Exploring the Sounds of Egg Cartons

Exploring the Sounds of Egg Cartons I started using egg cartons in my early childhood music classes many years ago. They always interested me because they’re so light, yet because of their structure they can make sharp and impressively loud sounds. At first, I had my classes simply tap the cartons on the floor in […]

The Secret to a More Creative Classroom

(This post is adapted from a chapter in my book “Teaching Creativity.”) In my music classes, we often do creative brainstorming with rhythm instruments. One child at a time offers an idea for a way to play the instrument, and then the rest of the group will experiment with that movement. One time, we were […]

“His Jumpers Three”

Young children express a remarkable amount of creative thinking through physical improvisation. They explore their bodies’ possibilities for power, speed, range of motion, directionality, and emotional expressiveness on a daily basis to an extent that would exhaust a professional athlete or dancer. Games and activities that incorporate opportunities for movement improvisation are a very natural […]

Learning from Teaching

I had an awesome time presenting at the “Kenyon at Kean” Annual Conference at Kean University in Union, NJ last Saturday. Kenyon is the chapter affiliate of NJAEYC for Central New Jersey, and if you you want to see some dedicated teachers – well, after a week of working with young children, to wake up […]

How to Help Children Stay Creative

This article originally appeared in  Creativity Portal in September 2010. How to Help Children Stay Creative Picasso famously stated, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Anyone who lives or works with young children knows they truly are artists, buzzing with creativity, filled with wonder, curiosity, and […]

Save Those Egg Cartons!

I bet I know what you’re doing this week, early childhood professionals! You’re coloring eggs! Since I’m a music teacher, I’m not personally dealing with in the whole- ‘nother-dimension of messiness that dying eggs with preschoolers involves. Butthat doesn’t mean I don’t have a great tip for you! Save those  egg cartons for music time! You’ll often […]

“Everyone Likes to Jump”

“Everyone Likes to Jump” Here’s an easy and improvisational music-and- movement activity for rainy days, or any day! Children should be standing in a circle. Jump to the beat while singing to the tune of “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush”:        Everyone likes to jump, jump, jump, Everyone likes to jump, jump, […]

“Wait For It…”

Here’s my latest article for Teachers Net Gazette! It’s all about creating an atmosphere of curiosity and excitement in the classroom. http://gazette.teachers.net/gazette/wordpress/abigail-flesch-connors/wait-for-it-a-fun-way-to-nurture-childrens-curiosity/ I’m all about encouraging children’s curiosity, so if you have any more strategies for sparking curiosity, please share them here!

“The Mountain Polka”

“The Mountain Polka” by Raffi from the CD “Everything Grows” available on iTunes Anyone else getting a little cabin fever with a classful of snowed-in preschoolers? It seems like their  pent-up energy is building every day they have to  stay inside. Well, here’s one of my favorite rousing dances to use up some of that […]

Valuing Children’s Creativity

(This piece appeared in slightly different form in my book “Teaching Creativity.”) As teachers, we often assume that praise will boost children’s self-esteem and confidence. And for encouraging appropriate behavior, or reinforcing tasks like learning to tie shoes, praise can be a helpful teaching tool. But when it comes to developing children’s creativity, praise can […]