Monday, December 12, 2011

Money Talk

My nine year has become incredibly interested finance since reading Gary Paulsen's Lawn Boy. He has been talking with his Dad about the stock market and about starting his own business. I love that this book has peaked his interest in learning!

My husband just found this fun and exciting game called The Great Piggy Bank Adventure Game. It is a game that helps kids learn about financial planning and concepts. The age recommendations for the site are ages 8-14. (My husband enjoys the game also BUT he is a big kid himself!)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Functional Reading

Below is my response to what type of reading instruction appeals to me. In this response, I chose functional reading. I believe that this type of reading is often overlooked. A child's confidence in reading is often boosted as they learn to read and write about environmental text (menus, signs, toy catalog).

Functional reading appeals to my creative and practical side. The purpose of functional reading is to give instruction in how to use reading to gain basic, practical information needed in everyday activities (Heilman, Blair, and Rupley pg12). It is exciting showing children how knowledge they already have can be used to help make them more independent.

As a teacher, first you must think of what is age appropriate practical reading. Then you must look at the interests of your students. This is where a creative teacher can come up with fun everyday reading material. Functional reading is a great way to let kids know why they work so hard.

Bring in children’s menus from several restaurants. Have your students answer questions about their menus, take each other’s orders, or compare items. Bring in TV schedules and movie listings. Have your students answer questions from their peers. Print the hours of operations and general information about a local skate park, bowling alley, and ice rink. Tell your students to pick one they would like to visit. As a class, think of information parents would need to know. Then have the student write a letter including the information. An added bonus to this exercise would be printing coupons that could be attached to the letter.


Heilman, A. J., Blair, T. R., & Rupley, W. H. (In press). Principles and practices of teaching reading (11th ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill (In Press)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Life without Technology

Here is a digital field trip that I created for social studies.


§113.2. Social Studies, Kindergarten

(b) Knowledge and skills

(14) Science, technology, and society. The student understands ways in which technology has changed how people live. The student is expected to:

(A) describe how his or her life might be different without modern technology

Click Here for the Lesson Plan

My thoughts on Technology

Growing up Online:

These are two videos I watched while in college and the following is my review on them:

Growing up online did make me incredibly nervous for parenting teens in the near future. I don’t feel like this is anything new my mother, grandmother, and those before them experienced their own struggles raising teens in an ever changing world. I laugh thinking back to my generation and the parents who wouldn’t let their teens watch MTV or who said having a pager meant you were dealing drugs. I think this video highlights the points that as parents and future educators we need to stay informed, learn how to stay connected with our children, and adapt the way we teach to capture imaginations.

Digital Nation’s narrator summed up the way I feel best about our digital world, “I love the possibilities of digital life…. But most of all I love being able to turn it off!” I loved how the movie pointed out that sometimes the price of gain is to lose something that may have once worked but now is no longer needed. I thought that Principal Jason Levy was amazing and creating a remarkable paradigm shift in educating students. I think it is critical that we realize that children’s education does have a somewhat different purpose and their futures will be immersed in technology.

Storytelling Prompts

Storytelling is a passion of mine. I was privileged to be president of Aggie Storytelling for a year at Texas A&M.

Here are some of my thoughts on storytelling that I wrote for a paper while in school:

The art of storytelling applies to teachers because they must be able to speak to a group of parents or other educators. The discussion must flow freely and clearly. Storytelling helps to create a teacher that can and will communicate well with others. Also, connecting with students by storytelling can be very beneficial. Through good storytelling children can learn without even realizing it. What I realized is that we all have a story to tell. My future students will have stories to tell and helping them learn to communicate these stories will be a fun challenge. Storytelling can reach across generations and help to link us all together. I believe that this is what teaching is all about: the opening of the mind. Storytelling is personal and makes those listening feel very intimate with the storyteller. Storytelling can be a way to teach children that their spoken words are powerful. It helps to emphasize that listening is important. Storytelling also shows that clear communication between people is an art.

This can be used as conversation starters or writing prompts.

“There have been great societies that did not use the wheel,
but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.”

~Ursula LaGuin

"Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today."
~Robert McAfee Brown

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