How are you? I hope you are well. It is summer and homeschoolers might want to take it easy, but still do something fun and educational. So, I created a nice little activity for your enjoyment.
This activity encourages questioning and curiosity as a way of learning. People are more apt to want to learn and seek out learning opportunities if they can pique their interest. Let’s face it. It is more fun to learn the answers to the things we wonder than it is to learn what other people say we should learn.
Encourage curiosity, questioning, and learning in your students. Take students for a walk outside. Let them explore. Prompt them to find things and wonder things about different objects. It might be difficult for students to pique their curiosity or come up with questions at first, but encourage them to keep trying.
One way to help students learn to wonder is to role model it. The questions might seem awkward and made up to you, but with some enthusiasm in your voice, you can show your students how rewarding it can be to wonder. Maybe say things like, “Oh wow! Look at that stone. It is all black except for that white streak going through the middle. I wonder… Why would a black stone have a white streak in it?”
Maybe ask students to take a guess as to what they think the answer might be. I actually don’t know the answer. In a general sense, I would guess that it might be some sort of mineral that was formed or pressed into the stone.
After students guess their answers, help them look up the answers. Show them a book that might have the answer, help them research it online, or tell them the answer if you know it.
Try to make this activity as enjoyable as possible. You want to encourage learning, not discourage it. Try not to overwhelm the students by trying to do too much at once. That is why I only have room for three different questions. It can be done in one lesson or three. It doesn’t matter.
This activity includes taking a walk outside or at least spending some time outside. If you want, do it informally, as part of some fun outdoors family time. Walk or hike and nonchalantly start your wondering questions. Maybe ask students to collect a few interesting items to bring home and explore further.
I hope you enjoy the “I Wonder… Nature Walk Questions” activity sheet. Please, feel free to download it and use it. It is my gift to you. I want to encourage learning.
Now, it is your turn.
Thank you for being here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I hope you are finding value in the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations. If you are finding value, please share the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations. Help others find value as well.
I am interested in your comments. What do you do to encourage others to use curiosity and questioning to learn? How do you encourage others to want to learn and find the enjoyment in learning?
It is summer and I am pretty lax with my Education Blog. I am hoping everyone is enjoying themselves this summer. If you are already thinking about next year's school year, please explore what DUO Inspirations has to offer in education. If you don't see a resource you would like to see, please feel free to contact me. Let me share the benefit of my years of educational experience with you. I enjoy offering and sharing educational resources, strategy, tips, and ideas. Thank you.
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How are you? Have you ever had a child who didn’t like to read? Is reading difficult for your child? When I was teaching kindergarten, I saw students who struggled to read.
There are many reasons that students struggle to learn. Sometimes, it is lack of interest or a learning disability. Other times, it could be that others have dissuaded learning for some reason. People can be cruel at times and pick on others for learning or not learning quickly enough. Learning can seem “boring” to some.
Whatever the reason for the lack of learning, it is sometimes helpful to let a student know that he or she is not alone. It is nice to know that others struggle also at one thing or another.
Another strategy to help encourage learning is to make a game out of the material. Make learning fun. This can mean doing things like, talking and teaching while doing something physical or reading stories about various subjects or creating a treasure hunt with facts and questions. It can mean reading stories and discussing facts or creating an adventure.
So, a while back, I wrote a children’s book about a boy who doesn’t like to read. The other kids in school make fun of him, because he isn’t very good. His feelings are hurt and he doesn’t even feel like trying any more. His mother ends up turning things around for him. She makes reading fun. What book do I mean? The book is “Johnny’s Adventure Makes Reading Fun” by Jodi Desautels.
Some reasons for reading difficulty aren’t helped as easily as others. However, I wanted children to know that they aren’t alone and that reading can be fun. That is why I wrote “Johnny’s Adventure Makes Reading Fun”.
If you have a child who doesn’t like to read or has difficulty reading, you may want to try reading “Johnny’s Adventure Makes Reading Fun” to him or her. It has helped others and could help your child as well.
Now, it is your turn.
I am glad you are here. What are your strategies for working with a child who doesn’t like to read? Leave a comment, so we all can learn from each other.
Thank you for being here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I hope you are finding value with the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations. I have been teaching and learning in one capacity or another for many years. I enjoy sharing what I have learned. If you do find value with the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with others, so they can find value as well.
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. Enjoy the Summertime Word Search as my free gift to you.
How are you? The school season is either finished for the year or coming to a close for many students. For students who are quick to learn, a summer break from school isn’t an issue. Yet, not every student is quick to learn.
