Winter Literacy Activities
The cold weather has arrived. There is snow on the ground and temperatures are falling in many areas. Here are some ideas for using the winter theme for language acquisition and practice.
Children get very excited when the snow falls. Here are some cute task cards to use for focusing on compound words that go with the snow. Click on the image to get your copy.
Language activities can be helpful if they are used in a fun way. Children learn better if they are interested in what they are doing. Here are some different ideas for engaging children in various types of language activities.
Here are a couple of free writing templates that can be used for winter writing.
Retirement Musings Update
Two years ago I wrote a post called Retirement Musing. As I was looking back at it today, I realized that some things have changed, but many things remain the same.
People often ask me how I am liking retirement, but I've realized, I don't know what retirement really is. I am technically retired, but I am still doing most of what I was doing before I retired. I am not living what most people consider a retirement lifestyle.
What does retirement mean to me?
Freedom to help family when needed
I am lucky to have the time to spend with my family and help out when needed. I often take trips down island to look after my grandchildren and do things for my kids and my mother-in-law.
Less reliance on the alarm clock
Although there are times when I do need to get up early and be places, this is not an everyday thing any more. I get up early on the mornings when I help out at school or I have rehearsals, but on other days I can get up when I feel like I am done sleeping.
Even when traveling, I don't have to leave early in the morning unless I have specific plans to do so.
Afternoon naps possible
When l was teaching, I would be so tired that I would want a nap when I got home, but life didn't allow time for that. Now that I am retired, if I feel like taking a nap, I do and I don't feel guilty about it either. A power nap gives me the energy I need to complete my other activities without feeling exhausted.
Time to do what I love
It is no secret that I love teaching. I enjoy working with children and seeing their faces light up when they get a concept or they finally understand something that made no sense to them. I love to play games with them and work with them in small groups. I love sharing who I am with them and learning about who they are outside of the classroom. Those connections are so precious.
Some future goals for my retirement years
Find a balance between commitments and me time
Although I enjoy teaching, and working with ukulele groups, sometimes I get so busy that I forget to find me time. I need to find the balance that will allow me to enjoy what I love doing and yet take care of me. Over the years, life has been so busy, that I haven't spent much time with friends. I need to change that.
Create more couple time
My husband and I have done many things together over the years, but usually for others and not just for us as a couple. We teach ukulele groups, we perform in ukulele groups, we have worked with choirs, taught over 30 years, taken groups on trips, and done things with our kids and grandkids. It is time for us to do things for the two of us. Last Christmas and again this Christmas, the kids gave us tickets to shows in Victoria. This is a start. We have also gone to a couple of performances nearby. It would be nice to take a trip somewhere as a couple instead of as leaders of a group. Hopefully this will be possible in the near future as well.
One of the reasons I retired was that many of my good friends were getting very sick, and some died before reaching the age of retirement. I decided that my health was more important than working until 65. My husband needed to retire early because of health issues. At the time, he fought it, but now he is thankful that he did because he has been able to continue to do what he loves and remain healthy at the same time. Health is more important than money. Working for full pension and then not being healthy enough to enjoy retirement is not the way to go. I am glad that we both are able to do so much still and I hope we will be around many more years to live life and make memories.
Well, there is my update. I wonder how it will change in the next couple of years. Maybe I will have to do a new update then.
Sight Word Fun Using Themes
Learning sight words can be key to becoming a fluent reader. Games make learning these words more fun. The same words can be used in many different ways that engage children if games are played. There are many themes that can be used as visuals to complement the words as well.
Themed Sight Word Games
I love to use games to engage children in learning. They are excited to play and they reinforce language while doing so. There are many different activities that can be done with sets of sight words.
I have created many different themed sight word sets that focus on 220 high frequency sight words. These sets have been a favorite choice for language centers over the years. Here are a few examples.
Chinese New Year is a great theme for sight word games as each year it is new because the animal changes. This is a set of sight words for each of the animals of the Chinese zodiac. Both goat and sheep are included. These cards can also be used when studying animals or doing a unit on the farm as well.
These winter celebration games are great for Groundhog Day, Valentines Day, and Winter Sports. Bingo cards are also included that can be used with any of the themed sets. This allows for another level of game play.
We usually focus on the high frequency sight words, but there are also common nouns that are high frequency words as well. This is a spring themed set of these 95 nouns. It includes bingo cards as well.
For more themed sets, check out my TeachersPayTeachers store.
Winter Fun and Celebrations
Christmas festivities are over and we have rung in the new year. Now it is time to get back to learning and the curriculum. This doesn't mean we have to take away the fun.
The New Year is a great time to incorporate winter celebrations into curriculum activities. There are so many different choices and events happening during the winter. There is Groundhog Day, Chinese New Year, 100 Days of School, Valentines Day, and in some places in Canada, there is Family Day.
Kids enjoy games and activities that focus on celebrations and they are more likely to be engaged in the different activities. This translates into better focus on concepts and skills presented and therefore, hopefully better understanding and retention of them.
This sampler includes a few activities to get started with. You can find it as a preview here. There is an activity that can be used yearly around Chinese New Year to figure out ordinal numbers. There is also a hundred chart for using with different activities that require counting to 100 or looking for patterns when celebrating 100 Days at School.
Playing dice games is always fun to do, especially with holiday themed dice. Here is a probability page for keeping a tally of how many times different numbers are rolled.The worksheet has heart dice on it, but you can use regular dice to do the activity.
These are only some of the ideas that I have for math and winter. More math activities can be found in my Teacher Pay Teachers store. I also like to do language activities using sight word bingo, memory, language task card games, and phonics activities. There are several winter and holiday celebration activities in the literacy category or sight word category in my store.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.