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What Do You Love About Yourself?

What do you love about yourself?

What do you love about yourself? This blog post suggests asking children what they love about themselves, and gives some suggestions.


We often ask children what they love about people in their lives. What about themselves?

This is a fun idea for a morning meeting discussion topic, a writing prompt, a homework assignment, or just a casual question. It's a great idea to get the kids to search their own personalities and build some self esteem.

It's a good idea to start of by giving a good example. Get them to think about specific personality traits, and encourage the children to celebrate themselves!

What do I love about myself? 

Here are a few things:


1. I am a team player.
2. I always do my very best.
3. I am loyal and caring.
4. I am sensitive to the needs of others.
5. I am a survivor.

What do you love about yourself?


What do you love about yourself? This blog post suggests asking children what they love about themselves, and gives some suggestions.

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting

Many people wonder if teachers should still teach handwriting. It's not in the Common Core Standards. Handwriting isn't on the tests. Plus, writing by hand is being phased out by computers and other electronic devices. 

Not only is cursive writing becoming obsolete, but even manuscript (printing) is being phased out. Why should it be taught?


Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

Here are seven benefits of teaching handwriting!

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

Research shows that younger students with strong handwriting skills grow into stronger readers and writers as they progress in school. This means we should start handwriting instruction in Pre-K and Kindergarten.

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

Research shows that when a student takes notes by hand, it helps the student remember what he's writing. Since writing involves more thought processes than typing, the brain is more likely to remember. This works with adults, too!

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

Handwriting is a skill that isn't on tests, but it helps engage other skills. It helps engage executive function, which will help students in many other areas, and life in general!

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

Typing fast at the computer can come in handy in many instances, but when composing an important piece of writing, it's best to slow down a bit and fully develop thoughts. Taking time to think through wording on important written passages is worth it!

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

When preschoolers first learn to write letters, they are opening paths in the brain that lead to reading! As they learn to master the multi-step strokes in each letter, their brains are preparing for the multi-step processes involved in reading. 
Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.
Teachers and parents absolutely LOVE handwritten notes from their children! Do you know who else values a handwritten note? Grandparents, employers, party guests, and even customers! Seriously, think about how much grandma values a handwritten personal thank you note! Think about the value of a handwritten note of appreciation to a potential employer. It really makes a difference!

Here's a resource for writing thank you notes, including directions, etiquette, and examples: Writing thank you notes.

Here's a resource for letter writing: Classy Mail.
Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

As long as it's addressed in stress free manner, learning to write is fun for students! Learning both manuscript (printing) and cursive are status symbols to the children, and great source of pride!

If your district doesn't teach cursive, here's a resource that's self-directed. It's perfect for keeping the brain flowing and the kids absolutely love it! (Check out my video!)

Cursive Writing: A Self-Directed Instructional Guide



Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.




Please, Stop Saying AND!!

Please, stop saying AND!

This may sound like a post about run on sentences. Now I'm not crazy about those either, but this is a math post. 

Please stop saying AND! This post tells about one of my pet peeves when it comes to numbers. Are you doing this?

I'm talking about using the word AND when naming numbers. This is a little pet peeve of mine. I like to do the right thing, but the world hasn't been following me on this one!

The word AND is only used when there is a decimal point. 

It's easiest to see when we're talking about money.


Don't say AND until you get to that decimal point. Here's another one:

Please stop saying AND! This post tells about one of my pet peeves when it comes to numbers. Are you doing this?

It works the same way with all numbers. Like this one:
Please stop saying AND! This post tells about one of my pet peeves when it comes to numbers. Are you doing this?
Or this one:

Please stop saying AND! This post tells about one of my pet peeves when it comes to numbers. Are you doing this?
And another:

Please stop saying AND! This post tells about one of my pet peeves when it comes to numbers. Are you doing this?

So many people have no idea they're not saying numbers properly. Even Rodger, my gps guy says it wrong! (Yes, you can change the voice on the WAZE gps app, and I chose a very sexy British guy named Rodger!)

Rodger might say, "Turn right on US Route four hundred and ninety-five." 

I guess I'll have to forgive him, after all, he's got that sexy British accent!


Please stop saying AND! This post tells about one of my pet peeves when it comes to numbers. Are you doing this?

Answering in Complete Sentences

Getting students to answer questions in complete sentences is no easy task, is it?

 
Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.
 

Here are some hints on making it easier on the kids! 
Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.
Let's say the question is "What is your favorite food?" 
Teach them how to use the words from the question to start off their answer. 
"My favorite food is..."

Another question could be, "How can you show kindness?" 
"I can show kindness by..."

Or perhaps you could ask, "How could you help someone who forgot his lunch?"
"I could help someone who forgot his lunch by..."

