Here is an article I read about yoga balls movement and recess.
Sitting in class
Do you use yoga balls, more quick breaks, more recesses, longer recesses. Education in the class is key and if you don't have good, no great management skills it is hard to teach for long periods in class.
Sitting in class
So Back at the beginning of the year I changed my reading instruction in class. What I was doing wasn't my favorite and making the kids read certain books wasn't their favorite thing either.
Now each of the students get to choose all of the books they want to read. You may think that it is a nightmare to manage. There is some control that I lose in the instruction process, but the kids are absolutely reading more than ever before. The struggling kids that have never FINISHED a book in their life has read 2 or 3. That may not sound great, but for someone who has never finished one, it is amazing.
How do I keep track? They have a readers notebook where the students track their work and show me. They also write me a letter every week letting me know how their reading is going with goals and what is happening in the books that they're reading.
They are reading more and on top of that they are writing more than ever before. In quarter I am in love with my reading instruction. Let the kids read.
Thanks Donalyn Miller, your books are inspiring.
The Book Whisperer
Reading the Wild
Do you know what gets me? What makes me go Arrrrrggggg!! Well some of this "new math" as some parents are calling it, might frustrate them, the parents, while trying to help their kids do their homework. Why? Because they don't understand it and say it is to hard, and is not the way they learned math.
I hope I don't just ramble, but I think that I might be, so try and follow along. You want your kids to really read and understand what they read and find deep meaning, right?
Great, so we teach them to go beyond the text and learn, dig and delve into books and articles.
What about science? Same thing right? Dig deep and learn cool things that make our world and things tick.
If there is a new way and techniques use it go for it teach it, its cool.
But wait! When it comes to math teach it the same old way. Common core math is to hard, not understandable, and just plan terrible.
Have you really looked at the things that the new core is having teachers teach. It is the same things. With deeper meaning. So are you saying that you don't want your kids to think deeper and understand why it works? You want them to be drone clones that just do it and don't ask why? (mono tone voice)
Ya it is tougher than it used to be, because we are making the kids think. What is wrong with that? I hope you are thinking
"Nothing, I am glad my kid has to think more."
So to go back to the beginning. Why is it harder for the parents as well? Yes it is not the rote memorization that you/we learned going through school. It is learning why it works the way we do it. Some of the techniques that I teach during math (for example; double digit multiplication) some parent hate because it is dumb common core math. Well sorry to tell you, I was teaching some of these techniques before common core.
Back to "Your kids are what you think." If you think math is dumb and stupid and that the schools should go back to teaching it the old way, "I don't understand this."
Because of this mentality guess what I see in class?
"I don't understand this."
"I am not good at math."
"I can't do this."
Parents please stop beating up your kids!
"Your kids are what you think."
So since my last post I heard something that made me change some of my thoughts. I was listening to 7 traits of Highly effective people by Steve Covey. The short of it, you are what you think. I was thinking that I was not a good communicator, so guess how I communicated? I have recently changed how I feel about my communication skill. Guess how I have been communicating. Yep better. I can see that in school. The kids that feel they are good at school, they do well. And the kids that feel like they are not good at school, well you know it.
I have also been caught by my wife of being a little to tough and not giving enough praise to my children with their homework. When I am that way they don't feel as good about how their homework is going.
So from home to school and back again, we need to help foster positive thinking, we will become what we think.
One of my perceived strengths that I thought I possessed was my ability to communicate with people. Well I either had it and lost it, or I was more blind than a bat. I have really been conscious about my communicating skills as of late. Listening, do you really hear what is being said? So our drama teacher at the school shared a listen drill that she is going to be using this year in our classes. One speaker and one listener. The speaker speaks, (of course) and the listener listens with out saying anything, not responding with their thoughts. I had a turn with each, wow, when the listener cannot respond it is tough. When I talk I normally expect some type of vocal response even if it is not verbal. Same thing when I listen there is some type of vocal response. An interesting communicating drill.
I realized and caught myself jumping into a conversation I was having with my wife. She was talking and I tried to jump in and give some type of response. When what I should have done was just listen, and hear what she had to say.
My wife has also caught me in the mornings before school started, not totally listening to students when they have something to tell me, I am busy getting things ready for the day. What they want to say is nothing of great importance, but to those kids its everything.
So I guess what I am saying is when we are listening we need to be hearing what is being said.
So I just got done reading the book "The Book Whisperer" by Donalyn Miller, wow. As I have been teacher the past 5 years I haven't loved how I have been teaching and instructing reading in my class. Donalyn Miller really promotes letting the kids pick their own books. No more us the teachers, telling them what books to read. We as adults read what we want to, why not let the students choose. I have the past years put the students in groups and gave them a book to read acording to their reading level. They don't get as involved with the books as if they would have pick them. I have changed my few on how to teach my students how to read. And I am one who loves to read.
My wife has been coming into the classroom lately to help out, I love it. This is the first time that she has really been at schoo. She has been checking work and reading with the kids. She said something the other day that made me think. "How do you not crack up laughing all the time?" They aren't that funny, I thought, we are supposed to be working. Well I got listening to the kids more, not that I hadn't before, but a different kind. And ya they are kind of funny. They are just 9 and 10 yr. olds. My son is that age, he really isn't that old, and I always try and make the kids older than they really are. Yes the kids are here to learn while at school and get an education but they are still cute kids and have a lot to offer.
The only way to get to know your times tables is to practice practice practice.
And one of the best ways to do that is using flash cards. So here is some flash cards to improve your child's knowledge and speed on your 1's and 2's times tables. \You can print this pdf out single page or to it back to back.
Your child is now starting to read, like my little girl. They are picking up on letter sounds and names. They want to really start writing and reading by themselves. Well, here is a fun way to help them learn words that they need to know; Sight Words. Some of these sight words you can sound out. Other sight words you can't, you just have to know what the word is.
Here is a list of the sight words your child will need to know for Kindergarten.
For a concentration game print the file out twice.
Download your free Kindergarten sight word flashcards right here.