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Finding a Routine at Home

I am missing my routine already. Maybe your are too. Here is a plan for gathering ideas for your children’s ‘new’ daily routine.

I put together a brainstorming sheet so you can come up with ideas that suit your individual child and family situation. You can brainstorm ideas in four areas: creativity, outdoor activity, academics, and service. This pdf includes a checklist for your child (you could say something like ‘no video games until the checklist is finished’). I also created a sample brainstorming sheet filled in with different ideas I might use. This morning, I noticed that many of the online websites that I’ve seen recommended are having issues, probably too much traffic. Some of you may want ideas that are not on the computer so that your kids are off screens for awhile and so that you can accommodate all your learners. Some of your kids may be overwhelmed by too many choices so keep it simple, you can always revisit the choice/brainstorming sheet.

pic of checklist

(click the pdf below)

I hope this helps. 

IMG_8251 (2)It is intended to create structure while keeping things fun and keeping kids accountable without parental nagging (thus the checklist :). Your kids need you to be a calm in the current storm.

Sample Brainstorming for Parents

Brainstorming for Parents

(I am hoping to post a video in the near future, demonstrating some of the ideas. I would love your feedback.)

Movin’ and Learnin’ Letter Sounds

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Calling this activity “Letter Dash”. Some SK students are reviewing letter sounds and sight words. As I call out a sound or word the students grab it and bring it quickly to the table.  So cute to see some students run over to another student and first help them find the appropriate letter.

Easy Daily Review for the Days of the Week

Make a file folder activity with this free download, a file folder, and some velcro.

50713255_370587186854556_8776979082005970944_nDays of the Week File Folder

3 D Shape Mobile

3 D Shape Mobile

Free downloadable nets for 3D shapes at math-salamanders.com

My Best Advice for College & University Students

My Best Advice for College & University Students

It’s pretty simple really – I call it “The Reverse Calendar”.

In order to achieve success in school, studies have shown that IQ is not the #1 contributor. In fact, an important contributor to student success is a balanced life that allows you to enjoy life while working hard; avoiding the ‘I give up’ syndrome.

Start with a blank monthly calendar. You can download one here. Write down all your due dates. Now an important and often missed step: cross out times when you will be doing other things and will be unable to study – things like sports, time with friends, church, time spent on hobbies, time spent at a job, etc. Lastly, working backwards from the due dates, write in what needs to be done each day – things like: read pp 20 – 45 or spend 1 hour proof reading or brainstorm or write an outline.

Most people hate that feeling of unfinished tasks hanging over their heads. Not only does the reverse calendar break down large assignments into manageable chunks, life will feel more balanced and you will feel less anxious. Students that plan this way will develop good work habits (while still working hard) and will be less likely to throw in the towel and give up, finding rest at the end of each day knowing that the daily tasks are complete.

For more, watch this Ted Talk:

Douglas Barton “What do top students do differently?”

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Positive Behaviour Supports

Positive Behaviour Supports

Parents, teachers, leaders: Most of us know that changing a challenging behaviour requires consistency and an adult that is calm. Positive Behaviour Supports and Interventions (PBS or PBIS in the education world) are positive and proactive systems for encouraging and reinforcing desired behaviours. When you have a plan in place ahead of time it is SO much easier to be consistent and calm!!

In one of the courses I participated in this year, I stumbled on this resource and I want to remember it! This interactive website is full of ideas, plans, and links for dealing with challenging behaviour (some links within are old and don’t work but still very worthy of bookmarking).

Polk Elementary School BPS Behavior Intervention

(It may be helpful to understand what Tiers 1, 2, and 3 are in behaviour intervention).

Tier 1 supports of positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) consists of rules, routines, and physical arrangements that are developed and taught by [school] staff to prevent initial occurrences of behavior the school would like to target for change.

Tier 2 support is designed to provide intensive or targeted interventions to support students who are not responding to Tier 1 Support efforts. Interventions within Tier 2 are more intensive…

Tier 3 level support is provided to the 1-5% of students who may have very serious problem behaviors and may require more intensive and individualized supports.

(from http://www.pbis.org)

It’s been awhile…

It’s been awhile…

Yup, this blog has been dormant for a season. I am coming to the end of a one year sabbatical. It has been a time of self -reflecting,  healing, and refreshment.

I have tried on this blog to keep the writing short and the resources free. I’m ready to start sharing again!

If you instruct groups of people, in any kind of setting, this will be helpful to you. Because of the type of learner I often encounter, I compiled a downloadable list of ‘easy ways to engage your students’. Students that are engaged pay attention, learn more, remember more, are more likely to enjoy learning, and are less likely to have behavioural issues. Hope you find these helpful!

Easy Ways to Engage Your Students

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