Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy Teachers' Day!!!

Source: http://www.prrdweb.com/images/pages/World%20Teachers%20Day%20Online%20Image.JPG

October 5th is World Teachers' Day! I just want to thank all teachers out there who make a positive difference in every child's life. Teachers are probably one of the most under appreciated people of all the time all around the world.  And please remember that anyone that has taught us anything is a teacher. Whether it be parents, family, friends, co-workers, etc. So thank you, thank you, thank you to all!!

Here are a few pictures that help teachers feel better about what they do. Enjoy!!!


Source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_y3XW9pvEnIA/TMjhoz7pwhI/AAAAAAAAACE/gp-tdJN3884/s1600/modernteacher.gif


Source: http://wikinewstime.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/World-Teachers-Day-Card-2012.jpg


Source: http://vincentloy.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/teachers-day-sms-masseges.jpg


Source: http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/c78.0.403.403/p403x403/523113_10151017799633639_2111779300_n.jpg
Source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_6A8j2EQmANk/TIDRfFJ-UPI/AAAAAAAAKmQ/OLOfrskRj1Q/s1600/Teachers+Day+Wallpaper3.jpg






Recognizing Alphabets - Matching Centre



I have been trying to put out different activities every other day in the literacy centre. Here is an alphabet centre that was donated to me by a teacher (I hit a jackpot with it because it was free!!!) If you are unable to buy it, I think it is super easy to create it as well (take a large bristol board, add pocket cards, label them with letters, cut out letters small enough to fit into the pockets and you are done!)

I only put out letters for now in a basket. As the weeks go by, there are picture cards with the whole word. The first letter is highlighted so they may match it and put it in the right pocket.

I put this centre on a round table. It is easier for more children to participate at one time rather than up on the wall or board. 


Here are my kids working away! I did not even model this activity to them. They all knew what was expected which is super easy!

What are the children learning?

  • communication and social skills as they use this centre with other children and learn to take turns
  • sorting skills as they take the letters and sort them accordingly
  • matching skills as they match the letters accordingly
  • hand-eye coordination as they use their eyes to match the letters and use their hands to insert them into the pockets
  • literacy skills as they recognize their letters (both upper and lower case)
  • math skills if they are counting how many letters are in the alphabet
  • observation skills as they figure out the differences between upper and lower case letters
  • gross motor (large muscles) as they use their hand to insert the letters and insert them into the pockets

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Recognizing Alphabets - Media-Enriched Activity

One of the easiest and realistic ways for children to begin recognizing letters is to use media around them. This is such an easy activity where children can learn their letters. All you need is newspapers/flyers and yellow marker/highlighters. 

I wrote down the letter that we are working on. I also send this activity as an at-home activity. It is easy for parents since they don't have to purchase anything to work with their children.

The goal is to highlight every S you see in the flyer or newspaper. If you don't have highlighters or markers, use pencil or pen to circle. And there you have another activity for learning alphabets! Choose a different letter each week and you have a centre ready!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Practicing Alphabets - Quick Activity

Here is a very quick letter activity I came up with. I was using the die cutter to cut out alphabets and I noticed there was a lot of paper left for recycling which I didn't feel comfortable recycling. So I decided to use it for learning letters. 

We are doing the letter S for the week. So I only used the letter S.
I put out paper, markers and crayons. You also choose to use paint. Finger painting would be fantastic for tiny fingers!

Here are my kids doing the activity. I allow them to start from the top or bottom. Whatever helps them make the S.
Here is the finished product. It was their first time but we are getting the point!





Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Ever-Changing Classroom

I am teaching Kindergarten this year and it has been a month already. In this month, I have rearranged my classroom a total of 4 times. Moving centres around to different locations based on the traffic in the classroom. But I think I have finally found the perfect spot to put things where I like. Although I am sure I will move something else around :)

Below is my main carpet area. A brand new white board easel was given to me so I have set that up. I will have to move it up a little bit so the chart paper fits. The wooden easel you see on the left side of the picture is now gone. It is resting in storage. I also got a brand new shelf that is on the left with the blue bins. I was so excited about those. That shelf is full of math manipulatives. I will be taking pictures of what I have and making a post about the Math Centre sometime soon too. 



