Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Teaching Tips: Thick & Thin Question

Thin question are those which can be answered by a simple answer, while thick question are those which require more thought and more than a simple one-word answer.

Thick question also known as open ended question, it is one of the most important teaching tools to have in the teacher's tool box. Open ended questions are a way to offer children the opportunity to freely express their knowledge, ideas and feelings. They are also a way to get children to use and expand their vocabulary. Open ended question have no single right or wrong answer, with this it create positive environment in your classroom.

What you think?

Image source from Teacher Tech Talk

We play, We Explore, We Learn! 
                                                                            - LittleScientists

Website: www.LittleScientistS.com

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Tips for Teachers on the First Day of School

The first day of school is an important one. As teachers, what you do during that first day sets the tone for the entire school year. What should you do on the first day back? How can you make going back to school easier? Here is a guide for teachers that provides a few helpful tips for a creating a successful first day experience.

1. Be early on that first day of school. You want to get to class a little early at the start of school. This time will allow you to write on the board and organize your classroom materials and supplies. You can arrange the room the way you want and make sure all of the necessary equipment is in place and working. NEVER get to class late or even cut it close on the first day. You don't want to appear unprepared to parents or your new students. You don't have to get there hours before class. Just make an effort to get there a little early, even if you can only make it an extra few minutes.
2. Meet the parents. It is important that you develop  good relationship with your students' parents. Greet parents with a smile and be welcoming. Introduce yourself and talk about all of the interesting and new things their child will learn this year. Some parents might be reluctant to leave their children. Assure them that this school year will be great experience for their child. Don't show that you're nervous. Remain confident and hopefully some of that confidence will rub off onto students and parents.
3. Start off on the right foot. Greet each student at the door and direct them to their seat. This will ensure that the students enter in an orderly fashion while also allowing you to make direct contact with each of your students.
4. Introduce yourself to the class. Write your name on the board and pronounce it for your students. If you have a difficult name, repeat it several times along with the class. Talk a little bit about who you are as a teacher and what you teach.  And remember to dress professionally. This can sometimes make students more confident about your abilities as a teacher. Let your students know that you are capable and prepared for the new school year.
5. Have students introduce themselves to the class. You could have each student stand and briefly state their name and any interests they enjoy. They could also talk about their holiday vacations. 
6. Learn student names as soon as possible. Knowing your students' names gives you the chance to make a personal connection with your class. It also helps you to build positive relationships early on and makes correcting misbehavior easier and faster. If you have trouble remembering names, think about using name tags on the first day of class or name plates for students' desks. You could also take a picture of each student and put the pictures on a bulletin board labeled with the correct names. Make sure you can call a student by their name as much as possible on the first day. "Hey you," just isn't going to cut it when you're trying to create positive relationships with your students.
7. Let students know about class procedures. Throughout the first day your students will need to know various class procedures. Lay everything out there for the students on day one. Let students know how attendance will be taken, where they should place their water bottle, what should they do if their want to pass motion, how to enter and exit the classroom, along with any other classroom procedures you've decided to use this school year. Practice classroom procedures so that students are better prepared for when it comes time to put them to use.
8. Play getting-acquainted games. When children come to school on the first day they are very nervous. They're meeting new teachers, in new classrooms, reuniting with old friends from last year, and feeling the pressure of making new friends this school year. Be understanding about these first-day jitters and help students get to know one another. There are so many "ice-breaker" games out there to use on the first day of school. 
9. Use activities and assignments that are fun and achievable on the first day. Choose tasks that you know your class will be able to successfully complete. Students need to achieve success on the first day of school to set the right tone for the rest of the school year. Get the class involved in activities that involve movement and group work. Some fun activities include creative writing/storytelling, playing music, math games, and reading aloud while students act out the story's plot. It is sometimes nice to have something tangible to take home at the end of day, so keep that in mind when you're planning lessons and activities for the first day of school.
10. Talk about class rules and consequences. This is perfectly okay, especially when you're just starting out as a teacher. Remember to keep your rules positive, clear and concise. Rules should only include the most important points. Another option when setting up classroom rules is to allow students to give some input on what rules make the most sense for their new classroom. As the year progresses, rules could be added on when it seems appropriate. Keep this list of rules relatively short however. This will keep students from feeling overwhelmed. Plus, a shorter list makes the classroom rules easier for students to remember. After going over the rules, talk about what happens when a rule is broken (i.e. points deducted, detention, sad face sticker, name on the board, etc.). The rules should be posted in a place where everyone in the class can see them. 
11. Introduce the curriculum. You want to show your students all of their textbooks and let them know more about the subjects they'll be studying. Try to make each subject interesting in some way. Talk about some of the interesting things you will be doing throughout the year in all parts of the curriculum. During class, choose fun activities that make the subjects interesting while promoting academic growth.
Hopefully this back to school guide has been helpful to teachers faced with the new school year. Follow these teaching tips and make the first day of school a big success.

