Creative Prompts to Encourage Student Writing

Creative prompts helps kids share their ideas and express creativity.
Creative prompts helps kids share their ideas and express creativity.

There is something special when your child starts to be a writer.  Writing gives children an opportunity to share their ideas and express their creativity.  Using creative prompts allows kids to use their pre-reading and writing skills in a way that is relevant to them.   

But writing is not easy and many new writers struggle when faced with a blank page.  Writers, both novice and experienced, need encouragement but they also can benefit from getting some ideas (prompts) to get them started.  Think of it as that “slight push” you give your child when they first learn to ride a 2-wheeler.

When creating prompts, think of different ideas that will spur an interest to write.  Giving your kids a variety of topics to help them extend their vocabulary and language skills.  Kids can find their “voice” through writing poems, songs, jokes or stories.  But don’t limit their choices to “common” types of writing.  Encourage them to see and find “writing” in the world around them.  Commercials, plays, TV shows, ads, emails and blogs are all opportunities to share their writing.

5 Creative Writing Prompts for January

  • Fortune Cookies: Fortune cookies have a piece of paper inside with a message.  Write 5 messages that you would like to find in a fortune cookie.
  • Soup of the Day: Create a recipe for your favorite “unusual soup”.  Perhaps one that makes you silly, old or talking another language!  Write the 10-15 ingredients that make your soup special.
  • HAPPY NEW YEAR: Try creating a HAPPY NEW YEAR acrostic. Choose words or phrases that relate to your wished for 2020.  The H, for example could be “Hope I’ll learn how to dance this year.”
  • Say Something Nice in 2020:  Everyone likes to hear a compliment.  Choose 5 people in your life and write down a compliment and give it to them.  You’re sure to get a smile.
  • Winter Clothes: The winter season brings cold weather to many parts of the U.S. Dream up some new clothing ideas you would like to invent for your new winter clothes.  Be creative.  Maybe some skis attached to your flip flops?

Encourage Writing

Today’s technology can capture the attention of a wide range of audiences making it easier than ever for our words to reach others. I would never have dreamed 40 years ago when I entered my first classroom door that my thoughts on education would be seen worldwide! I am so honored to have so many blog readers.  Your comments and ideas are the “prompts” that I use to write my posts.  Thank you for helping so many kids learn.

Let’s use 2020 to develop some writers. Check out my monthly post of writing prompt ideas to help inspire our new authors. Happy New Year Writers!

Creative prompts to encourage student writing
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Encouraging Writing for Kindergartners

Historical Dates: Jan. 2020

Start the month knowing some historical dates in January
Start the month knowing some historical dates in January

For kids in school, knowing historical dates helps them relate to history and builds their general knowledge. The dates can be used in many classroom activities. These activities can help build relevance into everyday lessons. Knowing these dates will certainly impress your students!

Special Events This Month:

  • National Soup Month
  • National Thank You Month
  • National Eye Health Care Month
  • Universal Letter Writing Week

Historical Dates to Remember

  • January 1st                   Happy New Year/Betsy Ross’ Birthday
  • January 13th                 Poetry Break Day
  • January 15th                 Hat Day (The First Top Hat was worn in 1797)
  • January 17th                 Benjamin Franklin’s Birthday (1706)
  • January 19th                 Popcorn Day
  • January 20th                 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
  • January 23rd                National Pie Day
  • January 25th                 Chinese New Year (Year of the Rat)
  • January 29th                 National Puzzle Day
  • January 30th                Franking D. Roosevelt born (1882) (23rd President)
  • January 31st                 Backwards Day

Other posts related to this topic:

Writing Prompts to Encourage Writing

Writing prompts can help kids get writing.
Writing prompts can help kids get writing.

Why Writing Prompts?

There is something special when your child starts to be a writer.  Writing gives children an opportunity to share their ideas and express their creativity.  While writing kids get to use their pre-reading and writing skills in a way that is relevant to them.   Writing prompts can help. 

