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Monday, July 31, 2023


Handshakes are a “hands” on way to connect with the children physically and emotionally as you start your day.

Handshake Greeting
Have each child stand as you extend your right hand to them. Say, “Good morning child’s name.” Teach the children to look you in the eyes as they shake your hand and say, “Good morning teacher’s name.”

Note! It would be good to have a discussion about this and ask them if they’ve ever seen adults shake hands. Why do we shake hands? Which hand should you use? Put a sticker or stamp on their right hand or tie a ribbon around their right wrist to help them remember. Explain that it’s important to give a firm handshake, smile, and look the other person in the eyes.

Shake a Hand (Tune: “Mulberry Bush”)
Everybody shake a hand, shake a hand, shake a hand.
Everybody shake a hand and walk around the room.
(Walk around the room as you shake hands.)

Everybody give high 5… (High five.)

Hug a hand… (Palms together, wrap thumbs around, and squeeze.)

Knuckle bump… (Make fists and bump knuckles.)

Boogey down… (Wiggle down and up with a friend.)

Smile and wink and walk back to your seat. (Smile and wink.)

Happy Handshakes
Here are some other handshakes your class might enjoy. Choose one and do it every day for a week. After you’ve introduced several you can let a special helper choose the handshake for the day.

Butterfly – Hook right thumbs together. Extend the other four fingers to make the butterfly’s wings. Pretend to flutter the butterfly’s wings as you move your hands in a circular motion.

Squirrel – One friend extends her arm. The other friend quickly runs fingers from the wrist up to the shoulder. Switch places.

Thumb Kiss – Hold up thumbs and touch as you make a smacking sound.

Hamburger – Children bump fists and say, “Burger.” Open fists and wiggle fingers together as they say, “Fries.” Hands in the air and shake fists and hips as they say, “Shake.”

Farmer – The teacher crosses her fingers and points thumbs down to represent the cow’s utter. The child grabs the thumbs and pretends to milk the cow.

Cool Dude – Partners knuckle bump and then open their fist and slide it back as they say, “Pssshhh!”

Double Cross Handshake – Shake right hands and then reach across and shake left hands.

Lumberjack – Partners hold up right thumbs and grab them with the left hand. Partners then clasp right fingers and pretend to saw back and forth.

Builder – Shake hands and move them up and down vertically as you say, “Here’s a hammer.” Move hands horizontally back and forth as you say, “Here’s a saw.” Gently twist wrists as you say, “And here’s a screwdriver.”

Potato – Bump fists as you say, “Baked potato.” Bend index fingers and touch as you say, “Tader tot.” Open fingers and wiggle with your partner as you say, “And fries.”

Ghost – Extend arms and swish back in forth as you say, “Woooo!”

Buzz! Extend index finger and touch to your partner’s index finger as you make a buzzing sound.

Fisherman – Place right hand on each other’s right forearm and tap gently like a fish tail. Bend right arm back as if reeling in a fish as you say, “Good morning!”

Hand Hug – Hold up right palms and touch in the air. Bend thumbs around and gently squeeze.

Spiderman – Partners hold up four fingers and intertwine. Spiders have 8 legs and you have 8 wiggly fingers.

Biker – Children hold out fists and stick up thumbs. The teacher grabs the thumbs and pretends to turn them while making a “Brrrrmmmm” sound. “Now your brain is revved up and you’re ready to learn!”

Body Parts – Call out different body parts and challenge children to greet partners by gently touching elbows, knees, heads, ankles, toes, chins, etc.

Jellyfish – Bump fists and then open and close fingers as you pull them back like a jellyfish.

Bow Wow – Partners bow and then make “w’s” by sticking up three middle fingers. Open mouth and place “w’s” on either side to create the word “WOW!”

4-H Hello – Children can choose one of these “H’s.”
High Five (High five partner.)
Handshake (Shake hands.)
Hug (Hug each other.)
Hollywood kiss (Air kiss on left and right.)

*They can also choose a homerun, which is all four!

Hint! Cut a hand, numeral “5”, heart, and lips out of fun foam or felt. Place on the floor so the children can stand on the one they’d like.

P.S. Think about saying good-bye to your students at the end of the day with a handshake.

Here’s a video where you can watch me demonstrate some of these handshakes.

