How are you? I hope you are all well. This week, I would like to tell you about a lesson that I learned the hard way. The more organized you are the better your class will go.
There was one year when I was teaching that I wasn’t as organized or prepared as I should have been at the beginning of the school year. I don’t remember the circumstances, but the beginning of the school year crept up on me and I wasn’t prepared. Can anyone relate?
I mean, I had the bare minimum done, but I wasn’t as organized as usual. It started to show in the behavior of my students. Have you ever been a substitute teacher and had the students kind of know that you don’t know the regular routine and aren’t really on top of things, so they took advantage of you and acted up more than they would for their regular teacher? If you haven’t experienced it before, you probably have heard about such an experience. Or, maybe you can remember back when you were a student and your class did that to a substitute teacher. Anyway, that is sort of how it felt for me, even as a regular teacher that year.
At first, I wondered if I had just gotten a “tough” class that year. However, that wasn’t it. It was my lack of organization. I hadn’t taken time to set boundaries and expectations or to practice them. I hadn’t taken time to create expectations or routines for what to do if one finishes work ahead of others. There were no file folder games or anything other than books to do quietly when work was finished. And, I always seemed to be finishing my lesson plans and activities for the day or week at the very last minute. Does any of this sound familiar?
One day, soon after this hectic and chaotic year began, I realized how unprepared I was and almost “started over” with the class. We sat down and had a chat. I explained that we needed to do things differently. I discussed rules and expectations. We practiced those rules and expectations. I also created file folder games and other things that students could do if their work was finished early. We practiced those and learned how to do them independently and in small groups. I rearranged how I did things and added an incentive system. We also learned to encourage each other more.
With these new things in place, it ended up being one of my most favorite teaching years. I hope if you are having a tough year (besides the craziness of the pandemic), you can learn from my experience.
Now, it is your turn.
I am thankful you are here. I would like to hear about your difficult years and how you got through them. Please, leave me a comment or contact me. Let others learn from your experience as well. If you find value in the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with friends and family. Also, if you haven’t already, please consider signing up to receive the Education Blog and other education content in your inbox. Thank you.
Writing Prompt 4 by DUO Inspirations
How are you? How good are you at spinning tales? Today is another writing prompt day. Since Christmas is this week, I thought it would be nice to have a Christmas prompt. What do you think?
So, here is your assignment, if you wish to take it:
Choose a Christmas song or hymn and become part of it. Pretend that you are living or acting in a play having to do with that song. I don’t mean that you are actually acting a play out that has a song, like Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer or Silent Night, but that you are actually at the north pole or in Bethlehem and you are part of the things that are mentioned in the songs. Yes, you can add or subtract, or even change parts of the story in the songs, as long as it is noticeably based upon that song.
Have fun with the writing prompt. I wish you well. And, with that, I will wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May you be blessed!
Now, it is your turn.
Thank you so much for being here. I appreciate it. Feel free to comment or contact me, if you choose to take me up on the prompt or for any reason. I would enjoy hearing how you enjoyed it. If you have any requests or ideas for Education Blog topics or for educational resources, feel free to contact me for that as well. Thank you so much.
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How are you? I don’t know about you, but I find word searches both fun and educational. They are great for this time of year when students are looking forward to Christmas and winter break. I have written about my thoughts on the educational value of word searches in the past. You can read it here.
The last time, I wrote about a summertime word search. This time, I thought I would provide you with a Christmas word search based upon the birth of Jesus as written in the gospels. This is my gift to you. Feel free to download it and use it as many times as you would like.
As you solve it and find the words, I hope you and your students think about each word and its significance to our Christmas story. Grow in love for our Lord and Savior, as well as the peace and joy of His birth.
We often talk about the “reason for the season”, but do we actually know it and live it? Using something as simple and enjoyable as a word search can introduce a conversation as to our “reason for the season”. As you introduce the word search, you can ask your students to think about why these particular words were chosen for the word search.
The gospels of Matthew and Luke tell about the birth of Jesus. You could even read the stories of Jesus’ birth in one or both of the gospels. Maybe compare and contrast the two. There are quite a few things you can combine with a word search to create an enjoyable and comprehensive lesson.
I have heard of people dismissing the significance and educational value of word searches. However, I still believe that they are great resources. It may be how they are used and what kind of word searches you use.
Mine, for example, don’t have any backwards or diagonal words. I don’t want to encourage or misrepresent a word. I sometimes give false starts to words to promote concentration and attention to the spelling of a word all the way through.
Yes. I know this content may not be considered appropriate for public schools. However, I know there are many Christian schools, Sunday schools, and homeschools who may enjoy it. Whoever uses it, I hope you find it both enjoyable and inspiring. Enjoy not even the word search itself, but the content and message behind it as well.
Now, it is your turn.
Thank you for being here. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Do you enjoy word searches? Do you find them valuable educational tools? Do your students like them? Please, comment below or contact me.
Know that DUO Inspirations makes and sells educational materials of all sorts. You can check them out here. If you are interested in requesting a particular word search or any educational resource, please contact me. I am open to requests. I would like to help you teach and learn.
If you find value in the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with your friends and family. Also, if you haven't already, please consider signing up below to receive the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations and other education content in your inbox.
I will soon be changing DUO Inspirations' site a bit. If you would like to explore the site now, to get a before and after feel for it, please feel free to do so. Also, any questions, ideas, and suggestions are welcomed as I ponder the renewal of the site. Please, comment or contact me. Thank you.
Stuff the Stocking with Ss Things
How are you? I want to tell you about an activity that I used to do with my kindergarten students about this time of year. One of the popular traditions of this time of year is hanging a stocking in hopes that it will be filled with treats.
So, I created an activity where students could draw or write items that started with the letter “S” inside of a drawn stocking. It is a fun little activity that students enjoyed.
It was really nice when this lesson came as I was teaching the letter “Ss” or when we were starting to write words based on the sounds we knew. Everyone enjoyed the “Stuff the Stocking with Ss Things” activity.
First, we reviewed the letter “Ss” as a group and went over the sound that the letter made. We brainstormed a few words verbally that started with the letter “Ss”.
Then, I handed out the “Stuff the Stocking with Ss Things” activity page. It is a page with a simple stocking drawn on it.
Here is an image of a stocking just for you to use for the activity. Feel free to download it and use it with your class. It is my gift to you.
As a student handed out the stocking activity, I told students to work in pencil first. After their work was checked, they would be allowed to use crayons or colored pencils to color their picture.
I walked around as they worked. Each worked at his or her own pace and ability. I asked each student what he or she was drawing or writing. For the students with the lower abilities, I wrote the word for the object next to his or her drawing or word. Some students only portrayed the things we brainstormed as a class. However, for the students who could do more, I encouraged them to do more. I encouraged them to come up with their own items starting with the letter “Ss”.
After students were finished drawing and writing, we came together in a circle as a class. I asked each student to share something he or she drew or wrote that started with the letter “Ss”.
Now, it is your turn.
Thank you for being here. I enjoy hearing your thoughts. Please, let me know some of the activities you do this time of year or some that you do to teach or assess the letter "Ss". Did you know that DUO Inspirations creates and sells educational products? Check them out. If you don't see what you need or want, feel free to request something. You can comment below or contact me.
If you find value in what I share, please share with friends and family. Also, if you haven't already, consider signing up to receive the Education Blog and other education content in your inbox. Thank you again.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.