But writing is not easy and many new writers struggle when faced with a blank page.  Writers, both novice and experienced, need lots of encouragement to be successful. But they also can benefit from getting some ideas (prompts) to get them started.  Think of it as that “slight push” you give your child when they first learn to ride a 2-wheeler.

Writing Prompts Motivate

When creating prompts, think of different ideas that will spur an interest to write.  Giving kids a variety of topics helps them extend their vocabulary and use different language skills.  Kids can find their “voice” through writing poems, songs, jokes or stories.  But don’t limit their choices to “common” types of writing.  Encourage kids to see and find “writing” in the world around them.  Commercials, plays, TV shows, ads, emails and blogs are all opportunities to share their writing.

Today’s technology can capture the attention of a wide range of audiences making it easier than ever to reach people on the other side of the world. I would never have dreamed 30 years ago that my thoughts on education would be seen worldwide!  I am so honored to have so many blog readers.  It’s the comments and ideas that I get from my readers, students, colleagues and parents that help me choose my posts. Thank YOU for helping so many kids learn.

Let’s use 2020 to develop some writers. Check out the new prompts that will be posted each month throughout the year to inspire our new authors.

January Writing Prompts

  • HAPPY NEW YEAR: Try creating a HAPPY NEW YEAR acrostic. Choose words or phrases that relate to your wishes for 2020.  The H, for example could be “Hope I’ll learn how to dance this year.”
  • Say Something Nice in 2020:  Everyone likes to hear a compliment.  Choose 5 people in your life and write down a compliment and give it to them.  You’re sure to get a smile.
  • Soup of the Day: Create a recipe for your favorite “unusual soup”.  Perhaps one that makes you silly, old or talking another language!  Write the 10-15 ingredients that make your soup special.
  • Winter Clothes: The winter season brings cold weather to many parts of the U.S. Dream up some new clothing ideas you would like to invent for your new winter clothes.  Be creative.  Maybe some skis attached to your flip flops?
  • Fortune Cookies: Fortune cookies have a piece of paper inside with a message.  Write 5 messages that you would like to find in a fortune cookie.

Happy New Year Writers!

Other posts related to this topic

New Kindness Quotes to Start the New Year

Scientific studies have shown that kindness has a great number of physical and emotional benefits.  Quotes about Kindness give students “the words” to motivate them to be kind. Kindness is best learned by feeling the emotion of caring for someone else and feeling cared for by others.

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

  • The Great Kindness Challenge January 2020
  • Kindness Quotes for Home and School

ThreeRingsConnections’ Newsletter: December 2019

Each day we spend with kids is an opportunity to teach a piece of ourselves.

Happy New Year Friends! Welcome 2020!

Yeah! I achieved my 2019 Blog resolution to get the Threeringsconnections’ newsletter posted each month on time! I wasn’t sure if I could do it. However, the many followers and comments that I received throughout the year, motivated me to GET IT DONE! Let’s go 2020!

I hope you have a year filled with your hopes and dreams!

December 2019

December’s Most Popular Posts

My Favorite December Posts

I choose my favorites each month for different reasons. Sometimes it’s timeliness, a hot education topic, student teacher needs or as a family and friends resource. Sometimes, it’s just, BECAUSE. Enjoy!

2019 Archives

2018 Archives

  • Gradual Release of Responsibility
  • Kindness Quotes to Start the New Year
  • Math Thinking Skills Primary
  • Math Thinking Skills Grades 4-5

Humble and Kind This Season?

Humble and Kind this season for everyone
Humble and Kind this season for everyone

I recently read that a mom started asking her child a different question after school each day.  Instead of the typical “how was your day?”, she asked “ did you help anyone today?” What a different way to show your child what you value! 

