All Tied Up

Ahh, shoe tying. It’s one of those rites of passage that most children go through in their early elementary years…at least, that’s the goal. There are so many ways to go about teaching this skill, and a google search led me to countless rhymes, poems, and little ditties breaking down this skill into manageable steps. I thought I may as well throw my hat in the ring, so this is my addition to the collection.


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I can tie my shoes, do you wanna see?
I can tie my shoes independently.
First I make a criss-cross, in the air,
Then loop one end under there.

Pull both laces nice and tight,
Make one loop that has a tail just like a kite.
Now I take the other string and wrap it round the loop,
Guide it through the hole, and that’s the scoop.

Now I’ve got two loops, so I’ll pull them snug,
All I really need is a little tug.
Repeat these steps for the other shoe,
Oh I can tie my shoes, and you can too!

This is a skill that takes lots and lots of practice, and it is one that requires patience on the part of both student and teacher. A song may help, but hands-on action is what will get the job done. Happy tying!

Jingle Joe


Happy Tuesday! It’s another gray day, but it’s always sunny inside the walls of the Hope Institute :) I have been burning CDs and preparing materials for May all morning, so I thought I’d take a break and do a little blogging. Yesterday as I was brainstorming new song ideas, a character popped into my head. His name happened to be Jingle Joe, and he plays the tambourine. So I opened up a new Word document, and immediately, the lyrics to “Jingle Joe” came pouring out of my fingers. The melody came just as quickly, and this is the result:


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Jingle Joe is a guy I know,
I saw him just the other day.
His hair was green, and he had a tambourine,
And he taught me how to play.

He showed me how to jingle, jingle!
Tap the tambourine against my hand,
Jingle, jingle,
Jinglin’ with Joe, he’s the tambourine man.
He showed me how to shake it high, shake it low.
Shake it fast, Shake it slow.
Tap against my hand,
Jinglin’ with Joe, he’s the tambourine man.

Jingle Stu, well I know him too,
I saw him just the other day.
His hair was red, and this is what he said:
I have a tambourine and I’m gonna play.

He showed me how to jingle, jingle!
Tap the tambourine against my thigh,
Jingle, jingle,
Jinglin’ with Stu, he’s the tambourine guy.
He showed me how to shake it high, shake it low.
Shake it fast, Shake it slow.
Tap against my thigh,
Jinglin’ with Stu, he’s the tambourine guy.

I think next month we’ll dust off the old tambourines and jam to this tune. Maybe I’ll even add a few verses…I think Joe and Stu need some female counterparts :) Well it’s time to get back to work – so long for now!

Counting Time: Umbrellas

Rain, rain, go away! I’ve been singing that tune an awful lot this month, which means I’ve also spent a good amount of time counting umbrellas with my students. Of course I’d rather be counting things like suns, sunglasses, and flowers, but I’m just happy to be through with snowflakes, jackets, and mittens. I’ll take what I can get!

Counting time, it’s counting time,
So let’s all sing this simple rhyme.
Ten little umbrellas, in a row,
Now let’s count them nice and slow:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
Again!
1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

How many umbrellas?
Ten little umbrellas,
All lined up in a row.

I think I probably have ten umbrellas between my car, house, and office at school. You’ll never know when you’ll need one next!

Friday Fave: Warm Weather Has Arrived!

Finally…and I think it’s here to stay. We are in for two 80-degree days, and then a string of 70s, which is more than okay with me! It feels so good to be able to go outside without a jacket. And in honor of the beautiful warm weather, here is my “Warm Day” song, which I’ve been waiting to share for a couple weeks now:

Well it’s not too cold and it’s not too hot,
It’s warm, it’s warm.
Don’t need a coat, won’t sweat a lot,
It’s warm, it’s warm, it’s warm.

It’s warm outside, right in between
Spring is here, the trees are green
And so today we’ll play outside
Hop on our bikes, and take a ride
It’s warm, it’s warm, it’s warm.

Well it’s not too cold and it’s not too hot,
It’s warm, it’s warm.
Don’t need a coat, won’t sweat a lot,
It’s warm, it’s warm, it’s
Warm, not hot, not cold, just right.
Enjoy the day, it’s shining bright.
It’s warm, it’s warm, it’s warm.

I can’t wait to get out and ride my bike, walk our soon-to-arrive puppy, and just enjoy the spring. Unfortunately, I won’t have much time to do so this weekend, however. Tomorrow is my dad’s 50th birthday, which we’ll be celebrating in the afternoon. Then tomorrow evening, I am singing in a gala fundraiser for the Child Advocacy Center. Church Mice, a music group for little ones I lead, begins its spring session on Sunday afternoon, and then the weekend will be over! Have a great weekend yourselves – hopefully it will be more relaxing than mine :)

Happy Earth Day!

It’s April 22, which means it’s time to recycle, plant a tree, and be thankful for Mother Earth. Of course, we should do those things every day of the year, and today – Earth Day – only reinforces our awareness. What are you going to do to celebrate? The students at my school will be planting trees this afternoon on the school grounds, and I’ll be singing “Good Green Earth” from the album Good Morning Sun, Good Night Moon.

You won’t be surprised to hear that this was another great iTunes find, originally written and recorded by James K. I absolutely love this song, and it’s been a hit here at the Hope Institute for quite some time now. I love using shakers with this song – we shake them up high, down low, and in a circle during the chorus. Another plus is that we can work on days of the week and months of the year at the same time!

Have yourself a wonderful Earth Day…the forecast here is 70 degrees and sunny, so you know I will :) See you tomorrow!

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