Monday, April 19, 2021


OWNERSHIP of materials is important to young children.  Here are some math tools that children can "own" and use in person or online.


Tape two file folders together for each child. Glue copies of math concepts you are working on to the folders. For example, a hundreds chart, days of the week, months of the year, shapes, and so forth. Use a pipe cleaner and pony beads to make an abacus you can attach at the top.

Children can set these up on their table or desk when it's time for math to help them focus.

*You could also use a pocket folder to make a math office.  Children put worksheets they need to complete on the left and then put them on the right when they are finished.


Encourage families to create a special math box for their child to explore materials and make up their own games at home.

Use a pencil box, bag, diaper wipe box, etc. and put manipulatives similar to the ones below in the box:


  • Math cards (1-10 or 10-20)
  • Math fans (
  • Deck of cards
  • Rekenrek
  • Inexpensive calculators
  • Counting items with a small cup
  • Set of tangrams
  • Dot cards
  • Small Calendars
  • Dice
  • Measuring tape

*Hint!  Most of these items can be found at a dollar store.

Sunday, April 18, 2021


Even if "time" isn't in your standards, it's an integral part of all of our lives. This version of "Hickory Dickory Dock" is good for younger children because of the counting and rhymes. It can also be adapted for older students who are learning to tell time because they can use their arms like the hands on a clock as they sing.


Hickory Dickory Dock
Hickory dickory dock. (Palms together and tick tock back and forth.)
The mouse ran up the clock. (Wiggle fingers up in the air.)
The clock struck one, (Clap one time.)
The mouse ran down. (Wiggle fingers down.)
Hickory dickory dock.

Two – “Yahoo!” (Continue clapping the appropriate number of times.)
Three – “Whopee!”
Four – “Do more!”
Five – “Let’s jive!”
Six – “Fiddlesticks!”
Seven – “Oh, heavens!”
Eight – “Life’s great!”
Nine – “So fine!”
Ten – “We’re near the end.”
Eleven – “We’re sizzlin’.”
Twelve – “I’m proud of myself.”

Here's where you can get a free download this song.

*Make paper plate clocks and use to as you sing the song.

*Use your arms like the hands on a clock. Extend both arms over your head. On “one,” bring right arm down to the position of “one” on a clock. On “two,” bring right arm down to position of “two,” and so forth as you sing.

Digital Time 
Place a digital clock by the wall clock in your classroom so children can associate both ways of telling time.

It Is Time to Say Good-Bye
Here is a fun song to the tune of “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain” to end your day.

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!

Saturday, April 17, 2021


Your students are going to be so proud of this “Earth Book” when they make it and take it home to share with their families.


Materials: 8” squares of the following colors:
2 orange, 1 green, 1 blue, 1 yellow, 1 brown, 1 purple

To construct the book place down the orange square for the back of the book. Place the “purple sky” on top of this, then the “brown mountains,” “yellow sun,” “blue water,” “green tree,” and finally the front cover with the circle cut out. Staple on the left side. Younger children can read this as a wordless book. Older children can write descriptive sentences on each page.






Hint! Your students will be overwhelmed to do this all in one day, so stretch this project out by asking them to just do 2 or 3 pages a day.

Here's a pdf with the patterns.

Friday, April 16, 2021


Did you ever hear of "Bean Counter Day"?  Well, April 16th really is "Bean Counter Day," so why not make a bean counter today?

Inches are an abstract concept for children, but bean counters will provide a concrete way to do measurement.

You will need a package of large, dry lima beans and wide clear packaging tape. Place a 12 strip of packaging tape on a table with the sticky side up. Put ten lima beans end to end horizontally on the tape. Fold the bottom up and the top down and seal. Trim off the edges. 




Demonstrate how to take the bean counter and place it on the end of the item to be measured? How many beans long is it?

Counting by Tens
To measure larger objects, lay bean counters end to end and count by tens.

