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, September 17, 2021

TATTLE TALE - TATTLE TALE

O.K. It's important to listen to children, but tattling can be like a fire out of control. To prevent negativity/aka “the squeaky wheel” from getting too much attention, it’s important to have a discussion with your class at the beginning of the year about what is an emergency. If someone is in danger of getting hurt, then it’s an emergency. (One teacher said she used the “3 B Principle” – bathroom, blood, or barf!!!) There are also several good books out now that help children understand when it is appropriate to tell the teacher and what happens when you cry wolf. (A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue by Fran Sandon is adorable!)

Check out some of these ideas that teachers have shared with me. And, never ever forget to have a sense of humor!

Leave a Message
Put an old phone on your desk for children to tell their concerns. Explain that you’ll listen to your messages at the end of the day. You might even want to have a directory.
Press #1 for the teacher.
Press #2 for your parents.
Press #3 for the principal.
Press #4 for the President…etc.



Write It
Get a spiral notebook and write “Things the Teacher Needs to Know” on the cover. When children come to tattle hand them the book and say, “Write it all down and don’t leave out a thing.” If they say, “I can’t write,” respond with, “Well, just draw a picture and don’t leave out a thing!”



Comment Box
Put a box, notepad, and pencil on a shelf. Explain that when they want to complain or make a comment they need to write it on a piece of paper. They must start their sentence with a capital letter and end it with a period if they want the teacher to read it at the end of the day.

Lunch Bag
Open a lunch bag and set it on your desk. When children come up to tattle say, “Go put it in the bag. I’ll listen at the end of the day.” (Yes, trust me! They will go over and talk in the bag.) At the end of the day put the bag next to your ear and pretend to listen for 15-20 seconds. Then wad up the bag and throw it in the trash as you say, “That’s the end of that!”

                                                 

Tell the Mirror
Place a small mirror on your wall and when the children start to tattle say, "Why don't you go tell that little boy/little girl in the mirror?"

               


Tattle Time
One of my favorite stories about tattle tales came from a teacher many years ago. When her students tried to tattle she’d smile and say, “I’m sorry. Today’s not tattle tale day. Wait until May 14th and then you can tell me.”


Oreo
Another teacher said she used the concept of an Oreo cookie for tattle tales. The child reporting had to say one nice thing, then the tale, then another nice thing.


Tattle Toy
Choose a stuffed animal or puppet to listen to children’s complaints and tattles. Be sure and name the character. Explain that when you are busy they can always tell Teddy (or whatever) their problems. He’s always there waiting to be their friend.

*You can also let them tell a plant or other inanimate object.
                                                                                    

President
Here’s another great idea for tattle tales. Put a photograph of the President on your wall and say, “I’m just your teacher. Why don’t you tell the President?” You won’t believe it, but the children will walk over and talk to the picture!

Sometimes a sense of humor is the best solution to a problem. Keep calm and laugh inside!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

TIDY UP!

Taking responsibility for cleaning up the classroom nurtures responsibility, cooperation, a sense of accomplishment, and organizational skills.  Someone once told me:  ONLY DO WHAT ONLY YOU CAN DO!  You'll be amazed at what children can do to care for classroom materials.  However, you're going to have to "teach" children how to clean up, just like you teach them how to write their name.  And, it will take some time, modeling, and specific guidelines.   

Clean up will also be much more successful if you choose a song and sing it consistently when you want the children to tidy up. You really can use any song that you like (country, broadway, college fight song), but use the same song every day and then model what you want the children to do. 


I used to sing these songs in my classroom and to my own children at home. (My daughter and son would clean up just to get me to shut up!)

A Helper I Will Be (“The Farmer in the Dell”)
A helper I will be.
A helper I will be.
There’s work to do,
There’s work to do.
A helper I will be.
A picker up I’ll be.
A picker up I’ll be.
It’s time to put our things away,
A picker up I’ll be.

Hint! Change the words to whatever you want the children to do, such as “pick up the trash,” “push in the chairs,” etc.

