Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I got a call!

So, after sitting at home for the past month I got a call today!!! I will be subbing in a Kindergarten classroom tomorrow. At the elementary school I attended 15 years ago! I'm excited for a few reasons.
1. This is my first sub job since New Years
2. This is my first sub job in a school other than the one I student taught at

So, I'm a little nervous. But I'm VERY excited.

Wish me luck :)


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Something Sweet

So, I spent the last hour typing a post only for it to dissapear before I could hit publish. I took this as a sign that I shouldn't post it. Instead I'll give you something sweet to think about :)

Hungry yet?


Friday, January 14, 2011

Tiny Little Salespeople

Today is the first day of GIRL SCOUT COOKIE SALES!!!! I would like to take a minute to encourage you to support your local Girl Scouts. Cookie sales are not just a fund raiser, it teaches the girls many life skills including: Goal Setting, Planning, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills and Business Ethics.

Don't be afraid to ask the girls questions. Some great ones are: What is your goal? What will your troop do with their proceeds? What are some of the things you have done with your troop?

Don't like cookies? On a diet? If you don't want to purchase a box of cookies for yourself, feel free to order a box for soldiers. You will pay for the cookies as usual and the local girl scouts will make sure the get to a soldier! Or, you can make a donation to your local troop.

As the girls participate in the cookie program, they will: Discover a strong sense of self, gain practical live skills, connect with their group members, Take action as the learn to work together as a team.

100% of the porceeds stay in the local council!!

- JoAnne

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How To Talk So Kids Can Learn

I recently worked the local Scholastic warehouse sale for the first time (it's a GREAT way to build your library). I found this book in the bargan area and tossed it in my box. I pulled it out around christmas and slowly began reading it.
It really is a fast read, I just keep getting caught up in other things. I've finaly finished the first two chapters and I LOVE the way it is set up. Each chapter describes a senario that a teacher is going through, there are cartoon drawings of how not to handle the situation and suggestions of how to handle the situation. I love that it goes into the details of why not to do something as well as why you should do it another way. One thing about my education so far is that our classes on classroom management have focused on what not to do leaving us to guess about what we should do. Following the chapter are letters from parents and teachers stating how these strategies have helped them.

Here are some tips from the first chapter which focuses on the childs feelings:

  • Instead of denying feelings, put their feelings into words (it makes you feel, or you don't like)
  • Instead of criticism or advice, acknowledge their feelings with a word or sound (mmm, oh, or I see)
  • Instead of reasons and explinations, give in fantasy what you can't in reality (wouldn't it be great if...)
  • Instead of ignoring feelings, Accept feelings even as you stop unacceptable behavior
Have you read any good professional development books lately? I'd love to here which books have helped you.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On my honor...

On my honor I will try:
To serve God and my country
To help people at all times
And to live by the Girl Scout
The Girl Scout Promise, something that I learned when I was very young and have strived to live by for my whole life. Because I respect the promise I made so many years ago, I want my daisies to learn to equally respect it and strive to live by it and in turn the girl scout law. For those of you who don't know, Daisies are the youngest Girls Scouts, they are in kindergarten and first grade. Because this is their first experience with Girl Scouts they don't earn try its or other interest patches as the older girls do, they spend these two years learning exactly what it means to be a girl scout. The petals that they earn represent each part of the girl scout law.
I will do my best to be:
Honest and fair,
Friendly and helpful,
Considerate and caring,
Courageous and strong, and
Responsible for what I say and do,
And to respect myself and others,
Respect authority,
Use resources wisely,
Make the world a better place,
And be a sister to every Girl Scout
For the past several months I have spent a lot of time going over what each part of the law means and discussing with the girls how they can do each thing. As you can imagine 5 year olds have very interesting answers to these questions. It is important for me to let them come up with the answers on their own (with guidance from me of course) so it has been a little trying at times.

