All posts filed under: The Teacher is Talking

The Teacher is Talking Tuesday: Creating a Travel Journal

By Leslie Lindsay We’re heading on a good old-fashioned family vacation, but I wanted to make sure the kiddos were occupied, having fun, and learning something.  All of those fun skills we hope to instill in our children all year long, but this one was actually inspired when I hopped into a craft store recently.  I grabbed a handful of vacation-themed stickers, including words I thought my kids could read and appreciate…fun, family, exciting, sweet, memories.  Many of the stickers I found were on sale or clearance, too–an added bonus!  Then I headed to the Scrapbook section.  I ended up getting Smashbooks cause they were on sale. (oftentimes these stores have coupons for percent or dollars off if you subscribe to their emails).  If you try this idea: Get stickers that intentionally match your destination.  I was amazed at vast variety of stickers…beaches, lighthouses, cacti, Disney, boats, fishing, the desert, nautical things…you name it, they’ve got it! If you have more than one child who will be keeping a travel journal, remember that many sticker packs …

The Teacher is Talking: Summer Literacy Fun

By Leslie Lindsay It may be summer but your kiddos still need to stretch their brains.  Here’s a fun way to keep the words a coming! Visit your library and stuff a basket full of books.  Try some new genres!  My 8 year old daughter was found browsing in the juvenile history section. Her favorite selections–Ancient Egypt, and the history of the Titantic.  Start a journal.  Pick one up at your favorite discount store.  Write in it everyday…simple things like what you did and where you went will suffice.  If you (or your child) feels like going deeper, go for it! Make a list of your favorite foods, put them in ABC order.  Maybe it’s a list of all of your favorite summertime foods: corn on the cob, watermelon, pasta salad.  Ask your mom to make some of those favorite dishes as a way to count down the days. Stage a scavenger/nature hunt, create a map, make a list of things to find.  Gather some friends and go! Read a book to your younger siblings or …

The Teacher is Talking: Getting Resourceful for Summer Break

By Leslie Lindsay It may be summer break in most areas of the country, so your classroom is bound to be shifting a bit.  Instead of neat rows of desks lined up in your neighborhood school, your child’s classroom is now the playground, the nature trail, the swimming pool, or perhaps a friendly day camp.  There are plenty of ways to “sneak” in summer learning without being overly teacher-ly.  Here are some ideas uncovered in just the last few days for little or no cost to you. Michaels Craft Stores have two summer tracks you may be interested in following.  Track One:  Kids Club. Meets every Saturday, starting June 1st and going thru July 6th.  For ages 3+, kids can benefit from a 30-minute hands-on crafting activity (all supplies included) with a Michaels staff member and bring home a craft. ($2/child). (Examples:  Father’s Day Card, Father’s Day Duck Tape Frame, Silly Shells,  4th of July Hat, and Summer Games).  All classes run every 30 minutes from 10-12noon.  Michaels Craft Stores Track Two: Passport to Imagination. Explore the 7 continents and their amazing landmarks and …

The Teacher is Talking: Establishing Rules for Summer

By Leslie Lindsay (image source: kidssummerprogram.com) We try to be timely and topical here on “The Teacher is Talking,” so with that in mind, I’d like to share with you a little glimpse of our Sunday morning family meeting.  The topic:  summer rules and expectations.  Kate, my 2nd grader and her little sister, Kelly (kindergarten) affectionately refer to themseleves as “red-year-olds,” are sitting around our round kitchen table grasping at breakfast items, lifing their skinny little bottoms up out of their chairs when my husband and I locked eyes across the table.  “I think it’s time to talk about summer rules and expectations,” he grumbled.  That got the red-year-olds attention.  They sat down and looked at their daddy, “What do you mean?”  “He means,” I pause and look to the girls, “That summer is not going to be a free for all.  We’ll have rules, boundaries…but also some fun.”  The four of us mapped out some summer rules (we’ll call them expectations–it sounds less jail-like that way) and some fun challenges…as well as rewards/fun things …

The Teacher is Talking: 50 Rules for Sons by Tim Hoch

By Leslie Lindsay “Set goals and work like hell to accomplish them. Later, you’ll realize the journey was far more enjoyable than the end result.”  This is rule 03 in Tim Hoch’s new book, 50 Rules for Sons (released April 18, 2013).  What started as a letter to his son who was graduating from high school turned into a list of lessons the author wanted to share with him.  Great, too for recent college grads, Scouting organizations, youth groups, and more.  Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of today’s post to read about the give-a-way!  (image source: Amazon.com 5.14.13) Perfect for the attention span of the 140-character generation (think Twitter), 50 Rules for Sons dispenses rapid-fire chunks of wisdom in the first half of the book, independent of any explanation.  But each “rule” has a backstory, which Tim Hoch explains–sometimes eloquently, other times bluntly, and almost always with some wit.  These backstories, are located–well–at the back of the book.  Here are a few of my favorite rules: Rule o6: “There are few people you …

