photo 3am_dj_home_zps919fb85e.png photo 3am_dj_about_zps7cce4c75.png photo 3am_dj_website_zps73051235.png photo 3am_dj_ss_zps6759ec2a.png photo 3am_dj_bs_zps43e27832.png

Friday, July 31, 2020


It's National Avocado Day and recommends celebrating in the following ways:

  1. Break the guacamole barrier. If you're creative in the kitchen, the avocado and the blender are your friends. ... 
  2. Have an avo-makeover. Mashed avocado with banana and olive oil make a great hair conditioning paste. ... 
  3. Nurture the pit and grow a house plant.

You can always celebrate by doing the "Banana Dance" (aka "Guacamole Song") with me.

Form the banana, form, form the banana.  (Bring your right arm up)

Form the banana, form, form the banana.  (Bring your left arm up.)

Peel the banana, peel, peel the banana.  (Bring your right arm down.)

Peel the banana, peel, peel the banana.  (Bring your left arm down.)

Go bananas, go, go bananas.  (Jump around and act crazy!)

Go bananas, go, go bananas.


Form the corn, form, form the corn.  (Bring your right arm up.)

Form the corn, form, form the corn.  (Bring your left arm up.)

Shuck the corn, shuck, shuck the corn.  (Bring your right arm down.)

Shuck the corn, shuck, shuck the corn.  (Bring your left arm down.)

Pop the corn, pop, pop the corn.  (Jump on the word “pop.”)

Pop the corn, pop, pop the corn.


Form the mango…

Do the tango!  (Dance with a partner.)


Form the orange…

Squeeze the orange!   (Hug a partner.)


Form the tomato…

“Th” the ketchup!  (Thumb down and pretend to shake a ketchup bottle.)


Form the carrot…

Feed the bunny!  (Fingers over head like ears.) 

Form the avocado…

Guacamole!  (Shake your head and arms so your cheeks wiggle.)

Maybe I can "Guac" your word with my "Toolkit for the Virtual Classroom." 

Thursday, July 30, 2020


Here's the link to sign up for "Dr. Jean's Toolkit for the Virtual Classroom."
We've added two new sessions for next week.
Wednesday, August 5 10-12
Thursday, August 6 4-6

Last week I was invited to be a "Zoom guest" with the Reading Corner in Tampa, Florida.  I could not believe how attentive and engaged all of their children were!!  WOW!  They must have put a spell on those kids because it was magic!  I asked Karen Roque if she would share her experiences and give us some tips for making connections with their students.

Here is a little explanation about why The Reading Corner started virtual school:  

We were so thrilled to offer virtual classes during the quarantine to connect our kids to their teachers during an uncertain time. Going forward, we are excited to launch our fall virtual classes for preschool and kindergarten.   Our goal is to keep kids engaged while at the same time teaching them foundational skills to help them be successful and lifelong learners.  

A few things we do while teaching:

1. Unmuting the kids to have them participate with the activity.  We also ask questions about to get to know them to feel included and special.  

2. Large posters of the activity to be more visible for the kids when they don’t have the activity printed at home.  

3. Activities we will be using are accessible beforehand from our website.  

4. Calling the kids names. We ask the parents to put their name and where they live on their zoom video screen for us to see.  We have kids from all over- New York, Virginia, Chicago, California, Canada and lots of locals too. 

5. Lots of Dr. Jean cheers,  brain breaks and dance parties: anything to get the kids moving. 

6. Only doing half of an activity during our teaching time to:
- Keep the kids attention
- Give them activities to finish independently 

7. Changing teachers to keep it fresh.  Each teacher is on from 10-30 minutes.   

8.  Making most of the activities hands-on by having a lot of them cut (previously) and then pasting along with the teaching.   

9. Playing games like "beat the teacher",  “jumping jellybean game” when doing letter sounds and timed activities.

As teachers , we are enthusiastic, excited and grateful to have this opportunity to teach online.    We throw glitter and kisses and high 5’s.   

Karen Green is the owner of The Reading Corner, the creator and guiding force behind  which has become the platform for our TRCVirtual online classroom. Her dream for our school has given us so many opportunities to shine. We all love what we do!

Laura Bounadonna gave me this shirt.  This is how she said you can get one:
"If they go to Etsy and then put in Glorious Apparel it will come up."

