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Saturday, November 30, 2019


Keep those little hands busy with these materials.

Cookie Cutters
Materials:  cookie cutters, pencils, scrap paper, scissors


Children trace around the cookie cutters on scrap paper and then cut out with the scissors. 

Children can hole punch and then use the shapes to make ornaments or a necklace.


Paper Plate Sewing Cards
Materials:  holiday plates, hole punch, yarn

Punch holes around the outside of the plates.  Let children “sew” yarn through the holes.

*You can also make sewing cards out of old greeting cards.

Play Dough Writing
Let children make a pancake with the play dough and then write with a golf tee.  This will strengthen those little fingers as they practice writing letters, numbers, shapes, words, etc.

String bells on pipe cleaners and string to make jewelry.

Gifts for the Birds
Materials:  pipe cleaners, cereal with holes


Let children string cereal on pipe cleaners.  Twist the ends to make a circle and hang outside for the birds.

Cut It Out
Materials:  catalogs and advertisements

Put catalogs, coupons, advertisements, etc. in a center with scissors, glue, and paper.
Children can cut out objects they would like to “get or give” and glue them on a paper.

Use children's hand prints to decorate your room.


Get your free December Happies today!

A package of pompoms, bows, erasers, or other small items and you're set for "merry math."

Materials: pompoms or other small objects


Ask children to sort the pompoms. What was their sorting rule? Can they sort them another way? 

Use the pompoms for making patterns.


Have children estimate the number of each type and then verify by counting.


Math Mat 
Children place the correct amount on the trees.


Match Dot Cards
Pompoms are a perfect one-to-one activity for younger children.


Materials:  foam numbers

Touch and Tell
Place numbers in a bag. Children reach in, feel a number and try to identify what it is. They can take it out to confirm and then write the number.


Number Hunt
Put numbers in a box of Styrofoam packing or sand.  Children search through the Styrofoam packing and color off the numbers as they find them.


Materials:  stamp set

Stamp a pattern, stamp out math facts, or stamp a set.


Materials:  foam dice

Roll of the Dice
Roll them, count them, add them, or let children make up their own games with the dice.

Friday, November 29, 2019


Save some money by downloading December Happies FREE!

Enter this code DecHappiesFree and the purchase price will be reduced to $0.00. Put in your email address and you’ll be ready to download 159 pages of fun and 15 songs.

Watch this video to learn more!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  Yes it is! If you're going shopping this weekend stop by the dollar store and fill up your cart with decorations and "junk."  Over the next few days I'll show you some fun learning centers you can create from inexpensive materials.  

Note! I know some schools don’t allow “holidays,” so I tried to focus on a “winter” theme as much as possible. I mean, who can object to winter????


Napkin Books

Materials: holiday napkins, paper, stapler

Cut paper the size of the napkin. Insert 4-6 sheets of paper in the napkin and staple at the top as shown. Place these in the writing center for creative writing.

Note! The front of the napkin could also be used as a story prompt.

Sticker Story


Materials: holiday stickers, paper, pencils, pens

Let children choose a sticker and put it in the middle of a sheet of paper. Challenge them to write a poem or story or draw a picture around the sticker.

Giving Book

Materials: paper, rubber band, seasonal pencil, advertisements and catalogs, scissors, glue

Fold 3 sheets of paper in half. Punch 2 holes about 2 ½” down on the crease side as shown. Insert a rubber band in one hole and slide one end of the pencil through the loop. Slide the other end of the pencil through the other loop. Let children draw or cut out pictures of items they would like to GIVE to family members and friends.

Holiday Card Center


Materials: paper, pencil, envelopes, markers, crayons, stickers, scrap paper, etc.

Place the writing materials in a tub. Make a seasonal picture dictionary similar to the one shown. Add a class directory with students’ names and photos. Teach children how to fold a sheet of paper into fourths to make a basic card. Invite them to make holiday cards for family members and friends.

Note! You could also ask them to make cards for school helpers and volunteers.

Letters to Santa

Some of you may not be able to do this, but an open center where children could write letters to Santa might get them excited about writing. 

