Showing posts from April, 2019

How To Bully-Proof Your Classroom

Have you ever had to deal with bullying in your classroom or school?  Have you ever been approached by a parent about their child being bullied while in your classroom? Here are some great tips to help teachers keep their kids safe from bullying and their classrooms running smoothly. First and Foremost:  Teach Your Class How to Recognize a Bully This book, Are You a Bully? was just $5 INCLUDING SHIPPING at the Book Fair Shop. Although children may hear the word "bully" now and then, they may not really know what a bully actually is!  So we teach everyone exactly what a bully is and does.  That way, whenever we discuss bullying, we have a common vocabulary to work with. Only then can the children recognize and accurately point out a bully when they see one.  After that, then it is more reasonable to expect that they might try to stop someone from bullying if they see it happening. Ronald Mah in his wonderful book, Getting Beyond Bullying and Exclusion , sa

Parenting: Bully-Proofing Your Child For The School Year

Many parents worry about their children being bullied at school but don't know how to help protect their children. Here we will provide tips on how to recognize bullying, empower children to confidently defend themselves without resorting to physical violence, and how to reduce the likelihood of becoming the victim of a bully in the first place. What is Bullying? Bullying is defined as intentional tormenting in physical, verbal, or psychological ways. It can range from hitting, shoving, name-calling, threats, and mocking, to extorting money and possessions. It can be difficult to recognize bullying from typical childhood behavior. Children learn social skills and how to work within a group through trial and error. Often times this takes the form of teasing and excluding others. While this behavior can cause hurt feelings, if it is not done intentionally then it is not considered bullying. The line is crossed when an activity is engaged in with the sole purpose o

Button Shape Sorting Center- and a Freebie!

In this post, I am going to share a fun and easy way to make a shape button sorting center.   The labels are included as a free download, too!  This center can be used to help children practice their colors, shapes, sorting, and even for reading the names of the colors and shapes! My beautiful daughter Kimberly, who will be a student teaching intern this semester, created this project for me by adapting an idea that she found on Pinterest, so this is really her post! I love Pinterest! Don't you? There are so many great resources and ideas to pull from. Sometimes, though, I find that the best way to use Pinterest is to tweak and change ideas to make it work for YOU! Such is the case with this next project. The original project was meant just for sorting by color, and can be found  here , but I was looking for something specifically for shapes, so I adjusted it. The biggest adjustment I made to this project was simply using shape buttons instead of regular buttons. Per th

Learning Disabilities: Real Stories of Children That Succeeded with Music and Movement

Can music help children with learning disabilities succeed in school? Very often, the answer is YES, depending on the child's personality, individual learning style, and strengths. During the course of my 25 year career as a Kindergarten teacher, I have taught and mainstreamed many children with various learning disabilities, and I can honestly say that the use of music combined with movement has certainly impacted and helped each of these beautiful children! In fact, looking back on my experiences with them, I wouldn't change a thing! People often ask me if HeidiSongs is research based.  The answer is YES- we do have one teacher that did her Master's Thesis on the effectiveness of HeidiSongs, and it came out very well!  There is also a plethora of research that supports using music and movement as a teaching method in general!  You can see some of it here.   However, we only have anecdotal accounts from parents and teachers that have used HeidiSongs with special ne

Mini Bubble Bottle Beginning Sounds Center!

Here's an idea for a literacy center I shared a few years ago that is easy and inexpensive to put together, and fun for kids, too!  I decided to call it the "Mini Bubble Bottle Beginning Sounds Center," but you could really adapt this idea to be used for middle or ending sounds as well!  All the children have to do is stretch the rubber band with the correct beginning sound picture on it around the neck of the (empty) mini bubble bottle with the matching letter sticker. I did it this past year with my TK class and they LOVED it! First of all, let me explain that this is an adaptation of an idea that I posted on in August,  2013 , but at the time, I was using little glass bottles that I found in an exhibit hall at a conference.  Since that time, I have presented this idea several times to teachers at many conferences, and there were always concerns about the glass bottles.  Others had issues with giving kids the toothpicks, too.  (Even though I personally have ne

Avoiding Summer Learning Loss and Free Parent Letter Download!

In a few short weeks teachers will be saying goodbye to their students and sending them off to the next grade level. It is so easy to dive right into the important work of summer time relaxing and recharging, but all too often students lose a portion of skills and knowledge gained in the school year during the long summer stretch. Click here to download this image in color or black and white so that you can send it home with your students! The National Summer Learning Association  cites some pretty startling facts about summer learning loss: - Most students lose 2.6 months worth of mathematical computation skills over the summer. - Low-income students lose more than two months worth of reading achievement during summer break. - Teachers typically spend 4 to 6 weeks re-teaching material that was lost over the summer months. - Most students test lower on standardized testing at the end of summer compared to their scores on the same test at the end of the previous