St. Patrick’s Day Resources

Join in on the St. Patrick’s Day fun and include some activities in your classroom this year!

Join the fun and check out the great St. Patrick’s Day resources.

St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th ) can be a great learning opportunity for students to learn facts about the origin of St. Patrick’s Day and Irish culture.  The following 2 sites include everything you need to celebrate this popular holiday in your classroom this year. 

  • https://www.teachervision.com/st-patricks-day  The site includes lessons and activities to help you explore St. Patrick’s Day in your classroom.  Free printable worksheets, art projects, literature activities and history activities are included to help your students learn about the holiday and have lots of fun.
  • http://www.nea.org/tools/lessons/51015.htm  Help your students learn about and explore Irish culture, history and traditions, including Irish folktales literature, recipes, Celtic art and mythology, the Great Potato Famine, and more. Resources for St. Patrick’s Day include videos, arts & crafts, worksheets, interactive maps, and tutorials.

  On St. Patrick’s Day “Everyone is Irish”.

  It’s time to get your “GREEN” on.

  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Educational Keywords Get Teaching Jobs

By including educational keywords in a resume, a candidate shows that they are familiar with latest research and techniques. The words should also be included in the interview with personal examples and data to show them you can “walk the talk”. Using and knowing educational buzzwords could help you edge out your competition.

Adding educational keywords along  relevant skills, experience, and strengths may help you land a teaching job.
The interview process is not the time to be shy about your skillset or your desire for a job at a specific school.

By including educational keywords in a resume, a candidate shows that they are familiar with latest research and techniques.  The words should also be included in the interview with personal examples and data to show them you can “walk the talk”. Using and knowing educational buzzwords could help you edge out your competition.

Educational Keywords: What Are Interviewers Looking For?

I have been asked dozens of times what I look for in resumes. There are a myriad of issues involved in hiring a new teacher. Along with the candidates’ skillset and building/ district needs, I may also be looking for specific skills or a personality-type to enhance grade level collaboration.   Sometimes it was simply “something” in the resume that peaked my curiosity to offer an interview slot.

Educational Keywords: Will They Get Me A Job?

The number of applicants for a job depends on the position, timing of the posting and very often, the school or district hiring. Sometimes for just 1 or 2 teaching positions I would receive 200 resumes to review. Therefore, candidates need to create a resume that will impress the reviewer. Whether it’s certification/experience or a knowledge base, a candidate’s goal when submitting a resume should be to get an interview. Remember, if you don’t get in the front door, an interview committee will never get to see how great you are!

I’m sure over the 20 years as an administrator I missed interviewing some great candidates because their resume just didn’t catch my eye or there was a spelling or grammatical error. (yes, spelling DOES count). So, one of my top suggestions for teacher candidates is to include position-appropriate educational keywords in your resume.

Educational Keywords: What Are They?  

Educational Keywords are education buzzwords to include in your resume to help administrators identify good candidates for further review. By including keywords in your resume and interview you are highlighting that you are a knowledgeable candidate. For some interview committees, including keywords may not make a difference but for others it is high on their priority list. My suggestion is if using keywords to highlight your training and experience will increase the chances of opening your new classroom door, why not give it a try?

How to Use Education Keywords Wisely?  

A serious candidate should create a resume that matches a specific opening.  Yes, a generic resume will be accepted but it’s the resume with specific information about the position that will get yours to the top of the pile. A good source of information to create your unique resume is both the job posting and the school/district website.  

What Educational Keywords to Include?

The keywords to include in your resume and interview should highlight both the position available and your education/experience. The location of words is also important. A snapshot of your skills should be at the beginning of your resume to keep reviewers interested to read further.

In general, for early childhood positions be sure to include your knowledge of Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) and the importance of play.  Both concepts create the “bedrock” of strong early childhood education programs and should be acknowledged and celebrated in an interview.

K-5 positions should highlight all aspects of literacy (including math) and the importance of ongoing assessment that “drives instruction”. For secondary positions (6-12), administrators are looking for teachers who are strong in pedagogy but are also experts in the subject area. Be sure to highlight your “knowledge skill set” (e.g. primary sources, Document Based Questions (DBQ). 

Other Educational Keywords to Consider

Along with grade level and content specific vocabulary the following list contains words to consider when creating your resume: Interdisciplinary teaching approaches, English as a Second Language (ESL), classroom management, Response to Intervention (RTI), special education process including terms, teaching and learning, formative and summative assessments, teaching across the curriculum, mindfulness, social and emotional learning, teacher-parent relations and communication, technology integration, team planning, differentiated instruction, brain-based learning, parent involvement,  discipline strategies, literacy across the curriculum, state learning standards, gradual release of responsibility.

Final Thoughts:

Searching for a school to start or to continue your career is a big undertaking. An interview committee’s goal is to get the very best candidate for their school.  By creating a keyword-rich resume you are showing recruiters that you are a good candidate to interview. Our students need good teachers. The interview process is not the time to be shy about your skillset or your desire for a job at a specific school.  Good Luck!  

Other posts related to this topic:

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Decades of research show that the more children read, the better their reading skills. Take a look at 7 Reasons to read Dr. Seuss to your kids.

I have fond memories of reading Dr. Seuss as a child. I vividly recall reading the “Green Eggs and Ham”with my aunt and giggling at the silliness.  Sadly, I don’t recall reading many other books as a child, although I’m sure I read them.  Over the years I have met with concerned parents that were unsure if the “nonsense” language in Dr. Seuss books would harm their child’s language development. I understood their concerns and shared with them some reasons why reading Dr. Seuss books with their child can be beneficial. 