It reminded me of the song “Humble and Kind” performed by Tim McGraw and written by Lori McKenna.  This song reminds us of the valuable lessons we were taught as kids. Respecting others, learning from challenges we face and sharing our successes to help others. I believe that this is the foundation for learning that children need to live to be successful in life.  Isn’t that what education should be about?  So, for me when I need a gentle reminder to be “Humble and Kind” I search for the 4-minute musical reminder from Tim McGraw.

You know there’s a light that glows by the front door
Don’t forget the key’s under the mat
Childhood stars shine, always stay humble and kind
Go to church ’cause your momma says to
Visit grandpa every chance that you can
It won’t be wasted time
Always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say please, say thank you
Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie
I know you got mountains to climb but
Always stay humble and kind
When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind

Don’t expect a free ride from no one
Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why
Bitterness keeps you from flyin’
Always stay humble and kind
Know the difference between sleeping with someone
And sleeping with someone you love
“I love you” ain’t no pick up line so
Always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say please, say thank you
Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie
I know you got mountains to climb but
Always stay humble and kind
When those dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind

When it’s hot, eat a root beer popsicle
Shut off the AC and roll the windows down
Let that summer sun shine
Always stay humble and kind
Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you
When you get where you’re goin
Don’t forget turn back around
And help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind

In this “season of giving”, I hope you receive many gifts by sharing the lessons of your childhood. After all “it is through giving that we receive”.  

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Most People Are Good

Math Thinking Skills Primary: December

Math Thinking Skills can be strengthened when solving problems.
Math Thinking Skills can be strengthened when solving problems

Some students in the Primary Grades need additional math activities that goes beyond calculation skills.  For those kids we need to nurture a love of math while challenging them to deepen their mathematical understanding and thinking skills.  This month we’ll look at some problem solving involving counting body parts.  (really, we’re looking at early multiplication which is repeated addition)

Math Thinking Skills:

Don’t forget to use 1 of your 6 problem solving strategies

  • Draw a picture
  • Guess and Check
  • Use a table or list
  • Find a pattern
  • Logical reasoning
  • Draw a picture Working backwards (try a simpler version first)
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Christmas Jokes for Kids

Christmas jokes to make you laugh!
Christmas jokes to make you laugh!

Why not add some Christmas jokes to your Christmas celebration this year?

As I sit watching the first snowfall of the year, I’m reminded of the snow days that my kids and I would enjoy together. Yes, there was some shoveling with hot chocolate afterwards, but we also played games, hung out in our pajamas and enjoyed the SNOWDAY!

With Thanksgiving behind us we look forward to Christmas a short 24 days away. Why not use some holiday time to teach your kids some Christmas/winter jokes? Joke telling helps kids learn new vocabulary, strengthens comprehension and helps communication skills. Best of all, the holidays are a great opportunity to laugh together as a family.  Why not take some time to be silly this Christmas season and enjoy a laugh (or eye roll)?  Merry Christmas!

Q. What Christmas song do wild animals sing at Christmas? Answer: Jungle Bells

Q. What happens if you eat Christmas decorations?
Answer: You get tinselitus

Q. What do you call Santa when he stops moving?
Answer: Santa Pause

Q. What comes at the end of Christmas Day?
Answer: The letter “Y!”

Q. What do snowmen eat for breakfast?
Answer: Snowflakes. (or Frosted Flakes!)

Q. What does an elf study in school?
Answer: The elfabet.

Q. What do you get if you mix a vampire with a snowman?
Answer: Frostbite!

Q. What does Santa suffer from whenever he gets stuck in a chimney?
Answer: Santa Claustrophobia

Q. How do sheep wish each other happy holidays?
Answer:  Merry Christmas to ewe.

Q. What does Mrs. Claus say when there are clouds in the sky?
Answer: It looks like rain, deer.

Q, What do you call a greedy elf?
Answer: Elfish!

