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The words in my brain

27 Mar

All day long my brain is filled with little snippets of ideas that I want to write about.  These thoughts flow in and out as quickly as I breathe.

If I were organized, I would write those bits and pieces down the moment they popped into my brain.  Then if I had the time, I would expand on those thoughts and write and write until the thought was an actual post.

Some people start rough drafts on their blogs and save them.  Not me.  I only write when I finally have a complete thought and the time to put it into the computer. 

I’ve always worked that way.

Even when I teach.

I always have an outline of what I want to teach and then I go with the flow.  I make up a poem or a song on the spot so that it fits the lesson that I am trying to teach.  All because of the words that float around in my brain.

I live in the moment, I guess.

At least I like to believe that I do.   Most people would say I save things for the last minute.

I do that too.

I have a lot of words I want to share, I just need to get them organized and put into complete thoughts.

Instead of waiting until the last minute.

Mrs. V

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Transitions

28 Jan

How do you transition?

Do you scream?  Do you yell?

Do you stomp off and cry?

Do you do what you’re told and don’t ask why?

Do you even try?

Do you come when you’re called?  Or do you hide?

Do you say something snide?

Do you keep it all bottled up inside?

Are  you helpful?  Are you thoughtful?

Are you mean or quite possibly awful?

Are you mad?  Are you sad?

Or does this all make you glad?

Are you bad?

Do you stop and think?  Or stare and blink?

Or is your excitement just on the brink?

Do you smile? 

Or do you frown for a while?

Do you cross your arms and glare with style?

Do you anticipate what’s coming up?

Or maybe you just want to give up?

Do you kick?  Do you hit?

Do you throw a fit?

Do you sit?

It’s a hard job as you can see,

To conduct the Preschool Transitioning Melody.

Mrs. V

Reading Readiness

16 Jun

Reading Readiness

The other day I heard about the “Your Baby Can Read” infomercial. Out of curiousity I googled this infomercial, and both the mom and the teacher in me wanted to cry.

Has our society really come to this? Are parents really buying this video? Is it necessary for such young children to learn to read? Is placing them in front of a video and using flashcards really the best way to teach children?

Parents want so desperately to give their children a head start in this hyper-competitive world, that I can see how this video/flashcard system can be a moneymaker for its creators.

“You’re forgetting about Reading Readiness! Children will read when they are ready to read! Let babies be babies! Let children be children!”

I am teacher hear me roar.

I’ll back up that roar with some suggestions for Reading Readiness for infants through preschoolers that I’ve learned as both a teacher and a parent.

My guess is they cost a lot less than what any infomercial can sell you.

1. Read to your child. Everyday. It should be an enjoyable activity.

2. It is a wonderful thing when a child wants to hear the same story over and over again. Read it until you have it memorized, and then read it many times more.

3. Talk to your child. Ask your child questions, even when they are too young to answer. (Always pause and give them time to answer.) Tell your child what your are doing. Provide a running commentary as you go about your day. Talk, talk, talk!

4. What difference can following numbers 1,2 and 3 make? Tens of thousands of words! Children are a blank slate, capable of learning ANY language in the world. Just imagine the vocabulary you can teach your child.

5. Sing songs that rhyme. If you can’t sing, then chant nursery rhymes. Rhyming is so important for hearing the ending sounds of words. Many children love silly songs and poems, and may create some of their own.

6. Alliteration is the beginning sounds of words. Find songs or poems with alliteration. Teach them to your children. “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.” Children will learn to hear (and feel with their mouth) the beginning sounds of words.

7. Sing the ABC song over and over again. Everyday. You can even use a small chart and point to each letter as you sing it. You would be amazed how many children think that “LMNOP” is one giant letter. Many children think that there is an “N” between Y and Z. 

8. While reading a story to your child, ask questions about the story. “What color is the dog? Do you think the dog will ever get home? What will the dog do next? Did you like the story?” This builds comprehension and vocabulary.

9. If you think your child might not know a word, give it a definition. “Do you know what a spade is?” (Wait a little while for a response, even for non-talkers.) “Spade is another word for shovel. Do you see the spade?” Then point to the picture.

10. When reading a story follow the words with your finger. Left to right, return sweep, top to bottom, front to back. Let your child help to turn the page.

11. Talk about the front and back of the book. Talk about the author and illustrator. Are the pictures drawn, painted, colored or are the pictures photographs? This helps build print awareness.

12. Let children see you reading books, recipe books, magazines, and newspapers. Take children to the library. They will be able to see that words are important to you.

13. Talk about the print all around you. There is environmental print everywhere. You find print on cereal boxes, snack bags, signs and toys. The possibilities are endless, and this is another opportunity for print awareness.

14. Remember that letter identification and letter sounds will be learned when the time is right. Each child who can learn, will learn when they are ready. 

15. Relax, read a book, and have a conversation.

Children grow up too fast, so let’s stop pushing the fast forward button.

Mrs. V

Closure

7 Jun

Closure

The definition of closure (n.):  “bringing to an end; a conclusion.”

A few closures in my life:

1.  My daughter has her fifth grade recognition tomorrow.  This will bring her elementary education to a closure.  She moves onto middle school (grades 6-8) in the fall.  We’ve been a part of this elementary school since September 2001, and it has served us well.

2. We will have closure with the issues at the middle school, before Tuesday, June 9th.  They’ve already given my son closure, and that’s the most important part.  I just need closure as well, and I will get it.

3. The Monster Bug has been named.  We call him Goober, and he will soon be at home in our new office space.  So the search for the perfect name has come to a closure.

4.  The new office space was once the toy room.  The old office space will become the kids’ new game room.  I cannot wait for this project to come to a closure.  It is harder than I imagined.

5.  I have written my preschool thank you notes.  That act brings this past school year to a closure.

I miss my little friends.

After closures come new beginnings.  We’re at the beginning of summer, which will be the beginning of many projects, and the beginning of many fun (I hope) adventures. 

I don’t want to think about bringing summer to a closure just yet, because then I’d have to think about the beginning of another school year.

I’m ready to start enjoying summer with my children!

Mrs. V

Look What Followed Me Home

20 May

Please can I keep it?  I will take care of it.  I promise to feed it and walk it everyday, and keep it out of trouble. 

Oh, I know where he’s been.  He’s been hanging out in the preschool lost and found for the last two weeks, unclaimed. 

He seemed so lonely when all the children went home and summer break began.  Somehow he got into my workbag and came home with me.

He’s a rare breed called a “Monster Bug.”  His fur is noticeably soft and his smile is contagious.  How could someone be so careless as to lose this poor little monster bug? 

I promise he’ll be safe under my watch.  I’m sure he’ll keep me company this summer.

What should I name him?  This big decision is making me buggy. 

Mrs. V