A few days ago, I came across an online CPR certification information site, www.CPRCertification101.com,and it reminded me of one of the goals I left unmet as a preschool teacher. Back then, one of the things I tried pushing for was getting all us teachers (there were 5 of us in the school) certified for CPR. I knew it was an important skill that we would need in case of an accident. Lucky for us, we never needed it (and yeah, here’s hoping no teacher ever needs it!). Just recently, however, while teaching an alternative movement based class in one of my college classes, I found myself facing a small accident that reminded me about this goal. Although it was a mild accident, I realized that I should really work on this goal SOON. This is especially important, in my opinion, since I am a yoga teacher now, right?Read More
Last night while browsing in Facebook, I came across this photo in one of my dear blogger friends timeline:
OMG…It’s Dorothy and the Good Witch Yey! One of my most favorite stories/movies from childhood, besides the Sound of Music and Charlotte’s Web, is the Wizard of Oz. I loved it so much that my mom recorded it in Betamax for me to watch over and over and over again.
This August 18, Repertory Philippines will debut The Wizard of Oz in Greenbelt’s OnStage theater. I can’t wait! Will definitely make time to watch this in between Yoga Teacher Training. Come what may, I will find the time to watch it! Come with me???
I can’t believe it’s May already tomorrow. Eeep. Time has gone by soooo fast. I swear I don’t know where the days have gone. I can barely believe a third of 2012 has already gone by, can you? Anyway, the next two months ushers in two important days for the family: Mother’s and Father’s day. I remember back when I was a preschool teacher, we would be planning out events for these special days and trying to think up of presents to give for the parents.
I believe that as teachers, we should encourage our students to create gifts for their parents that will make the day even more meaningful. Often times it’s easier to plan for the mommies because it’s easy to make presents for the girls but guy gifts tend to be a little bit harder. My favorite father’s day gift project, however, are pencil holders made of paper mached toilet paper rolls or tie-dyed neckties One day when I’m not so busy and am back to my create-a-resource-for-preschool-teachers mode, I shall write a better post about it.
In the meantime, are there any gift projects you’d like to learn about? Please post them here and I’ll try to help outRead More
One of my fondest memories of preschool teaching was when one of my little kids handed me a CD for circle time. She proudly came in to the classroom waving it in the air saying, “Teacher, Teacher, for you!”. After I thanked her, she says “teacher, please play it during circle time because when you sing, it’s not nice eh!” . OUCH! Haha. While that little incident did make me stop and think about including music and movement in my curriculum, I did not let it deter me from doing so. I realized that the incorporation of music and movement activities in class DOES have a lot of advantages for the kids.
Incorporating music and movement at whatever grade is important. For early childhood classes, introducing simple instruments can be explored. In fact, making such simple instruments can be included in arts activities. For older kids, more complex instruments can be introduced and for advanced learners, they can even explore the mechanics of such instruments. For example, they can learn about how to change guitar strings, replace drum skins and the like. They can also look into the wiring system of electronic musical instruments and use a seymour duncan jb in order to experiment on how adjusting guitar strings can bring a better balance to the sounds the instrument produces. From there they learn more than just music, but even elements of electronics, engineering and mechanics.
Overall, much as I am not very musically inclined, I do see the value of making music a part of everyday learning.Read More
It is easy to discover why English is such an important language. Everyone should know how to speak this tongue, due to its worldwide impact. Let’s analyze some facts about the English language.
English is the 4th most widely spoken native language worldwide. As to its number of speakers, it is the most spoken official language in the whole world. Also, it is the first choice when it comes to international affairs, which may be owed to the fact that it has official status even in countries where it isn’t the main spoken language. In global trade and commerce, English is spoken as the default language as well.
Have you noticed that most of the Internet is in English too? It seems like the language rules the Digital world. Typically, English is the language of newest applications, programs and software in general. Everything is written in English before it is made available in other languages.
When it comes to Education, English has vital importance as well. In universities in Canada, the United States, Great Britain, New Zealand and Singapore, thousands of students come from foreign countries. However, the default language of instruction is…guess? Yes, it’s English. When seeking to learn English Cairns students don’t think twice. They know that this language will open many doors for them in the field of studies. Consider that the majority of the top business and medical schools and advanced-study institutes are situated in the United States and the United Kingdom.
