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Santa and His Reindeer (Lacing skills)

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The difficulty level can be modified according to the objectives of your lesson. I just wanted the kids to do a simple lacing activity while making a Christmas craft, so this is what I came up with.

Materials:

Picture of Santa in his sleigh, picture of a few reindeer, a string (or whatever you find it appropriate to use), crayons, glue, glitter glue pen (for the stars), and yellow art paper (for the moon)

Directions:

For teacher/adult: Punch holes on the reindeer

For the kids:

1) Color the pictures

2) Cut them out

3) Have the kids lace the string into the reindeer

4) Stick the front of the string onto Santa’s hand so it looks like he’s holding it

5) With the help of an adult, use a masking tape/glue the extra string to the back of the paper, so it won’t look like it’s ‘cut-off’

6) Stick Santa onto the paper

7) Cut out yellow circles (For moon)

8) Let the kids have fun creating the stars with the glitter glue pen to create stars!

Have a fun-filled Christmas & Happy New Year!

Elf on the Shelf 3D craft (4-5 yo)

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Was supposed to post this 2 weeks ago, but as usual, work got in the way. Anyhoo, this is a very simple Elf on the Shelf craft but has gotten many compliments in school.

Materials:

a cut out of the Elf, art paper, scissors, crayons, cellophane tape

Directions:

1) Print out Elf picture

2) Let the children color it then cut it out

3) On another piece of paper, let the children draw the picture you intend them to draw, or let their imaginations go wild (depending on age. The older your kid is, the more accurate their drawing will be. Otherwise, draw them an example, and ask them to copy it, which was what I did with my kids)

3) Fold the Elf’s bottom and knees, so it’ll look like he’s sitting down.

4) Fold the cellophane tape in such a way that when you stick the elf, it’ll look like it’s sticking out of the paper, for the 3D effect. (Refer to the picture attached)

5) Tada! Your very own Elf on the Shelf! ๐Ÿ™‚

A project a day to keep Boredom away! :)

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dad-book-awesome-projectsIt’s SUMMER and if your kids aren’t in any summer camps, you might enjoy/need/want this! ๐Ÿ™‚

Stumbled upon this when FB browsing and thought this might be too good not to share. I’m so gonna get this book! Nope, no kids yet, but I welcome anything inspiring to do with kids! ๐Ÿ™‚ Who knows, some ideas for my future storytelling sessions?? *read: HIRE ME!* ๐Ÿ˜›

Clickย hereย to check out the table of contents and tell me you aren’t tempted to buy the book! ๐Ÿ˜€

OR read this on 2 of some great projects taken from this book! ๐Ÿ™‚

Edwina the Dinosaur who didn’t know she was extinct by Mo Willems

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EdwinaThis is our current favorite book. The kids loved it so much we read it twice in a day! Their favorite character? Edwina of course ๐Ÿ™‚ One mom even asked me who’s this Edwina her daughter has been telling her about! Haha Also, the wonderful illustrations definitely make them love this book even more!

Some suggestions on how to make reading this story more interesting:

1) Talk about the cover.

2) Give them an idea of what the book is about and have them guess the ending.

3) Dramatize. Dramatize. Dramatize using voice and facial expressions.

4) Try saying Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie in a funny way. Say Reginald Von (slightly slower) then Hooobie-Doobie really quickly. Ask the children to say it with you. They will love it!

5) Give them time to look at the pictures. Listen and watch their reactions, then respond accordingly. This way you’re making the story more interactive.

Finally, we did this activity (template below): Using different shapes to ‘recreate’ Edwina.

1) Color the shapes.

2) Create a dinosaur using the different shapes.

3) Stick it onto a paper then place ‘Edwina’ in a different place by drawing anything the children want. You’d be amazed with their ideas! Some of them managed to draw what they saw from the book (Yep, should have taken a picture). Some decided to draw her with her chocolate cookies ๐Ÿ™‚

4) OR you can also stick it on a stick and voila! You have a dinosaur ‘puppet’! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s a template I created:

Dinosaur stick puppet

The Defiant Little Girl

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defiantgirlOk. It’s not always fun at school. All teachers and children know that. This particular day, the birthday girl I’ve mentioned in my post before, was being defiant, not only to me but to all other teachers. We kind of blamed it on sugar. Mom packed her candy for her lunch snack. This isn’t good news for any teachers.

She didn’t sleep during nap time. So I went to her and talked to her. I told her to try take a nap and not disturb her friend. She didn’t listen and just wouldn’t. Then I told her that I’m gonna tell her mommy not to pack the same snack for her the next time if she’s not going to listen. (She told me before, that she loved what her mom packed for her today and she was going to tell her mom when she got home). Still, she didn’t listen. After a few warnings, she kinda applied ‘reversed psychology’ on me. Finally, she said, “Go tell my mommy then. I don’t care. I don’t like sweet stuff anyway. I like spicy.” I was appalled she responded that way. I told another teacher what happened and she too, tried talking to her about it.

That didn’t work too. She was running everywhere when everyone was supposed to be sitting in a circle. And she was chattier than usual during mid-afternoon snack. She was disturbing other friends during art and craft too. I continued to observe.

