This coming week will be the last for the 2008-2009 school year at Metz. What a wonderful experience it has been for me to be able to share what has been going on in my classroom all year. I believe that all teachers, new and experienced, have things to learn from each other. It is in this exchange of ideas that we become better educators for our own students and colleagues.
If you have never had the pleasure of opening up your classroom to a student teacher, I highly recommend that you consider doing so. I just finished my tenth year in the same first grade classroom and I had never had a student teacher until last year. I had considered opening my classroom doors to a college student many times before but I worried that I wasn't good enough, I didn't know if what I had to share would be helpful to someone, if I could give up control of my students, if I could dole out constructive criticism without feeling like a jerk, if I could relax and still be my goofy self with someone in the room? I still wonder if I would have ever made the choice to ask for a student teacher- so lucky for me, I had my first one sort of end up in my doorway without even having to make that decision for myself.
I have always had a bunny party, including a bunny brunch each of my ten years at Metz! It is such a fun little day and just one more way that teaching first graders keeps me young and full of magic!
In keeping with my blogs of holidays past, I would like to offer you some quick, fun and simple ideas to use with your students to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. These activities cover a wide spectrum of academic lessons such as rhyming, estimation, writing, blends, surveys, graphs, higher order thinking, cooperative learning, science experiments, word play, and class books to ensure varied learning opportunities for your students.
In addition to teaching about the wonderful life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I like to extend the celebration of his birthday into several lessons on peace; peace within our selves, peace with others and peace between nations.
With the incredibly exciting Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama coming up on January 20th, I thought I would share with you some links of lessons and resources. I hope you find time to teach about this historic event so your students are able to feel that they have been a part of our country’s democratic process. I know my own first graders are fascinated with President Elect Obama and pictures of him are hung all over our classroom. We have one particular solemn looking photo that is hung on the Good Citizen Board because the kids like to think he is looking down on us making sure we are all doing a good job in our work. They are such cute little sweeties, I really love working with 1st graders!
Here are the photo examples I promised you in my Holiday Activities blog yesterday plus a few more sweet ideas with some additional photos I couldn’t resist posting! Enjoy!
Loretta Holland is one of the fantastic women that volunteer their time at the Junior League of Austin, Texas. Our local Junior League works in cooperation with 3M and AMD to give thousands of dollars in grant money to central Texas teachers through the ABC Grant Program. Lucky for us, Ms. Holland, a professional grant writer and consultant, chose to share her tips for writing successful grants.
Last week in my blog Grant Writing I, I listed some of my favorite grants, many of which I had success with. Of course I can’t possibly share all grants that are available, so I wanted to follow up with links to websites that have many different types of grants, scholarships and contests listed.
With Winter Break almost upon us, I understand the last thing that many teachers want to do is school work. While I find the break an excellent time to rest my mind from the day-to-day pressures of teaching, I also like to reflect and consider my classroom's needs or special projects I might like to involve my students in the next school year.
With the first several of months of school fresh in our minds, it is an excellent time to consider educational items you might want for your classroom to enhance your students learning. How many times have you thought "If I only had a.." or "I wish I could afford to.." Taking some time to organize a grant proposal might allow you to acquire the funds you need to make your idea come to life; making a regular unit or project more exciting and meaningful for your students.