Sunday, July 10, 2011

Teaching Left and Right With Smellies (and a reward, too!)

After years of struggling with getting my kindergarteners to learn their left versus their right, I finally found the answer!  It's a double whammy, too, because it is something that I use as a reward for my students as well. 
I have to give a shout out to my best kindergarten colleague Stephanie for originally introducing me to "smellies".  "Smellies" are simply chapsticks that come in all different flavors, colors, and smells that you swipe on your students hand as a reward.  I use them EVERY day at the beginning of the school year to encourage my students to follow the right method of packing up and getting ready to go home at the end of the day.  If they do what they need to (and they all do, of course!), they get a "smelly" on the top of their (here's where the teaching begins) right hand.
The rule in my room is that smellies can only go on right hands.  If you do this every day at the beginning of the year for, let's say, 3 weeks, the students really begin to know which hand to give you for their smelly.  They've learned their right and, inadvertently, their left as well!  It is so funny to watch them as the year goes on figuring out left from right by putting their right hand up to their mouth to "sniff" it.  Almost all of my kinders will know their left from right when they leave my classroom and it's all thanks to the "smellies". 
You can get a pretty varied collection of smellies for next to nothing, so give it a try!  My two boys tested out my newest addition today -- chocolate chip cookie dough....needless to say, I had to hide it so that I will have some left when school starts in the fall!

WARNING---Be careful when your principal walks in the room right before the pledge of allegiane and you say to your children, "Put your smelly hand on your heart!"

14 comments:

  1. Love this idea! I can still use this in first to reinforce! Thanks! :)


    ✰ Mrs. Kincaid
    Mrs. Kincaid’s First Grade

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  2. Great trick! This is such are hard thing for our kinder babies! Thanks for sharing!

    ☺Jody

    Camp Kindergarten

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  3. So simple and yet so cool. Love this idea!
    http://teacherblogstalker.blogspot.com

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  4. You are a genius! I think firsties would still get a kick out of this!

    http://firstgradeframeofmind.blogspot.com/

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  5. Wow, this is a great idea! I will definitely be using this when school starts back. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I have used hand lotion but this would be much quicker. Thanks for the great ideas. I am new to professional blogging and I am completely addicted because of blogs like yours:)

    hoppykindergarten.blogspot.com

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  7. i bought me some smellies yesterday...cant wait to use them!!

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  8. Oh my goodness, I am so so so excited to try this out and also to share it with my co-workers. Genius!!

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  9. hahahhaha LOVE IT!! You made me laugh about the pledge. Thanks for sharing :)

    Hadar
    Miss Kindergarten

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  10. What an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing!! Can't wait to try it in a few weeks!

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  11. love this idea, thanks for sharing it. sue

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  12. I used the smellies in my class and my principle loved it during my obervation. Love "putting it on the right hand" idea!!

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  13. I'm a second year preschool teacher's assistant and I'm passing this idea on to my lead teacher because this is a fabulous idea. Thank you sooo much for sharing this with us.

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