So....I have graduated from school and now am looking to be a full-time teacher. I refuse to believe that I will not get a teaching position, so I am creating things for my classroom that doesn't exist. I am literally a teacher without a room. With that being said, Here is what I have been working on. These can also be found on my TPT store along with many other jungle themed classroom supplies.
So clearly I haven't been diligent about keeping up with my blog. The stresses of being a mother, student, full-time employee, and...Life kind of let this go to the back burner. I would like to make a promise to post more regularly. I would also like to hear from you. Do you have any questions, comments, requests? More to come....I promise.
The following was a conversation between my husband and I:
Him: Why are you saving garbage on our back porch?
Me: What garbage? Him: Um, the toilet paper and paper towel rolls, empty soup cans, water bottle lids, empty pringles cans and scraps of fabric.
Me: That is NOT garbage! Him: Really?..cause I threw away 6 water bottles with their lids last week...it seemed like garbage to me.
Just another day in the life of an ECE educator. You can do tons of stuff with things around your house. I save the soup cans, spray paint them and voila...instant pen holder. The water bottle lids are nice for the sand and water table or just a matching game. I use sharpies to write letters, numbers, shapes or colors on them and throw them in the sand and water tables for the students to manipulate. Toilet paper and paper towels rolls are great for the art center for 3-D art....look around your house. I bet you have school supplies and didn't even know it.
I love this book series so much! The author, Victoria Kahn, writes about a little girl that loves the color pink...hence the name Pinkalicious. The other books in the series soon followed. They are stories of being yourself, knowing what you like, and also a reminder to be the best you possible. I almost passed out with excitement when I spotted the Pinkalicious dolls at Walmart. I HAD to have them. I actually uttered the phrase "squeee!!! Its Pinkalicious!...I need to make those mine!" I have used these in my classrooms and even the boys like these books. Pinkalicious is fun for all.
Well, my plans for the summer didn't exactly go the way I had hoped. I got a lot done, but not nearly everything I wanted. Isn't that always the way it goes? I am getting ready to go back to work. I am excited to be back in the classroom. I am also getting ready to begin student teaching this winter. The journey towards my degree has been wonderful, terrible, exhilarating, and exhausting. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I have learned a lot about myself and what I am made of. I have also learned that this is EXACTLY where I am supposed to be. I am absolutely obsessed with early childhood education.....more to come later on that.
I sit here writing another paper, this time on curriculum design and I realize that a lot of teachers/educators probably don't realize the importance. Most of us go into a program or a school and it is already there. If you don't know what your curriculm is, find out. Some may argue some of the points of an early childhood curriculum, but here are the facts. The results of teaching children primarily through drill comes nowhere near our goals for a quality curriculum in Early Childhood. We don't expect a child to walk before he/she crawls, so why would we expect a child to read and write before he/she can hold a pencil, make controlled marks, or recognize his/her name? Your curriculum must be based on sound child development principles and be individualized to meet the specific needs of each child in your program. Ask yourself these questions:
Does the curriculum . . .Promote interactive
learning and encourage the child's construction of knowledge? Help children
achieve social, emotional, linguistic, physical, and cognitive goals? Encourage
development of positive feelings and dispositions toward learning while leading
to acquisition of knowledge and skills? Have expectations
that are realistic and attainable at this time? Include children with disabilities in the curriculum? Build and elaborate on children's current knowledge and
abilities? Lead to conceptual understanding by helping children
construct their own understanding in meaningful contexts? Facilitate concept
learning and skills development in an integrated and natural way? Challenge children
with disabilities to attain goals beyond those specified in the IEP/IFSP? Permit flexibility
for children and teachers? Encourage active learning and frequently allow children to
make meaningful choices? Foster children's
exploration and inquiry, rather than focusing on "right" answers or
"right" ways to complete a task? Promote the
development of higher order abilities, such as thinking, reasoning, problem
solving, and decision making? Promote and
encourage social interaction among children and adults? Respect children's psychological needs for activity,
sensory stimulation, fresh air, rest, and nourishment? Promote feelings of
safety, security, and belonging? Provide experiences that promote feelings of success,
competence, and enjoyment of learning? Promote positive
relationships with families?....If it doesn't answer these, maybe it's time for a new curriculum. (adapted from NAEYC)
I sit here at 11:45 pm Sunday night typing this post, watching family feud with my kids (yes they are still up), and writing a paper on brain based learning....Earlier tonight I avoided doing my homework by cleaning and organizing my classroom stuff and I have A LOT. I learned three things...1. I have twelve dramatic play costumes that I have bought or borrowed from my kids over the last four years. 2. I have 10 different kinds of bulletin board border. 3. I have fifteen totes of materials organized by theme and still need to go get at least five more.....until next time :)