It’s snowing outside! How are we going to spend it inside?

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As I was getting dressed to go to school this morning, wearing of course so many layers to keep myself warm from the freezing weather in Brummana, I get a message that school is closed today. Oh how I needed a day off! What a perfect timing!

   So I was thinking of the parents who had to keep their children home, with nothing to keep the kids occupied for the whole day. I have some ideas for you maybe you can try them out.

Since your kids are home today it’s going to be crazy I guess! What would you do to keep them occupied? I have a few ideas that I think might help Smile

1- Crowd onto the couch under some blankets, and watch a family movie together. Snuggle time!

2- Get out an old photo album and share stories of people and places from when you were your child’s age.

3- Mostly girls? Pretend it is a day at the spa! Give each other facials, massages, makeovers or just paint your nails together.

4- Cook or bake. Why don’t you bake chocolate chip cookies together or bake a cake.

5- Arts and crafts, engage your kids in activities. If you have art materials at home have them draw or make a craft or decorate the tissue box in their room.

6- Read stories.

7- Exercise with your kids.

8. If you would like to take advantage of the day off from school revise and practice with your kids the lessons that were taught in class.

9.  Go online and search for educational websites where they have educational online games. Like hangman, cross ward puzzles, spelling practice, math, online stories.

10- Get together and play some board games like monopoly, risk, etc…

I hope these 10 ideas helped, as for me I’m going to be very lazy and take advantage of this day blogging, watching television, and spending it with my mother. Smile Have a good day!

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….and this is why teachers should blog

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        I have been blogging for almost 3 years now about my daily life as a teacher. At the end of the day I like to sit and write about how my day was, the things we learned, cute and funny things I wanted to share. It keeps me passionate about my job. Blogging reminds me of how significant teachers are, and that what they do makes a difference. I think that every teacher should blog. Sometimes, for my own clarification, I go back and read my own blog to look at what I have done and how I can continuously work on it to improve.

    When I blog I get closer to the parents and to my students. Parents love discussing the posts that I put and my students love seeing their activities posted online for everyone to see. When people see you so passionate about your job especially as a teacher, the parent would feel comfortable that their child is in good hands. I am not saying that teachers who don’t blog aren’t, but teachers who do, show their passion about teaching through their blogs. I haven’t seen a lot of Arab teachers blogging, I see more teacher bloggers in the US or Europe, and that is sad….

      Since technology is being more and more integrated in to school curriculums here in Lebanon, I think blogging will be easier for teachers later on.  I know that one day it will happen, and I’ll remind you of that day Smile 

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IB-Primary years Programme: Think, Puzzle, Explore

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      The IB Primarly Years Programme provides a curriculum framework for students in elementary school which focuses on the development of the whole student.  I know a few schools in Lebanon who practice this programme and I’ve heard positive and negative feedbacks. I can’t really judge since I haven’t taught this programme before but I’ve read a lot about it.

    This programme is focused on kids aged 3 to 12 years old where it focuses on the development of the whole child and the world outside. Students will actually want to learn because it is inquiry based meaning it allows the children to think by themselves and become responsible of their own learning.

There are no text books; students have to research, act, or react.

They are engaged in what they do and reflect on what they’ve learned.

They learn to become communicators which plays a significant role in preparing them for the middle year programme.

Teachers who have taught this programme see the growth in the student. They will be left with a strong sense of confidence, self esteem and a very open min to understanding and learning overall.

Students say that teachers find out what’s good in every student and bring that up.

 

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Watch this video of  The IB Primary Years Programme described by teachers and students in their own words.

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When my students visit the library…

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Helping your children to enjoy reading is one of the most important things you can do as a parent and well worth the investment of your time and energy. Kids will learn reading skills in school, but often they come to associate reading with work, not pleasure. As a result, they lose their desire to read.

Even a baby of a few months can see pictures, listen to your voice, and turn cardboard pages. Make this time together a special time when you hold your kids and share the pleasure of a story without the distractions of TV or telephones. You may be surprised to find that a well-written children’s book is often as big a delight to you as it is to the kids.

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    As a teacher it is my role to encourage my students to read. We only go to the library once which is a Thursday, so they have to wait till the next Thursday to get a new book. I tell my students if you finished it earlier then you can go and exchange.

   Book reports are important, but I don’t like to do much of it because I don’t want the kids to feel as if the library is homework as well. I want them to enjoy reading. I usually just ask them a few questions about their book and what it is about.

   Now when my students visit the library, they actually look forward to it! They love reading books and sometimes I have students fighting over one book. If the teacher shows them how important it is to read and is so enthusiastic about it then her students are going to copy her.

Teachers it’s in your hands! Make your students LOVE reading!

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Classroom management ideas to the new teachers!

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http://downunderteacher.blogspot.com

It is a Noise-O-Meter so that you can easily set the expected level of noise for given activities.

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Sometimes students have to talk so here is how you can control talking by assigning it. I really like this one it helps a lot.

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The famous “Give me Five”. When you say Give me Five students have to follow these 5 rules of course you have to explain the rules first at the beginning of the year.

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http://www.newmanagement.com

The Clothespin Clip Chart is a simple behavior management strategy. Every student has a clothespin with his name on it. The clothespins are clipped to a tall chart that is divided into seven sections. From the top down, the sections are labeled: Outstanding, Great Job, Good Day, Ready to Learn, Think About It, Teacher’s Choice (as a consequence), Parent Contact.

