Monday, June 30, 2014

Meet Me Monday


Hi! I am so excited to link up with The Teaching Tribune for Meet Me Monday!  This is the first time I have linked up- and apparently is is almost over! OH NO!  But hopefully, it will keep going.  I just got finished with school on Friday, so I was busy "Making it Through Mondays" until today.  Who knew this whole world of meeting new friends was out there?!  Anyway, here I go. This week topic is three things I am thankful for.   


I could have gone in all sorts of directions- like laying down on our couch at the end of the day watching Swamp People or Impractical Jokers or even reruns of Will and Grace,  $1 unsweetened iced teas from McDonalds to make my day, or  walking through Target with no one waiting for me and no schedule to have to follow.   But instead, with only THREE, I got all serious with my biggies.

#1.  I cannot imagine life without God leading the way.  Period.  Every day I start my day with my devotion, and my car ride with prayers all the way to school.  I look for and find God with me all the time throughout the day.  This is hanging up in my foyer.

If I think of a great way to teach something, I know it is God.  If I find something that I thought I had lost- it is God.  I love those little "God winks" though out the day. They keep me focused on what is important.  We are going to focus on something, it may as well be something wonderful!

Thank goodness! 
Thank goodness again!

I must make lots of mistakes need lots of reminders, because those little plaques are up in my house, and I look at them all  the time.


#2.  I also cannot imagine my life without knowing that my precious family and friends always there for me.

I have a wonderful husband (27 years next week!) and three fabulous grown children, Ellie, Emily, and Matt.  Ellie is married to the best son-in-law that I could ever hope for.  My amazing parents and sister and her family live nearby, and we get to see them often. My children were able to grow up with family close by, and I couldn't be more thankful for that.
This picture was last year at Ellie's wedding.  We don't always just dress up like that...

I teach with such fun, supportive teachers- and I am so thankful for that every day,  because BOY oh BOY do we all need the fun and supportive ones! Cause we all know there are some fun-suckers out there...

These are some of my sweet teaching buddies (and my sweet, sweet, Dr. Jean!).


And I can't even describe the joy I have that I have met some of my best friends through this blog. Truly. When I started blogging, I guess I just thought I really wanted to share ideas and find some new ideas. I never dreamed that behind those great ideas were the greatest teachers in the world.  And now they are my friends!  I am so blessed.
#3.  I am SO thankful for being healthy.  SO thankful.  I don't ever want to take that for granted.  It's easy to do.  I always think of this saying, which I have always loved-

I am trying to make this a healthy summer so that I have LOTS of "normal" days ahead!

I am also  thankful that I am happy. That doesn't mean I don't have moments, because OF COURSE-but, I  am so thankful for a happy heart.  



Have a wonderful summer! I can't wait to meet some more friends!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Five for Friday and Funny Kid Friday



It's time for Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs and Funny Kid Friday with Kidpeople Classroom!  LAST day of school for me. Finally- right?!

The kids were only in school Monday and a half day Tuesday, so this Five for Friday  will be a little different.  I've been there all week.

First of all, I hoed.  And hoed.  And still have more to hoe.  I am a really good hoe-er, if I do say so myself.  If I weren't a teacher, I could PROBABLY be a professional hoe-er.  Jeff may not like that. Don't get me wrong, I DO NOT mean this dirty kind of hoe-er...    HA!


Anyway, I had so many things in my closet at home, but that is another job...classroom that I MIGHT use, and finally, after years, I decided they weren't cutting it. It was neat and tidy, and packed away, but still THERE.   I am even going through my files.  I love my files because my mom taught pre-school and gave me all sorts of wonderful ideas that I have in each letter file.  I am going through each one and saving some special things.  But lots of those old ditto sheet samples from the 80's that I kept gots to go! Oh my oh my.  

Do any of you ever feel like this? Or is it just me?

The next four, will be things I want to do more of next year.  Here we go!


I am going to drink more water.  I am.  I know this will make a huge difference. Some days I come home and almost have had nothing to drink.  Why not?  I am smarter than that.  I really am.  I guess not, but I am going to be!   



I am going to have my students write more thank you notes.  We make class thank you notes for special occasions, but I am going to try to teach my students...


It is SO important, not just when you are young, but any age.  My very favorite end of the year gifts were the heart-felt notes that I received.  Honestly.  I am hoping that we can make people happy by recognizing them for what they do and who they are.  I am also hoping that I can pass on the importance of a thank you to my students, so they remember to keep on recognizing others as they grow up.

                                                   

That one reminds me, I posted HERE earlier this week, about using the Five Love Languages in your classroom.

Finding a child's special love language is just one more way to make the best connections you can with your students, so they know how much you care.  I always find that once they know that, they try so much harder for me- with their work and their behavior.  


 
I am going to do my best to remember this...




And finally...

                           
I teach with some wonderful people.  We are determined to bring back the joy of teaching.  I feel like some people think if you are caught laughing and enjoying yourself, you aren't serious about teaching or some silly thing.  That could not be more wrong.  

                              

Teaching is such a serious business.  We try to do our very best for our students every moment of every day.  I see so many people who have lost the joy of teaching and the positivity. Without joy and fun with your colleagues, you are going to burn right out.  Without joy and fun with your students, the days will be long and hard. LAUGH.  Make other people happy.  Make your students happy.  Have fun! 
We work hard.  We worry about our students.  We worry about pleasing parents.  We worry about test results.  We need to keep each other going! 
                                 


On that note, I am also going to link up with sweet Kathleen from Kidpeople Classroom for her Funny Kid Friday linky!  

