Summer…A Good Time to Make Family Memories

Summer...a nice time to make family memories Thoughts to ponder…

Sometimes as parents we try to make sure our children’s summer “does not go to waste” and we over schedule lessons and events.

Taking time to pause, laugh and make good family memories over the summer are essential to laying a strong foundation for the upcoming school year.

While children are in school we want them to love learning and not feel they need a break from it…

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Recommended Math and ELA Apps to Enhance Summer Learning- PreK-8

Happy summer everyone!

Regardless if you are a teacher or parent, job well done this school year…thank you for all your efforts!

Educating our children can be a thankless job at times and it is important that those of us who play a role in the lives of children to take time to say, “thank you.” An attitude of gratitude goes a long way. It is important to recognize all the effort made by parents who juggle the many tasks placed in the ever over-scheduled schedules of daily living and for those teachers who “choose” to work in the classroom to make a difference.

Positive collaboration between parent and teacher is the essential key to establishing a sound academic foundation and developing a love of learning in our children. Having gratitude for one another and our given roles is always a good place to start to build this collaborative relationship.

Below is a list of recommended apps from an amazing Educational Resource Team, enjoy!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

The following is a list of apps recommended by St. Regis Educare Team to support and reinforce classroom curriculum.

Language Arts

Name of App Description Grade Level
Bob Books Activities that correlate with Bob Books series Emergent readers
Sight Words Practice sight words by playing fun games; two levels Early Elementary
Sight Word BINGO Click on words as they are read aloud; try for a BINGO Early Elementary
Phonics Tic-Tac-Toe Answer phonics questions and win your square; get three in a row   for tic-tac-toe Early Elementary
First Grade PhonicsSecond Grade Phonics Practice phonics skills by reading, spelling, matching and   sorting words Early Elementary
Scarecrow Word Puzzles Various word puzzles Early Elementary
ICanWrite 2 Arranging words to make sentences Early Elementary
Mini Word Game for making words Elementary
Reading Comprehension Practice Read short passages and answer comprehension questions Elementary
VocabularySpellingCity, Spelling Tutor, or Spelling Star Vocabulary and spelling activitiesUse lists provided or your own Elementary
Tools4Students Graphic organizers galoreFor writing, note-taking, comprehension, etc. Upper ElementaryAcademy
ReadNRespond Questions that can be used with any work of literature;   correlated to Bloom’s Taxonomy Upper ElementaryAcademy
Zombie Grammar Force Parts of Speech Game Upper ElementaryAcademy
Verb Mayhem or Adjective Mayem Fun game to practice identifying adjectives and verbs Upper ElementaryAcademy

Math

Name of App Description Skill Addressed
MathEdge; Math Drills; or Fast Facts Timed calculationsAdd, subtract, multiply, divide Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division
Math Splash or Penguin Math Games for practicing basic operations Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division
Math Slide Multiplication and Division Game for two to four players Multiplication and Division
Monkey Drills or Division Wiz Practice division Division
Bills and Coins Count money, make change Money
Tell Time Game or Learn Time Practice telling time Time
Pizza 1 or Fraction Monkey Fractions games Fractions
Equivalent Fractions Equivalent fraction activities Fractions
Fractions Practice adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions Fractions

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Educators are Called to a Higher Standard-Negativity Should be the Exception NOT the Norm

Since my first week of working within the world of education many years ago, I have thought it a dichotomy that so many “official” teacher sites, blogs, news articles etc. written by educators or reporting for an educator or educational organization, were often negative in context.
Education in its nature should be positive as teachers affect the lives of so many and so many who will affect OUR future.

A few weeks ago I was having a very interesting conversation with a group of parents who asked me my thoughts on teachers or educational organizations who make negative “public” comments in social media. Comments that speak to summer vacations, too much work with little pay, students who cannot behave in class, teachers now have to be the parent etc. When this group asked my opinion, I had to pause, calm my spirit and regroup because I wanted to make sure that my words did justice to my profession and the many amazing teachers I have had a privilege to teach next to or lead. I also wanted to ensure that my view on teachers having a “choice” to choose education as a vocation versus a career came across clearly.

In any profession, there are those who have not been able to train their eyes to see the good and may find it easier to complain versus enter into solution oriented dialogue. However, the difference with education, is that we as a society should hold those who teach our children, young leaders of tomorrow, to a higher standard. If a teacher is prone to complaining, how does that natural instinct play out in a classroom? Does it affect his/her teaching effectiveness? I would think it does.