Tidy Up (“Jingle Bells”)
Chorus:
Tidy up, tidy up, put your things away.
Tidy up, tidy up, we’re finished for today.
Oh, tidy up, tidy up, put your things away.
For we’ll get them out again another school day.

We’ve had lots of fun as we’ve worked and played.
Now it’s time to all join in and play the clean up game.
Chorus

Can You? (Tune: “Skip to My Lou”)
I can clean quietly, how about you?
I can clean quietly, how about you?
I can clean quietly, how about you?
How about you, my darlin?

*Change the words to “push in my chair,” “pick up trash,” etc.

Magic Trash
Select one random piece of trash to be the “magic trash.” Have children pick up the room. As they dump the paper and scraps in the trash can, inspect what they have in their hands. The one to find the “magic trash” gets a prize or gets to be the line leader. (Only you and I know there's no special piece of trash!)


                  
 

Timer
To help prepare children bring closure to what they are doing and clean-up before another activity set a timer for five minutes. Explain, “You have five more minutes. When the timer goes off we will have a whisper clean up.”

*One of my classroom jobs was called "the five minute person."  When there were five minutes before we needed to clean up the "five minute person" would skip around the room and hold up five fingers as they warned their classmates, "Five more minutes!  Five more minutes!"  (It was one of our most popular jobs!)


Who You Gonna Call?
Send a letter home asking if anyone has an old dust buster to donate to your classroom. Choose one person each day to be the “dust buster.” When there’s a mess shout, “Who you gonna call?” Children respond, “Dust buster!” The designated “dust buster” of the day GETS to clean up the mess.

Classroom Jobs
Assign classroom jobs weekly. Title the jobs by real careers.
Supervisor – Calls the roll.
Maintenance – Picks up the classroom.
Police Officer – Makes sure everyone walks slowly in the hall.
Mail Carrier – Passes out papers.
Librarian – Cleans the classroom library.
Gardener – Waters the plants.
Meteorologist – Gives the morning weather report.
Accountant – Does the lunch count.
UPS – Takes reports to the office.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

WINNING WAYS FOR PARENTS

The earlier in a child’s educational process the parents get involved, the more powerful the effects. The National Coalition for Parent Involvement for Education reports that when schools and families work together everyone benefits.

*Students have higher grades, graduation rates, and attendance.
*Decreased use of drugs and alcohol, lower rates of suspension, and fewer instances of violent behavior.
*Parents feel empowered.
*Teacher morale is more positive.
*Schools improve.
*Communities grow stronger.

Here are a few tips to encourage parents to communicate with their children about school.

Journal
Make daily journals for students by putting white paper in a pocket folder. At the end of each day students draw what they learned and dictate or write a sentence to go with their drawing. The journal goes home each evening so children can discuss what they did at school with their parents. The parents sign the journal, write comments or compliments, and return it the following day.


Conversation Starters
Make copies of the attached conversations starters. (Adapt them to your age level and curriculum.) Cut them apart and put them in a bag. Children draw one as they leave at the end of the day and give it to their parents to prompt a discussion about what they did.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1SnEagA4jlja2w2OWtzRjlIdkk/view?usp=sharing


Hint! One school suggested that parents "turn it off" in the car when they picked up their child. The quiet time might encourage children to talk about school because they'd know they had their parent's undivided attention.


Screen Time Survey
Ask parents to keep a log of how much time their child spends in front of a screen for a week. The following week ask them to “turn it off” and spend an equal amount of time reading, playing games, doing chores around the house, etc. with their child.


Reading Calendar
Send home a reading calendar at the beginning of each month. Parents and children can color in an object for each 5-10 minutes of reading. Make sure calendars are returned at the end of each month. 


https://www.drjean.org/html/monthly_act/act_2011/07_Jul_css/pg00.html

Chores
Get a list of age appropriate chores for children to do around the house
at thehappyhousewife.com. Give the list to parents and encourage them to give their children jobs. Doing tasks around the house is the perfect way to develop the executive function.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

DO YOU HAVE HOMEWORK?