Here is what my room looks like from the rocking chair point of view. I have floor toys in those areas under that big counter. I have tables on the right side of the picture. In the middle of the room I have the paint easel.



This is my cute little reading area. A few kids fall asleep here but the children are in love with my cushions and my stuffed toys. I got those from thrift stores for fantastic deals! 



Here is my dramatic centre. Right now I have a home centre going on. Thinking about changing it up in a few days. For now I have puppets, babies in a crib, a baby centre which has a diaper changing table and a shower area (I scored this from a thrift store for 6.50!!), the kitchen set and a dining table.



Here I have kept a little construction/tool site, big blocks bin (in which I have recyclable cones) and the sand box on the side. The area looks empty right now but with 26 children in the classroom, it gets BUSY!



Last to show right now is my messy desk. It is NEVER clean. Unless a supply teacher needs to come in. Then, I may tidy things up just a little bit.



I still need to start some crafts and put them up on the many bulletin boards that I have. I also bought a typewriter that I am going to put next to the computer (right after I put an organizer shelf on the back counter!!) I will post more picture later on (close-ups) as the days go by. Keep posted! And thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Me? An Award? Yay!



My blog won an award! WOHOOOO!! I am delighted to have an award for my blog, the Liebster Award. It was given to me by another AMAZING blogger and one of my closest friends, Nothy Lane, who has two equally amazing blogs: A Question for the Teacher and Aft Agley

Here is how this works!


  1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you.
  3. Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
  4. Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post. Go to their page and tell them.
  5. No tag backs!


11 Things About Paige Turner:


  1. I have a pet bird and a pet chameleon!
  2. I love reading. I wish I spent more time reading but it's hard in my busy life!
  3. I have a younger sister and a younger brother.
  4. I enjoy traveling very much. I have been to England, France, Scotland, Italy, Greece, Spain, Cuba and different states in America.
  5. I really like technology. I wish I was more of a tech whiz!
  6. I really enjoy indoor rock climbing. I have been a few times this month and I think I have become obsessed!
  7. I want to write children's books someday.
  8. I have a bucket list. It currently has about 120 items on it. I have done over 50.
  9. My biggest pet peeve is people without manners and politeness.
  10. Because of my profession, I present myself as a bit of a girly girl. But anywhere outside of my profession, I'm nothing of the sort. I am crazy about video games, anime cartoons, and outdoor adventures.
  11. I am currently enrolled in Masters of Education.

Liebster Award Questions:

1. What is your favourite book?
Favourite book? Oh man. This is hard for someone who loves reading. I would have to say my favourite books may be "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini as well as 'Salem Falls' and 'House Rules' both by Jodi Picoult. Visit my tab My Reads to find out more!

2. Tell us about your perfect day.
I have never actually thought about this before. My perfect day would consist of time spent with family and friends on a place that is extraordinary in the world (tropical island perhaps). I would enjoy listening to music, reading books, going on an adventure on my perfect day. 

3. If there were more hours in the day, how would you spend them?
I would definitely blog more, exercise a lot more, bake a lot more and perhaps write books! I would also play my cultural drums more often and do henna more often.

4. Have you bought anything recently on Ebay?
Nope. But I did buy something off Etsy. It's a really cool online shopping site where people sell things from their personal/private businesses. I bought a Dragon Ball Z (an anime tv show) bracelet.

5. What can't you live without?
Umm, I have no idea. I'm not crazy about materialistic things too much. I may say my car! I love my car hehehe.

6. Who can't you live without?
Definitely my family. 

7. What was your favourite childhood TV show?
Too many to count! I would say Pingu, Mr. Dress Up, Arthur, and the Magic School Bus!