Here are two quick ones for you!  (I was going to say "quickies," but after the whole hoe-er thing, I thought I was getting way too risque' with this post. Oh my!)

Boy 1-  "I forgot to bring in my folder."
Boy 2-  "I bringed mine in!"
Boy 1-  "Um- I think you mean 'brang.' "
_______________________________________________________________

Boy 1-   "I don't even know what 'frustrated' means!"
Boy 2-   "It means the more you nag, the more we say, 'no.' "  

Do you think he has heard that before at home?!?

On that note, have a very happy, non-frustrating, nag-free weekend!
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The 5 Love Languages for Children



This week I am sharing a wonderful book that doesn't seem like a school book at first, but can really help with behavior management in your classroom.


I am linking up with Deanna for her Let's Talk About Books Linky!  Thank you for hosting, Deanna!

If you aren't familiar with the 5 love languages, they are: Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, and Acts of Service.

The 5 Love Langages books by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell show practical and very effective ways to help people figure out how to best connect with each other. There are several different books.


The 5 Love Languages are always the same, but the implementation and background for each age level is a little different. The book gives ideas about how to best reach people by discovering and nurturing their individual love languages.

Busy Kids, Happy Mom shared this wonderful guide that she made which helps to explain the five love languages and how they relate to children.


Each person has one or two that are their strongest "love languages." Knowing a person's love language allows you to connect better with a person and to know what he/she responds to best. For example- if you have a tricky child in your class- you may discover that he or she responds much better to quality time (like lunch in the room with you) than to gifts (stickers).

There is a Love Language Mystery Game in the back of the book with questions to help determine which is a child's strongest love language.  The child answers which response they would choose. For example:

1.  Give me a hug!
     You are terrific!

2.  I've got a special birthday present for you.
     Let me help you with your project.

3.  Let's watch TV together.
     Tag! You're it!

I  had my kids do this for me, just to get an idea how accurate it was. It was really interesting. In fact, I had my husband take the little quiz too- and he said, "This question is crazy! Who would rather hear 'Wow, you did it!' than 'You have a surprise under you bed?!' " So I said..." um... your son!" Jeff is such a 'gifts' person, and my son Matt is more of a 'words of affirmation' person. (Note to self: Get Jeff more gifts...)

It is just another way to get insight into what kids (or husbands...) respond to most. My primary language is Acts of Service . It is so much more of a gift to me if Jeff vacuums the house instead of getting me flowers or something. (Note to Jeff: vacuum the house.)  And apparently, I am also needy because I like Words of Affirmation. Our Sunday school class did a study of The 5 Love Languages for Couples, and it was one of my favorite book studies.

For some of you, it may be Words of Affirmation or Gifts...

I found this quiz  here online.



Although I realize that meeting your own child's love language is different than meeting your students' love languages, I figured that this idea could help with students in the classroom as well.


Finding out a child's special love language is another way to show how much you care.
 
We have all had children who always wants to hold our hand (Physical Touch), beam when admire their good work (Words of Affirmation), light up if they get to have a special lunch with you (Quality Time), would do anything for a sticker (Gifts), or calm right down and become your forever friend if you fix their broken toy or push them on the swing (Acts of Service). These are all small gestures, but so meaningful when it is a child's special love language.  Figuring out what each student responds to best can help teachers  pinpoint what motivates our students to work and behave best in the classroom.


For example, our school has a "Do Right" program.  If the students are caught doing the right thing, they get a piece of paper to fill out and take to a special box in the office.  Once a month, our principal draws a name from each grade level, and they all get their picture taken to be put on a wall.  It is amazing what some children will do for that piece of paper.

Physical Touch is obviously different with school students than your own, but we all know which students just can't get close enough to us, and seem to snuggle in when we read together or can't stop giving hugs.

Word of Affirmation are something so many children don't get at home very much, and just seem to be hungry for at school.

Our Life with 9 Kids has a quick little quiz to help figure out which love language is your strongest. You could easily adapt this to use with your students at school.

I think this is so helpful for certain students who you know you may really need to work to connect with differently.  Most of my kids are easy, go-with-the-flow students who are excited to learn and happy with pretty much everything.  They don't need the extras.  But for those harder to reach students, I find that asking just a few questions can tell me a lot more about what makes them tick.

Smart Apps for Special Needs shared this picture that I loved of different ways to reach a child whose love language is Words of Affirmation.

Tim Elmore, from Growing Leaders, shared some wonderful ideas that go along with Quality Time.
He mentions that the healthiest statements that parents can say to their children when they preform are these.
Before a Competion:
1. Have fun.
 2. Play hard.
 3. I love you.

After the Competition:
            1. Did you have fun?
          2. I'm proud of you.
3. I love you.

He goes on with my favorite part of the article.  I read this a long time ago, and it has just stuck with me because it is such a wonderful tip for parents to know.

"College athletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a ballgame. Their overwhelming response:  'I love to watch you play.' " 
Period. Simple.  This made so much sense to me, because as he says, those words have no judgment or pressure, just pure love.

In the beginning of the year, I love to take my class outside on the playground and just play with them for a while. I push them on the swings, watch them climb, and laugh with them.
                                          
The Common Core people may not realize this, but these moments are the best investments into my students learning to start the year off right, because my students know I really like them and want the best for them.  They are so much more receptive to everything once they realize they are really liked.  Who isn't?  I know I am.
                                     

Sometimes just simply observing, noticing, and listening to our children teach us and help us the most. 


Thank you for stopping by!  Have a great week!







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