Sunday, July 30, 2023


How you start your morning can create positive feelings that will last all day long. Stretching, breathing, and balancing can help children "center" themselves so they can focus and learn.

Morning Stretch

Five Finger Breathing
Children stretch out one hand like a star. They take the pointer finger of the other hand and trace the outside of the thumb as they inhale. They exhale as they trace the inside of the thumb. Inhale as they go up the index finger. Exhale as they go down the index finger. Continue inhaling and exhaling until all the fingers have been touched.

*Reverse and do the same thing using the opposite hand and finger.

Balancing Act
Balancing is a simple, yet powerful way to help children calm their bodies and engage their brains. Balancing is quiet and requires no special equipment.

Saturday, July 29, 2023


How are you going to start your first day? I liked to stand by the door and personally greet each child with a hug or a handshake.

Note! If your school restricts physical contact, a smile or air hug will go a long way.

Think about the routine you want to use each day and just jump right in...

Do you call it circle time or morning meeting or??? Whatever you call it, choose an active song that you like and use it to get the blood going to the brain and release wiggles.

It's important to choose a song and do the same song every day. That way it will become an "indicator activity" and when the children hear it they'll know it's time to get the show started!

These are some of my favorite good morning songs:

Rise and Shine


Feeling Fine 

Time to Get Up

Sharing Good News (Jessica Williams)
Write children’s names on craft sticks and place in a jar that says “Good News.” The teacher starts every morning by sharing her own “good news.” The children clap or cheer for her. Next, she pulls a stick and the class sings, "Tell me something good!" That child shares their good news and then the class does a cheer. The teacher pulls the second stick and they sing, "Tell me something good" and then cheer. Do three children each day and then put those who have had a turn in an envelope and start all over again when everyone has had a turn.  

Turn on Your Brain
Start the day by having your students “turn on their brains.”
Turn on the left side (twist by left forehead).
Turn on the right side (twist by right forehead).
Turn on the left ear…
Turn on the right ear...
Turn on the left eye…
And the right eye.
You don’t have to turn on your mouth because it stays “on” all the time.
Now you are ready to learn!!!

Friday, July 28, 2023


There is a limit to the time that children can sit and pay attention, but this idea might help spark interest in your morning routine as you build skills. Think about having older children stand and walk around the room to face the flag, calendar, word wall, and classroom alphabet. As children stand and walk around the room you can engage them in some of the songs, movements, and interactive activities suggested.

My World
What? flag, US map, poster of handshakes, classroom rules

How? Sing a good morning song, say the pledge, do a handshake, review rules, etc.

What? calendar, weather chart, hundreds chart, daily schedule

How? Sing songs about the days of the week or the month, review your daily schedule. Sing the weather song and have a “meteorologist” report. Count, add boys and girls, think of equations that equal the date, etc.

Word Wall
What? word wall, flashlight, pointer, fly swatter

How? Sing, dance, clap, and cheer words. Make sentences with words, play games, spotlight words, spell words with sign language, etc.

Alphabet Wall
What? class alphabet, pointers

How? Sing alphabet songs and play letter recognition games. Clap on consonants and jump on vowels. Do Karate writing where children punch up high for tall letters, punch in front of them for middle letters, and give a little kick for letters with a tail.

Hint! Even if you don’t want to do all of the above activities, it’s important to get the children up and wake up their brains with a song or movement activity.

Thursday, July 27, 2023


All you have to do is put something in a bag and you’ll capture children’s curiosity and interest. Take a gift bag and hide a book, game, object, or prop that relates to a skill or theme you are working on and sing this song to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot.”

Surprise Sack
What’s in the surprise sack?
Who can tell?
Maybe it’s a book or maybe it’s a shell.
What’s in the surprise sack?
Who can see?
It’s something special for you and me!
What’s in the surprise sack?
Who can say?
Maybe it’s a picture or maybe it’s a game.
What’s in the surprise sack
Look and see.
It’s something special for you and me!

And here's a surprise for you!  Summer riddles from my webmaster Alex May.

And here's a link to the cards that go with the riddles:

Mystery Box
Hide something you want to talk about (book, natural object, etc.) in a box and play “20 Questions.” Children get 20 chances to ask yes/no questions to figure out what is in the mystery box. Tally the questions on the board to keep track.

*Use this as an opportunity to teach strategies that will help narrow the answer. For example: Is it living? Is it non-living? Is it something in your house? Is it a person? Place? Thing?

