Teaching Tip for starting up the year:
I believe that a child has to have a feeling of self worth in order to be successful, so I spend the first few weeks of school focusing on developing self esteem. This ties in well with setting class goals and establishing routines because students who feel good about themselves are more willing to work together to make others happy as well.
I use success and power words, bucket filling activities, acts of kindness videos and activities, and my unit on optimism to help set the tone for the year. I have found these to be valuable activities and the time spent on them is well worth it.
Wordles are great for creating I Am posters for the children. These can be created and them used as a cover for a special notebook for their personal planning lessons. I also like to do name acrostics using the power words. It is so rewarding to see the children proudly sharing their posters and name poems with their parents when they come to visit.
I discovered some great doodle art coloring pages to go with my success and power words lessons. Check out http://www.doodle-art-alley.com/ for free coloring pages on many different topics. I chose Words and Quotes for the ones I want for my students. Look at my previous post if you want to know more about my Success and Power Words boards.
Even in Korea, the back to school shopping bug caught me. I didn't buy much because I have to fit it in my suitcase, but I did get a few things that I'd like to share with you. The most important purchase was the material for my success and power words board. See my previous post for more on this.
Here are some more treasures I grabbed. The pencils are going to be used for my name magnets so I know who is out of the room at the bathroom. The little string necklaces are for behavior reward tags. The clothespins are for holding student work, and the bear buttons are going to be turned into magnets.
Here are two new products that I just posted in my TpT store. Click on the pictures to check them out.
I have been working hard at making my blog a place where people can come to find out tips about teaching, share in my classroom adventures, and also get to know more about me and my interests as those impact everything else. I feel that I have held true to these things and I am now claiming the Five Star Blogger.
There will be times when I will share about giveaways, products, and other things happening in blog world, but I want that to be kept to a minimum as that is not why I started this blog. I have learned so much from my visits to other blogs and I have enjoyed meeting bloggers from around the world. My hope is that others who visit my blog will find things of value here and want to come back again to visit.
I know some people are already back at school while others have another few weeks of holiday. I hope everyone is feeling refreshed and ready to meet their new students and I wish you all an awesome 2013-2014 year.
Who would have thought we would be visiting a safari in Korea! Everland is a theme park near Seoul. Along with all the rides and amusement attractions, it has a zoo and Safari World. We took a tour in a special jeep that had bars around the outside of it. This gave us an up close experience with the lions, tigers, and bears. We fed them with long tongs and watched as some of them performed for us. One bear danced for us Gangnam style, others played basketball, and one sat in yoga positions. It was a thrill to be a part of this experience.
For the second part of the tour, we road a bus and saw the animals from a bit further away. Great to see them, but not nearly the same exhilaration.
Below, are some pictures taken while on the tours.
I can hardly wait to share some of these pictures with my students when we talk about our summer vacations. I think I will have to make some special activities for writing using these pictures.
Hello everyone. It has been a few days since I blogged. Here are some pictures from Korea, some professional books I hope to read, and a new product.
I thought that I would be able to blog regularly and work on some new projects while on vacation, but with the humidity, I have been so tired and it has been hard to work later in the day.
Last week, in the mornings, I went to school and helped my son with his ukulele class. Then after walking home and eating lunch, I needed a short nap before returning to the school to pick up my grandson. For the next couple of hours we would do things together while waiting for everyone else to come home. Then it was suppertime, story time, bath time, and bedtime. By then I had so many blog posts, Facebook posts and emails to catch up on that I had little energy left to do anything else.
I did manage to start working on one of the 4 books that I am hoping to read this summer. The first on my list is Whole Brain Teaching. I am really excited about this and I hope to implement it in my classroom this fall. The toughest part for me will be shortening up my instructions and teaching into small enough chunks. It will be a good way to discipline myself though.
Here are some of the other books on my reading list that I have added to my ipad. I got the Kindle versions so that I could read them anywhere.
Here is a new set of task cards that I have been working on. It has 3 different themes to choose from. It is part of an optimism unit that I am working on. I will be adding it to my TpT store.
I am sure that if we took the time to reflect, we would be able to come up with many pearls of wisdom, but I guess for me, there are a few things that stand out that I would like to pass on.
