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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Back to School

Well, the long winter holiday is sadly over, and we're all back to school again.  This week we're talking about winter at school, which is kind of funny, because (at least in my opinion) it's not very winter-y outside.  Sunny, highs in the 60s, cool at night - quite nice, actually.  But not very winter-y.

However, we forge ahead with our Winter Theme.  It's also Letter S week, so we're talking a lot about snowmen and snowflakes.  I put out a basket of circles and black hats on the art table, and the Little People started making the most wonderful snowmen.  I wish I had taken a picture of some of the other ones, but here's a great representation.  I call them Happy Snowman and Wee-Bit-Tired Snowman:

 Today I'm taking up some of these cute tags to use for our winter songs:

I found them at the Dollar Tree.  They're made from thick card stock and are actually very glittery.  I put magnets on the back of them to make them more functional.

I had struggled a while back trying to figure out the best way to use tags like this.  I wanted to use them at large or small group time while singing songs like "Five Little Monkeys" or in this case "Five Little Snowmen".  My goal was for the kids to be able to participate and add/take away an item at a time.  However, I didn't want to take the time for each child to come up to the front and put/remove one from a pocket chart.  I knew magnets would work, but the same problem existed with a magnet board - it would take too much time for the all 23 kids to approach it and then sit down.  Plus it can be kind of hard to take things like this off of a flat magnet surface - the items easily slip and fall during the process (which kind of interrupts the counting/singing flow).  A metal ruler would have worked, but then again, metal rulers can  have sharp edges.

So I wandered around the Dollar Tree for awhile until I found this - a metal wreath hanger for a door.  I simply bent back the end of the hanger that would hold the wreath like so:

This gave me a non-sharp metal object to hold onto with the magnets on it.  Then as we sing our song I hold it right in front of the kids so they can easily reach out and add/remove the magnets to go with the song.  After our group time I just put the metal bar/magnets in a basket and put it in our Library center for the kids to work with it on their own.

Fun, functional, and cheap - what more can you want?

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