Friday, March 21, 2014

My Top 5 List

So my colleagues and I were asked to read a  blog post by Justin Tarte, Do your actions align with your beliefs? We were challenged to reflect upon our top 5 beliefs about education and how we follow those in our classroom. This task was like having to chose from a list of great actors all competing for the elusive Oscar trophy. After much contemplation I finally narrowed it down.

And the winners are.....(in no particular order)

1. Encourage Independent Thinking

Too often students want to be spoon fed. That is, even when the directions are right in front of them they would rather you tell them exactly what to do. Everyday I try to encourage students to think independently and only seek help once they have exhausted all resources.

2. Staying Positive

Staying positive in the midst of life is often times a difficult thing to do. Teachers give off a certain kind of vibe that students feed off of. If I'm constantly giving off a positive vibe how great would people around me feel? Maybe not all the time, but most of the time. Okay, I'll admit it, I'm not always a positive person. Surprised? Most of us aren't positive 100% of the time and that is one belief I can easily improve.

3. Encourage Critical Thinking

Problem-solving skills!!! Come out, come out, wherever you are!!!
These skills are most definitely on the decline. Why is that? I can't seem to pinpoint it. Could it be the age of technology? Why should I solve my own problems when my iPhone can do it? Or could it be the parents? Why should I solve my own problems when mamma will do it for me? Ouch! Right? No matter the cause, there's definitely a chasm. Everyday I encourage students to figure things out on their own. If they ask me where a book is I answer with a question. "How could you find that book on your own?" If they know, I expect them to at least try and then we'll go from there.

4. Be Compassionate

Students come from different homes. As teachers, we sometimes forget that some students have more advantages than other. I try to be compassionate in the aspect and see each student as having individual needs.

5. Encourage Student Collaboration

Can't we all just get along? As adults we see how necessary collaboration is in our world. The earlier students begin practicing this skill the better. I try to encourage student collaboration as much as possible in the library.

My beliefs may change with time but one thing remains has many different components. It is a machine that runs the course of our life. This machine drives our world. I am just a part of that machine but aren't we all?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Love, love, love teaching with these books!!!

As educators, we all know how difficult it can be to find great resources that help infuse language arts with science and social studies. That's why I LOVE the True Book series by Scholastic. This book series has sets of books that focus on Social Studies and Science topics. The example below are the books included in the ecosystems set.

The best thing about this book series is that they all come in e-book format and are available on the True Flix site. Yes, it does require a subscription, but DEFINITELY worth the money. Take a look below at the home screen of True Flix.

Each topic includes several books! The books will do read aloud and each book comes with a short video on the topic and extra activities and links! 

These books are a no-brainer when it comes to teaching science and social studies! The students love the layout of the books and the teachers love how easy they are to incorporate across various subjects!