Friday, July 13, 2018

TpT Un-Conference Happy Hour Party
TpT hosted a Happy Hour party at New York City Headquarters yesterday.
While thousands of TeachersPayTeachers flocked to the conference in Nashville...
 ...I pounded the pavement on my home turf.  Would you like to join me for a Happy Hour road trip?
 The minute I walk into TpT HQ, I feel teacher-love.
I'm home!  In mid-century-modern heaven--in summer!  It doesn't get any better than this.  

Thanks, Kris, from the TpT design dept., for capturing my celebration! 
When I'm creating resources, I sometimes think of it as a Mom 'n Pop shop.  I forget there's a factory of supremely hard-working, and ultra-nice, people supporting me.

And, playing ping-pong to re-boot.  Did you notice the ukulele on the windowsill?  Love it!

 More re-boot must-haves: The Quiet Room!  

I know, because my kindergarten teaching was transformed when I started meditating for 10 minutes a day.
Light refreshments from Murray's--oh, my!  I go weak in the knees over Brie on crusty bread.

 TpT sellers and staff mingle...

 ...and play ice-breaker BINGO for prizes.  I just stand there smiling, and helping others win--in Classic Kindergarten Teacher mode.

I love meeting TpT old-timers and newbies--and forum buddies like Sheila from That Book Life (who is so much more charming and effervescent than I ever could've guessed from her formidable TpT store and bio)!

The importance of making personal connections is the theme of the evening.

When it's over, I make a bee-line through Union Square, which is always buzzing with life.
Fake pigeons and pizza-eating rats are unique money-makers, only in Noo Yawk.

Cultures meet...

...and play...
 ...and sell.  Do people still buy--and read--hardcover books?
 Mahatma Gandhi overlooks it all, calmly.

I stare for too long at these chairs, wondering if there's a digital message embedded in the carved pattern.

Then I see the tag line, Space for Artists.  That's my TeachersPayTeachers life in a nutshell! 

I'm tempted to stick around for another hour to watch the sunset.  It's not just any ol' sunset.  It's Manhattanhenge (like Stonehenge), or the Manhattan Solstice.  It's the one night a year when the sunset aligns with the east-west grid of the city streets.

That's a stock photo, not mine.  I'm happy but tired, and so I race down the subway steps to catch the train home.

Well, that was fun.  Thanks for sharing my New York City Un-Conference, Happy Hour at TpT. 

Till next time,

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Respect and Rapport in the Classroom

Respect and Rapport will make your classroom a beautiful place.
  • Respect means you see, like or admire, and care about someone, including yourself.
  • Rapport means you understand other people's feelings or ideas, and communicate well with them.
The Danielson Teacher Evaluation Rubric—the gold standard for teacher evaluations—puts classroom culture at the top of Domain #2.   Component 2a, Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport, is a crucial part of The Classroom Environment.

So, what does respect and rapport look like in a classroom

Examples of Proficiency (Level 3) in this domain are:

1) Students and teachers are respectful with no need for the teacher to intervene or correct students (Kids self-correct and kindly correct each other; “I think you might have meant…”)

2) The teacher connects with individual students, and responds to each child uniquely (The teacher is not rote or deadpan; “Way to go, girlfriend!”  “I’m lovin’ it!”  "Thanks for sharing that with us!") 

3) Students participate willingly and confidently (Many hands are raised to answer)

4) Kids offer assistance to their peers, for instance in thinking through an answer (“Do you think this…or that?”)

5) Kids engage in small group talk or work, productively and respectfully (Kids realize they don’t have to be best friends to be civil)

6) Kids are attentive to the teacher (Eyes are focused)

7) Many hands go up to answer (Kids wait for the full question before raising their hands)

8) The teacher kneels, sits on the floor or sits beside a student (During turn and talk, the teacher moves to various groups and responds)

9) Kids listen to and help each other patiently (Kids take a subtle, silent, deep breath to help them relax)

10) Kids accept help from each other graciously (“Thank you,”  “I like your ideas.”)

11) Kids use courteous language (“Please; thank you; and you’re welcome”)

Examples of Distinguished mastery (Level 4) are:

1) Kids take the initiative to show respect for others (“I’d love to hear what you think about that!”)

