Friday, May 29, 2015

Character Education Awards are Coming Soon!

I have decided the next teaching packet I will make will be "End of the Year Student Awards focusing on Character Education".  I believe children that have a strong foundation in good morals/virtues, will more likely become well-rounded, happy adults and will be less likely to bully others in school, (which seems to be an ongoing problem nowadays).

Some virtues I will focus on will include, but not be limited to:
  • Responsibility
  • Cooperation
  • Diligence
  • Patience
  • Trustworthiness
  • Accomplishment
  • Compassion
  • Generosity
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Optimism
  • Respect
  • Tolerance 
I'll start out by making the awards, and eventually focus on individual teaching packets that highlight each character education trait. Woohoo! I love that I have found my passion. I LOVE graphic design and I LOVE character education. I put the two together, throw in my teaching background, and Voila, there you have it!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Parenting Tip #1 Provide Choices, Choices, and more Choices!!! (And how I got my child to go to school!)

Clipart Image
I DO NOT pretend to know all the answers when it comes to parenting. But, every once in a while I find something that works! Hooray!!! As I mom, I'm always eager to hear about tips that have worked for other parents, so please feel free to comment and share your tips with me too. And when something works for me, I'll also do my best to post the tip here.

                                          (And how I got my child to go to school!)
If you have a strong-willed child like I do, you understand how important it is to allow your child to have some control over their world. You can do this by offering choices to them, instead of telling them what to do. Ultimately, you will only be offering choices that work for you, so it ends up being a win-win. Your child will feel like they have some control, and the problem is solved without a HUGE fight, which makes everyone happy!!!

Here's an example of how offering choices recently worked for me and my child...

MY SON: "Mom, I don't want to go to school today."
ME: "That's fine. You don't have to go school today. I'm not sure if your teacher will be ok with that or not. If your teacher says that you can stay home from school, than you can stay home. Would you like to go to school a little early and meet with your teacher to ask her if you can stay home today, or would you just like to go to school instead?"
MY SON: "I want to meet with my teacher before school."
ME: "Ok."
(About 10 minutes later)
MY SON: "Mom, what do you think my teacher will say when I ask her if I can stay home?
ME: I think she will say that she would miss you if you were gone, and that you would miss your friends and all the important activities of the day. She might also tell you that it is the law for children to go to school.  She might ultimately say that if you aren't sick, you have to be at school."
(5 minutes later)
MY SON: "I think I will just go to school."
ME: "Good choice."

In the past, my son and I have battled this war numerous times. We were always fighting because I was taking an authoritative approach and my son felt like he had no control in the situation. Offering him choices solved the problem. He made a choice to school, and everyone in our household had pleasant morning that day.

I sincerely hope offering choices works for you too!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

7 Reasons to Start A Blog

If you would prefer to view this post as a video, please scroll down to the end.

Are you considering starting a blog?

Are you intrigued by the idea, but not sure if it is for you?  Yes, blogging is time consuming and there is a bit of a learning curve for the newbies, (myself included!)  But isn't it true that most things that require a good amount of (mental) energy and effort are rewarding and worth the pain?  I do believe so!

So, why should you write a blog?

1.  It's FUN!  It's Your PASSION!
This is my #1 reason to start a blog.  I strongly believe that as long as you love what you do, you will be successful, (remember there is more than one way to measure success).  If you aren't passionate about something, either find a way to enjoy it, or stop wasting your time and energy doing something that doesn't speak to you.  If you LOVE what you do, you won't be able to get enough of it.  It won't be a chore, it will be a pleasure.  Therefore, find something that speaks to you and blog about it.  You have something to say, and the world wants to hear you.

2.  It Can Be a Creative Outlet
I have had soooo much fun setting up this blog.  I have spent a lot of time designing buttons, creating the look/feel of the page, choosing colors, and learning new programs to create and design backgrounds, clipart, etc.  I feel like I have become a sponge absorbing creative information anywhere I can get and I am loving it!  Furthermore, your written creative expression skills will soar. 

3. You Can Make Money Blogging  
That's right!  You can generate money through advertising and other income related activities.  Some ways to make money include:  writing reviews, writing e-books, adding a donation button to your blog, or through marketing and promotion strategies.  And, it most certainly can't hurt your resume!

4.  You Connect to People
You will find and relate to other like-minded people.  You can meet these people through social media, by commenting on their blogs, from people commenting on your blogs, and by joining online communities.  It can also be used as a way to stay connected to friends and family as they may follow you and your blog. 

5.  Your Skills Will Improve
In order to be a good blogger, you may want to research your material.  You may even start looking at the world differently.  You will find meaningful experiences in places that were once not meaningful to you.  You will see the world in a deeper way, and strive to be a more active and knowledgeable person.  As a result, you will become a better writer and thinker.  You may even become an expert in your field and gain recognition.  Ultimately, you will establish credibility within your field.  

6.  You Will Help Others 
The tips and information shared on your blog will help others.  Whether it is a parenting tip, health related piece of information, financial advice, recipe shared, or other, someone will benefit from your blog.  Your posts may also inspire others to do something outside of their comfort zone, or start a blog of their own. 

7.  You Will Express Yourself 
Consider your blog your personal journal and give yourself permission to freely express yourself, (in an appropriate and polite manner, of course!)  These are your thoughts and opinions and you should be heard. 

Happy Blogging! 

Here is my YouTube video on the 7 reasons to start a blog... 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hippity Hip Hooray!!!

I did it!  I have my blog up and running.  Whew!  May I just say that was a fun, creative, time consuming, information hoarding type of activity that I just couldn't (and still can't) get enough of?  SO COOL!  I can't wait to share my beginning blogger tips with you....

All About Me Free Printable!

Fun Activity!

I finished it!  My first digital teaching product has been completed and uploaded to my Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher's Notebook stores.  When I taught first grade, I loved having my students create "Student of the Week" posters.  I gave them lots of ideas of what to include on their poster, and didn't put any limitations on their products, as I really wanted their creativity to soar.  I remember one student decorated his poster with Christmas lights!  My students' posters were quite magnificent and displayed on a bulletin board for an entire week.  Each child had a turn sharing their poster and being the "Star Student" for that week.  I LOVED seeing their faces beam with excitement when sharing their posters.

I recognize that not every student/parent/teacher has access to fancy supplies and materials when making an All About Me poster, so I figured I would make color and black and white templates for teachers or parents to download for free.  They can be printed on standard sized paper, or you can play around with the size.  My 5 and 7 year old children filled one out for fun and I plan to keep them in their childhood keepsake boxes. 

I have included an All About My Friend printable, as a part of this free packet, which is also a part of my Friendliness Packet  In addition, this product now includes 2 different All About Me versions.   If you downloaded this product prior August 24, 2015, please re-download to get the most recent version.

They also come in black and white, and you can download them directly here...

Thank you and Enjoy!