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Thursday, September 21, 2023


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 
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.


Super fast…

Hint!  Watch some great teachers sing this song!

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.


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!!!!



(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?)

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!)

Wednesday, September 20, 2023


I've been "advertising" these free HIGHWAY LETTERS, NUMBERS, AND SHAPES FOR YEARS. Here's the link to get you started:

Hint! This would be a great project for a parent volunteer because it will use a lot of ink and paper.

Note! I put mine in clear sheet protectors because it’s cheaper and easier than laminating. The uppercase letter is on one side and the lowercase letter is on the other side.

Here are a few ways you can use the highway letters with different skills throughout the school year.

Letter Vests
– Punch holes at the top and tie on string so the children can wear them like letter vests. Pass these out and let children stand when their letter is sung in the song.

Toy Cars - Let children drive over letters with toy cars.

Writing - Trace over the letters with dry erase markers. Erase and use again and again.
Hint! Put a green dot where they start and a red dot where they stop.

Play Dough - Roll play dough and place on top of the letters.

Phonics - Practice blending C V C words. (consonant, vowel, consonant) with vests. Add the “silent e” to words to change the vowel sound.

Chunking - Start by asking children who are wearing “a” and “t” to stand. What does that say? Ask “m” to stand in front of “at.” What does that say? Tell “m” to go away and have “r” stand in front of “at.” Have children suggest other letters to stand in front of “at.” Reinforce other word families with this strategy.

Spelling Words - Slowly call out sight words or spelling words. (Stretch out the sounds.) Children come up if they are wearing that sound and make the word.

ABC Order- Children arrange themselves in alphabetical order according to the letter that they are wearing.

Highway Numbers and Shapes

Writing Numerals
Children can trace over numerals with toy cars or they can roll play dough and place it on top of the numerals. They can also trace over numerals with a dry erase marker and erase.

Have children get in numerical order according to the number they are wearing.

Wear number vests as you sing “Five Little Monkeys,” “I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a One,” and other songs.

Put up two numbers and have children choose “<” or “>” to go between them.

Addition and Subtraction

Have children make number sentences using the numbers and signs on the vests.
*Move numbers around to demonstrate different fact families.
Hint! Make your own math signs (+ - = < >) to use with these activities.

Number Bonds
Call out a number. Children find a friend to equal that amount.

Tens and Ones
Let children demonstrate expanded notationwith vests.

Word Problems
Use number vests to engage children in solving word problems.

Dot to Dot
Pass out numbers and have children scatter around the room. Give one child a large pointer. That child takes the pointer and goes from “0” through “10” by “connecting the dots.”

Highway Shapes

Do similar activities by putting highway shapes in clear sheet protectors.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023


Some of your children might have checked all the boxes on your assessment, but do they know where they live? Do they know their phone number? Here are tips that you can send home to parents so they can help their children learn this basic personal information.

Where do you live?

Addresses can be sung to “Do You Know the Muffin Man?”

874 Pine Oak Circle, Pine Oak Circle, Pine Oak Circle.
874 Pine Oak Circle, Cincinnati, Ohio

What’s your zip code?
Learn zip codes by singing them to the tune of “BINGO.”

There is a zip code where I live and I know my zip code.
54892, 54892, 54892 is my zip code.

When is your birthday?

Birthdays can be sung to “Happy Birthday to You.”
September 24th, September 24th,
That is my birthday, September 24th.

What’s your phone number?
Phone numbers can be learned by singing them to “Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore.”

Crafty Idea
Want a bulletin board idea to help children learn their addresses? Let children decorate a lunch bag to look like their house. Give them newspaper to stuff inside, fold down the top, and staple on a roof. Let them write (or you can write for the younger children) their name and street address at the top.

*You can staple these to a bulletin board or use in the block center to build your community.

Line Up Rhymes
These are good rhymes to transition children, as well as to reinforce birthdays, phone numbers, and addresses.

Apples, pears, peaches, plums,
Tell me when your birthday comes. (Children say birthday before lining up.)

Candy, candy, ice cream cone.
Tell me the number of your telephone. (Children say phone number before transitioning.)

