Sunday, 10 June 2018

Eid Greeting Cards





Eid Ul Fitr: nicadez.com


Eid ul Fitr is a holy and joyous occasion celebrated by many people all over the world. I created these half size greeting cards to help you celebrate with your students. I included a second page with an Eid message and for students to write their names at the bottom.They can be printed on colored paper for a quick and simple card or they can be printed on white paper for your students to color. 


These cards are available HERE.









Thursday, 31 May 2018

4 Simple Ways to Teach Mindfulness in the Classroom

mindfulness activities



Mindfulness. It is the latest buzzword in education that many are not too familiar with, including myself. Of course, this concept came up recently in a recent google search on educational trends. Naturally, as an educator, I was curious to find out more on this frenzy, especially how it is practiced and how easily it can be taught to young children. After much reading, I have my own opinion about it but, for the sake of transferring basic information to you, I'm only going to discuss what I have found. I suggest that you do your own research :).


What is Mindfulness?


what is mindfulness?
According to J. R. Martin, 1997, Mindfulness is "a state of psychological freedom that occurs when attention remains quiet and limber, without attachment to any particular point of view." It is simply noticing what is happening around you in the moment: now; how your body feels and what you see, smell or taste. Being mindful also means paying attention to what your mind is doing at the moment.

Teaching children about mindfulness is nothing new in my view. As teachers we are always guiding students toward discovering themselves, their inner being. We have always been encouraging self-reflection and promoting introspection for the benefit of our students. Let me not go off on a tangent here. Oh, yes! Like I was saying. Mindfulness is not a relatively new concept, despite what the trend seems to suggest. What is new is the focus on making mindfulness part of the curricular experience through targeted sessions in which students get an opportunity to introspect. Teaching mindfulness to students may make them less reactive to negative experiences and more likely to notice positive experiences which can help them psychologically. But you may ask the question, "How do I teach mindfulness with the resources that I now have?" or "What are some simple ways to teach mindfulness?" Well, to be honest, there are plethora of mindfulness activities that you can find across the web. Some may be overwhelming and others may be simple enough to give you a great start. A great idea is to start simple so that you can get into understanding it progressively.  Here are four simple ways to teach mindfulness to your students that I have found for you. I have created some easy visuals to help you capture the gist of it.



4 Simple Ways to Teach Mindfulness

These are four of the most simple ways to introduce mindfulness in the classroom. There are many more can work well toward getting students to focus on the present. I suggest that you explore the concept in-depth.
                 

1. Mindful Breathing 

mindful breaths



2. Mindful Eating

mindful eating

 


3. Mindful Walks 

mindful walks

4. Mindful Coloring 

mindful coloring; mindful colouring

Here are some of my favorite articles to help you discover more mindfulness ideas and activities:








How Mindfulness and Storytelling Help Children Heal and Learn




Saturday, 26 May 2018

Celebrating Pentecost

www.nicadez.com

At school this week we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost. Pentecost is the festival that celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit to the apostles who were gathered together in Jerusalem after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated on the Sunday fifty days after Easter. The name Pentecost comes from the Greek pentekoste which means "fiftieth". The symbols of Pentecost include flames, wind, the breath of God and a dove.

At our school our bulletin board was transformed into a sea of red to symbolize the tongues of fire. The tongues of fire were made with white, yellow and orange colored paper: the tips were colored with a red marker. The dove was made out of a Styrofoam plate that was cut out and assembled in the shape of the dove.
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As you can see, the display is simple yet very effective. The dove was seated over the top with words underneath that took on the appearance of  a flowing, mighty wind.

www.nicadez.com


My students had fun making their tongues of fire headband craft. They colored their flame shapes then mounted them on strips of paper for the headband. Each headband was fitted to each child's head and a stapler was used to secure the headbands in place. Here they are posing with their headbands. They are adorable!!!!!


www.nicadez.com

They had fun as they also sang the song Fire, Fire, Fire, Fire Fall on me. Boy! They really had a great time!

I created this memory verse chart for my class. You can download it here.


www.nicadez.com





Sunday, 6 May 2018

5 Critical Skills for Reading Readiness


I believe that many parents today are only now realising how important they really are to the reading success of their children. If many were to turn the hands of time and go back to their child's infancy,  I believe that they would have done things differently, if they could! I always encourage my school parents to help their children at home in any way possible, but, sad to say, many are either too busy or too tired. As a result, many five-year-olds continue to struggle daily. Indeed this is heart-wrenching! At this time of year we often see the agony and disappointment on their faces as they look on at their classmates who made it successfully to another class level.

Reading readiness has been defined as the point at which a child is ready to read.  Let me just say that all children are not ready at the same time and few children come to school fully ready. According to experts a child's state of reading readiness is determined by many factors including the child’s self-concept, his or her values and attitude towards education, physiological and psychological maturity, and motivation. Many proport that there are five (5) critical skills which teachers can examine to identify those students who are ready to read. The following is a video sketch of the critical readiness skills.

Print Awareness


Letter Knowledge




Phonological Awareness



Listening Comprehension


Motivation to Read








Friday, 23 March 2018

Teaching Place Value Using Abacus

A Teacher's Idea, www.nicadez.com

An abacus is an excellent resource for helping your students understand the concept of place value at any level. It can help them visualize the meaning of the places and internalize the grouping strategy behind it. An abacus shows clearly the two columns, ones (units) and the tens which students can manipulate themselves until they can completely internalize this concept. I have created a 2D set of place value mat and abacus cards to help with the translation from the concrete to the iconic stage of learning for students.


www.nicadez.com

This is a set of abacus cards and mat for students to show the place value of tens and ones. Simply print and laminate the 2-digit number cards, abacus beads and the place value mat. Cut out the individual pieces and store in a ziploc bag.
place value; base ten



Also included are abacus task cards for number writing practice.
base ten




 You can check them out further by clicking any of the pictures above. Check back often for more Abacus place value resources for the different levels.








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