8. Who do you call on a great day?
My family and my friends.

9. Who do you call on a bad day?
My best friend.

10. What is something that doesn't matter much to you now, but meant a great deal in the past?
Hmm, this is something I haven't thought about before either. I have no idea!

11. What is one thing you do today that you still want to be doing in 30 years?
Reading! And spending time with family!

Questions for Future Award Winners!

  1. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  2. What is your favourite song?
  3. What is the most beautiful memory you have?
  4. Any favourite movies?
  5. If you could recommend a book, what would it be?
  6. If you could have the choice of living anywhere, where would it be?
  7. If you could create the "perfect world", what are three things you would have?
  8. What is your zodiac sign?
  9. What or who was your motivation to start your blog?
  10. Who is your hero?
  11. If you were related to anyone famous, who would you like to be related to?





Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bulletin Board - Soaring Into Kindergarten

Oh my goodness, how time flies! I am already into the third week of school and have not gotten a chance to post anything because of how tired I already am. Here is a small post about my bulletin board that I made in my first week of school. Enjoy!



Here is what I did:

  • Took wrapping paper. One full roll was perfect for the size of my board

Source: http://www.sophiesfavors.com/themes_tiffanyblue_aquabluegiftwrap_sub.jpg
  • Put borders around it
Source: http://images.shopletcdn.com/productimages/300x300/EJ034256.JPG
  • Cut out letters for the title (I didn't laminate mine; you can always do that for yours if you want to use them again)
Source: http://melissa.depperfamily.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/P1030670.jpg

  • Take construction paper and cut it out as kites. Drew the lines of the kites. 
  • Wrote the names of the students
  • Added a few stickers (4-5)
  • Took birthday tissue paper string to make the ends of the kite. And you are done!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Eid-ul-Fitr

Source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5oV6_DAhi60/UC9W3gN4n1I/AAAAAAAABgM/tRXr78Hk_io/s1600/Eid%2B2012.jpg

A few days ago, I did a post about Ramadan. I did not, however, talk about Eid-ul-Fitr (pronounced: Eed - ul - fit - er). If you have not yet read the post about Ramadan, please do so here before you read about Eid-ul-Fitr.


Source: http://moodyncheeky.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/eid-mubarak-glitter-greetings.gif%3Fw%3D490

About two weeks ago, muslims all over the world celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr after the completion of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.  Here is a bit more information about Eid-ul-Fitr.

What is Eid?

Eid is a celebration that muslims take part in every year. There are two different times of the year when Eid is celebrated. One is called Eid-ul-Fitr and the other is called Eid-ul-Adha (pronounced Eed - ul - Ad - ha). Please click here for a post about Eid-ul-Adha.

What is Eid-ul-Fitr?


Source: http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/eid.jpg

Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated as the month of Ramadan ends. The term is in Arabic, in which the word Eid means "festivity" and Fitr means "breaking the fast"; hence, the definition being the festivity of breaking the fast. On this holiday, muslims are forbidden to fast and they celebrate it with many different traditions all over the world. The ending of Ramadan is marked by a brand new moon. Once the new moon is witnessed, Eid-ul-Fitr is declared. 

What is done on Eid-ul-Fitr?

Eid-ul-Fitr is done for one, two, or three days depending on the cultural rituals/traditions around the world. The day begins with greetings between everyone by saying "Eid Mubarak" meaning Happy Eid. It is encouraged to shower and be clean; if possible, to wear clean, new clothes (or the best that you have). An Eid prayer is held in a large area with many people to give thanks to God. After the prayer, people greet each other with hugs and wish them 'Eid Mubarak'. 


Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c5/Celebrating_Eid_in_Tajikistan_10-13-2007.jpg

A big feast is held for Eid. Different foods are made in all different parts of the world and cultures. 




A common tradition for women and girls is to apply Henna or Mehndi (pronounced Meh-n-dee) on hands and/or feet. Henna is a plant from which leaves are used to dye skin, hair, nails, and as well as leather and wool (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henna). It is widely used as body art. Henna leaves are taken to create a paste which is used to create designs and beautiful art on the body. The above henna is actually done by me on my hand!!