Rabbit, dog, cat, mouse,
Tell me the number on your house. (Children tell their address.)

Monday, September 18, 2023


It’s pretty amazing that children have better technical skills than many adults, but they don’t know how to tie their shoes. Believe it or not, "knows how to tie shoes" was on our checklist in the old days.

When my kids were little I got a big stuffed animal and used an apron to teach them how to tie. The apron strings were much bigger and easier to manipulate than shoestrings.

Here are two poems that might help children with this task.

1-2-3-4 – TYING SHOES
Let’s get ready to tie your shoes.
Over and under. Now, what to do? (Pull strings tight.)
1. Make a loop that looks like a tree. (Make a loop with right string.)
2. The other string is a rabbit you see. (Hold up left string.)
3. The rabbit goes around and in a hole. (Take left string around loop and stick in the hole.)
4. Pull the loops tight and there is your bow! (Take both loops and pull.)

Hint! Take a marker and color one half of the shoe string. It will be easier for children to tell which loop is the "rabbit' and which is the "hole" if they are different colors.

Take the 2 strings (Make loops with each string.)
And make two bunny ears.
Over and under
And a knot will appear. (Tie loops in a knot.)
Pull the ears tight
And what do you know? (Pull loops.)
You’ve tied your shoes
And there is your bow!

Hint! One teacher suggested getting a bag and sending home the shoe with a different child each night. It would be a nice reminder that children still do need to know how to tie their shoes in 2023!

You’ll love this idea from Karen Hansen and Karen Aikin! When children learn to tie their shoes they get to sign their name on a poster that says “Shoe Sheriff Club.” Each day a child on the poster gets to wear a badge and be Shoe Sheriff for the day. If someone’s shoes come untied, they have to go to the Sheriff instead of bothering the teacher.

*Ashley Swedell puts shoes on table legs and if children finish their work early they can practice their tying.

Note! Janet Cantrell has children practice tying using their own leg!

Passport of Accomplishment
Make an award similar to the one below to distribute to children when they learn to tie their shoes.

Sunday, September 17, 2023


Every year around this time I hear horror stories about primary grade children having several hours of homework each evening. The child ends up crying - the parents end up yelling – what’s the point?

First of all, if a young child goes to school and sits and listens and works and learns for six hours, they deserve to do what they want when they get home. The 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!

If I were in charge of the world, primary grade children would NOT be allowed to spend more than 30 minutes on homework each night. They might be asked to read 20+ minutes and then have ONE other assignment. I would try to make the assignment engage with the parent and connect the real world with what’s going on in the classroom. For example, the assignment might be to ask their parents what a veteran is and to find out who the veterans in their family are. The assignment might be to ask their parents how they use math in their jobs. The assignment might be to cut out a picture from the newspaper and write one or two sentences about it. Drill and kill worksheets should be banned!

My daughter brought up the point that many parents WANT homework and are impressed with lengthy assignments because they think it will make their children smarter. In the book Battle Over Homework: Common Ground for Administrators,Teachers, and Parents, Harris Cooper put together a variety of research studies on homework. He found that in elementary school, homework has almost no impact on academic achievement. In middle school, the results are mixed. In high school, moderate levels of homework can help the learning process.

Here are some ideas 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

Here's a great article by Laura Pearson to share with your families!

Image via Pexels


Staying Organized as a Busy Parent

Being a parent is hard work. With a day job, taking care of children, and running errands, staying organized can be a challenge. However, there are some cost-efficient solutions that can help make the daily balancing act easier. Taking advantage of these simple technology ideas from Dr. Jean and Friends can help keep your life in order and reduce stress. 

Organize Your Child's Medical History With PDF Tools

It is important to keep track of your children's medical history and schooling documents. With PDF tools, you can easily manage, organize and store these important documents in one place. Furthermore, you probably want to try a PDF file converter so you can access them from any device with an internet connection.

Generate a List of Tasks

Chore charts can help keep the house clean while teaching responsibility to your children. Assign age-appropriate chores that each child can do independently or together with parents. This makes it easier for everyone to pitch in and take ownership of tasks around the house which helps reduce stress for busy parents in the long run.