Q. Why wouldn’t the Christmas tree stand up?
Answer: It had no legs.

Q. What kind of ball doesn’t bounce?
Answer: A snowball.

Q. What did one snowman say another snowman?
Answer: You’re cool.

Q. What is every parent’s favorite Christmas carol? Answer: Silent Night.

Q, What do you get when Santa plays detective?
Answer: Santa clues! 

Q. What falls but never gets hurt?
Answer: Snow.

Q. What do you call a shark that delivers toys at Christmas?
Answer: “Santa Jaws!”

Q. Where do snowmen keep their money?
Answer: In a snow bank.

Q. What do snowmen like to do on the weekend?
Answer: Chill out.

Q. What does Jack Frost like best about school?
Answer: Snow and tell.

Kid: Knock, knock.
Adult: Who’s there?
Kid: Murray.
Adult: Murray who?
Kid: Murray Christmas, one and all!

Kid: Knock, knock.
Adult: Who’s there?
Kid: Pizza.
Adult: Pizza, who?
Kid: Pizza on earth, good will toward men!

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Scientist of the Month: December 2019

As parents and educators, we know we must teach our kids skills to support scientific thinking. But, how do we encourage kids to explore science? Why not, share stories about Marie Curie? Scientists, like most kids, are curious and want to know answers. The great thing about studying scientists is there are many branches; so there surely is a topic to motivate all kids. Seems like a perfect match! 

Hello Marie Curie! – December 2019

1867-1934

Marie was a scientist who grew up in Poland and went to school at the Sorbonne in Paris, France.  She became very interested in X-rays and did experiments on an element called uranium.  Marie named the term radioactivity.  The two elements that she named were: Polonium after the country where she was born (Poland) and radium because of its strong ray. In 1903 Marie Curie was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. She died in 1934 from overexposure to radiation from her experiments.  Today, there are lots of safety measures to keep people safe from overexposure from x-rays.

Facts about Marie Curie

  • Marie was good friends with Albert Einstein, another famous scientist.
  • The first woman to be a professor of Physics at the Sorbonne
  • Marie’s daughter, Irene, also won a Nobel Prize for her work studying radiation.  
  • The Curie Institute in Paris is a major research facility in cancer research.  It was found by Marie almost 100 years ago (1921).

Source: Ducksters

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Student Teacher References: Are VIP

Student Teacher References are important
Student Teacher References are important

Student Teacher References: Don’t Forget The Principal

You may not be aware but it was the school principal that OK’d your placement in the building.  Yes, your cooperating  teacher is the “rock star” that will help you transfer your book  knowledge into the classroom.  Another one of your supporters is your Student Teaching  Supervisor who will help you bridge college and classroom experiences.  But, it’s the school principal that can be your best ally in being hired as a teacher. Very often, the principal will be one of the 3 people called by a hiring principal for a reference if you are a potential hire.  So, don’t forget, the principal is watching you and thinking about the answers to “the call” for your future success.

Before Your Placement

Accepting student teachers in your building is not an easy decision.  Even the best prepared student teacher can be a liability in a building. There is always a concern about sharing a master teachers’ time when more teaching time is always needed.  A well qualified student teacher can be a great support for students, but not always. To ensure a qualified candidate, I often called the college placement office to be sure that we would be getting top candidates.

During Your Placement

All student teachers should do a quick search on characteristics of great student teachers.  This list should be copied, pasted and committed to memory.  They are all true. 

Student teachers should also remember that there are “no secrets” in schools.  Commit that to memory too.  The principal gets both official and unofficial updates about your progress throughout your placement.  So be sure that updates are positive.  One of the most important things to do in your placement is be sure that the principal sees your contributions.  Don’t wait until the end of your placement to make a lasting impression.

At the End of Your Placement

At the end of your placement, be sure to  leave a note of thanks for the building principal. That simple gesture. along with an updated resume, with specific accomplishments achieved during your placement is beneficial.  That “cheat sheet” will help the principal answer questions if they get a call about you.  Many districts require a minimum number of personal contacts for candidates being considered for employment.  Recommendations letters are helpful but it’s the  personal contact responses that are placed in your hiring packet and submitted for final review.

