Saturday, July 27, 2013

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

I really like the songs and videos available from Super Simple Songs!

They have two new videos available on You Tube for the song, "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes".  The first one is the Learn It version that introduces the body parts slowly and clearly.  (It's easy for English Language Learners to think that "knees and toes" are all one word!  KNEESANDTOES! KNEESANDTOES!)   The second video is a little faster but still clearly sung.


The Learn It version is at

The slightly faster Sing It version is at

And...for a bonus...colorful flashcards of the song are available FREE at Super Simple Songs' website.

Here's a link to the Super Simple Learning website and Super Simple's free flashcards.

Enjoy!  I can't wait to use these with my Kindergarteners and emergent English Language Learners.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bow Wow Meow! Animal Sounds in Different Countries

I found a fun video today on Vimeo called Bow Wow Meow!  It features people saying animal sounds in 17 different languages. The languages are English, Mandarin, French, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Hindi, Canadian-French, Romanian, Japanese, Russian, Dutch, Bengali, Brazilian-Portuguese, Colombian-Spanish, Swahili and Mongolian.   The one sound that seems to have the most commonality is the sound of a cat.  Most of the languages sound similar to our English "meow".  The other animals are dog, rooster, cow and pig.

I think this would be a great video to show students and then do a writing project on it.  I could see making our own video with our iPads, too.  Our ELL's include students who represent at least 9 different languages.  

What fun and it could be a great way to include some of our ELL parents, too! !

Here's the link to Bow Wow Meow on Vimeo.  (Note:  Be patient.  It took a while for it to download and buffer before I could watch it on my computer.) 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Organizing My Thoughts and Supplies

I've been working at school getting my new classroom organized.  It's been a slow process, but it's coming along.  I have quite a stack of empty boxes outside my room now, so I'm seeing some progress.  (In fact, one of our staff members happens to be moving soon, so she carried a bunch of the empty boxes home with her on Friday.  I look at it as the ultimate in recycling!  I reused the boxes and now Mrs. Cheeseburger can use them.)

I thought of my friend, Mrs. Bluebird from Bluebird's Classroom, as I was unpacking and consolidating school supplies.  (She blogged recently about poor quality pencils.)  As Mrs. Pokey and I are the Queens of Scavenging in our school, other teacher give us extra or left over school supplies throughout the year.  We usually get a big bonanza each June when classroom teachers are packing up their rooms for the summer.

As I sorted extra pencils, crayons, markers, highlighters, glue sticks and dry erase markers, I had an inspired thought.  Why not let my English Language Learners make their own school supply kits to take home? Many of them are on free and reduced lunch and they are given beginning of the year backpacks with school supplies for school, but frequently don't have school supplies at home.  I'm going to give each student a gallon freezer bag and have them make their own homework kits.  We'll count out three pencils, one glue stick, one highlighter and a snack baggie of crayons. Then I'll have them make their own pack of markers.  I have a box of gently used individual markers, so it will be good experience for my students to listen and follow directions as we create our own marker packs.  For example:  "Everyone make sure you have a black marker.  Now find a brown marker and a red marker, etc."  I can assess their listening skills and make sure they know their English color words at the same time.  Bonus!  Plus, I will emphasize that there is no excuse now for the the claim of "I didn't do my homework because I don't have a pencil or markers or glue, etc."

Heh, heh, heh!  I love a good plan.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Moving On Up!

Hello!  Sorry I've been absent for a while.  I'm finally finished with all my Dad's estate business and it's a huge relief.  I'm also taking classes at a local university in an effort to add a K-12 reading endorsement on my teaching certificate.  The last class starts on Monday.  The other teachers in the class and I are talking about going out for a post reading cohort "celebration" at a local watering hole after the final class.  I also get to take the fun and exciting Praxis (national test) for Teaching Reading in a few weeks.  I'm opting for the computerized version of the test versus the paper version this time.  Hopefully, I'll get my test results a little quicker that way.  We shall see!

The good news is that I am moving classrooms for this school year.  For the past four years I've been in a little closet sized room.  Now I get a much larger space next to the school library and next door to Mrs. Pokey!  It's not a full sized classroom, but is a converted conference room.  I'm super excited because it's much larger than my old space and...wait for has a WINDOW!!  Yes, a window to the outside!  I will actually have natural light and a view.  Sure, it's a view of a playground and a field, but I'm still thrilled!  A window!!!

The bad news is that I had to pack up all of my things at the end of the school year in anticipation of the move.  Ugh.  Now, I have to go in and unpack all of my stuff.  Oh well, it will force me to organize which will make Mrs. Pokey very happy.  (She's much more organized than I am and I know I annoy her sometimes with my more disorganized work space.  We get along very well in spite of our organizational differences, though.)   Our head custodian emailed me on Wednesday and told me that I could come in to school and start unpacking in my new room.  She and her assistant have been great about helping me out and I appreciate it very much.

Wooooo hooooo!!  I can't wait to get in and start unpacking this week!!  I'm doing a happy dance.