Source: http://img3.photographersdirect.com/img/26650/wm/pd2276795.jpg

Children receive cards, gifts and/or money. In some countries, there are many Eid community gatherings held that include food, shopping, games, henna, music and other entertainment. 

Each country celebrates Eid in their own traditional way. This page on Wikipedia gives a little information about various countries in the world in which Eid is celebrated. Check out the link here.

Books about Eid-ul-Fitr


Source: http://i43.tower.com/images/mm113458980/eid-for-everyone-hina-islam-paperback-cover-art.jpg
An Eid for Everyone - by Hina Islam

Source: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ItgCSgmTL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
The Lost Ring: An Eid Story - by Fawzia Gilani-Williams

The following link is a DOC file that has many titles for children's literature about Eid-ul-Fitr. You are more than welcome to download it as I found it on the web myself. It is a bibliography of the titles: www.olc.org/diversity/eid_bibliography.doc

Here is a link to my post with Free Coloring Pages for Ramadan and Eid.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Banning Teachers From Striking?

Source: http://nationalpostnews.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/image1.jpg%3Fw%3D620

According to statistics (which I don't have), Ontario is the largest province with the most amount of debt. To fix this problem, a review of the public services was to be done by a hired professional. This professional was Don Drummond, an economist, who conducted a report and called it 'The Drummond Report'. 

This report was over 600 pages long, released in February 2012 and talked in detail about all the public sectors that could need some tweeking. The teachers of Ontario were part of this report. The Drummond Report said to freeze teachers' wages for two years without being able to climb up the salary grid even after additional qualifications. It also wants to take away the sick days from 20 and push it to 6.

The government now is not budging from this and is even imposing a bill to ban teachers from striking and forcing them to take this contract with wages frozen and less benefits. The government is using many reasons by using statements such as the teachers are getting paid too much money and they get lots of time in their summer. A friend of mine sent me this piece of article from an Orillia newspaper that defends the teachers. I think it is worth a read. Here it is:

Clarifications in this teacher/government dispute. Please read.

An Editorial from the Orillia newspaper .....
There is a lot of misinformation about teachers these days. Premier Dalton McGuinty, Education Minister Laurel Broten and Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak are all trying to paint teachers as greedy, bad guys, but here are the facts:

Teachers and the federations accepted a wage freeze months ago. It’s a non-issue.

...Teachers are concerned about the grid (that only helps younger teachers) and the fact that the government is beginning to withdraw from the pension-plan agreement.

What teachers are most concerned about is that this is actually a union busting. It is a way to end collective bargaining. Teachers have not threatened to strike or take any action, but the government is proposing actions to take away teachers’ right to strike. They have not sat down at the table to negotiate. They basically said, “This is what teachers are going to get, and if they don’t accept it, the government will take away their right to oppose us.” That’s not fair and it’s not democratic.

Very, very, very few teachers actually make $95,000 per year. Most teachers who are at the maximum place on the grid actually make $92,000; however, these are teachers who have two degrees, are specialists in their field of endeavour (like special education) and have taught full time for about 15 years. The average pay of a teacher is about $50,000. A constable first class (college diploma) with the OPP makes $83,000 after three years. A university professor makes about $120,000. The high-end pay for a college teacher is $102,000.

Also, teachers cannot increase their pay through overtime. They can only increase their pay by getting another job. Many others, like the police, can get hired on for extra duties (like chaperoning dances, where the teachers are working for free).

Teachers do not get summers off. They take a 20% pay cut throughout the year to pay for the time they are not employed during the summer. If parents and their offspring want to go to school all summer, then let’s talk about year-round school and stop acting like teachers are getting some free ride.

Teachers do not get paid for after-school programs like councils, meetings, sports, clubs, exchange programs or after-hours field trips. Teachers are paid from the start of the school day to the end of the school day. Everything else is a gimme.