We've probably spent the most time talking about how to "help people at all times" or "be Friendly and helpful." In September I sat in front of a group of 7 girls five just starting kindergarten and two in first grade. All but one were new to Girl Scouts. I asked them "how can you help someone" at first they all seemed to thing they were too young to help anyone but after some coaxing, one said "we can help someone up if they fall." True, that is a way we can help someone and I was very excited that they had come up with this answer. Maybe I was a little too excited, they seemed to get stuck on this example and not just for that day but for several weeks. Of course they all thought they had come up with different ways to help by saying the could : get an adult if someone was hurt, help someone up, tell an adult, get someone a band aid... the list seemed to go on and on but always revolved around someone falling down.

As time went by a began to slip some suggestions about service projects or actual service projects into their activities. We drew pictures for service men (and women) for veterans day, talked about things we were thank on thanks giving and I made sure to bring up the "big" things like a house and food, and we made Christmas ornaments to take to the senior center when we visited to carol at Christmas time.

This past Saturday, I held a cookie training and spent some of the time talking with the girls about what they wanted to do with their cookie money, and any activities they wanted to do with girl scouts before the end of the year. They all told me they wanted to go camping. Then I told them I thought we should use some of the money for a service project, I reminded them of the things we had already done(specifically the senior center). I asked them if they could think of something else we could do to help people. As I held my breath scared of what they would say in front of all of their parents, i called on the oldest girl in the troop, "we could draw them pictures" I smiled, reminding myself that she's only 6 and this was a step forward from "helping someone up if they fall." Then one of the younger girls raised their hand and said "we could help the Ronald McDonald house" YES!! thank you, something has worked! I prompted her to explain to the other girls what the Ronald McDonald house was. Fortunately, I had already been in contact with them and knew some of the things we could do to help. Our newest girl scout then raised her hand and said we could help the homeless!!! I then asked the girls what kind of things they thought homeless people needed and got wonderful responses including: give them toothpaste, food, blankets, clothes... we ended the conversation talking about a local family shelter. I can't tell you how proud I am of them. It makes my heart swell to know they came up with these things on their own.
I can't for the snow to clear up so I can contact both of these organizations and find out if I can plan visits for girls this age and ways we could help!!
Sorry for such a long post I was just too proud not to write the whole story.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day!!

Woke up this morning to a snow covered yard and closed schools!! ok, so maybe I'm not that excited. I do LOVE snow and it's very pretty. I'm just not that excited about a day off. I haven't been called to sub since Christmas break and I was really hoping this week would be the week. Unfortunately schools closed because of the snow today and will most likely close because of the ice tomorrow. Wednesday is the last day of their semester so they have holidays on Thursday and Friday and of course Monday is MLK day. So it's not doing much for my self esteem.

My dad got laid off in December, right after I graduated, so my mom is the only one working in our family. Needless to say, we are a little stressed out right now.

Since the last time I posted I've had a birthday. I was lucky enough to be able to have lunch with two of my best friends! They are about to start their student teaching, so their may not be much time for us to get together this semester. In fact today was supposed to be their first day student teaching and it was canceled because of the weather. I wish them the best of luck this semester and I know they are going to LOVE it!!

Saturday I started the new Weight Watchers PointsPlus program. At first I was a little nervous and I didn't actually start counting points until yesterday, but I did great. At bedtime, I had two daily points left over so I rewarded myself with a cupcake (4 points) and used two of my 49 weekly points. So far today I've only used a third of my daily points so it looks like I may get to eat that last cupcake tonight ;)

Saturday I also held a big parents meeting with my Daisy parents. Cookie sales start THIS FRIDAY and since daisies are 5 and 6 years old this is the first time most of them have participated in cookie sales. Believe it or not there is a LOT that goes into this and there are many rules that the girls and their parents must follow. The parents meeting went really well and we were able to stay and plan out the rest of our year, and the girls came up with a great service project (I'll explain more another day). We even got a new girl!

I hope all of ya'll had a very happy New Year!! and be on the look out for girl scouts starting Friday!!! If you live around Columbia, SC and would like to buy from my girls just let me know :)