So, what are the top 5 questions that hiring principals ask  the principal about  student teacher performance?

  1. What are the candidates strengths?
  2. What are the candidates weaknesses?
  3. How did the candidate work with students?
  4. How did the candidate get along  with others in the school?
  5. If you had a position available, would you hire the candidate? Why or why not?

In addition, rating candidates on personal characteristics is common.  (Ex. punctuality, appearance, communication, preparedness, character, involvement in school activities)  Ratings are usually 1-5 and  few scores should be less than 4.  So give your principal the opportunity to sing your praises by sharing a “cheat sheet” of your positive contributions.

Finally, I believe that its my responsibility, as a principal, to only recommend someone that I know is a good to great candidate. So, doesn’t it make sense that I keep an eye out for you?  Combining that along with a “cheat sheet”  just might help you secure a job.

Student Teachers:  Keep an eye out for future postings on creative interview questions along with characteristics of effective student teachers.

Good Luck Folks!

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic

  • Teacher Interview Questions: My Top 9

Kindness Quotes for Home and School

Scientific studies have shown that kindness has a great number of physical and emotional benefits. So what can we do at home and school to promote kindness? Remember, for kids to learn it’s a combination of what we say and do. Sometimes for kids to learn they just need a few simple words to promote an action. Quotes about Kindness give students “the words”. Kindness is best learned by feeling the emotion of caring for someone else and feeling cared for by others.

Kindness quotes spread the happiness

Next month we’ll post some new Kindness quotes to add to your toolbox. It’s never too early to start building your resources for The Great Kindness Challenge (January 27-31, 2020)

Kindness quotes to spread some happiness!
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

  • The Great Kindness Challenge January 2020

Are You A Real Teacher?

Good Luck Student Teachers -You've got this!
Good Luck Student Teachers -You’ve got this!

On Opening Day, each year, I gave each staff member an inspirational poem about being a teacher. The poems were typed on decorative paper with a small trinket (heart, shell) attached. Often I would see it in the classrooms, and that made all the printing and gluing worth the effort. 

So, as we end our semester together, I want to share with you my Opening Day poem from 2010-2011.  How many of the 13 items below sound like you this past semester?   

I hope you enjoyed your student teaching experience.  It’s time to go out and find the teaching job that is right for you!  Enjoy the journey friends.  You’ve got this.  

  • Real teachers grade papers in the car, during commercials, in faculty meeting at times in the bathroom.
  • Real teachers cheer when they hear April 1st or Halloween does not fall on a school day.
  • Real teachers can’t walk past a crowd of kids without straightening up the line (or at least thinking about it).
  • Real teachers have disjointed necks from writing on boards or turning their backs on the class.
  • Real teachers are written-up in medical journals for the size and elasticity of kidneys and bladders.
  • Real teachers have been timed gulping down a full lunch in 2 minutes.
  • Real teachers can predict exactly which parents will show up at Open House.
  • Real teachers are solely responsible for the destruction of the rain forest.
  • Real teachers have their best conferences in the parking lot.
  • Real teachers have never heard an original excuse.
  • Real teachers buy Tylenol and Advil at Costco.
  • Real teachers will eat anything that is put in the Faculty Room.
  • Real teachers know secretaries and custodians run the school.

Real teachers hear the heartbeats of crisis; always have time to listen; know they teach students, not subjects; and are non-expendable.

THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING A CAREER THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN KIDS LIVES.

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

  • Teacher Interview Questions: My Top 9
  • Student Teacher References: Are VIP
  • Resources for Substitute Teachers

Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale

Scholastic Books Warehouse Sales are great opportunities to buy books at bargain prices.
Scholastic Books at deep discounts

Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale 2019 is Coming!

