Monday, May 30, 2011

Teacher Time...

So, this is one of those rare post when I give away my true daytime identity. You may remember that I wish I was a stay at home mom, but I'm not....

Instead, I work full time and go to school. I have taught children for many years in many different settings and I finally got the perfect opportunity to go back to school and obtain my Bachelors and Certification. Finally, when I am finished I can get paid a respectable salary to do what I love. And I have loved learning even more about children and teaching and all the ways I want to put my thoughts, ideas and beliefs into practice.

So this week I was super excited to go to a training event on Math and Science Activities. I also teach adults through my job and a local trade school so I am always happy to get more ideas for that as well.

It was a really good day of training and I wanted to share some of the things with you.

Start to finish style....

My FREE breakfast! By far, the best breakfast I have ever been given at a conference or training event! YUM.

The first part of the day was spent on Math and I liked the way we focused on showing how math is constantly around us. This is one of the graphing activities that we did...with M&M's. Now as a mommy...I don't break out a graphing paper each time I want my kids to graph something, but I do ask questions that get them to think about it. Just the other night Clark was eating M&M's and we grouped them together by color. He didn't even realize we were doing math...he doesn't even know what that words means. But, at four years old he can count items, group and sort. He knows one to one correspondence and he hasn't just "memorized" the numbers for rote counting. So at home this would be a good activity and it can be done during almost any meal. It's called scoop and graph. So say you are having cereal one morning...let your child scoop out some cereal and then graph it. How many marshmallows versus cereal? How many raisins verses cereal? How many green clovers, yellow moons, pink hearts and orange stars? See, instant math and they don't even know it. Point out math at lunch by asking math you want your sandwich cut in half or left whole? Do you want it cut into rectangles or triangles? Then discuss what makes that shape what it is...

Another idea she gave us that I am certainly going to use because it is cheap and easy....placemats! That's right, those cheapo plastic placemats at the dollar store and can do so much with them. She showed us how she cuts them up into easy puzzles for the kids and cuts them into sorting games. As soon as I make one for Clark, I will post the photos.

She showed us alot of other cool stuff...I took exactly 16 pages of notes on top of her powerpoint notes...Then we had LUNCH. YUM! This is my FREE lunch!
Fettucini with basil sauce, grilled chicken AND grilled shrimp, grilled zuccini and squash, with garlic toast. It was as good as it sounds!

Then we moved to science. I love science and I think that the one mistake many people that work with young children and moms make is that they make it so much more difficult than it is. Science, like math is all around us. And, it is so easy if you let your kids take the lead...

How many of you play with bubbles with your kids? How many of you blow the bubbles for them? How many of you, occassionally give your kids the wand-but never the bottle? How many of you -grit your teeth while you give them the bottle and the wand and just count down the minutes until they spill it all?

Have your children ever made bubbles that look like this?
Easy to do-check! Mess free-check! Art project when done-check!

Simply pour some bubble solution on a placemat or plastic table and give them a straw. Don't tell them what to do...they will figure it out on their own. And let them go to town! *safety note* Do make sure they are old enough to know the difference between blowing through the straw and not sucking...but a little bubble solution never killed anyone! Ask them things like-what is happening? How did you do that? Can you get a bubble inside a bubble? Can you make one giant bubble? Should you blow hard or soft to make a giant bubble?

When they are done....and trust me, it could be awhile. Let them add a drop or two of food coloring to their solution and lay a paper towel on it. It will look something like this....
I didn't have any food coloring with me or I would have done that part, but you can see how interesting it becomes as you watch the towel soak up the solution. Once dry, this would be really awesome if you laminated it. There are usually "teacher stores" in most towns that will laminate for fairly cheap. Paper towels have the amazing ability of looking alot like rice paper when's one of my favorite effects.

I'm going to stop here for today, but believe it or not that isn't all I got out of this workshop!

Tomorrow...How to set up engaging centers that will draw children in! At home or in a classroom!


  1. Email me about the Hamil family fundraiser :)

    Also, if you are close, we should do lunch sometime!

  2. Oh I am so happy you found me through blog hop!! I love your corner of the Internet! I love this post and will definitely try it out with my son ;) Im planning to go back to school in September and I love that your continuing your dream!!! Can't wait to read more ;) Thank you for your sweet comment ;) Coming by to return the love and follow back ;) Have a great week!! xo Karina

  3. Cool idea with the bubbles!!! I'm a big fan, except for the kind they came out with recently that are different colors. They stain everything!! Which I guess is fine if you're outside and rain can just wash it away... :o)

    Love the picture on your blog header!! It makes me smile!! :o)

  4. Hi saw you on Hop a little linky, now following you through google, Karima from

  5. Hi! I'm a new follower of your blog! Love it! I enjoyed your post! I have to remember to add food coloring to the bubbles when my little cousins come for a visit!
    Hope you can hop by and visit my blog too!

  6. Wow! I have never, ever been to a conference that fed me like that! Well, there is the Oklahoma Fall Art Institute, but I don't really count that as a conference.

    When I taught self-contained 6th grade, I did a lot of fun math stuff. They loved M&M math the best.