Imagination Bag
Give each child a paper lunch bag and explain that you are going on an imaginary trip. You can take a trip to the pumpkin patch, zoo, outer space, or any place that fits with their interests or a theme. Have them open their bags and look for something they might see on the imaginary trip. Encourage them to take turns naming objects and making imaginary places on the floor in front of them.

*Tie imagination bags into concepts you want to reinforce, such as letters, shapes, sounds, etc. For example: “Who can find something in their bag that is a square?”

Note!  You're probably reading this and thinking that "Dr. Jean has lost it."  I'm telling you from experience that the kids LOVE this imagination bag!

Wednesday, July 26, 2023


Ticket to Circle Time
Run off paper tickets and pass one out to each child. Explain that it’s their special ticket for circle time.

Hint! Cut a slit in the plastic lid of a food container for children to insert their tickets as they join the group.

Five Minute Warning
Several minutes before circle time I would ring a bell, sing a song, or do something else to let the children know we’d begin the day soon. This gave them time to bring closure to what they were doing.

*I actually had a job called the “The Five Minute Person.” When there were five minutes before circle time, five minutes left in center time, five minutes left on the playground, etc. I’d tell that specific helper to give their friends the warning. "The Five Minute Person" would walk around holding up five fingers as they said, “Five more minutes! Five more minutes!” Talk about feeling important! Oh, and it really didn’t matter if it was five minutes or two minutes!

Mystery? Mystery?
Write a sight word, vocabulary word, letter, number, shape, or picture of something you are going to discuss on the board. Cover it with a piece of paper and tape it at the top. As children enter the classroom they take a “peek.” At morning meeting encourage children to discuss what they know or ask questions that they have about the “mystery item.”

Piddle Time
One of my first supervisors suggested we start each morning with “piddle time.” What is “piddle time”? It’s five or ten minutes at the beginning of the day as children arrive and straggle in. In most schools, they don’t all march in at the same time. I always had quiet activities on the rug to engage my children and give them time to talk, settle in, etc. Some days I’d put out a tub of books or magazines, sometimes puzzles, games, blank books and crayons, etc. Other teachers have told me that they have children write in their journals or do another paper activity to help them settle down.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023


Circle time should be a natural time when you look the children in their eyes and give them 100% of your attention. Let this be an AUTHENTIC time when it’s just YOU and the CHILDREN! 
Be in the moment!

Do Your Own Thing- Each class is different and unique. Get to know your kids and adapt activities to stimulate them and create interest.

Intentional Teaching– What’s the point? Think of your goals and objectives and then make a plan. What age do you teach? What is their skill level?

Balance – Integrate activities where children sit and then let them stand and wiggle. Sometimes they need to be quiet and listen, and sometimes they can be encouraged to talk.

Hands-on– Try to provide multi-sensory experiences to activate different pathways to the brain. Finger plays, movement songs, handshakes, and real objects will engage children more than watching a video.

Vary the Stimulus– Yes, you want to have a basic routine to give children security and help them feel comfortable, but you need a little spark each day to keep them focused and curious.

Model, Model, Model! Children learn more from your actions than your words. Model sitting quietly, listening attentively when a child is talking, being enthusiastic with your facial expressions, and making the motions for the songs and finger plays.

Quit while you are ahead! Don’t make circle time too long! Start with 10-15 minutes and then extend it as the year goes along. They will let you know by their body language when they’ve had enough!

Follow a basic routine:

Good Morning Song
Morning Message/Review Schedule
Calendar and Weather
Pledge, Rules & Mantra
Active - Skill Songs
Concept Lesson – Theme

You might also want to highlight a different area of the curriculum each day of the week.

Marvelous Monday– Teach a new nursery rhyme or finger play. Practice it each day at circle time.

Terrific Tuesday– What’s in the news? Introduce social studies concepts of interest to the children. Discuss friendship and showing kindness. Brainstorm what to do about classroom behavior issues.

Wonderful Wednesday– Focus on oral language with show and tell, echo chants, and phonological awareness games.

Thrilling Thursday– There’s always something interesting outside your classroom door that your children will be interested in. Each season brings new experiences and objects to observe.

Fabulous Friday– Just for fun! Play a silly game, have a dress up day (silly socks, shirt of favorite sports team, etc.), be DJ and play favorite songs, etc.