December 4th – 14th 

My local friends the closest location is Danbury, Ct.  (Approximately 40 mins. from Fishkill area.

Scholastic Books Warehouse offers for a limited a limited time only deep discounts on books.  This holiday you can purchase “Buy One, Get One Box” from hundreds of books, gifts,  and school supplies. There is even a Build a Box opportunity!  Refresh your school, home, and classroom libraries, and stock up on gifts for everyone.

For every item you buy, choose an item of equal or lesser value for FREE

  • Shop from a large assortment of already reduced items
  • No limits on how many items you can buy
  • Build-a-Box is included with the BOGO offer (yes, Danbury has it)
  • Perfect way to maximize school purchase orders, grants, and Title 1 funds

Coupon is $10.00 off a purchase of $100.00. OR $25.00 off a purchase of $100.00 using Scholastic Dollars.

Danbury, CT Warehouse Sale:

Weekday Hours: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday Hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Closed Sundays

The Danbury location is a Build-a-Box event. As many books as you can fit in a box for less than $29.95.

Sign up and get coupon! Enjoy!

Most People Are Good

Positive Thoughts Help Us Through Tough Days
Positive thoughts that Most People Are Good can help get us through a tough day.

Thank you Luke Byran for performing this song and David Frasier, Ed Hill & Josh Kear for writing the song.   Some days you just need to be reminded that “Most People Are Good”.  Even if you don’t break into song; take a look at these lyrics and make it a good day! 

I believe kids oughta stay kids as long as they can
Turn off the screen, go climb a tree, get dirt on their hands
I believe we gotta forgive and make amends
‘Cause nobody gets a second chance to make new old friends
I believe in working hard for what you’ve got
Even if it don’t add up to a hell of a lot

I believe most people are good
And most mama’s oughta qualify for sainthood
I believe most Friday nights look better under neon or stadium lights
I believe you love who you love
Ain’t nothing you should ever be ashamed of
I believe this world ain’t half as bad as it looks
I believe most people are good

I believe them streets of gold are worth the work
But I still wanna go even if they were paved in dirt
I believe that youth is spent well on the young
‘Cause wisdom in your teens would be a lot less fun
I believe if you just go by the nightly news
Your faith in all mankind would be the first thing you lose

I believe most people are good
And most mama’s oughta qualify for sainthood
I believe most Friday nights look better under neon or stadium lights
I believe you love who you love
Ain’t nothing you should ever be ashamed of
I believe this world ain’t half as bad as it looks
I believe most people are good

I believe that days go slow and years go fast
And every breath’s a gift, the first one to the last

I believe most people are good
And most mama’s oughta qualify for sainthood
I believe most Friday nights look better under neon or stadium lights
I believe you love who you love
Ain’t nothing you should ever be ashamed of
I believe this world ain’t half as bad as it looks

I believe most people are good
I believe most people are good

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Teacher Interview Questions: My Top 9

Interview questions for teaching position
Interview committee for teaching positions

Yes, only 9, because I couldn’t decide on a #10! However, all 9 of these questions can be used for a teaching  interview for any grade level.

Congratulations!  You have a teacher interview.

First, try to calm your excitement and sound interested and friendly when you get “the call”. I can’t tell you how many times my secretary would share with me both the good and bad conversations she had with candidates when scheduling interviews.  Guess what?  Very often her impressions were absolutely right!  The school secretary  is one of your greatest supporters.

Teacher Interview Question Flow

Usually the first question is for you to tell them about yourself. Do not improvise your response. You’re getting an opportunity to give a great first impression. Use it wisely by preparing an answer that will help distinguish you from other candidates. Do not review your resume, they already have it.  Be sincere and genuine. When interviewing, remember that people will prefer to work with people they like.  Think of the process this way.  If you had a choice between 2 candidates with totally equal qualifications, would you take the candidate that was eager and happy or the candidate that was not?