Why Read Dr. Seuss Books?

Do I LOVE Dr. Seuss books? No. The truth is there are many books that I have read to kids that I didn’t love. However, there are decades of research that show that the more children read, the better their reading skills. As an educator it is my job to get kids to love books, so they are motivated to read.  I believe that exposing kids to different authors and styles helps them choose their favorites. Dr. Seuss books are just some of the MANY books I read to kids. 

7 Reasons to Read Dr. Seuss

  • Silliness Abounds- Dr. Seuss books capture a child’s attention and make kids laugh. Whether it’s the nonsense language, the unexpected stories or the colorful illustrations, silliness abounds. Many kids enjoy hearing Dr. Seuss stories because they think they are funny. What young child doesn’t enjoy something silly?  Hearing adults reading silliness helps them see that reading is fun!  The books are perfect for those of us that sometimes are too serious.  Reading Dr. Seuss books with a child will give you ticket to “get your silly on”!
  • IllustrationsThe unique and imaginative illustrations help build a child’s vocabulary.  The simple color palette of blue, red, white and black also make the pictures recognizable and easy to understand and remember.
  • Great Read-Aloud Books – Dr. Seuss books sound great when read aloud.  The stories are just made for facial expressions and different voice inflections. You just can’t help doing it when reading one of his stories.
  • Rhyme – Early readers need to understand that words are made up of different sounds and the manipulation of these sounds creates words.   Hearing rhymes helps kids hear similar sounds. The rhymes included in the books is also a great exposure to poetry. 
  • Nonsense Words Are Important – Dr. Seuss books include lots of nonsense words to keep kids engaged in the story. Nonsense words deliberately draw attention to rhyme and helps develop a child’s “phonological awareness”. Phonological awareness is a basis for reading. A child with phonological awareness skills can manipulate sounds or words, or “play” with sounds or words. By engaging in word play, children learn to recognize patterns among words and use this knowledge to read and build words.
  • Sight Words Included – Sight words are words that are used commonly throughout texts we read every day. Dr. Seuss books give children experience in seeing these words in texts and helps them commit them to memory.
  • “Reading” Become Easy – Many of Dr. Seuss’ book use simple words chosen for a beginner reader.  Along with the rhyming and repetition it helps early readers remember the words and become “readers” quite quickly.  This type of “reading” helps build their confidence and motivates a child to read.

What Am I Doing on Dr. Seuss Day?

I’m grabbing my big red and white hat (doesn’t every retired Primary Principal still have one?) and I’m going to read some Dr. Seuss books to my grandkids.   I’m leaving behind any concerns and am going to share my memories of reading Dr. Seuss books when I was a child. I’m sure the thought of me being a child will bring about a chorus of giggles; and that’s OK.   Perhaps the girls will also forget the Dr. Seuss’ rhymes and nonsensical language that we shared together. My hope is that they remember fondly the laughing and the silliness of reading together. Thank you, Dr. Seuss! 

Other Dr. Seuss Resources

Read Across America Day March 1, 2019

A special day to celebrate and promote reading throughout the United States.


A special day that celebrates and promotes reading throughout the United States.

What is Read Across America Day?

In 1997, the National Education Association (NEA) started the initiative to create a special day to celebrate and promote reading. Since then schools, libraries, and community centers across the United States participate in the day by bringing people together to take part in reading books. The first celebration was held on March 2, 1998, which coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss is an American author best know for writing children’s books. 

Each year this nationwide observance is held on the first school day closest to March 2.  In 2019 it will be held on Friday, March 1st. The event continues to grow in scope and size each year. Today, more than 50 national nonprofit and association sponsors and more than 3.3 million NEA members support the effort every year.

Resources for Read Across America Day

  • National Education Association’s Read Across America (RAA)Day website- Along with RAA activities, the site provides resources and activities for reading throughout the year.

Nursery Rhymes Are Good for Kids

Nursery rhymes are easy to repeat, easy to learn, and can provide hours of fun for kids. .

Nursery rhymes are easy to repeat, easy to learn, and can provide hours of fun for kids.
Nursery rhymes are easy to repeat, easy to learn, and can provide hours of fun for kids.  

“Little Baby Bum” and Me

When my Netflix account appears on screen, do you know what my shows up as my favorite show? “Little Baby Bum”!  Why?  My two youngest granddaughters, a 2-year-old and a 10-month-old, just love this show! Yes, it’s TV, but these nursery rhyme videos are both educational and entertaining.

My favorite show is a result of letting the girls watch the show as a distraction so I can get them to eat their “non-favorite” foods.  While we watch the show together, we sing, laugh and “fly the food” right into their mouths. Even vegetables get past them when “Baby Bum” is on!  Getting them to eat their veggies is the short-term goal but knowing that teaching children nursery rhymes can help them become better readers. This makes some TV time OK with me.  

Why do kids need nursery rhymes?

