Saturday, May 23, 2015

You Know You're Working In Daycare When... A Sampling of Daycare Humor

The plight of a daycare teacher is like that of a magician. We need to dazzle our audience daily and  have perfect timing to avoid tantrums and dilemmas. Day care has its ups and downs, but boring it is not! Check out my list below for a little more insight into the inner workings of a daycare teacher. 

You Know You're Working In Daycare When...
  1. there is a distinct odor in the air that is not from your air freshener.
  2. the horror movie screams piercing your eardrums are from the smallest of babes. 
  3. you rock out to Disney's Frozen soundtrack and are knowledgeable in all things cartoon. 
  4. nap time becomes a spa-like, spiritual oasis. 
  5. you have to consider the "messy factor" before any project. 
  6. ice packs and band-aids become daily essentials. 
  7. counting becomes an obsession. 
  8. sharp, pointy edges are the three most terrifying words in the English language. 
  9. your reading list includes Good Night Moon and Fancy Nancy
  10. drill sergeant tactics become necessary to keep your classroom secure and calm. 
  11. the staff at your local dollar store know you on a first name basis. 
  12. you have no trouble whipping out your teacher id in order to receive a "teacher discount". 
  13. you begin to hoard recyclables  such as paper towel tubes and take out boxes like they are going out of style. 
  14. holidays mean staff-in service days. 
  15. waterproof mascara and eyeliner become a must (if worn) and dangly earrings become amusing toys. 
  16. the puddle on the floor is not water. 
  17. your clothing begins to resemble a map of past, unremovable stains. 
  18. you need to remind yourself not to use your high-pitched, child-friendly "teacher voice" when in company with the general adult population. 
  19. comfort shoes become a fashion statement. 
  20. you can outrun even the fastest toddler with your graceful, gazelle-like stride. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

What's New?: New Blog Design for Glitter and Gluesticks Forever

Glitter and Gluesticks Forever has a brand new educational-themed look. The colors have a brighter and more kid-friendly flair and the font is bolder and more vibrant. I couldn't have done it without the incredible people at The Cutest Blog On the Block.

This website contains page after page of awesome and free templates, banners and blinkies that are available for Blogger, Wordpress, Facebook and Twitter. I even grabbed the pretty and fluttery butterfly teacher blinkie shown on the right.

Let's get this new and improved blog on a roll!

How Genius!: Creating Little Genius Bags

This weekend, I stepped into my attic and shuddered at the cumbersome clutter of lesson plan boxes. It looked like a scholarly train wreck that needed a major overhaul. With the end of the year drawing near and a garbage bag in tow, I tackled that lesson plan overload with abandon. After I was finished for the day, I was left with a much scaled down array of lessons.

The rest of the clutter will have to wait until next weekend, but for some of the items in the boxes I decided to develop Little Genius Bags.

I call these Little Genius Bags because they are subject specific such as math concepts, science language arts, etc. and can be used during circle time, for transitioning, assessments and to help tutor a child who needs a little one-on-one teaching. They can simply be made by placing everyday learning activities within labeled plastic bags.

Items within my Math Little Genius Bag include:

  • Shape Identification and Recognition Flashcards
  • Color Identification and Recognition Flashcards featuring firetrucks 
  • Foam Dice and Penguin-shaped math mats to be used for one-to-correspondence/counting activities
  • Sorting Activities 
  • Number Sequencing 
  • Car Positional Awareness
  • Dry Erase Markers

Isn't it wonderful that my downsizing journey came to be quite a positive and educational trek? So go ahead and create your very own Little Genius Bags too!

Feeling Like the Farm: Farm Feely Box

Students with enjoy this farm-tastic feely box that encourages lil' farmers in training to investigate sights found on the farm through their sense of touch and learn about  physical traits of farm animals and crops (science). It will surely also develop early language skills through identifying and verbalizing farm animal names.

