I enjoy visiting schools. I’ve included a list of presentations that I hope will be good teacher resources. The book presentations can be developed for the students or the teachers.
The list below are prepared for classroom teachers of Preschool – Third Grade
The Power of Books
This workshop begins by quoting the position statement for the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the International Reading Association which addresses the importance of literacy experiences. The following are some of the areas addressed: Reading fiction and nonfiction, encouraging children’s questions, providing new experiences in the classroom, teaching thematic units, provide a rich print environment recite nursery rhymes, and much more. The participants will have a better understanding of holistic learning at the end of this 2 hour session.
Children learn through their senses. In this workshop, we discuss the smells, sounds, colors, etc. from our own childhood. According to Maria Montessori, “She understood that young children learn through sensory exploration of their environment …” Space speaks to us. You don’t have to force a child to participate in sensory experiences. They would eagerly sink their fingers into a birthday cake. They will quickly find the best spot to watch and listen to the rain. Our senses inform us, warn us, nourish us, encourage us, soothe us and stimulate us. This is a fun workshop that reminds the participants of the importance of our senses when teaching.
Family Friendly Environments
Our classrooms need to include environments that are inclusive to all families. Invite all families to assist in the classroom in some way. Be sure that your students know that all family members and activities are valued equally.
As a child, my own mother could not volunteer to be a grade mother because of my baby sister at home. I remember the four or five woman that came to all of the events and activities throughout my elementary years. The teacher praised them and their children felt valued. They received a beautiful flower at the end of the year. But what happened to the other 80% of the students, why was our parents not valued. It would have been helpful if the teacher could have pointed out that while Mrs. Grigg could not come to the school, she sent homemade cupcakes. Mrs. Proctor’s mended the books. Mr. Johnson provided some building blocks from his workshop. This session enables teachers to develop a survey to get all families involved in the classroom.
According to NAEYC, Add family photos to the classroom. If possible, take photos during an open house or home visits before the first day of school. Or ask families to share some of their own family photos. Post photos on cubbies and at children’s eye level throughout the room. When children see the photos, they can feel connected to their families during the day.
Before I begin to read the story, I get into the role of the character by putting on my cowboy hat, boots, and leather vest. I show the children my stick horse and demonstrate riding my pretend horse around the room. After the story, we discuss different aspects of the book. The story is geared for the 4 through age 8. It includes teaching strategies.
Barkley’s Great Escape
The children feel for Barkley as he discovers that he cannot find his way out of the pool. They are riveted by the urgency of Barkley’s precarious situation. After the story ends, we talk about water safety. What did Barkley do wrong? This story is for the 4-8 year old.
Welcome to Champion Gait
The children feel close to the young foal and calf that are born at the farm. Through the story, they are able to understand why both of the animals need support to live a quality life. The story helps the children to understand why many children need adaptations to be successful. As a follow-up to the story, I carry a pair of glasses, crutches, and a hearing aid to begin a light discussion on special needs. This story is geared for the 4-8 year old.