In this time of uncertainty lets think of it as the gift of time we will never get back. Your children are only small once. There are things you have put off doing that NOW you have the opportunity to do! I have complied a list of fun things you can do with your children during this time:
As you welcome your students back to your classrooms, what are some of the most important things on your to-do list? What kind of community will you set up? A classroom community is a vital part of how well your class will run this year. Here are some great ideas on how to begin building your classroom community. I wanted to have a high quality learning environment where developmentally appropriate practice was present and the daily schedule allowed for hands-on learning, engagement and collaboration. Here are some tips and tricks for your back to school :)
Building a reciprocal relationship with families before class stated was also something that was important to me. I made sure through my monthly Family Forums that they knew we both wanted the same thing---for their child to learn, grow and develop this year! :) I wanted families on my side, and I also wanted them to know that I genuinely cared for their child.
I wanted them to understand that homework was NOT something I would be sending home and I wanted them to understand why. I wanted them to understand my philosophy of teaching and that I believe children learn through play. I sent home Family Learning Bags and they were a hit!
I wanted families to understand that I would use multiple ways to reach them and that they could follow me on my professional ECE sites. My most important things deal with families and students. I want to be the best teacher I can be each day that I walk in to the classroom.
What is something new you will do?
I am so excited to have a featured article from Little Sunshine's Playhouse and Preschool. Their website is: https://www.littlesunshine.com/
I hope you will check them out! :)
What a wonderful article they have written!
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PRESCHOOLChoosing a quality preschool is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your child.
Early childhood education plays a seminal role in cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. It prepares young learners for long-term academic and life success.
But what should you look for when researching preschools in your area? Professor Deborah Stipek, former Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University and an expert on early education, recommends four basic criteria for selecting the best preschool:
QUALITY OF TEACHINGTeacher qualifications help to separate a preschool from a daycare center. Here are some indicators of teacher quality you’ll want to look for.
Are you looking for information on preschool programs in your area? Find a Little Sunshine’s Playhouse® location near you to learn more about our outstanding teachers and Creatively Shine™ curriculum.
Have you ever thought about talking to your child about college, but you think they may be to young. I truly do not believe a child is ever to young to talk about their passions, what school is for, what working in the real world is like, and what college is all about.
Now, some may stop me and say that children need to know about technical school and that college is not for all, and this is so very true. But, that doesn't mean you don't talk about it.
I think taking walks on a college campus is important. Going to college events, such as basketball and football games is important. I think that wearing college gear for your favorite team is fun for a family. I think that we, as parents and teachers, must talk to our children about what we wanted to me be when grew up. We need to talk to them about what they do in college and how it works. Is Kindergarten to young---NO! :) If they are introduced at a young age, then this travels with them throughout their entire school career.
I think that visiting a technical school and speaking about the classes and certificate options they give is vital. However you can get your students and children to think about the future, in my opinion is important. I think this is a very great resource for if you are thinking about talking to your child about this: http://www.guilfordhri.org/its-never-too-early-to-talk-about-college-and-career-readiness/
Don't forget that children remember what we say and even more what we do. They want to model what we do, so if you are interested in going back for your masters, or starting a bachelors or certificate program, what a wonderful way to show them that you are setting goals and reaching for the stars. I tell my students that education is something that can never be taken from them!
How can you start this in your classroom? What about having a favorite team day? What about playing a fight song or adopting a mascot for your classroom? What about learning about the application process or helping families sign up for college if that is something they want to do. What about researching scholarships. You can always send home ideas and reminders to families too! :)
I challenge you to figure out a fun way to incorporate "COLLEGE/Technical" School activities and "talks" to your classroom environment. Think about the students that will never get to talk about this at home :)
As we begin to build to think about the 2019 school year, what will you do differently? What will you be this year? Who will you turn to for help? How will you be more innovative? Have you used social media in the past? If so, how much? What are you will to do, to think more outside the box?
I recently wrote and article on how to leverage social media in the classroom to build those long lasting relationships! Take a peek.
Leveraging Social Media to Build Relationships with Families
This summer what are you doing with your children that is fun? Are you taking a vacation? Are you cooking as a family or working out together (riding bikes)?
Honestly, when you look at it, you will only get so many summers with your children so make the most of it while you can. :)
I am going to leave you with 2 recipes you can make together one afternoon!
Ice Cream in a Bag
Ingredients (Per group of 4)
Most foods are made from living or once-living material and all such material is made of cells. Water is one of the few substances that expands on freezing, so if you put something made of cells into a freezer, the water inside them turns to ice and expands, rupturing the cells and damaging other structures. Slow freezing gives large ice crystals time to form. For ice cream, commercial freezing is done rapidly to prevent large ice crystals from forming. Constant churning is also used, as in homemade ice cream and the ice cream made in this activity. This breaks up larger ice crystals as they form. When melted ice cream is put in the freezer, it freezes slowly, allowing large ice crystals to grow and making the ice cream unpleasantly crunchy.
2 10 oz pkgs. Frozen strawberries defrosted.
1 6-oz can lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 quart ginger ale
2 cups raisins
6 gummy worms
Cooking in the classroom is one of my favorite things to do when I am teaching. Cooking teaches children so many skills and lessons and it provides memories for those students to take with them after they leave your classroom.
I hope you will take some time to think about when you could incorporate cooking into your schedule.
I have written an article about this:
Cooking in the Classroom
Happy Friday all!
I have talked before about Family Forums, and hope that each of you have tried at least ONE aspect this year in your classroom or school environment!
I am so excited to share another Family Forum Article with you!
if you need help collaborating please e-mail me and we can engage: firstname.lastname@example.org
You won't look back after you get them started in your classroom! They will help you build positive and encouraging relationships with families! :)
Building a classroom community means many things but one thing that always stands out is that it is something that will take your classroom to the next level. If you are building a classroom community inside your environment children are learning way beyond the standard book lessons you are required to teach them. You will be teaching them about responsibility, being held accountable---LIFE.
I always tried to ensure that my classroom had a community and as an administrator, I liked each of my teachers to have a community inside our larger school community.
Here is an article I wrote on why to use classroom communities! :)
Here is another on Planning, Managing and Incorporating a Classroom Community
Hello and Happy third week of March, I can't believe how fast the school year is going!
It is already Spring Break many places!
No matter the time of year though, I never think it is too late to build those bonds between home and school. There is so much research out there on why the home school connection is so important, but today I wanted to share with you ideas that worked for me!
This is a limited list and I have many more ideas on my articles page, so go there for more!
Building Relationships With Families: