Bring Back the Boys

I haven’t used this blog as a platform for my thoughts in a long time.  It has primarily been a glorified baby book for my boys.

But this TED talk really had me thinking this morning–even with the lack of sleep as of late.

Watch this video, especially if you have young, school aged boys in your life.  It’s only 12 minutes.

Here are my thoughts:

 My comic book loving, wrestling enthusiast, nerf gun using boys are wild in a good way–the boy way.  They are 100% boy.  They love to write said topics in comic book fashion.  The books they have written are strewn from room to room here at our house.  One of my sons even spent his own money to copy a comic he wrote at Kinkos so he could sell them–$2.00 for a copy, $2.50 for it autographed.  They want to write all about boy things.  Constantly.  The zero tolerance from schools has not really squelched their desire to write about these topics, as we have been blessed with wonderful teachers who have understood their penchant for action filled writing as just that…writing.  Nothing else.

  The woman giving the TED talk is promoting better gaming ideas to help with keeping our boys involved and excited about learning.  She brings up so many wonderful points about how we as educators are losing boys.

–There aren’t enough male teachers for our boys to look up to as a role model.

–The number of children with special needs is larger with boys than with girls.  (I have a child with ADHD and sensory issues…I live that life, too.  I’m one who sees things through the eyes of an educator AND a mom of special needs.)

  –There is not enough movement in our classrooms. (Teachers ask students to sit and sit and write and write.  I know I often feel like I can’t get everything I need to teach into my day and it stresses me out.  But boys need to move.  If that is incorporated into the day, things get a little bit better because my students are ready to learn.)

— And then she adds the part about better games that teach and entertain.

I do not think gaming is the complete answer.  I think children get enough of that time at home, often without limitations or time constraints.  But it’s hard to get the attention of my students in a world that readily hands them information and entertainment via TV, computer, or device.  There are days when it doesn’t matter how many cartwheels I do in the front of the classroom, they still.don’t.understand the topic or skill.  Teaching has changed so much in the 15 years I have been in the profession.

My point is this:  There are other ways to engage our boys and girls in the classroom.  Having students move, jump, and act out gets children involved in the lesson.  Using music, small groups, and drama incorporated into lessons are also powerful ways of actively engaging students.

I did love this TED talk.  I completely agree that we are losing the boys of our classrooms.

 I just want my fellow teachers to understand that gaming isn’t the one and only answer.

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Seuss-O-Rama

Kindergarten is so much fun.

Dr. Seuss‘ birthday is today and my class celebrated all week.

My favorite activity, thanks to Pinterest, was the a-DOR-able Thing One and Thing Two’s that grace our classroom windows:

We culminated our week of Seuss-O-Rama festivities with some yummy snacks.:

Cat in the Hat hats, made by a classroom parent, and “Green Eggs and Ham“.

What?

What’s that you say?

That’s not really green eggs and ham?

You see, Mrs. Teacher (that’s me) doesn’t do eggs.

She doesn’t taste them,

smell them.

Cook them,

TOUCH them.

So her trusty parapro, Mrs. Do-Everything-Including-Make-Anything-That-Needs-To-Be-Made,

researched and came up with the white chocolate, green M&M, and pretzel substitute.

And anything that has to do with chocolate is a winner in Mrs. Teacher’s book.

Back to School

Image from onecharmingparty.com

As I prepare my own children for their first days of school, I prepare myself for the new year as well.

Will I like my class?

How will I get to know each student?

Will I be able to challenge each one?

Will they like me?

But the most important question for myself is this:

Will I be able to instill a love of learning in my students?

You see, preschool is a springboard into the major grades.  If I can’t foster a love of learning, then I haven’t done my job.  Are the ABCs and 123s important?  Of course.  But these little ones are like the seeds planted in the ground.  They must be cultivated and bathed in sunshine.  My sunshine.

That’s why I high five them, tell them they are fabulous, and encourage them to do more.

That’s why I really get into reading aloud to my students.  They need to know how fun reading can be.  Even though these little ones are barely reading themselves, I want them to be excited to hear the stories I read.

Teaching is a challenge, but I was meant to do it.

My prayer is that my love for learning and children shows to my students and their parents.

Money Man

We are learning about money in my 4K class.

I introduced the penny yesterday during circle time.

Me: Boys and girls, this is a penny.  A penny is a coin that is worth 1 cent.  It has two sides.  On one side, there is a man’s head.  Do you think you know who the man is?

(I fully expected crickets to chirp)

Little boy: MICHAEL JACKSON!!!

Me: ummm…no….

It’s Over.

The fat lady is singing.

Maternity leave is over.

The perk:

Frick, Frack and Frog will ALL be with me at school for the remainder of the year.

The crappy side:

We (me) still aren’t sleeping.

But that’s something two toothpicks for the eyes and a travel size mug of Gloria Jean’s Hazelnut coffee from my Keurig can easily fix.

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s back to work I go!

Retro…Again

I busted out the record player again at school this week.

The children were stunned.  AGAIN.

“What’s that Mrs. (insert my last name HERE)?”

“A what?!?”

This post from last year sums it all up….

______________________________

October 8, 2008

What do you say when your four year old students ask you what this is:

And then tell you this:

is the biggest CD/DVD they have EVER seen.


Do you:

A.  Laugh and tell them all about how you used a “record player” to play your Strawberry Shortcake record back in the day?

B.  Tell them they need to get with it…this is new technology?

C.  Consider yourself old and be done with it?

Yes, my friends, I TOTALLY busted out the record player and played “9-1-1″ for the kids from the Community Helpers album the school had.

Now, who had more fun?

Open House 2009

As a teacher, I always have mixed emotions about Open House.

There’s excitement for the new year…

fear of the unexpected…

and the feeling of being overwhelmed by the responsibility of molding young minds.

I’ll be “looping” for the first time ever–teaching most of the students who were in my 3K class last year in 4K this year.  There’s something to be said for knowing your students’ strengths and weaknesses before the year even starts.

But there is also a bittersweet feeling this year.  My sweet babies, who not so long ago had adorable rolls on their chunky legs,

are now both enrolled in the school where I teach, 5 days a week.

*sigh*

101_1399

Frack, 3K

101_1400_2

Frick, 4K

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