Wednesday, July 29, 2020


I love when you ask me for things!  I really do!  How do I know what will help you on my blog if you don't tell me?  

Earlier this week a teacher requested the pattern for my "Batman" visual.  She said any patterns for alphabet letters would be great.  Here you go!!!  

*By the way, these activities could be used with distance learning or in class. 

Use the bat pattern to cut the shape out of the front of a file folder.  Insert paper inside and write different letters so they show up in the bat shape.  Alliterate the sound for each letter that shows up.  For example:

/h/ /h//h/ /h/ /h/ /h/ /h/ /h/ /h/ /h/ /h/ /h/   H

*Write children's names on paper so they show up in the shape.  Alliterate the beginning sound in their name.  For example:

/m/ /m/ /m/ /m/ /m/ /m/ /m/ /m/  Max

LETTERS ON THE BUS (Tune: "The Wheels on the Bus")
Cut out the shape of the bus and attach magnetic strips to the back.  Place on a magnetic board and then put different magnetic letters in the window of the bus as you sing: 

The R on the bus goes /r/ /r/ /r/    /r/ /r/ r/   /r/ /r/ /r/
The R on the bus goes /r/ /r/ /r/  on the way to school.

*Write letters on paper buses and hold up as you sing the sounds.

LETTERS YOU KNOW  (Tune:  "Bingo")
Cut dogs bones out of paper and write a letter on each one.  Hold the bones/letters as you sing:

There is a letter you should know, 
What can the letter be - o?
/c/ /c/ /c/  It's a C.  
/c/ /c/ /c/  It's a C. 
/c/ /c/ /c/  It's a C.   
The letter C you know!

P.S.  I am not an artist, so I hope these patterns will work for you.  If someone knows a better way to share images than google drive please email me (  With google images the patterns seem to get distorted???  Sorry!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


What the world needs now is something SIMPLE and BEAUTIFUL!  If I were in charge of the world, I would put a POETRY SONGBOOK in each child's hands in the traditional or virtual classroom.  Children might forget "tapping and swiping," but this would give them a sweet and lasting memory.  If you are like me and you are tired of hearing about devices and slides and electronic skill games, this is the perfect balance!  

Why?  These poetry books will nurture a love of reading, oral language, phonological awareness, and other reading skills.  Through poetry and music all children can be successful and find a connection with their classmates and teachers.  This will also be a way that parents can share in the learning experience.

What?  You will need pocket folders with 3 prongs, copies of poems and songs, and art media such as crayons and markers.

When?  These could be used for circle time and large group instruction.  They could also be used as a springboard for working with a small group on specific skills.  Best of all, you'd be putting a book in every child's home!

How?  Choose  4 or 5 simple songs, nursery rhymes, or poems that you would like to introduce the first month of school.  Run off copies of these and insert them in the pocket folder.  Each week introduce one of the songs using the strategies below.  

*Challenge children to close their eyes and make a picture of the poem in their brains, and then ask them to illustrate it

*As the year progresses add new songs or rhymes that would engage the children or relate to a theme or season.

Note!  I would not put illustrations on these because the children will be able to make a personal connection when they add their own drawings.

Shared Reading
Reread the poem each day.  Create interest with one of these ideas:

     Shadow Reading– Teacher reads a line and then students repeat.

     Say What?  Read the wrong way and have children correct you by shouting out, “Say what?”

     Missing Word – Omit a word and have the children fill it in.

     Stand and Read – Children stand and take a small step for each word.

     Take a Turn- Divide children into groups and each section reads a different line. For example: Let boys and girls alternate reading lines.
Skill Work
Ask children to find letters they know, words they can read, punctuation, and so forth.

Ask children to read (or share) the poem to someone in their family.

Each week review previous poems and invite children to comment as to their likes, dislikes, etc. 

Monday, July 27, 2020


These open-ended books are perfect for differentiated instruction across the curriculum.


House Book 


Directions:  Fold the paper in half lengthwise to form a crease.  Open.  Bring upper left corner to the center crease.  Bring upper right corner to the center crease.  Fold up the bottom edge to make a house.


My Family - Children draw their family, how they celebrate, how they have fun, and so forth.


Book Report - Write the title of the book on the house and the author and illustrator on the roof.  Children open the house and draw/write their favorite part of the story.