  • Speech articulation –  When singing nursery rhymes, we naturally speak more clearly and slowly. Slowing down our speech helps children learn words.  This slower pace allows children to see how we form our mouth when making words, thus helping their articulation.  
  • Perfect first stories – Nursery rhymes are short and therefore can be repeated multiple times. The rhyming also catches their attention and helps them complete phrases.    
  • Help early language development – Seeing and hearing nursery rhymes helps kids make connections with new vocabulary. The more stories and rhymes kids hear, the larger their vocabulary.  As a result, they are better have better comprehension.   
  • Opportunities to strengthen fine motor skills and coordination – When children act out nursery rhymes, they strengthen their large and small muscles.
  • Strengthen creativity – Nursery rhymes are not your “everyday happenings” in life. The stories involve characters and settings that spark a child’s imagination. 
  • Create a sense of community – All kids are different and therefore their experiences with stories and songs are different.  However, exposing kids to common rhymes builds a sense of community. How cool, is it when 8 grandchildren, living in 3 separate states, can all tell the story of “Three Little Kittens” or Itsy, Bitsy, Spider”?  
  • Promote a love of books – Building a love of reading nursery rhymes can help a child transition to reading books.

Nursery rhymes are easy to repeat, easy to learn, and easy for a Gigi to remember. They can provide hours of fun for kids, parents and Gigi’s.  

Other posts related to this topic:

Historical Dates and Learning: March & April

Including Historical Dates in lessons gives relevance to learning.

For kids in school, knowing historical dates helps them relate to history and builds their general knowledge. Knowing these dates can help teachers engage students in conversations and students may even be impressed  by their teachers historical knowledge!

March

Music in Our Schools Month

March 2                Iditarod begins

March 2 Dr. Seuss Birthday

March 2 Read Across America

March 5                Mardi Gras begins

March 10              Daylight Savings Time begins

March 14               Scientist Albert Einstein born (1879)

March 17              St. Patrick’s Day

March 20               First Day of Spring

March 29                Coca Cola invented (1886)

April

National Poetry Month

April 1               April Fool’s Day

April 1 April Fool’s Day

April 2    International Children’s Book Day

April 18 Paul Revere’s Famous Ride (1875)

April 19th Passover Begins

April 21st Easter

April 22nd Earth Day

April 23rd William Shakespeare born,  (1854)

April 24th Administrative Professionals/Secretaries Day

April 26th  Arbor Day

Other posts related to this topic:

Math Enrichment Problems: Feb. Grades 2-3

Math Enrichment Problems

Welcome to the 3rd month of threeringsconnections.org  Monthly Math Enrichment Problems post, Each month I post some Math Enrichment problems for grades 2-3.  I hope you will find them useful with your students in class or your kids at home.

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

  1. Draw a picture
  2. Guess and Check
  3. Use a table or list
  4. Find a pattern
  5. Logical reasoning
  6. Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Problem Solving – Here we go! 

  1. If 1 chicken can lay 3 eggs in 4 days, how many eggs can 3 chickens lay in 8 days?
  2. A machine takes any number fed into it, adds 9 and then subtracts 1.  Abby fed the number 10 into the machine.  When the answer came out, she fed that number back into the machine.  What final number came out of the machine?
  3. At the pet shop there were 7 puppies in one cage and 5 kittens in another cage.  How many more feet (paws) were there in the puppy cage than in the kitten cage?
  4. Donna, Jerry and Noreen and ken collected empty soda cans to return for deposit.  They received 5 cents for each can and received a total of $2.  Donna collected 18 cans, Jerry 9 cans and Noreen 20 cans. How many cans did Ken collect?
  5. A passenger train has 297 passengers aboard. There are 45 passengers in each of the first 4 cars of the train.  Each of the remaining 3 cars has an equal number of passengers.  How many passengers are there in one of those cars?
  6. If     X   – 4 – 2 = 5, how much is  X + X?          +
  7. IF a + 11 = 35, how much is a – 11?

Answers:

  1. (18)        If 1 chicken can lay 3 eggs in 4 days, then 1 chicken can lay 6 eggs in 8 days.  Three chickens can     lay 18 eggs in 8 days.
  2. (26)        10 + 9 – 1 = 18, 18 +9 -1 = 26
  3. (8)          7 puppies have 28 paws total and 5 kittens have 20 paws total.  There are 8 more paws in the puppy cage than in the kitten cage.
  4. (53)        To get $2 for returning cans that are each 5 cents, 40 cans had to be returned.  Adding Donna’s cans (18) + Jerry’s cans (9) and Noreen’s cans (20) the total # cabs together are 47 leaving Ken to return 53 cans.
  5. (39)        45 passengers X 4 cars = 180 passengers.  Since the total passengers were 297-180 that leaves 117 passengers divided equally into 3 cars.  That means 39 passengers in each of the remaining 3 cars.
  6. (22)        To make the statement true:  11 must go in first box so that 11-4-2 = 5 and therefore, 11 + 11 = 22.
  7. (13)        a = 24 and therefore 24-11 =13.

Don’t forget to check in NEXT MONTH for more Enrichment Problems 

Other posts related to this topic

Math Enrichment Problems: Jan. Grades 2-3 

Math Enrichment Problems: Dec. Grades 2-3   December 15, 2018

Math Enrichment: How To Encourage?  December 13, 2018

Enrichment in Class? Is Your Child Being Challenged?  December 4, 2018

Highly-abled students need attention too!  September 17, 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day!

On this Valentine’s Day, a great big Thank You to all the teachers who LOVE to teach and teach kids to LOVE learning. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thank you to all the teachers who LOVE to teach and teach kids to LOVE learning.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Science Fair is COMING!

Learning about science is at the heart of a Science Fair project.

