Friday, March 27, 2015


The Butterfly
(Tune: “Up on the Housetop”)
First comes the butterfly who lays an egg. (Clasp thumbs and wiggle fingers.)
Out comes a caterpillar with many legs. (Wiggle index finger.)
Oh, see the caterpillar spin and spin, (Roll hands.)
A little chrysalis to sleep in. (Insert right index finger in left fist.)
Oh, oh, oh, look and see. (Hands over eyes.)
Oh, oh, oh, look and see.
Out of the chrysalis, my, oh, my,
Out comes a beautiful butterfly. (Clasp thumbs and make butterfly.) 

Let children dramatize this song. Curl up like an egg, wiggle like a caterpillar, twirl around to be a chrysalis and flap arms and fly like a butterfly. 

Make a butterfly puppet from an old sock. Glue pom poms to the toe of the sock for the eyes and mouth.
Turn the sock inside out and glue a butterfly made out of felt.
Begin the song with your hand in the sock. When the caterpillar spins a chrysalis pull the top of the sock down over the toe. Turn the sock inside out to reveal the butterfly at the end.

Butterfly Bites
Children will enjoy assembling and eating this butterfly. You will need celery cut in 4” pieces, cream cheese, and pretzel twists. First, spread cream cheese in the hollow part of the celery. Insert two pretzels on either side for wings.
Hint! Make a language experience chart with the directions so children can make these at a center.

There is a story about children that is similar to butterflies. If you find a chrysalis before it hatches and you gently try to open it, the butterfly will not live and it will never be able to spread its wings and fly. Children are like that as well. If we try to push them and force them to do things before they are ready, will they ever be able to reach their full potential and truly fly?

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Here Is a Bunny
Here is a bunny (Hold up index and middle fingers.)
With ears so funny. (Wiggle fingers.)
And here is his
Hole in the ground. (Make hole with fist of the other hand.)
At the slightest noise he hears,
He pricks up his ears, (Wiggle fingers.)
Then hops to his
Hole in the ground! (Pretend to hop bunny ears into the hole.)

Handprint Bunny

Trace around children's hands and cut them out.  Cut off the middle finger and bring the pinky finger and thumb finger down to make arms as shown.  Decorate and there's your bunny!

Where Is My Bunny?
Where is my bunny? (Put hands behind your back.)
No one can see. (Shake head.)
I think that my bunny
Is hiding from me. (Look over shoulder.)
Here is my bunny. (Hold up 1 thumb.)
He’s found a friend. (Hold up other thumb.)
Look at all the others. (Slowly stick up fingers.)
Now there are ten! (Wiggle fingers.)
Bunny Ears
Cut ears out of construction paper and glue them to a headband. You can also trace around children's feet and use them for the ears of the headband.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Flip, Flop, Hop
(Tune: “Wheels on the Bus”)
The ears on the bunny go flip, flop, flop (Hands over head and wiggle.)
Flip, flop, flop,
Flip, flop, flop.
The ears on the bunny go flip, flop, flop,
Flip, flip, flop.

The nose on the bunny goes twitch, twitch, twitch… (Wiggle nose.)

The eyes on the bunny go blink, blink, blink… (Blink eyes.)

The tail on the bunny goes wiggle, wobble, wobble… (Wiggle hips.)

The feet on the bunny go hop, hop, hop… (Hop up and down.)

Drawing Rabbits - Teach children how to draw a bunny from two circles. Add detail to the bunny as you sing the song.
*You can also make bunnies out of play dough.

Bunny Basket – Fold the sack in half lengthwise as shown. Draw ears on the sack similar to those shown. Cut on the lines and then cut off the sides. Open the sack. Staple the top points to make ears. Put a face and cotton tail on your bunny basket.

Milk Jug Bunny – Ask parents to send in clean milk jugs. Cut the top off as shown. Add ears and a bunny’s face. Place a small amount of dirt in the bottom of the milk jug and sprinkle with grass seed. Water and place in a sunny window. If you start this project soon you will have an adorable bunny with green hair!  Otherwise, you can just put Easter grass inside.

A Bunny Tale (Tell and Draw Story)
1. One day a man went walking with his arms behind his back.
2. It started to snow.
3. He got a sled so he could play in the snow.
4. But after awhile he got cold and decided to build himself a house with two stories.
5. He put two windows in the top floor and divided them in half.
6. Then he built two chimneys.
7. He threw some sticks on the fire.
8. And soon he was snug as a bunny. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


I was looking through some old ideas and I found this gem! What a perfect way to develop social skills and thinking strategies. Talk about simple, meaningful, and FREE! 
Divide students into pairs. Ask a question. Partners discuss the answer and then stoop down on the floor when they agree. When all groups are on the floor the teacher says, “One, two, three…” as the students pop up and say the answer together.
*Use this for recalling details from a story, unit review, math word problems, and so forth. 

*It might be helpful to assign study buddies on Monday that children can partner with all week.  What's a study buddy?  That's your special partner for the week.  This can eliminate lots of confusion for partner activities.

Mother Nature might have played a trick on the first day of spring last week in Verona, NY, with a snow shower, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the teachers at the BOCES workshop.

Nursery Rhyme Back Pack
Make a backpack from a lunch bag. On the outside put a picture of the nursery rhyme. Glue the words to the other side. Inside put pictures of characters from the rhyme. Children can take this home and use it to retell the nursery rhyme.

