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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Peace in the Classroom

At our school we have a huge focus on Peace Education.  We have a peace table which features a peace maker of the month-  people we focus are Dali Lama, Black Elk or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  We decorate the area with mandalas, singing bowls, lotus candles, and a zen garden etc. The students are free to use this area to just relax, to problem solve with a friend or if they have an interest in learning about various religions, symbols or our peace maker of the month.  I think this is often a concept that goes untouched in a public school system.  I believe that teaching the students in an age appropriate way about serious issues can instill a sense of empathy and compassion towards others from the past and future.  Just today a student asked me;  What did Anne Frank do to deserve to die? 

Monday, September 26, 2011


I'm not a huge fan of homework.  I never have been!  I only give the students in my class homework once a week and thats to keep the parents happy.  I personally feel my students work hard all day and do enough during the day-  I would rather them be outside playing than sitting at the table for an hour working on a math problem.  Every Monday at the end of the day we have some "Ketchup Time", where each child is assigned a task they havent yet finished.  This being said, I am always up for a challenge and usually have some homework of my own each night.  Whether I am researching an answer, printing off new worksheets, buying items needed for the classroom from ebay or heading to the library the hours are endless, but always worth it!  What are your thoughts on homework? 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Its almost Fall and I'm feeling Fresh and Ready to Go!

I feel so refreshed after the amazing Summer I had.  I find I can't wait to get back into the classroom each morning.  I love the themes of September; fall, leaves, trees, getting to know new students and setting up the routine.  I also feel full of new ideas and love the eagerness of each student to learn a new skill.  With just our fall theme we have made apple sauce, made leaf patterns, estimated how many acorns filled the jar, labelled tree parts, and drew tree rings for how old each student is. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back to the Grind

Well its back to school now!  I havent stopped photocopying, cleaning, labelling, or shopping in order to get my classroom all ready for my new munchkins!  This year I am teaching a multiaged grouping (6-9) and loving it.  I am very thankful that I have a small class size of 10- it enables me to do soooo much with them.  It always surprises me just how advanced my students are!!  We are currently working on latitude and longitude, biodiversity and naming and labelling all countries and capital cities in Europe!  I am so happy to be back in the classroom.  Every year I have new ideas and feel I improve as a teacher- whether is being better prepared, new resources or just through trial and error how to keep their attention and have fun!