My hope is that you’ll be a little more excited to start the new school year and have some fun as you make plans so EVERY DAY WILL BE THE BEST DAY EVER!

Monday, July 24, 2023


You know I’ve been at this rodeo a LONG time, but before they put me out to the pasture, I want to keep all the ideas I’ve gleaned along the way alive and I want them available for you. I am a broken record saying, “THE WORLD KEEPS CHANGING, BUT CHILDREN ARE THE SAME.” The activities I used in my classroom years ago will still work for you today. You can call it circle time, or morning meeting, or anything you want, but the bottom line is it’s a special way to start your day.

What if someone says that circle time is a waste of time? 

What would you respond? Do you really think it’s a waste of time? Most of us who have actually sat in a circle with our children to start the day realize it is MAGIC! It is the way to connect with your children, nurture your classroom family, develop social /emotional skills, and set the stage for the day. Since standards and skills are driving education, take a look at these skills that can be nurtured in a natural way at circle time.

Oral language– Children learn to feel comfortable talking in a group and expressing their thoughts and opinions. They also learn to listen to their classmates and respect their ideas.

Literacy skills– Alphabet songs, phonological awareness activities, choral reading, nursery rhymes, finger plays, daily message, and classroom print can be highlighted at circle time.

Math concepts– Talking about the calendar, counting the friends present, comparing sizes, or discussing shapes can be a meaningful part of circle time.

Executive function– As children learn to sit quietly and participate in a group they are developing self-regulation. There is also a beginning and an end to the routine.

Classroom management– This is a time when the teacher can reinforce simple skills, explain classroom activities, review the daily schedule, and model expectations.

Social skills– Learning to take turns and listen to classmates is expected in circle time. As children sing songs together or say rhymes or finger plays they can have fun with their friends. At this group time you can brainstorm classroom problems – tattling, hurting someone’s feelings, pushing in line, etc.

Emotional skills– In circle time all children can be accepted and valued for their individuality. Feelings that we are all different, but that’s O.K., are of primary focus.

Physical skills– Dances and movement songs release wiggles and oxygenate the brain. Cross-lateral activities activate the brain and get it ready to learn.

Science & Social Studies– Talking about the weather, the leaves changing colors, the different ways families celebrate, classroom pets, and real events in the children’s world are meaningful topics at circle time. Specific themes and units of study can also be integrated into this large group time.

Fall in Love with Books- Circle time can be used for book walks, talks, themes, and bibliotherapy.

We Can Make a Circle
This is a precious song to gather the children and make a circle. It goes to the tune of “Lassie and Laddie.” Take the hands of several children and slowly walk in a circle as you sing.
We can make a circle, a circle, a circle.
We can make a circle and hold hands right now.
Hold hands with a friend, a circle never ends.
We can make a circle and hold hands right now.

Hint! Continue singing the song until all the children have joined hands to make a circle. Sit down and you’re ready to begin.

P.S. If anyone (administrator or supervisor or parent) says you shouldn't do circle time, please give them my cell phone (404-386-9057) and I'll explain it to them!!!!


Sunday, July 23, 2023


Rules help children feel secure and know what behavior is expected of them. Choose a few simple rules and state them in a positive way. 

Hint! This "Rules Rap" will be a fun way to start your day singing and dancing.

Rules Rap
The rules, the rules, the rules of the classroom. (Snap fingers.)
The rules, the rules, the rules of the classroom.

Follow, follow, follow directions, (Point index fingers.)
Follow, follow, follow directions. Chorus

Feet and hands, feet and hands, (Point to feet and hands.)
Feet and hands to yourself. Chorus

Small voices inside, tall voices on the playground.
(Quiet voice, then loud voice.)
Small voices inside, tall voices on the playground. Chorus

Work together, don’t fight, or you’ll get in trouble.
(Clasp hands, then hold nose.)
Work together, don’t fight, or you’ll get in trouble. Chorus

Here's a video where your children can do the "Rules Rap" with me.

After teaching the class the “Rules Rap” discuss why rules are important. Say, “I know everyone in our class has a good rule to share with us.” Give each child a sheet of paper to draw a rule. Older students can write the rule and younger students can dictate the rule. Put their rules together, make a cover, and bind to make a book. Explain that when adults agree to do something they sign a contract. “Everyone made these rules. Are you all going to obey these rules? (Of course, they’ll agree!) Then I’m going to let you put your thumb on an ink pad and stamp your thumbprint on our book to show that you will abide by these rules.” 