On that day, I’ve actually prepared a little pre-Christmas surprise for them. I made little Santa sleighs using candy canes and chocolates for each of them. But before giving it to them, I did a little activity with them. It went like this:

1) I asked them if they wish to own Santa’s sleigh

2) Santa might grant them that wish if they could draw some reindeers to pull the sleigh

3) Once they were done, I asked them to close their eyes and wish really really hard that Santa would grant that wish

4) With their eyes closed, I placed the santa sleighs behind all of their chairs…except for one

When they opened their eyes, I asked them to look behind their chairs and they were elated…except for one.

Yep. The ‘birthday girl’. She turned around and looked for hers. Her friends noticed that too, and asked me why she didn’t have one. I asked the others if they knew why. One very smart girl said, “She didn’t draw reindeers. SHe didn’t follow instructions.” (I did mention that to the birthday girl while she was drawing. I kept asking her where were her reindeers but she ignored me. Instead she told me what she drew – princess, girl, trees…etc…and no reindeers. I told her if she wanted to have Santa’s sleigh…she gotta start drawing some reindeers. Still she ignored me.)

After that activity, it was free play. The ‘birthday girl’ didn’t want to join her friends. I asked why. She said, “I’m feeling upset. I didn’t get my sleigh.”

“Do you know why?” I asked.

“I didn’t draw the reindeers.”

“Yep. You didn’t follow instructions. And you know Santa only gives presents to those who are nice right?”

She nodded.

“Have you been nice today?”

She didn’t answer. So I asked more straight forward questions.

“Did you nap during nap time?”

“No.”

“Did you listen to your teachers?”

She shook her head.

“How are you feeling now?”

“Sad.”

“Well, that’s exactly how I felt when you didn’t listen to me today. Is this a good feeling?”

“No.”

About 20 mins later, her dad came to pick her up. And she said this to me, “I’m going to tell daddy I didn’t get my sleigh.”

I kinda expected she’d say that. So I was prepared and said, “Oh. You don’t need to do that. I’ll do that myself.” And I did. I told Daddy what happened the entire day. As I did that, she hunched and cast her eyes down as she walked in circles next to Daddy.

THen I called her and told her that I’ve told Daddy what happened and that Santa was aware of it too. “You must promise to behave before I give you the sleigh.”

She promised and I gave her the sleigh.

The next day, she was at her best behavior. I know children forget really fast so I need to be consistent with my rules with them.

Encourage reading

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Telling “Room on the Broom” by Julia Donaldson

Sorry for being MIA for so long. My hubby and I have been really busy. I had no idea relocating can be so exhausting! We aren’t even done yet. Our house hunting hasn’t ended. And once we’re done with that, we’d have to think about moving, etc.

Ok, back to a related topic. I’m a strong believer in building a strong foundation right from the start – be it reading or character building. John posted up this article on children and literacy on Facebook recently, and I thought it relevant,ย so am sharing this here:

McGinty, along with Piasta and a researcher named Laura Justice, designed a research studyto look at the effects of modest changes in the way preschool teachers read to children. McGinty and her colleagues decided to target disadvantaged preschoolers because they frequently end up with reading issues.

For the study, they gave two groups of preschool teachers books for an entire school year โ€” 30 weeks’ worth of books. One group was told to read the books normally; the other was given weekly cards with specific questions the teacher could ask โ€” really just small phrases โ€” that might momentarily draw a child’s attention to the print on the page.

The teachers were told to read their books four times a week, and to point out the print in this way between four and eight times, so that together the small phrases hardly added extra time to their reading sessions โ€” maybe 90 seconds per book.

It is hard to imagine that such a small adjustment would make any difference. It was a series of moments, questions and gestures. How much could that do?

So far, the kids have been followed for two years. They are now in first grade, and according to the most recent findings, which were published in the journal Child Development, even these small changes make a measurable difference.

“Children who focused their attention on print… had better literacy outcomes than those who did not,” says Piasta. “It was very clear.”

For the full story, click here.

Telling ‘The Magic Porridge Pot’

Personally, when I’m not in a classroom setting, I prefer not to use a book when I do my storytelling sessions with children. I want to instill listening skills andย encourage imagination, something which I find, lack in children these days. After which I’d ask them to draw creatures/people/things they heard in the story. It’s fun to see what they come up with and the version of their story of the picture they just drew. But of course, methods used depend on your objectives.ย I guess it’s good to create a balance. What I’d normally do to encourage reading among my students (aged 7-10), is to tell them a story from a book, and ask them to guess the ending but not tell them what it is. Of course the suspense kills them. By the following week, some of them would come back and tell me they asked their parents to buy the book, or they borrowed it from the library, so that they could read the entire story ๐Ÿ™‚ย Oh gosh…I MISS THEM DEARLY!

What happened to Storyteller G1?

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Ok, my blog has not been updated for a really long time. If you have been wondering why, well, it’s coz my hubby and I just got relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. So basically, I couldn’t give any storytelling for the past few months due to all the things we had to deal with, while making arrangements for our relocation.

So as of now, I’ve gotta start everything from scratch ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Thank you John for sharing with me some of your ideas! Really appreciate it ๐Ÿ™‚

Ok, I’ve gotta sign off now. Gotta work on a few other things ๐Ÿ™‚