Here's one more example: "What animal would NOT make a good pet?"
"An animal that would NOT make a good pet is..."

It's important they get plenty of opportunities to hear this process before they go to the next step.
Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.
Now they need to get more involved! Instead of just hearing it, they need to practice orally.

I find this works well as a whole group, as in Morning Meeting. Ask one question to the group, and have each student tell their answer in complete sentences, using words from the question to start their answers. 

It's a good idea to review how they'll be starting their answers:
"My favorite food is..."
"I can show kindness by..."
"I could help someone who forgot his lunch by..."
"An animal that would NOT make a good pet is..."

As they are practicing, make sure the questions are interesting and fun, so they will be more interested in sharing their answers! (Plus, it's fun for the rest of us to hear their answers!)

Be sure to compliment those who elaborate on their answers, rather than simply one or two words. This is our end goal!

"My favorite food is spaghetti."
or
"My favorite food is spaghetti, with meatballs and lots of cheese on top."

"I can show kindness by helping."
or
"I can show kindness by helping someone who doesn't understand their math, or gets hurt on the playground."

"An animal that would NOT make a good pet is an elephant."
or
"An animal that would NOT make a good pet is an elephant because it would cost too much to feed it, and it wouldn't fit in my room!"

See what I mean?
Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.
Here's where you add the paper! 

Here's my little trick: have them meet with a friend and tell what they're going to write, word for word! Seriously, if they are going to write the language, they need to be able to speak it first! In fact, when they're first starting this skill, I might have them meet with a few partners before they sit down with the paper. (This is a trick I use with many aspects of writing... tell it first!)

I usually make a point to meet with a few children that I anticipate might struggle with this. 

Once I get those "strugglers" going, I'll check in with others to keep them on track.

Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.
Once they're ready, it's time for them to practice this skill without the guidance. It's a great way to start the day: post a question for the day, and have them answer it in complete sentences while you take attendance and lunch count.

It's still a good idea to have them practice orally with a friend before writing. 

Then, after they've written, sharing is encouraged!

Going back to revise after sharing is also encouraged!

Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.
I find the best way to encourage children to answer questions fully is to share the best ones. I'll go through the papers, find some that are well done, and share those to the whole class. I make sure I choose several different examples that show a variety of ways to answer.

Are you ready to start asking questions? 
I happen to have plenty of questions, based on fun daily holidays:
 
 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Morning-Meeting-Greeting-Activities-for-the-Whole-Year-4209589?utm_source=blog%20post%20Answering%20in%20Complete%20Sentences&utm_campaign=Daily%20Calendar%20Questions%20for%20the%20year


Each month is also available separately:

 
Plus, these make great backgrounds for virtual learning!

Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.




Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.


Celebrating Kwanzaa

What do you know about Kwanzaa?

Celebrate Kwanzaa: This blog post shares information, traditions, and resources to learn about how Kwanzaa is celebrated.

Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966 as a way for African Americans to celebrate their African heritage.

Kwanzaa starts on December 26th and continues until January 1st. Each of the 7 days is dedicated to a principle:
 
Day 1: unity
Day 2: self-determination
Day 3: collective work or responsibility
Day 4: cooperative economics
Day 5: purpose
Day 6: creativity
Day 7: faith

On each of the 7 days, those celebrating Kwanzaa light a candle on a special wooden candelabra called a Kinara. (Image is a link to Amazon.)

Celebrate Kwanzaa: This blog post shares information, traditions, and resources to learn about how Kwanzaa is celebrated.
Here are some books to help your students learn more about the celebration of Kwanzaa: (Each image is a link to Amazon for more information.)

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Since Kwanzaa is a cultural celebration, it's important to include music as part of the celebration! Here are some examples of music that celebrate the culture of Kwanzaa! 

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Families celebrating Kwanzaa decorate their homes with homemade arts and crafts, and focus on the three colors of Kwanzaa: red, green, and black.

Food is also an important component of any cultural celebration! Typically a feast happens on the sixth evening of Kwanzaa. Typical foods served might include collard greens, corn, sweet potato pie, fried okra, catfish, jerk chicken, yams, and bananas.
Celebrate Kwanzaa: This blog post shares information, traditions, and resources to learn about how Kwanzaa is celebrated.
Another tradition that comes with Kwanzaa is the passing of the unity cup. Celebrants each take a sip from the cup and wish for unity and togetherness.

Although the holiday was created for African Americans to celebrate their African culture, one does not have to be African American to celebrate the concepts of unity and togetherness!

 
Here's a fun digital resource that includes Kwanzaa and several other December holidays!
 
 

 


Celebrate Kwanzaa: This blog post shares information, traditions, and resources to learn about how Kwanzaa is celebrated.

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