Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Next Book on My List...

I will be reading Comprehension & Collaboration--Inquiry Circles for Curiosity, Engagement, and Understanding by Stephanie Harvey and Harvey "Smokey" Daniels. Which is a requirement in my Professional Symposium in Reading course.

So far we've had to read 6-8 Professional Journal Articles each week, report on them and work in on-line discussion groups. Between that and my other course, they are keeping me very busy!

I will report back with an opinion on this book. If you are an educator, good luck getting through the next couple of weeks--always a super busy time. Keep your head up and eyes toward that warm sunshine that you'll be able to enjoy once the last bell rings.

Tested-One American School Struggles to Make the Grade

Well, I finished the book...If you are a person who is not in the education field but wonders about Standardized Testing and the pressure that districts/teachers/students feel...this is a book for you to read. As an educator, most of the practices/strategies from this book goes against everything I believe and have been taught. It might be an eye opener for those that have not been on the inside and have experienced it.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Western MI University...Ph.D here I come!

I am so excited to share that I've been accepted at Western Michigan University in their Ph.D in Early Childhood Education!

I jumped in with both feet and have already began taking classes. My emphasis will be Early Childhood Edcuation & Litearcy...both of which I love. I will be sharing my journey along with everything that I am learning, including Journal Articles & Book Pics.

The first book that I'm reading is, "Tested-One American School Struggles to Make the Grade" by Linda Perlstein. I'll report back on it once I read a bit more.

I've already read several really good journal articles--I will be posting them as well.

**Yes, I will continue to teach at Crossroads Charter Academy and hopefully have the opportunity to share the exciting things that I learn in this program with my EC Colleagues and friends.

Check back with me soon and please feel free to leave comments and subscribe so that you receive notices when I post.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Toddler/Preschool Games on a Budget

Whether you are an Early Childhood Educator or a parent of a little one, here are some fun, educational games that can be made on a budget. They can be made with things that you have around your house and/or items that you can find at your local Dollar Tree store.
I was able to share these ideas with a great group of EC Educators at the MIAEYC Conference that was held at the Amway Grand Plaza. I presented on Family Nights--I took them through the process of creating and implementing a Family Night program as well as sharing ideas on funding, volunteers, themes, activities and meals.


                     Alphabet Soup:  Building words with magnetic letters & a cookie Sheet. 

Sorting letters/colors using a plastic relish tray.

 ABC Memory Game--using fun paper plates

ABC Order-write letters on fun paper plates and have little ones put them in ABC order across the floor.

 Work fine motor skills by using small plastic tongs to find colored letters and pom poms in a bowl.

Womens shaving cream is fun to use to for handwriting practice.

                          Soft foam cubes are perfect to use for all kinds of dice games .

                           For this fine motor game, I just took a coffee can, cut some slots on the top, hot glued some tiles and wala!! Children can work their fine motor and practice color I.D as they drop the tile into the matching slot. This will work with any manipulatives (cereal, beans, dinosaurs...)

 The Dollar Tree has some fun little frogs that can be used to "flip" into this baby-wipe box. I cut a picture from the frog-game package and hot glued it on the box just to jazz it up a bit. Little ones get to have fun flipping their frogs into the whole

This little sorting game is made out of a used frosting can. I simply cut a hole in the top and hot-glued some pom poms around the sides just for fun. Your little one can use a small pair of plastic tongs to work on their small motor skills and color identification.
I hope these activities have sparked your interest and creativity!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

CCA's District-Wide Family Activity Night

Friday, April 7th was Crossroads Charter Academy's first District-Wide Family Activity Night.
We had a great turnout and received a lot of possitive feedback from students, parents and teachers. Click into the link to view a quick movie with memories from the event.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Learning Games perfect for home use...

I'm being optomistic when I say that "spring is on the way". I'm actually thinking of the MIAEYC  Early Childhood Conference that is being held April 20-22 at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids. I will be a Presenter again this year with Family Nights and Parent Engagement as my main focus.
I will introduce educators to the idea of Family Nights and show them how to create a successful program, step-by-step. I will also present other parent/child engagment activities, specifically Book Buddy Bags and hands on activities that can be played in the home.

One of the new game packets I've created is this Early Childhood Literacy Activities. These games focus on letter sound and ID, emergent sight words and word family words.

Visit my Teacher Pay Teacher store to purchase ($2.50), download, laminate (or put in page protectors) and have fun!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Early Literacy--Letter ID & Sound

Early childhood education is such a rewarding level to work with. Those little minds are like a sponge as they soak up everything that is offered to them in their day to day classroom life. If one were to stand on the side and watch the busyness in a preschool, kindergarten or even a 1st grade classroom, they would be astonished at the amount of learning that really goes on...when at a first glace it might seem as the children are just "playing".
From the minute they walk into the room, learning begins. From  the table activities that are waiting for them in the morning to keep their hands and minds busy while the teacher scurries around his/her classroom completing  morning tasks, to the carpet-time routines where they learn songs, poems and many social skills...those little people soak all that up and their educational foundation grows.
When I was an EC teacher, I loved to have lots of activities available for my students. They needed to be hands-on, provide opportunity to learn new skills and most of all FUN! I also sent "Book Bags" home with my students with some of these same type of learning games that they could play with their family members and always with a special picture book---fostering the love of reading is so important!
Two of the emergent literacy skills that are taught in EC classrooms are learning letter names and sounds. The cards below are fun to use as a memory game.
I've just posted this activity as a FREE download (for a short time) at my TeacherspayTeachers store. Feel free to click on the link, download and print off to use in your classroom or or play at home in your living room with your own child.

Happy teaching!