Sunday, March 12, 2017

Best St. Patrick's Videos for Kids

St. Patrick's is all about the jig, stories, singing and laughing.
St. Patrick's Videos - Teacher Ink
Here are some of the best St. Patrick's videos for kids:

1)  Counting with a Leprechaun - Irish rap song that gets kids all caught up, counting their gold by 1's, 2's, 5's and 10's, with Silvana Macri.  There are other versions, but this one takes the cake.  (3:09) Addictive verses start: 
I'm a lucky, lucky leprechaun, a thousand and one years old
And at the end of the rainbow, I count my lucky gold...
2)  Leprechaun's Gold - Old-Fashioned classic Irish Tale of leprechauns and a little boy who wants their gold.  It's a 1949 Disney-style Noveltoon that will stand the test of time!  (9:24)

3)  Dr. Monster: The Leperchaun - Yes, Leper-chaun.  A fast-paced, freewheeling, animated rap song by LilDeuceDeuce that's as sophisticated as the listener, and entrancing to a five-year-old. (2:39)

4)  St. Patrick's Day For Kids - An Irish Jig song that traces the story of the real St. Patrick, with images of St. Paddy's parades, kids with shamrocks, and cartoon images of St. Pat's life.   (1:55)

5)  St. Patrick - Super cute, funny and cool, cartoon informational video of the life of St. Patrick, narrated by a non-Irish foreigner, possibly from India; by dcnorton (8:36)

6)  Popeye the Sailor Man: The Leprechaun - Popeye and his spinach, an evil witch and her vulture, adorable leprechauns with their pot 'o gold...and a ship.  What's not to love?  (5:09) is a great source for videos.  Many schools block YouTube, so you’ll have to use free online software, such as, a YouTube to MP4 converter.  This is best done at home.  Then you can bring the MP4 on a flash drive to view at school on your SMARTboard or computer.

If you'd like a rousing, hand-clappin', foot-stompin' St. Patrick's Jig--with dance instructions--it's here.  Hello, brain break!  And not just on St. Paddy's day.  Add your own tambourines, chimes and drums for extra fun.
If you'd like to add a St. Paddy's drama for the kids to enact, complete with leprechaun hats, and mini-leprechaun dancing puppets--plus creative writing prompts and gorgeous St. Paddy's writing paper--here's the total St. Patrick's Day Fun experience.
For full lessons on How to Catch a Leprechaun, with shamrock-shaped paper for a gorgeous display, try this.

Top o' the mornin' to ya!

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

10 Tips for a Substitute Teacher

A substitute teacher needs hundreds of tips--I know, I've collected them all!  Here are my top ten tips:  

Substitute Teacher Guide - Renee Dawn
1)  Safety is your number one priority.  I'll repeat that: Safety is #1.  That means good behavior management, and orderly routines.

2)  Stay focused and present.  Neither be a deer frozen in the headlights, nor frantic.  Keep your cool, calm exterior—even if you’re a bit flustered or overwhelmed.  Take a deep breath and move forward.

3)  Be organized.  Ask yourself, “What absolutely must get done?”  Watch the clock; be on time for lunch, prep classes, and dismissal.  Leave plenty of time for transitions.  If you find you have extra time, you can do a quick “bell ringer” activity, singing, chanting or callbacks.

4)  Be prepared.  Have your materials ready; at the very least, a fun book to read.  Have a back-up plan, and enough high-interest lessons to last a day.  Do the regular teacher’s math and reading lessons first.  Save the fun stuff for later, as incentives for good behavior.  If a holiday is approaching, you can work it into the day with a book, art, writing or craft.

5)  Actually teach!  Give a mini-lesson and specific instructions for work.  Circulate and help the children complete their assignments.  Don’t just say, “Work on whatever you want,” because kids respond best to structure.

6)  Go with the flow and change plans as necessary.  Cut a lesson short or take a brain break to calm or energize the class. 

7)  Be firm; give specific, clear instructions for every action.   And, be kind.  One of the best “rewards” is to say, “Thank you for helping.” 

8)  Ask for help.  Don’t do everything yourself.  Ask the kids where to find things, or how the routines go.  Ask an organized child, or ask the class.  Say, “Raise your hand if you know…”  And ask a nearby teacher if necessary.

9)  Don’t use up the teacher’s supplies, crafts, or pre-printed worksheets.  Don’t use specialty notebooks unless the teacher requests it.  You may use plain copy paper if there’s plenty of it, or bring your own.

10)  Respect the regular teacher’s room!  Leave it clean and tidy.  Don’t leave open food containers, torn posters, or running electrical equipment.

…And one for the road:

You can master this.  Subbing is like a language, that you can learn to speak fluently.  Remember to leave a “While you were out” note, including your contact info, for repeat business.
Whether this is your first year subbing, or you simply want a step-by-step guide to taking control of a classroom, I can help show you the way.

