try using emojis. They just might pay attention to them better than your words!

Personal Emoji – Let children design a personal emoji that reflects them.

Masks – Give children paper plates and let them create emoji masks. Can they describe their mask and tell why they chose that image?

Drawing – Invite children to practice copying emojis with crayons, colored pencils, paint, markers, and other art media.

Help me! Have you got some other ideas for using emojis in the classroom? If you’ll email them to me I’ll share them on my blog.

Friday, June 29, 2018


I love those little graphics, don’t you? They are an example of environmental print and visual literacy that we use every day as we text and email. You can find images for facial expressions, animals, plants, places, foods, drinks, celebrations, sports, activities, flags, weather, etc. at many sites including: 

*You can also purchase emoji stickers that you can use for some of the activities below.

So, how do we take something that is popular and “child friendly” and turn it into a learning opportunity? Well, I used my   and have come up with a few activities I’ll share today and tomorrow. 


Make two copies of emoji animals or faces. Glue one copy to a file folder and cut the other into separate pieces. Children match up the ones that are alike.

Cut poster board into 3” squares. Glue two if each emoji to the squares. Mix up the pieces and place face down on the floor. Children take turns looking for matching pairs by turning over two at a time. They may keep the pairs they match up.
*Hint! Start with 8 pairs and add more as the children become more confident playing the game.


Provide children with emojis from different categories, such as animals, people, holidays, transportation, food, etc. and challenge them to sort these. What was their sorting rule?


Discuss different emotions that emoji are illustrating. What makes you feel that way? Remind the children that we all have different emotions and that’s O.K.!

Sign In

Children write their name under the emoji that reflects how they are feeling when they come to school each morning.


Glue emoji to crafts sticks and let children use them to work out problems or create stories.

Emojis are a good example of something teachers can “harvest” and use for a wide variety of grade levels and skills.

Thursday, June 28, 2018


Always end the day with a song to give children a happy thought and a smile.

The More We Get Together
(Traditional Tune)

The more we get together, together, together.

The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.

For your friends are my friends,

and my friends are your friends.

The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.

The more we learn together…

The more we play together…

The more we sing together…

It Is Time to Say Good-Bye
(Tune: “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain”)

It is time to say “good-bye” to all my friends.

It is time to say “good-bye” to all my friends.

It is time to say “good-bye,” give a smile and wink your eye.

It is time to say “good-bye” to all my friends.

Good-bye, friends. Yee haw!

Good-Bye Chant
Put your thumbs up if you learned something new today. (Put thumbs up.)
Clap your hands if you had fun today. (Clap hands.)
Give yourself a hug if you were a kind friend today. (Hug self.)
See you tomorrow for another special day. (Wave and smile.)


Pre-K Computer (Technology Center)

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


A car wash or a "pat on the back" are positive ways to end the school day.

Car Wash
Children form two lines facing each other. One child at a time walks through the “car wash” as their friends gently touch them and give them a compliment.


Pat on the Back
Cut hand shapes out of construction paper. Write a positive comment about each child on a hand. Tape the hand to their back before they leave at the end of the day.

Partner Share

Children turn to a friend and tell their favorite thing they did at school that day.

Brain Tickets
Purchase raffle tickets at a dollar store or office supply store. Before children leave each day they have to tell you something they learned to earn a brain ticket. Encourage parents to ask their children what they did to earn their brain ticket each day.

Reading Nook (Library)


Tuesday, June 26, 2018


Organized teachers help students stay organized. A personal "office" can also help students focus.

Student Office

Help students organize their workspace and minimize clutter. Tape two pocket folders together to make an “office” similar to the one in the picture. They can put work completed in one pocket and things they need to finish in another pocket.
Hint!  Let students clean out each other’s desks with a partner every Friday.
Catch Up Folder

Students keep a “catch up folder” in their desk with work that needs to be completed. 

Smart Center (Literacy)

Monday, June 25, 2018


In addition to building a positive sense of self in children at school, it is important to give parents tools they can use at home.

Proud Parent 

This book is a fantastic way to make children feel special! You will need a 3 ring notebook and blank paper for this project. Decorate the cover of the book with the title “The Proud Parent.” On the first page write these directions:

     Today you have an opportunity to add a page
     about your child in our PROUD PARENT BOOK.
     Please put a picture of your child at the top of the page.
     Next, write a short description of your child. You might
     want to include your child’s physical attributes (hair
     color, eyes, etc.), activities your child enjoys, and things
     that make your child special.

Invite one child each day to take the book home so their parents can write about them.
Let children share what their parents have written about them the next day in class.

My Good Book 

Punch holes in 10- 15 sheets of paper and insert them in a clasp folder to make a book for each child. Let children decorate the front cover with a self-portrait. Write “My Good Book” on the front and send home a note similar to the one below to parents.
Dear Parents,
“Catching” your child doing the right thing will help you be the cheerleader that they need. When your child does something that you want to encourage, take a moment to write it down in their “Good Book.” Read over the book frequently and discuss their positive qualities.


Peeking Puppies (Literacy Center)


Sunday, June 24, 2018


It is important for children to set goals and take pride in their accomplishments.

Cheers and Goals

Give children a piece of paper. Have them fold it in half and write “Cheers” on one side and “Goals” on the other side. On the “Cheers” side encourage them to draw pictures of three things they have learned that make them feel proud. (Older students could label these and younger students could dictate descriptions.) On the “Goals” side children draw pictures of three things they are working on. Again, they can write sentences or dictate goals to the teacher.

*This would be a good work sample to share with parents at conference time.

