Monday, October 12, 2015

Columbus Day Freebie

A-hoy Teachers! Hopefully everyone is enjoying a great Columbus Day celebration with a day off from our little ones!

Yesterday, my mailbox was flooded with ads from every place I’ve ever shopped! It seems that Columbus Day is a great day to buy anything from a new car to new shoes because of the “SALES!” 

So I thought that I would join in the tradition and place everything in my store 20% off for today only.

I also posted a Columbus Day Little Book Freebie as a “Thank you” to everyone for supporting my efforts the last two years. It’s been a learning “journey” for me …. I guess I can relate in some ways to Columbus!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Christopher Columbus

In 1492, three ships did sail the sea so blue.
The mightly ships set sail in Spain. 
They sailed through sunshine, wind, and rain!

As a teacher, I love Columbus Day but NOT because Columbus sailed the ocean blue! No, for a far better reason, we have Monday off! Yay!
I’ve been working on a Christopher Columbus Craft and Little Book with informational text for the last few weeks and …. I finally finished it late last night! I know it may be too late to use this year, but I am still excited to share it! 

The Little Book contains a limited amount of informational text intentionally!  I believe that if we try to “stuff” too much information into our little one’s brains, nothing actually sticks! So, I’ve included the basic achievements of Christopher Columbus and his importance in history. There is a B&W version too.
My favorite part of this unit is the Craft! I’ve been making this craft for over 30 years, but I’ve remade it to include additional elements this year! 

Children “sail” their ships East to West, beginning in Spain, across the Atlantic Ocean to an island in the Bahamas. As they move their ships they count to 71 to mimic the number of days needed for Columbus to reach the West. My kids have always loved making this project!

This is the perfect unit for TK or kindergarten, and I added a few more pages with writing prompts for use in first grade too! You can check it out at at   Most importantly, have a FABULOUS Christopher Columbus day OFF!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Bibbity Bobbity Boo!

Bibbity Bobbity Boo Little Book and Pocket Chart Rhyming Activity

There is no denying that teaching activities and strategies change every year, but there are a few OLD favorites that NEVER change, even after 40 years! On the first day of school for close to four decades, I have taught my class the rhyme: 

“Williby Wallaby Woo, an elephant sat on you! 
Williby Wallaby Wee, an elephant sat on me!
Williby Wallaby Wennifer, an elephant sat on Jennifer
Williby Wallaby Wom, an elephant sat on Tom!”

 We pass a small elephant around our circle and “CHANGE” each child’s name by replacing the first letter with a W: Susie becomes Wusie & Justin becomes Wustin. The kids love it and it’s a great way to learn names beginning on the first day of school.

Bibbity Bobbity Boo is exactly the same tune and idea! Just pass around a CREEPY SPIDER or TOUCH EACH CHILD’S HEAD WITH A MAGIC WAND instead of an elephant! 

Bibbity Bobbity Bennifer, a spider crawled on Jennifer! 
Bibbity Bobbity Boo, a spider crawled on you! 
My kids love it even more than Williby Wallaby Woo!
Probably because of the rubbery spider!

I’ve created a Bibbity Bobbity Little Book to accompany the rhyme and a Bibbity Bobbity  Pocket Chart activity too! For the Little Book, the children read the text, print words, and select or color pictures of classmates to include in their book. 

 Students walk around the room, looking for the classmates who’s pictures are in their individual books. Once the classmate is found, he/she prints his/her “Bibbity Bobbity Name” in the Little Book. It’s really fun to watch the kids interact with each other as they walk around the room looking for their classmates! 

Once all the Bibbity Bobbity Names have been printed in the books, everyone READS! This is a great book to use a “magic wand” in lieu of a “reading wand” to track the text. For individual reading, provide “plastic or edible pointy fingers” to track the text. Kids love to track text using these pointy fingers!

Bibbity Bobbity Boo provides your students the opportunity to practice phoneme substitution in a fun way! I introduce this concept using my pocket chart. My pocket chart has always been one of my most effective teaching tools! 

The Bibbity Bobbity words are printed on large rectangles that are ready to cut out and laminate! All you need to do is place them in your pocket chart and begin! 
Every child in the group selects one or more of the 25 pictures. Begin reading the rhyme in your pocket chart, touching each word as you say it with a “reading wand” or MAGIC WAND!

“Bibbity Bobbity Boo! Can you find a.... “ 

The child that is holding the picture that rhymes with Boo, places it in the pocket chart and reads the rhyme again.

“Bibbity Bobbity Boo …. Can you find a.... shoe?”

Continue reading the rhyme until the pictures are gone! After modeling this activity, make it a center activity! My kids love to use a “magic wand” to track the text in the pocket chart. 

Bibbity Bobbity Boo, Happy October to You!