A few days ago

Book/music/activities recommendations for new early childhood teachers?

Hi, I will be graduating from graduate school with a degree in early childhood education/early childhood special education in May 2008. One of the things I feel that has been severely lacking in my student teaching placements is a somewhat extensive reference list of books, songs and most importantly, activities (that can be done during carpet time with preK and kindergarteners). So I am building my ‘toolbox’. I have some basic books, like “Where the Wild Things Are,” a lot of Eric Carle, David Shannon, Dr. Seuss, and fairy tales and I remember some songs from my childhood, and I have seen some websites and books both in school and online, but I feel like there is more I need to know. Can any of you recommend a few songs/fingerplays that would be good for kids ages 3-6 and books no teacher should be without? if you have info on anything with science and math that’s helpful, too. Thanks for your help!

Top 5 Answers
A few days ago

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Here are some books I recommend:

“The Wide-Mouthed Frog” by Keith Faulkner; ill. by Jonathan Lambert [fantastic pop-up book]

“The Long-Nosed Pig” by Keith Faulkner; ill. by Jonathan Lambert [another terrific pop-up book]

“Shark in the Park” by Nick Sharrat

“Bark, George” by Jules Feiffer

“T is for Terrible” by Peter McCarty

“Some Dogs Do” by Jez Alborough

“Duck in the Truck” by Jez Alborough

“Hug” by Jez Alborough

“Where’s My Teddy?” by Jez Alborough

“Louella Mae, She’s Run Away” by Karen Beaumont Alarcón; ill. by Rosanne Litzinger

“The Wolf’s Chicken Stew” by Keiko Kasza

“Knuffle Bunny” by Mo Willems

“Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” by Mo Willems

“Sheep in a Jeep” by Nancy Shaw; ill. by Margot Apple

“Caps for Sale” by Esphyr Slobodkina

“Freight Train” by Donald Crews

“Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On” by Lois Ehlert (check out the many other wonderful titles she’s written)

“Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson

“Madeline” by Ludwig Bemelmans

“Millions of Cats” by Wanda Gag

“How Loud Is a Lion?” by Stella Blackstone; ill. by Clare Beaton

“The Napping House” by Audrey Wood; ill. by Don Wood

“Rosie’s Walk” by Pat Hutchins

“Where’s Spot?” by Eric Hill

“The Very Busy Spider” by Eric Carle

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle

“Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” by Bill Martin Jr. & John Archambault; ill. by Lois Ehlert

“Clickety Clack” by Robert & Amy Spence; ill. by Margaret Spengler (Wonderfully rhythmic!)

“Jamberry” by Bruce Degen

“One Red Dot” by David A. Carter [amazing pop-up book]

“Blue 2” by David A. Carter [another incredible pop-up book]

“Arrowville” by Geefwee Bodoe

“Duck on a Bike” by David Shannon

“No, David!” by David Shannon (he’s written several other books starring David)

“Dinosaur Roar” by Paul & Henrietta Stickland

“Ella Sarah Get Dressed” by Margaret Chodos-Irvine

“Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type” by Doreen Cronin; ill. by Betsy Lewin (they’ve collaborated on several other books starring Duck and his barnyard friend)

“How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?” by Jany Yolen; ill. by Mark Teague

“How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?” by Jany Yolen; ill. by Mark Teague

“How Does a Dinosaur Eat His Food?” by Jany Yolen; ill. by Mark Teague

“Mockingbird” by Allan Ahlberg

“The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds

“Corduroy” by Don Freeman

“The Spider and the Fly” by Mary Howitt; ill. by Tony DiTerlizzi

“Imogene’s Antlers” by David Small

“Un Gato y un Perro” by Clare Masurel

“Bear Snores On” by Karma Wilson; ill. by Jane Chapman (they’ve written three other Bear books)

“Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!” by Sandra Boynton (you can’t go wrong with this author–she’s written scores of books for tots)

“Banana Moon” by Janet Marshall

As far as songs go, I routinely sing the following after reading to the patrons and guests at the children’s museum or to the Head Start children I see as part of my volunteer mission for the library.

“The Itsy, Bitsy Spider”

“Five Little Monkeys Jumpin’ on the Bed”

“Have You Ever Gone a Fishin’?”

“Gray Squirrel”

“Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree”

“Slippery Fish”

“Step, Step, Step”

“The Elephant”



“Ha-ha This a Way!”

“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”

“The Wheels on the Bus”

“Five Little Ducks”

“Five Little Pumpkins” (for October)

Please e-mail me if you want more book recommendations or the lyrics and the motions to the songs I sing. Good luck! Cheers!


A few days ago
Include nursery rhymes, and when you read books put emphasis on your voice when reading a book, a monotone voice will not catch children attention.

Include literacy activities, like phonological awareness-being able to distinguish different sounds, and beginning and ending sounds- rhyming, teach the children their letters and the sounds of each letter, give them opportunities to write the letters on an easel with dry erase markers, teach them the month,day,year. using a large paper make graphs like circle and flow maps etc. You can do patterning with the children at circle time like A, B, patterns and move on from their. Teaching them social skills like the second step program by the committee for children is a great curriculum it teaches them empathy. Just make it fun and developmentally appropriate. Best Wishes.


A few days ago
Olga M
Hi! Here is what I have in my tool box: shapes & colors, numbers, glove with Old Mc Donald’s characters so we sing and they name the animals, and flash cards, all made from scratch…about the books, It’s really up to you and you can find them at the dollar stores. The songs, we sing “5 little ducks” “10 little fingers” “twinkle, twinkle little star” and many more…

There’s an activity that children love to do: have them fingerpaint on paper…put their names and dates and hang it eye level so they can appreciate their “art”, it’s really cute. What I also did, mostly for the parents, was a picture book with all their daily activities: morning snack, lunch, sleeping, playground, artwork, it was a hit!!! And easy to do too…


A few days ago
leslie b
Here’s a great web site. http://www.preschooleducation.com/

The whole web site is a great, free resource, but my favorite part is the music and songs section. It’s got lots of songs and finger plays. Explore the site. I know you can use it. Here’s another one you might like: http://www.preschoolprintables.com/

And I like this one as a source of developmental information to use in news letters: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/actearly/

And this is a good one when you want to make labels for your room: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/actearly/

Go to the Resources tab and click on “Just For Me Label Maker”. It’s free and you can make beautiful labels and name labels with it. For books, check out Scholastic.com and Amazon.com. Be careful about your spending, and make sure you clearly mark your name in all books you will use as resources and use in the classroom!

Congratulations and good luck!


A few days ago

i will have my ece degree in may too!

there is tons of stuff out there- you just gotta know where to look. i go to a lot of thrift stores- teachers will sometimes get rid of all their stuff when they retire – it is a great way to get some game and activity books for a cheap price

as far a games go – i can email you a list of games, and/or the names of game/activity books that i think are great