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Monday, May 27, 2024

MEMORIAL DAY

One Memorial Day I said, "Happy Memorial Day," to a gentleman as I passed by. He replied, "You know, it's not a very happy day." And as I thought about it, I realized it is a sombre day - a day to mourn and remember all those who died for us. But I also think that those who died for us would like us to be happy and enjoy the day... remember them with gladness because we have FREEDOM thanks to them.

For most of you Memorial Day means that summer is here and it’s time to get out those white shoes, the sprinkler, and the grill. However, I think it’s important to take a minute today and think about the real meaning of this holiday.

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day because people decorated the gravesites of those who died during the Civil War. After World War I, it was extended to include all the women and men who died during military service.

The poppy has become a symbol of Memorial Day due to Moina Michael’s Poem “In Flanders Fields” (1915).

We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led,

It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.


Attending parades, visiting military gravesites, or decorating with flags are traditional ways to remember those who died serving our country.

Check out this website to learn more about Memorial Day:

http://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/



Whoever you are…wherever you are…take a few minutes today to PLAY! Do something that makes you happy! Do something that makes you glad to be alive! And, please, take a few minutes today to remember all the brave men and women who died serving the United States Military so that we could be free and happy today!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2024

WE LOVE OUR FLAG



We will celebrate Flag Day on June 14, but here’s a song you can sing all year to prompt your class before saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

We Love Our Flag
(Tune: “Farmer in the Dell”)
We love our flag.
We love our flag.
We love America
And we love our flag.

Red, white, and blue,
Red, white, and blue,
The colors of our country’s flag
Are red, white, and blue.

50 stars of white
On a field of blue
Stand for 50 states
Where we live, it’s true.

Thirteen stripes
In red and white
Stand for the colonies
For freedom they did fight.

We love our flag…

* Use the words in the song to explain the meaning of the stars and strips.

Here’s the link to download the book:
http://www.drjean.org/html/monthly_act/act_2007/06_Jun/1booksJun/WeLoveOurFlag.pdf




AmeriCANS
Check out this video to learn another song about our flag. The last verse is my favorite:
We are all Americans
And so we always say I CAN!
We try and do our best
Because we are Americans.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuhI_GXyF90

Flag Etiquette
Teach children flag etiquette and the importance of not dragging the flag on the ground.

Design a Flag
Give children a sheet of white paper and the scrap box and let them design their own flags.

Art Parade
O.K. If you've read to the end of this blog, I've saved the best idea until last. Whenever your class completes an art project let them "parade" their creations around the room. Put on some catchy music and they can walk around in a circle holding up their work. It's so funny because they really think they are "special."

SUMMER CHALLENGE!
At age 77 I still impress others (especially when we play Trivia) by singing this song about the states.  This might be a fun challenge for some of your students this summer.  Music really is magic because if children learn with a song it will be in their brains forever!

The Fifty Nifty States  (Tune: “Turkey in the Straw”)
There are 50 states in my country,
If you sing along you will learn them with me.
We are all very proud of the red, white and blue.
We’ll start with “A” and work our way through.

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas
California Colorado Connecticut Delaware
Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho
Illinois Indiana Iowa Don’t you know!

Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine
Maryland Mass. Michigan Minnesota
Miss. Missouri Montana Nebraska
Nevada N.H. New Jersey New Mexico

New York N.Carolina N. Dakota Ohio
Oklahoma Oregon Penn. We’re on a roll!
Rhode Is. S.Carolina S. Dakota Tennessee
Texas Utah We’re near the end, you see.

Vermont Virginia Washington State
West Va. Wisconsin Wyoming This is great!
We can sing them, we can say them, and now that we’re all through.
Kiss your brain and say, “Yahoo!”

*Hope you'll like this video my webmaster Alex May made for this song.  It sounds a little "off" because he had to slow down my singing to fit in the states.  It's still a fun way to learn.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKFnnN07Yk0

Saturday, May 25, 2024

PATTY CAKE SKILLS

Play, learn, and have fun with a Friend!


Here's a video I made with my grandson K.J. over 15 years ago.
(Wish I still looked like that!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpuDZ1DNl4I

Nursery Rhymes
Patty cake nursery rhymes.
*Use the tune to "100 Bottles of Pop on the Wall" or "Yankee Doodle.)

