Aug 6, 2010

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Keeping Kids Safe In School

One of the biggest things I worry about as a teacher is my kids’ safety. Be it during play time or dismissal time, I want to be sure they are as safe as possible. This is why I always tell remind my co-teachers that we should never have our backs turned to the kids. Perhaps I may be hypervigilant about this, but it has always been one of the things I am overly attentive with. For example, even during dismissal time, I feel uncomfortable leaving the kids with their nannies in the waiting area because it’s not very child-friendly. For one, it’s hot. Secondly, it’s cemented and quite a small area. That’s why I always ask my kids to stay inside the library or play area while waiting.

I have had my fair share of accidents in school, despite my vigilance. The worst of which was when one little girl ran down the steps and hit her head. Even though the step was somewhat padded, because of the pebble wash under the padding, she got a HUGE bump on her forehead. What made things worse was I was unable to reach her mom immediately and the child’s nanny did not inform her as well that I wanted to talk to her until late in the evening. That was definitely the worst experience ever.

The thing I fear the most, though, is accidentally losing a child from the school premises. Thankfully, we have strict guidelines and procedures for pick-up time and during class hours to ensure that the kids are not taken without our knowledge, even if this is by their parents. We make sure that one of us will physically hand-off the kids to the parent/driver or whoever is assigned to pick him/her up.

Here are other safety tips and reminders for all of us teachers:

1. Childproof your school furniture, including electrical sockets, table corners and doors.

2. Have nanny-safety seminars once a semester to remind them of rules and reminders about kid safety.

3. Empower your teachers with CPR and emergency training.

4. Make sure your fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and emergency sets are in place.

5. Install a security system (such as CCTV’s) as well as heavy duty Kwikset locks/handles and barrel bolts that kids cannot manipulate on their own (yes, even a four year old can manage to unlock doors!) so there’s no way they can’t get out alone.

6. Do emergency evacuation drills periodically.

These are just a few safety tips and reminders. Do you have other suggestions?

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Aug 2, 2010

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Assurance and Insurance.

Getting insurance for local business is perhaps one of the things any preschool (or business for that matter) should prioritize. Having this assurance can help quell fears and allow owners to really feel safe about their investments. To be honest, I was not a very firm believer in insurance, particularly life insurance, but because of my friend who shared with me how the insurance policies her parents had taken out when they were younger helped her after their deaths, I realized it does have good value. With regards to educational plans and these types of insurance, I’m not very sure.

Next to life insurance, I think it is very important to have your home insured. After all, this is where you spend most of your time in, right? When getting insurance, it is important to make sure you understand the fine print of what you’re getting. Some agents may sweet talk you into things and you may not realize you can get more for your money. Nowadays, online sites can aide you with this as you get a whole range of estimates that best suits your needs, such as these links on Home Insurance in California and Illinois life insurance. You can even get multiple quotes that will allow you to choose the best for you.

Overall, I think getting insurance does have a lot of great benefits. It is important, however, that you take into careful consideration what company you will deal with. Sure there are a few fly by night, unstable companies there, but there are a lot of reputable companies that can provide you the assurance you need.

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Jul 30, 2010

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Cooking days are the bestest days, Teacher!

My kids love cooking activities. Be it something as simple as microwaving popcorn or something more complicated like making vegetable soup, the kids have a blast. Last week we had egg sandwiches and the kids were just ecstatic about it!

I like using these cooking activities as story stretchers, such as what I shared with my Green Eggs and Ham Story stretcher. Other ideas include:

vegetable soup for the story Stone Soup

pigs in a blanket for The Three Little Pigs

caramel apples for Ten Apples Up on Top or The Giving Tree

alphabet soup for Chikka Chikka Boom Boom

Not only do the kids learn a lot from these activities, its a lot of f too! So fire up that stove, bring out your electric grills and clean up that microwave and let the kids get cooking!

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Jul 30, 2010

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10 things every preschool should have

If I had it my way, this is what I think a good preschool/learning center should have, besides of course, great teachers. These will definitely make teaching and lerning much more meaningful and exciting

1. A well stocked library

2. Sandboxes

3. Water tables for waterplay

4. Child-sized sinks and potties

5. LCD TVs , DVD players and similar audio visual equipment 6. A large playground 7. A bountiful arts and crafts stock room 8. A pretend play area (dress-up, kitchen, or store would be good examples) 9. A science corner with pets 10. A photocopier, laminator and similar paraphernalia. If ever I do set up a school, this will definitely be my list!

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Jul 27, 2010

Posted by in Featured | 18 Comments

Ideas That Change

What’s the most resilient parasite? An Idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules. – Cobb, Inception

As the quote from one of the biggest blockbusters this year, Inception, goes, an idea can really change lives. This year, Unilab encourages us all to look into ourselves and find our own “parasites” to effect positive change. Even a small idea may cause big changes, especially with the Filipino Youth.

click on photo to enlarge

Launched in June The Unilab Youth Camp for Change is an idea-generation camp and competition for college students that aims to

inspire fresh, developmental, and research-based social marketing initiatives that promote and advance health and wellness at the community level.