Sometimes, a mild setback during summer months is okay. I mean, everyone has setbacks in one form or another, right? It is a fact of life. It isn’t so bad. Everyone needs to learn how to deal with setbacks.
Yet, for some students, especially for those already struggling, it is nice to give some sort of educational practice or guidance throughout the summer months as well. Many times, this extra practice and guidance can be in the form of an “always learning” mindset. That is to say, you can create learning experiences in every day conversation and experiences, sometimes without the student suspecting it.
So, what do I mean by an “always learning” mindset? (Note: This is a term I just made up. It can be likened to a lifelong learner as an adult, I would think.) I mean, when your kindergarten student helps set the table, have him or her count the number of people and then ask something like, “So, how many plates will we need?” And, guide him or her to make the one to one connection between people and plates.
Another example of an “always learning” mindset, might be to ask your child questions like, “Oh, that is a cute little chipmunk. What do you think they eat?” Then, of course, look up the answer and share it with your child. It only takes a few minutes, but it encourages wonderment and role models wanting to learn, asking questions, and seeking answers.
There are times when a more structured learning experience might be called for during the summer months. I really think it is important to help struggling learners during summer break from school. Why? I think this is important, not only because maintaining or advancing in educational skills is so valuable, but also because it could greatly improve the confidence of the student.
For those who are interested, DUO Inspirations offers tutoring, education coaching, and educational products/resources. I am happy to chat with you about your educational needs and your education journey. Whether you need just someone with which to brainstorm ideas, an affordable resource that you can’t find, tutoring/education coaching services, or a consultant, please contact me. I enjoy helping others teach and learn. Thank you.
Now, it is your turn.
I would like to hear about some of your summertime learning activities. Do you practice an "always learning" mindset with your child? What sort of help could you use in your education journey? Thank you for your comments and feedback. Feel free to comment below or contact me. Thank you for being here. I appreciate it.
If you are finding value in the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with friends, family, and educators in your circle. I appreciate it and they may as well. Also, if you haven't already done so, you might want to consider signing up below to receive the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations and other education content in your inbox. Thank you.
Today’s Education Blog by DUO Inspirations isn’t going to be about anything academic. It may be argued that the topic of today’s post is meant for parents alone. However, colleges teach courses on communication strategies and tactics, why not think that elementary schools or high schools can do the same? Also, communication is an important skill that many of us are not taught, because our parents didn’t think of it or didn’t have the skill themselves.
I don’t mean just talking and saying words. I am talking about healthy and effective ways to speak. Often, we don’t know or think about how we say something. Although, most of us tend to recognize that two people will ask for basically the same thing in two different ways and one person will get it and the other not.
Communication isn’t just the words we speak, but also the tones, mannerisms, behaviors, and all that goes with them. Some teachers and parents may already do this, but I think that teaching healthy and effective communication skills to children should be a widespread and integral part of any upbringing and schooling.
Even very young children, if put in a way that is at their level, will understand that the need to communicate in a healthy and effective way. Role-playing in conjunction with some basic conversation might be helpful. For, example, if you first role-play shrieking, trying to grab something, saying, “Give me _____. I want it!” Then, you role-play, saying in a nice, warm tone of voice, “I would like the ___________. Could you give it to me, please?” Many times, a child will understand that the latter is kinder and will more times than not be more effective than the former. Even a young child will understand that it “feels” better, even if he or she really can’t understand or communicate why it feels better. Young children can sense, if not understand, that it “feels” better to have someone speak with you in a kind and pleasant voice with kind words than to have someone try to grab at you and shriek at you in a loud and unpleasant voice with unkind words.
Healthy and effective communication includes many things and this is only a very basic and general point on just one part of it. However, I hope it is enough to get you thinking of the importance and viability of teaching it to people from a very young age through all ages.
Now, it is your turn.
Do you teach healthy and effective communication skills as part of your class or homeschooling? What are some things that are encompassed in healthy and effective communication skills? At what age do you feel healthy and effective communication should be taught? Do you think that healthy and effective communication should be taught in school as a course, in the home, both, etc.? Would you like an entire blog series on teaching healthy and effective communication to children? I look forward to your thoughts.
Thank you for being here. I appreciate your kindness and support. If you find value in the Education Blog, please share it with family, friends, and coworkers, so they may find value as well. Also if you haven't done so already, please consider signing up below to receive the Education Blog and other education topics in your inbox. Thank you.
