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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Teachers, Parents & Kids

Well I survived after cooking with 50 second graders, and actually had a ball! The kids learned about abbreviations, fractions, writing directions, drawing illustrations and much more. However, I think the highlight was when I asked how many children actually cook with their mom or dad. I was pleasantly surprised! A ton of hands shot up which made my heart go "pitter-patter". Just when you think a lot of parents have checked out when it comes to spending time with their kids, this happens. I was thrilled, and it gave me some hope that maybe the pendulum is starting to swing the other way. That maybe more parents are sitting down with their kids at the dinner table and listening to what their kids have to say. Or ... are getting involved in what interests their children. Or ... inviting them to join them in making dinner so they can share some time together and share baking secrets. Regardless of what that time consists of, the important thing is that it is happening. As a teacher, you can pick the kids out right away that have parents who are involved and spend time with them. There is almost a glow of confidence that is apparent and a secure undertone that makes them more apt to try new things. In contrast, the kiddos that don't have support at home tend to be more insecure and less likely to participate in discussions. No matter what type of home a child comes from, it is our job to make them feel comfortable, safe and give them the best education we can. Imagine what would be possible if educators, parents and students were all working together toward a common goal. The possibilities are endless! Why don't we all give it a try?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Let the Ideas Flow!

There are times as a teacher that you need a little nudge. An inspiration for your next lesson. Well, yesterday I found myself wandering into a library and filling out an application for a new library card. As I walked away from the circulation desk, I felt like a little kid ready to give my shiny new card a try. So I spun around, and after a few steps I found myself entering the children's department where my mind just started spinning. Looking around the library and taking in the new released books, the concept books and the graphic novels to name a few, immediately ideas were popping into my head. I honestly have no idea why the public library was so very different from the school's media center, but it was! Could it have been the fact that the books were arranged differently, the inventory was varied or that I was in an environment not influenced by all the pressures of a school? I'm guessing it had to do with the freedom of exploring with no constraints, time or otherwise. If you find yourself in a similar mindset as you start this new school, rev yourself up with a new perspective on children's literature.

Monday, August 19, 2013

I'm back! Sorry it's been so long since I've posted on my blog, but a whole lot has changed in my life. The greatest change is that I retired from teaching. Yep, I decided I needed to step down and take care of myself a little bit better. So now I am writing fun, educational units for my fellow teachers that are still in the classroom. In my spare time, I will be heading back into classrooms to cook with kids and teach them about amazing inventions. The way I've got it figured, I'm kind of like a "Classroom Grandma"! I go into the classroom teach the children in a majorly fun way, and then give them back to their real teachers. In other words I get my kid fix and then leave without completing a single lesson plan. It's the BEST! I highly recommend it! If you would like to see what I am up to now, please click the link below: 

 Well that's it for now! I will be posting again VERY soon, so please return to see what's on my mind. I have all kinds of topics related to education 
in store for future blogs.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Making Do ...

One of the most useful things I learned growing up was to "Make Do". That means when you don't have exactly what you need, you find something else that will work instead. This skill has been especially useful in the field of teaching. How many times do you find yourself without certain supplies and no time or money to run to the store? Anyway, I was in the midst of making little card game books for my kids, and found myself in need of a bunch of those metal rings that open up and allow you to bind a whole bunch of pages together loosly. Well, after seeing how much it was going to cost to purchase them, I decided there had to be another answer. This is where "making do" comes in ... I was walking through the dollar store and was on a mission for a cheaper replacement for the rings. After cruising through several aisles, I found myself in the toy section, and then I spotted the solution! A Mini Magic Spring (aka - a plastic Slinky)! Yep, what could be better? It was the right diameter, it was extremely colorful (an added bonus), durable and flexible enough to attach though the cardstock. To make it even more exciting, it turns out that the Mini Magic Springs come in 2 packs. That's right, 50 cents a spring. So I picked up a box or 5 (you can't have too many my dad would say) and smiled all the way out to my car. Upon arriving at home, I simply opened the box cut the spring a couple of coils down and slipped it onto the cards. It worked beautifully! Believe it or not, I was able to cut 24 rings out of each Mini Magic Spring. That's almost 50 rings in each box. So if you are looking for a cute and colorful way to attach things together, visit your local Dollar Tree and pick up some Mini Magic Springs.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Observation Idea

Thank goodness! I finished my observation a couple of weeks ago, and thought to myself ... I am so glad that is over! Then I got to thinking about the process I went through to figure out what I wanted my observation lesson to be about. For about 2 weeks, I reviewed all kinds of topics and ideas and finally I wound up creating my own lesson & sheets to go with it. I taught a lesson on visualization, and the children learned how it can help their comprehension of a story or poem. So, for those of you that haven't done your observation yet, I've decided to post up my lesson plan and  pages needed to make the lesson happen so if you need an idea you can tweak, maybe this will help. By the way, the lesson went really well, and the kids loved the activity. The pictures they created were so good, I promised to make a class book out of them. As a side note, by the time the lesson was over, the children had not only learned about visualizing, but also adjectives, sequencing and summarizing. We had a blast! Below you will find my lesson plan, the poem I used, the children's response sheet and examples of what the children visualized.

Observation Lesson Plan 2011 Blog

This is What I Visualized

The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness

Well, since it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought I would share an interview I did a couple of weeks ago with my doctor about that very subject. Remember to be proactive and take good care of yourself!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Spooky ABC Order

Here is another activity I use around Halloween to give the little ones yet another opportunity to practice their alphabetizing skills. Hopefully the spooky words will motivate them to really pay attention to the spelling of each word. At least it's worth a try right?
Spooky Halloween Words ABC