Saturday 28 December 2013

Free Story Plan

Here's a story plan that includes a picture mat with picture tiles for your budding writers. They can use them for oral exercises, writing or for drawing their ideas. Included is a storyboard to promote linkages between picture and text. This resource only contains Who? and Where? picture tiles. The rest of the story is up to your students. Click HERE for further details.

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Christmas Around The World

It's Christmas Eve here in Trinidad and Tobago as it is in many  parts of the world. In my country Christmas is celebrated similar to most other countries but our Parang and Soca Parang music adds lots of flavor. Our parang festivals start as early as September when parang bands travel around the island performing at different venues. I love listening to parang!

Classic Christmas songs by  Nat King Cole and Andy Williams are another of my favorites. As a teacher I often find myself searching for audio and videos of the oldies to share with my students. This year my class enjoyed singing "Feliz Navidad" by Jose Feliciano. We had a blast!

Christmas is celebrated differently in many parts of the world. It is very interesting to see how the Christmas Story is portrayed in varying degrees yet so so similar. I found a very interesting youtube video that gives a snippet view of how Christmas is celebrated around the world. Click on the video below to check it out.

Merry Christmas everybody!

Saturday 21 December 2013

Benefits of Morning Messages

 I always need to start my day on a positive note so that both my students and I stay focused and excited about learning. I often welcome them verbally as they enter the classroom and then delve into the day's formal activities. It sounds boring, doesn't it? With a class of five year olds this needs some spirit, some vibrance and of course some positivity. This is why I am going to use a different approach by using morning messages. A morning message to your students is  a great way to start the day!So I guess I will need to explore the benefits of it to convince you to do likewise.
So here's what I found out!

What is a Morning Message?
Simply put, a morning message is just that, a morning message. It is a message written by the teacher for the class to read. It usually highlights some aspect of learning for the day, or it can be a way to reinforce what learning took place the previous day. It is a wonderful way of welcoming students as it utilizes many of their literacy skills. At the lowest level the morning messages can be a series of pictures with familiar words, or a casual letter for the older students. Below are a few examples for you. Click the picture below to go straight to pinterest.

 What are the Benefits of Morning Messages?
There are numerous benefits to be derived from its use, however, the most significant ones are:
  • It reinforces literacy and other learning skills
  • It encourages a sense of collective responsibility for learning
  • It helps ALL students to focus on learning

Morning Message Sites for further reading
For a more indepth muse please check out the sites below.
Mrs Nelson's Classroom 
Mrs Jones Classroom 
Hubbard's CupboardPre-K Pages 


Sunday 15 December 2013

Base Words vs Root Words

Prefixes, Suffixes, Affixes

In my experience over the years I have come across some terms which have similar yet totally different meanings. It is sometimes so easy to interchange these terms, but, as teachers we need to understand what we teach before we get down to teaching it. One such dilemma is the use of the terms 'base word' and 'root word'. Now don't get me wrong here, it's all the best that we are able to tell the difference, especially in the teaching of the higher grades. However, for the younger kids it may not be all that important to distinguish.

A base word refers to the part of a word that is an actual word that can stand alone. Prefixes and suffixes were added to them. The root of a word refers to that part of the base word that comes from another language. These cannot stand alone. As a matter of fact, the knowledge of the root of a word can help older kids with Spelling and Vocabulary.

Take a look at the visual below for an explanation using the word 'transport'.

If you are interested in some very handy posters and other materials to teach Base words and Root words check out this resource below.

Sunday 1 December 2013

Learning With LeapFrog

Nothing is more astounding than to get a hold of some fantastic teaching tech devices for kids. As teachers we may not be able to afford them for our students, but we wish that our parents would invest in the best for their kids . I know that our parents are organizing their Christmas wishlists  for their kids so I thought that I might offer a few educational options from LeapFrog which would make our work easier. Below are some educational toys that would keep our kids busy and learning during the holidays.

Click on the pictures for further details.

LeapFrog Learn To Write (3 to 6 years)

LeapFrog LeapPad2 Power Learning Tablet (3 to 9 years)

LeapFrog LeapPad2 Power Learning Tablet (3 to 9 years)

LeapFrog LeapReader Reading and Writing System (4 to 8 years)

Exploring Light Properties with Eye-Catching Clip Art: Enhance Your Science Lessons!

  Are you looking to brighten up your science lessons? These light properties clip art images are just what you need! From reflection to ref...