January 2009


Even More from Atlanta

Rhyming Name Game (Stephanie, Dayton, OH)
Let’s all play the rhyming game.
I’m gonna say somebody’s name.
Child’s name rhyme rhyme rhyme.
That is the rhyming game!

Books and Bagels (Melody Harding, Jacksonville, FL)

At the end of the year invite the parents to the classroom to see all of the books you’ve made throughout the year. The children will love showing off their work and everyone gets to enjoy bagels and juice together. You can either send home a book with each child or separate all the books and send each child’s pages home with them. Invite the principal and librarian, too!

Egg Carton Game (Melody Harding, Jacksonville, FL)
You can use this game for sight words, shapes, numbers, colors, etc. On the bottom of each section of an egg carton write a word, shape…whatever skill you are working on. Put a button, pom pom, or other small object in the carton and close it. Let each student shake it, open it, and identify the information in the cup. Make several and use for a small group activity.

There’s Nothing in My Bag Today
Although the author of this poem is unknown, I found this on littlestarearlylearning.com. I think it would be perfect to share with parents at the beginning of the school year.

Today I did my math and science, I toasted bread.
I halved and quartered, I counted, measured,
used my eyes and ears and head.
I added and subtracted on the way,
I used a magnet, blocks and memory tray.
I learned about a rainbow and how to weigh.
So please don't say, "anything in your bag today"?
You see I'm sharing as I play.
I learned to listen and speak clearly when I talk,
to wait my turn, and when inside, to walk.
To put my thoughts into a phrase,
to guide a crayon through a maze.
To find my name and write it down,
to do it with a smile and not a frown.
To put my pasting brush away.
So please don't say,
"What, nothing in your bag, today"?
I've learned about a snail and a worm,
remembering how to take my turn.
Helped a friend when he was stuck,
learned that water runs off a duck.
I looked at words from left to right,
agreed to differ, not to fight.
So please don't say, "Did you only play today"?

*You know that teachers don’t “steal” ideas – they “harvest” ideas. So I “harvested” the previous idea and created my own version called “What’s In Your Backpack?”

By Dr. Jean

What’s in your backpack?
It’s empty today.
Where’s your work?
Did you just play?

When I built with blocks
I learned about shapes.
I balanced and shared –
Our skyscraper was great.

I played in the windy house
And talked with my friends.
I rocked a baby
And played pretend

In science I observed,
Guessed, and experimented, too.
The same things grown up
Scientists do.

Art was messy.
I created and explored.
I solved my own problem
When I spilled glue on the floor.

My fingers got a work out
With puzzles and clay.
Those same muscles
Will help me write one day.

I counted and sorted and
And measured, too.
I used my brain
Like a math whiz would do!

Out on the playground
I ran like the wind.
I learned to take turns
And helped a hurt friend.

Story time is what
I always like the best.
I can use my imagination
And give my body a rest.

I sang and danced –
Learned a finger play, too.
I answered questions
And said, “Please” and “thank you.”

There will be time for
Worksheets and tests.
But talking and playing
Is how I learn best.

I love to go to school.
I’m glad I’m me.
An empty backpack
Means I’m learning, you see!

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