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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Names Everywhere

If you read my last post, you know that I was sending parent information out for the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.  While I was doing that I started to feel like I needed to get going.  Well, that feeling wouldn't go away.  Yesterday I spent the day getting names ready.

I have 36 students next year.  We make name markers for backpacks, reading circle, leaders, opening, and finally the Pre-K also has names to use when learning to write theirs.  I spent yesterday afternoon making all of these.

The names in glitter glue are the names I give to the Pre-K class to help them with writing their name.  We begin the year working only on first names.  I make the names with the glitter glue for tactile purposes.  We spend the first couple of weeks tracing the  names with our fingers, then tracing them on our papers.  We then graduate to tracing it with our fingers and writing it on the papers without tracing.  Finally I just have the names on the tables for them to find their "spots" and to guide them with the letters.  After we are comfortable with the first names we go on to the last names and follow the same procedure.  By the end of the year they write their first and last names.

Oh, I also got the number lines ready for the Pre-K class.  I guess I'm ahead of the game a bit.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thoughts of School?

(photo courtesy of Microsoft Clipart)

Here we are just really getting immersed in the dog days of summer, and we're thinking of school? This past week, yes.  I have spent this week completing two tasks.   First getting the order for the 2013/2014 school year organized, ordered, and taken to the school.  This is always quite an undertaking, but for the most part it is finished.

Also, on Monday, the 15th, our parent letters are due to go out.  So I also worked typing up the letter, addresses, and putting together all the paperwork, stuffing the envelopes, and getting them all ready to mail on Monday.  Lots of school stuff.  The problem with doing all these things?  Now I think I have to be in school mode all the time.  My head starts thinking of planning, getting names prepared, and the room ready.  I have to pull back on those reins and just relax.  We still have a little over a month.

I hope that your summer is going well and you are having fun with your little ones.

Here are some articles that people have sent me that you may enjoy:

24 Blogs Letting You in on the Secrets of How to Keep Your Kids Smart this Summer”

27 Blogs Featuring Easy 4th of July Crafts You Can Do with Your Kids

18 Blogs Exploring Methods for Teaching State Capitals to Kids

“24 Blogs Sharing First Day of School Traditions

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Free Fun! — Keep the Kids Busy This Summer

Looking for some more ideas for summer activities?  Here are a few from a guest writer.

The last bell finally rings and students rush out the school door toward summer. Excited for the warm weather and the illusion of freedom, they grab their bicycles and head for the sprinklers, but sadly, after a week or two, they're riddled with boredom. Solving summertime boredom doesn't have to be difficult or expensive when you try some of these simple, inexpensive ways to make sure kids have a well-rounded summer that primes them for a successful school year. Read on for some simple ways to help kids beat the summer blues.

Keeping Minds Active

A big complaint schools have with summer break is that too many kids return to their desks in the fall having forgotten much of what they learned the year before. Keeping your child's brain active during the summer months helps to ensure they can return to school ready to learn, and it doesn't require kids to sit and study in July or flip through flashcards at the swimming pool.

Parents can stimulate children by doing a few small and simple exercises with them, citing an article from Fox News Denver. Activities that combine back-and-forth motions and balancing can promote spatial awareness in children and give both the right and the left sides of their brains a workout.

Watching documentaries is another great way to keep your child learning during the summer, and there are plenty to choose from through programming provided by Cable-TV. Cozy up on the couch after a hot day to watch a nature documentary or even an episode of “MythBusters” is a fun way to learn.

Family Sports Night

One way to get children active is to show you have fun exercising, as well, by playing with them. Citing a 2012 study by JAMA Pediatrics, academic performance is positively related to physical activity in children.

Although your child may not want to admit it, they probably love to play games with you, as well. Organizing a sports night is a great way to pass the summer evenings while getting together with family and friends. Most city parks have soccer fields or baseball fields that are perfect for a casual game of soccer or kickball. To ensure the fields will be free, contact the parks and recreation department in your city first.

Take Advantage of Summer Freebies

Businesses tend to offer free products and services for children during the summer. Bowling alleys usually offer free games if you rent shoes while movie theaters might show older movies for just a buck or two. Contact your local zoos and museums to see if they're hosting any free days during the summer months, suggests AARP. If your kids like to be outside, you may want to take them fishing. For the cost of a simple rod and reel, your child can enjoy a summer's worth of fishing, and in most areas, children don't even need to have a fishing license.

Although some boredom can be an invitation to creativity, too much boredom can make kids unbearably whiny. How do you keep your kids entertained on a budget during the summer months?

Leave your suggestions in the comments.

Image by Josh Engroff pursuant to the terms of his Creative Commons license.

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