Sunday, January 20, 2013


     Hello!  Hello!  Thanks for stopping in!   Great things are happening!  Like I shared in my profile, my name is Shelley Brown and I am a Missouri teacher with 13 years experience in the Kindergarten classroom.  Everyday is such a gift.  I love teaching and I think everyone will agree it is all about the kiddos!!!  As teachers, I know we are always teaching and then reflecting, and asking the magic questions, "How can I make this lesson and this material (maybe something that comes straight from a workbook or a basal)  more engaging for my youngsters?"  How can I help my students not only master this material but help move them forward?  How can I make this information more meaningful to my students?  How can I use this information to expand on vocabulary that will not only help them with this skill but help them later on?  Are they transferring what they are learning in the classroom (maybe in isolation, skill and drill) to being able to demonstrate this knowledge in context?  Am I presenting this the best way possible to help all my students with different learning styles? How can I differentiate with this material?  Is what I am doing working?  Why do I think so?  And of course, the questions go on and on, but ultimately how we answer these many questions and what we implement in answer to these questions is what counts the most to help us move forward as teachers and as a result, more success for our little ones. My blog is still a work in progress at this point but I will be putting up things to think about and consider as we answer those questions along with a list of my favorite resources, some are websites and some are great books.  Some are just great reads for any teacher.  
     Books, books, books!  I love books.  I use books to teach everything and to introduce ideas, etc.  I love introducing my students to a lifelong love of books.  I am always on the look out for another great book.  I read a lot of fiction and nonfiction in my classroom. The nonfiction is something I have had to work at, but I found out real quick that my students have quite an appetite for nonfiction works.   One of my favorite fiction books that I recently used in the classroom was, "Move Over, Rover!" by Karen Beaumont.  Love it! Love it! It also has won some awards. I like making sure my students are exposed to great literature, in lots of different genres.  This book has both rhyme and repetition.  It is a great way to talk about sequencing and cause and effect.  We made a big doghouse with Rover's name on it and then sequenced the animals as they came along in the story. I don't think my kiddos will forget  Rover and the letter R.   This week we read Tacky the Penguin books, by Hans Lester.  The kids loved them, and the coolest thing happened.  My students picked up on how the author uses the same phrase at the ending of the books to bring a little extra something special to the stories.  My kiddos got excited when they made the connection and then repeated the last phrase together.  I feel that it is not only important that they pass benchmark tests, be able to complete worksheets, and pass curriculum assessments for report cards, and checklists, etc, but ultimately my goal is that my students be able to go to the library and pick out books that are commercially geared for their age group and they will be able to read and enjoy them. Also included in that goal is that they learn what will help them in the next grade level.  This is a constant goal and source of reflection for me.  I think I owe it to them.  It is great to be able to read leveled books, and pass assessments but the knowledge needs to transfer to being able to read books that they may pick up, of their own interest, motivating them to read.  This should then lead to more reading, and develop into a love for books and a lifelong habit of reading.  This blog is going to plot and plan, and share ideas and will be a place of encouragement for teachers as we work to be all that we can be everyday in the lives of students.  I personally feel my purpose as a teacher is something that comes from my heavenly father, so with that said I will continue on my path and hope you visit with me again soon.

Happy Teaching!!

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