Thursday, November 27, 2014


I invited an old friend to visit and she wrote, "It makes my heart happy just thinking about it." For some reason, the idea of a "happy heart" really touched my heart. 

I wish you have a happy heart today!

Say the blessing and pass the dressing!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Some of you will be cooking today. Some of you will be traveling today. And some of you will be shopping around BLOG CITY. I bet you’ll be able to “harvest” an activity for your classroom from these ideas teachers shared in Alabama and Oklahoma last week. 

Attention Grabber (Pamela Parks) 

Teacher: 1, 2
Students: Eyes on you.
Teacher: 3, 4
Students: Bottoms on the floor.
Teacher: 5, 6
Students: Criss cross your apple sticks.
Teacher: 7, 8
All: Looks great!

Let It Go! (Stephany Ward)

Use the popular song from “Frozen” to help children line up.
Stand in line.
Stand in line.
We’re ready for the hall.
Stand in line.
Stand in line.
I won’t make any noise at all! 

Counting Song (Stephanie Kelley)

“One little, two little, three little….anything.” Sing whatever you are talking about (shapes), holidays (turkeys), or classroom objects (blocks) in the song.

8 Clothespin Grip (Kathi Hudson)

Use a clothespin to help children have the correct pencil grip. Keep a basket of colored clothespins in the writing area for children to choose from. 

Mistakes! (Stephanie Dunn)

This idea is a great way to model that it’s O.K. to make mistakes. When the teacher makes mistakes pretend to “throw a fit” and over dramatize about how awful it is. “What am I going to do? It’s the end of the world.” The students learn to laugh and tell the teacher it’s O.K. to make mistakes.

Stinky Cheese Variation (Beth Calvin)

When “stinky cheese” is selected the teacher calls out, ”Little mice scurry and find a square; the color red, etc.” After they touch the object say, “Little mice tiptoe back to the carpet.”

What’s In My Bag (Kristi Bray)

Put a random item from the room in a bag. Students must ask questions about what is in the bag. It’s great for questioning skills and learning the names of objects in the classroom.

Roll and Read (Zenobia Yates)

This is a game that will help children with RAN (rapid automatic naming) when you have a few minutes in the day. Make dots similar to those on dice on the left side of sentence strips. Write letters, numerals, words, etc. to the right. Children take a die, roll it, and then proceed to read the matching line with a pointer.
*You could do this individually or as a large group. 


Sensory Learning (Jaclyn Porter, Holly Palmer, Renee Ousley)

Use any type of sensory tool to engage sensory integration with language.
Example: Jump on a mini trampoline or bounce a ball while saying syllables in names or words.
Example: Tape picture cards or sight words on a wall. Children roll on a scooter board and touch the picture with their hand as they say it 3-5 times.

Bear Hunt

Integrate language and senses by transforming the room into a bear hunt with trees hanging from the ceiling, water in a pan, play dough for the jello, and a tunnel for the cave.

Hint! These ideas can be adapted for regular classrooms by having children jump in place or tiptoe and touch a word card.

Gingerbread Man (Meredith Waggener)

After reading the story of the gingerbread man create a scavenger hunt. Children look all over the school and find him in the lunchroom oven. Retell the story as the children eat their cookies.

We Have Rules (Cheryl Berg Horn)

We have rules.
We have rules.
Rules keep us safe at school.
Inside voices, walking feet –
Making room for friends we meet.
Hands to self, listening ear,
Showing kindness all school year.

Fine Motor Coloring Practice (Tia Peden)

Make wide lines and circles for children to color in. This helps children with pencil control when writing.

Black Socks (Alicia Rogers)

Black socks, they never get dirty.
The longer you wear them the stronger they get.
Sometimes I think I should wash them,
But something inside me keeps saying
Not yet, not yet, not yet.
(Child’s name) do you like your neighbors?
Yes, especially the ones wearing (color).
*The ones wearing that color must get up and find a different seat. It’s just like musical chairs and the one that is left must stand in the middle.

Clue Show and Tell (Tracy Andoe)

Three children a day get to take home a box and find something to share that will fit in it. The parent writes three clues. Classmates must ask complete sentences about what is in the box. After it is revealed th child who brought the object must answer questions in complete sentences.

Peek a Boo!

I saved the best for last!  Look at this adorable shirt a pregnant teacher wore!

For additional resources check out the following links:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

OH, MI, OH, MI! (Oh, my! Oh, my!)

How about these great ideas from teachers in Columbus, Toledo, and Grand Rapids?

Thankful Song (Kathleen Lambrix) 

(Tune: “Are You Sleeping?”)
I am thankful.
I am thankful.
For so much.
For so much.
For the world that I see.
For my friends and family,
I say thanks!
I say Thanks!

Monday, November 24, 2014


Look what I thought of in the middle of the night!!! We are having ten for Thanksgiving dinner and I only have 8 napkin rings. Taa daa! I cut pipe cleaners in half and I’m going to let K.J. and Kalina make napkin rings with beads similar to the Thanksgiving bracelet. So now you know what to do with all those leftover beads.


Don’t you love it when you find something “old” and it’s “new” again to you? This is a cool nursery rhyme book that you can read and sing with your class whenever you have a few minutes during the day. 
Materials: file folder, 2 book rings, glue, alphabet letters, nursery rhyme posters (I downloaded the nursery rhyme posters from “rhyme a week” at 


Sunday, November 23, 2014


Here are a few easy ideas to engage children in book making and writing their opinion.

Paper Plate Book
Give each child 2 paper plates. Use the plates as a pattern to cut circular pages for the book. Children can draw, write, or cut out pictures of things they are thankful for on the blank paper. Insert their pages between the paper plates, punch a hole at the top, and use a ribbon or a piece of a pipe cleaner to bind the book. Encourage children to decorate the front plate with a title and their name.


Saturday, November 22, 2014


Here I am in my sixties and I still have to look at my rings to know my left from my right!   jokingly blame it on my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Myers because she’d say, “Show me your right hand” and it would look like my left hand. The truth is that we need to remember to reverse movements when we model for children. If we say show me your right hand, we actually have to hold up our left hand. When we demonstrate how to make the numeral 3 in the air, we must do it backwards. Confusing, I know, but with a little practice you’ll be a pro. Another tip is to focus on the right hand. Then what is leftover is always their “left.”