Elementary Education Monthly Update
Primary Connection (K-2)
As you look for resources just remember that there is NO PRINT in phonemic awareness games or activities. You may use pictures or manipulatives but children should not have print in front of them for these activities. The Florida Center on Reading Research has many free resources by skill on their website. The link is here. The Measured Mom page has a PDF link for 25 free PA games. Have fun and fill your primary classrooms with oral language!
Intermediate Connection (3-4)
- Closed (CVC)
- Open (CV)
- VC-e (silent e)
- Vowel Teams (including diphthongs)
- Vowel -r (CV-r, CV-rC, or CC-rC) R controlled (diphthongs could be here also)
Here are some games for reinforcing the syllable types and teaching multisyllabic words,
Florida Center on Reading Research Syllable Games (fccr.org)
Syllable Go Fish Cards with rules
For beginners, here is a syllable sort - TPRI
Upper Elementary Connection (5-6)
The average 5th grader encounters 10,000 new words in a school year so knowing the rules for decoding multisyllabic words is a must for content reading. Good readers accurately identify multisyllabic words, break them down, and decode them. Poor readers, on the other hand, tend to process the letters within the words, not the syllables. Poor readers must be able to decode single syllable words, correctly pronounce vowel combinations, identify open and closed syllables, and pronounce affixes in isolation before beginning decoding of multisyllabic words. (Teaching Reading Sourcebook, 2012) These skills should begin being assessed at the end of second grade.
Florida Center on Reading Research has activities for students needing these skills. (fcrr.org)
February is Oral Health Month
To teach oral health, several companies and groups have partnered to offer free activities, lesson plans, and science experiments that help to show children that quality oral health care is a serious lifelong health commitment. Children from poverty need access to lessons such as these. I hope you have time in February to take part in some type of oral health lessons.
- Imagix Dental has many science lesson plans to show the impact of sugar on teeth and how bacteria and plaque can cause health issues. These can be demonstrated to younger students on conducted hands-on with older kids.,
- NEA offers a list of children's oral health books by title, author, interest level and reading level. They also have a PDF with science activities that are geared for parents to conduct with their children (which may be a good send home). This site has brushing logs, teaching tools, classroom resources, and more.
- Colgate company offers an entire dental hygiene curriculum for teachers which includes materials, videos, and free classroom kits.
- Delta Dental of Kansas has "fun activities" that you could put in a center. There is no real lesson plan bank or activity list here though.
- The American Dental Association (ADA) offers the Smile Smarts Dental Health Curriculum for free. This is focused on children ages 4 - 7. The Teeth to Treasure lessons are for older students in grades 4th - 6th.
- Crest company offers parent brochures, brushing charts, lesson plans, demos and videos for teachers.
Social Emotional Learning
Infants need "send and return" to be able to read emotions. They check for facial expressions and body movements and mirror these expressions. In toddlerhood, it becomes more difficult for children to link language to emotions as they lack expressive language at this stage of development and need adult guidance to help them build emotional vocabulary. "I see that you are afraid," when they wake up crying from a bad dream. As children grow and enter school, emotional management becomes more difficult. Younger children (preschool through first grade) are expected to manage their emotions in large groups of other children for the first time without the support of caregivers that have helped them name their emotions. This is where posters and charts with facial expressions help children to label and name emotions and build the self-awareness necessary to regulate. This can also be done while reading stories to children as you discuss characters. Older classrooms can use posters, word walls, or task cards to help students with emotion naming.
I have a list of picture books and chapter books for teachers and counselors to use to help teach emotional regulation.
- When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry Author - Bang, Molly (1999)
- How to Lose All of Your Friends Author - Carlson, Nancy (1994)
- Millie Fierce, Author - Manning, Jane (2012)
- The King of the Playground, Author - Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds (1994)
- My Friend is Sad, Author - Willems, Mo (2012)
- Elbert's Bad Word, Author - Wood, Audrey (1996)
- Smile, Author - Telgemeier, Raina (2010)
- Bridge to Terabithia - Author, Paterson, Katherine (1978)
- Judy Moody Was In a Mood, - Author, McDonald, Megan (2000)
- Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Author - Hillenbrand, Laura (2014)
- The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs, Author - Birney, B.G. (2005)
Black History Month
Books to celebrate Black History Month:
- Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine is a story about young Henry who escapes slavery in a wooden crate and wants a birthday so bad that he does something risky and brave. Recommended for ages 7 and up.