Assigning weekly chores helps to teach responsibility within a family and holds everyone accountable for specific tasks. For example, taking out garbage and recycling on Tuesday nights. This reduces stress in the household, as everyone knows what is expected of them without needing constant reminders from mom or dad. Moreover, this helps to instill good habits in children and can even help with budgeting by teaching them about setting aside resources for completing chores.


Create a Cleaning Schedule


PureWow notes that creating a cleaning routine for your home can seem like an overwhelming task. However, breaking down the process into smaller, manageable chunks makes it easier to keep up with and maintain. With regular cleaning, you'll find that your home is tidier and more organized than before, while the process itself becomes faster and more enjoyable.

Add Organizing Time to Your Schedule

Organizing time should be set aside in your weekly schedule so that you can regularly go through papers, forms, bills, toys, clothes, etc. Reader’s Digest suggests setting aside even just a few minutes each day for organizing tasks so that it does not get overwhelming over time. This also sets an example for kids who will learn how important organization is in their everyday lives.

Meal Planning

Meal planning is essential for busy parents, as it saves time spent on grocery shopping trips and cooking meals from scratch each day. By having a meal plan, families can shop smarter and take advantage of bulk discounts at the grocery store or use coupons when possible. Additionally, having a meal plan helps ensure that families are eating healthier meals at home without spending extra money eating out.

Family Calendar

Busy parents have a lot on their plate, so staying organized is key. A great way to do this is by having one calendar that can be seen by all family members, like near the entrance door. Keeping track of activities and appointments with this shared calendar will make it easier to keep tabs on what everyone needs to do during the week ahead, as well as keep them in the loop about upcoming plans and activities.


Being a busy parent can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to trying to maintain order in the chaos. To help make life easier, it's important to stay organized. There are lots of cost-efficient ways to get and stay organized, such as using PDF tools, creating chore charts, and making cleaning schedules. These strategies can go a long way in helping you maintain sanity and manage all your daily responsibilities without breaking the bank.


Saturday, September 16, 2023


"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.

Friday, September 15, 2023


September 15th is “Make a Hat Day,” but kids love to make hats and wear hats any day of the year. Here are some ways that you can tie in hats with themes or skills you are working on.

Sentence Strip Hat
Materials: sentence strips or heavy paper cut in 2 ½” x 24”, markers, crayons, stickers
Directions: Let children decorate the sentence strip and then fit to their head and staple or tape in place.

Children can write letters, numerals, or vocabulary words on the headband. Sure beats doing a worksheet and accomplishes the same thing!

Children can add ears or other details to create an animal from a story. Let them wear their hats to retell the story.

*Wouldn’t this be more fun than a written book report?

How about an “all about me” headband?

Children can make an autograph hat with friends’ names.

If you cut a zigzag line on one side every child can be king or queen for the day!

Hint! Two brad fasteners and a rubber band will make the hat easier to adjust to the head, but it’s a lot more trouble.


Thursday, September 14, 2023


Several years ago I read Amanda Ripley’s book THE SMARTEST KIDS IN THE WORLD, one of the most interesting findings was that what parents did at home mattered significantly. Reading to children and talking about school was very important. Parents showed their children they valued education by asking about school, what they learned, what they liked, etc. Parents who modeled reading also had a positive impact.

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

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.

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.

Brain Tickets
Run off brain tickets similar to the ones below. To earn a brain ticket children need to tell the teacher one new thing they learned at the end of each day. Explain to the parents that their job is to ask their child what she learned to earn the ticket.

Laptops for Every Child
A teacher explained at her first parents’ meeting that she recommended that every child needed at least one laptop – two if possible. It’s not the kind of laptop that you plug in, but the kind with two knees. This laptop is perfect for reading, talking, hugging, and singing!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


Ready or not, it will be time for parent conferences before you know it! 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 for 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.”


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?