Number Bonds - Write a number on the front and different ways to show that number in the house.





Directions:  Fold a sheet of paper in half and then into fourths.


Greeting Cards – Children can make cards for their friends, family members, holidays, and so forth.


Books – Children can use these like little books to write stories.


Letters and Numbers – Use these instead of worksheets for open-ended learning.


Writing List

Provide children with writing lists for common words they will want to know how to spell.

Sunday, July 26, 2020



Here are some blank books that you can use to replace worksheets, encourage 

creativity, and motivate children to write and read.  Blank books are a tangible 

project where children can demonstrate what they are learning. They are 

open-ended to challenge children at different skill levels, and they can be used 

across the curriculum to reinforce skills.  


Note!   You could provide these in their weekly school kits or teach the parents 

how to make them in a family workshop.


Snip Snap Book


Directions:    Fold two sheets of paper in half.  Make tears (or snips) about a thumbnail apart down the fold.  Bend one tab forward, then the next backward, and so on to bind the pages together.



Phonics - Children can use this for a letter book by drawing pictures, writing words, or cutting out pictures of things that start with a beginning sound, diagraph, vowel, etc.


Number Book - Have children write numbers and then make that many objects.  

*Write a number and then show different ways to make that number.

*Use as a shape book where children walk around their house and draw shapes they see.


Write Your House – Children walk around their house and write all the words that they can read.

*Younger children could write letters that they find.

*Challenge older children to find a word for each letter of the alphabet.

Concept Book  - Coordinate the book with a unit, theme, or holiday.  For example, when studying about dinosaurs have them make a book about dinosaurs.  When focusing on social skills ask them to make a book called “How to Be a Friend.”  For Thanksgiving they could make a book of things they are thankful for.





Directions:    Fold a sheet of paper into thirds to create a brochure.

You can also try the easy version where you roll the paper into a “burrito) and “smash” flat.


Sequence - Write/draw what happened at the beginning of the story, the middle, and the end.


Sorting - Sort words with one letter, two letters, and three letters.

*Sort words with one syllable, two syllables, and three syllables.

*Sort nouns – people, places, and things.


Science - Turn the brochure vertically and sort animals in the air, on the ground, and under the ground.

*Sort food that grows in the air, on the ground, under the ground.

*Sort transportation in the air, on the ground, on water.


Saturday, July 25, 2020


Bravo!  Bravo!  Carla Ureno has translated the Parent Handbook for you, and Teacher Toni has created this fantastic download.  This will be so meaningful for your families who speak Spanish.   Thanks to both of you!  


I shared these chants on FB Live this week, and thanks to Alex May (webmaster) you now have the videos.

The rules, the rules of the virtual classroom.
The rules, the rules of the virtual classroom.

Get ready and have your supplies.
Get ready and have your supplies.

Sit, sit up straight in your chair.
Sit, sit up straight in your chair.

Look, listen, and you will learn.
Look, listen, and you will learn.

Sing, dance, and make new friends.
Sing, dance, and make new friends.

(Children repeat each line.)
The rules, the rules of the classroom.
The rules, the rules of the classroom.

Wear, wear, wear a mask.
Wear, wear, wear a mask.

Wash, wash, wash your hands.
Wash, wash, wash your hands.

Stay six feet apart.
Stay six feet apart.

Look, listen, and you will learn.
Look, listen, and you will learn.

Friday, July 24, 2020


We are excited that so many have signed up for "Dr. Jean's Toolbox for the Virtual Classroom."  

I will do my best to make it meaningful and fun, and you will definitely leave with a toolbox of practical strategies.  The session on Thursday, July 30, from 12-2 is full.  (Sorry, I put Thursday, July 31, yesterday.  It is the 30th.)  Several teachers requested that we offer it later in the day because they were teaching.  Here are links to the additional sessions:

Thursday, July 30, 2020

4:00 PM

Friday, July 31st  10-12

Now...on with the games!


Mystery Word

This game is similar to “Wheel of Fortune.” The teacher thinks of a word and makes blanks on the board for the number of letters. As children call out letters, the teacher writes them on the appropriate blanks. If a child calls out a letter that is not in the word the teacher draws a head on the board. For each letter that is not in the word the teacher adds features (ears, eyes, nose, mouth, etc.) to the head. The children try to identify the word before the head is completed. 

