## Monday, August 6, 2012

### Sneak into a New School Year

It's about time, teachers, ... to go back to school.  Did that reality sneak up on you?  To help you kick off your year on the right foot, I invite you to SNEAK INTO A NEW SCHOOL YEAR.

Begin by asking your students to wear sneakers on the 2nd day of school.  Call it "Sneaker Day."  Here's a reminder note you can send home with your students:

On Sneaker Day, explain to your students why these shoes are called "sneakers." Sneakers are rubber soled shoes, usually with cloth uppers, that are common in N. America.  The rubber sole allows the wearer to walk very quietly, i.e. sneak around.

Each time you line up to leave your classroom, challenge your students to sneak through the halls; something they are super prepared to do since they are wearing sneakers! Teach your students to sing the following song to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."  Whisper-sing it as you line your students up to leave the classroom.
Sneak, sneak, sneak around
Quietly, quietly, quietly, quietly
No one knows you're there.

Enlist school personnel to help instill a sneaky attitude in your class by complimenting them for walking so quietly through the halls.  Secure a large supply of colorful shoelaces to use as reinforcements for the compliments.  Place a shoelace in a plastic jar for each compliment they receive.  Collect compliments for the entire first week.

Label the jar filled with shoelaces and use it to create an Estimation Station math center that will function all year.  Here's a label you could use:

Provide a supply of paper scraps for students to use to record their estimation of how many shoelaces are in the jar.  Allow only 1 guess per child per day.  Check the estimates just before dismissal time.  When the correct number is guessed, make the winner responsible for bringing in the next set of items for the jar, along with a super sneaky note that tells you, the teacher, what the correct number is.  You can find a sample letter explaining the parameters of the  Estimation Station  items to parents here.

Estimation Station  continues in this way for the remainder of the year, or as long as you like, with virtually no effort on your part!