When children are doing something they shouldn’t be doing take the book and point to a page as you say, “Look, it says _______ in the book. Show me the right thing to do.” 

If You Don't Know What to Do 
Here's a song to "If You're Happy and You Know It" that will suggest a positive model for children who are not following directions.

If you don't know what to do, look at (child's name).
If you don't know what to do, look at (child's name).
He/she will show you what to do so you can do it, too.
If you don't know what to do, look at (child's name).

Saturday, July 22, 2023

TIPS AND TRICKS - Secret Signals and Signs

Try simple hand movements and sign language to engage learners.

Secret Signals
Explain that your class will have some secret signals that no one else knows.
1. When you say “one”, they should sit criss-cross applesauce.
2. When you say “two,” they need to put their hands in their lap.
3. On “three,” they put a smile on their face.

*Make up additional secret numbers, such as “four” stand up straight and “five” hands by sides

Sign Language
Sign language is multi-sensory and challenging for children. (They love to learn things that their parents and siblings don’t know!) Introduce one of these signs each day for various classroom directions.

Pay Attention - palms pointing towards face
Stand Up - 2 fingers standing on palm and then point up
Line Up - 4 fingers extended on each hand
Sit Down - 2 fingers sitting and then point down
Wait - hands to side and wiggle fingers
Stop - chop hand on palm
Please - palm open on chest and circle around
Thank you - fingers on chin and then down to palm
Look, Listen, Learn - make “L” and place by eyes, ears, and brain

*Note! Look at,, or another website with sign language videos.

Peace and Quiet
Make the “peace” sign with one hand as you put the index finger from the other hand on your mouth.

Magic Clap
Explain to the children that you have a magic clap to teach them. Every time you clap your hands, you want them to repeat the clap and look at you. Practice clapping various patterns until all the children have joined in.

Friday, July 21, 2023

TIPS AND TRICKS - Props and Magic Wands

Children don’t think abstractly. They live in a concrete world and that’s why simple props work like magic to capture their attention.

Music Box
Play a music box to indicate to the children it’s time to get quiet.
*One teacher said she wound up the music box at the end of the day and challenged the children to get quiet quickly so there would still be music at the end of the day.

Whistles and Chimes
Use a whistle, chimes, squeaky toy or other sound effect to get children’s attention.

Blow bubbles and see if the children can be sitting quietly before all the bubbles pop.

Blink the lights, play a xylophone, or make some other unique noise or motion.

Quiet Lotion
Make a label for a bottle of disinfectant that says “Quiet Lotion” or "Calm Down Lotion." As you pass it around the class ask children to take a little and rub it in their hands. Explain that it’s a reminder to pay attention and to be a good listeners.

Quiet Creatures
(Jennifer Olayo)
You’ll need a large pompom, small pompom, googly eyes, and a foam heart or flower to make a quiet creature. Glue the small pompom to the large one for a nose. Add eyes and stick the heart on the bottom for feet. Children take out their quiet creatures during quiet activities. If they talk they lose their creature. When they finish they can whisper quietly to their creature.

Brain Sprinkles
Put a few spoonfuls of rice in a Pringle’s can and glue on the lid. Cover the can with sparkly paper. When it’s something important for the children to learn explain that you will put brain sprinkles on them. (Shake the can over their heads!)

Make a magic wand by dipping the end of a chopstick in glue and then rolling it in glitter.
Dry. Wave the wand in the air as you say:

Abracadabra! When you feel the magic you will be quiet and listen to me!

*If a child is not listening, wave it over their head as you say, “You must not feel the magic. Child’s name, do you feel it now?” Look at the child as you say this and you might even surprise yourself how well it works!

Thursday, July 20, 2023

TIPS AND TRICKS - Espanol!!!

I'm always thrilled when I can offer you translations. Although I can't do it, several years ago Claudia Hernandez translated my favorite attention grabbers and transitions for you. GRACIAS, CLAUDIA!


Tootsie Roll
Tootsie roll, (Roll hands around each other.)
Lollipop. (Pretend to lick a lollipop.)
We’ve been talking, (Open and shut fingers.)
Now let’s stop! (Make sign language sign for “stop.”)

