Lesson Ideas

This page can be adapted both for Teachers & Parents.  I believe that what is taught in the classroom, should also be used as a tool to teach at home. 



- If your child has a particular game they like to play that uses dice- use 2 dice instead and have them add up the numbers. 

- Play the card game "21" with your child so they can add up their cards.  (You can use the same rules as the card game "21" and instead call it "10" or "12" if your child can not add the higher numbers yet. 

- Use everyday household items that need to be "added" up.  Make up a funny story about the items in which they need to be added. 

- If they need to answer certain addition problems such as 3+7= ____ have them first find the larger number (7) and make a fist representing that number.  Then put the other number (3) up on the other hand using 3 fingers.  First they "punch" the number 7 and then count up with the 3 fingers, "7...8, 9, 10." 10 being the answer. 



-Start collecting items from parents at least a month in advance to this unit.  Create a store of empty items such as cereal boxes, or waterbottles.   Give students time daily to "go to the store." 

-You could also use random items from around the classroom.  Such as extra index cards, erasers, pencils, or even those 3 extra hearts from valentines day last year and give them each a price.  Allow students time to visit the "store" and purchase their items.  (In 2nd or 3rd grade you could have students keep a log for their money as well.  I found that in first grade it was a little difficult to keep a log for each child.) 

-Create money bags.  I used old change that I've collected for the last few years and put them in baggies (20 pennies, 10 nickels, 10 dimes, and 4 quarters.) I put a letter on each baggie and wrote the letter next to the child's name so students know I am keeping track incase money goes missing.  I give each child a blank piece of construction paper. I tell stories about different amounts of money and have students put the correct amount on the construction paper. 



-Students love food!  Always check for allergies first- but you can use pretzles, animal crackers, and cheez-its.  Tell students to create certain patterns based off of the clues you give. 



-You can use those same food ideas for graphing. (Give each child a graphing chart and a bowl of different items they can graph on it.) 

-You could also give each child only one food item and have them create a graph by coming up and coloring it on one large class graph. 

-You could create a HUMAN graph!  We did this in first grade and it was a hit!  The students who liked vanilla icecream best stood on the line first, then chocolate next, finally both flavors last.  I took a picture and showed it to the class.  They thought graphing was great! 

-You could also create a graph with tape on the floor and give each child a different sheet of colored paper based off of their favorite color and have them create a large graph on the floor using those papers. (I did this in both first and fourth grade and students loved it!) 




-Write the letter A on 2 sheets of paper (then do the same for every letter of the alphabet), connect the 2 letters by string so that students can place the letter A over their head and wear it like a smock.  Once you do this for all of the letters, you can play all sorts of games with them.  

*Make an Alphabet Parade

*Put the letters in order

*Try to spell a word

*Make a letter sound and have the student wearing that sound stand up


-"I'm going on a picnic and I'm going to bring _______" have students each give something they would bring & try to remember the item before them by making each item the next letter of the alphabet. (You can start with A, example: apples, the next student B, example: ball etc...) 

-  If you have a letter a day have students take turns "searching" for that letter around the classroom.  (You can cut out the center of a fly swatter to create a "detective magnifying glass") You can do this same activity with partners too.

-Give students a book and have them "search" for the letter of the day in that book.  Find out which book in the classroom has the most G's by giving each student a different book and have them "search".  



-Have students who are more advanced read a story to the class on a daily/weekly basis.

- Try to have lots of books in the classroom. 

-Make reading a privilage and a reward, not a punishment. 

-Read around the room.  See how many words students can read around the room. 

-Read stories to students, ask them questions as they go along.  You can even let them change the endings sometimes! It is a great way for them to use their imagination! 



-In Kindergarten I have the whole class write a story together each month.  I give the theme and help walk them through the steps of the story. We post these stories on large chart paper in the classroom for the whole year.  It is amazing to hear them reading their own stories by the end of the year!

-By First Grade, students should be ready to try to write their own stories.  We start with Halloween and our Senses.  I give them a paper divided into four sections: See, Hear, Touch, Smell.  We walk through this brainstorming process together as we talk about things we might see, (I both draw the picture and write the word on the board), Hear (I play a CD of Haunted House Noises before this part), and so on with each sense.  Finally I give students paper and tell them to write a story.  If they do not know how to spell a word they can either draw the picture or raise their hand and I will write the word for them ona  post-it note.  Each month they spend time in the computer lab typing up their stories. *I usually have them work with a partner telling them what to type as they go along.