Friday, January 7, 2011

Cool Ideas from the instructional magazine, "The Mailbox"

Saw these ideas when looking through the current Kindergarten edition of "The Mailbox."  Confession time--the school library computer was real slow this morning and I had to grab a magazine to thumb through or I would have gone crazy waiting for the computer to plod along.

Activities related to books:
Eric Carle's The Very Busy Spider--Have students sit in a large circle.  While reading the book have students create a spider web within the circle, using their hands/fingers as the anchoring points.  At the end, carefully remove the web from the students' hands and lay it down in the circle.  The teacher might choose a student to wind up the yarn again or you might suggest ahead of time that your "target" student gets to wind up the yarn into a ball, with your supervision.  This sounds like a good activity for attention, motor planning, bilateral coordination and sensory exploration.

Lois Ehlert's  Leaf Man--I haven't read this book but from the cover it looks like the story of a man made of leaves.  Use leaves of different shapes to make a person (head, upper arm, forearm, trunk, upper and lower leg).  I'd make a whole family of leaf people or perhaps use the idea to make a class "portrait."

Other ideas:  When using glue during the day, suggest that the students apply glue in the shape of the letter "A" or the shape of a single digit number.  The teacher can call out a letter at different times during the activity and have the students all apply glue in that letter shape until the next letter is called out.  We can do this when working 1-1 with students.

Have students cut out letters of different shapes from cereal or toy boxes, apply a strip of magnetic tape on the back, then use the letters to write words on a magnetic chalkboard or cookie sheet.  Assign students to tidy up afterwards by putting the letters in alphabetical order.  If cutting out thick paper is too difficult, use old greeting cards or similar paper.

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