- Source from Yahoo Voice -

We play, We Explore, We Learn! 
                                                                            - LittleScientists

Website: www.LittleScientistS.com

Monday, 2 December 2013

10 Kindergarten Readiness Skills Your Child Needs

What do teachers really want your child to know on the first day of kindergarten? Kindergarten is changing and parents are feeling pressure to prepare their children for their first school experience. But while some may fret that reading and doing addition are prerequisites for kindergarten these days, your child likely possesses many of the skills they needs to be successful as they begins school.
“Some of the things I would like my kids to know coming into kindergarten are alphabet and some sounds, recognition of numbers 1-10, be able to write and recognize their name” says kindergarten teacher. “It is also important for them to be able to follow directions and to have the ability to express their feelings.”
Here are the 10 kindergarten readiness skills to focus on as you work with your child. Don't be concerned if they does not have them all down before the first day of kindergarten, as they will continue to work on them throughout the year. Try a few activities listed for the skills your child might need to work on a bit more before they starts school.

1. Writing
·    Help your child practice writing letters, especially the letters in their name.
·    Teach your child how to write their name with an uppercase first letter and the remaining letters in lowercase.
·     Write in finger paint or sand writing when go to beach side to make practicing more fun and multisensory.

2. Letter Recognition
·    Play games to help your child recognize some letters of the alphabet.
·    Play hide and seek with refrigerator magnets.
·    Rather than drilling your child with flashcards, use them to play a game of alphabet go fish.

3. Recognice Sounds
·   Make your child aware of the sound.
·   Play guessing sound game with them; make them guess the sound of animals, vehicles or musical instrument.

4. Number Recognition and Counting
·   Count throughout the day (for example, the crackers they are eating for snack)
·   Point out numbers you see in your environment and have your child name them (for example, the numbers found on menu or street signs).

5. Colour
·   If your child is having trouble recognizing certain colors, you might add a little food coloring to cookie dough, milk or vanilla pudding to emphasize those colors.
·   Play games in which your child finds objects of particular colors around the house or in the neighborhood as you drive.

6. Shape
·    Help your child recognize basic shapes such as square and triangle by showing them how to draw on paper.
·    Play with play dough and cut out shapes, let your kids sort the shape into group.

7. Fine Motor Skills
·    Give your child several different writing options (colored pencils, crayons or markers) to help keep her interested in writing and drawing.
·    Playing with play dough is a fun way to strengthen the muscles of the hand that will be used for writing.

8. Reading Readiness
·   Run your finger under the words as you read to your child to help her learn that words go from left to right and top to bottom.
·   Read their favorite storybook

9. Attention and Following Directions
·   Read lots of stories with your child and work up to reading longer chapter books, one chapter each night or as long as she remains interested and focused.
·    Give your child two and three step directions. For example: "put on your pajamas, brush your teeth and pick a book to read."
·    Play Simon Says with two or three step directions. For example: "Simon Says jump up and down and shout hooray."

10. Social Skills
·    Give your children opportunities to interact with other children in preschool, social groups or play dates.
·    Teach your child how to express their feelings if they do not like something.
·     Role-play different situations their might experience on the playground or at school. Help them find solutions for typical problems they might encounter.

Chances are you're already practicing many of these skills your child will need for kindergarten. Remember to keep it fun and don’t make it stressful for you or your child. With just a little fun practice, your child will be prepared for her elementary school debut!
We play, We Explore, We Learn! 
                                                                            - LittleScientists

Website: www.LittleScientistS.com

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