Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tips From A Teacher :)
(For Teachers AND Parents)

1. Consistency is key. Children learn best with repetition. If they aren't getting something, practice it. Don't leave it to someone else to make sure you child knows something. Often children get behind because they don't have enough opportunity to practice the skills they are trying to learn.

Likewise, if the rules contantly change for them they don't know what the rules are. Set limits, give them rules and as they grow slowly give them responsibilities. When we know what is expected of us it is much easier to accomplish that goal.

2. Keep Things Interesting. OK... I know that I just said to be consistent, but you also have to make sure they aren't bored.  Be consistent with what you are teaching and your routine but teach it in different ways.

For example...
Teaching ABC'S/ Reading Skills:
  • Read
  • Sing the song
  • Albhabet flash cards
  • Spelling words on signs, magazines, food packages, etc in your everyday life.
  • Matching letter to letter
  • Tracing or coloring letters
  • Letter based games.
  • Talking about what letter things start with
  • Writing their name everywhere
  • Focusing on familiar letters
  • Labeling
  • and so many more... :) 
If you use only one way to practice you are missing out on lots of simple opportunities to learn. 

3. Be Silly. Kids love silliness of any kind. They remember you in these moments. Dance, make a mess, be goofy, laugh out laud, make silly faces, get on the floor and crawl, act like an animal, use silly voices; The list could go on and on. Don't forget that kids love it when you act like a kid. If you want them to do something, do it yourself; They love to copy us and it's a very special way of learning. Don't be afraid to look stupid and don't forget to improvise. 

4. Use what you have. Lots of people think that you have to spend lots of money to teach, but honestly other then basic craft supplies lots of the best ideas are made from "trash. Get creative! Think about what you can do with that empty canister, box or bag. It's easier then ever now with all the technology we have. If you don't believe me, Google something like "Things to do with a toilet paper roll" You will be amazed... (& probably ashamed you never thought of any of these things ;))

On top of that... if you put some thought into it, it is pretty easy to make lots of things reusable. Laminate or seal and store in a good place. Also, use learning tools for learning and with adult supervision and other toys for play (This way things won't get destroyed).

5. Think ahead and organize. If you never have anything in mind chances are you will end up turning on Dora the Explorer... (or resorting to something your kids have done a million times.) Plan days for learning, or better yet, a specific time of learning everyday. (Even at home!)

6.Use consequences AND rewards. Who wants to focus on only the negative? That's right... no one. This is not to say that you don't have a consequence for "bad" behavior... but it is also VERY important to celebrate and recognize the good. Kids often act out for this very reason; They want the attention. Praise and reward them when they do the right thing, when they learn something new and when they make you proud. Our words matter... choose wisely.
You may also be interested in:
10 Ways
10 Ways To Teach
Not Easy
The Job Labeled Easy
Red & Green
Red Flower, Green Stem
Classoom Organization

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