Challenge the children to use estimation skills as they try to find something 5 beans long? Can you find something 9 beans long? Can you find something shorter than 3 beans? Can you find two objects that are equal beans long.

Cheez-It Measuring
Did you know that Cheez-Its are one inch squares? What a great way to measure! 


Thursday, April 15, 2021


April 19th is National High Five Day, but you can start any day with a high five and a smile! Wouldn't your kids be surprised if you drew a smile on your hand like this one?

High Five Cheer
Teach children how to give themselves a “high five” for a job well done. Hold up both palms facing each other in front of your chest. Pretend to wave with one hand as you hold up five fingers on the other hand. “Hi 5!” Get it?

Pat on the Back
Trace around each child’s hand on construction paper and let them cut it out. Write a positive comment about each child on the hand and tape it to their back at the end of the day. Parents will be proud when they see their child’s “pat on the back.”


Pickle Tickle Partner Game
Up high. (Give a high five up in the air.)
Down low. (High five down by knees.)
Cut the pickle. (One child touches fingertips horizontally as the other child pretends to slice in between.)
Give a tickle. (Gently tickle each other.)

High Five
Write sight words on hands and tape to your classroom door. Students must "high five" a hand and read a word before exiting the classroom.


*Adapt for letters, numbers, colors, vocabulary, or other skills children need to master.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021


One of the best ways to be on the "green team" is to keep the earth beautiful by picking up trash. There's nothing more frustrating to me than to see trash along the road, but maybe we can improve things in the future by getting our students to join the LITTER PATROL!

Litter Patrol
Well, here we go, (Clap and snap fingers to the beat.)
We’re on the litter patrol.
We’re going to work all day
To put the trash away.
The planet earth, you see
Is our habitat.
We’re going to clean it up,
Well, how about that!

Litter Bags
Ask your students to bring in an empty cereal box or cardboard food box.
1. Cut the tops off the boxes.
2. Punch a hole in each short side.
3. Tie on a piece of string. Use these to collect trash or have the children place these in their cars.


Trash Snack
How about a “trash snack”? You will need ice cream cones, Gold Fish crackers, Cheerios, pretzel sticks, and peanuts. Take 4 lunch sacks and put a different item in each sack. Write “old tires” on the sack with Cheerios, write "dead fish" on the sack with the crackers, “sticks” on the sack with pretzel sticks, and “stones” on the sack with peanuts. Take a large bowl and make up a story about collecting trash. As you name the different items, invite different children to dump the contents in the bowl. Stir with a large spoon and then serve the “trash” in trashcans (ice cream cones). The cool thing about this snack is that there is NO trash when the children have finished eating!


Hint! Substitute raisins for peanuts if you have students with food allergies. You can also use sunflower seeds or other snack foods.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021


Who wouldn't want to be a super hero on the green team? How about some membership cards?

The Green Team (Tune: “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”)
We are on the Green Team. (March in place as you swing your arms.)
Hoorah! Hoorah! (Fist in air as if cheering.)
We can recycle every day. (March in place as you roll your arms around.)
Hoorah! Hoorah! (Fist in air as if cheering.)
Aluminum, glass, tin, (March in place.)
Put paper and cans in recycle bins. (March in place.)
Join the Green Team, (March in place.)
Defend the earth and keep it clean. (Put both fists in the air like a hero.)

We are on the Green Team. Hoorah! Hoorah!
We can reduce what we use. Hoorah! Hoorah!
Turn off water and the lights.
Walk, take a bus, or ride your bike.
Join the Green Team.
Defend the earth and keep it clean.

We are on the Green Team. Hoorah! Hoorah!
We can reuse many things. Hoorah! Hoorah!
Share old toys and old clothes, too.
Give away what you don't use.
Join the Green Team,
Defend the earth and keep it clean.

We are on the Green Team. Hoorah! Hoorah!
We can keep our planet clean. Hoorah! Hoorah!
Pick up all the trash you see.
Protect wildlife and plant new trees.
Join the Green Team.
Defend the earth and keep it clean.

*Ask children what it means to be on the "green team." How can they keep the earth green and healthy?

Naturalist Kit

Make a naturalist kit by recycling a cardboard box. Make binoculars by cutting a cardboard paper towel roll in half. Tape the halves together and hole punch at the top. Tie on a piece of string so children can easily take the binoculars on and off their heads. Add a magnifying glass, field guide, paper, pencil, etc. Talk about what naturalists do. Can you be a naturalist?


Nature’s Colors
1. Give children assorted pony beads and a piece of string or yarn 20-24” long.
2. Explain that they can select a bead to represent the different things in nature that they appreciate. For example, a blue bead might remind them of the ocean, or a red bead might remind them of a cardinal. (Hint! Limit one bead per color. To make it easier to string wrap a small piece of tape around the end of the yarn.)
3. Tie the ends of the string together to make a necklace.
*Older students could write sentences about each color.
4. Ask children to describe their necklaces and explain what each color represents.


Eat Green!

Will you eat green, oh my children dear, (Pretend to strum a guitar.)
Will you eat green my children?
Oh, we’ll eat green (Make sign language for green by a
Spinach, broccoli, and beans making “G” and circling it around.)
Veggie-weggie, fruity-tooty (Make fists with hands and thump together.)
Fresh foody, colors of the rainbow. (Wiggle fingers in a arch.)
Let’s all eat green.

Will you eat orange, oh my children dear,
Will you eat orange my children?
Oh, we’ll eat orange things (Sign language for “O” and circle.)
Carrots, peaches, tangerines
Will you eat yellow, my children dear, (Make a “Y” and circle.)
Will you eat yellow my children?
Oh, we’ll eat yellow corn,
Squash, pineapples, and more
Will you eat red, oh my children dear, (Make an “R” and circle.)
Will you eat red my children?
Oh, red we’ll eat
Apples, strawberries, and beets
Will you eat blue and purple, my children dear, (Make a “P” and circle.)
Will you eat blue and purple?
Oh, we’ll eat purple, blue
Grapes, plums, and berries too.
Oh what will you eat, my children dear, (Pretend to strum a guitar.)
Oh what will you eat, my children?
Oh, we’ll eat fresh foods
Good for us and for earth, too,Chorus

*Brainstorm different parts of plants that you can eat.
Leaves – lettuce, spinach, cabbage
Stems – celery, asparagus, rhubarb
Roots – sweet potatoes, carrots, onions
Flowers – cauliflower, broccoli
Seeds – sunflower, pumpkin, walnuts

Monday, April 12, 2021


Earth Day is officially April 22nd, but we need to MAKE EVERY DAY EARTH DAY.

Here's a great website for your families to get involved:

Earth Day
Earth Day, Earth Day! Let’s all come together. (Clap hands.)
Earth Day, Earth Day! To make this world much better.
‘Cause we love our planet Earth, beautiful and blue. (Make a circle with arms.)
We want to take care of it with everything we do.

We can recycle – tell your friends and neighbors! (Pretend to pick up paper.)
Glass, aluminum, plastic and paper.
‘Cause we love our planet Earth, beautiful and blue. (Make a circle with arms.)
We want to take care of it with everything we do.

We can plant a tree or two, to create green spaces;(Pretend to dig.)
Walk or ride our bikes to go different places. (Pretend to ride a bike.)
‘Cause we love our planet Earth, beautiful and blue. (Make a circle with arms.)
We want to take care of it with everything we do.

Here's a video my webmaster created to go with this song.

Recycled Products
Ask children to look around their house and make a list of recycled materials. Have them practice identifying the “recycle logo” so they can help conserve materials.

Have children brainstorm all the ways they can reduce, reuse, and recycle

Earth Day Necklace
1. Give children a small ball of blue polymer clay.
2. Give them a small piece of green clay and tell them to break it into 4 or 5 little pieces.
3. Attach the green pieces to the blue ball and roll in your hands.
4. Make a hole in the center with the nail.
5. Bake in a 275 oven for 12-15 minutes.
6. String the earth ball on yarn or string to make a necklace.