Something else that many don’t realize is that because teachers are not working during the summer, most of them are the backbone of summer and community programs.

The Mike Harris government made a complete mess of education and, in many ways, school has never really recovered. For example, arts programs are still running on shoestring budgets and are slowly falling apart. Mr. McGuinty is pretending that he is the one who has created success in our high schools. Despite all of this nonsense, there’s only one person standing in front of the children on the first day back and it isn’t a politician, a trustee, a superintendent or a principal (all of whom make a lot more than a teacher).

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Sounds of Language - Why English is Difficult to Learn

Remember a couple months ago I wrote about why the English Language is tough to learn? A friend of mine sent me a fun poem that explains EXACTLY why! If you are teaching grades higher than Kindergarten, this poem is great to be posted in the classroom. Enjoy!





The picture is a tad small, so I will type it up here as well. You are more than welcome to copy/paste and print it out if you wish.

We'll begin with BOX; the plural is BOXES,
But the plural of ox is OXEN, not OXES.
One fowl is a GOOSE, and two are called GEESE,
Yet the plural of MOOSE is never called MEESE.

You may find a lone MOUSE or a house full of MICE,
But the plural of HOUSE is HOUSES, not HICE.
The plural of MAN is always MEN,
But the plural of PAN is never PEN.

If I speak of a FOOT and you show me two FEET,
And if I give you a BOOK, would a pair be a BEEK?
If one is a TOOTH and a whole set are TEETH,
Why shouldn't two BOOTHS be called BEETH?

If the singular's THIS and the plural is THESE,
Should the plural of KISS be ever called KEESE?

We speak of a BROTHER and also of BRETHREN,
But though we say MOTHER, we never say METHREN.
Then the masculine pronouns are HE, HIS, and HIM,
But imagine the feminine...SHE, SHIS, and SHIM!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

All About Ramadan

Source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wSMUTCvEuk8/UAfijRr0JGI/AAAAAAAAEVg/H5NIirjWn68/s1600/Ramadan%2Be-belgique%2B1.jpg

Muslims all over the world are currently taking part in their holy month, Ramadan (pronounced ra-ma-daan). I wanted to take this opportunity to share information about this month so that teachers everywhere can get a better idea and in turn, teach it to their students.


Source: http://www.wondercomments.com/comment/ramadan-012.jpg

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. During this month, muslims do not eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset. This month does not only mean to keep away from food and drink but also from all sinful actions mentally and physically such as gossip, anger, lust, greed, violence, etc. Kindness is to be shown through strong manners, helping the needy and providing charity. It is a time to re-evaluate your own life, get rid of bad habits and become closer to Allah (term for God) as well as your family, friends and of course your soul. The month is either 29 or 30 days depending on the moon sighting. After the end of Ramadan, muslims take part in a celebration for their fasting. This special day is called Eid-ul-Fitr. Please click here to find out more about Eid-ul-Fitr. 


Source: http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1050/1394291795_be1c863dfc.jpg

When is it celebrated?

As some may notice, Ramadan does not come on the same date every year. This is because the Islamic calendar is based on the moon, consisting of 12 lunar months. In total, the year is 354 or 355 days. This is why every year Ramadan begins 10 days earlier than it did the previous year comparing it to the Gregorian or Western calendar. 

Find out more on this website:

http://www.webexhibits.org/calendars/calendar-islamic.html


Source: http://www.islamicmedicine.org/medmiraclesofquran/ramadan44.jpg

Who takes part in fasting?

Muslims all over the world take part in fasting. It, of course, has limitations. Children are not required to fast until they have hit puberty; then it becomes a priority. Some children really want to participate in fasting and so their parents allow them to fast for half a day instead of the whole day. People who are sick or are on medication are not required to fast. Some seniors are excused from fasting as well if it is going to be affecting their health. Pregnant women are not required to fast. Women do not fast for the week of their menstrual cycle. If there are days that have been missed, they maybe made up by fasting on any day as long as it is before the next Ramadan. 

