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May 31, 2010

Posted by in The Library | 0 Comments

Books for the Classroom: William’s Doll

When I first started this blog, I wanted offer various resources and materials that would be helpful to teachers like me. I haven’t really had time to focus on that but starting today (especially since a new school year is starting, I will try to be more consistent with that! Hence, here is a new category that will fall under the library section of this blog, Books for the Classroom

The storybook William’s Doll by Charlotte Zolotow is a great book to use in class when talking about gender roles and breaking stereotypes attached to it, especially if you have kids who like playing with toys that appear to be gender inappropriate.

The story tells of a little boy named William who asks his mother to give him a doll. Given that he is a boy, his father tried to encourage him to play with trains and other toys for boys, but much as he liked these toys, he still asked for a doll. Finally his grandmother conceded and gave him a doll and when asked why he wanted a doll, William replied that it would be so he can practice being a father.

I’ve used this story several times in my teaching career, and I have even extended the use of this to my college classrooms where I teach social psychology. It is a good way of looking at socially accepted norms and allowing kids to feel accepted despite being “different”.

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May 31, 2010

Posted by in Teacher's Corner | 0 Comments

Classroom’s almost done!

Two weeks and many tubs of paint later, our school is almost ready for opening. Well, at least the Toddlers and Juniors classrooms that is. Mine still needs some work, especially since I’m located at the downstairs section of the school which is the largest area to contend with. Plus it’s the part with lots of pebble washed walls and roofing that needed repair. To be fair, my co-teacher has done a good job getting the ball rolling and our concept wall is almost done. A few additional technical repairs are still needed though, such as installing a ceiling fan and replacing the rubber mats on the floor. Hopefully we get things done by the end of this week so the last week of summer can be allocated to working on my lesson plans and activities.

Will post pictures of the school soon :-)

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May 30, 2010

Posted by in Teaching Resources, Tips and Tricks, Toys and Playthings | 0 Comments

Homemade Face Paint

Whenever I host or help out in kiddie parties, I notice that the activities that gain the most attention are face painting and tattooing. While finding affordable temporary tattoos that are hypoallergenic and of good quality is relatively easy, finding the face paint is not as easy.

I’ve tried several homemade recipes for face paint. Some are quite simple to make and use common household ingredients such as night cream, corn starch, corn syrup and food coloring. So far, however, I can’t find one that offers the same consistency as that of store bought face paint. Plus the food coloring seems to stain the skin and clothing.

Do you have a good homemade face paint recipe you can share? If so, please leave me a comment :-)

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May 27, 2010

Posted by in Teacher's Corner | 2 Comments

Teacher Thinks of Options.

It’s been a great summer and in about two and a half weeks, I will once again welcome new batch of preschoolers to my classroom. Right now, we’re in the midst of finishing up the paint repairs and making posters and other teaching aides. This year will probably be my last year teaching in the preschool level but who knows what will happen in the end of the year, right?

One thing I am actually now considering is applying for a teaching job abroad, mainly because of the continuous decline of our economy and the high cost of living now. I have a lot of friends who have already taken that step and they tell me getting a US or Canada work visa is not that hard, especially for teachers. I still wish, however, that I can afford to continue to teach (or do whatever job I end up with!!!) here in my motherland.

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May 26, 2010

Posted by in Teacher's Corner, Teaching Resources | 0 Comments

Summer Camp and other Fun Learning Places

As a child one thing I liked to do a lot of was go to summer camp. It was mostly Bible camp but they were great learning experiences. Nowadays, kids have more options like The Apprentice Doctor Premedical Camp where aspiring doctors can immerse themselves in a summer program learning the basics of medicine. The medical camp is is a week-long program  that allows high school students to get a feel for the profession and to learn from experts in the field.  The program will be held on August2-6 in Tampa, Florida. The enrollment fee of $750 is inclusive of learning materials and necessary medical supplies.

I would have loved to go to a camp like this when I was younger, at least as early as then I would have known medicine is not for me. It took me until I was in my sophomore year of college to realize that! However, by going to a camp like this, students can test the waters and make better informed decisions.

As I mentioned, summer camps are great venues for learning, be it with a formal program as mentioned before or a more loose and unstructured one, such as band camp (images of the film American Pie just popped in my head!!!) like the fictional Disney Camp Rock. These programs give students a chance to hone their skills, explore their strengths and weaknesses and more importantly, learn very important life skills that will allow them to be better individuals. It is an enriching opportunity wherein they have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

Besides learning in summer camp, I believe camps are a great place to build friendships. In fact, one of my really, really good friends is a friend from camp when I was younger. Granted that we were also classmates, it wasn’t till camp that we really got to know each other well.

Other fun learning places for the summer include a parent’s hometown or country (such as the case of my nephews who come to the Philippines to learn about their heritage during the summer) and local museums and libraries.

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