Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Sunday Scoop: August 23, 2015

This is my first time linking up with The Teaching Trio for the Sunday Scoop, which is very exciting!  Thank you for hosting Teaching Trio!

Here is what is on my plate for this week....

I think that covers it!  I sincerely hope all of those things get accomplished this week.  I look forward to doing another Sunday Scoop soon. 

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Five for Friday: August 21, 2015

This is my first time ever linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!  It is very exciting, indeed!

This was my week...

It's Monday, and we are in back in the swing of things again!  The kids have been in school for a few weeks now (we are on a modified traditional year round schedule).  My two oldest two are in Second, and Kindergarten this year.  Their 2 year old sister couldn't resist being a part this pic too! 

Swimming, swimming, swimming...Oh, the lovely, yet HOT Northern California weather!  Did I mention, it gets hot where I live?  Of course, having the air conditioning not currently working at our house doesn't help things!  Thank goodness for swimming!  The older two are ready to go in this pic.

I was able to create and upload a new teaching material packet on Wednesday.  Hip Hip Hooray!  It focuses on RESPECT and can be viewed at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.  It is filled with printables, teaching suggestions, awards, and posters.

On Thursday, I had an appointment for my oldest, and as a result I got some one on one time with my sweet kiddo!  Having three little ones, sure does keep me busy, so I treasure the quiet moments I get from time to time with just one kiddo.  Connection and communication are key.  I'm so glad I had this time to hear all about my son's world, and to connect with him.  It's so good for our souls.


My hubby's car needed a few repairs, so I volunteered to take the car to the shop for some alone time!  I brought my computer with me and was able to do a bit of "fun" work while the car got repaired.  Is it weird that I volunteer for the job of taking the car to the shop every time?!  Proof, that breaks without kids really do recharge a mama's soul.  I recommend all parents take advantage of alone time whenever possible.

And that was my Five for Friday week!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Inspiring Children to Succeed!

Do Your Children or Students Know How Much You Truly Care?

I think we adults, (teachers and parents) can sometimes take for granted that our students and children really understand the extent of our appreciation, our genuine desire for them to succeed, and the depths of our unconditional love for them.    As parents, we hope that our children understand we are their biggest cheerleaders in life, despite our job to discipline, set boundaries, and not be their best friend.  As teachers, we feel much the same.  We went into teaching because we wanted to make a difference.  Therefore, we want to see our students succeed.  Sometimes this message can get lost behind the routine of daily tasks, tests taken, etc.  While we aspire to maintain a peaceful classroom and home-life, (which may mean setting firm boundaries), we ultimately want our students and children to understand that we want nothing but the best for them.  We want to teach to them in a way that best serves them, and ultimately we want to connect with them.  For once that connection has been made, trust is formed, and true success can be achieved.

How can teachers inspire, encourage, and portray they really care about their students?  A student believing that their teacher really cares is extremely powerful.  A teacher cannot truly understand a child's home-life experience or what "baggage" they bring to the classroom.  Perhaps a student in their classroom doesn't receive much positive reinforcement at home, and a few encouraging words from their teacher can make all the difference in the world.

How can parents break through to their own children in a way their child will understand?  A parent's depth of love for their child is something that cannot be measured.  Parents want their children to understand this without smothering their child with love and affection, or sending a wrong message, and not be taken seriously.

The truth is that I don't know the answer.  I do believe this message is something felt between a student and teacher, and child and parent.  It is a feeling, a silent understanding, a trust between two people.  That said, verbal and written reminders are important, and should never be assumed.  This message should be expressed.

I hope this letter, words of encouragement, poster, whatever you want to call it...I hope it helps inspire your children and students to succeed. 

I wrote it with the intent of being quite versatile.