Education Blog by DUO Inspirations has been weekly up to this point. My plan at the moment is to go from weekly to first and third Wednesdays through July or August. At that point, I will re-evaluate the situation and see what the most effective use of my time seems to be and how I can bring you the most value. Please, keep me and that focus in your prayers. Also, if you have questions, comments, or suggestions, as well as requests for specific topics, products, or services, please feel free to comment or contact me. Thank you.
How are you? Today is a writing prompt day. I hope you are enjoying the writing prompts here at the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations. I would be interested in knowing if you are trying them out and what you think of them. Please, let me know in the comments.
Anyway, today’s writing prompt is a little bit different. Today, your writing assignment, if you choose to take it is this:
Start with an animal, any animal. For example, I will choose a rabbit. Now, add a word to describe the animal. So, I could say “a furry rabbit”. Yes, I know I added the indefinite article “a” to the phrase without telling you. That is okay. You can do it too. LOL. I wonder what you chose for an animal and what word you chose to describe it.
Okay. Where are we at now? Yes, we started with an animal and a word to describe it. Now, choose something the animal was doing and make it into a sentence. I will say, “A furry rabbit was nibbling on some leaves.” I wonder what your animal is doing.
We aren’t done yet. Now, let’s add a place. I will say, “A furry rabbit was nibbling on some leaves under a tree.” What do you think? I wonder where your animal might be.
You might think we are finished, but we aren’t done yet. The next step is to rewrite the sentence to be more specific. In my case, I need to try to make the rabbit easier to recognize if you were reading my sentence. I can also say what kind of leaves it was nibbling and what kind of tree it was under. We want to create as clear of a mind picture as we can for our readers. They should be able to practically paint the exact picture we are describing just by reading our sentence.
Let’s see. I can say something like, “A small, furry, brown rabbit was nibbling clover leaves under a tall oak tree on the other side of my lawn.” What do you think?
Now, you try it. I would enjoy reading your sentence. If you choose to try it, feel free to leave your sentence in the comments. I am sure it is a good one.
The fun part is that we can do this exercise as many times as we want. It is short and fun to do. Likely, it is something that may intrigue the timid writer when other writing prompts seem more lengthy or difficult. Not only that, but also this exercise helps to teach many skills about writing descriptions, being specific, and adding details. These are skills are powerful tools for a writer.
This could be the end of the writing prompt and turn it into something more. This could be the start to a paragraph or even a story. (Don’t be surprised to see more on this in the future.)
Now, it is your turn.
I am so glad you are here. I value you and I also appreciate your kindness and support. Are you enjoying the writing prompts? Did you try this one? Have you shared your sentence with us? Do you know a writer, writing student, or writing teacher? If you do, please share this post with him or her. As a matter of fact, if you are finding value in the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with friends, family, and coworkers. Also, if you haven’t done so already, please consider signing up below to receive the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations and other education content in your inbox. Thank you.
How are you? After a bout of cold, gray, blustery snow, and rain in the weather, we considered getting out for a nice meal. We thought about getting a bite to eat and having a car picnic.
This got me to thinking, about a great idea for today’s writing prompt. There are many kinds of meals. A quick sandwich at home alone can be a meal. A buffet style banquet can be a meal. Meals come in all sizes, smells, and shapes. Meals can be ritzy restaurants with black ties and evening gowns or picnics in jeans and a t-shirt on a beach. Meals can be created out of all kinds of foods and ingredients.
With some meals the best parts are the aromas and smells that mingle in the atmosphere around you as the meal is cooking. If you are anywhere in the area, you can get a delightful whiff of the meal to come. It sets the stage for an enjoyably delicious meal.
So, with this in mind, your assignment is to write a description of your ideal meal. Where is it? Is anyone with you? Who? What is the setting? What is the meal? What are your surroundings? How does it feel? What is the occasion? How does it smell? What do you hear? Are you talking with someone? What are you saying? What are you thinking? Paint a picture so detailed that anyone who reads your description can just feel, taste, smell, hear, and experience everything that you do as if he or she was there with you.
I can’t wait to read or hear about your descriptions. Maybe you should just tell me about them at first. If you send them to me, I might gain fifty pounds. Ugh. And, I don’t want that. Maybe I can read the descriptions of one or two people. (If you would like me to read yours, contact me. I will see if I have time and can afford to gain a pound or two. LOL.)