Learning about science is at the heart of a Science Fair project.
Learning about science is at the heart of a Science Fair project.

So, the secret is out, I love a Science Fair.  However, this is a trait that was not inherited since my adult kids are not big fans! I know I’m to blame, partially at least, for loving to do science experiments with them when they were young. At one point, they loved doing them too. But at times they just wanted to do something else and were just not interested in designing aluminum foil boats to see which boat could carry the most amount of pennies. What a surprise for me! In case you were wondering, your boat design should include sides and the pennies carefully placed and distributed evenly across the boat. A 4 X 4-inch boat can hold well over 100 pennies! I’m sure there are a few people out there that just might want to give that a try.

The Science Fair packet comes home

Last week, my granddaughter in Kindergarten came home with a Science Fair packet from school. Excitedly, she explained that high school students visited her classroom and made lava come out of a volcano made out of Play- Doh!  She was thrilled to learn that she could participate in the Science Fair by just doing an experiment. Great marketing high school students!  Miss M wanted to sign up IMMEDIATELY!

Reluctant at first to share with me the news about Miss M’s Science Fair, my daughter broke the news cautiously to me. So as not to appear too excited, I calmly walked to the basement door and when out of sight, excitedly ran down the stairs to find my collection of Science Fair books. After suggesting different experiments that could be done “quick and easily”, she informed me that she already had an idea.

Miss M’s experiment question will be “What type of liquid will make plants grow best”?  She has already checked the refrigerator to find different watering liquids and decided she would try milk, iced tea, lemonade, and apple juice. Yes, she is missing a “few things” but she’ll get it done. 

Miss M has already shown that she is curious and enthusiastic. Two characteristics needed to be a successful scientist. Science Fair, here she comes!

Coming Soon: The Science Fair Experiment Continues  

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Kids: It’s time for a “shower of hearts”

Our hearts are ready and we are ready to "Shower Mom and Dad" with hearts!
Our hearts are ready and we are ready to “Shower Mom and Dad” with hearts!

With Valentine’s Day, just around the corner, it’s time to share your love with mom and dad.  So, you say you don’t have any money or a way to get to the store to get them a present?  Not a problem!  You can give them a great present by making them hearts and all you will need is paper, scissors, tape, and something to write with.  So, let’s use our 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, why) and let’s add an H for How are we going to do our hearts project.

  • Who: Kids (young and old) 
  • What: cut out 14 paper hearts with one reason on each of why you love them
  • When: Every day from February 1st through February 14th
  • Where: You can make them anywhere but you are going to tape them on your parents bedroom door.
  • Why:  This is a nice way that you can show them how much you love them.
  • How: Find someone older (like a GG or GPa) than can help you cut out the hearts and add reasons why you love mom and dad.  They can also help you add tape to each heart. You get to be the “heart hanger” and will hang one heart every morning on your parents’ bedroom door starting on February 1st and ending on February 14th which is Valentine’s Day. On Valentine’s Day your heart can say Happy Valentine’s Day! Shhhh! Try to be quiet so they will be REALLY SURPRISED.  They are going to love it!  

Some ideas of what you can say:

  • Because you love me
  • I love you
  • I love it when we play.
  • I love it when we have snack.
  • I love it when we cook.
  • I love it when you let me play on your phone.
  • I love it when we have dance parties.
  • I love it when we go to the movies.
  • I love it when we go on a picnic
  • I love it when you take me to dance class.
  • I love it when you take me to school.
  • I love it when you pick me up at school.
  • I love it when you come to my school.
  • I love it when we have mommy and me time.
  • I love your hugs.
  • I love your kisses.
  • I love it when we read a book.
  • I love it when we take a walk.
  • I love it when we snuggle.
  • I love it when we play ______________.
  • I love it when you make me dinner.
  • I love having breakfast with you.
  • I love it when you tickle me.
  • I love it when we play together.
  • I love it when we go to the store.
  • I love it when we play outside.
  • I love it when we watch TV.
  • I love it when we watch a movie.
  • I love it when we go to a movie.

Shortcut:  Ask an adult to buy some paper hearts at a Dollar Store.

Other posts related to this topic

Your Child’s Vision Should Be Checked

Your child’s vision should be checked.

Your child's vision should be checked
Your child’s vision is important for school success.

How is the child’s vision?  That was a common question to our school’s s Response to Intervention (RTI) Committee, when a struggling student was referred to the committee. Our school nurse, a key contributor to RTI, would give an update to the team on the most recent vision screening.  If necessary, she would re-screen the child to be sure to rule out vision issues as a reason for the child’s classroom difficulties. A student may indeed be struggling in class if they are having vision or hearing issues. Thank you, Miss Peggy and School Nurses, everywhere!

I have a personal connection with school vision screenings.  In the mid 60’s it was a school nurse that discovered that I could not see out of one eye and recommended to my parents to have my vision checked.  I was diagnosed with amblyopia, the most common cause of vision problems in children. Commonly known as “lazy eye”, one eye is weaker that the other because the brain area for one eye didn’t fully develop.  This causes the loss of the eye to see details. If detected early, it is reversible. Unfortunately, in my case, it resulted in permanent vision loss.  My disability has made me hyper-vigilant to be sure young children get eye exams at a young age.

When should your child’s vision be tested?

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. Children then should receive additional eye exams at 3 years of age, and just before they enter kindergarten or the first grade at about age 5 or 6.

