Here are a few tricks to keep up your sleeve to help you start a great new school year! Also check the Downloads section for a new Five Crabs powerpoint, a Handshakes video and printable file, a Happy Birthday video and some Brain Tickets along with one file that contains Nightly Reading Records (Reading Calendars) for the whole school year.
You Knock My Socks Off! - You will need an old pair of socks, a stick, and a piece of string 18” long for this project. Tie a sock to each end of the string. Tie the middle of the string to the stick. When children do something outstanding, take the stick and wave it in the air as you say, “You knock my socks off!”
Spotlight - Keep a flashlight on your desk. When a child is working hard or you want to encourage a behavior, shine the flashlight on them and say, “Spotlight on child’s name for behavior.”
Mr. Good for You! - A cloth glove, markers, fiberfill, and pipe cleaner are all you need to make a “good for you hand.” First, draw a happy face on one side of the glove with the markers. Fill the glove tightly with fiberfill or another stuffing. Gather the bottom of the glove and secure with a pipe cleaner. Have children get “Mr. Good for You” and pat themselves on the back when they accomplish a new task. Pass the glove around at the end of the day and have each child say something they learned.
Brain Sprinkles - Cover a small Pringle’s can or similar container with shiny paper. Put a tablespoon of rice in the bottom of the can and glue on the lid. Make a label that says, “Brain Sprinkles.” When you have something special that you want the children to remember, pretend to shake the “brain sprinkles” on their heads.
Microphone - Cover a paper towel roll with aluminum foil. Explain that it is a microphone and that whoever is holding the microphone gets to talk. Pass the microphone around at circle time for the children to say good morning. The microphone will also be useful for class discussions or answering questions.
Hint! Put a sticker on the side and if a child talks too softly remind her to turn up the volume a little. If a child is too loud, you can ask her to turn it down.
Timer - I couldn’t have taught without my minute timer. Children can take turns with books or toys using the timer. It can also be used to give children a warning to help them bring closure to their activities. For example, “I’m going to set the timer for 3 minutes and when it goes off we’re going to have a whisper clean up.”