Note!  There are several free templates for these letters on the internet.

Thursday, November 28, 2019


This has got to be one of the most special days in the year. Food, family, and holding hands and being grateful is what life is all about.

Wherever you are today and whatever you are doing, take a moment to count your blessings.

I bless you.

I bless your heart.

I bless your life.

I bless your health.

I bless your home.

I bless your family.

I bless your work.

I bless your spiritual life.

May your day overflow with blessings!


Wednesday, November 27, 2019


Have you downloaded your free December Happies yet?

Enter this code DecHappiesFree and the purchase price will be reduced to $0.00. Put in your email address and you’ll be ready to download 159 pages of fun and 15 songs.

Here's a video to show you how!

Gummy Bears
Everybody will love this song!  What a natural way to teach one-to-one correspondence, subtraction, colors, and number bonds.

Compound Boogie
Hand movements and a song will make compound words more meaningful for children.  And then you can make this puzzle game.


Five Senses
Isn't December the perfect month for a science unit on the senses?


Tuesday, November 26, 2019


Make every day jolly and bright with all the songs, games,
and printables you'll find in our December Happies.

To get your free December Happies click on this link:
Enter this code DecHappiesFree and the purchase price will be reduced to $0.00. Put in your email address and you’ll be ready to download 159 pages of fun and 15 songs.

Start each day off right by singing “Feeling Fine” and doing a handshake like the hamburger or the 4-H hello.

Cheer your students on with a brain hug, rollercoaster cheer, or cheese and grater.

Grab their attention with “How does my teacher feel about me?”

And use “Open, Shut Them” and “Miss Molly” to engage their hands, eyes, and ears.

We’ve got videos of all of these, plus science experiments for the senses, a math game, and tips for scissor skills. And how could you get through December without “Jingle Bells”? 
We hope you’ll be LAUGHING ALL THE WAY with these free activities!

Monday, November 25, 2019


See you at one on FB
for a big surprise!!!

If you've got 2 or 3 minutes after you've read a story or taught a lesson, these are some quick ways to assess learning and recall information. These ideas can be adapted for fiction or non-fiction literature, math, science, or social studies. All your students will be engaged and can reflect on what they've learned. That's a win/win!!

Sign Language
Teach children sign language for “yes” (make a fist and nod it up and down) and “no” (extend middle and index finger from thumb and open and close. As you ask questions, children respond with the appropriate sign.


Teach sign language for "connection" (thumbs make circles with index fingers and join like a chain). Discuss that when they connect what is in the book with what is in their brain they make a "schema." If they've made a "schema" they can show you with their hands. Call on random students to explain how they connected personally with the book.


Show Me
You will need two index cards. Write “yes” on one and “no” on the other. Children place these on the surface in front of them. As the teacher asks questions, the children hold up the appropriate word.

Seal an envelope and cut it in half. Write “yes” on one side and “no” on the other side.


Stump the Teacher
Explain to the children that they get to be the teacher and ask you questions. Remind them to think about what they want to ask you before raising their hand. They must also know the answer to the question they are going to ask.

Sunday, November 24, 2019


Oops!  Something came up for tomorrow afternoon
so I'll have to do FB at One!  You can still watch it at five if you check in then.
I promise you won't be disappointed with the big surprise!




Here are a few more ideas you can use this coming week.  These books are a "timely" way to nurture nonfiction writing and gratitude!

Thankful Books
Make special books using napkins, paper plates, or a fork as shown.

Thankful for Friends
Jane Lake shared this idea with me several years ago.  Fold 3 sheets of paper in half and staple.  Children use one of the prompts below on each page of their book.

     1. A good friend is…
     2. I’m a good friend when…
     3. What friends like to do together…
     4. Symbols of friendship…
     5. Names of my friends… 


Thankful Song 

(Tune: “Are You Sleeping?”  Children repeat each line.)
I am thankful.
I am thankful. 
Every day.
Every day.
For my friends and family.
For my friends and family.
Thanks I say!
Thanks I say!

P.S.  Here's a link to a video I did for PETA about fruits and vegetables.