Hello, Happy New Year and welcome back to the Sing Me a Book Blog series.
Transitions can often be difficult for children in special education. Many kids want to pick up where we left off in Dec. and sing holiday songs. Now while “Jingle Bells” and “Frosty the Snowman” are winter songs, I try to avoid singing them in January if at all possible.
There are two books that I use in January that are good for transition, because although the holidays are over, winter is still here. I sometimes use these in December if kids are in “holiday overload” but mostly I save them until Jan.
There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colandro
This is another “Old Lady” book and since I did my favorite “Old Lady” book in Nov. the kids are familiar with the sequencing and felt board concepts. I tell the kids, “That little old lady gets around, AND she eats EVERYTHING!” Which is the case in this book as well. There is a tag line at the end of each verse that says “I don’t know why she swallowed the snow, perhaps you know?” So I ask the kids “Do you know?” and they are prompted to say “I don’t know!”
The fun part about this book is that the lady eats all of the elements to make a snow man then hiccups out the fully formed snowman. Once again I used my flatbed scanner and laminate and Velcro to make pieces for kids to put on the felt board and I usually surprise them with the snowman at the end.
The Twelve Days of Winter by Deborah Lee Rose
This book goes to the tune of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” but the teacher is giving the winter gifts to the students and each one is something you might find in any classroom during the winter months such as crafts and treats. I again made use of that flatbed scanner and printer and scanned the object on each page then I added the number and the item name so that it includes number recognition and literacy skills. Then they are laminated and velcroed and ready for use.
For most of the groups, I give each child a card to put on the felt board in the correct order as we sing that verse. But I have a couple of groups that need modification, either the kids can’t hold the cards without eating or tearing them, they can’t sequence all of the numbers or they can’t wait until the number is called. Instead of handing the cards out I put one or two on a smaller board for example I may put the 6 and the 10 and ask a child to find the one with the number 6 and then put it on the bigger felt board. This takes a little longer but still meets goals and is fun for the kids.
I also use some active listening skills for some of my classes by telling them to look for a particular picture in the book, such as penguins, teddy bears or for older kids, find the kid in the book who is picking his nose (yes, he is there, on EVERY page!)
So please write in the comments below and tell me what books you use in January, or how these suggestions are working in your classes.
Come back in February for another one of my ALL TIME favorite children’s books.