Visit these websites to get other ideas for Earth Week:

Sunday, April 11, 2021


National Pet Day was founded to celebrate the joy pets bring to our lives and to raise awareness about the many pets needing a home.

If you are an animal lover like I am you are going to be THRILLED to learn about TAILS THAT TEACH! You can get a free teacher kit with books, a stuffed animal, and learning activities. I'm so excited to share this special program with you!!!


Non-profit organization Tails That Teach educates young children about kindness, compassion, and empathy by bridging the connection between people and animals through its captivating books, Love Me Gently and Gray Whiskers written by founder, Lisa Wiehebrink. These books parallel the needs of pets and people and offer age-appropriate lessons for proper care and safety. They are ideal for grades K-2 and provided at no cost to elementary schools to supplement character education and promote literacy.

The organization’s goal is empower the next generation to make good choices and to respectfully care for pets and people. Teaching kids to properly care for pets helps them grow up to be compassionate adults and responsible pet owners. By fostering the human-animal bond, children learn caring connections toward all living beings simply by observing how their actions directly impact others. Studies prove that children who are taught to be kind to animals often limits bullying and other abuse. Children are inspired as they observe how small acts of kindness toward peers and pets can make the world a better place for all. 

Children have a special relationship with pets. Younger children are just beginning to learn about themselves and their world and they are fascinated by the response they receive from animals. Caring for a pet gives children a sense of empowerment when they are caring for another living being. This sense of empowerment turns into compassion and children are able to manifest that compassion toward other human beings. Children who live with pets in their home seem to make that transition more easily than those children who have no interaction with animals.            

Children also develop social skills from talking to and playing with pets. They learn what unconditional love feels like and they have a companion that they can talk to and tell secrets to. They are able to learn basic effective social interaction skills and what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Pets respond to emotional cues and can teach children to respond appropriately and show compassion for those who need it.

In addition to free book donations, Tails That Teach also provides the Adventures with Cooper Kit to teachers. This kit is provided to teachers for a unique expansion activity to teach kindness and inspire students to act with compassion and empathy toward pets and peers. Included in the reusable canvas tote bag is a set of our books, a stuffed plush dog, and journal. Students take turns bringing the kit home so they may read, write, and even draw about their adventures while learning responsibility and kind care. Classroom teachers across the country have reported improved critical thinking, decreases in bullying behaviors and overall increases in morale at schools where these and other programs are being used. Early education and literacy are key!

For more information about Tails That Teach, please visit

Saturday, April 10, 2021


You know all those cardboard food boxes you throw away? Well, here's a great opportunity to give them a second life, teach your children to recycle, and make some cool materials for your classroom. Send a note asking families to save their cardboard food boxes for a week and then let the fun begin!

Cardboard Castle 

Let children use masking tape to create a castle or other play sculpture.


What's for Breakfast? 
Each child chooses the front of their favorite cereal box. They can write original sentences or fill in the blank "(Child's name) likes (cereal)."

Cut box fronts into puzzle shapes. Store in zip bags. For younger children use two like boxes. Cut one up and let them place the pieces on the second box.


Fronts and Backs 
Cut front and back panels off of boxes. Mix them up and then ask the children to match up the ones that go together.


*Play a memory game where you place the fronts and backs face down on the floor. Children try to match up pairs.

Stencils and Templates 
Cut geometric shapes out of box fronts. Children can trace these with colored pencils, crayons, or markers.

*Cut seasonal shapes or objects that relate to a unit of study for the children to trace.


Sewing Cards 
Punch holes around the sides of boxes. Children can sew these with yarn, string, or old shoelaces.


Weaving – Cut notches around the sides of boxes and let children weave through these with yarn.

Give each child the front panel off a box. Can you cut it in half? Fourths? Eights?