If young children go to school and sit and listen and work and learn for six hours, they deserve to do what they want when they get home. They need to play, move, laugh, yell, imagine, and be KIDS!

Homework should teach children responsibility. Homework should be a tool to help parents see what their child is doing at school. Homework should extend learning from the classroom to the home. Homework should be MEANINGFUL!

Here are some strategies that might encourage children to develop responsibility and positive attitudes about homework.

Tic Tac Toe Homework
Make a tic-tac-toe grid and put a different assignment in each section. Children can do as many activities as they choose, but they must do at least 3 to get tic-tac-toe by the end of the week.
Hint! This is perfect for the parents and children who actually “like” homework because they can do all nine.

 
Homework Folders
You will need a pocket folder, crayons, and markers to make a homework folder. First, let children decorate the outside of their folders. Trace around their “left” hand on the left pocket. At the end of each day children put completed work in that pocket and it is “left” at home. Trace around their “right” hand on the right pocket. Use a homework sheet similar to the one below. Fill out assignments for the whole week and place it in the “right” hand side of the child’s folder on Monday. On Friday save homework sheets in children’s folders. Review with parents at conferences.



Weekly Homework Sheet

Monday ________________ Tuesday ______________

_______________________ ______________________

_______________________ ______________________

Parent Signature/Comments Parent Signature/Comments

_______________________ ______________________

Wednesday_____________ Thursday_______________

_______________________ ______________________

_______________________ ______________________

Parent Signature/Comments Parent Signature/Comments

_______________________ ______________________

 
Clipboard Homework
Each child will need a clipboard that she can decorate with her name, stickers, etc. Each night clip the homework assignment to children’s clipboards. (Think outside the box with interactive activities, rather than worksheets!) Make sure parents know that their job is to look at the clipboard each night, help their child with the assignment, and send it back to school the next day.
                             
 
 
Monthly Calendar
Send a calendar home at the beginning of each month and ask parents to complete at least ten activities and return by the end of the month.
Note! You can download these free on my website drjean.org.

Monday, September 13, 2021

PARENT CONFERENCES ARE AROUND THE CORNER!

Before you know it, it will be time for parent conferences. I used to dread conferences because many of the parents didn’t want to talk about their child. They wanted to talk about the neighbor’s kid or their “ex” or whatever. Once I started using this questionnaire my conferences became much more meaningful for me and the parents.

A week before conferences I’d ask the children, “Would you like me to give your parents some homework? Well, here is something they need to fill out and bring to our conference next week.”

Note! If parents show up without the form, simply smile and say, “I’ll give you a few minutes to fill this out before we get started.”

CONFERENCE QUESTIONNAIRE

Please fill out this form and bring it to your conference on __________________at _________________.

Child’s name__________________________

1. My child’s favorite activity at school is________________

2. My child expresses concern about_____________________

3. My child’s strong qualities are__________________________

4. Areas I feel my child needs to work on are_____________

5. Something I would like to see my child do at school is _______

6. Is there any special information about your child that you think we should know about?


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1SnEagA4jljYWFnNXNybFdyZVE/view?usp=sharing


Cheers and Goals
Here’s another idea for conference time. Ask parents to write down three things positive (cheers) about their child and three goals that they have for their child. This will give the teacher insight as to what is important to parents. It will also provide the teacher with the opportunity to say, “This is what I can do at school to help your child accomplish these goals. What can you do to help at home?”



Student Led Conferences

I must admit I never did these, but many schools are now using this approach and find if very successful. You can find videos and other useful information about student led conferences on the internet.

Conference Tips
Sit beside the parent at a table, rather than behind a desk.

Keep the conversation focused on the child.

Have samples of the child’s work to share with the parents. Focus on the total child, including intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development.

If there is a problem, brainstorm solutions and develop a plan for action.

End the conference on a positive note by reassuring the parents and thanking them for their support.

Provide an interpreter for parents who do not speak English.

