Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Reading Buddies

This is a great way to spend some of the last school days--outdoor reading! Our kids found their spot on their mats, ready for their big buddies to come and read with them. These kiddos love their big buddies!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day to ALL Moms!

I want to honor all moms --and especially all teachers who are moms, and moms who teach at home, by having an impromptu sale at my store on Mother's Day. 

I'm always reminded of the multi-jobs of a mother of any child at any age!  You have probably heard this before: "A mother IS her child's FIRST teacher." What a true statement! Mothering and teaching go hand in hand. We model, we share, we communicate, we create, we let them explore, and sometimes watch them fall. We are saddened when they fall but we know that they must learn from falls, too. 

Being a teacher is an honor because of all the ways it is so much like being a parent. Maybe the thing teachers and mothers have in common is the love and pride they have for their children. After all, they need to be nurtured and feel self-pride so they CAN learn. I think that's why a mother can be a powerful teacher to her child. My mother taught me how to write. I studied her and mimicked her long before I started school. (Too many years ago to count!)

Okay-- I'm done rambling. Moms, just know this -your job is the most highly honorable position anyone can ever have! It is immeasurable. No amount of money can possibly match your responsibilities that come with parenting. You may not get a whole lot of thanks for the hard work you do, but the hugs and love you get in return are priceless--even when they're all grown up, gone and on their own. My kids are grown now! But I cherish those memories-- making projects at the kitchen table, trips to local museums, collecting things in our backyard, and having indoor camp outs--oh, the list goes on.

Happy Mother's Day to you!  I hope you get treated like a queen for a day, get rest, sunshine, flowers (even if they are drawn or glued on a handmade card--all the better). And of course, I wish you lots of hugs and wet kisses from your little ones. Cherish them. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Sentence Building and Recycling Bottle Caps

Have you collected any of those colorful plastic bottle caps yet? Today was one of those days when my kids just needed a break from the usual. So, we pulled out our bottle cap bin and began writing sentences using nouns, verbs, and adjectives. This is not a new thing...but if you haven't tried this with kids yet, you are missing out on the fun of watching them make some silly and wonderful sentences. I only had three colors, so I just used nouns (blue), verbs (yellow) and adjectives (purple). 

We made it a grab bag game. They randomly picked out three different parts of speech (colors) and used those words for their "core" words. They had to add articles, pronouns, and prepositions (as needed) in order to have their sentences be grammatically correct. It did not matter whether the sentences were silly or totally ridiculous.

This is really and truly ONE MORE way to get kids to write! They were very surprised to see how well they did.  The pictures below are of my small group of third graders who liked making this into a "grab bag" game. Some sentences came out quite silly! But that's the fun of it.

What's especially great about bottle caps, is that they are versatile enough do so many different activities. If your kids are just learning the alphabet, use these for matching upper and lower case letters. As "letter caps" instead of word caps, you can scramble and unscramble words.