January 2009



I know you’re all familiar with “show and tell.” Well, here’s my version collected from teachers at my workshops this past fall. If something doesn’t make sense, I apologize. However, teachers are masters of “acquisition and adaptation,” so use your imagination and see if you can change it and make it work for you!

This Is a Tale about a Special Friend
Judy from Maryland gave me this idea at the NAEYC Conference. (Judy, I lost the piece of paper with your last name, but if you read this, email me and I’ll fix it.) It is similar to “Letter Tales” and goes to the tune from “Gilligan’s Island”:

This is a tale about a special friend
Whose name starts with B.
/b/ /b/ /b/ /b/ - B
Benny is his name.

Continue inserting other letters and children’s names.

Kick Boxing
Mara Horn from Olean, New York, teaches kick boxing classes part time. Here are some different moves that she demonstrated:
Flurries - box fists in a circle
Jab cross - jab with right fist and then cross over and punch with left
- jab with left fist and then cross over and punch with right
Hook – punch by bringing your fist across by your forehead
Upper cut – punch down and then up

Mara also gets rid of wiggles by having her children pretend to ski downhill as they bend their knees and move their arms from side to side. How about froggie jumps? Children squat down on the ground with knees spread and hands on the floor like a frog. Then they quickly jump up with their arms in the air.

Brain Tickets
JoAnna Sero of Rochester, New York, gives her children a “brain ticket” when they can tell her something new they’ve learned at the end of the day. The children take the brain ticket home as a reminder to tell the grown ups at home their favorite part of the day.

Hint! Change the color of your brain tickets each month and add a seasonal design.

Partner Spelling
Janet Holleran of Rochester, NY, suggests clapping spelling words and word wall words with a friend. Cross and clap each letter and then smack hands in the air to re-emphasize the word.

Stop, Look, and Listen!
Yolanda from New Jersey sings this to the tune of “Shine and a Haircut – Two Bits.”
Teacher says: “Sit, look, and listen.”
Children say: “O.K.”

Hero Day
Marcy Schneider from Morris Plains, NJ, has a special “Hero Day” on 9-11. They talk about police officers, fire fighters, and other community heroes. She tells her students that they can be HER heroes with this poem:

Mrs. Schneider (teacher’s name) is looking for student heroes.
(Make hands into binoculars and put them by your eyes. Call out the names of students who are following directions.)

Who Let the Letters Out?
Sue Witman, Little Silver, NJ, adapted this song for a transition or large group lesson.
Pass out a set of magnetic letters (upper or lowercase) to the children. Each child gets 1 or 2 letters. Play the song and when their letter comes up in the song, they stand up and place it on the magnetic board in sequential order.

Hint! You can do a similar activity that goes a little slower with “Alphardy” or “Sing and Sign.”

Letters on the Bus
Blair Sofield, Little Silver, NJ, reinforces sounds by adapting “The Wheels on the Bus.”

The a on the bus says
/a/ /a/ /a/, /a/ /a/ /a/, /a/ /a/ /a/.
The a on the bus says /a/ /a/ /a/.
That’s the A sound.

Magic Finger
Before walking in the hall Michele D-Ambola of Bloomfield, NJ, says:

Magic finger up.
Finger to your lip.
As you walk through the hall
The magic zips. (Pretend to zip lips shut.)

Select two “magic police” (one in the back and one in the middle of the line) to tap students on the shoulder and give them a pretend ticket if they are talking.

We Miss You!
Allison Califaro of New Jersey uses this song to encourage a reluctant child to join the group. It goes to the tune of “We Love You Conrad” from BYE BYE BIRDIE.

We miss you, child’s name,
Oh, yes we do.
We are not complete without you.
Since you’re not with us, we’re blue!
Oh, child’s name, we miss you!

Cheerios Cheer
Make a circle with your arms over your head and give a big smile!

The First Thing on Your Paper
Erin Marozas, Livonia, NY, sings this song to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”
The first thing on your paper is your name!
The first thing on your paper is your name!
The teacher needs to know who did this work and so…
The first thing on your paper is your name!

Skip Counting
Catherine South of New York suggests using a basic rap track to skip count: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 etc. Add motions, such as pat thighs as you say the number, clap hands, right snap, left snap.
Do a disco variation where you pat thighs and say the number, clap hands, disco point to the right and then disco point to the left.
Catherine makes ribbon wands with marking tape/flagging tape. It’s the ribbon they use to mark off a construction site. You can use the ribbon wands for dancing, crossing the midline, or playing “Follow the Leader.”

Happy Chappy
Kristy Carlson came up with a super name for what I have been calling “smellies.” Get chapstick with a pleasant fragrance and rub a little of it on children’s hands when they are listening quietly or are on task. Kristy said we should call it a “happy chappy” instead of a smellie. Perfect solution!

Photo a Day
Amy Broeker of Lincoln, NE, takes a photo in her class every day. She said you could use the photo to make a class book, write the “news” at the end of the day, or put it on a secure blog.

Talking Alphabet
Let children dramatize the motions in the “Alphardy” song. Take photos with a digital camera and then use them to make a class book.

Teacher says: Attention!
Children respond: Yes ma’m! (And salute.)

Dynamite Cheer
Place index fingers by your temples and sizzle.
Clap your hands over your head.
Put your hands on your hips and wiggle as you say, “Dynamite!”

Sports Cheer
Slap right thigh.
Slap left thigh.
Clap once.
Put your fist in the air as you say, “Go child’s name.”

Wash Your Hands
Paula Beckerman sings this song to the tune of “If You’re Happy.”

When you get done in the bathroom, wash your hands.
When you’re finished playing outside, wash your hands.
If you have to wipe your nose,
Even though the germs don’t show,
If you have to wipe your nose, wash your hands.
When it’s time for you to eat, wash your hands.
When you’re done, please be neat, wash your hands.
If you cough or if you sneeze,
You know what to do, please,
If you cough or if you sneeze, wash your hands.

Criss Cross, Be Your Own Boss!
When you want children to sit and be quiet try saying:
Criss cross, be your own boss! (Model how to sit and cross your legs
and fold your arms.)

Letter Cheers
Think of a cheer for each letter of the alphabet:
A - Awesome
B - Bubblegum
C – Cowboy
D – Dynamite
E – Excellent
F – Fantastic

Dollar Words
JoLyn Howard of Ascension Parish in Louisiana has motivated her kindergarteners to learn word wall words with “Dollar Words.” She asked all of her students to bring a wallet from home. When they can read a word, JoLyn gives them a “dollar” (green construction paper rectangle with the word written on it) to save in their wallets. The kids love to play concentration and other games with their words.

Parting Words
Mandy Miller teaches at Rayne Catholic Elementary in Rayne, LA. This is how she ends her day:
Teacher: May God watch between me and thee.
Kids: While we are absent one from another

I Love You More Than
Taffy Griffin from LA starts her day by saying to her students:
I love you! I love you more than….
Each day she names something with a different letter. You can go in ABC order or you could give them a treat that starts with the sound.

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