Thank you for being here. I appreciate your kindness and support. If you are finding value in the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with your friends, family, and coworkers. Did you know that DUO Inspirations has more to offer in the way of education? Please, check it out both here and on Pinterest.
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How are you? Today, I am going to post about a new subject… art. I enjoy being artistic and creative. Lately, I have been sketching or creating things digitally quite a bit. As a matter of fact, I have created a new product, the “Art Ovals Packet”.
It wasn’t long ago that I took a portrait drawing course and I was drawing ovals quite frequently to practice drawing faces. That is what gave me the idea for this product. I knew there must be a way to do the practice without always drawing the ovals. Then, I got to thinking about other uses for ovals in both art and education. These ideas were some of the ideas behind the “Art Ovals Packet” by DUO Inspirations. As a teacher, homeschooling parent, or artist, I bet you can come up with uses for ovals as well.
Some of the ideas I came up with for using the ovals are:
Easter eggs... You or a student can draw and color different Easter egg designs. Students can color the eggs. Then, students can compare and contrast each of the eggs he or she drew or tell you which is his or her favorite and why.
1-to-1 Correspondence (such as counting petals)… You or a student can write numbers in the ovals and then students can draw and color items in each oval to correspond with the number.
Faces… You or students can use the ovals to draw various faces or to draw the same face over and over again for muscle memory. At the end, the faces can be evaluated for which is the favorite.
These are just a few snippets of the samples I did for the “Art Ovals Packet” by DUO Inspirations. (I sketched samples to complete each page of ovals.) The ideas listed here are only a few of what I included in the packet note. I included twenty activity ideas in the “Art Ovals Packet”.
So, what is included in the “Art Ovals Packet” by DUO Inspirations?
*A product note to educators, parents, and artists for possible uses for the ovals
*One page of four blank large ovals
*One page of nine blank medium ovals
*One page of twenty blank small ovals
*One sample page of the four large ovals with sketched Easter eggs
*One sample page of the nine medium ovals with sketched flowers showing number of petals matching the noted number to show 1-to-1 correspondences
*One sample page of the twenty small ovals with sketched faces
If you are interested in purchasing the “Art Ovals Packet”, please click the link below.
Now, it is your turn.
Thank you for being here. I appreciate your support and kindness. I would really like to read your ideas for oval uses. I know as an educator, a life-long learner, and a creative person, I am always looking for new ideas. I can imagine that others would like to read your ideas as well. Please, feel free to comment here or contact me about this or any education topic, idea, suggestion, and request. I am happy to hear from you.
If you find value in the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with your friends, family, and coworkers. Some of them will appreciate it if you do. And, if you haven't already done so, please consider signing up below to receive the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations and other education content in your inbox. Thank you.
How are you today? If you have been reading the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations for a while, you know that I try to give writing prompts about once a month. I know how difficult it can be to come up with writing ideas at times. Even as I was trying to decide what to do for this writing prompt today, I was having trouble with coming up with a topic. However, I finally came up with one.
Yesterday, I was wracking my mind to come up with a topic. I wasn’t feeling up to par and I was tired. It was raining out and I was craving some sunshine. No ideas were coming to mind. I was complaining a bit in my mind about the rain and then thought that I should have a writing prompt about the rain.
So, I started to think about some memories I had about the rain. I remembered stomping in puddles when I was a small child, trying to walk around the many puddles when I was a bit older, wearing self-made rain coats out of garbage bags on a trip with my parents when I was a bit older, and singing in the rain and having the time of my life as an adult. Yes, I have many more memories about the rain.
I am sure many people have memories of rain in which they can turn into a story. It can be a fictionalized story or a true story based on your experience. It is up to you. You can also choose to create an entirely new story all together.
Your assignment, if you choose to take it is this: Write a story in which rain plays a prominent part. It can be a memory and true story of something you experienced or something that is completely made up. It can include people or animals as characters. Your story can be cute, funny, serious, scary, nonchalant, or evoke any emotion you would like.
Now, it is your turn:
If you try it, I would enjoy hearing from you. Let me know what you think and how you enjoyed the assignment. Also, you can tell me a sentence or two about the story. Leave a comment or feel free to contact me.
I haven’t mentioned it in a while, but did you know that DUO Inspirations is on Pinterest? Feel free to check it out here or explore the DUO Inspirations website.
Also, if you haven’t done so already, please consider signing up below to receive the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations and other education content in your inbox. Thank you.
How are you? Today, I would like to talk with you about learning bookmarks. Have you ever used them? Learning bookmarks are bookmarks that do more than holding the reader’s place. Learning bookmarks are mini activity pages to help the reader get more out of the book and become a better reader.