Now, Unilab pushes the envelope further with a simple little contest for you, my dear readers!

Simply answer this question by leaving a comment at the end of this post:

Q: If you were given a chance to do one good thing to improve the health and wellness situation in a community, what would it be and why? Your idea can be as simple as improving the drainage system to dramatically alleviate the cases of leptospirosis in your community or as grand as building an entire city hospital to address the health needs of your community.

The entries will be judged by Unilab and other media outlet. Five winners will take home two Unilab gift packs each.

So, what are you waiting for? Leave me your comments now! Let your ideas grow! Contest will run from July 27, 2010 to August 6, 2010. UPDATE: prizes will be claimed personally by winners via meet-up :-)

Also, all college students are invited to join Ideas Positive: The Unilab Youth Camp for Change. You and your friends can channel your ideas in helping your chosen community through this program. The winning group can see their idea come to life with a P100,000 seed money plus a 3-day, 2-night all-expense paid trip to Boracay. For more information, visit www.ideaspositive.com.

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Jul 22, 2010

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What are we teaching our children?

A few months ago, I came across this pack of candy that I thought was quite cute. It was a play on one of the popular cigarette brands that said “Sucking Does Not Kill”. I liked how, in it’s small way, it implies that smoking is dangerous to ones health while the candy, well, it’s a better alternative, right?

However, days later I came across this one in a local grocery store:

I was quite shocked and angered by what I had seen. This actually encourages young children to think smoking is cool Grrr.

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Jul 21, 2010

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Laugh Trip Moments with the Seniors

In the past few days, we have been discussing the senses. It sure has been fun talking to the kids about their ideas of what things they can see, smell, taste, feel and hear are. A lot of funny moments sure come out of these discussions. For example:

Teacher Ria: Okay, who can tell me what we see when we look up at the sky?

Kid #1: The clouds, Teacher!

Kid #2: Mr. Sun, Teacher!

Kid #3: Teacher, where’s Superman? I can’t find him!

In talking about taste:

Teacher Ria: So, what part of our body helps us know what things taste like?

Children: Tongue!

Teacher Ria: Correct! With our tongues, we can taste sweet, salty, sour, bitter and even spicy stuff. Now lets play a guessing game. Can anyone tell me what a chocolate bar tastes like?

Kid#1: Sweet teacher!

Teacher Ria: Good job! Now lets try this. What about a calamansi (Philippine lemon)?

Kid #2: Asim, Teacher. (Sour, Teacher)

Teacher Ria: Great! What about ampalaya?

Kid #3: Bitter.

Teacher Ria: Correct again! Very good guys. Now…this is tricky…let’s try this one. What does rice taste like (hmmm….no particular taste right?)

After carefully pondering over it. Child #4: I know, Teacher!

Teacher Ria: What?

Child #4: It’s yummy Teacher!

Hmmm….that’s right I guess!

This one I don’t know is laughable or what:

Kid: Teacher, what’s that? (pointing to my face)

Teacher Ria: What’s what?

Kid: There’s black-black on your face. And dots too. (referring to lines on my forehead and my freckles)

Gee….I guess I need to invest in some wrinkle cream and good foundation too!!!

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Jul 18, 2010

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Things you don’t want your teacher to know…

I’m sure there are a whole lotta things you hide from your teacher, such as your little notes about him or her, or the caricatures you doodle to make fun of them, but of all, I think this is one thing you don’t want your teacher to know:

Free essays, eh? Hmmmm.

I got this in my email inbox not too long ago, after I assigned an essay to my students. Definitely not the kind of thing you want your teacher to see.

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Jul 15, 2010

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Growing Up Is Hard To Do!

One thing I will miss most from teaching preschooler is being with the joyful spirit of innocence. When I am with the kids, I feel like I still am very young, despite the aches and pains I may feel while working with them. They also help me keep the child in me alive by making me laugh, not just have fun, but to really laugh those deep belly kinds of laugh that really go to the core of you.

However, every now and then I think about how I have to “grow up”.  I need to think more seriously about moving on to the next phase in my life, personally and professionally. I guess that’s really why I’m lucky that I also teach in the college level because that caters to the adult side of me.

I still wish I could afford to keep on teaching until I’m much older to the point that I am no longer looking for life term insurance but I will be considering term insurance for seniors already. Yup, I seriously love to teach well into my old days but I know that’s an impossibility! I hope, however, that I can still work with kids in some other way as I age. This website, for example, is one way for me to do that :-)

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Jul 10, 2010

Posted by in Arts and Crafts, Teacher's Corner, The Library, Tips and Tricks | 2 Comments

My Concept Wall

It’s been over a month since classes started and I realized I still have not posted what my classroom concept wall looks like. With no further ado, here it is!
The caterpillar is actually a recycled one from my Toddlers days but I love it so much I decided to keep it, even if my students don’t really need it. For the calendar, I decided to up the ante by having the kids master the concepts of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

My favorite feature, however, is the reading train. My co-teacher painted that over the summer :-) There are a series of pockets which currently hold our various word lists. An alternative I was thinking of is tracking titles of books we read throughout the month. Fun idea, huh? :-)

Join in and jump aboard the reading train!

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