Looking for a clickable link for something spotted on my Instagram account? Click on the images below!
WHY DIRECTED DRAWING?
There are many reasons to try directed drawing with your students! Here are a few skills and benefits:
improve skills in following directions and attention to detaila fun way to practice fine motor developmentincreased stamina in focus and attentionincreased self-expression and communicating ideasgrowing skills in drawing and appreciation of artperfect for celebrating seasonal content and decorate the classan easy center activity to switch out each weeka fun activity to do at home! Send the link to parents and ask [Read More…]
Do you study polar bears or arctic animals with your class?
We love doing this fun art project!
Each year while studying the Arctic, we make these cute polar bears with chalk pastel and construction paper. When I have younger students, we work step by step as a directed drawing. If you’d like to try it, follow the pictures below! You can also download your own copy of the step by step photos for your files (below).
Download your own copy by clicking [Read More…]
WHAT ARE SOCIAL STORIES?
Do you use social stories in your classroom?
Social stories are simple stories that describe common situations that occur frequently in the classroom. They state a situation clearly, possible feelings that may occur, self-talk strategies that can be helpful, and the desired outcomes.
These stories have been especially helpful for my younger students, students with autism, or students with self-regulation problems.
Over the last 20+ years of teaching, I have seen many students struggle to navigate the complex social situations in the [Read More…]
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING
Years ago I would get some disapproving looks when I mentioned how much classroom time I dedicate to social emotional learning. “What about the curriculum! You’ll never get through it all if you don’t start right away!”
But I did get through it all, sometimes with time to spare. Why? I found that if we solidified expectations for kindness, inclusion and self-management early, and spent a LOT less time on disruptions through the year. Plus, we were shaping future citizens; it’s not [Read More…]
Teaching about kindness and acceptance is always time well spent, especially at Christmas.
Here’s a fun and FREE activity to share with your class!
Santa’s long beard is filled with acts of kindness for children to complete. The tasks are simple, such as “Smile at as many people as you can today” or “Give a compliment”.
Students trim each task off of Santa’s beard as the task is completed! This makes for wonderful discussions as students share their experience and feelings after spreading [Read More…]
It can be tricky to support your emergent writers who are tackling spelling. Early writers may have a delicate confidence when it comes to spelling, and they often don’t realize that guessing and making mistakes is an important part of learning.
It’s our job as teachers to explain that they are not expected to know how to spell every word! Always take time to let your students know that you’re looking for the effort and the attempt. Our mantra is “Make [Read More…]
Phonics: Classroom Practice
Much of our phonics instruction comes from our daily practice. Most of the activities are embedded into PLAY. Apart from some direct full class and small group lessons (including guided reading lessons), most of our phonics practice takes place through game boards, sorting, word building and creative writing.
Here are some specific ways to find phonics practice happening in our classroom.
PHONICS BOARD GAMES
The easiest to prep, and a big class favorite through the whole year is phonics game boards.
I have [Read More…]
I recently updated my classroom phonics posters to match my classroom decor. There was nothing wrong with them – I just wanted an update to match my new themes.
That got me thinking about ways I could use them to teach about phonics.
Here are some ideas I came up with in my classroom:
BE THE TEACHER CENTER
My students LOVE to be the teacher! One of my most popular centers is also the easiest to prep for. Students get a fancy hand pointer [Read More…]
As teachers and parents of beginning writers we want to encourage our students to see themselves as authors. This can be so challenging when working with emergent writers. Students can be overwhelmed by a blank page. The idea of “sounding out” all those hard words can prevent them from enjoying the creative process and instead fill them with anxiety! This is NOT how we want students to feel during writing time!
SUPPORTING NEW WRITERS
Here are some examples of how I support [Read More…]