For school-aged children, the AOA recommends an eye exam every two years if no vision correction is required. Your child’s pediatrician should checks your child’s eyes during routine exams and will make a referral if a problem is suspected. School screenings, although valuable. should not be a substitute for an eye exam completed by a doctor.  

How important are eye exams to learning?

Healthy vision is essential to a child’s ability to learn and to reach their academic potential. In order to be successful in school your child needs the following basic visual skills for learning:

  • distance vision
  • near vision
  • eye movement skills
  • focusing skills
  • peripheral awareness
  • eye/hand coordination

At your child’s next routine physical exam, be sure to check with your doctor if a vision problem is suspected.  They may even refer you to an eye doctor that specialized in pediatrics.  Good vision is key to a child’s physical development and success in school.  

Other resources to support your child’s vision

Vision for Kids

American Optometric Association

Calling 911 Needs to be Taught to Kids

Would your child know what to do in an emergency? Teaching your child how to call 9-1-1.

In case of emergency Call 911
Teaching children how to use 9-1-1 is crucial and could save lives.

911, I wondered. Recently I passed our local fire department and saw their notification board with the question “Does your child know how to call 911?” I wondered if my grandkids knew how to use 911 in an emergency? So, just to be sure I put together a post to help parents have the information easily accessible to them. Knowing what to teach your child about 911 is essential to ensure they use it properly and do not call 911 unnecessarily. Teaching children how to use 911 is crucial and could save lives.

When to Call 911

Teach kids that a 911 emergency is when someone needs help right away because of an injury or an immediate danger. Help your child understand that major things like fires, seriously injured people and intruders in your home are real emergencies and things like a missing toy or a flat bike tire are not.

They should call 911 if:

  • there’s a fire
  • someone is unconscious after an accident, drinking too much, or an overdose of pills or drugs
  • someone has trouble breathing, like during an asthma flare-up or seizure
  • someone is choking
  • they see a crime happening, like a break-in, mugging, etc.
  • there’s a serious car accident

How to Call 911

  • Call 9-1-1 if you think you have an emergency and explain the situation to the dispatcher.
  • Make sure your kids know that the emergency operator that answers the phone will ask them questions about the emergency and it’s OK to share information.
  • Stress that they should call 9-1-1 AFTER they are in a safe place.
  • Explain to your child that it is important to stay as calm as possible so they can give information to the 911 dispatcher and follow the dispatcher’s instructions. So the operator can understand all their important information.

Helpful Tips to Teach Your Child 911:

  • Never say “nine eleven.” There is no eleven on a telephone keypad or dial. Always say “nine-one-one.”
  • Calling 9-1-1- is very important. Never call it unless it is necessary. Calling 9-1-1 as a joke, might slow down the emergency help from getting to someone who really needs it. They should also know that people who call as a joke can also get into trouble. But if they call 9-1-1 by mistake, don’t hang up. When the dispatcher answers, tell him/her that they made a mistake and that there is no emergency.
  • Post your address near the phone or in a place everyone has access (i.e. memo board, refrigerator, etc.) and be sure the kids know where it is and how to read it. If you live in an apartment building, make sure your child knows the apartment number and floor you live on.
  • Once your child knows how to use 9-1-1, practice different scenarios to make them more familiar with the concept without frightening them.

Additional Resources:

ThreeRingsConnections’ Blog Content January 2019

Education is the means of developing our greatest abilities.
Education is the means of developing our greatest abilities.

One month down in 2019- how are you doing on those New Years Resolutions? Was one of your resolutions to fit in some professional development for yourself? If so, take a look at January’s archives and catch up on your resolution. All January’s posts are below, as well as, all 72 posts since I started this blog in September 2018. With this second Newsletter post I’ve achieved 2 months of MY resolution to post a monthly newsletter for Threeringsconnections.org.  2 down and 10 more to go! Have a great month!

January 2019 Archives

January’s Most Popular Posts:

3 most viewed by our blog readers. Were they on your favorite list?

My Favorite January Posts:

Take a look at a few posts coming next month

  • Calling 911 Needs to be Taught to Kids
  • Kids: It’s time for a “shower of hearts”
  • Historical Dates and Learning: Feb. & March

Kid Songs and “Battle of the Sexes”

Mrs. Bear wears the winning medal.
Mrs. Bear wears the winning medal.

On a recent vacation, I participated in a “Battle of the Sexes” competition and went head to head against my husband.  Unfortunately, I lost the speed test of pulling tissues from a box. Ladies, it’s all in the wrists; which I learned too late. Please learn from my mistakes.

However, I did make it to the finals where the challenge was a race to sing songs without repeating a song already performed in the round. So, while the guys were thinking of current songs, I channeled my inner Kindegarten teacher and broke into kid songs! Isn’t it amazing how you can remember all the words to “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”, but you can’t remember where you put your keys? Who won?  Sorry guys, but you can’t go wrong with singing kids songs!

What kid songs should I sing?

This event reminded me that when my first grandchild was born, my son told me he didn’t know any songs to sing to the baby.  I reminded him of the nursey rhymes, Christmas songs, Irish songs and kid songs we sang together when he was little. Armed with a musical repertoire, he was ready in case a song or two was needed to soothe his son.

Here’s a quick A to Z list of kid songs

If you too need to have a few kids songs on hand, here’s a quick A to Z list of songs to jog your memory. You will see some “author creativity” in songs that start with G, Q, U, V, X, Y and Z since there were not many choices. (or maybe ones that I could remember!) Don’t afraid to be creative when you are stuck!  Include your child’s name or something they like to do and your kids will love it!  