Tootsie Roll
Tootsie roll, (Roll hands around each other.)
Chupete. (Pretend to lick a lollipop.)
Hemos estado hablando (Open and shut fingers.)
¡Ahora detengámonos! (Make sign language sign for “stop.”)

Hocus Pocus
Teacher says:
“Hocus Pocus!” (Stick out index finger and circle around like a magic wand.)
Children respond:
“Everybody focus!” (Children make circles with fingers and thumbs and place
around eyes like spectacles.)

Hocus Pocus
Teacher says:
“Hocus Pocus!” (Stick out index finger and circle around like a magic wand.)
Children respond:
“Todos concentrados!” (Children make circles with fingers and thumbs and place
around eyes like spectacles.)

Teacher says: Is everybody happy?
Children repeat: Yes, ma’m. H –a- p – p – y. Happy! (Clap on letters.)

Teacher says: ¿Están todos felices?
Children repeat: Si, maestra. F-e- l- I -c- e -s. Felices! (Clap on letters.)

Give Me a Clap (Tune: “Addams Family”)
Give me a clap. (Clap twice.)
Give me a clap. (Clap twice.)
Give me a clap, give me a clap,
Give me a clap. (Clap twice.)
Give me a snap. (Snap twice.)
Give me a snap. (Snap twice.)
Now fold your hands and put them down
Into your lap. (Model putting your hands in your lap.)

Give Me a Clap (Tune: “Addams Family”)
Aplaudamos (Clap twice.)
aplaudamos (Clap twice.)
aplaudamos, aplaudamos,
aplaudamos. (Clap twice.)
Tronemos los dedos. (Snap twice)
Tronemos los dedos. (Snap twice)
Dobla tus manos y ahora bájalas
En tu regazo. (Model putting your hands in your lap).

Sit Down Chant
Clap your hands. (Clap 3 times slowly.)
Stomp your feet. (Stomp slowly 3 times.)
Put your bottom
in your seat!

Sit Down Chant
Aplaude. (Clap 3 times slowly.)
Marchando. (Stomp slowly 3 times.)
en tu lugar!

How Does My Teacher Feel About Me?
Teacher says: “How does my teacher feel about me?”
Children respond: “I’m as special as special can be because my teacher believes in me!”

How Does My Teacher Feel About Me?
Teacher says: “¿Qué piensa mi maestra de mí?”
Children respond: ¡Soy más especial de lo que especial puede ser,
porque mi maestro cree en mí!"

Hands on Top
Teacher says: Hands on top. (Place hands on head.)
Students respond: Everybody stop. (Place hands on head and freeze.)

Hands on Top
Teacher says: Manos arriba (Place hands on head.)
Students respond: Todos paramos. (Place hands on head and freeze.)

Criss Cross
Criss cross, (Sit on floor and cross legs.)
Be your own boss. (Fold your arms and nod head.)

Criss Cross
Cruza tus piernas. (Sit on floor and cross legs.)
Tu estás a cargo! (Fold your arms and nod head.)

Sitting Chant
1, 2, 3, 4 - glue your bottoms to the floor.
5, 6, 7, 8 - hands to yourself and sit up straight.

Sitting Chant
1, 2, 3, 4 - siéntate en el piso.
5, 6, 7, 8 - manos en tus piernas y sentado derechito.

I Think I Can
This is a great song to sing to encourage children to always give it a try. It goes to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”
I think I can are words I like to say.
I think I can are words I like to say.
In time I’ll get it right if I try with all my might.
I think I can are words I like to say.

“Creo que puedo” son palabras que me gusta decir.
“Creo que puedo” son palabras que me gusta decir.
Con el tiempo lo haré bien, si lo intento y me esfuerzo.
“Creo que puedo” son palabras que me gusta decir.

Check out this story about the WIGGLE FAMILY that my webmaster created:

Wednesday, July 19, 2023


Children and lines are not a “perfect fit,” but these songs and movements will engage them in a positive direction.

Lining Up Is Easy to Do ("Cadence" - Children repeat each line.)
Lining up is easy to do (Slap thighs to the beat)
When you take care of only you.
Feet together hands by sides,
We've got spirit, we've got pride.
Sound off - 1, 2
Hit it again - 3, 4
Out the door - 1, 2, 3, 4,
1, 2 - 3, 4

Line Up Song
(Tune: “Gilligan’s Island Theme Song”)
I’m looking straight ahead of me
My arms are at my sides.
My feet are quiet as can be
I’m ready for outside.