It should come as no surprise that knowledge of English opens job and employment opportunities in many different countries and markets. While studying to learn English Sydney students are aware of how much brushing up their English will do for them. To get job opportunities it is of vital importance to be not only fluent, but also be able to switch the register from formal to informal in order to be able to adapt to any kind of situation in a proper manner.Read More
Just before the Chinese New Year came in I decided to give cleaning my room another go. I was sorting through my files, discarding papers and throwing away old projects when I came across some of the teacher made materials I had made waaaaay back when I started teaching preschoolers. I found them at the very back of those plastic stackable storage cabinets that I love so much and I suddenly missed being a preschool teacher again.
Anyway, going back to those teacher made materials, it got me to thinking about all the time I spent making flashcards, bingo cards, etc etc. After all, they can be bought in the stores, right?
For me, as a teacher, even though the toys and educational materials were available in the stores, I still made little teacher made materials even to the end. Why did I bother? Mainly because I liked being able to modify materials for my kids the way the kids need them. This is not to say, however, that I don’t use store-bought materials! I just realized that teacher made materials are really more individualized and activity specific.
I am grateful, however, that by the time I got to my eighth year or so of teaching I could afford the conveniences like a laminating machine and a ring binder. Before, I used to painstakingly use packing tape to wrap materials. QUE HORROR!!!Read More
I came across this book earlier today at a colleagues house. It was a nice take on puberty, sexuality and adolescence. It was a very matter-of-fact book that discussed the stage and it surely would be a good book to use when kids start transitioning to that stage in their lives. Very nicely written in words that kids can understand Highly recommended
A few days ago, I was in one of those gadget stores in a mall and I saw a kid, about three or four years old if I’m not mistaken, pull her mom to the displays and say, ” Mama, buy ipod touch“. A few minutes later, she walked out of the store with her very own “toy”.
Hmmm…some parents would frown upon such a behavior, but for me (okay, I may not be a mom, but… ) I think it CAN be a good thing. Granted it isn’t ALWAYS a good thing, I think it has limitless potentials. When my fellow teacher friends and I were discussing it, we talked about how different it is not to educate young kids. We now have so many modern ways of teaching the basic academic competencies, many of which were unavailable when we were starting out.
As I have said many times over in this blog alone, modern technology continues to evolve and new gadgets will continue to be invented. We can’t fight that, and so the best thing we can do is not just over-gadget our kids, but to make sure we find the potential of each of these gadgets to do good for our kids. Maybe I think that way because in a way, my mom indulged me with gadgets as well, but to be honest, it was through those gadgets that I learned many, many things.
Some guidelines, I think, that can be helpful are the following:
- set a “gadget schedule” which allows you to monitor the amount of time spent on such activities
- enroll your kids in more “active” activities, such as sports and the like so they have alternative activities too.
- utilize the gadgets as educational tools by downloading educational apps and ebooks
- monitor, monitor, monitor their activities on the gadgets
Have funRead More
This morning I came across a post by a fellow blogger, Cookie, where she was sharing a discovery she had made online: in her words, worksheet heaven. I quickly checked it out and by golly, it is indeed a treasure trove full of resources for mommies, and teachers alike. It’s nice that these resources exist because teaching, both from a teacher and a parents standpoint, can get overwhelming at times. There are so many things more that have to be done so sometimes, setting aside time to make worksheets and reviewers have to be put on hold. This support system can truly make that part of the job much, much easier.
those in early childhood educationRead More
Earlier this month we were discussing plants in our class. In order to supplement the discussion, I decided to have the kids do an experiment. I had them bring several different kinds of seeds and then we went on to do our scientific inquiry.
Here’s what we did:
We started out with an inquiry (a.k.a. creating a hypothesis) in which the children were asked what they think will happen to the seeds if put in a pot with soil and given water and sunshine. To do this I had them chart it on a Manila paper. In this part I had them draw the pots and seeds (although our pots didn’t look like real pots, they were just like dark circles in the middle of the paper with little dots for seeds haha).
Then we did some observations on the seed, the soil and all other materials we used. I asked them to take note of the similarities and differences of the seeds, such as size, color and shape. Some of them even smelled the seeds (which almost gave me a heart attack because they’re so tiny, right???) and one even attempted to taste it. Thank God I saw it on time haha.
After this, we listed the procedures of the experiment (such as put soil in the pot, drop the seeds, etc.) and then actually carried out the procedure.