 Tell us about your classroom experience or working with children. Once again, they are looking for you to articulate what kind of teacher you have been by your explanation of situations.  Highlight the type of teacher you are and some specific examples.

How do you get parents involved in their child’s education? Depending on the grade level, you want to prepare an answer that tells them how you will get parents involved in their child’ education. Use past experiences that have been successful (classroom volunteering, newsletters, emails etc.)

 How do you assess student learning? In this question, be specific about the different assessments, both formal and informal, that you have used. This is a great time to share any technology assessments

 My favorite question is asking the candidate to use 9 different words of how each of 3 groups would describe them (supervisor, colleagues, kids). The descriptor words help us see your use of vocabulary and your ability to think quickly.  It’s the 3 descriptor words from kids is how we know if you are kid-centered.  A first grader will not describe their teacher as conscientious nor will a high school student use “groovy”. One first grade candidate used  “squishy”.  Her explanation was it was how first graders thought her hugs felt. Did we hire her?  You bet!  As a K-2 principal I wanted teachers who were genuinely excited and enthusiastic to be with students.  Thank you, Wendy!

 What was the last book you read. Teachers talk about the importance of reading.  Be sure to have the name and author of a book that you read recently. This shows that you are intellectually curious.

 Why do you want to work in the school/district? Do your homework and know about the district.  Yes, you want a job, but WHY do you want to work in that school/district. Include in your response the positives of the district and how your experiences can be beneficial to the district.

 Is there any question that we didn’t ask that you wish we had? Acknowledge that they asked some good questions, and then share your question.  They will then ask you that question!  This is the opportunity for you to share a  teaching strength or highlight that you hadn’t shared. answers.

 What questions do you have for us? Salary, benefits, student behaviors, school budgets and school test scores should NEVER be asked during interviews. Many of those items can be researched and salary will be discussed at the time of an offer. Possible questions to consider would be asking about professional development opportunities or ways to get involved in the community.

Teacher Interview: Final Thoughts

Practice, Practice, Practice your responses in front of a mirror.  The better your preparation, the more confident you will appear during the interview.  Everyone is nervous during an interview.  A good interview committee will try to make you as comfortable as possible to uncover your answers.  Remember the Big 3 of teacher interviewing: be specific, concise and enthusiastic. Good Luck!

Other posts related to this topic

Student Teacher Refs: Are VIP

Student Teacher Characteristics

Motivating Your Child to Learn

Motivating Kids to Learn
Motivating Kids to Learn

Motivating kids to learn? Here’s what I learned a long time ago.  Kids don’t always do what you want them to do.  I’m hearing parents all over the world saying “that’s certainly true”. Yes, folks and you might experience it from birth to adulthood!

So, getting kids motivated to learn is sometimes a combination of timing, strategies and luck.  Check out some of the strategies below that might get them motivated to learn.   They may even think it’s their idea!

  1. Show a Love of Learning – Be enthusiastic about learning by showing interest in your child’s interests and learning new things. 
  2. Make a Game Out of It – Kids love games, so why not learn something in a game format. You can sing it, dance it out or just play a game.  Add a bit of whimsy will make you both smile. 
  3. Learn Something New Every Day – Try to teach your child at least one thing new every day. It doesn’t have to be big, just something. That’s at least 365 things!
  4. Give up control (sort of) – Power struggles can start at an early age so try giving your child choices of what they want and how they want to learn it.  Remember, you goal is to get them to learn, why not guide them some choice?  You’ve already limited their choices, so it becomes a win-win!  
  5. Encourage learning styles – Kids have different preferences and styles of how they like to learn. Knowing your child’s preferences can help engage them in learning. For young kids it’s good to give them experiences in all the different learning styles. There are 7 basic learning styles
    • Kinesthetic/Physical – Learning through movement
    • Verbal – Learning through language activities
    • Auditory – Learn best through listening
    • Solitary – Learn best alone
    • Social – Learn best in a group
    • Visual – Learn best through seeing things  
    • Mathematical/Logical – Problem solving using hands on items.