I’m a New York City public school teacher with over twenty  years’ experience.  I’ve observed hundreds of subs and teachers in action, and was a sub myself for three years prior to teaching full time.  Now it’s my pleasure to pass along all I’ve learned to you.

The Ultimate Guide for the Substitute Teacher includes hundreds of tips, teacher scripts, lessons, and printables that you can use all year.
As always, I'm wishing you all the best,

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Number Chart Robots with Bling

Number Chart Robots with Bling...
...were just the thing I needed for my 100th Day of School celebration.

I knew kids would be portaging 100th Day Projects twice their size...
...with pieces falling off and needing re-gluing.  

So I set up a "Do Now" to give me time to organize their displays.

I showed them my easiest Number Chart Robot up on the SMARTboard.  I said they should color the same number-squares that are colored here:
Will you color number 1?  No!  Number 2?  No!  Number 3?  No!   Number 4?  No!   Number 5?  Yes!  That's all they needed to get started.

I said, you can color the head one color and the body, arms and legs another color.  Or, you can color each square differently.  You can even draw a design inside a square before you color it--like a heart or a star--with your pencil.

Who wants a fancier--and more difficult--robot?  I named a few kids, and said, "I'll bet you'd like this one!"  I handed them a printout of a complex robot to re-create.
Then I handed out blank number charts, and the kids got busy.  Some kids huddled together on the floor to try a trickier robot, and to help each other out.  A couple of kids messed up the first time, but they all made a robot--and were thrilled to pieces over it.

They were even more thrilled over the bling we added later in the day.

And they seemed pleased with the shabby-grunge vibe they got from sloppy coloring--born from excitement to start the activities of the 100th Day.    

We'll do Number Chart Robot Do Now's again sometime!

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Life at Home Printables

Life at Home Printables were so useful to me, I'm giving them away, but only to you--my loyal homies:

Life at Home Printables

THEY'RE FREE THROUGH PRESIDENTS WEEK - and if you do download them, won't you kindly leave a feedback comment - Thank you!

We read Life at Home: Then and Now, as part of our ReadyGen Reading Program.  I needed high-interest, differentiated activity sheets, so voila!  

A home outline for kids to draw and label activities in a home, then and now--two pictures of each.

The advanced kids also wrote a sentence on the bottom: I prefer this or that, because... (and yes, one kid preferred using a washing board 'cause then he could sing while he washed--FUN!!)
You could also use this as a unit assessment, or for drawing family members: draw one or more person in each room, or draw family members doing different activities in each room.

I differentiated:

  • Group 1 used the house outline  
  • Group 2  drew a unique house, free-style, using the empty border sheet and inspired by the house outline  
  • Group 3 drew a smaller picture, and wrote extra on the lined paper provided 
One caveat: I always tell the other groups that they can take a house outline later, at centers time.  They all want one.

Hey, this also works for Presidents Day--you know, comparing life in colonial times and now.  Hmmm...would kids actually prefer life back then?

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Valentine's Day Paper Bag Robots

Valentine's Day Paper Bag Robots sound like heaven to me...

Valentine's Day Craft Robot
  ...and to my kids!
  Valentine's Day Robot Craft
A simple card would've been easier for everyone--but not nearly as memorable.

This is an action figure.  Kids practiced talking with robotic voices, saying " you for-ever...Mom," while moving their robot heads with their hands.

Valentine's Day Robot Craft

It was pretty easy.  I pre-cut the rectangles to fit the head and the body, and one heart per child (six hearts per 9 X 12" paper).  Then I cut scrap rectangles that the kids could cut up for arms, legs, buttons, hats, antennae, etc.

I showed them how to put glue on the top of the bag, and place the head.  Then put glue on the bottom of the bag, and add the body.  Next, a heart.  And finally, the robot details.
Valentine's Day Robot Craft
Angry Bird eyes, yellow shark fin, and patched up heart, anybody?

In the last few moments of class I improvised a song:

I'm in love
I'm in love
I'm in love with a Love-Bot

One kid spontaneously added a high falsetto tag line, which we all took to like Motown Masters.

I'm in love (Can you feel?)
I'm in love (Can you feel?)
I'm in love with a Love-Bot

That's what Valentine's Day is all about, folks.
Would you like to wear your Valentine's Day Sight Word Craft Heart on your sleeve? 

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Presidents Day Neon Money Banks

Lincoln and Washington never imagined this:
Presidents Day Neon Money Banks!
...that I can hang from the ceiling on strings!
...and watch them twirl and dance in the heating system's breeze!
So easy to make: I just taped the string through the money bank slit before gluing the last panel shut.

Big question: why do neon Presidents Day Money Banks make me--and my kids--so happy?

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

TeachersPayTeachers Sale!

It's all on sale--the whole TeachersPayTeachers store!

Teacher resources at 28% off--there's a lotta love here!

Please stop by and look around...

 Number Chart Robots

 Number Chart Robots

I'll see you there!

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