Follow-up with the parents after the conference.


Sunday, September 12, 2021

CHEWING GUM DAY


I'm sorry, but I just couldn't resist writing a blog about National Chewing Gum Day which is September 30th. Gum is one thing I loved as a child and I still love it as an "older" lady!!! Besides, I try to learn one new thing each day, and this is what I learned about gum today.

*People have been chewing gum for over 5,000 years. We chew for enjoyment, to freshen our breaths, and to help with the hungries.

*Originally people chewed gum made from the resin of trees and plants.

*The first commercial gum was sold in 1848 by John B. Curtis. He called it "The State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum."

*Studies show chewing gum helps improve memory, reduce stress, and can increase alertness! (Wow! Whoever new???)

Bubble Gum Song (Silly Songs CD)
Bubble gum, bubble gum, (Roll hands around each other.)
Chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy (Pretend to pull hands apart.)
Bubble gum. (Roll hands around.)
Bubble gum, bubble gum,
Chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy (Pull hands apart.)
Bubble gum.
I love it! I love it! (Throw arms up in air.)
Chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy
Bubble gum.
I love it! I love it!
Chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy
Bubble gum.

Faster…

Super fast…


Gumball
I put a penny in the gum slot.
I watched the gum roll down.
I get the gum and you get the wrapper,
Cause I put the penny in the gum slot.

Sing substituting the initial consonant sound of each word with “B,” “N,” “P,” “G,” “L,” and “F.”

                    
                                                     
Activities: Cut out paper gumball machines and write different letters from the song on
them. Substitute other consonants, blends, and diagraphs in this song.


CHEW and WRITE

I’ve shared this idea before, but it's worth repeating on chewing gum day. Give children sugarless gum and explain that they can open it and start chewing when they get their name on their paper and an idea in their head. As long as they are writing they get to chew the gum. When they stop writing they have to throw their gum away. Sure cure for writer’s block!!!!


CHEW AND COUNT
(Stand up and pretend to jump rope as you say the rhyme and count as high as you can.)
Bubble Gum
Bubble gum,
Bubble gum in a dish.
How many pieces
Do you wish?
1, 2, 3, 4, 5…(How high can you count?)


BUBBLE GUM CHEER

Get your bubble gum and open it up.
Put it in your mouth and start chewing. (Pretend to open a piece of gum and chew.)
Blow! (Put hands by the side of your mouth and pretend to blow.)
Blow! (Spread hand farther apart.)
Blow! (Spread hands farther.)
POP! (Clap hands!)

Saturday, September 11, 2021

JOHNNY APPLESEED DAY

Another special holiday in September is Johnny Appleseed Day (September 26th) in honor of his birthday. Here's a finger play and story you can tell any day. Johnny (John Chapman) is remembered for planting apple trees throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. He was well known and liked for his kindness and generosity. Say “cheers” to him every time you eat an apple.

                                    

Apple Tree
(You can say it or sing it to the tune of “This Old Man.”)
Way up high in the tree, (Point up.)
One red apple smiled down at me. (Hold up 1 finger and then smile.)
I shook that tree as hard as I could. (Pretend to shake a tree.)
Down came an apple, (Bring down one hand.)
Mmm! Mmm! Good! (Pat tummy.)

Variations:
Adapt the number of apples, or use other fruits:
Two yellow pears… (Hold up 2 fingers.)
Three purple plums… (Hold up 3 fingers.)
4 orange peaches… (Hold up 4 fingers.)
5 green limes… (Hold up 5 fingers.)

Make a flannel board from a file folder to use as a follow up for this rhyme.



And, here’s a story that I bet Johnny would have loved.  I've been telling this for decades, but it never gets old!

The Star
Materials: shopping bag or grocery sack
Apple (red delicious works best), knife

Directions: Put the apple and knife in the bag and have it on your lap as you begin to tell the story below. Insert children’s names in your classroom to capture their interest.