  • ABC Song
  • BINGO
  • Clap Hands, Clap Hands
  • Do Re Mi
  • Eeensy Weensy Spider
  • Five Little…. (monkeys, ducks)
  • GG and Gpa (sing to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle”)
      GG and Gpa are so much fun
      Playing and dancing
      Until the day is done
      Singing, laughing loving me
      We’re as happy as can be
  • Happy Birthday
  • If Your Happy and You Know It 
  • Jack and Jill
  • Koala Bear Turn Around
  • London Bridge is Falling Down
  • Mary Had A Little Lamb
  • Nick, Nack, Paddy, Whack (This Old Man)
  • Old McDonald Had A Farm
  • Pop Goes the Weasel
  • Q is for Quiet Please (sing to the tune of “Jingle Bells”)
      Quiet Please, Quiet Please
      Kids are in the school
      Singing, learning, having fun
      And Learning the Golden Rule
  • Row, Row, Row Your Boat
  • Skip to My Lou
  • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
    • U is for Unicorns (sing to the tune of” Old McDonald”)
        Unicorns are so much fun
        Oh yes, they are.
        And in the air they fly around
        Oh yes, they do!
        they have a long horn,
        they have 4 legs
      pretty colors
        and a shiny mane
        Unicorns are so much fun
        Oh yes, they are!
  • V is for Violin (sing to the tune “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)
    Play, play, play a tune,
      on your violin.
      Meg is doing a really good job.
      Play it once again.
  • Wheels on the Bus
  • X is for X-ray (sing to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”)
      X-ray starts with letter X,
      Letter X, Letter X.
      X-ray starts with letter X,
    X, X, X, X!
  • Yo Yo’s Are Fun (sing to the tune of “Row, Row, Your Boat”)
      Yo Yo’s are lot of fun
      Won’t you play with me
      Wrap the string
      Drop it down
      Pull it up again.
  • Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Da!

Kids songs are a fabulous learning tool

Be prepared because we all know that little kids love repetition.  When you have heard “Five Little Ducks” or “Let it Go” for the hundredth time; try to remember that repetition encourages the use of words and memorization and that’s a good thing! Happy Singing!

Other posts related to this topic

Historical Dates and Learning: Feb & March

For kids in school, knowing historical dates helps them relate to history and builds their general knowledge. Knowing these dates can help teachers engage students in conversations and students may even be impressed  by their teachers historical knowledge!

February

American Heart, Black History, and National Dental Health Months

February 2           Groundhog Day

February 5           Chinese New Year- Year of the Boar

February 11         Thomas Edison born (1847)

February 12         Abraham Lincoln born 1809 (16th president)

February 14         Valentine’s Day

February 15         Susan B. Anthony born 1820

February 16         Random Acts of Kindness Day

February 18         President’s Day

February 22         George Washington’s Birthday

February 27         International Polar Bear Day

March

Music in Our Schools Month

March 2                Iditarod begins

Dr. Seuss Birthday

Read Across America

March 5                Mardi Gras begins

March 10              Daylight Savings Time begins

March 14               Scientist Albert Einstein born (1879)

March 17              St. Patrick’s Day

March 20               First Day of Spring

March 29                Coca Cola invented (1886)

Toddler DIY Activities Kit

Toddler DIY Activities Kit


Time to create a Toddler DIY Activities Kit because …. there is a baby on the way! 

When our new granddaughter arrives next month she will be our 8th grand child with the oldest grandchild being only 8 years old. Yes, we have a busy house when they all visit!  Upon her arrival, she will be welcomed by her very excited 2 year old sister.  Although my daughter- in -law has done a great job preparing Little Miss L for her new sister; I’m sure there will be times when an extra set of hands will be helpful.  So how can I lend a helping hand when I live 2 hours away? 


Toddler Activities for Less Than $10.00


So this month I decided to create a GG Fun Kit to provide fun, quiet activities that Miss L can play with independently. Hopefully, the activities will keep Miss L busy and give my daughter- in- law a few minutes to take care of the new baby or enjoy a well-deserved cup of tea. As in my previous learning kits, my goal is to make them reasonably priced, easy to duplicate,  and filled with fun activities  to keep kids engaged. Usually, my kits are created to be done with your child. However, the focus this month is to find materials and activities that Miss L can do alone.  So with $10 in hand, I’m off to the Dollar Store.    

Busy Toddler Activity Kit

Materials Activities
pompoms                  Sort pompoms in ice cube trays by color
Pick up pompoms with tongs and put in ice cube tray. Put pompoms into containers, baggies
Crayons and color-ing sheets Individual coloring sheets ((5) are folded in kit. Let
child color one coloring sheet at a time
Hour glass timer Watch how the sand can do back and forth. Can be used to remind children to complete a task.  
small pencil Write with small pencil on small post its
Pipe cleaners Twist to make jewelry
Twist to connect
A pack of picture cards (any) Sort pictures by color, picture, back or front of the cardLine up the cards in a straight line.Toss the cards in the lid of the container
Different types of paper: post its, different colors, sizes Encourage them to draw pictures for different peopleHang artworks throughout the house  
tongs Use to pick up small to medium items in kit
Ice cube trays Use tray to sort items by color, number and to make patterns
Baggies with zippers Store items.
Use as a container and take out items using tongs or tweezers
Clear plastic containers Use for storage
Put hole in lid and put small items from the kit through the hole using fingers.
Put items from kit through the hole using tongs.
clothespins Use to pick up pompoms, pencils, paper.     
Plastic cupcake holder with lid Used to store all items in the kit.  Ideally one with ahandle is best so it can be carried by children.

