School gardens are a wonderful and exciting way to make almost any classroom curriculum come alive and show “real-life” meaning to students as they learn! Students learn ecological principles and they help children make connections to Mother Earth. A garden can teach students responsibility, to respect nature and to learn to how to work together. Gardens have been proven to help students learn better and enhance test scores, and they can be an engaging way to meet Core Curriculum Content Standards.
Fairy tales are full of wonder, magic and enchantment. These stories have stood the test of time and are still relevant in our world and in our teaching of language arts today. These stories help children to find meaning and a message within the story as well as helping them to connect emotionally to a book. Fairy tales belong in the classroom for a number of reasons. Fairy tales engage a child’s unique imagination! Children are wonderful at imaginative play, story telling and creativity. Fairy tales help them to expand their imagination while introducing them to different far off lands, make-believe creatures and exciting characters. They teach children to think critically. They see the consequences of the characters’ decisions and learn that what will happen to them depends on the choices they make. Something that they can take and apply to real life. The choices that are made by the characters and by them will affect the way something turns out. They teach children to deal with conflict with others and within themselves. In many of the fairy tales, children are the main characters who find the hero within themselves to overcome evil.
Did you know that 93% of adults in the United States read at or below the basic level needed to successfully navigate in our society! Yikes! For those of them who have children, they are responsible for their earliest language. Sadly, by the age of 3, a 30 million word gap has already been created. Reading to children, all children, regardless of socioeconomic status, is crucial. Reading aloud stimulates children’s imaginations, it expands their understanding of the world not to mention it develops their language and listening skills.
Who says that learning has to do be done inside a classroom?! There’s no reason learning the ABCs needs to be learned inside. In fact, there are lots of ways to encourage a love of reading and writing by spending time outdoors! Listed below are some of the ways that I have found to get kids outdoors and learning, some of which I have used with my own 10 and 7 year old kiddos.
2,4,6,8 Who do we appreciate?! Well, lots of people and it’s about time we said so! Teacher Appreciation week is a great time to reflect upon all those people who have made a difference in our lives and help others to recognize them too. We all have heroes who have helped to shape us and guide us to where we are and who we are now. As a class (teacher included), pause and find a way to show your appreciation for the difference they made in your life. There are many ways of doing this, here a few:
Teaching nursery rhymes have been a part of my primary classroom for many years now, it is how I begin each school year! Reciting nursery rhymes help to bring us closer together as a class in the beginning of the year, to share in the fun of reciting rhymes and singing together. Nursery rhymes are not just for toddlers, they can be used for children of all ages! They are important for young children because they can help to develop their language base. The rhyme and rhythm found in nursery rhymes help kids hear the sounds and syllables in words, this will help lead to stronger readers!
The language benefits of using nursery rhymes in the classroom are many. When children hear nursery rhymes, they are hearing the sounds that vowels and consonants make and how to put these together to create meaning. They learn to use rhythm, pitch, volume, inflection and animated voice. In nursery rhymes, children hear new words that they would not hear in everyday language (like fetch and pail in “Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water”).