As an educator and now an administrator, I expect that my parents and quite frankly my team hold me to standard where they can expect me to choose to be positive, to lead with high expectations, and to see the good in them and in each child placed in my care. As educators, we do not have the luxury of going to work in a closed environment. On the contrary, we are observed by all we encounter…peers, parents, and students. Many watch daily to see how we will handle the difficult challenges we face in education, in the classroom, the teachers’ lounge or the carline. When we allow all these outside forces to affect our work performance, more than just a simple task gets interrupted, we can alter the life of a child.

The role of an educator is essential to creating a better tomorrow. The teacher plants the seeds that will one day grow to help cure cancer, help end hunger and help eradicate hate in our world.

Education is a vocation because those who choose to teach, should only do so because they feel a calling to make a difference in the lives of others. Being an educator is not for the weak at heart or the negative nelly. Being an educator means being able to see the good even when others can’t. If discerning if education might be the right path as your future career, I would encourage a self-inventory. If it is easier to be drawn into the negative, to complain versus create and solve problems, education is not the vocation for you!

May we all continue to see knowledge in all things…

Denise

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Happy New Year! May You Find Opportunities to Share the Good

Happy New Year Everyone!

This has been a great year but quite busy with many projects. I hope to publish a couple blog articles a month for 2015. Thank you to everyone for the wonderful comments and support; taking a position as an elementary principal has taken a lot more time than anticipated away from writing.  However, I now have a dynamic team of fifty-two amazing individuals and I am finding more and more time to squeeze in writing.

As I reflect on 2014 and look at what blogs touched  the most readers, it is those written to motivate and inspire. 100 Words to Praise Students has received over 25,000 views. This tells me that we are  seeking ways to find and share the good in our classrooms and with those students or people placed on our path during this journey in life.

As as we embark upon a New Year, may you have the courage to be the difference in the lives of many!

Thank you all for all you do and for allowing me to do what I love…

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things-

Denise

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A New Twitter Hash Tag #CalmYourSpirit to Support New Writing Project by Denise Ball

Hello Everyone,

In support of a new book I am writing, I have created a new Twitter hash tag #CalmYourSpirit
I have used this saying for years, as many of you know, with family, friends, students and peers. My definition of this statement is: “When that “out of control” or lost feeling begins to creep up, take a moment to pause, take a deep breath and calm your spirit! This allows one, regardless of age to regain focus and purpose for the task at hand.”

Please join the conversation on Twitter @dballwriter

Blessings to all,
Denise

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Author Websites with Games and Activities… Think Eragon, Reading Rainbow and The Ranger’s Apprentice

Some great author websites with games and activities for all ages this summer!

Oceanhouse Media Great educational book apps and so much more. Check out often for FREE downloads to help your child learn letters, phonics & math!

http://www.oceanhousemedia.com/

Christopher Paolini’s “Eragon” Series Games and Activities for Tweens and Teens…Great Teacher Resource Too

http://www.alagaesia.com/
John Flannagan’s “Ranger’s Apprentice” Series Games and Activities for Tweens and Teens…Great Teacher Resource Too (one of my favorite series)

http://www.rangersapprentice.com.au/

The 39 Clues Website A fun clue hunt!

http://the39clues.scholastic.com/

The Mysterious Benedict Society Top Secret Adventures, Passwords and Amazing FUN!

http://www.mysteriousbenedictsociety.com/

Remember Reading Rainbow…check out this great reading resource for FREE!

Think classroom IPad or whiteboard resource

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reading-rainbow-read-along/id512350210?mt=8

May we continue ot seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

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Filed under Curriculum Resources, Educational Resources, Educational Websites and Resources, Educational Websites that are FREE, Favorite Sites, Learning is Fun Lessons/Activities, Promoting Literacy, Recommended Book from Teens for Teens, Recommended Books for Ages 8-15, Recommended Learning Apps, Resources for Writers Young and Old, Summer Learning Tips

A Huge Thank You for Helping Unlock the Teacher Blog Reach 50,000 Plus Post Reads

A very special thank you to all of our faithful supporters who have encouraged us and helped this blog surpass 50,000 posts read since 2012.

Since I took a position as an elementary principal, our posts have been random as I acclimated to the new role. However, I am working on a new academic eBook book for summer publishing, and the Unlock the Teacher team is currently sending out proposals on a resource book for early childhood parents and teachers.

The goal of this blog is to share the good in education for the betterment of our future…our children.

This blog has seen parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, publishers and a few Department of Education and government leaders comment and support its efforts. Thank you for your support.

Here is to another great year…cheers!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

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