Who Let the Letters Out? (Andrea Williams)
Make pointers from clear colored plastic. (You can make these from colored clear dividers that are for binders.) Have a poster with letters and objects that begin with each sound. Cut apart a similar poster and put the letters in the bag. (Put Velcro on them so they can stick on the alphabet grid.) Children take turns choosing a letter and they get to be Dr. Jean and say, “Who let the (name letter) out?” They get to highlight the letter at the same time as the class makes the letter sound. 

Letter Identification (Ann Pangburn)
As you sing alphabet songs, surprise the children by turning off the song at different points.  Children then have to find the letter on classroom print and touch it.  With music and movement the children will be able to connect letters with letter names.  Stronger students will naturally help weaker friends find letters.

Number Raps (Erika Knudsen)
(Tune: Cadence)
Teenage numbers are really fun.
That’s because they start with one.
One and five is 15.
One and nine is 19…etc.

Twenties, twenties are so fine.
They start like a two every single time.

Thirties, thirties are the best.
They start like a 3 unlike the rest.

Talk Show (Kathy Leers)
Pretend to be a host on a talk show and interview your students. You could do the star of the week, or let a student pretend to be a character from a book.
*Allow them to prepare 3 or 4 questions ahead of time on index cards.

Monday, March 23, 2015


Chris Baker sent me a video that he created for "Pepperoni Pizza" and I thought it was AWESOME. Teachers like Chris inspire me with their technical creativity. I'll let Chris tell you a little more about it...

What kid does not love Pepperoni Pizza? Bring pizza and music together and
we have a party! Learning beginning sounds can be a challenge for some
children. Music tends to break the barriers; add some visual slides to the
music and they just seem to be mesmerized. When teaching young learners
the foundation skills of the English language, I find it's best to teach the
same skill as many different ways as possible, especially in the early
years until third grade. I sing, dance, and act goofy right along with
them. If they see me singing or reading and enjoying it, it makes them want
to do it that much more.

When I made my first slide show, I did it because I thought it would help
my children better understand word families (
being able to see the words with the music and then throw a picture in
there to give the word some meaning. I started out just clicking the slides
along with the music, but then I thought; can I make a movie with this? So,
I read up and learned about Windows Movie Maker and found that I could
export my PowerPoint slides as photos, and then upload them to Movie
Maker. Granted, it does take some time and patience to get the timing of
the slides just right to the music, but it was well worth it.

It’s been two years, and what seems like a lifetime ago, since I made that
first slide show. Lately, I have had some extra time and decided to give it
another go; Pepperoni Pizza ( came to life (I
think it came out better too.) I think this will let kids see that changing
just the first letter can create new words and sometimes nonsense words;
it's important to know the difference. By doing it I learned about words
that I did not even know before, like leat ( a millstream) and loo ( a
bathroom).  Who would have guessed these were not nonsense words? It goes
to show you, teaching is learning too. Thank you Dr. Jean. Your songs are
an inspiration.

Christopher N. Baker, MAT

To learn more about Christopher Baker, go to

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Peck, peck, peck, 
On the soft little egg. 
Out comes a neck.
Out comes a leg.
How does a chick
Who’s not been about
Discover the secret
Of how to get out?

This is a great poem to read together again and again. Ask children how they think the chick gets out of the egg. Why do birds need a beak?

Here’s a craft activity to go along with the poem. Cut two ovals out of construction paper. Decorate one with crayons and then cut a zig zag down the middle. Make a head for your bird out of a circle and small orange triangle. Use brad fasteners to attach the head and the wings. Children can unfold the egg as they repeat the rhyme.

What’s in the Egg?
First, brainstorm all the different animals that come out of an egg. Now, you’re ready to make a flip book called “What’s in the Egg?” Fold a sheet of paper in half lengthwise, then fourths and eighths. Open and cut the crease to the middle fold. Fold in half to make 4 little flaps. Children draw eggs on the front of each flap. Open the flaps and challenge children to draw 4 different things that might come from an egg. When they hold this book up to the light, they will see their little critters inside the egg.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


I've told this story recently at my workshops and many teachers have asked me to share it on my blog. Begin this story with a sheet of paper, scissors, and marker in your lap. Follow the directions as you tell the story. (You can either cut the paper or tear it.) 

It was spring time and mother and father bird decided to build a nest. Who can tell me some of the things they might have used to make their nest?
(Fold the paper in half and cut accordingly.)

Mother bird sat on the nest and laid a beautiful egg.  (Open the nest to reveal the egg shape.)
Now, mother bird could not leave the egg. She had to sit on it and keep it warm and safe. Even when it rained and the wind blew hard, mother bird had to sit there and protect her egg. Fortunately, two little bugs who lived in the tree made friends with mother bird and kept her company. This is one little bug. His name was _____. (Use a child’s name in the class.)
(Draw a little dot for the bug.)
This is the other little bug. Her name was _____, (Use another child’s name in the class.)
(Draw another little dot on the opposite side.)

One day as mother bird was sitting on the egg, she heard a little cracking sound. She looked down and saw a little crack in her egg.  (Cut a little slit on the fold slanted toward the eyes.)

Then she heard a great big cracking sound.  
(Cut around the eye and slit as shown stopping before you get to the end of the egg.)
And guess what mother bird saw coming out of the big crack in her egg? She saw her baby bird!  (Open the egg and bend up the beak as shown.)
Hint! You can also cut this story out of a paper plate.