Line Up Song
(Tune: “Hi Ho, Hi Ho”)
Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to (lunch, play, home, etc.) we go.
With our heads held high and arms by our sides
And our belly buttons all in a row.

Hips and Lips
Children place one hand on their hip and one finger on their lips.

*Hips, Lips, Zip, Flip
Teacher says "Hips" - children put one hand on their hips.
Teacher says "Lips" - children put index finger from the other hand on their lips.
Hallway Trip
“Zip” – pretend to zip your lips.
“Flip” – fold arms across your chest.
“We’re ready for the hallway trip.”

Let’s Pretend!
Marshmallows - Have the children put “marshmallows” in their mouths (Puff out cheeks.)
and put “marshmallows” on their feet. (Model walking slowly and gently.)
Museum Hands – Children clasp their hands behind their backs.
Butterfly Wings or Angel Wings - Children put their hands behind their backs and stick out their elbows and flap them like wings.
Bears and cave – One hand is the bear and insert it in the other hand behind your back.

Fix It Up
When students forget school rules and appropriate behavior, simply say:
STOP! (Put your hand in the air.)
BACK IT UP! (Have them return to their seats.)
FIX IT UP! (Choose a child to describe the appropriate behavior.)

A E I O - You may be dismissed.
(Point to children as you say the vowels. The child who would be “U” may line up.)

Wall Push Ups
While children are waiting and standing in line in the hall encourage them to do push ups against the wall.

Locket Pocket
To line up the teacher says: Locket. (Pretend to lock lips.)
Children respond: Pocket. (Pretend to put the key in their pocket.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2023


Children will be ready to sit down and focus with one of these tips!

Give Me a Clap (Tune: “Addams Family”) 
Give me a clap. (Clap twice.)
Give me a clap. (Clap twice.)
Give me a clap, give me a clap,
Give me a clap. (Clap twice.)
Give me a snap. (Snap twice.)
Give me a snap. (Snap twice.)
Now fold your hands and put them down
Into your lap. (Model putting your hands in your lap.)

Sit Down Chant
Clap your hands. (Clap 3 times slowly.)
Stomp your feet. (Stomp slowly 3 times.)
Put your bottom
in your seat!

Criss Cross
Criss cross. (Children sit cross legged on the floor.)
Be your own boss! (Children fold arms around their chest as they give themselves a hug. Hugging their chests helps children center themselves and gain control.)

Criss-Cross Applesauce

Cut the label off a can of applesauce and glue it to a piece of paper. Tape the paper to a stick and whenever you want the children to sit "criss-cross applesauce" hold up your sign. That's a good example of visual literacy because before children read words they read pictures.
*Thanks to my friend Pamela Pounds for this fantastic idea.

Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Lap (Tune: "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes")
Head, shoulders, knees, and lap, (Point to appropriate body part.)
Knees and lap.
Head, shoulders, knees, and lap, (Point to appropriate body part.)
Knees and lap.
Legs are criss-cross applesauce (Cross legs and fold hands.)
And our hands are in our lap, lap, lap.

Sitter Spot
If your class has a difficult time sitting in a spot you can make them a “sitter spot” from felt squares or fun foam. Cut circles (any size) and write the students’ names with a maker. Spread these out so they all have a defined place to sit. Explain that it’s their “special” spot.

Divide and Conquer
One of the simplest techniques for “impulsivity” is to separate children who tease each other. Putting a high-energy student between two quiet friends will definitely have a calming effect.

Put Your Bottom on the Rug
(Tune: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
Put your bottom on the rug, on the rug.
Put your bottom on the rug, on the rug.
Put your bottom on the rug, then give yourself a hug.
Put your bottom on the rug, on the rug.

Have a Seat (“Shortnin’ Bread”)
Everybody have a seat, have a seat, have a seat.
Everybody have a seat on the floor.
Not on the ceiling, not on the door.
Everybody have a seat on the floor!

*Note: If you want children to sit in a chair, then sing:
Everybody have a seat, have a seat, have a seat.
Everybody have a seat on your chair.
Not on the ceiling, not in the air.
Everybody have a seat on your chair.