Photo credit: altanaka
Have you noticed that in the last few weeks of the school year, it gets more challenging to motivate kids to write? Many seem to only have the energy and patience for tasks that have real purpose. And let’s face it, kids are far more motivated to do what we (the teachers, parents, role models in their lives) do. What the big people do is important and with intent. I love to see little ones swell with pride when they have helped out.
I’m realizing that the more instructions I turn into stories (on the board usually), the more positively the ‘less preferred’ (academic) type activities seem to be taken on. (Now debating adding storybooks to more lessons…) Lol.
Photo credit: talanis / 123RF Stock Photo
The Writing For Real Purposes: Fun Summer Lists storybook provides a model of students discussing how various types of lists are useful to them, and the lists they have made. (If you purchased this pack last year, simply download the update that now includes the storybook!)
Summer is an ideal time for making plans and getting kids involved in making lists. Being mindful of meeting them where they are, it is important to communicate flexibility in terms of the expectations for how the lists are filled in. Because some children may be writing while others are copying or drawing, each printable has a lined and unlined version (except for the Friends contact lists which have ‘mostly girls’ / ‘mostly boys versions’).
Think of the possibilities of summer vacation….
One of the storybook pages
Lists for Summer Socials…
Lists of wishes, favorites and nostalgia…
Whether they draw or paste pictures, dictate to us while we scribe, copy the words from the word/picture vocabulary mini-posters included (which can be cut into 24 individual word cards, if you wish), print in hieroglyphics or phonetically spelled words, when students make real world connections to their own writing, it becomes its own reward!
I have fond memories of being a waitress at family gatherings, carting drinks to my uncles that today would lose my Grandma a licence to serve them, due to underage wait-staff. But look who loves to write.
Best wishes to all of you as we enter the last month of the school year!
…and did you know you had a choice?
by A Vision for Our Kids, originally posted August 26, 2014 :
Full day or half day kindergarten? I’m trying to decide whether to send my kid next year. – Julie Cole, twitterThat would be her sixth kid. As I started writing my know-it-all ‘been there, taught-both, sent my own kids’ reply, it occurred to me that if a mom sending her sixth kid to school is struggling with this decision, perhaps my observations may be of use to others. So Julie, thank you for the writing prompt.
Here is what I wrote in response to the question she posed on her post Kindergarten – To Go or Not To Go? :
I’ve taught both full-day alternate-day kindergarten and half-day kindergarten, and teach at a school that piloted Ontario’s full-time kindergarten program. Our kids (now 12 and 15) both attended half-day programs. The biggest ‘best-fit’ factor really does lie with the individual child, and as a parent, you know your child best. Here are a few things to take into consideration:
1) Your child’s temperament, age, health and level of independence. If you have a high-energy child who hasn’t seen an afternoon nap since before his second birthday, has an immune system of steel and needs constant entertainment, your answer is easy. It’s also easy if you have a napper, is a ‘young’ perhaps not-even-four year old (not necessarily a December baby, but ‘young’ in terms of emotional attachment or self-help skills etc.) that helps with the decision too.
2) What is your heart telling you? They’re only little once.
3) Finances. That’s the reality of our times. Can you afford not to?
4) The benefit of routine. This is why our kids went to a school out of area (by one street) to half day kindergarten. Having taught both programs, I saw the benefit of going to school each day, versus the long day two or three times a week, then not going to school for four days in a row on some weeks.
5) The length of the day. Even if your child is registered in full day kindergarten, there is no law saying he has to attend for the entire day. It may make the most sense for a young child entering Junior Kindergarten to start the year attending half days and build up to full days as the year (or years) progress(es). This has been a comfortable way for many children to ease into full-time schooling. Baby steps.
Best wishes with your decision. As long as your child’s best interests are at heart, all should be well!