The Teacher is Talking: Word Strategies for Young Readers

By Leslie Lindsay   If you’ve been reading for awhile now, you’ll know I have two little girls, ages 6 and 8.  They are like little sponges, soaking up all of the new stuff they can.  And they are ripe for reading.  Just last evening, my 6 year old full-day precocious kindergartner brought home an advanced book, “My teacher says I’m ready, mom.  But she also said if it got too hard, I don’t have to read all of it.”  I nodded and looked at the book, Fancy Nancy and the 100th Day of School.  “Okay,” I said, “We’ll give it a whirl.”  We cracked open the book (it literally looked brand-new), and began reading.  (image source: Amazon.com 5.7.13) Now, if you know anything about Fancy Nancy, you’ll know she uses a lot of “big” words.  It’s all done in a cute, playful way to improve little vocabularies.  Plus, it’s just darn cute to hear your kiddo’s diminuative voice say something like, ‘dilemma,’ and ‘imaginative.’  So, when we came to those big words in the …

The Teacher is Talking: Mum’s the Word–Interview with Author Jessie Clemence

By Leslie Lindsay As as teenager, I subscribed to YM magazine (I think it stood for Young & Modern).  The publication had a section entitled, “Say Anything: Your Most Mortifying Moments.”  Gone are the the days of YM, (and thankfully, so are my teenage years), but those mortifying moments live on, even as a mother.  Especially as a mother.  Today, I present “Cringe-Worthy Moments” by Jessie Clemence, author of There’s a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse: And Other Ways Motherhood Changes Us.  I am thrilled to have Jessie spell it all out for us–mortifying moments and all here in her guest post.  Stay tuned to learn more about the give-a-way: a complimentary copy of her book–perfect for gifting this Mother’s Day.   Before I had my own children, I had an idea of how parenting would go. I operated under the assumption that I would parent my children to the best of my ability and that would be enough. I believed that my efforts would ensure me happy and obedient children, all the time. I was wrong. It turns out …

The Teacher is Talking: Pre-Literacy Skills–Simple, Fun & Easy

By Leslie Lindsay  (image source: webclipart.about.com) Looking for some ways to sneak in early, pre-literacy skills while going about your typical routine.  Well, who isn’t?!  Here are some tips and ideas you can modify to meet  your child’s devolopmental age.  Remember, there are many ways to teach literacy skills, with multiple theories and schools of thought.  Finding one that works for you is a personal decision.  However, the tips that follow are fairly universal. [Tips from: http://www.enannysource.com/blog/index.php/2013/01/03/pre-reading-skills-nannies-can-work-on-with-kids/%5D  Matching Matching skills are among the earliest that little ones can master on their path to reading, as it helps them to understand how to connect words with concepts. Matching pictures with spoken sounds, then matching pictures to others that are thematically related, is a key aspect of learning to read. Matching shapes, patterns and letters eventually evolves into the ability to match and recognize the patterns of printed words, phrases and sentences. Using homemade or store-bought flashcards, playing matching games, and working on the concept of matching through explorative play are all effective ways of building that foundation. …

The Teacher is Talking: 1-2-3 Magic with Dr. Thomas Phelan

By Leslie Lindsay When I was a young R.N. working at the Mayo Clinic in Child/Adolescent Psychiatry, we used a program called 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas Phelan.  I had no idea what it was all about at the time…but I quickly learned –and loved it.  In fact, it’s America’s #1 child discipline program!  Years later, as a mom of an almost 8-year old and 6-year old, it definitely comes in handy.  (image source: http://www.123magic.com/?gclid=CPGrj5KZm7YCFcWPPAodtCUAxQ)   Here’s how it works: Your child is engaging in an activity or behavior you don’t like or want to redirect (change).  For example, “Kate, you need to make your bed.”  (Grumble, grumble).  As a parent/caregiver you say, “That’s one!”  and pause.  (1) If your child doesn’t make any progress towards the goal you initiated (they are still grumbling, stomping feet, etc.) you say, “That’s two!”  And pause.*  You are watching to see your child make some movement towards the goal/direction given.  (2) Hopefully she is moving her buns in the right direction (setting her book down and moving towards her bed, …

The Teacher is Talking: Just a Second!

By Leslie Lindsay (image source: http://www.jonah33.com/2012/08/call-a-truce-with-the-clock-3/) I find myself saying this to my own children, “Just a second!” I am sure you do it, too…”I’ll be with you in just a second…after I unload the dishwasher, or let the dog out…or finish writing this chapter”  Just a second!  Sorry, I needed to pet the hound.  And answer the phone.  In fact, when I was a little girl my mother said the very same thing.  Only I would ask to have that time frame amended, “How about a minute, mom?  A second is just too long.”  She’d smirk at me and continue on with her sewing.  (Back then it was sewing, but for this momma–it’s writing).  So here are a few things I have been stewing over related to this “hold on” business: It teaches kids that they aren’t the center of your universe (they’re not?!  Sure seems that way sometimes) It allows children to see that you have interests and things that need attending to that are beyond the home and childcare.  When you tell your children …