Monday, September 30, 2013

Music for Learning

Music is not only my favorite way to learn but my kiddos.  We sing EVERYTHING.  Even little made up songs, little jingles if you will. Keeping my 13 boys engaged while learning is a challenge this year.  Singing, however, keeps them actively moving and learning!!

Of course, I love Jack Hartmann and Shari Sloane's CD's and the kids love their catchy tunes.  I love using their CDs for math and science related topics.
 My favorite for literacy, however,  is Heidi Songs.  Why?  Because she provides DVDs that not only have the kids singing but dancing and learning.  After learning our letter/sounds and sight words, when I'm working with a small group I simply start humming the tune or doing the hand gestures and the kiddos go right into singing/spelling the learned sounds/sight words. 

Every time I introduce a new letter, we learn the corresponding sound and song!  Once we've all learned the song well, we tape ourselves (just a quick video on my iPhone).  A little incentive to keep them going.  We love to sing them in the hallway, too!  We get lots of compliments!  

This year I purchased Heidi's sight word videos and I am so glad that I did.  When we learn a new word, we learn the song.  They're all short and catchy so it makes it easy to sing the songs without the DVD as well.  I like to "test" my kids at the end of the week  to see who knows it by sight and who can spell the word.  I have been amazed at how well they all do!  

I highly recommend checking out her website and checking out some of her videos she has posted of her kids signing!  (I was not asked to make this post...these opinions are my own and were made from the excitement of watching my kiddos making such great academic progress). :)

How do you help your kids master letter recognition/sounds/sight words?  I would love to know.  More tricks of the trade are always helpful!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Holding up.

My mother insisted that I update this little ol' blog and then I saw the following picture and realized what I was going to post:

I am extremely overwhelmed.  Being pregnant takes ALL my energy and when I get home I'm just too exhausted to do anything else other than try and catch up on all the assessing I have to do and input into online database, progress reports to write (already?), lessons plans to complete (for the week ahead...trying to stay on top of it), and not to mention all the other millions of things on my 'to-do' list for home.  I'm lucky if I get ONE thing accomplished, other than taking a shower, when I get home from school.

Am I the only one out there who needs the first two months of school to just get caught up?

I promise to post something wonderfully worth-while soon and be oh-so-inspiring but for now I must go finish cooking dinner.  Hubby is tired of cereal for dinner every night :/

Monday, September 2, 2013

Currently MIA

I apologize for being MIA lately but I have a good reason.  It's called 'The First Trimester' and it is EXHAUSTING! Between working all day, running errands and going to doctor appointments, all I want to do when I get home is SLEEP.  And sleep I do! So for this first part of pregnancy I apologize for my lack of really exciting, awesome, and inspiring educational posts.  I may find some energy once and awhile but bear with me as I make my way to the second trimester.  :)

Ok.  Explanations where needed:

LOVING:  College football!! This is my favorite time of year. Not only does it mean my Saturday's are full for the next couple months but it also means that Fall is right around the corner.  Thankfully living in northern FL, we do experience some climate change....and I.CAN.NOT.WAIT.
This past Saturday I literally laid on the couch all day watching Game Day and lots of football games {I usually just lay on the couch all day on Saturday's anyways}!  Go Seminoles!! :)

THINKING/WANTING/NEEDING: Well, I kinda already vented about that at the top but these three really go together.  This is my first pregnancy and I'm at the end of my first trimester and I am SO ready!  I literally do nothing but eat and sleep all day long {on the weekends and when I get home on 'school days'}.  I am one who is always busy doing something so this is really hard for me.  My house is a wreck.  I look at piles of clothes and junk and get so exhausted just thinking about all that needs to be done, I go to sleep!
Cooking...forget about it.  I've made my hubby get take out most of my first trimester. And washing dishes....I'd rather not.  Am I suppose to be like this?  
Am I suppose to have ZERO energy and lack motivation to do the slightest of things?  
I must say, I miss my pool days, workouts, and being a 'busy-body' with my friends.  I can not wait for that to go back to normal! 

For me this month, I really want to begin working out at least 3x a week.  I was an avid exerciser until I became pregnant. {read above for reasons why I am no longer}  I bought the Tracy Anderson Pregnancy Project and love it!  Just gotta get some energy to do it!
Get a massage...well what pregnant girl doesn't want a massage?  Heck, what GIRL doesn't want a massage?  I really want one.
Get sub plans...this summer right when I first became pregnant I created a long-term sub binder.  I wanted to get a head start on getting prepared for when I am gone on maternity leave.  Well, I haven't done anything since making the packet. I had all these wonderful intentions to get a head start so that when I'm feeling exhausted and overwhelmed with school and being preggo, I wouldn't have to worry about it.  I'm slacking already.  So this month, I want to get most of it printed and set up.  I can worry about the actual plans later, but I've got to get going!!! :)

If you've stuck around and listened to me vent, I thank you.  I don't want to turn this blog of mine into a dusty website or all about being preggo, but right now...that's all I can do.  I'm off to try to begin cleaning this house of mine.  Sadly, I already foresee the couch in my near future! :)

Happy Labor Day, friends!