New Finds for the New Year!

I’ve stumbled across a few goodies in recent months that I’m finding fun and useful.

Matching Emoji Cards

I’ve used these colorful cards from the Target Dollar Spot to talk about emotions in a fun, culturally relevant way.   Explore emotions and feelings by asking questions such as “how does this emoji feel”, “how do you know”, “what made him feel like that”, “what should he do”.  Using the emojis can be a non-threatening bridge to understanding the feelings of others based on their facial expressions.

Working on a vertical surface is good for kids in so many ways, so this Lego tape (Amazon.com) is perfect!  The knobs on the tape or rubbery, so making the hard plastic Legos stick requires a little extra concentration, fine motor effort and strength.  My students are finding it a motivating twist on traditional Lego play.

                                          

I have some students who worry about trivial things.  Others struggle with anxiety that affects their mood, performance and behavior.  I stumbled across this gem Wilma Jean and the Worry Machine (Amazon.com) and its just what I needed.  Wilma Jean worries that she will forget the answers on her test, that kids will laugh at her hair when she does math problems at the board and that no one will pick her for them team in P.E.  Her worries paralyze her until her teacher steps in and helps her problems solve strategies for each of her worries.  This book is beautifully illustrated with rhythmic dialog and has been a stepping stone for good discussions on anxieties.

And this, Toilet Trouble (Hasbro Games), was a Christmas gift.  Roll the toilet paper and flush the toilet according to your roll.  But, be careful….some flushes give you a squirt in the face.  No real educational efforts here (except maybe counting to 3?), but it is so much fun!  I’ve had lots of giggles and wet faces this week.  Working hard is so worth it when you get to get sprayed by a toilet at the end!

Any new finds for your kiddos?  If so, I’d love to hear about them.  Fun, engaging toys, books and games….they are all a means to learning One Word At A Time!

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