One day first child’s name went to visit grandmother. Grandmother said, “How would you like to go on a secret mission?” “Oh, I’d love that,” replied first child. So grandmother said, “I want you to find a little red house with no doors and no windows. There should be a chimney on top and a star in the middle.”

First child was so excited as he set off on his mission. As first child was thinking about what it could be, he ran into second child. “Do you know where I can find a little red house with no doors and no windows. There should be a chimney on top and a star in the middle.” Second child said, “I’ve never heard of anything like that, but would you like me to help you?” “Sure,” replied first child and off they went.

They walked on a little further until they saw third child. “Have you seen a little red house with no doors and no windows? There’s a chimney on top and a star in the middle.” “Gosh. I don’t know what that could be, but would you like me to help you?” replied third child. So off they went on their mission.

The story continues as more children join in the search.

Finally, the children had about given up when they ran into grandpa. He was on his way home from the store with something he had bought. “Grandpa,” the children said. “Grandma sent us on a mission. She told us to find a little red house with no doors and no windows. There’s a chimney on top and a star in the middle. What could it be?”

Grandpa laughed, “Well, I have the answer to your riddle right here in my sack.” And he pulled out an apple. (Pull the apple from your sack.) The children said, “How does that solve our riddle?” Grandpa said, “This apple is like a little red house. See, it’s round and the stem is like a chimney.” “But where’s the star?” wondered the children. Grandpa took a knife and sliced the apple in half. (Take the knife and slice the apple in half diagonally.) “And here’s the star!” The children were amazed to see that sure enough, there was a star in the middle.

Grandpa said, “You know people are like this star. We’re different sizes, colors, and shapes on the outside. But if you look inside, you’ll find a special star inside each person you meet!”

                                                


*Encourage each child to tell what makes him or her special.

*Talk about where apples come from. How many parts of an apple can the children name.

*Make a list of words that describe apples.

Note! I bet your families would love a copy of this story. You could also tell them how to make apple prints by drying the apple half on a paper towel. Dip into paint and press on newsprint or newspaper. Can you find the star?

                  
P.S.  Red delicious have the best stars inside!

Friday, September 10, 2021

COMIC BOOK DAY

National Comic Book Day (September 25) is another September holiday that you can celebrate this month. What a treat when I was a kid to get a new comic book! No, we didn’t have videos or computers, but friends would come over and we’d read comic books together. I know! I know! Sounds corny now, but it was a favorite indoor pastime when the weather was bad. Let me tell you, if the weather was good our mothers would say, “GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY!”

I also remember sitting on my grandpa’s lap as he’d read the Sunday comics to me. I think the cartoons were much more “child friendly” in the 50’s than they are now. However, it might be interesting to save some of the comics from the newspaper this weekend and share them with your class. Explain how cartoonists use “bubbles” to let you know what the characters are saying.



Invite children to draw a picture of you and make a bubble with something you frequently say coming out of your mouth. You might be surprised!!!!

You could also let the children draw pictures of themselves or their friends and then use bubbles to make them talk.

Comics can also be used to reinforce standards. Start off by giving children copies of a cartoon frame with 2 sections. Tell them to think of a story that has a beginning and an end and draw it.

Next, let them think of a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Finally, challenge them to create a story with 4 sections.

*Have children recall the sequence of a story with comic frames.

*Use comic frames to illustrate the life cycle of a butterfly, the water cycle, plant growth, and so forth.

Here’s a link to download blank cartoon frames:




https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1SnEagA4jljTjMyU21nWDZTN00/view?usp=sharing


Cartoons That Move
Would you like to learn how to make cartoons that move? It’s easy peasy, but you’ll surely impress your students (and parents) when you teach them how to do this.

Hint! I would demonstrate this with kindergarteners, but the primary grade children could do this with some guidance.

Materials: white copy paper, stapler, black pen or pencil

Directions:

1. Fold the paper into fourths and cut on the creased lines.
                 


2. Take two sheets and staple them at the top.

3. Lift the top layer and draw a simple shape on the bottom. Keep your drawing on the bottom half of the page.

                    

4. Now, place the top sheet over the bottom and trace over the lines. Vary one or two features, such as arms, ears, mouth, etc.