At the beginning of the day, all of the clothespins are clipped to the Ready to Learn section. Then, during the day, students move their clothespins up or down the chart based upon their behavior. As I explain the technique during Interactive Discipline seminars, I share some of my own experience using it.

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Children love to get involved, they love to be a part of everything. It is a great way to train them to be responsible and independent. To get each one engaged with a small task and to make them feel good about themselves. After all, when they are engaged with something, they get into less trouble. 

Read more: http://socyberty.com/education/effective-pre-k-and-kindergarten-classroom-management/#ixzz1n94WWGRN

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Home school Connection

   Many new teachers are out there and I would love to help out. These classroom management charts are just a few of many more ideas and tips. I will try to post a few every now and then. I hope you can benefit from them.

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What I’ve learned throughout my 10 years of teaching!

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      Throughout my 10 years of teaching experience, I have definitely learned a lot. Each year was different and unique in its way. I met so many students, parents, and co-workers. I moved to new classrooms, schools, and countries.

I’ve been thinking about all that I have learned over the years about classroom management and teaching . Some of it I’ve learned the hard way believe me.

  1- I’ve learned to work as a team! I was having trouble with that issue but with time I learned that through teamwork with colleagues you learn from them and you can share what you have as well.

2- I’ve learned that I should catch student doing good instead when misbehaving. I’ve had a few experiences with this issue and trust me nothing works more than a positive reinforcement.

3- I’ve learned to stay positive! Teachers stress out a lot like when they are overloaded with work, having a bad day, etc… and students do stress out as well. By being positive I was able to control my classroom positively and easily. You may think that kids won’t understand the concept of being positive but believe me they do!

5- I’ve learned to remember tomorrow is another day. Some days when nothing seems to go right, I try to remind myself tomorrow is another day, and I’ll have another chance to do it right.

6- I’ve learned to be prepared and organized. You are their role model! If you’re classroom is disorganized that means it’s all the teacher’s fault. Children will copy you and be responsible.

7- I’ve learned that students learn by doing. As William Arthur Ward says:

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires”.

 

8- I’ve learned to laugh and smile. Children love to see their teachers in a good mood. IF you are in a good mood then the whole class will be happy and enthusiastic about studying and learning.

9-  Most importantly, I have learned that it is my role as a teacher TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE into the child’s life!

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Most Creative Lunchbox for this week!

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     This week I decided to choose the most creative lunchbox and not the healthiest! This is Elle’s lunchbox and it has many options for snacks as you can see. She got vegetables, nuts, oats and honey bar, apple juice, Chex mix and 2 sandwiches. Elle had a lot of options for snacks and she was really excited to show it to me to post it on the blog.You’re doing great Elle! You’re lunchbox looks great Open-mouthed smile 

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All About Steve Irwin: The Crocodile Hunter


Every class is required to choose a significant person or place and present it to grades 1 2 and 3. Last year I chose Oprah Winfrey. This year I chose Steve Irwin “the crocodile hunter”. I chose him because he is so passionate about what he does. He taught the people so many things. You can see for yourself the power point presentation that my students will present this Friday to the other sections. I hope you like it :)

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Practice for your spelling test on Microsoft Word!

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     Usually, every Thursday we have a computer hour. Sometimes, my students like to visit Encarta encyclopedia and check out pictures and videos. They really like it. However, today I wanted to do something different. I have a few students in my class who need extra help in spelling. One of the methods that would help is the method that I mentioned in my previous post. Today I informed my students that we will practice for our spelling test tomorrow on Microsoft Word. They were so excited and worried at the same time. Some of them have never used Microsoft Word before and don’t know how to use it. Surprisingly, they quickly grasped the concept. They were having fun using the keyboard to spell words.Parents, you can do that too! If you’re child has extra time during the weekend, you can do a simple test for your child in spelling. Children love to touch, hear, and see! If they are not listening to you at home or following rules, always keep them occupied.

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Computer screen

There is a site that I really recommend for students to practice their spelling which is: www.spellingcity.com

Hope you found this post beneficial! Have a good night Smile

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How to help your child learn to spell words!

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        Many students have trouble spelling words. Some of them remember how to write a specific word after they have learned it for a few minutes, but if you wait a bit longer and ask about the same word they would  have probably forgotten how to spell the word again. I used to have many students who mastered all subjects but not the spelling test. In my opinion having many spelling mistakes is not a big deal because when the child grows up he will eventually get to know how to spell a word, but since it is part of our curriculum then we have to take it into consideration.

    As I was tutoring a student at home, I used this method to help my student remember the words that are required for him to study. He remembered them and even after a while Smile Everything that is visual and hands on, a student remembers! A student learns by doing! I wrote down all the 26 alphabets on cards. I wrote the letter “a” more than once and the “e” and other letters if needed.

My student above was trying to spell the word “because” after several attempts, he mastered it Smile 

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       So if you’re a teacher try this activity with your students. Even if you’re mom and your child is having trouble spelling words now there is a fun way to do it. Trust me it works! My student enjoys shuffling the cards. Smile  To add an extra touch, you can reward the student after he gets a specific words correctly…  a sticker will do.

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