2) Kids show respect for high-level work (“Wow that was interesting!  I love the way you…”)

3) Kids show respect for peers’ efforts (“I like his ideas, but I might disagree if…” or, “I respectfully disagree, because…”)

4) Kids participate without fear of put-downs (“I’m not sure about this but I was thinking…”)
5) The teacher explicitly encourages kids’ efforts and achievements (“Hey, I see light bulbs going off in your head!”)

6) Kids subtly encourage good behavior (A kid silently smiles and puts a finger on his lips if someone is talking out of turn)

7) The teacher and students make references to kids’ lives and interests outside of school (“The character in that story reminds me of you, because you both love cats so much!”)

8) A range of emotions are tapped, including humor, empathy, and pensiveness. (“Let's take a moment to mind-meld with that idea!”)
Summing Up The Importance of Respect and Rapport:
  •        Classroom culture or tone is the glue that holds the classroom together.  
  •         A positive tone will smooth over a multitude of little blips or errors.
  •        Kids learn about respect and rapport by talking about it frequently.   
  •        The class can practice using kind phrases till they become second nature.   
  •        The teacher should praise respect when she notices it in books and in kids. 
  •         And above all, the teacher should be a shining example of how respect and rapport can make life more pleasant.
For a detailed look at every part of your perfect lesson, please consider The Perfect Lesson Plan – From Planning to Presentation.   It includes insights, checklists, charts, cheat-sheets, tips, scripts, class posters, lesson plans and lesson plan templates to guide you through every step of your observation lesson.

As always, I'm wishing you a very merry classroom, brimming with respect and rapport!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Memorial Day Ideas for Kids

Memorial Day is a thoughtful time to honor American heroes.

How can young children observe this day?  

Kids can realize that Americans are safer because our soldiers 
will protect them anywhere in the world.   And that, sadly, 
some of those soldiers will give their lives fighting to help us.

Kids can go to a Memorial Day parade, or watch one on TV.  
Or go to a Memorial Day event such as boarding an aircraft carrier and

meeting active soldiers.

They can visit a veteran at a Veteran’s hospital or nursing home,

and take homemade food or cookies, a book to read, 
or a homemade card.
A number chart robot is a great way to integrate math and language arts with social studies.

By all means, have a picnic or barbeque with the family.  
And remind kids that Memorial Day is also a day to reflect on the heroes

who gave the ultimate sacrifice so we can be free to enjoy the day.
If you'd like more ideas on how to use your Memorial Day Craft Box, they are here.

I'm wishing you a thoughtful and a memorable day.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Teacher Resources Sale!

It's a Teacher Resource Sale at TeachersPayTeachers:

Up to 25% OFF -- STOREWIDE!

It's a perfect time to stock up on Year-End Goodies:

Greeting Card: A Beautiful Hand printable card for all occasions, with dozens of suggested messages included.

A Mother's Day Card,  Graduation, Congratulations, Good Luck,  Inspiration, Birthday, Thank You, Appreciation Day, Memorial Day, Father's Day, Self-Esteem, Art Lesson and more...

 Greeting Card for all occasions
Ideas for your graduation:

 Kindergarten Graduation Song and Resources
Or looking forward to the new school year:

Nothing beats great teacher stuff on sale!  I can't wait to go window shopping, too--so I'll see you there! 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Kindergarten Graduation Song - A Rousing Finale

Your kindergarten graduation song should be a joyous, rousing, show-stopper!

...a dazzling finale!

...a send-off that's fun and forward-looking.
Whether your kindergarten graduation ceremony is in an auditorium, gymnasium, or outdoors; in chairs or on bleachers, this song hits the mark.

It's set to the tune of "New York, New York" and it's easy to learn.  

Go simple or big...

I've created a kit with:
  • Full lyrics to your Kindergarten Graduation Song
  • Suggested dance movements
  • Ideas for an exciting processional
  • Exciting EXTRAS -- props to make your presentation PUNCH!

For delicious pizzaz, you can download the karaoke soundtrack for “New York, New York” from YouTube, or purchase it from Spotify, SoundCloud or iTunes.  Search: New York New York KaraokeA rousing version is the Frank Sinatra style.

My kit will explain EXACTLY how to download and use the musical accompaniment. 

I'll also show you how to teach any song quickly and easily.

Would you like more ideas for your kindergarten graduation?
 Kindergarten Graduation Song and Resources

I'm wishing you a warm and wonderful final memory of kindergarten and graduation day!