First of all, when you are working with children, even though they may sometimes drive you "Nuts", it is important to remember that they are precious and parents have entrusted them to us. I have these posters on my wall in the classroom to remind me, as well as my children, how special we all are.
Secondly, we need to remember to focus on the positive and not let the negative rule the day. It can be exhausting to constantly redirect those who choose to misbehave or distract others. When I focus on those that are doing what is expected, often it will encourage the others to follow suit.
Thirdly, simple management things will help you keep your sanity. Here is one that I use.
I find that it is often difficult to manage quiet line ups and walking in the hallways if the children are always with their friends. To avoid the fussing about who wants to stand by who, I always start the year out with how to line up. When I have an equal number of boys and girls, it is easy. I have them line up in boy, girl order. After a few tries, this is not an issue, and the line up is in place for the rest of the year. Sometimes that is not the case. This year, for example, I have 18 boys and 6 girls. So, I needed to make some adjustments. Our line up is 3 boys, 1 girl, and I have the option to decide if certain boys are able to stand together in the line up. It took awhile, but it is working, and the children can self manage it without me needing to remind them.
Last, but definitely not least, I need to remember to laugh and have fun with my students. I especially love telling them stories about my family and anecdotes about my adventures in school. This provides a great connection with them and they love to see pictures of my kids and grandkids. We are even writing penpal letters to my grandson's class in Korea this year.
One of best moments for me is when we sang happy birthday over the phone to my parents. This was especially precious to me when we sang to my Dad the month before he died.
As one year ends and another one is about to begin, I start to think about how I can set up my classroom to be more functional, appealing, and different for students that may be returning. This can often be a daunting task as I have 25 computers to accommodate. Not that I am complaining, as I scrounged to get them when the different labs in the elementary schools were changed over. I find these computers have lots of life left in them and they are well used in my room. Maybe one day I will write a post on just how I use them.
You can see from the pictures below, they take up a lot of room. I have found that putting them around the perimeter of the room is the best for space usage and visibility.
I have stored my units and subject materials in different boxes so that I can access them when I need them. As you can see, I have a lot of boxes. I think it might be time to start going through them and getting rid of some of the materials that haven't been used much.
I also have several bookshelves for free reading books that I have collected throughout the years. These books are different from my leveled books that are kept in bins for my reading groups. They are stored away for the summer, but they will be in blue bins when school starts.
These are my latest finds. I got them at XS Cargo when I was in Victoria. I liked them so much that I got my son to buy some more for me. I set up some in the classroom to see how they would work. My boys fought over who got to sit on them. Needless to say, they were a hit. They also stood up to the weight of the students. I love the novelty designs on them. They will be great for when we study community next year as well.
They are a good size and they hold lots of material. You can see that I used the first ones for a variety of different things.
Check out the cute smiley boxes I got at London Drugs. I also picked up the Sterilite container on top for putting the student paper work in.
On the right, you can see a large cupboard. This holds my games. Yes, I have a lot of them. Well, it is pretty beat up looking, so I decided to give it a facelift. I just finished painting it. Check out the after picture below.
Here are the before and after photos. I have some fancy duct tape to put on the top edge, but you will have to wait until the room is set up to see it.
Oh, oh! I shouldn't have started painting. Now I have the bug. I ran out of paint just before finishing the back of the cupboard, so I had to get some more. While I was there, I picked up some paint for my bookshelves. Check them out.
I just got these banner letters from the fan page for Teacher's Toolkit. Aren't they great? I couldn't just do one banner, I had to do a smaller one and a mini one too. I guess blue and white is my color theme this year.
Well, there you have it. My start at organizing my classroom for the fall. I will post some pictures when I have it all set up next month.
Thanks for stopping by.
Yesterday we celebrated Canada's Birthday with lots of fun activities and a fabulous fireworks display. This has become a special time for us because our daughter and her family come to visit and celebrate this special event. This year, the two oldest grandchildren got to stay and have a field trip with Grandma and Grandpa. Daddy, Mommy and the baby had to leave early because Daddy had to go back to work.
Check out some of the things we did together.
The fireworks were spectacular this year. Unfortunately, I am not a great photographer, especially using an iPhone, but here are some pictures that my grandson chose.
Family is a great blessing and I am so grateful to be able to spend time with them and share some of our stories with you.
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.