Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Traditions

With each season comes new traditions at our school. Each year we put up a Christmas tree in the lobby and all the kids have an ornament with his/her picture on it.

We also are treated to Cookies with Auntie Claus where students listen to a story read by our own "Auntie Claus" and then get to have cookies and milk. Our media center become transformed into a beautiful cozy setting and makes everyone feel right at home.

We also have traditions in our classroom. Each year we hold our own book exchange in the class. Each kid is asked to donate one book under $5.00. (For those that can't afford it I always have some extra wrapped books so that everyone gets one). It can be a holiday book or any other book. The book is wrapped and students are allowed to write who the book is from if they choose. During our class party, we gather in a circle. Each child is given the opportunity to choose a book out of the pile (we pull class numbers out of a box). Once everyone has a book we get to shred them open and see what great new book everyone recieved. This has always been a favorite with the kids and parents.

Another tradition we have is to collect for a charity. This year we collected for BEAM which is a local organization that provides food, clothing, and personal items for families in our area. Even after our school food drive was complete our class still collected about 25 more cans of food. This year our class alone was able to donate over 100 cans to local food organizations. What better way to teach children about giving to others.

I feel lucky that we are able to share so many traditions with our students. I know that these will become lifelong learning experiences and memories for them. Isn't that what teaching is all about!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Academy of Science

Yesterday I was fortunate to share a demonstration lesson for a group of teachers in our county for Academy of Science. It is exciting being on the instruction end of this new learning as teachers think about the depth of science in their classroom and how to incorporate the 5 E's into their teaching.

After the video conference I was able to spend the afternoon with them discussing not only the lesson but instruction in the primary grades. This is a great group of teachers who are motivated, risk takers, and eager to learn. This year we will have two more AoS days. I can't wait to see the progress they are making in their classrooms.