*Keep a “bone pile” in the corner where you write letters that are not in the word. 




Note! You can adapt the picture for any animal or holiday object, such as a pumpkin, bear, etc. 

Tic Tac Toe

Children will need paper, crayons, and a hard surface. Tell them to make a big tic tac toe frame in the middle of their paper. Next, ask them to write a letter in each section. Randomly call out alphabet letters. If they have that letter on their grid they can color it in. The first one to get three in a row or cover their whole frame wins.

*Adapt for numbers, sight words, or other skills.


Bingo (Nancy Walsh) 

Let the children create their board (writing numbers 0-20 anywhere on a piece of paper and on the other side of the paper the letters A-Z). Call 

out either numbers or letters until everyone is a winner at the bingo hall. 

Beat the Teacher (Cynthia Leonard)
The teacher slowly writes a numeral (letter, word) on the screen. The students try to guess the numeral before the teacher finishes writing.

Thumbs Up - Thumbs Down

You could use this to review information or ask children's opinions about books or other topics. If they agree with what you say they put their thumb up. If they don't agree they do thumbs down.
For example:
A beach ball is a sphere. (Thumbs up!)
4 + 3 = 2 (Thumbs down!)
I like bananas. (Thumbs up or down.)

Thursday, July 23, 2020


If you missed my FB Live yesterday you can join me today!


All you have to say is, “Let’s play a game!” and you will naturally engage your students.  But there’s more than PLAY going on with these games!  Active learning, executive function, purposeful practice for automaticity, and social skills are other benefits of games.


These flash card games can be adapted for online or the traditional classroom when you have a few extra minutes.  Change them for letters, sight words, shapes, math facts - whatever skill you want to reinforce.  Every child can be engaged, move, and be a winner with these games.




Make flash cards for a skill you want to reinforce.  Write “BOOM!” with a bright marker or glitter pen on several of the flashcards.  As you “flash” through the cards, children identify the information. When “BOOM!” appears, children jump up and shout out “Boom!” 


*Change the surprise word for different holidays and seasons.   In October use a skeleton and when it pops up they stand and “shake their bones.”  In November use a turkey and the children jump up and go “gobble, gobble”!



Cowboys and Chickens

Here's another silly game where you can insert a few pictures of cowboys and chickens. When the cowboy comes up the children make a roping motion as they say, “Yeehaw!”  If the chicken comes up they flap their arms and cluck.


Johnny Jump Up
You will need a photo album and index cards to make this game. Write words, letters, math facts, etc. on the index cards and insert them in the plastic sleeves. On several cards draw a stick figure jumping and write, “Johnny jump up!” Randomly insert the Johnny cards in the album. As you 
shuffle through the book children identify the information. When Johnny appears they all jump up!


Where’s Kitty?
Place flash cards in a pocket chart. Take a small picture of a cat and explain you will hide kitty behind one of the cards. Have children close their eyes as you hide kitty. “Who knows where kitty is?” Children take turns calling out a word and then looking behind it for kitty. The first child to find kitty gets to hide it for the next round.
*Adapt kitty for holidays or seasons. It could be a skeleton, turkey, cupid, etc.


Next week I'll be offering a two hour workshop to help get your heart and hands ready for the challenge ahead of you.  Most trainings have focused on devices and technology.  Schools are more than screens!  Education is about children, families, and teachers - and that's what my webinar will be about.  






A  Attitude - Encouraging a positive attitude


B  Building Bridges - Relationships and expectations


C  Creating a Home Learning Environment



CHILDREN - What do children want and need?

1.    I want to be loved.

2.  I want to feel good about myself.

3.  I want to play and have fun with my friends.



TEACHER - HIGH FIVE for Learning Actively and Interactively


1. Circle Time Smiles  

2. Management Tips and Tricks


3. Sing to Learn


4. Game Time


5. Play Breaks 


There are two time options.

12:00 - 2:00 PM (est)

4:00 - 6:00 PM (est)


12:00 PM Checkout: 

4:00 PM Checkout:


Yes, there is a $25 registration fee.

Yes, there will be a handout.

Yes, there will be a limited number.  (We may offer it again if numbers increase.)

Yes, there will be time for questions and for you to share your great ideas.