Math – Have children sort the boxes by product, size, etc. Graph favorite cereals, cookies, crackers, etc.

Friday, April 9, 2021


Have you ever wished that you had a different name? April 9th is "Name Yourself Day." Wouldn’t your kids get a kick out of changing their first name today? Give them plenty of time to think about it, and then ask them to tell you why they chose that name.

Hint! You should probably change your name as well. How about Queen ___ or King ____?

Sing this good morning song to the tune of “Good Night, Ladies” using their new name.
Hello, (new name).
Hello, (new name).
Hello, (new name).
I like your new name.

*Can you sing the new name to the tune of "Bingo"? For example:
I have a son that I love and Jack is his new name.
J - A - C - K
J - A - C - K
J - A - C - K is his new name.

Name Crafts
Let your children make name tags, necklaces, bracelets, or crowns with their new name.


Rainbow Name

Write their new name in large letters with a black marker. Children take different colors and go around it to make a rainbow.


Money, Honey!
And if you name yourself, why not make some money with your picture? Wouldn't your kids love to draw their face on this $100 bill? I found this template on the internet and made a download for you.



Thursday, April 8, 2021


Save these poems and this story for a rainy day.

Rain, rain,
Go away.
Come again
Another day.

Rain, rain,
Go away.
All the children
Want to play.

It's Raining
It's raining.
It's pouring.
The old man Is snoring.
He went to bed
And he bumped his head
And he couldn't get up
In the morning.

Rain on the Housetop
Rain on the housetop.
Rain on the trees.
Rain on the umbrella,
but not on me!

THE WATER CYCLE (“My Darlin’ Clementine”)
Evaporation (Push palms up.)
Condensation (Hands together in air.)
Precipitation all around (Wiggle fingers down.) 
Accumulation (Sweep arms in circle.) 
Evaporation (Push palms up.) 
The water cycle goes
Round and round (Make circles with arms.)

Rain Story Bracelet
Children will be able to retell the water cycle with this bead bracelet. Have them string on the following beads as they repeat the water cycle:
Evaporation - clear bead
Condensation - white bead (cloud)
Precipitation - blue bead (rain)
Accumulation - brown bead (puddle)
Sun - yellow bead
Evaporation - clear bead

*Note!  You can watch me tell the story on this video:

Once there was a very creative and resourceful teacher. There was a huge thunderstorm one night and when she got to school the next morning the whole classroom was flooded. The only thing left were newspapers on the top shelf. So, the teacher gave each child a newspaper and they looked for words they could read and talked about the pictures. After a while she realized the children needed some exercise, so they turned the newspapers into rain hats so they could go outside.
(Fold the paper in half. Open. Fold one top corner to the middle crease. Fold the other top corner to the middle crease. Fold up the top bottom edge. Turn over and fold up the other bottom edge.)

The children had fun wearing their rain hats, but then they heard a “RRRRRR” sound coming down the road. It was a fire truck, and the teacher showed the children how to turn their rain hats into fire helmets.
(Put your thumbs in the corner of the hat and bring them together. Flatten. Fold up one bottom point.)

The children even used their fire helmets like scoops to help put out the fire.

All the water reminded the teacher of boats and pirates, so they turned their fire helmets into pirate hats.
(Bring the other bottom point up to the top.)

Now, all pirates need boats, so they turned their pirate hats into boats.
(Grab the top two points and gently pull out to make your boat.)

They went floating down the stream and ran into a rock and the front of their boat came off.
(Tear a little off the front of the boat.)

They went floating down the stream and they ran into a tree and the back of their boat came off.
(Tear off a little from the back of the boat.)

They went floating down the stream and they went under a bridge and the top of their boat came off.
(Tear a little off the top.)

Anybody else would have been a nervous wreck, but that teacher knew the children all had life preservers, so they put them on and swam safely back to school.
(Open and hold up as shown.)

And when they got back to school they drew pictures and wrote stories about all of their adventures!