Helping Parents Say Good Bye

My son had his first sleepover this weekend. He was so excited to spend the night at his cousins. I was too; except for the fact, that I kept thinking, my baby is not here with me. He's three. As a mother, it's hard to let go. As a teacher, I know it's in the best interest for the child to smile and say good bye.

Here's how my school helped families and children begin the school year.

Our kindergarten team had a parent orientation for the first hour of the school day. As a team, we presented a power point presentation of key items we wanted parents to know-school hours, snack policy, dress code, etc. Then, we read The Kissing Hand by Audrey Wood. The story is about Chester, a raccoon, and his fears about the first day of school. His mother provides him with a touching solution, called the Kissing Hand. We thought that parents would enjoy this heartfelt, beautifully written story about first day jitters. As we read, we could see that some parents were really moved by the story and seemed to be holding onto their child just a little tighter than before. As the story concluded, we had parents give their child a kiss on the hand to say good bye. Although, there were still some tears, this story helped parents understand that it would be okay. Their baby would be safe.

If you are looking for something to help ease separation anxiety, perhaps, you'll try this idea.

Happy teaching and learning!


My Favorite Thing

As I said before, I am on summer vacation. I work year around and began summer vacation in mid-July. One thing, I promised myself was not to going into school until the middle of August. Lucky, for me, I have one of my favorite things at home. I brought it from school intending to let me son use it while on vacation. He has and loves it. As a matter of fact, this was the tool he used to learn his colors. At 18 months, he could name colors and sort them! I may have a boy genius!

Well, here it is! My favorite thing is the DVD collection from Preschool Prep Company. The collection has Meet the Colors, Meet the Letters, Meet the Numbers, Meet the Shapes and Meet the Sight Words 1, 2, and 3. What do I love about this DVD set? First, are the memorable "characters" created to help children learn. My class loved each of the characters. At times, they would argue over who would pretend to be which character. We finally agreed, that we could all pretend to be any one we liked. Next, is the repetition. The key concept is repeated several times. At the end of the DVD, there is a brief review of the entire content. What makes this great, is that the content is presented in an engaging format. Kids don't feel like they are learning but rather "watching a show."

How do I use it? In early kindergarten, I used Meet the Colors during my color unit the first few weeks of school. I teach a full day kindergarten and in the afternoon this was just the right thing to settle us down. I incorporate Meet the Sight Words into my Listening Center during Daily 5. This DVD set is my favorite! It was also a great alternative to a movie during crunch time at the end of the trimester. I hope this has piqued your interest. For more information go to

My First Post

Thank you for spending a few minutes reading my blog. I was inspired by all the wonderful websites, blogs, and creative energy, I have read about and witnessed. As a teacher, there really is no such thing as "summer vacation." Although, I enjoy all the free time I have, it is not surprising that some of that free time has been devoted to thinking about improving my craft. I love teaching. I have taught since 1998; all in Title 1 schools. As a result, I've learned to be explicit, making learning engaging, and to see each person in the classroom as a learner; myself included.

I wish I could say that my classroom looks like the cover of a beautiful magazine. But the reality is, my classroom is an organized chaos. Like most of you, there are days when I just can't seem to find where I left the copy of my math assessments. I thought I had just placed it right here, only to find I moved them. I may not have everything in its place but I have thought a lot about my teaching and best practices.

In this blog I hope to share some of my favorites things about my craft. Enjoy.

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