Learning becomes fun when kids are interested in learning. It doesn’t really matter if it’s dinosaurs, trucks or skyscrapers. If kids are reading, talking and asking questions they are building background knowledge and learning.  Getting them to want to learn is the trick. 

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Thanksgiving Jokes for Kids

Thanksgiving jokes can add some fun to your celebration.
Thanksgiving jokes can add some fun to your celebration.

Why not add some Thanksgiving jokes to your Thanksgiving celebration this year?

Teaching kids to appreciate jokes is a great opportunity to laugh together as a family.  Why not take some time to be silly this Thanksgiving and enjoy a laugh (or eye roll).  Happy Thanksgiving!

Kid: Knock, knock.
Adult: Who’s there?
Kid: Gladys.
Adult: Gladys who?
Kid: Gladys Thanksgiving. Aren’t you?

Kid: Knock, knock.
Adult: Who’s there?
Kid: Harry.
Adult: Harry who?
Kid: Harry up, I’m hungry!

Q. Why did the farmer run a steamroller over his potato field on Thanksgiving Day?

A. He wanted to raise mashed potatoes.

Q. What is a turkey’s favorite dessert?
A. Peach gobbler!

Q. Why did the police arrest the turkey?

A. They suspected it of fowl play!

Q. What do you call it when it rains turkeys?

A. Foul weather!

Q. What smells the best at a Thanksgiving dinner?

A. Your nose

Q. Why do pilgrims’ pants always fall down?
A. Because they wear their belt buckles on their hats!

Q. Why did the cranberries turn red?
A. Because they saw the turkey dressing!

Q. What did the turkey say to the computer?
A. “Google, google, google.”

Q. What kind of music did Pilgrims listen to?
A. Plymouth Rock.

 Q. What’s the best thing to put into pumpkin pie?
A. Your teeth

 Q. What always comes at the end of Thanksgiving?
A. The letter “g”.

Q. Which side of the turkey has the most feathers?
A. The outside.

Q. What do turkeys and teddy bears have in common?
A. They both have stuffing.

Q. Where does Christmas come before Thanksgiving?

A. In the dictionary

 Q. What do you get when you cross a turkey with a centipede?
A. Kid: Drumsticks for everyone on Thanksgiving Day!

Q. What did the turkey say to the turkey hunter on Thanksgiving Day?
A. “Quack! Quack!”

Q. What key has legs and can’t open doors? 

A. A turkey.

Q. Who isn’t hungry at Thanksgiving?
A. The turkey because he’s already stuffed.

 

Isn't education ALL about reaching the kids?
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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  • Jokes for Kids Develops a Sense of Humor

Scientist of the Month- Benjamin Franklin

As parents and educators, we know we must teach our kids skills to support scientific thinking. But, how do we encourage kids to explore science? Why not, share stories about a scientist? Why not Benjamin Franklin? Scientists, like most kids, are curious and want to know answers. The great thing about studying scientists is there are many branches; so there surely is a topic to motivate all kids. Seems like a perfect match! 

Hello Benjamin Franklin! – November 2019

Benjamin Franklin was famous for many things but especially for being a scientist.
Benjamin Franklin was famous for many things but especially for being a scientist.

One of Franklin’s greatest accomplishments was his careers as a scientist. Some of his inventions included bifocal lenses, the lightning rod, and the Franklin stove. Some of the scientific terms he coined were; battery, conductor, positively and negatively. Many of his scientific experiments involved electricity. His most famous experiment was his Kite Experiment where he flew a kite in a storm and received an electric shock. This proved that lightning is a heavily charged spark of electricity.

Benjamin Franklin was an American author, printer, political theorist, politician, Freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman and diplomat. He was the 6th president of the United States and is known as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. WOW! He was a busy guy!

Quotes Made Famous by Benjamin Franklin

“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.” 

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” 

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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