The truth is this little guy has been a part of my classroom for quite some time now…but life was crazy and busy during the school year so I never had the opportunity to share him in the blogging world.
Let me introduce to Midge the Monster. Midge brings us laughs and giggles all while helping us to practice many first grade skills. Although I don’t like to often tell Midge, he is a super easy, cheap and simple creation!
I found Midge at the Dollar Tree, grabbed some construction paper and yarn and got creative. Although I cannot seem to find Midge at the Dollar Tree Online (he might still be in stores-I just can’t find a link for him online) I was able to find similar mini wastebaskets here and animal ones here. There you have it a little while later Midge was complete-ready to be a monster in our classroom.
Every time Midge comes out the kids giggle. Why, you might ask? Because even while I am writing this post, in my head I am talking in a “Midge Voice!” My kids love this voice. You know those silly, goofy voices you use for your kids when doing a read aloud or using a puppet? The voices that make your kids laugh uncontrollably but you would be embarrassed mortified if any adult heard you talk like that? Well, Midge has one of those voices and let me tell you my first graders love it!
Midge gets used throughout the school year in a variety of ways. He helps us practice specific skills in an engaging and often silly way! My first graders love Midge and I must say seeing them get so excited puts a smile on my face as well.
Warning: Be prepared to giggle after introducing Midge for the first time and know that once you introduce your class to this Monster they will want him to come back often!!!
1. Rhyming: This is a perfect introduction activity to Midge…I found this story the Hungry Thing by Jan Slepian and read it to introduce our class to our very own Hungry Thing! In the story, the Hungry Thing will not eat, “lollipops, pizza or noodles” but will eat lots and lots of “gollipops, mizza and loodles!” The kids love figuring out the rhymes before I turn the page and when we finish the story I introduce them to Midge and tell them that just like the monster in the story Midge won’t eat regular food! I pass out a piece of food to each child. When it is their turn (Midge only calls on quiet first graders) they come up and ask Midge if he wants ______. If it rhymes Midge gobbles it up! If the child doesn’t rhyme the word correctly Midge won’t eat it. It is a fun activity and the kids love seeing Midge gobble up all of the delicious food!
One of the great things about Midge is his food tastes are always changing. One day he is only eating rhymes the next day he might only be eating….word families!
2: Word Families: When practicing word families I often send students on hunts through books, in the hallways, at home, and in our classroom to find specific word patterns. When we are working on the “at” word family. I might announce in the morning that Midge will only eat “at” words for the day. Anytime a student things of an “at” word or finds one in a story they write it on a scratch piece of paper. At the end of the day when we have a few minutes students share their words and Midge eats the “at” words.
3. Phonics Patterns: Similarly to word families phonics patterns also work perfectly with Midge’s diet! Sometimes during guided reading we will go on a digraph or a blend hunt in our books. Instead of writing them on whiteboards, students write their words on little pieces of paper and feed them to Midge when they finish!
Some days, Midge is even hungry for MATH!
4: Math Facts: Depending on the day Midge will eat different kinds of math facts and equations. This year students had a difficult time understanding the meaning of the equal sign which caused us to do a lot of work with balancing equations. Midge decided for a couple of days he would only eat balanced equations with at least two addends on each side! Midge was being a picky eater but it worked and the kids had fun writing equations!
5. Number of the Day: Do you have a calendar routine? We have a new number each day. If our number is 63…Midge might say that he will only eat that number all-day-long! Kids have to come up with different ways to make that number. Let me tell you this help students to get creative because they want to be the one to feed this silly monster. Students write 63 using addition, subtraction, base 10 blocks, expanded form, ten frames, etc.
Midge is a fun 5-10 minute time filler and can really help students focus in on a particular skills which is why he gets so much use in our classroom!
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