Sunday, August 28, 2016

HOMEWORK! To Be or Not to Be? That is the Question!

"Homework remains one of the biggest challenges and concerns facing teachers today," author Nancy Paulu told Education World. "Many teachers say they have a hard time creating meaningful and appropriate homework assignments and getting students to complete the assignments successfully."

     The Great DEBATE!  To give Homework or NOT??  What about the idea that kids need some “down time” after spending all day in school?  What do some kids do when the homework is too hard…..or too easy?  It’s  always challenging to plan Homework that meets the needs of each student. 
      Here is an idea we created that helps connect families with school. What’s great about these assignments is that they build classroom community while also increasing oral and written language!  A Win-Win!

How does Write and Share work?
   Each student writes their homework and brings it in to share with their class. Through sharing, they get practice in speaking aloud, other students get practice in asking questions about what they wrote, and everyone learns a little bit more about each other!  That’s why it’s called WRITE & SHARE.

   WRITE & SHARE was created to replace that old familiar Show & Tell. As first grade teachers, we knew our students enjoyed sharing about their own things. But after a few months (ACCK!), we noticed that the items they selected began to look a little ragged and torn. It seemed they had quickly just rooted around in their closet and pulled out any old thing to bring!

      We weren’t seeing any real connection to our curriculum either. Yes, they were sharing but this concept REALLY needed to be expanded to include some family involvement and some academic skills. So.....we put our heads together and developed a year-long homework program....and called it WRITE & SHARE. There is a wide variety of topics that children write and share about....seasonal, holidays, math, science, etc. 

     Parents tell us they look forward to the varied assignments that they do with their child. Teachers tell us how valuable this is for their students. Others liked it and wanted it in their Kindergarten or 2nd Grade classrooms so we expanded it to both those grades also....adapting them to fit the skill levels of those grades and standards. So now there are 3 levels of WRITE and SHARE! The world is a happy place!  

Check out what one of our customers had to say about Write and Share!
"One of my better purchases last year! I loved using it for homework and then letting my students have time on Fridays to share from the Author’s chair. Even my most reluctant writers were sharing by year’s end!"

Here’s a few FREE samples for you to try.  Click {HERE} to link to the free sample at our JK Curriculum Connection website. (P.S. There are some other fun freebies there also!) 

Click {HERE} for the Kindergarten product at our TeachersPayTeachers store.
Click {HERE} for the 1st Grade Write and Share!
Click {HERE} for the 2nd Grade Homework Write and Share!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Postive Notes AND a Giveaway!

Hey everyone!  
I'm Amy from Cahill's Creations

I'm here to share my ideas on how to become even more positive in the classroom.  This year, we decided to be EVEN MORE positive than last year!  So, we finally decided to say goodbye to the clip chart.  We realized that it really wasn't helping the negative behaviors.  By the end of the year, we were JUST using the chart for positive choices and behaviors.  

We've turned the clip chart wall into a bucket filling wall!  We've been in school for 3 weeks now and we're seeing great success so far!  We're hearing kids talk about other kids in a more positive way.  They are recognizing their friends as being bucket fillers and we love hearing them!  Our ultimate goal is for the class to build a community of caring kids working collaboratively together.  We are spending more time talking about positive behaviors and building friendships than ever before.  We are also talking more about how we can celebrate our differences in a positive way.

Sending daily notes home is something we love to do.  This year, our goal is to be more SPECIFIC with the notes and with the kids.  We want to let the kids know exactly what they're getting a warm fuzzy for.  We want to build positive behaviors by using very specific language.  In turn, the kids will start using the same language and be able to articulate that with their parents.  When that happens, we feel it is a success!

"You can put a warm fuzzy in your bucket for cooperating with your group today!"
I even created stickers too!  You can use AVERY 5160 labels for printing.  I was so excited when I found Astrobright labels on Amazon Prime!

Enter a Giveaway for a chance to win a $10 gift card to TPT.  Did I mention there is a ONE DAY SALE on Monday, August 22nd????  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 18, 2016

STEM? In Kindergarten? Are You CrAzY?

  STEM activities are all the rage.....and for good reason.  They get our kids thinking and creating and problem solving and actually ENJOYING the learning process!  If you aren't familiar with STEM yet, yourself and your students a favor and learn about it!  I love, love, LOVE the direction STEM is taking our classrooms!  But, STEM for little kids??!!!


  Today marked the completion of one week in my Kindergarten classroom......and we did our first STEM activity.  It. Went. GREAT!  I never would've thought Kindergarten kids could handle STEM activities......until I tried it  They proved me wrong.

  Take a peek at this video that shows a teeny bit of the lesson.