Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Busy Educator Newsletter

Yay!  One of my posts was featured in The Busy Educator Newsletter.  Click on the link to read the newsletter.  Marjan Glavac is the editor and he shares great ideas from teachers everywhere.

On another note, here are two articles from our school newsletter about kindergarten readiness and fun things to do with your little ones this summer. Enjoy!

Kindergarten Readiness
For parents who have little ones getting ready to start kindergarten in the fall, here is a list of activities you can work on over the summer to help your child start the school year off smoothly and with confidence.  Kindergarten is not what it used to be.  It is fast paced with a lot of expectations.  Most kindergarteners will be reading by the end of the year and many will be reading by second semester.  These are things you can help your child learn.
  • State full name (including middle name), birthday, phone number, and address.
  • Write first and last name.  Kindergarten teachers want your child to capitalize the first letter in a name with the rest in lowercase.
  • Count to 30 (without skipping any numbers).
  • Count out up to twelve objects correctly.  You can say “give me” 3, 5, 7, etc.  You can also ask how many objects and have them count.
  • Recognize letters of the alphabet, in both upper and lowercase.
  • Start to know letter sounds.
  • Understand the concept of rhyming
  • Draw a picture and tell about it.
  • Know how to handle books (turning one page at a time, understanding print goes from left to right across the page).
  • Answering questions in complete sentences.
  • Being independent with getting a coat/jacket on and off; going to the restroom, including zipping, buttoning and snapping pants; opening packages/drinks for lunch and snacks
Please do not feel your child has to have completely mastered all these skills before going to kindergarten.  However, the more your child knows, the more confident he or she will feel when stepping through the doors to begin his or her year as a kindergartener!

Free and Cheap Summer Fun
Summer is almost here, and families are scrambling to figure out how to keep kids busy without the headache of spending lots of money.  Below is a list of free or inexpensive things to do with your little ones.
Nature walk – Go on a nature walk with the kids.  Don’t forget to take a piece of paper and crayon for bark rubbings, and a camera to document what you see.  Bring home a couple of leaves, and flowers to press; you can place these in a frame or memory book, or attach them to a blank greeting card to send to someone special.
Prepare meals with kids – Get your kids into the kitchen this summer.  Involve them in the process of choosing snacks, washing fruit, making salads or sandwiches, and then take your meal into the backyard with a picnic blanket.
Family Game Night – Set aside one night a week for a family game night.  Kids will love this special time spent as a family playing their favorite board or card games.
Pitch a Tent – If camping at a campground is not in the cards this summer, pitch a tent in your backyard on a clear night.  Light a small fire pit, make s’mores and learn about the stars.
Science experiments – Have some fun with kid-friendly science experiments.  Learn about floating and sinking, gravity, magnets, and reflecting light.  All you need to do is use your computer’s search engine, and you’ll be amazed by how many fun experiments there are to try with everyday household items.
Fly a kite – Check the weather forecast and plan a day to head outside and teach your kids how to fly a kite.  Get creative before you go and help your kids make their own kites.
T-shirt painting – Give your kids some plain white t-shirts and let them go crazy with a little fabric paint, creating their own design. 
Story time – Check with your local library and bookstores for their story time schedules.
Make it or build it – Some craft stores (such as Michael’s), and hardware stores (such as Home Depot) have days where children can attend fun classes.  They’ll learn to build or craft something fabulous to bring home.  Check their websites for further details.
Visit museums – Some museums offer free or discounted days; check their schedules ahead of time.
Obstacle Course – Turn your backyard into a fun-filled obstacle course complete with tires for running through, a net to crawl under, a knotted rope hanging from a tree to climb up, and other assorted activities that kids have to climb over, under, or through.
Exercise – Schedule 30 minutes a day for fun workouts with the kids.  Choose from a variety of things such as skipping rope, bike riding, walking, hula-hooping, dancing, and yoga.  Not only are these fun activities, but your kids may have the chance to learn something new too.
Put on a play – Let your kids dress up in costumes and encourage them to make up a play for a little before dinner entertainment.
Remember, no matter what idea you try, your child will LOVE anything they get to do spending time with YOU!

Thanks for reading!  Have a great day.  :)

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