Music has always been an essential element in my classroom because it is a powerful tool for teaching and learning!
My husband created this awesome Christmas CD three years ago. Since then, many of my teacher friends have told me that AN ACOUSTIC CHRISTMAS by Rick Starr is their favorite background music to play while their students work.
” An Acousitc Christmas is my all time favorite Christmas CD! The instrumental versions of classic Christmas songs are fun yet soothing and seem to actually help my students focus on their work.” Lynne
“I play Rick’s music during the entire month of December. My students love it!” Becky
Watch video performance: Rick Starr video Drummer Boy.
View song list and hear song samples at rickstarrmusic.com
Who doesn’t love Halloween? There are so many fun games and activities to do this time of year!
Here’s a link to my Halloween FREEBIE – ”Don’t Eat the Creep!” Children love this game because it’s based on an old favorite, “Don’t Eat Pete” (only with a Halloween twist). Complete playing instructions and a playing card are all included with the game. ENJOY! And please remember, ”DON’T EAT THE CREEP!” The pictures on the sample below are not as bright as on the real thing (something happened when I converted it to a jpeg).
Last year I posted my Halloween Bingo with Sound Effects.
You can see last year’s Halloween Bingo Blog Post by clicking HERE!
One of my favorite things to teach is reading! Hearing a young child read his/her first word is like watching a baby take his/her very first step. EXCITING!!! After teaching my students the phonetic sounds of letters, I like to use a time tested and proven pre-reading activity called Word Building.
Word building is a Montessori inspired activity that helps emergent readers develop essential reading skills (encoding, decoding, analyzing and blending). It’s a FUN, “hands-on” method that keeps emergent readers actively engaged in the learning process.
This resource includes detailed teaching instructions, class word building activities and individual word building activities. There are also worksheets, for those who want to offer a quick review and writing practice.
Word Building I also includes instructions (with pictures) on how to make a magnetic movable alphabet.
This resource also includes step-by-step instructions (with pictures) on how to make a large pocket chart for classroom word building and classroom sentence building lessons.
Oct. 2012 – What do I LOVE about teaching little learners? I love their innate “Joie de vivre!” This is a French expression that describes a quality of joy in living that seems to come effortlessly to children. Joie de vivre is about experiencing enthusiasm for the simple things in life. Many adults possess this quality, however, if we’re not careful, we can sometimes allow ourselves to become over burdened by the daily pressures of life. Because children are usually unencumbered with life’s daily grind, they know how to mindfully enjoy the moment. Children are carefree, and spontaneous, and somehow know instinctively how to savor the simplest pleasures of life. As adults, we may not have the luxury of recapturing those carefree childhood days, however I believe it’s important to make an effort to recapture a little joie de vivre–even if it’s only for a few moments each day. Children can teach us how.
This past week, during recess, my vibrant preschool students taught me that life is full of excitement – and that there’s pleasure to be found all around. One day, they found great amusement in the large gooey worms that had gathered in great numbers on the sport court. The freshly fallen rain had invited the worms and the children were thrilled by these new playground pals! One extra fat worm specifically caught their attention. Bubbling over with pure joie de vivre, the children were jumping and twirling and laughing out loud. “Let’s make a tunnel for the worm!” Soon nearly a dozen pre-kinder kids were lined up, feet spread apart, squealing with joy as their slimy new friend slithered its way through. One little girl even created a “leaf blanket” for the worm, “to help him stay warm!”
That day at recess, I too experienced sheer “joie de vivre!” I’ll be honest, my joy didn’t come from the slimy creature crawling on the concrete (that’s just not my thing–even though I sometimes pretend it is, in order not to squelch the joy of my students). That day the deep down joy in my soul was about my kids, their enthusiasm for life, their cheery pink-cheeked grins, their giddiness, their glee-filled giggles and their total thrill at the wonders of nature. For that moment all daily cares dissolved as I found myself enthralled and enamored by cute little clapping hands, tiny dancing feet and ever present, easily ignitable joie de vivre!
What do your students teach you about “joie de vivre?” Please share your stories and experiences of how children have taught you to find joy in the simple pleasures of life!
When I was a teenager I learned to use the phrase “We’re makin’ a memory” any time something interesting happened in my life. Naturally the memories I preferred to make were happy ones. Sometimes, however I used the “makin’ a memory” phrase to motivate myself to persevere through life’s challenges because I knew that one day it would be a memory (and hopefully an experience I learned from). Memories come in many different flavors: humorous, happy, hard, sad, scary, sweet and so forth. The emotions we connect to our memories are endless. The one element that all memories have in common is that somehow they stirred up enough emotion to stay in our long term memory banks. Somehow they were meaningful enough for us to hold on to.
My teaching memories are some of my favorites! To help me hold on to my teaching memories, I’ve decided to create a page on my website called, TM&Ms (Teacher Memories & Musings). If you have a great teaching story, I hope you will consider sharing it with me. Please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a link to my first TM&M – “Joie de Vivre”
My students each love having their turn to be the “teacher helper” because it means that they get to use the “seasonal pointer” to point to the months of the year while we sing our “Months of the Year” song.
The Calendar Wall and Seasonal Pointers FREEBIE also includes the “Months of the Year” song for your class to sing along with.
This FREEBIE is an excerpt from my CALENDAR KIT which includes everything you need for your CLASSROOM CALENDAR plus additional materials for
*Weather and Seasons
*Multi Cultural Celebrations from Around the World Throughout the Year.
*Calendar Centers Activities
*Calendaring Activity Sheets
The CALENDAR KIT also includes seven calendar songs:
“Months of the Year”
“Days of the Week”
“Four Seasons in the Year”
“Birthday Sun Song”
“Continents of the World”
People have asked me what my favorite teaching tool is. I have to say that it’s my alphabet rug! It’s one of our favorite classroom gathering places! What do we do there? We sit criss-cross applesauce, and everyone sits on a letter. We sing, we sign, we dance, we read, we talk, we count, we calendar, we laugh, we learn, we grow, we giggle, we SMILE!
I’ve had this rug for eight years and I think it still looks as good as the day I bought it. You’d never know by looking at it that over 300 pairs of little feet have danced upon it over several school years!
FUNetic Farm is a phonics-based, early literacy program. It’s a multi-sensory ANIMAL ALPHABET that children love to SOUND, SIGN, SIGN and SPELL (and eventually read). The program includes music, cute animal alphabet flashcards, animal alphabet puppets, printable activity sheets, word building, manipulatives, kinesthetic learning, American Sign Language fingerspelling and games. The FUNetic Farm Phonics Intro Kit includes 26 lively animal alphabet songs as well as 26 demonstration videos.
Through simple daily, circle time lessons, songs and activities, children joyfully learn the sounds of all of the letters in just three months!!! No pressure, no stress, just FUN! That’s what the FUNetic Farm is all about!
You can find my FUNetic Farm products at MY STORE on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Click Image Below for FREEBIE!
In your daily review, you and your students will say the letter sounds as you point to the letters, “a – ant, b – bat, c – cat, d – dog, e – elephant, etc” To help your students develop early phonics skills and prepare them for reading, be sure to use letter sounds (not letter names and short vowels not long vowels). Please remember, for more FUNetic Farm FUN, Animal Alphabet songs, games, activities, puppets, phonics worksheets I, phonics worksheets II,and flashcards are all available at MY Store at TEACHERSpayTEACHERS.