A Minion Reasons To Be Healthy and More

We are learning about making healthy choices in honor of Red Ribbon Week.  This year's theme is A Healthy Me is Drug Free.

A Minion Reasons To Be Healthy

I knew that I wanted to decorate our door using these Minions and slogan. First, we brainstormed ways that we could be healthy.  We created a list  using the sentence starter, I can.  Each student choose an item from our list to copy.  Next, we created our Minions.  I just love how each one is as unique as the person who made it.

Mr. Big Mouth
Mr. Big Mouth helps to teach us about what are safe and harmful things to put in our mouth.

I have taught this lesson for several years with much success.

I introduce the students to Mr. Big Mouth and let them know that we need to help him make good choices. During the lesson, I show the students magazine cut outs of harmful and safe items. If the item is safe like an apple, we feed Mr. Big Mouth.  If it is harmful like alcohol, we say, "Not in your mouth, Mr. Big Mouth."

This lesson always leads to a good discussion about when it is safe to take medicine.

We also talk about the experiences we may have and how it is important to do the right thing.  

What are you teaching for Red Ribbon Week?  How do you teach young children the importance of making good lifestyle choices?

Happy Teaching!
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Words, Words, Words. Wondrous Words.

How do you teach and increase a young learner's vocabulary?  This can be a challenge when teaching children whose primary language is not English or whose vocabulary is limited. But, it can be done.

This school year, I am trying to incorporate meaningful ways to reinforce the vocabulary words from our reading program.

In order to achieve this, I created this bunting with our vocabulary for each week.  This serves as a visual reminder of the words which we have learned.

Typically, we learn a new word each day.  We use the provided vocabulary picture card to teach the word.  We say and repeat the word a few times.  Then, we look at the picture and try to figure out what the word may mean. I, then, explain the vocabulary word and ask for other examples from the students.

It is amazing how engaged the class is during the part of the day.  Many students volunteer to share stories trying to use the new word in context.  As they do, I am informally noting which children comprehend and can use the vocabulary word.

At times, the vocabulary words allows use to discuss words which have multiple meanings like the word change; seen in the first photograph.  My students did not have much background knowledge about the word change when it meant to become something different; like the changing of seasons.  Yet, most understood the word change when referenced to money or when changing clothes because you had an accident.

Every day, we are building our vocabulary.  My hope is that by the end of the year, each child's academic vocabulary will have grown.  How do you teach vocabulary? Do you have a list of words per grade to teach?  More importantly, how do you grade vocabulary development using the Common Core standards?

Happy Teaching!
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CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on kindergarten reading and content.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.6 Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.

Accentuate the Positive

This year, my school has decided to embark on a new endeavor.  We are focusing on using the PBIS model to help us improve student behavior.  What makes PBIS different from other behavior models is that it focuses on positive behavior.

As a school, we came up with some school wide expectations.

Children are "rewarded" with a "dollar" for following our expectations.  Students turn in their dollars and are entered into our weekly raffle where they receive a congratulations from our administrator and a small prize.  As a PBIS team, we have discussed that in the future, we hope that earning the "dollar" will be enough.  But, we also realize that this is something new and that for some children a prize may help them buy into changing their behavior.

Surprisingly, there have been a few good things that have come from implementing the PBIS model.  A talented teacher created a PBIS song that I hear kids singing.  Our discipline referrals are down and our school is working towards accentuating the positive.

We still have much to learn. Share your thoughts if  you are teaching or working at a PBIS school?

Happy Teaching!
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