Enlarging Student Vocabulary

A very important feature with reading in the primary levels is the students vocabulary. It is something that must be put in to each students day so that they get as much practice as they can. As their vocabulary enlarges, their reading level will increase as well.

Going into teaching we must think of creative ways to allow students to learn new vocabulary. Everyone of your students will learn differently and that is why it will be so important to try to engage as many as possible with exciting ways.

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Creative ways to practice vocabulary:

  • Roll a word: A fun worksheet that has the list of words on the paper and whatever number you roll, allows you to see what you have to do to describe it.
  • Vocab on the move: This game allows the students to wear the vocabulary word on their forehead and the others have to describe it for the student to guess the word.
  • Vocabulary Beach Ball: Have a beach ball with the vocabulary words on each panel and toss it around the room while the student say the word in a sentence or describe it.
  • Word Wall: This is great to keep the words on the wall so students can always see them and revisit when needed.

It is important to do interactive activities so that all students benefit from the lessons, these will highly engage all students and keep their attention better. Vocabulary is a stepping stone in students learning! It is important you use the best tools for your students.

Spooktacular Literature Choices

It’s that time of year again, and some of the kids favorite night. Even though your school might not celebrate Halloween, it is still okay to get the kids into the fall spirit. Holidays and events are times that students look forward to experiencing with their teachers because some may not get to at home, I know fall was always my favorite. What better idea than to fill your classroom library with great fall literature choices? To keep the students engaged and excited, I believe it is a great idea for teachers to fill their libraries based on the time of year or holiday.

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To make it more engaging for the students after you read the stories you can always add fun activities or lessons to go along with it.  The students will love the idea of getting to relate the book to their actual life, like writing pieces or drawings. Letting the students feel apart of something that is important to many of their classmates will mean more to them, then you can imagine. Take a look at this great list of books to have in your library for this spooktacular time of year!

I hope you and your students enjoy!

Happy Halloween.

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Was it apart of your Childhood?

What books were a part of your childhood? Without even realizing it, animal fantasy most likely made up over half of your library. In today’s society many textbooks won’t even recognize them anymore. There is a way to pick out ones with a deeper meaning for your students, and that’s what I’m here to talk to you about today.

 

There are four category’s that make up Animal Fantasy:

Type 1: Anthropomorphic Animals.They are the books where the characters live in an all animal world.

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Type 2: Anthropomorphic Animals. These are the books that animals coexist with humans.

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Type 3: Talking animals in their natural habitats.

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Type 4: Realistic animals with human thinking ability.

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Using those four categories will help you fill your classroom library with books that get your class’ attention, yet still appropriate and educational. Even though textbooks don’t recognize “animal fantasy” anymore, many teachers still find it important to give students the opportunity to experience what many of us filled our childhood with. Students are obsessed with these types of books and will almost always choose them if they get the chance, it is a great way to increase the reading level and give them a lot of practice.

Have you ever heard of “The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar”, “The Grouchy Ladybug”, and “Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?”? You probably have, and I found a great link to a bunch of those awesome favorites from Eric Carle! These are great examples of animal fantasy that you find many teachers filling their libraries with.

Getting Children Experience Needed

Many people know that children have the perfect idea of what they enjoy to read. When is it okay for teachers to step in and push the students to get them to the next level? Or read something that isn’t a social norm for life around them.

In today’s society there are many issues related to children literature (Gender, Racial, Cultural, Family, Religion). As teachers we need to know how to avoid the stereotypical books so that children can experience certain situations through literature.

Here are just a few popular children’s book suggestions that many teachers point out to be their favorites.

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The list gives a wide variety of books that show students images to understand incidents of a multicultural viewpoint. This will allow for these cultures to be apparent in your classroom and give students insight before they continue to progress through school.

  • Take some time to read this awesome blog I found on more reasons why teachers should teach with multicultural literature.

To give children the opportunity to read about these differences, make sure you have a wide variety of books in your own classroom library. As the students read and explore these different books, it will open many discussions in class that will allow you to help them understand and even students that may understand the “issue” first hand. Giving students this opportunity allows them to relate to children from around the world and compare/contrast their experiences to their own.

 

Educating our Heart & Mind.

Going in to education, many of us are going for one important reason.. Because we have the heart to teach children how to succeed in life. We all have that one teacher when we look back who influenced us without even trying, or showed us the teacher that we want to be.

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I know I do, mine was actually one of my math teachers in high school, Mr. DeMoss. Even though that is the complete opposite of what I want to teach, that didn’t matter. He showed me not to ever give up on students when they don’t understand or falling behind in class. He also pushed me to be my best when I thought I couldn’t do anything right. Mr. DeMoss didn’t only build a relationship with me in the class, but also outside of the classroom. He supported me in after school activities that I was involved in and never missed out on chances to support me and other classmates. He gave his heart to his students.

Now, does that ring any bells for you? What stands out for you to be the best teacher you can be? What makes you a highly qualified teacher? Well here are some helpful hints on what I believe.

Helpful Hints for being the Best Teacher you can be:

-Be patient

-Build relationships

-Be consistent

-Trust your students, allow them to trust you

-Inspire them to be the best that they can

I hope you take some time and watch this video from Ken Robinson talking about educating our heart and mind.

Tips for your Classroom Libraries

Do you ever find yourself in a classroom wishing it was yours? Or tell yourself you can’t forget a certain set up? You aren’t the only one. Students not only notice, but it allows them to stay enganged within the classroom.

Some of my favorite classrooms I have seen is when teachers have specific sections made up throughout the room. Every kid needs something different to meet their needs, and we as teachers have to be able to give that to them.

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A popular corner in almost every elementary classroom is the “Classroom Library“. I have learned that it’s more than just throwing your favorite childhood books onto a shelf. You have to think about how you want to organize the books, how you want to set it up, and what ways will get your students most excited about reading.

Tips for your Classroom Library:

  • Organize books into Genre
  • Place stickers on books so students know where to place the book when finished
  • Make your library appealing to students
  • Set it up to be a comfortable space
  • Make bins for certain reading levels

-Enjoy this list of Children’s books shared by other Elementary teachers.

We all have that certain vision of what our own library will look like, and being teachers we like to plan and organize. I know that after talking with teachers, they have openly admitted to changing their classroom library almost every year. So it’s okay that you won’t ever be satisfied. A big help will be your students, they will let you know what they like and dislike. After all, they are part of the goal of what we are trying to accomplish on having the most effective classroom library.