Wednesday, August 1, 2018


Say it isn't so! Some of you are already back in school!!! Some of you are decorating your room and getting ready to go back. And, some of you are still a month away from heading back. Sooner or later you'll all be back at work and facing scissors, glue, crayons, conferences, clean up time and more. To help you this week I've got tips, songs, and tricks for routines and school materials.

My best advice for the new school year is to get our ULTIMATE CENTER BOOK! Social emotional and hands-on learning are back in style. Hallelujah! We've pushed and shoved academics and data, and it's time to balance it with hands-on activities and social emotional learning. Our center book is packed with 250 pages of activities and strategies that is MUST HAVE for every classroom! Highlights include WHY you should use centers and HOW to manage centers. There is an overview of how to create open-ended materials for the centers below. You’ll also find specific activities that will engage children and nurture skills and standards. Best of all, the activities are simple and can be made with inexpensive materials like pingpong balls, clothespins, and bathroom cups. You might have as much fun making these centers as the children will have playing and learning with them!!!

For 6 cents a page or four lattes you'll have something you can use to keep your classroom centers fresh and new all year long.  Want to see some sample pages?



Here are some new ideas from my adventures in Monmouth, IL, last week.  ROE (Rural Office of Education 26 and 33) invited me to their family fun fest to do a concert.  I wish I could "rewind" the night and do it again and again because the children were just priceless!  
I also did a workshop for their teachers before heading back to the airport.

Welcome Song (Cindy Barshinger)
Sing this song to the tune of “Twinkle Little Star” when a visitor comes to your room.
     Name came to school today,
     We’re so glad we’ll shout
     HOORAY! (Arms in the air and shout.)

Reset Tip (Jessica Smith)
     Touch your head
     Touch your toes
     Point to your ears
     Finger in front of your nose
     Everybody says…
     Shhhh! (kids say)
Note! I liked the “reset” term that Jessica used when it was time to redirect and focus the children.

Awesome Sauce (Amy Fullerton)
Get a giant ketchup bottle with a pump. Kids can stand under the pump and a friend can pump the “awesome sauce” all over them.
*They can also pump the “awesome sauce” in their mouth.

Rattle Tattle (Faunda Reed)
Hang a fake rattlesnake from the ceiling. When the kids start to tattle remind them to, “Tell Rattle Tattle all about it. That way he can tell me about it at the end of the day.”
Ring Around the Garden (Amy Gipe)
Hold child’s palm and make a circle on it as you say:
     Ring around the garden
     Like a teddy bear.
     One step, (make steps up the arm with fingers)
     Two steps,
     And tickle you under there! (tickle under arm)

Boo Boo Bunny (Krissy Olson)
Take a washcloth and roll it up and then fold it in half. Wrap a rubber band around it to make bunny ears. Wet and freeze to put on “boo boos” or just us “as is.”