What are the benefits of fasting?

Many benefits are part of fasting. Because muslims are not eating anything from dawn to dusk, it helps them realize the importance of food. They feel the hunger so they can understand how unfortunate people all over the world feel when they do not have anything to eat. It is a time for realization and thankfulness. It also teaches lots of self-control as you refrain from sinful activities and such. It is a time to bond with family and friends and to build a stronger community. There are some medical benefits to it as well. For example, because you are not eating or drinking anything for most of the day, your body is being cleansed out of all bacteria. It helps to lower blood glucose and insulin levels. Some people are also able to lose unnecessary weight. 

Here is a link to more benefits:

http://www.islamicity.com/articles/Articles.asp?ref=JU1008-4245

And check out this website for a ton of detail about the medical benefits of fasting:

http://www.quranandscience.com/legislative/185-medical-aspects-of-islamic-fasting.html

Books for children about Ramadan:


Source: http://jacketupload.macmillanusa.com/jackets/high_res/jpgs/9780805078947.jpg
My First Ramadan - by Karen Katz

Source: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-F18x7hiL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
Ramadan: Islamic Holy Month - by Terri Dougherty

Source: http://0.tqn.com/d/islam/1/0/C/1/ghazi_ramadan.gif
Ramadan - by Suhaib Hamid Ghazi

Source: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51B0EN2VB0L._SL500_AA300_.jpg
Celebrating Ramadan - by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith

Source: http://goodtreemontessori.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/magidfastsforramadanbook.jpg?w=223&h=300
Magid Fasts for Ramadan - by Mary Matthews

Activity Websites:


Colouring pages:

Here is my post with free coloring pages: Free Coloring Pages
Also check out the following link for more coloring pages.

http://www.primarygames.com/holidays/ramadan/coloring.htm

Lots of different activities for children to do on all these sites. Some are in another languages. You can choose the ones that are right for your students:

http://www.islamnewsroom.com/news-we-need/1646

http://goodtreemontessori.wordpress.com/2008/08/22/30-childrens-activities-for-ramadan/

Paper lantern/lamp:

http://www.muslimkidscrafts.com/video/paper-crafts-decorative-paper-lamp

http://thelittlestarsofislam.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/craft-activities-for-children-age-5-and-above1.pdf

A very cute Ramadan craft. Flower pot with Ramadan Mubarak label. (Ramadan mubarak means Happy Ramadan):

http://amuslimchildisborn.blogspot.ca/2009/07/ramadan-craft-idea-2-ramadan-centre.html


If you have any questions about what I have posted, please feel free to ask anything. I will be more than happy to help. Thanks for reading!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Moosetache - Shoebox Storytelling Technique



Source: http://www.margiepalatini.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/moosetache.jpg


Here I am with another storytelling technique. I love this book! It is a bit long for the younger age group but with the story box technique, the children will be on their toes waiting for the next page! I used the book MOOSETACHE by Margie Palatini.




I used the shoebox technique for this book. I took a shoebox, covered it with tissue paper of bright colour and then put shiny gift wrap on it. You can choose to decorate it any way you want. Gift wrapping, newspaper, tissue paper, etc. Whatever you think will suit the book well. I then wrote the name of the book and the author so I am able to find it easily.


The mustache I made on my own because I was unable to find the right kind I needed. From the dollar store, I bought a ponytail wig and separated it in the middle with clear tape. I also stuck on masking tape at the back and believe it or not, I put the mustache on while I am telling the story (I become the character so to speak). 




On the inside of the lid, I wrote down all the materials I will be using according to chronological order. On the inside of the box I kept all the materials I would be using. 




I used clothespins with the materials. I just taped it around the item.




As I tell the story, I put the materials with the clothespins around the box. This technique is fast and easy to use once you have all the materials. The children love it and it moves away from the traditional reading of a story. 

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