Letters and Sounds
Clap right hands and say a letter. Cross left hands and make the sound.
A (right hand)
/a/ (left hand)
B (right hand)
/b/ (left hand)
C through Z
Counting
Count by one’s, five’s, ten’s, etc.
Sight Words
Children face a partner. They say the word as they clap. They cross and tap partner’s hands on each letter. Then high five and say the word in the air.
the (clap hands)
t (right hand)
h (left hand)
e (right hand)
the (high five)

Math Facts
Say addends and then high five the sum.
3 (right hand)
plus (left hand)
4 (right hand)
equals (left hand)
7 (high five)



http://bit.ly/drjeanMaryMack

Friday, May 24, 2024

TAG - YOU'RE IT!!!!

We used to play "girls chase boys" or "boys chase girls" and then some decided that was politically incorrect. We started mixing the teams up and changed the names to things like "bunnies chase squirrels" or "Ninjas chase Robots." However, I'm smiling because kids will be kids and someone will continue to call out "girls chase boys" or "boys chase girls" forever!

Here are some new versions to the old game of tag that your children might enjoy.

Cat and Mouse
Materials: none
The children form a circle and hold hands. One child stands in the center and is the “mouse.” Another child stands outside the circle and is the “cat.” On a given signal, the “cat” must chase the “mouse.” They can enter or leave the circle only if the other players hold up their hands and form an arch. When the “cat” catches the “mouse,” let them choose classmates to take their places.

*Change the characters for different seasons. You could have the farmer chase the turkey, the witch chase the bat, etc.

Hug Tag
Materials: none
Designate a playing area. One child is “it.” “It” chases other children who must “freeze” when they are tagged. Other players hug those who are “frozen” to “unfreeze” them.

Stoop Tag
One child is "it." Children stoop down on the ground when they are tagged by "it." When everyone has been caught and is stooping down a new person is chosen to be "it" and the game begins again.

Cartoon Tag
Children must name a cartoon show when they are tagged. They can continue to play if they can name a show.


Shadow Tag
You'll need a sunny day for this game. Children must freeze when “it” steps on their shadow.

Sticky Tag
Children must hold the part of their body that is tagged by "it." They can continue to play touching the body part(s) that are tagged.


Thursday, May 23, 2024

BEAVER CALL

One more of those silly camp songs for you today!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFBgE93C9d4

The Beaver Call
Chorus: F-f-f, f-f-f, f-f-f-f-f-f-f.
(Extend arms and open and close fingers.
Put your top teeth over your bottom lip as you /f/.)

Beavers one, beavers all, (Cross right arm in front and then left arm.)
Do a little beaver call. (Chorus)

Beavers two, beavers three, (Pretend to climb a tree.)
Let’s chew up the beaver tree. (Chorus)

Beavers four, beaver five, (Pretend to dance.)
Do a little beaver jive. (Chorus)

Beaver six, beavers seven, (Wave your arms and look up.)
Let’s fly up to beaver heaven. (Chorus)

Beavers eight, beavers nine, (Extend arms stiffly like Frankenstein.)
Do a little Frankenstein. (Chorus)

Beavers ten, beavers ten, (Extend arms and open and close fingers.)
Let’s be beavers once again! (Chorus)

*Go to drjean.org and put "summer 2014" in the search engine to download a free version of this song.


How Can You Find Out?
Ask children what beavers do. How can you find out? You can go to the library, look on the internet, ask a friend, ask your parents, etc.



Why do they have such big teeth?

How do they use their tail?

Where do they live?

How do they help the environment?

What does it mean to be "busy as a beaver"?


Here's a video about beavers that your class will enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL5SD6z7AG8

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

LITTLE CABIN IN THE WOODS



Did you ever sing "Little Cabin in the Woods"? I sang it as a girl scout and as a teacher, but not many people sing it any more. It’s a long song that’s good to sing while children wash their hands or get ready to go home. Each time you sing through the song you hum a verse and just make the motions. By the end of the song you are quietly humming the whole way through. I’ve changed the words a little from the original version because it might not be "politically correct" these days. (We used to say, "Help me! Help me! Help me!" he said. "Or that hunter will shoot me dead." It's much kinder just to take that little bunny inside and keep him warm.)

Little Cabin in the Woods
Little cabin in the woods.
(Make a square in the air with index fingers.)
Little man by the window stood.
(Hand over eyes.)
Saw a rabbit hopping by
(Two fingers up like ears and hop hand.)
Knocking at my door.
(Knock in the air.)
“Help me! Help me! Help me, please.
(Throw hands up in the air.)
For it’s cold and I might freeze.”
(Wrap arms around self and shake.)
Little rabbit come inside
(Motion “come.”)
Safely you’ll abide.
(Stick up 2 fingers on one hand and stroke with other hand.)

