Go Outside!

March 28, 2016

“Go outside and play”, this was the direction given by my mother daily when I was growing up. I know I’m taking the risk of sounding like grandma but, back in my day, we played outside. A lot. I spent the weekend enjoying some warm sunny weather, and it got me thinking. Being outside is good for the soul. It clears your mind and it feels wonderful to fill your lungs with fresh air.  I worry my students don’t spend enough time outside exploring, discovering nature, just being part of something bigger than themselves. I want them to come in with dirty knees, with cuts and scrapes, filthy hands, and a body that’s tired. They should be digging in the dirt and finding bugs. It’s not beach weather here in the northeast, but it is spring. It’s the perfect time to get outside. I may not be interested in looking for bugs, but I love taking a hike, a walk around a lake.  Dusting off that bike in the garage, filling the tires with air, and taking a spin around the neighborhood sounds like heaven. When I was a girl I used to love that feeling of almost flying when...

Read More

Writing in Kindergarten

March 22, 2016

I love teaching kindergarten because the kids go from barely knowing their letters in the fall to full on writers by the end of the year. However the journey is not always easy.  I’ve seen my kids be really excited during group, ready to get to writing then they get to their seats and….. nothing. They get stuck; they forget what they want to write about. They feel a little intimidated. I honestly believe the first step in writing is not only having a topic that you know about, but believing you can do it. One of my effective strategies is ���.. Visual writing prompts. I love using visual writing prompts because it���s very user friendly. Of course I want to hear their stories, their voice, but for some kids they just have a hard time getting their ideas down. This is what I use with those kids to build their confidence. I give them an engaging picture, something they know a lot about recess, sports, friends, then I ask them to color the picture and write a sentence.   “I see the girl cleaning the table.” The coloring aspect really helps  the reluctant writer. They can sit down next...

Read More

What I love about board games.

March 13, 2016

Can we bring back board games? I love technology and I’m so grateful that children have constant access to it, but I love board games.  There’s nothing quite like sitting around the kitchen table with an old fashioned game. My own kids  love “family game night” and so do I.                                  In this society of everyone gets a trophy I honestly feel there is a lot to be learned  from playing a board game. Here are my top 5 reasons for playing a board game with the family.#1 Not everyone wins. Imagine, you have to survive getting sent to “jail”  you do not pass go, you do not collect $200. Sure we get disappointed, but guess what? We survive. We learn not to fall apart when it happens. We learn the next roll of the dice can change everything.#2 You talk to each other!! Imagine? Good old fashioned face to face look em in the eye talking to each other. Maybe we wont have earth shattering conversations, but we can feel  connected to each other in a way that can only come from actually...

Read More