Thank you for visiting our “happie” blog!  We hope we’ve added some smiles and joy to your school day.

Summer vacation starts soon, so we are going to take a vacation as well.

Wishing you sunny days and clear skies and lots of happie memories this summer.

See you when you hear that “back to school” bell!

Jean and Carolyn


P.S.  We are super excited about a new project we’ve been working on.  It’s going to be a MUST HAVE for every pre-k teacher!  You’ll get a peek on May 28th when we do Facebook Live.


Do You Know Story Elements?

After introducing a book by telling the title, author , and illustrator, ask the children to respond to this song to the tune of “Do You Know the Muffin Man”?

Teacher sings:

Do you know the title, title, title?

Do you the title of this book?

Children respond:

Yes, we know the title, title, title.

Yes we know the title of this book.

(Children then say the title.)

Continue as the teacher sings “Do you know the author…” and “Do you know the illustrator…”

Write story elements on jumbo craft sticks. You could “Who?” “What?” “Where?” “When?” “Why?” or you could use “Title,” “Author,” “Illustrator,” “Beginning,” “Middle,” “End.” Before reading a story, show the sticks to the children and then place them in a sock. Throw the sock over your shoulder and read the book. After reading, pass the sock around and let children pull a stick. Can they tell that part of the story?   



Get some plastic tubs and you’ll be all set for TUBBIE TIME!

Cutting Tub

Fill a tub with junk mail, catalogs, old greeting cards, scrap paper, etc.  Put a pair of children’s safety scissors in the tub and they can cut, tear, and be creative.  This way you can supervise scissors and encourage cutting at the same time.

More!  Add a hole punch or decorative scissors to the tub.

Table Tubbies

What do you do with those students who always finish their work early?  Get five plastic tubs and put different materials in each one.  For example:  puzzles, play dough, stringing beads, stamp pad and letter stamps, books, file folder games, shape blocks and pattern cards, etc.  When children finish early, they can get a tub and complete the activity.  

*If your children are grouped at tables, you could do a tub for each table with several items for the children to choose from.  Create 4 or 5 tubs and then rotate them each week.  That way you’ll only have to prepare the tubs once a month.

mnemonic devices

Mnemonic Devices


Geography – Spell “geography” by remembering “George Elliot’s Oldest Girl Rode A Pig Home Yesterday.
Homes – The Great Lakes are Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.


PlanetsMy (Mars) very (Venus) eager (Earth) mother (Mars) just (Jupiter), served (Saturn) us (Uranus) noodles (Neptune).


Roy G. Biv – He’s your friend when it comes to the color spectrum.

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.


Months of the Year

Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November.

All the rest have thirty-one excepting February alone;

Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine, till leap year gives it twenty-nine.

*Hold up knuckles on both hands. Point to the knuckles as you name the months. The months with 31 days will be the tall knuckles and the months with 23 or 30 days will be the lower spots in between.


ContinentsEat (Europe) an (Antarctica) aspirin (Asia) after (Africa) a (Australia) nutty (North America) Sandwich (South America).


Multiplication by Nine – Hold up ten fingers.

1 x 9 (One – put down left pinky and nine ones will be left.)

2 x 9 (Two – put down second finger/left pinky and you’ll have 1 ten and 8 ones.)

3 x 9 (Three – third finger down for two tens and seven ones.)

4 x 9 (Four – fourth finger down for three tens and six ones.)

5 x 9 (Thumb down for four tens and five ones.)

6 x 9 (Right thumb down for five tens and four ones.)

7 x 9 (Right pinky down for six tens and three ones.)

8 x 9 (Right middle finger down for seven tens and two ones.)

9 x 9 (Right ring finger down for eight tens and one.)

Sing Loud!

As I travel across the country, I repeatedly meet stressed teachers who say, “We are working as hard as we can. Our children are doing the best they can!” Somehow you need to balance all that work with a little PLAY! That’s why many teachers are discovering the secret of singing 5 minutes at the beginning and five minutes at the end of each day. Music emits endorphins in the brain and it really will make you smile!

Shut your door, sing loud, and see what a difference it can make!

We’ve got tons of fun songs and videos in our happie packets each month, but what’s even more fun is to teach your students songs you sang as a child. Look back in your memory bank. What songs do you remember from school, scouts, or camp?



Here’s a silly poem my daughter wrote that you can enjoy with your class.  You and I know that poems are a wonderful way to develop listening skills, oral language, and phonological awareness.  Above all, poems are a way to help children fall in love with language.

Hint! Read the poem aloud one time to your class.

The second time ask them to close their eyes and make “pictures in their brains” as you read each line.

The third time you read leave out the last few words and see if the children can fill in the missing words.

Knock! Knock!
By Dr. Holly

Knock! Knock! Who can it be?
Little mousie, squeak! squeak! squeak!

Knock! Knock! Who’s at the door?
Boom! boom! boom! It’s a dinosaur!

Knock! Knock! Who is that?
It’s a drummer—rat-a-tat-tat!

Knock! Knock! Guess who?
Baby crying—boo-hoo-hoo!

Knock! Knock! Who’s there?
Grrr! Grrr! It’s a grizzly bear!

Knock! Knock! Who can it be?
It’s a cowboy—How-dy!

Knock! Knock! Who’s there?
Granny in her underwear! (or rocking chair if it’s less scandalous)

Knock! Knock! Who’s at the door?
Big strong lion—roar! roar!

Knock! Knock! Guess who?
Opera singer—la da de do!

Knock! Knock! Who is that?
Purr, purr, my big fat cat!

Knock! Knock! Guess who?
Mr. Robot—Hello. How are you.

Knock! Knock! Who can it be?
A librarian—shhh! Quiet please!

Peek a Boo Class Book

Let children come up with their own “knock, knock” rhymes. Write the first line on the front of a 3″x 5″ index card. Tape at the top to a sheet of paper and then have the children draw the answer to the rhyme underneath.


Question Stick Picks

You will need a jumbo craft stick for each student for this strategy. Color one end of the stick green and one end red as shown. Have children write their name in the middle. Put the sticks in a can with the red end on the bottom. Ask a question, and then twirl the can around to give students “thinking time.” Pull a stick out and that child gets to answer the question. Put their stick back in the can with the green on the bottom. When all the sticks are red on top, turn them over and start again.

Hint! If a child doesn’t know the answer, let them phone a friend or ask the audience.

Phone a friend – They get to pretend to call a classmate to help them.

Ask the audience – The rest of the class answers in unison.


Name Ring

Write children’s names on 8” sentence strips, punch a hole, and attach to a book ring. Use the ring to randomly call on children to answer questions, to line up, to do a special job, and so forth.


You could also use the name ring as you sing name songs.

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