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Mind: The storm after the storm

11 Jul

The Sun by User:Lykaestria

The Sun by User:Lykaestria

The end of the school year is always a hectic, emotional, and rushed time of year. Always trying to get in those last learning opportunities, complete projects, send home everything…. And then pack up the classroom quickly so you can hurry and relax before it is time to return to a new class of sparkling minds.

by Ropable

by Ropable

This year has been more hectic than most. I decided to bring home my mess so I could sort it out over the summer. And my mind is having a hard time knowing what to do. Although I am keeping a similar schedule, I fight off sleep all day only to lie awake with my head spinning at night. Is this normal?

My saving grace has been Pinterest therapy. Every few moments, I take a break from whatever I am doing at my lap top, and I gaze at Pinterest. There lie all of the answers, just waiting to be viewed. And there are many answers, not just a few. I tuck them away in neat organized categories, much more organized than anything else I own. It gives me pieces of mind to know that all these fantastic ideas are filed away just waiting to be opened, read and used.

I have begun a few attempts at harnessing the chaotic void left by the school year ending and my life suddenly stepping out into the brightness of summer. First, I go on walks most days. This is healthy for the mind as well as the body. Secondly, I have time to eat and drink. I can drink as much water as I want, any time I want. This is healthy for the mind and the body as well. Next, I have begun breaking down my piles of boxes into neat piles of attempts at organization. Even though these piles are scattered all over 2 rooms, it makes me feel good to know that I am consolidating and applying a system to all that junk. Last, I am taking classes. I am trying to come up with a plan. I am not sure what that plan is yet, but I am trying new things. I am helping myself instead of wracking my brain trying to think of the millionth way to try to help those kids enjoy learning. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of what I am doing and thinking about is still connected to finding a better way to learn, but this is in my way, in my time, in my space.

Will the spiral in my mind unwind and dissipate into a serene flow before it is time to go back to the classroom in no time at all? That is the question. Time will tell.



Teacher Mind….

26 Nov

What are some fun ways to help kindergarten students learn letter names and letter sounds in small group?

Ways we practice include matching letters (cards or magnetic) to their name or a friend’s name; fishing for magnetic letters; letter name or sound bingo; contests to see who can find a letter first on a chart, in a pile of letters, or in a text; or sounding out how to write the words in a sentence.

When these methods do not result in a dramatic increase in letter name/sound knowledge, it must be time to find some new  ideas. Any suggestions?