Idea Requests!

Y’all loved the suggestion of having an idea request blog post (Double Your Chance), and your wish has come true! Now let’s see if we can make our editors’ idea wish lists come true too! 🙂 Share your ideas right here on the blog. It’s as easy as that!


PS: Thirty-eight ideas were purchased from the blog during the month of August! Yippee for you!

Preschool teachers: Think apples! Then think group time, center time, songs, rhymes, and transitions! What are your favorite apple-related activities? Also, how did you celebrate Grandparents Day this year? Please share!
Kindergarten and first-grade teachers: Open house has probably come and gone, but we’re still interested! Please tell your secrets to a successful open house. We’d also like to hear about your favorite activities for the month of September—think math, reading, writing, science, and social studies. We’re all ears!
Second- and third-grade teachers: We’d love to hear how you help students with math fact fluency. In other words, how do you nurture mental math skills in fun and engaging ways? We’re also in search of ideas for helping students understand and identify point of view.
Teachers of grades four and above: How do you help students establish good homework habits instead of creative no-homework excuses? 🙂 And in the area of math, the topic is math accuracy. Please tell us how you drive home the importance of computational precision!

9 thoughts on “Idea Requests!

  1. I always promise my students a “prize” if they and their parents come to open house. Now I know some parents can’t come, so if they make arrangements to come visit me at another day/time, then their student still gets the prize! I usually give an apple to remind the parents they are teachers too! I also like to give something to the student (usually educational, but fun, like playdough – to make their ABC and numbers).

  2. We took shaving creme and an apple shape out of recycled manilla folders, we took the shaving creme and blended green, yellow and red into different dishes of shaving creme. swirled it to make a marbled look, placed the apple cut out on the top and pressed down to cover it completely. We then took the paint mixing stick (think menards paint department, they give them free) and scraped off the shaving cream paint mixture,leaving a marblelized paint design on the apple cutout. We used the apples in graphing, apple math activities ( Ten on Top). The kids loved it because they were able to come up with some pretty cool designs.

  3. At preschool we love our apple theme!! Our theme is-An Apple a day! To count the days in school we add an apple to our classroom tree (we have a 4 seasons tree that changes along with the seasons during the school year). During each season we add a different cut out so we can also count the days we are in school each season- apples for summer (we have summers off, so since it’s really only a few weeks in that we’re in preschool for September I use apples), leaves for fall, snowflakes for winter, flowers for spring. You could really use any cutouts 🙂 I love listening to my friends counting using our 4 seasons tree.

    Jaime Jamieson
    Waiting to Grow Preschool

  4. I use apples to introduce classroom cooking to the prek kids.

    We make apple burritos. The kids get to do all the chopping with a plastic knive and each gets a turn at stirring the warm apples with cinnamon and brown sugar. All the kids spread their own cream cheese. Its a great first cooking activity and with a easy to make picture recipe they are getting math and pre reading, Health since its a fairly healthy recipe, handwashing and science. Love to cook with the kids.

  5. I do a “scavenger-hunt” type activity where parent and child find things around the classroom to help them know where their hook, cubbie box and etc. can be found.I put a special note or surprise at each spot. Last one..give me a high five!

  6. We have a grandparents luncheon right in our classroom. They bring their own lunch and most pack for their grandchild, too. Students make cards for their grandparents prior to that day. On that day we have grandparents share, in writing, one thing they remember from 1st grade and why their grandchild is special. We save these and students put them in their scrapbook along with a picture of them and their grandparent eating lunch together in our classroom.

  7. I teach second grade and I like using playing cards and dominos to help my students recognize patterns, and in turn, develop mental math strategies that help develop fact fluency. However, the class favorite is definitely musical math facts. This activity alleviates student boredom with the rote/repeated writing aspect of math facts(or spelling words). I post the body of facts that we are practicing on the SmartBoard and provide each student with a dry erase board and marker. I then turn on some music(They love the Monkees:))and the students write that particular body of facts as long as the music plays. When I turn the music off, everyone stops, I pull a number from the ping pong pot or magic hat, and that student reads us what they have written. It incorporates the senses and is more fun than a sheet of repeated writing-they LOVE it!

  8. We love apple activities! Here’s a few songs/fingerplays I wrote that we enjoy:

    5 Red Apples
    5 Red apples, hanging on the tree (make a 5 with your hands)
    Boy oh boy, they look good to me (rub tummy)
    So I picked one off and crunch, crunch, crunch (reach up and pretend to pick an apple, then eat it)
    I ate that apple for my lunch!

    continue with 4, 3, 2, 1. After 1, use the following verse:

    No red apples hanging on the tree (put your hands out like you’re apologizing)
    I ate them all for lunch you see (touch your tummy(
    But the little green apples will soon be red (point up)
    And I’ll eat them for my lunch instead!

    Here we go round the apple tree (to the tune of Here we Go Round the Mulberry Bush)

    Here we go round the apple tree,
    The apple tree, the apple tree
    Here we go round the apple tree, on an autumn morning

    This is the way we shake the tree
    Shake the tree, shake the tree, shake the tree
    This is the way we shake the tree, on an autumn morning

    This is the way we pick the apples,
    Pick the apples, Pick the apples
    This is the way we pick the apples, on an autumn morning

    This is the way we eat the fruit
    Eat the fruit, eat the fruit
    This is the way we eat the fruit, on an autumn morning

    You’re the Apple of my Eye Paper Plate Craft:
    1. Paint a paper plate red, and allow to dry

    2. Cut a stem out of brown construction paper,and a leaf out of green. Once plate is dry, glue the stem and leaf onto the top of the paper plate.

    3. Use a marker to write the words “you’re the apple of my eye” around the front of the plate. Have each child glue a picture of him or herself onto the centre of the plate. They make great gifts for Grandparents Day. Alternately, you can use them as a bulletin board display. Rather than writing “You’re the apple of my eye” on each plate, write “Ms X’s Preschool class is the pick of the crop” and hang the apples up underneath.

  9. I teach fourth grade. I have a list of differentiated choices that the students can pick from for their spelling homework. Each night students can pick one choice to do. Because students are picking out their activity, they seem to enjoy it a lot more.
    I know this is for kinder and first grade teachers, but I have a scavenger hunt/ to do list for the parents and students. The students show and demonstrate activities around the classroom. I also provide milk and cookies for an extra treat!

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