January 2009


Spa Time

Now this is clever! Some teachers were discouraged from having “rest time” in their classrooms so they came up with SPA time every day after lunch. SPA stands for Special – Personalized – Activity. That way children get a little “down time” to center themselves and give their brains time to process and file information. You’re also doing “differentiated instruction” by allowing children to write, read, and do other independent activities.

Morning Message Music

Kim Callihan from Greenville, PA, wrote this song to gather her children for the morning message. It can be sung to the tune of “My Darlin’ Clementine.”

         I’m a reader.
         I’m a writer.
         I’m a kindergartner, too.
         We will write our morning message
         So we know what to do!

You Get What You Get

Here’s a tune to sing when you’re passing materials out to the children. It goes to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell.”

         You get what you get.
         You get what you get.
         Just like in the gum machine,
         You get what you get.

Poetry Punch Cards

You know how I’m always pushing nursery rhymes and poems! I loved this idea. A teacher said she gave each of her students an index card. Whenever they recited a nursery rhyme (or poem for older students) in front of the class, they got their cards punched.


Shoestring Solution

Susan Delahanty emailed this to me:

A kindergarten teacher told me about you and suggested I write so you can help spread this technique and save teachers a lot of time and trouble!

You start out with the standard single knot with the laces and make a loop with one string, as usual. But when you go around that loop, you simply go around twice before pushing the second loop through. Then pull on both loops to tighten the bow. It is definitely a bit harder to do - the kids may not have the fine motor skills to do it. But, it will hold all day long and does not involve double knots. That way it will untie just by pulling on both string ends.

Cutting Tub

Here’s a great suggestion for parents. Tell them to get a plastic tub at the dollar store and a pair of safety scissors. They can fill the tub with junk mail, old magazines, wrapping paper, etc. They will be able to supervise what and where their kids practice their cutting skills.

Cutting Pond

Here’s another great idea to encourage small motor skills. Get a plastic swimming pool and fill it with old catalogs, junk mail, art scraps, etc. The kids can get in the pool and cut til’ their heart’s content!


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