5. Take a pencil and roll the top sheet up around the pencil.

6. Quickly move the pencil up and down to bring life to your cartoon. Waalaa!

                                             

*Connect this activity to literature, science themes, or social studies.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

GRANDPARENTS' DAY


September 13th is officially Grandparents' Day, but any day is the perfect time to recall a special memory or give them a call.

I remember that my grandfather would put me on a stool and let me help him make canned tomato soup when I visited. That sure was good soup! I also remember my grandmother would let me have tea parties and put all the sugar I wanted in my tea. Isn't it interesting that so many of my memories involve food???

Someone once told me that when a person you care for passes away and you remember them your love is like beams of light going to them. I hope it's true!

This would be a good week to have children write or draw pictures about their grandparents and what they enjoy doing with them. You could also give children art supplies so they could make cards for their grandparents.
                       

Here is a song that my daughter wrote for Grandparents' Day. The link will take you to my website where you can download the vocal or instrumental version.

http://www.drjean.org/html/monthly_act/act_2014/09_Sep_css/pg00.html


Grandparents’ Day - (Tune: “Simple Gifts”)
Grandma and Grandpa we just want to say
How much we love you on this special day.
With smiles and kisses and bear hugs, too
We want to say thanks for all that you do!
You make us feel like superstars!
You help us to see how wonderful we are.
The love and the time that you have shared
Will stay with us always and everywhere!
We play games together, we go for walks
We go out fishing or just sit and talk
We read books together and have so much fun!
Every moment with you is a special one.
You make us feel like superstars!
You help us to see how wonderful we are.
The love and the time that you have shared
Will stay with us always and everywhere!


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY

Aarr! Yo ho, matey! Are you working on lesson plans for September this weekend? Here are some ideas for Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19th.


Why? According to the founders of Talk Like a Pirate Day, “Silliness is the holiday’s best selling point. And it’s fun!” There are many troubles and a great deal of seriousness in the adult world, but the classroom needs a little fun as well. Although a week from Thursday is the official day, I wanted to share a few ideas with you early so you could include them in your lesson plans. (You’ll even notice that I integrated some Common Core Standards!)

Pirate Read – Reread poems and big books by talking out of the side of your mouth like a pirate.

Pirate Song – Tune: “Yankee Doodle”
I’m a pirate. That I be!
I sail my ship upon the sea.
I stay up late – til half past three.
And have a peg below my knee.
Yo ho ho ho
Let’s sail away
Aarrr! Matey! Is what I say.
A treasure I will hide today
And walk the plank another day.

Note! I adapted this song from one posted on talklikeapirateday.com

Creative Writing – What would you do if you were a pirate? Where would sail on a pirate ship? What would you like to find in a treasure chest?

Pirate Cheer – Put one hand over your eye to make a patch. Talk out of the side of your mouth as you say, “Aarr! Way to go, matey!”

Parrot Cheer – Put your hands in your armpits to make wings and then flap them as you squawk, “You did a good job! You did a good job!”

Pirate Maps – Cut the bottom off lunch bags and then cut down one side and you’ll have a big rectangle. Children can draw a treasure map with markers or crayons. Squash up the paper and roll it around in your hands to give it a vintage look.

                     

*Older children could write stories about their treasure hunt on the back of the map. Younger children could dictate a story.

*Add a compass map and introduce North, South, East, and West.

*Have children make maps of the playground.

Mustache – Cut mustaches out of construction paper and tape them under your nose. (This would just be optional, but what little kid wouldn’t want a mustache?)

                                              

Eye Patch – Cut an oblong shape out of construction paper, fold it in half, and glue it over a 30 piece of string.

Hook – Cut hooks out of cardboard and let children cover them with aluminum foil. Insert the end of the hook in a cup you can insert over your hand.