Suggestions for TEACHERS include:
  • Framing and displaying it on a teacher's desk
  • Displaying it on a classroom wall
  • Giving a copy to each child to keep in their desk and read whenever they like
  • Sending it home prior to school starting with a teacher introduction letter
  • Including it in each student's keepsake/memory book
  • Placing it in each student's yearbook at the end of the year

Suggestions for PARENTS include:
  • Framing and displaying it in a child's room
  • Framing and displaying it on a family room wall with a picture of the parent and child
  • Displaying it in a child's playroom
  • Including it in a scrapbook
  • Including it in a photo album
  • Sending it in the mail to the child 

I included two different "looks" to choose from.  A general print & go version addressed to students and signed from the teacher is provided.  Another version allows the child's name to be hand-written by the teacher or parent, and gives space to allow for a signed name.  Each "look" provides both hand-written edible and addressed versions.

Each version comes in color, and also in black and white to save on ink.  If printing in black and white, it is suggested to print on colored paper, or allow students or children to color in the pictures.

The Inspirational Letter/Poster is available at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Teaching Children to Be Friendly People

Teaching Friendliness... being friendly a natural or learned skill?  I would guess it to be a bit of both, to different degrees, and depending on the person, of course!  The skill of  friendliness comes naturally to some, and is a bit more of a challenge to others.  Why are some children less friendly in nature?  Having an introverted, shy personality would be one reason.  Not having good role models, or being taught this trait well are other reasons.  Perhaps, a child has learned mistrust somewhere along the way, and therefore appears less friendly.  Whatever the case, behaving in a friendly way is not only beneficial to other people, it's also beneficial to the person itself.  The friendlier a child may be, the more opportunities may lie in front of them, and the easier their path in life may be.  Being friendly may also contribute to a high self-esteem, and general sense of happiness.  I'm all for being friendly!

Tips on teaching friendliness:
  • Provide play dates and social opportunities for children to play together.
  • Teach children to be respectful, accepting, and polite to others.
  • Teach good listening skills such as providing eye contact, asking questions, responding to what was said, and nodding one's head.
  • Model friendly behavior.
  • Compliment others.
  • Role play friendly behavior and practice making introductions.
  • Praise and compliment a child when they are caught being friendly.

To help teach this skill to children, I created a Friendliness Packet.  This may be used by teachers, parents, school counselors, social workers, special education teachers, speech therapists, and other specialists.  Included in this packet are activities, printables, posters, awards and more.

Love is blind; friendship closes it's eyes.
-Friedrich Nietzsche  
The language of friendship is not words, but meanings. 
- Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, August 2, 2015

PowerPoint Clip Art Tutorial

How to Make a Peace Sign Clip Art Image in PowerPoint



I love, love, love to design!  Have I mentioned that I love to design?  My background is Education, Psychology, and Social Work.  But, on the side, I have always LOVED anything to do with design.  From designing my house, to making invitations, cards, posters, scrapbooks, to designing parties...I have loved it all.  When I decided to become a Blogger and Author of Teaching Resources, I became super excited!  Why?  Well, of course because I get to design!  I have secretly wanted to become a Graphic Designer in addition to a Teacher Author, for some quite time, and perhaps someday, this designing lady will walk that road.  In the meantime, I will keep designing for fun and learning along the way.

I designed this blog myself, which includes creating the overall look and feel of the blog, making the header and images, creating the social media buttons, and so on.  As I have little experience with blog design, I read and watched a lot of tutorials, and got to work.  I had a blast designing this blog and I didn't really want to stop there, so I decided to focus on learning some more basic clip art techniques.  As like most Teacher Authors, I use PowerPoint to create my teaching materials.  Since I am familiar using it, I decided to start there when learning how to create basic clip art.  I'm sure some day, I'll venture out into using other programs, but for now, I'm going to keep things simple.

If you have little graphic design experience, but are a:
  • Person who loves designing the look and feel of a party
  • Person who gets a little too excited about making their annual holiday greeting card
  • Person who has made their own business cards, just because...
  • Person who likes to scrapbook
  • Person who couldn't get enough of designing their wedding
  • Person who loves putting together clothing outfits
  • TpT Seller or Author of Teaching Resources
  • Photographer
  • Blogger
  • Person who LOVES to design anything
  • Person who isn't particularly interested in design, but wants to learn basic clip art
 ...then, this is a tutorial meant for you....

Here is my YouTube Video demonstrating how to make a basic peace sign clip art image.  I hope it helps!