Here's a video I did several years ago so you can see the motions.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DP1FNm92lcE


Another good old song that's kind of gone by the wayside is "Little Bunny Foo Foo." Maybe people don't like the "boppin' them the head thing." You know, it's just a silly song so don't take it too seriously!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roaJ-mwGwv4

Little Bunny Foo Foo
Little Bunny Foo Foo (Hold up 2 fingers for ears and hop.)
hopping through the forest
scooping up the field mice (Pretend to scoop something with right hand.)
and boppin' them on the head. (Hit right fist with left hand.)
Down came the good fairy and she said, (Wiggle fingers down.)
"Little Bunny Foo Foo, (Point finger.)
I don't want to see you
scooping up the field mice
and boppin them on the head.
I'll give you 3 chances (Hold up 3 fingers.)
and if you don't obey me, (Point to group.)
I'm going to turn you into a GOON!" (Open hands with drama.)

The next day -
Little Bunny Foo Foo...
I'll give you 2 more chances...

The next day -
Little Bunny Foo Foo...
I'll give you one more chance...

The next day -
Little Bunny Foo Foo
hopping through the forest
scooping up the field mice
and boppin' them on the head.
Down came the good fairy and she said,
"Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I didn't want to see you
scooping up the field mice
and boppin them on the head.
I gave you 3 chances
and if you didn't obey me,
So I'm going to turn you into a GOON!

Moral of the story: HARE TODAY - GOON TOMORROW!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roaJ-mwGwv4

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

CAMP SONGS



Can you imagine sitting around a campfire and singing? Talk about a vanishing activity! No electronic device…no big screen…no musical instruments…just an engaging song and friends! My daughter and I were reminiscing that nobody sings like that any more. If you ever sang around a campfire as a child, it's a happy memory you will never forget.

The great thing about children is that you can still give them that special memory in your classroom or out on the playground. One day we built a fake campfire out of sticks. (I would have had the fire marshall after me if we built a real fire.) The kids found sticks, stuck marshmallows on the end, and pretended to roast them in the fire. It was hysterical, because they were totally into the experience. We then sang some of our favorite songs.



Yogi Bear 
You can sing along with me on this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhjIwDbVzFQ

I have a friend that you all know
Yogi, Yogi. (On “Yogi” hold arms out like a tummy.)
I have a friend that you all know
Yogi, Yogi Bear. (On “Bear” make circles with thumbs and index fingers
and put them on your head.)
Yogi, Yogi, Bear.
Yogi, Yogi, Bear.
I have a friend that you all know
Yogi, Yogi Bear.

Yogi has a little friend
Boo Boo, Boo Boo… (On “Boo Boo” put hand down low as if patting
his head.)

Yogi has a Ranger Friend,
Joe, Joe… (Pretend to salute on “Ranger.”)

Yogi has a girlfriend,
Cindy, Cindy… (Fluff hair on “Cindy.”)

They all live in Jellystone,
Jelly, Jelly… (Wiggle all over on “Jelly.”)


Baby Fish
Long before "Baby Shark" I was singing about "Baby Fish."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0q90Q9kpjU

Baby fish, do-do, do-do-do-do, (Open and shut index
Baby fish, do-do, do-do-do-do. fingers to the beat.)
(Sing twice.)


Momma fish… (Open and shut hands.)
Daddy fish… (Open and shut arms.)
Giant whale… (Extend arm and leg to make whale’s mouth.)

Activities: Make up other verses, such as one about uncle fish, grandma fish, etc. Have the children suggest arm movements to do for the different fish.


Coming Round the Mountain
Here's a new video to an old camp favorite.





Swimming
(Tune: “Sailing, Sailing, Over the Bounding Main”)
Swimming, swimming, (Pretend to stroke arms.)
In the swimming pool. (Take index fingers and make a square in the air.)
When days are hot (Pretend to fan self.)
Or days are cold, (Rap arms around your self and shiver.)
in the swimming pool. (Make a square in the air.)
Back stroke, (Stroke arms backwards.)
Side stroke, (Swim to the side.)
Fancy diving, too. (Palms together and pretend to dive.)
There’s no place (Shake head “no.”)
I would rather be
Than in the swimming pool. (Make a square in the air.)

*The second time through hum the first line as you make the motions.
Third time hum the first two lines and make the motions.
With each verse omit the words and hum as you make the motions until you are just humming the song.

Here are some other favorite campfire songs:

Found a Peanut
The Wheels on the Bus
Chica Boom Chica Boom