There are many styles and sizes of learning bookmarks. Some have questions and activities about characters. Others have questions and activities about plot, setting, or other aspects of the book. There are learning bookmarks that also have spaces for the reader to ask questions, make notes, write down vocabulary words, make connections, and such. (DUO Inspirations currently has the latter for an educational resource and product.)
The newest learning bookmark by DUO Inspirations has three activity spots. In each spot, the reader can write the page number and choose to write a vocabulary word, ask a question, make a connection, or write a note about what he or she likes in the book.
I like the flexibility in the newest learning bookmark. It is nice to have a resource that can be used in multiple ways. What do you think? The Learning Bookmark by DUO Inspirations is also a great resource for readers of all ages.
The idea of a learning bookmark is the ease of use and availability. That is a bookmark is right there with the book. So, instead of having to find a notebook, piece of paper, or computer, the reader can make notes or ask questions right on the bookmark.
The Learning Bookmark is blank on one side. (Although, it could be printed two-sided.) On the blank side, the reader can draw an illustration based on the book or decorate it in a personal way.
Another great idea would be to print it on cardstock and laminate it. That way, the bookmark can be used multiple times for multiple books. The reader can then use a dry erase marker on the bookmark.
If you are interested in purchasing a Learning Bookmark by DUO Inspirations, you can press the link below.
Now, it is your turn.
I am so glad that you are here. I hope you are enjoying and finding value in the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations. I would enjoy hearing if you have used learning bookmarks before. Have you used the Learning Bookmark by DUO Inspirations or other learning bookmarks? Do you and your students enjoy them? Do you use them for your own reading? What kinds of activities are on the learning bookmarks that you use? What type of activities would you like to see on the next learning bookmarks by DUO Inspirations? Please, leave a comment or feel free to contact me.
If you are finding value in the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with friends, coworkers, and family members, so they can enjoy it as well. Also, if you haven't already done so, please consider signing up below to receive the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations and other education content in your inbox. Thank you.
How are you today? When I was teaching kindergarten, my students enjoyed being able to be helpers within the classroom. This is a good practice, because it gives students a sense of pride and responsibility. It also let’s students find out first hand that doing things for others, helps you build a sense of community and friendship.
Do you use classroom helpers? What kind of helpers? What kind of jobs do your helpers do? Each teacher and class has their own ways of doing things. Each has their own jobs and ways of distributing the jobs.
Some teachers create general jobs like “classroom helper” and some teachers create very specific jobs like lines leader, caboose, door holder, paper distributor, etc.
DUO Inspirations created some Classroom Helper Badges that you can use. In the package is also a set of “Blank Classroom Helper Badges” that you can laminate and write the name of the classroom helpers you would like to use.
Here are some sample badges:
The “Classroom Helper Badges Set” consists of 12 helper job badges: 2 “Classroom Helper” badges, 1 “Paper Distributor” badge, 1 “Door Holder” badge, 1 “Line Leader” badge, 1 “Paper Collector” badge, 1 “Morning Meeting Helper” badge, 1 “Encouragement Leader” badge, 2 “Cleaning Helper” badges, 1 “Floor Monitor” badge, and 1 “Homework Helper” badge. It also contains a set of 12 “Blank Classroom Helper Badges” so you can write your own helper names on them.
The “Blank Classroom Helper Badges” can also be used for name tags in the first few days of school. I’m sure there are other uses for them as well. I really like it when a resource has more than one purpose. It saves time and energy in creating separate resources for different purposes.
If you are a preschool teacher, you can also find some clipart depicting the jobs and glue them on the badges before you laminate them. Or, you can put some sort of color marking on them that matches them to your big classroom job chart, so students can match the badges to the chart to know their jobs.
If you would like to check out the "Classroom Helpers Badges Set", please click here. Also, if you have any questions or comments concerning the "Classroom Helpers Badges Set" or any other educational request or concern, please feel free to contact me. You may also want to explore DUO Inspirations' other educational resources as well.
Now, it is your turn.
Thank you for being here. Do you teach in the elementary grades? Do you have classroom helpers in your class? What jobs do you have for your classroom helpers? I value your opinion and ideas. Please, feel free to share to let others learn from your experience and knowledge. Thank you.
If you find value in the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with your friends and coworkers. Also, if you haven't already, please consider signing up to receive the Education Blog and other education content in your inbox. Thank you.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.