Enjoy some quiet time and a cup of tea! 

Other posts related to this topic:


November 6, 2018   Fine Motor Activities for Kids: Less than $10.00  


October 20, 2018 Fostering Creativity in Kids   

Healthquest Taconic IPA Science Education Grants

ELIGIBILITY – All public, private, and parochial secondary teachers (Grades 7-12) in all New York State licensed and certified schools in Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster Counties.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES – Online grant application. Click here to access the Grants Portal.

Applications available online January 1st
Applications must be submitted by March 15th 

EVALUATION AND SELECTION PROCESS – All applications will be reviewed by the Healthquest Taconic IPA Committee of the Community Foundations.  

Funding priority will be given to requests that are well-written, for equipment that is durable and will serve a large number of students.  Requests that include information relative to how the lessons using the equipment will positievely impact students, spur their interest in science related careers and provide a strong educational foundation for college level curriculum will receive special considertaion. Requests that note equipment sharing accross schools within the same district are also encouraged. 

AWARD AMOUNTS – Grants will be awarded in amounts ranging from $500 – $1,000.

COOPERATIVE VENTURES – Applications/requests in excess of the $1,000 limit will be considered for cooperative ventures across different fields/disciplines that affect a large number of students.

NOTIFICATION – Applicants will be notified in May. 

FINAL REPORT – An online report accounting for expenditure of grant funds must be submitted to the Community Foundations no later than June 30th of the year following the award.  This report should also include information on how the equipment purchased enhanced learning opportunities in the classroom laboratory.  Unused funds must be returned to the Foundation.

OWNERSHIP OF EQUIPMENT – Equipment purchased with grant funds is deemed to be the property of the school.

Winning grant descriptions can be found here.

SPONSORED BY:
http://www.taconicipa.com                            

Fund for Excellence in Education Teacher Grants

It’s Posted- Let’s Get Our Creative Hats On!

 

Eligibility:  
Classroom Teachers of Pre-K – 12 in Dutchess, Putnam and Ulster Counties (Parochial, Private/Independent, and Public Schools)
 
Funding Focus: 
Fund for Excellence in Education Grants offer Dutchess, Putnam and Ulster County classroom teachers funding opportunities to support special classroom projects or professional development for teachers. Grants awarded will have a direct benefit to classroom learning and support achievement of educational outcomes. 

**Grant funding not to be used for field trips or after-school activities.**
 
Grants Available to Public, Parochial and Private/Independent Schools:

General Grants:  Teachers may apply for grants that fulfill one or both of these criteria:
1) Support for classroom projects and initiatives which will improve learning opportunities for students
2) Support for the personal and professional enhancement of teachers (not to fulfill Masters program or certification requirements).

Writing Grant(s):  A grant will be awarded to K-12 teachers for either professional development in the field of teaching writing or for a specific program designed to enhance the writing abilities of students.

Verizon STEM Grant(s): Grants will be awarded for STEM related projects, activities and equipment.

Grants Available to Public Schools Only:

Marionette/Puppet Grant(s):  A grant will be awarded to a public school teacher for projects which incorporate student and/or teacher-made marionettes and puppets in the curricula.  Preference will be given to multi-cultural or multi-disciplinary projects.
 
Dutchess County – Dennis Markle Memorial Community​ Service Grant(s):  Community Service Grants will be awarded to Dutchess County public school teachers for projects involving their students in community service.  These community service awards are made from the Dennis Markle Memorial Community Fund which was started by teh Dutchess COunty United Teacher’s Council.  Examples of the type of projects which would be considered for these grants are:  projects involving senior citizens, hospice, day care, disadvantaged populations, community beautification projects, etc.  

Awards:
Grants made through this program will not exceed $2,500.  Average awards range from $1,000-$1,500.
 
Applications:  
Online grant application. Click here to access the Grants Portal.

Deadlines:  
Applications must be submitted by March 15th. Awards are announced in May. 

Contact Cristin McPeake, Director of Programs at (845) 452-3077 or grants@communityfoundationshv.org.

Review Process:
All applications will be reviewed by the Fund for Excellence in Education Committee of the Community Foundations. All recommendations are reviewed, approved or declined by the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundations.               

Double Rainbow New Year

Double Ranibow

In Eastern cultures, a double rainbow is considered a sign of good luck. To leprechaun believers, they know that the leprechauns left his pot of gold for those that believe. Lastly, In the Bible (Genesis 9) a rainbow is part of Noah’s story in which God promises never to create another destructive global flood. Overall, a double rainbow is pretty special!   T

For my science friends…because I know you want to know how this happens.  Here’s the scientific info on double rainbows in 10 easy (sort of) steps:

  1. In a single rainbow, sunlight spreads into a spectrum of colors from red to violet. But in a double rainbow, the colors are inverted, with red appearing on the inside and violet on the outside.
  2. All rainbows require the presence of the sun and rain in order to form. The sun must be to the viewer’s back and the rain must be falling ahead of the viewer.
  3. As sunshine breaks through the clouds and beams towards the raindrops, some of the light encounters the raindrops and bends – this process is called refraction.
  4. When the light refracts, the process causes the sunlight to separate into different wavelengths. These different wavelengths correspond to different colors: red and orange correspond to longer wavelengths, while blue and purple correspond to shorter wavelengths. 
  5. The refracted lightwaves then bounce – or reflect – off of the circular edge of the raindrop, and then they refract again as they exit the raindrop and travel through the air.
  6. Because raindrops are relatively round when the sunlight refracts through them, the visual result is a spherical arc that soars all across the sky.