- This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt is a great story to connect to "deedle-di-bop" of classic musicians Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and more. Recommended for ages 3 and up.
- The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson is a story of segregation and two little girls that form an unlikely friendship by the fence that separates them. Recommended for ages 6 and up.
- Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold is set in 1939 in Harlem. Little Cassie notices the city and the signs of social injustice all around. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
- Heart and Soul by Kadir Nelson is a 108-page book that has beautiful illustrations of important social contributions of African Americans throughout history. Recommended for ages 8 and up.
- What Color is My World? by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a book about African American inventors and inventions written by the famous NBA player. Recommended for ages 8 and up.
- The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis is a novel narrated by 9-year-old Kenny the youngest brother in a middle-class African Amerian family from Michigan that travels to Alabama to bring his roughneck brother Byron to grandma's house for some tough summer love. The events of the summer change the family's life forever. Recommended for ages 11 and up.
- Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen is a novel that is a brutally accurate account of slavery in the 1850s. Nightjohn takes many risks to teach a 12-year-old how to read at the risk of his own life. Recommended for ages 12 and up.
The National Education Association has lesson plans, printables, and background resources for grades Kindergarten through 5th for black history month that is all free to teachers.
Scholastic has several resources (some free and some for a fee) on their site for grades PreK through 6th. These are leveled by Guided Reading levels, genre, subject matter and/or theme. Very good resource here!
Kansas History comes alive with the Kansas Historical Society and the Kansas Museum of History's African American History exhibit. Visit the link above for more information and to schedule your visit.
Nicodemus, Kansas is featured on the National Park Service's page with several resources for students. Nicodemus was formed by former slaves from Kentucky at the end of the post-Civil War Reconstruction period and is the oldest and only remaining black settlement west of the Mississippi River.
Happenings Around KSDE
Early Childhood ConferenceIf you are an early childhood educator please plan to attend the Champions of Children conference hosted by the Kansas Division for Early Childhood (KDEC). On-line registration closes on February 8 and walk-in registrations will be accepted. The event will be held Thursday, February 28 - Friday, March 1, 2019, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Wichita. For more information please email David Lindeman at email@example.com
Kansas State Schools of Character Recognition Program
Calling all schools who are doing great things with social, emotional and character development. We want to recognize your efforts and share your success with other schools around the state. The Shifting School Culture Recognition is for schools that have developed and implemented an SECD initiative or program for at least one year and are transforming the school culture as well as growing student SECD skills. The Enhanced Spotlight Recognition is for schools that are implementing new initiatives or are enhancing existing initiatives that will strengthen the SECD skills in their students and school climate. Applications are due March 22, 2019, and can be emailed to Noalee McDonald-Augustine at firstname.lastname@example.org. The application fee for both is $25.00 and is payable to Smoky Hill Education Service Center. Click here to go directly to the applications. The Promising Practices Recognition application process must be completed online through the Character.org website, www.character.org, and is for schools or districts that have developed and successfully implemented a unique character practice. The application deadline is March 15, 2019, and has an application fee of $100 payable to Character.org.
Random Acts of Kindness Day is February 17
RAK is a wonderful event for all children and all schools! Kindness begins with one simple act. Please visit the Random Acts of Kindness website for ideas, inspiration, and to share your story.
K-2 Hands-on activity - Invent a Backscratcher from Everyday Materials. It is winter and your skin is dry. Invent a backscratcher and solve your problems! To view materials and lesson plans click the link here.
Grades 3 - 6 STEM with energy, sound waves, and communication in space will keep your students busy and actively engaged in NGSS content.
The World Wildlife Foundation has just released science lessons that have K - 5 resources. The science lessons are correlated to 3rd grade NGSS. These are great resources and with some tweaks teachers can help students answer their own questions about the phenomena in the lessons (this video explains how to do this). Please visit the World Wildlife Foundation website for resources and lessons for free!
School Redesign - Apollo Project
If you are interested in school redesign - now is the time! View the recorded ZOOM webinar from January with Commissioner Watson and view the website for the application and to have your questions answered. Applications are due by April 5, 2019. It is worth your time as an educator and as a system to invest in this process!
On the Art Projects for Kids site, there are many art projects based off of the work of famous African Amerian artists. Maybe one of these projects will inspire you and your students.