Tuesday, November 30, 2021

DECORATE THOSE STANDARDS

Don't let standards be the Grinch to steal away your fun this month. Take a look at some of these ideas I’ve got for you!

Sight Words
Each day let children write a high frequency word on a strip of paper and glue the ends to make a link in a chain. They can practice reading over previous words each day as they add a new word and link.

*Adapt these for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa colors.

Snowman Math

Give children the outline of a snowman similar to the one shown. They can take buttons or other manipulatives and place sets in the top two sections. Join them together in the bottom circle to make the sum. Ask students to write the equation.

*Give children a certain number of buttons. How many different combinations can the make on the snowman to come up with the same sum?

Candy Cane Vocabulary

Take a square sheet of paper and color red around the edges on all four sides. Roll up diagonally, bend one end, and you’ll have a candy cane. Use a web to brainstorm descriptive words for candy canes.

Descriptive Writing
Fold 2 sheets of paper in half and staple to make a book for each child. Children think of a title for their books and add their name as author and illustrator. Have them write and complete the following statements on each page:
My (holiday) smells like…
My (holiday) looks like…
My (holiday) sounds like…
My (holiday) feels like…
My (holiday) tastes like…

*For younger children run off the sentences and let them dictate sentences.

Preposition Elf
Hide an elf (Elf on the Shelf or one of his friends) or similar seasonal toy in a different place in the room every day. Encourage children to use complete sentences as they describe where the elf is.

*Let children take turns hiding the toy and calling on friends to explain its location.

Holiday Brain Breaks (Sharon Smith)
Have the children stand and in place and..

Melt like a snowman…
Twinkle like a Christmas tree…
Prance like a reindeer…
Laugh like Santa...
Smile like an elf...

*Adapt for different seasons and themes.

Monday, November 29, 2021

HOLIDAY HANDS and THE JINGLE BELL CLUB

There's nothing quite as sweet as little hands and little feet! You can trace around your children's hands and cut them out, or let the children dip their hands in paint and print.

P.S. These hand and feet projects make great bulletin boards. The hand tree or wreath could be used on your door. The reindeer could be used for "Teacher's name Herd." Or, how about "Teacher's name Little Angels."

Hint! Use fabric paint and make holiday shirts with handprints and footprints.

Jingle Bell Club (Kitty Allen)
I found this idea from Kitty Allen when I was looking through old blogs.  Kids get to sign their name as members of the “Jingle Bell Club” when they learn to tie their shoes. They also get a jingle bell on a ribbon to tie on their shoe laces.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

STRING, SORT, SQUISH!

Keep those little hands busy with these materials.  Wouldn't these be super activities for learning centers this coming month?

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.

Bells
String bells on pipe cleaners and string to make jewelry.

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

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.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

MERRY MATH

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

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

Patterns
Use the pompoms for making patterns.

Estimating
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.

Make addition and subtraction more meaningful with pompoms or other small objects.

Friday, November 26, 2021

WINTER WRITING

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  Yes it is!  Over the next few days I'll show you some fun learning centers that you can create from inexpensive materials.  I know many of your schools don't allow "holidays," so I'll try to focus on a "winter" theme as much as possible.  I mean, who can object to winter????

Napkin Book
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

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.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

MAY YOUR DAY OVERFLOW WITH BLESSINGS

Today is a day of blessing.

I bless you.

May your day overflow with blessings!

Do you know that I pray for YOU every day?  I pray for you to have strength and a song.  Strength to do all of the things you HAVE to do and a SONG to add JOY to your life and the lives of children.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

SINGULAR AND PLURAL

Do you want one pie or lots of pies? Do you want one turkey leg or two turkey legs? Well, this is a good week to talk about singular and plural forms of nouns.

Singular and Plural

Write the name of common classroom objects on the board. Cover the end of a fly swatter with white paper. Write the letter “S” on the paper as shown. Children take turns adding the “s” to the end of the words and saying the plural. Can they use it in a sentence?

Blocks
Cut paper the size of rectangular and square unit blocks. Write common nouns on the rectangles and tape to blocks. Write “s” on a square and tape to a square block. Children read nouns and then add the “s” block and read the plural.

Unifix Cubes
Place sticky dots on cubes and write letters on them. Make a list of common nouns. Children make the words with the cubes and then add “s” at the end and read the word.

Singular and Plural
(Tune: “This Old Man”)
One is book, 2 are books.
One is cook, more are cooks.
Add an “s” to the end of a word
Makes it plural, haven’t you heard?
One is toy, two are toys.
One is boy, more are boys.
I’ll say a word, then you add an “s.”
You make it plural - do your best!
Car Star
Dog Log
Cat Hat
Ball Wall
Coat Boat
*Let children suggest other words to sing in the song.

T-Chart
Children draw a T-chart on a sheet of paper. On the left side they write the singular form of nouns. On the right side ask them to write the plural form. Can they read the words?