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.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023


Birthdays are a special time, but many schools are discouraging cupcakes. (It's a sad day because as a teacher I loved when kids had birthdays and I got a cupcake.) Well, here's an idea that is gluten free, sugar free, and sure to accommodate all food allergies while giving children a sweet birthday memory. You can watch me explain it on this video:

Make a circle of friends and invite the birthday child to stand in the middle. The birthday child can choose friends to be the candles on their cake. For example, if they are five years old they select five friends; six years old six friends, etc. The candles/friends stand around the birthday child and then the rest of the class holds hands to make the birthday cake as they say:

Today is child’s name birthday.
Let’s make her/him a cake. (Circle arms to make a bowl.)
Stir and mix and mix and stir, (Pretend to stir.)
Then into the oven to bake. (Pretend to put cake in the oven.)
Here’s our cake so nice and round. (Circle arms.)
We’ll frost it with icing white. (Spread frosting with palm.)
We’ll put age candles on it. (Hold up fingers.)
To make her/his birthday bright.

After singing the traditional birthday song, let the birthday child “blow” out the candles. The candles wiggle down to the floor when they are blown out.

What else can you do?
*Make the traditional paper birthday crown for the child to decorate. (This is one of those ideas that is timeless. And, it emphasizes that children are happy with PLAIN VANILLA!)

*Make a “Happy Birthday” book. Each child in the classroom draws a picture of something they would like to give the birthday friend. A simple sentence like “My wish for you is_____.” could be added to the page. The birthday child decorates a large sheet of construction paper in which the pictures from their friends can be stapled to make a book.

*Give the birthday child one special wish. She can choose a game, book, song, friend to sit by, etc.

*Spray paint a chair gold and decorate with fake jewels. The “Fancy Nancy Chair” can be used for birthdays and other classroom celebrations.

*In my granddaughter’s school they “gave” a favorite book to the class on their birthday.

Monday, September 11, 2023


Morning meeting (aka circle time) is a special time to celebrate little milestones in children's lives like losing a tooth or getting a new pair of shoes. Here are some songs that we always used to celebrate these events.

Happy Haircut (Tune: "Happy Birthday to You")
Only sing this song if the children like their haircut. We've all had haircuts where we wanted to hide in a sack!

Happy haircut to you.
Happy haircut to you.
You're sure lookin' good!
Happy haircut to you.

New Shoes (Tune: "This Old Man")
When children wear a new pair of shoes to school, let them stand in front
of the room and dance as you sing this song to them.

Here’s one foot. (Child sticks out one foot.)
Here are two. (Child sticks out other foot.)
Each is wearing a brand, new shoe,
So stand up, turn around, dance around the floor. (Child dances in a circle.)
That’s what these two feet are for. (Point to feet.)

Welcome Back (Tune: "The Bear Went over the Mountain")
If a child has been absent, insert their name in this song when they return to school
to let them know you missed them.

Welcome back child’s name.
Welcome back child’s name.
Welcome back child’s name.
We’re glad you’re here today.

Loose Tooth (Tune: "Turkey in the Straw")
Celebrate when a child loses a tooth by using their name I this tune.

Oh, look in child’s name mouth
And what do you see?
A great, big hole where a tooth used to be.
Well, they wiggled it and jiggled it until it wiggled free.
Now, there’s a window when they smile at me.

Sunday, September 10, 2023


September 10th is officially Grandparents' Day. Even if you are not a biological parent, every teacher is a grandparent to children in some way because you think they are absolutely WONDERFUL!

Grandparents' Day reminds all of us to recall of a special memory we had with our grandparents. It's also the perfect day to call them, thank them, and tell them that you love them!

My grandfather used to put me on a stool and let me help him make canned tomato soup when I visited. That was the BEST soup in the whole, wide world. My sweet grandmother would always let me have a tea party and she never said, "Only one spoonful of sugar!"

Someone once told me that when a person you care for passes away your memories and love are like beams of light going to them. I hope it's true! (You know, it's also interesting that so many of my memories of life involve food. Is that just me or is the same true for you?)

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.

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!

