Saturday, March 17, 2018


Top of the morning to you! I hope you’re wearing green today or I’m going to pinch you!! 

I’m going to be participating in the Charleston Walk for Water Missions this morning and I can’t wait to get my bucket and walk! It really makes you appreciate turning on the tap and getting water whenever you want it – something we just take for granted.  Fortunately, it's a beautiful spring day.  Spring officially begins this Tuesday, March 20th, so here are a few ideas if you're working on your lesson plans today.

Make a bingo card with signs of spring and objects that children can find on your playground. Children can walk around the playground and and color in the objects as they find them. Children could do this activity individually or with a partner.
*Here's a SPRING-O card I made for you. I'm not the best artist so you'll need to go over the words and the pictures with your students.

Scavenger Hunt
Here’s a spring hunt for older students. Divide them into groups of 4 and give each group a clipboard with the items below. Have them record their answers. When you return to the classroom groups can share their results and compare answers.

Spring Scavenger Hunt 

Can you find a sign of spring? 

Can you find something older than you? 

Can you find something younger than you? 

Can you find something rough? 

Can you find something that feels soft? 

Can you find something living? 

Can you find something dead? 

Can you find something smaller than your fingernail? 

Can you find something bigger than you? 

Can you find something green? 

Can you find something yellow? 

Can you find something that smells good? 

Can you find some trash? Pick it up and throw it away! 

Spring Acrostic 

After a spring walk, have children write the word spring vertically down the left side of their paper. Can they write a word (or sentence) for each letter that is a sign or symbol of spring? 
Hint! With younger children do this as an interactive writing activity. 

Have children make a web of spring using words or drawings.

Spring Words 

How many words can they write from the letters in “spring”?
The information available to teachers now on the internet is mind boggling!! I found this website when I was looking for spring ideas and it seemed to offer some activities…and it’s FREE!!

Friday, March 16, 2018


What's not to love about Letter Baby!  Your kids will love her as well.

(Tune: “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”)
I’ve got the whole alphabet in my mouth,
I’ve got the whole alphabet in my mouth.
I’ve got the whole alphabet in my mouth
and I can read!
I’ve got A - /a/ /a/ in my mouth
I’ve got B - /b/ /b/ in my mouth
I’ve got C - /c/ /c/ in my mouth…Z
And I can read!
I’ve got all the sounds in my mouth,
And I’m ready to read!

*Children spin the wheel around to display the letters as they sing the song.

Here’s another visual to help children focus on letters and sounds.
Color and cut out the bus using the pattern. Add magnetic tape to the back and place it on a magnetic board. Put magnetic letters in the window as you sing the song.

The Letters on the Bus (Tune: “The Wheels on the Bus”)
The letters on the bus all make their sounds,
Make their sounds,
Make their sounds.
The letters on the bus all make their sounds
All around the town.
The B on the bus goes /b/ /b/ /b/, /b/ /b/ /b, /b/ /b/ /b/,
The B on the bus goes /b/ /b/ /b/ all around the town.


Thursday, March 15, 2018


Lucky me to get to visit Manchester, NH, this week! And, lucky me to fly out of there before their big snow storm!

I met some great teachers who shared some clever new ideas with me.

Ice Fishing (Deb Wintle)
Change the traditional "go fishing" game to ice fishing for a winter treat. Put the fish in a bucket and add a stool so the children can sit and fish.
Note! Some of your students in warmer states might not know what ice fishing is, so this would be a good time to learn about it.

*Funny! One of Deb's students explained that their teacher "went to a singing contest with Dr. Seuss!" Don't you love how a teacher conference and Dr. Jean get twisted up?

This is a great game if you've got a few extra minutes in your day.
Form a circle and begin this pattern:
     slap,slap (slap thighs twice)
     clap, clap (clap hands twice)
     snap, snap (snap fingers twice)

The teacher begins by naming a category. As you go around the circle, each person must say a word in the category. It could be rhyming words, colors, fruits, adjectives, or any concept that you are working on.

Bubblewrap Words
Write sightwards on small rectangles of bubblewrap. (Use a permanent marker and write on the smooth side.) Place these in a bag and pass around as you play some music. When the music stops, the child holding the bag pulls out a word, reads it, and then gets to pop all the bubbles.

I even had time to do a concert at Beech Street School before heading to the airport.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


I'd love to come to each of your classrooms in person, but that's not possible. However, I have started doing some short videos of songs, rhymes, and stories "Just for Kids." Here's my latest one about Humpty Dumpty.

Here's the new verse for the end of the rhyme:

     Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
     Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
     All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
     Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
     So the good children got out some tape and some glue
     And they fiddled and faddled until he looked like new.
     Then they carefully placed him back on the wall
     And said, "Humpty Dumpty, please don't fall!"