Of course after carrying out the experiment, we got ready to record our observations and what happens in the experiment
So…after two weeks, the kids found out that:
Teacher shouldn’t plan activities right before we go on a break. Haha. Yes…I had forgotten that the whole week of Feb. 14-18 was not a regular school week because of Paranaque Day, our school field trip, and parent-teacher conferences. Haha.
Seriously though, they did get a chance to see the plants growRead More
One of the best learning materials EVER is a good toy. I am a firm believer of that. In fact, whether it is in the preschool classroom or my undergraduate lectures, toys are bound to make a cameo. Today, I got to discover a new brand of toys that will be hitting the Philippine markets in just a few weeks, Rubbabu toys.
So what makes Rubbabu different from other toys in the market? First off it perhaps one of the first toy collections that is not only cute and adorable, but is actually eco-friendly and child-safe. From infants to big kids, this is sure to be a delight. It is made from 100% natural rubber foam with a velvet smooth surface and it comes in such brilliant and captivating colors. The toys are very light and chunky, which is great for little hands to play with (big hands too, actually haha!). The toys are bouncy and soft and just oh-so-lovable, and I promise, I’m not just saying that.
Okay, I can just imagine some eyebrows being raised right about now (correct? hehe). Seriously though, when I first heard about the product (I googled it after all when I first received an invitation to the product launch), I was a little dubious about yet another new toy. However, after getting to play with these cutie patootey and very versatile toys, I was smitten. I loved the texture of the materials and how the smooth velvety finish made me just smile in delight.
Rubbabu comes in a wide array of shapes and styles, perfect for learning at any time of the day. From basic shapes, balls, toy cars, to educational materials such as shape sorters, alphabets and numbers, blocks and the like, kids will delight in this highly entertaining toy all day long. I sure did!
What else makes it different from a typical toy? Well, in my opinion, Rubbabu does remove the boo-boo (boo-boo meaning any form of injury, ouchie, or pain) in playtime. Here, lemme list the reasons how:
No more boo-boo for baby (or mommy, yaya and teacher for that matter!)
- soft, squishy, no corners, no danger of getting injured! except perhaps for those with movable wheels, which is why it is recommended for ages two and up.
- it is completely non-toxic and even the velvet finish doesn’t rub off or get “himulmul” so it cannot be swallowed or eaten, even if the child bites, tugs and attempts to eat (haha, exag!) the toy
- because of it’s bouncy rubbery nature, even if a Rubbabu toy is thrown at you, it wouldn’t hurt
- also, because it is made from natural rubber, it is anti-microbial, dust mite resistant, mildew resistant, hypoallergenic and flame retardant.
No more boo-boo in learning!
- Rubbabu makes learning fun! No pressure, no difficulty and highly attractive and captivating
- The tactile material allows for perfect mastery of hand-eye coordination, dexterity and motor skills
- Games like tic-tac-toe, blocks, and other play sets make learning fun
No more (or at least not much!) boo-boos for daddy’s wallet!
- Rubbabu toys, for it’s inherent high quality production and materials, are actually quite affordable. Prices would range from an estimated 300-1000+.
- The long-lasting quality of the toys can withstand years of use and abuse from children who will definitely love these adorable playthings.
No more boo-boos for Mother Earth
- Rubbabu is made from 100% natural rubber foam, with no fillers, and not synthetic rubber
- More so, it is made WITHOUT HAVING TO CUT DOWN TREES!
- It is 95% bio-degradable
No more boo-boos for the heart
- for kids at heart like me, playing with a Rubbabu ball is pure stress relief!
- its soft, velvety texture can help calm and pacify feelings of anxiety and stress
- they’re so cute you can’t help but gush and smile
- it is a great reminder to adults that play is indeed an important part of life and is quite therapeutic
Rubbabu has won countless accolades over the years. It has been recognized as one of Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Toys for 2010, and was also given the Parent’s Choice Award for 2010 as well as the Creative Child Seal Excellence Award. Rubbabu is exclusively distributed bu San Giovani Phils. Incd. Corp and is set to hit the stores this MarchRead More
One of my major advocacies as a preschool teacher, despite the fact I don’t read as much as I used to anymore, is to foster a love for reading in my kids. I feel a little guilty, actually, that lately I am not as able to integrate stories to my lessons as much as I used to, or want to for that matter. Before I would have a story EVERY single day. However now, I tend to have about 2-3 a week. Sigh.