Items Needed to Make Farm Feely Box

Large hat box
Roll of brown paper
Animal Cutouts
Ink pads to create antiqued look
Foundation sponges
Shipping tape
X-acto knife
Assorted farm animal/fruit and vegetable plastic figurines
Stuffed animals
Fake flower
A variety of seeds (sunflower, cracked corn and soybeans)

How to Make Farm Feely Box 
  1. Obtain a large hat box and cut a hole large enough for a child's hand to remove items in the box with an X-acto knife. 
  2. Cover box with brown paper and tape with shipping tape. 
  3. Find images of farm animals or use a paper diecuts to decorate the box. 
  4. Use ink pads to create an antiqued look. To do so, dip a foundation sponge into the pad and gingerly brush over brown paper on the hat box. 
  5. Glue the farm animal images onto the box with glue. 
  6. Gather a variety of plastic animal /fruit and vegetable figurines, stuffed animals, a fake flower and a variety of seeds. Examples of seeds include sunflower, cracked corn and soybeans. 
How to Teach Using the Farm Feely Box
  1. Before showing the children the feely box, ask them if they can name any animals or crops found on a farm. If not, give examples or oral clues such as mooing like a cow to elicit answers. 
  2. Tell the children that they are going on a trip to the farm by using their sense of touch. Ask the children what they think their sense of touch is/does. After the children have answered, either explain that the sense of touch helps us discover how things feel or continue with the lesson. 
  3. The teacher then places the feely box in front of the children and instructs them that they should close their eyes and pull an item out of the box . 
  4. Each child closes his or her eyes and takes a turn pulling an item out of the box. 
  5. After the child pulls the item out of the box, he or she should guess what the item is through their sense of touch. If the child is having trouble deciphering the object, have the other students help him or her by giving clues as to what the item is. 
  6. Continue until each student has had a turn. 
Extension Activities
  • Sort the items by living or non-living things (math)
  • Have children describe the physical traits of the animals/crops using adjectives (descriptive language): soft, hard, bumpy etc. (language arts) 
  • Using a map, chart geographic locations of states that have large amount of farms (social studies: geography) 
  • Think of different foods that are made with the animals and crops in the box (science: Understanding how the raising of crops and animals affects the food chain). 
  • Create a mini-farm in your sensory table using yellow yarn or construction paper as hay and animal figurines/stuffed animals (fine motor/creating imaginative play experiences/science) 
  • Use plastic farm animal figurines to make animal tracks using paint. (art project)

Side View of Farm Feely Box 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Scaring Up Some Cute: Scarecrow Craft and Circletime Ideas

What's made of straw, likes to scare away crows, and wears good ole overalls? A scarecrow, that's who! A farm unit would not be complete without touching on the subject of scarecrows.

Scarecrows have been used by farmers for decades to scare away those pesky crows and other farmyard invaders. How about adding a scarecrow craft and circle time activity such as the one below to scare up some extra joy!

1. Before Reading the Scarecrow's Wedding, ask students the following questions: These questions and the following lesson invite cognitive reasoning/extracting prior knowledge of scarecrows, (math concepts) develop listening (social/emotional) and communication skills (language arts) and examines the history and use of scarecrows by farmers (Social Studies).

What is a scarecrow? 
What is a scarecrow used for?
Do you think scarecrows really work?
How would you make your own scarecrow?

2. Read The Scarecrow's Wedding by Julia Donaldson.

3. Continue by playing the Roll a Scarecrow Game by using dice in circle time. Each body part of the scarecrow is placed down after a particular number is rolled. See Roll a Scarecrow page below. Subjects: Math: One-to- one correspondence, identifying numeric amounts, Language Arts: Pre-reading using pictorial images of clothing to represent words.

Please click on the following link in order to grab your Roll a Scarecrow Game. If you are not a member of Teachers Pay Teachers, please sign up for free.


After creating your Roll a  Scarecrow, continue by making scarecrow crafts. The scarecrow craft comes from the following website: Aussie Pumpkin Patch. Make sure to cut out the pieces for younger children and let older preschoolers cut out just the body. Have children color the scarecrow and glue body parts on or the teacher can use thumbtacks to make a movable scarecrow.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

One Singular Sensation: Mom (Happy Mother's Day Video)

Happy Mother's Day! Today's the day to call your mom, give her a hug  and a kiss and tell her how much you love her. No matter the number of miles of separation that may come between you,  a mother's love is always near.

Below is a wonderful video that showcases the power of the most beautiful word in the English or any language: mother. A word so powerful it evokes the emotions of love, tears, and longing for the woman who inspired us and gave us her heart.

I love you mama!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Peep!, Cheep! Baby Chicks Are Hatching and Aren't They Sweet?

Cheep, cheep hooray! Our baby chicks are finally beginning to hatch in the incubator. You can feel the excitement in the air as the students jump up and down with happy glee at the thought of seeing cute and cuddly babies. Stay tuned for more about our feathered friends and maybe even a pic or two...