Rhyme On

Challenge children to fill in the word that rhymes in these additional verses.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a peg.
Humpty Dumpty fell on his leg.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a bed.
Humpty Dumpty fell on his head.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a rose.
Humpty Dumpty fell on his nose.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a pin.
Humpty Dumpty fell on his chin.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a boulder.
Humpty Dumpty fell on his shoulder.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a pie.
Humpty Dumpty fell on his eye.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a deer.
Humpty Dumpty fell on his ear.

Humpty Dumpty sat on the land.
Humpty Dumpty fell on his hand.

Humpty Dumpty sat on the sea.
Humpty Dumpty fell on his knee.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a drum.
Humpty Dumpty fell on his thumb.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a tack.
Humpty Dumpty fell on his back.

Humpty Dumpty said to his friend,
“I’m very tired so this is THE END.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


I love those little graphics, don’t you? They are definitely an example of visual literacy that we use every day as we text and email. You can find images for facial expressions, animals, plants, places, foods, drinks, celebrations, sports, activities, flags, weather, etc. at many sites including:

So, how do we take something that is popular and “child friendly” and turn it into a learning opportunity? Well, I used my   and have come up with a few activities I’ll share today and tomorrow.


Make two copies of emoji animals or faces. Glue one copy to a file folder and cut the other into separate pieces. Children match up the ones that are alike.
Cut poster board into 3” squares. Glue two if each emoji to the squares. Mix up the pieces and place face down on the floor. Children take turns looking for matching pairs by turning over two at a time. They may keep the pairs they match up.
*Hint! Start with 8 pairs and add more as the children become more confident playing the game.

Provide children with emojis from different categories, such as animals, people, holidays, transportation, food, etc. and challenge them to sort these. What was their sorting rule?

Discuss different emotions that emoji are illustrating. What makes you feel that way? Remind the children that we all have different emotions and that’s O.K.!

Sign In 
Children write their name under the emoji that reflects how they are feeling when they come to school each morning.

Glue emoji to crafts sticks and let children use them to work out problems or create stories.
Can you think of other activities with emojis?

Monday, March 12, 2018


Sometimes I wonder if I write these blogs for teachers and children or for myself! Just kidding! It’s fun to look for jokes every month and share them with you. I hope you’ll find one or two here today to make you smile! 
Hint! Some of your children will “get” these and some of your children will just fake laugh. This is a good opportunity to have children “think out loud” and explain the jokes to their friends.

Why did the egg go to school?
To get "Egg-u-cated".

What kind of jokes do eggs tell?
Egg yolks!

What did the mommy egg say to the baby egg?
You're "Egg-stra special".

How do eggs stay healthy?
They "Egg-cercize".

What happened to the egg when he was tickled too much?
He cracked up.

What kind of plants do eggs keep?

What flowers grow on faces?
Tulips (Two-lips)! 

What is a bunny's motto?
Don't be mad, be hoppy!

How do you catch a unique rabbit?
Unique up on it.

How do you catch a tame rabbit?

The tame way.  Unique up on it.

What is a rabbit's favorite dance style?

Why are rabbits so lucky?
They have four rabbit's feet?

Some “bunny’s” got some knock knock jokes for you!

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Ether who?
Ether bunny.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Justin who?
Justin other Ether Bunny.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Notta who?
Notta nother Ether Bunnies.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Stella who?
Stella nother Ether bunny.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Juan who?
Juan more Ether bunny.

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Chuck who?
Chuck-olate bunny!

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Dewey who?
Dewey have to listen to any more Ether bunny jokes?

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Some bunny.
Some bunny who?
Some bunny is eating all my Easter eggs!

My friend Barbara Lees from Las Vegas shared this St. Patrick's Day dance you can teach your kids this week.  She says you can do it to any music, so put on your green and start tapping your feet!
St. Patrick’s Day Dance
Today is the day for the wearin’ o the green
Today is the day when the little people are seen
Today is St. Patrick’s Day, so if you’re Irish me lad
Join the celebratin for the grandest time to be had
You put your hand up in the hair
The other hand on your hip
You tap your toe, you tap your heel
You bounce your knee a wee bit
You dance and prance around the room
And circle 1, 2, 3
The Saints be praised, I must admit
You all look Irish to me!

Sunday, March 11, 2018


Whether you celebrate Easter or not, bunnies are a reminder of "hoppy" spring days. Here are some finger plays, songs, and crafts to help you get ready for spring.

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.)

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.)

Hand Bunny – Trace around each child’s hand and cut out. Cut off the middle finger. Fold down the pinky and thumb. Glue on a sheet of paper and add a mouth, whiskers, eyes and nose. 


Flip, Flop, Hop  (Tune: “Wheels on the Bus” - Happy Everything CD)
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.)

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.

Drawing Rabbits - Teach children how to draw a bunny from two circles. Add detail to the bunny as you sing the song.

Play Dough Rabbits - 
Challenge children to make rabbits from 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 several weeks before your egg hunt, you will have an adorable bunny with green hair!