Pride Portfolio

Invite each child to decorate a file folder and store it in a special box or tub in the classroom. When they do something they are proud of they can date it and store it in their folder.
•Hint! If you did this with an illustration and writing sample at the beginning of each month they could “revisit” past work and see how they are improving.

Letter Bags and Boxes (Literacy Center)

Saturday, June 23, 2018


Small groups, also known as cooperative work groups, provide children with the opportunity to set goals, plan, communicate, problem solve, and be creative. 

It might be interesting to assign roles, such as the supervisor (leader), secretary (takes notes), and reporter (shares information), cheerleader (team member who encourages).

Hint! To enable different students to have leadership roles, you could have a “lucky draw” for these positions. Write “supervisor,” “secretary,” “reporter,” and “cheerleader” on jumbo craft sticks. Place in a can, shake, and then let team members chose a random role.
Here are a few opportunities for small groups:

Do a social studies or science project around an assigned theme. They could make a poster, write a report, do a skit, make a video, etc.

Brainstorm! Make lists!

Do surveys and collect data.

Write a play, story, poem, rap, or song and present it to the class.

Play a board game.
Work on a science experiment together.

Write letters to politicians, authors, or other famous people.

Make books together.

Answer questions. Teacher asks a question and they get together to come up with an answer they agree on.

Work on an invention.

Do an internet search.

How about a PowerPoint, blog, or digital photographs?

Pass the Pat

Encourage children to recognize the efforts of each member in their group. Have them stand in a circle and take turns patting each other on the back and saying a contribution each team member made.

Teddy Bear Match (Literacy Center)

Friday, June 22, 2018


Here are some more activities children can do with a partner.

Partner Projects Part B

Guess who I am? Children dramatize or pantomime favorite books, rhymes, animals, etc. while their partner tries to guess.

Make shapes and letters with their fingers or bodies.

Do puzzles together.

Check each other’s work.

Edit each other’s writing.

Work on vocabulary. One child calls out a word while the other child gives the definition.

Practice spelling words. One friend calls out a word for partner to spell.

Play “Mirror.” One child is the leader and the other child is the “mirror” and must mimic what the leader does. Switch roles after a minute.

Do a graphic organizer (Venn diagram, web, T-chart, time line, etc.).

Write on each other’s backs.

Do exercises together.

Patty Cake– When children patty cake with a partner they are practicing self-regulation, eye-hand coordination, body spatial awareness, crossing the midline, and a myriad of other skills. In addition to traditional hand clap games and rhymes children can:
     *Say nursery rhymes as they patty cake.

     *Say the ABC’s.

     *Count by one’s, five’s, ten’s, etc.

     *Practice spelling words and word wall words. (Clap your hands as you say the word.     Cross and tap as you say each letter. High five in the air as you repeat the word.)

Magic Mirror (Science)

Thursday, June 21, 2018


Almost anything children do alone will be more fun with a friend. Take a look at this list and you'll probably find at least five strategies you can use in your classroom.

Partner Projects Part A

Read together.

Look at books or magazines together.

Retell a story. They can also discuss who, what, where, when, why, the problem, resolution, what might happen next, etc.

Whisper a prediction in each other’s ear.

Review information after a science lesson, social studies, etc.

Clean up a center or each other’s desks.

Read around the room. Give them pointers and empty glasses frames for more fun.

Write the room. Give them clipboards and ask them to write words that would reinforce a skill you are working on. For example, they could write compound words, words with the “th” diagraph, two syllable words, etc.

Sing a song or say nursery rhymes together.
Help with dressing, such a zipping coats and tying shoes.

Draw a picture together. They could draw their favorite part of a story, illustrate a poem, draw a picture of their teacher, and so forth.

Build together with blocks, Legos, etc.

Play with play dough or clay together. They can 
make objects that begin with a certain sound, shapes, sets, etc.

Play a computer game.

Review flashcards.

Nature Center (Science)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Through partner activities children can develop social skills, cooperation, problem solving, independence, oral language, and creativity. Peer teaching is also a powerful teaching strategy. To avoid common behavior problems that can occur when children pick their own partner, try these buddy sticks.

Buddy Sticks

Put like stickers on the bottoms of two craft sticks. You will need as many sticks as there are children in your classroom. Place sticks in a plastic cup with stickers facing down. Children choose a stick and then find the person whose stick matches theirs. That is their partner.

Note!  You can also use matching letters, shapes, numbers, etc. on the sticks.


*For small group work, put like stickers on four sticks. Remember, groups of two or four are more conducive to social interaction.

*When there is an odd number of students, let the last child chose whichever group she would like to be a part of.

Go Together

Glue pictures of things that go together like socks and shoes or dogs and bones on index cards.  (You can find these on the internet.)  Children match pictures to find their partner.

*Cut playing cards in half and pass out to students.  When they match up their puzzle they will find their partner.
Study Buddy

Use these sticks each Monday to pair up children. Explain that is their "study buddy" for the week. They can help each other and work with each other all week.

Fishy Math (Math Center)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Every classroom needs a quiet place where children can get away if they need a little time to calm down and center themselves.

Trip to Hawaii


Put a poster of Hawaii and a beach towel in a quiet corner of the room. When the children need to calm down invite them to take a trip to Hawaii so they can rest and relax.

*You can also add a bean bag chair, headset, etc. and call it the "just chillin'" center.

Calming Bottles
Make these bottles for children to play with in the "just chillin" center.  They will give them something to hold in their hands and help them relax.
Directions:  Pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup of clear corn syrup in the bottle. Add a few drops of food coloring and a teaspoon of glitter. Glue on the lid. Hold the bottle and slowly move it around to coat the inside.
*Add crayon shavings to a bottle of water to help children relax and focus.

Math Mat (Math Center)