Do you need a little spark to keep S.M.A.R.T. lively before the New Year? December is a busy month with a few less student contact days, so try adding in a little winter fun with three easy variations to S.M.A.R.T. activities.
Do you find yourself always encouraging students to get low or come down off their elbows? Let some jingle bells do the encouraging for you! String some jingle bells from a yardstick and place it on top of two cones then watch how low those little Alligator Crawlers can really get!
Use tag board and construction paper strips to make a large candy cane for a thematic Learning Ladder. We recommend laminating it first and then writing content with either a dry erase or wet erase marker on the stripes of the candy cane. Learning Ladders work well when teaching NEW information, so be creative with the academic content you use. And, of course, remember to add a movement!
S.M.A.R.T. Pre-K CORE Program Guide pages 40 and 47
S.M.A.R.T. Pre-K MORE Program Guide page 108
S.M.A.R.T. Curriculum Guide page 51, 66, 246
S.M.A.R.T. at Home
The first snow has fallen in Minnesota and winter days are here. Children enjoy playing in the snow so why not encourage them to do so in a S.M.A.R.T. way? They will love crawling, creeping, and rolling in the snow!
In addition to being fun, these activities are also important to a child’s overall development. Here’s why: when a child crawls on their tummy and creeps on all fours, he/she is developing bilateral coordination that helps integrate both sides of the brain, eye-hand coordination, strength, and vision skills. While rolling he/she is developing balance and body awareness that helps them sit still and remain seated in their chairs.
Time Saving Tips
A pdf of this Overs and Unders sheet and other downloads are below.
Have you added some S.M.A.R.T. vision activities in your classroom this school year?
Loop de Loos and Scanning Game are two S.M.A.R.T. vision activities designed to develop the eye movements critical for reading and eye-hand coordination skills needed for handwriting. These can be a quick and easy center activity, an option in a writing center, or word work and spelling practice.
The winter themed Loop de Loos allow for younger students to practice color recognition and visual discrimination skills by looping around mittens of a certain color and looping around the same penguin.
Older students can use the Scanning Game as word reading practice or an extra input for spelling words.
Overs and Unders and X and O are additional S.M.A.R.T. vision activities for your classroom that promote good visual motor skills. Placing them in a page protector allows them to be used over and over when using a dry or wet erase marker.
Younger students can use the winter picture page by tracing the line with their finger or writing tool.
Older students can use an X and O sheet to draw a continuous line with a pencil under and over specific groupings of letters. The sample page contains the letters x and o but you can use any letters as extra practice.
S.M.A.R.T. Pre-K CORE Program Guide pages 76 and 78
S.M.A.R.T. Curriculum Guide pages 155 and 215
Loop-de-Loo Winter PreK (PDF)
Scanning Game Winter (PDF)
Winter Over-Under (PDF)
X and O (PDF)
That's One S.M.A.R.T. Teacher!
Putting a fun twist on Helicopter Spinning makes Jenna in Owatonna, Minn. one S.M.A.R.T. teacher!
Do you have a SMART Board in your classroom? Jenna uses hers and displays a world atlas while her students are doing Helicopter Spins. One student drags a picture of a helicopter to a certain part of the world. Jenna helps the class identify the country and then they take off for a short flight of 15 seconds.
During their 15 seconds of stillness, Jenna talks about that country’s culture, climate, wildlife or any fun fact the students would be interested in knowing before they take off for their next destination. Their final flight is always back home to Owatonna, Minn.