Oops!
Make up inappropriate sentences and when the children hear you say something wrong they can say, “Opps!” Have them repeat the sentence correctly.
Teacher: “We have 12 boy here today.”
Children: “Oops! We have 12 boys here today.”

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

WHAT'S A NOUN?

What's a Noun?
(TUNE: She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain)
A noun is a person, place, or thing. Yee haw! (Fist in air.)
A noun is a person, place, or thing. Yee haw!
A noun is a person. (Point to a person.)
A noun is a place. (Point to a place in the room.)
A noun is a person, place, or thing. (Point to a place.)

Wacky Sentences
Write nouns and picture clues on 5 index cards and verbs on 5 index cards. Place them in lunch bags labeled “nouns” and “verbs.” Children choose a noun card and a verb card and write a sentence using the words.

Hint! They love to use nouns with their teacher’s name, principal, and other stars.

Noun Sort
Fold a sheet of paper into fourths. Write “people, animals, places, things” in the sections. Give children old newspapers and catalogs and ask them to cut out pictures of people, animals, places, and things and glue them in the appropriate section. Can they label their pictures?

Noun Hunt
Give children a clip board and challenge them to find all the nouns they can in the classroom. They can write the words or draw pictures.
*For homework ask them to make a list of the nouns in their home.

Noun Names
Make name cards for the students in your class from 8” sentence strips. Write each child’s name and glue their picture on the card. Use these for writing prompts in a center.

Monday, November 22, 2021

WHAT'S A VERB?

If you can DO it, then it's a verb!

Verbs, Verbs, Action Words (Kiss Your Brain CD)
Verbs, verbs, action words
Things that you can do.
I’ll say a word, and if it’s a verb,
Show what you can do.
Run (Children run in place.)
Fly (Children pretend to fly.)
Dog (Children shout, “That’s not a verb.”)

Continue calling out verbs for the children to pantomime.

Let children take turns acting out verbs as their classmates try and guess what they are doing.

Pass the Story
Write verbs on index cards and place them in a sack. Have the class sit in a circle and begin passing the bag around. The first child chooses a word and begins the story by using that verb. The second child chooses a word and adds to the story with their word. Continue passing the bag as children add to the story using a verb from the bag.

Catch and Tell
Have children think of an action word in their head. The teacher throws a ball or beanbag to a child. That child states the verb they are thinking of and then passes the ball to another friend. Children continue passing the ball and saying verbs.

Say What?
Write simple verbs on the board. Invite children to come up and add different endings for their friends to read and then use the word in a sentence.

*Cover the end of a fly swatter with white paper. Write different endings on the paper (ing, ed, s). Children place the ending by verbs and read the new word.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

WE GIVE THANKS!

I sure am thankful that it's November, 2021, instead of November, 2020!  This is a good week to remember to GIVE THANKS!

We Give Thanks
(Tune: “Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore”)
We give thanks for food we eat.
Hallelujah.
We give thanks for food we eat.
Hallelujah.

We give thanks for families…
We give thanks for friends so dear…
We give thanks for all the earth…

http://www.drjean.org/html/monthly_act/act_2007/11_Nov/1booksNov/weGiveThanks.pdf

*Let children suggest other things they are thankful for and insert the words in the song.

*Make a language experience chart of things children are thankful for.

Over the River
Over the river and through the woods (Pretend to hold reins of a sleigh
To grandmother’s house we go. and drive as you bounce up and down.)
The horse knows the way (Put hands behind back and nod
To carry the sleigh like a horse.)
Through the white and drifted snow.
Over the river and through the woods, (Pretend to drive sleigh.)
Oh, how the wind does blow. (Wrap arms around self and shiver.)
It stings your toes and bites your nose (Touch nose and point to toes.)
As over the ground we go.

Through the country and cities far (Pretend to drive a car.)
In sun or wind or rain.
We might go by train (Pull down on train whistle.)
We might take a plane. (Fly hand like a plane in the air.)
Or maybe a bus or car. (Hold out right hand, then left.)
Through low valleys and mountains high (Look down low and then up.)
Now, grandmother’s house I spy. (Hand over eyes.)
Hurrah, for the fun! (One fist in the air.)
Is the turkey done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie! (Cheer with other fist.)

Comparisons
Use a Venn diagram to compare what it would be like to visit grandmother a long time ago and how we visit now. How are things the same? How are they different?

*How will you travel to your Thanksgiving dinner?  Car?  Plane? Boat? Train? Bus? Stay at home!

The Olden Days
Bring in a record player, typewriter, rotary phone, old camera, etc.  (You might not have these things any more, so just show photos.)  Ask the children if they know what each item is and how was it used.  What do we use today in the same way?

Family Celebrations
Holidays are a good time to talk about diversity. Not all families celebrate Thanksgiving, but most families do celebrate something. Ask children to bring in photos of celebrations they have in their home. Put their pictures together to make a class book.