I am linking up with Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten to talk about Teaching Smart!
I have learned that anything and everything can happen in any given day and you need to be prepared to alter your lesson and go with what has been thrown your way. It could range from a technological malfunction to a scheduled special being canceled to anything in between. In those times, you need to reach up your sleeve for something engaging and educational!
I have realized that the energy I bring into the classroom quickly spreads like wildfire. I need to project calm and collected as much as possible even when inside I am feeling anything but! To help me do that, I either sing or put on calming music while I am getting my bin of transitional activities out. Inside I have books, felt board activities that I have bought or created and sometimes prepped art projects from earlier in the week that we didn't get a chance to get to. This is usually enough to cover a computer that has froze or a music teacher that has gone home sick. Before you know it, the kids are enjoying themselves, learning and have forgotten what was supposed to happen. And...you as the teacher can sit back and thank yourself for spending all those hours making or searching for transitional activities to stock in your bin for times just like these!
Monkey Math is an example of an activity that may be in my bin. I made this activity my first year of teaching using clipart from Microsoft Word. I usually start with a read aloud such as, Caps For Sale or Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed and then move into Monkey Math. It is perfect with a felt board (just add velcro to the back), pick a monkey and ask for a volunteer to feed the monkey the corresponding number of bananas. The kids love it! Not only did you cover literacy and math but you added some fine motor work by having children lift and manipulate the bananas on the felt board!