Grandparents' Party
Although this is way too early in the school year to plan a party for grandparents, you can have a celebration any month. After thirty years I can still recall a grandmother thanking me and saying, "Now when I think of Kristy I can see her in this happy place." I always involved the children in making the invitations, snacks, decorations, nametags, and a little gift for our grandparents' party. I would also let them choose the songs and dances they wanted to do for their grandparents. (Of course, “Tooty Ta" was always at the top of the list and we asked the grandparents to join along!)

Here are some other ideas:
*Take a photo of the child with her grandparents.
*Have children draw a picture of their grandparents and then play “Guess Who?" as you hold up the drawings.
*Ask grandparents to write down a story about what they remember about being in Kindergarten, first grade, etc.
*Let grandparents and children do a craft activity together.

Saturday, September 9, 2023


Do you remember how happy a new box of crayons made you when you were a child? There was always a lot of “hope” in those sharp, new crayons. I was never a great artist, but I was thrilled with the “possibilities” those crayons offered!

*A good rule of thumb for encouraging children to use many colors in their drawings is to ask them to use as many colors as they are in age. If they are four years old they should use at least 4 different crayons; if they are five years old they should use five colors, etc.

*As you read books to the class, explain the illustrator’s name. Have children notice details in illustrations. Why is it important to add details? Remind them when they draw pictures they are illustrators, too, and they should add lots of details to make their pictures more interesting.

*Encourage children to close their eyes and think about what they want to draw before they begin coloring. “Get a picture in your brain and then you’ll know what you want your picture to look like. It’s like telling a story with your crayons.”

*Keep a box for “lost crayons” on a shelf so children have a place to put crayons that get misplaced.

*Use mint tins or other small containers to store crayons when boxes fall apart.

A Coloring We’ll Go
(Tune: “A Hunting We Will Go”)
A coloring we’ll go.
A coloring we’ll go.
Hi ho, it’s fun you know,
A coloring we’ll go.

Use straight and curvy lines.
Use straight and curvy lines.
With yellow, purple, green, and orange,
We’ll make our picture fine. (Chorus)

The details we will draw.
The details we will draw.
Imagine all the little things.
The details we will draw. (Chorus)

We’ll fill in the page.
We’ll fill in the page.
Use as many colors
As you are in age.

A coloring we’ll go.
A coloring we’ll go.
We’ll put them in the box and close the top
When we’re through, you know.

Check out this video my webmaster made to go with the song.

Friday, September 8, 2023


 This is a song your students will enjoy singing, but there are many skills “camouflaged” here. 

*This song reinforces the concept that when you put letters together you make a word.
*Children can learn to read the color words.
*More advanced children can learn to spell the color words.

The Color Farm
(Tune: “BINGO”)
There was a farmer had a cat
And Black was her name-o
B-L-A-C-K (Clap on each letter.)
And Black was her name-o.

Horse – GREEN
Bird – BLUE
Chick – YELLOW
Pig – RED

Your children can sing along.

Let the children make stick puppets that they can hold up as you sing.


Write the color word and put a picture clue by it on a sentence strip. Pass these out for the children to hold up as you sing.

Cut a 7” circle out of the top of a file folder. Add ears, tails, and other features for each animal. Children hold it up around their face as you sing.

Hint!  Make up additional verses for other colors. For example, a pink flamingo, tan turtle, grey goat, white sheep, etc.

Word Puzzles 
Materials: sentence strips, envelopes, markers

Directions: Write sight words on sentence strips. Cut between the letters to make a puzzle. Place the puzzle pieces in an envelope. Make a balloon the appropriate color on the front of the envelope. Children remove the letters and try to put them together to make the word.
Hint! Write the word on the back of the envelope so children can self-check.

Pull and Read 
Materials: sentence strips, envelopes, markers

Directions: Write sight words on 10” sections of sentence strips with a black marker. Draw a small balloon the appropriate color at the right end of each word. Seal a letter size envelope and then trim off the left end. Insert the sight words in the envelope. Children pull out one letter at a time and try to blend the sounds and identify the color word. They can self-check with the balloon at the end.

Configuration Puzzles 
Write color words on the board. Invite children to trace around the outside shape of each word. Erase the letters inside the outlines. Can children identify the word from the shadow?