What I try to do, however, is set aside book time everyday for the kids to explore the different books in class. I allow them to have free reign of the books they would like to check out and read during this period. I go around and sit with them and together we go through the book. Often times the books that are in our booktime shelf are those that we had read already, so they are often familiar with the story line. However today, as I sat beside one of my little girls, I couldn’t help but be amazed at how far her reading skills have come
isn’t she so cute! hehe. yes, those are real prescription eyeglasses.
Although the book in the picture, I think, is being read from memory, she can now read longer words and has a better grasp over sight words. At times, however, she still relies too much on this, but that’s normal Her phonetic mastery is also something she is able to rely on in our spelling games. Scenes like these are definitely going to be among those I will miss a lot pretty soon
The other day after our discussion about birds, I finally did one of my all time favorite story stretchers…
Green Eggs and Spam!!! Yey!!! For today I decided to have them color the eggs green first and place them on a nest just for kicks
It was a joy to see the kids try to figure out how to hold the eggs and navigate through the shape without cracking or squeezing too hard. Some of them were even brave enough to venture designs in their eggshells
Before the actual cooking activity, we went through the book, Green Eggs and Ham then we went on to experimenting on how to make our own version of the dish
Since most of my kids are readers already, I also let them take turns reading through the book. To further up the academic difficulty of the task, we also listed down the ingredients and procedure we did, then we went on to charting how many kids liked or did not like our little experiment.
As a finishing touch, we also answered some word problems about itRead More
A couple of months ago, during our discussion about health and safety, we lucky enough to get our local fire department send over some firemen to share with the kids some fire safety measures and procedures. The kids loved the fact that they got to ride in the fire truck, “shoot” the fire hose, and some even got to put on the fireman’s uniform, complete with those giant boots or overshoes. Sadly, though, it was a rainy day when the firemen came to visit so they didn’t get to fully enjoy their ride on the truck.
It was quite easy enough to get our local barangay to send the firemen over to the school. We just made some simple requests and it was quickly granted. Part of the Fire Safety Program included teaching the kids about “stop, drop and roll” as well interactive exercises about what to do during an emergency.
I strongly recommend that all preschools devote a day to this. After all, we do all sorts of fire drills and the like in elementary and high school, right? Preschoolers need to know this just as much!Read More
A few days ago I had this discussion with a friend about toys we used to play with as kids. I realized that even if I did have toys as a child, these were mostly Barbies and video games. Haha. What a weird combination I know. My point is I never really got into the whole stuffed animal thing, mainly because my little sister was always allergic to anything and everything!!! Hehe.
Because of that, I try to make sure to be careful about the toys I let my kids play with in school. Not only that, I try very hard to keep it clean, sanitary and hygienic. Here are some things I do to make sure I can keep the kids as safe as possible:
- Plush/stuffed animals or toys are only allowed in school during show and tell days
- Toys are stored in covered containers so as to avoid any creepy crawlies leaving germs behind
- Weekly clean-ups and disinfecting sessions for the toys
- After play, I make sure the kids wash their hands thoroughly
Any other suggestions?Read More
One new category I hope to add here in my blog (yes, even as I count down to my retirement as Teacher Ria) is that of Music and Movement. In this section I hope to post songs, lyrics and videos of the different songs I like to have my kids sing and do in class. Trust me, even if I cannot sing and dance to save my life, these activities have helped keep me young and believe it or not, often times is better than those that crash diets that work supposedly but don’t really. These activities, they really do!!! Haha. I end up sweating buckets after playing along with the kids.
Anyway, to start off, here is one of my favorite music and movement songs:
Bear is Now Asleep by the Wiggles
(Clap! Clap! Clap! )
La la la la la!
Bow to your partner,
Then you turn around
Hands in the air,
Rock-a-bye your bear,
Bear’s now asleep,
Shh! Shh! Shh!
Bear’s now asleep,
Shh! Shh! Shh!
(Clap! Clap! Clap! )
La la la la la!
Bow to your partner,
Then you turn around
Hands in the air,
Rock-a-bye your bear,
Bear’s now asleep,
Shh! Shh! Shh!
Bear’s now asleep,
Shh! Shh! Shh!
Do feel free to post comments below for requests and suggestionsRead More