Double Rainbow- How Did that Happen?

  1. The first and brighter rainbow is called the primary rainbow. This rainbow is created by the process described above,and only requires the light to reflect off the raindrop once before refracting out of the raindrop. 
  2. The second and more faint rainbow is called the secondary rainbow. It occurs when refracted light does not escape the raindrop afterbeing reflected the first time. Instead, the refracted light reflects off the raindrop’s surface a second time as well, producing a secondary rainbow with its colors reversed compared to the primary rainbow
  3. Fewer light rays are available to undergo the additional refraction process, so the resulting secondary rainbow appears less vivid.


To all my blog friends:
I wish for you a Double Rainbow 2019 filled with luck, fortune and                              sunny days!                             

                                                                                   Donna G.



9 Sight Words Games for Kids

Look at Sight WordsWhat Are Sight Words?

The importance of learning sight words is that it will help your child’s reading accuracy and fluency. Sight words are the most common words found in reading.  They appear on almost every page in a book; especially in early reader books.

It is important for beginning readers to practice reading sight words.  They usually don’t follow any phonics rules which means that kids will not be able to “sound them out”.Having this instant or automatic recall of sight words helps early or beginning readers develop into smooth and efficient readers.

The fun part of teaching sight words is that kids can learn the words by playing a variety of games. The more exposures to the words the quicker they will learn them and be able to identify them in books.  All you need is a list of sight words, some dedicated parent/child time to review and some activities to make the learning fun.

9 Sight Word Games for Kids

Fly Swatter Game – Using a blank BINGO card, add some of the sight words.  Give your child a fly swatter (or something similar) and when you read a sight word, have them “swat” the word.  Parent advisory, kids are going to really hit the word, so stand back and try not to laugh! When I taught Kindergarten and first grade, I played a variation of this game where 2 children raced to “swat” the word on the whiteboard. Flying fly swatters!

Roll a Sight Word – Child rolls a die and then finds a word from the master list of sight words with the same number of letters that came up on the die.  Child can write the word on a piece of paper or just say the word. Add some fun to the activity by allowing the child to say the word with some voice changes (yell, whisper) or allow them to do an action (stand up, turn around) while they tell you the word  Be creative and have fun.

Sight Word Writing – Draw the sight word in play dough, sand or salt with a pencil, spoon or a finger. Young children love to “sweep” the word away with a small paintbrush.   Another variation is to write the words on a blackboard with a paintbrush using water.  After writing the words they can be brushed away or will evaporate (a Science lesson too!)

Sight Word Magnet Race – Cut out the sight words and add a paperclip.  Spread the sight words on different surfaces and use a magnet under the surface to move the sight words.  Two people can race to move a sight word across the paper to a finish line.

Memory– Make 2 copies of the sight words, cut them out and choose 10-12 words.  Taking both copies off the word, turn them over and have your child keep turning over cards until a sight word match is made.  This can be done taking turns or the child can do the game by themselves.

Sight Word Jars – Make 1 copy of the sight words and cut them into slips ad put them in a jar or dish.  Choose a word and ask your child to find the word and say the name aloud.

Find the Sight Word -When reading with your child, have them find sight words in the book.  Once they notice the word, they can make a special movement (touch nose, hand up)  Finding sight words in books helps kids see the connection between reading and oral language. I

Sight Word Basketball – Ask your child to read a certain number of sight words (# is your choice). When they read the words then allow then to shoot a basket.  No, you don’t have a real hoop.  Anything that is unusual will do.  Throwing a pair of socks into a laundry basket works great.

Simple Sight Word Bingo – Create sight word BINGO cards by adding sight words to the BINGO card template (DLTK’s Custom Bingo Cards). Print out sight word BINGO cards by using the word list below and the DLTK site and you have free, simple to make cards that can be randomized for multiple cards.    B-I-N-G-O !

Dolch Sight Word List has them all! 

The Dolch Sight word list includes the most common 220 words and 95 nouns encountered in children’s books. The Dolch word list resource below is organized a few different ways: Alphabetically by grade, by frequency by grade, and in some cases by frequency combined. This provides you with several different ways to conduct Dolch word list practice in your classroom or at home. The Dolch Website has many activities to use in your classroom or at home.

Have fun!

Other posts related to this topic

Fluency in Reading: 12 Ways to Increase

Pre primer (40) Primer (52) First (41)
 a all after
and am again
away are an
big at any
blue ate as
can be ask
come black by
down brown could
find but every
for came fly
funny did from
go do give
help eat going
here four had
I get has
In good him
is have her
it he how
jump into just
little like know
look must let
make new live
me no may
my now of
not on old
one our once
play out open
red please over
run pretty put
said Ran round
see ride some
the saw stop
three say take
to she thank
two so them
up soon then
we that think
where they walk
yellow there were
you this when
too
under
want
was
well
went
what
white
who
will
with
yes