Hunting for Coins – Write letters of the alphabet on poker chips with a permanent marker. (You can buy poker chips at most dollar stores.) Hide these on the playground or in the classroom. When children find the coins they can name the letter or think of a word that starts with that sound.

(You could also write numerals, math facts, or words on the poker chips.)

                                             

Vocabulary – Introduce pirate vocabulary that you can actually use in the classroom on September 19th.
Ahoy = hello
Avast = stop and pay attention
Matey = friend
Disembark = leave
Embark = enter, get started
Foul = something turned bad
Grog = drink
Weigh anchor = prepare to leave
Aye = yes
Nay = no

Parts of a Ship – Relate these to places in the classroom with labels.
Starboard = right
Port = left
Stern = back
Bow = front

Pirate Flags – Let children design their own pirate flags. These can be done with crayons on paper, or, better yet, cut an old sheet into rectangles children can draw on with markers.

Walk the Plank – Children can practice balancing by walking forwards and backwards on the plank. (To make a plank put a piece of masking tape on the floor or draw a plank outside on the sidewalk with chalk.)

Pirate Snack – How about some fish crackers in an ice cream cone? After they eat the crackers they can eat the cone.
*You could also serve oyster crackers, Pirate Booty, or grog (juice).

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

PLAY DOUGH DAY

Play dough is multi-sensory, engaging, creative, and open-ended. Talk about PURPOSEFUL PLAY! National Play Dough Day is September 16th, but you can use it every day as a tool just like a worksheet or video game. Play dough also develops small motor skills which help children write. Here are just a few ways to integrate it into centers and independent learning in your classroom.

Comprehension
Let children make their favorite character and use it to retell a story. 

                                           

Make something that you learned from the book.

Phonics
Rhymes – Make two objects that rhyme.



Sounds – Make objects that start with a consonant, blend, or diagraph you are working on.
Vowels- Make an object for a long vowel sound and short vowel sound.

Writing
Make something you like (or don’t like) and write about it.

Make something from a book you have read and write about it.

Make letter plates by writing letters with a permanent marker on plastic plates. Children roll play dough and make the letters on top. 

                                                  

Make letters (or words) using a bubble font. Children roll dough and fill in.

Make something that is a noun. How can you make it plural?

Math

Make objects that match numbers.



Make a set and then decompose it.

Science and Social Studies
Reinforce information from a science or social studies unit with play dough. Children could make animals from a habitat, parts of a flower, tools of community helpers, healthy foods…endless possibilities!


Here's the link to a free book with more learning activities and fun with play dough.



Monday, September 6, 2021

COLLECT ROCKS DAY

"Collect Rocks Day" is September 16th, but rocks are everywhere every day. Rocks can be a perfect spark for scientific investigations if you add a little STEAM. When you collect rocks or look at rocks, explain that scientists who study rocks are called geologists. Remind the children that they can be geologists, too!


Take a nature walk and invite each child to pick up ONE rock. You might need to limit the size to a rock that will fit in their hand. Take the rocks to the classroom and ask the children to observe their rock for one minute without talking. Go around the room and ask each child to make one statement about their rock. Encourage them to use descriptive words.

*Ask older children to write descriptions about their rocks.

*Place the rocks in a basket. Gently shake the rocks and then pass the basket around the class to see if each child can find his rock.

*Let the children sort the rocks. What was their sorting rule? Can they sort them another way?

*Check out a book on rocks from the library. Place it in the science center along with a magnifying glass. Ask the children to do research and identify the different rocks they collected. (Remind the children to return the rocks to nature after they have finished investigating them.)

*Are rocks older than you or younger than you?

*Make a list of all the things that rocks are used for.

*Have children make a design and build something with rocks.

*Let children paint rocks or use other art media to make paperweights.

*Place rocks in the math center for children to explore with the balance scale.

*For homework, ask families to take a walk and look for different kinds of rocks in their neighborhood.

*Encourage children to start their own rock collection with this idea. Cut an egg crate in half. Attach a pipe cleaner handle and use it to collect little rocks and pebbles.