Our new multiplication fact packs are designed to help parents and educators learn their facts quickly. #twocreativeteachers #multiplicationfacts
Calling all teachers! Let us know what your dream classroom theme would be and why? Share this post if you know a teacher. #teacher #twocreativeteachers #classroomtheme
Lately, wherever I go, I seem to be cringing at what I hear adults saying to children. It is often not just what they say, it is how they say it. Some of the comments that I have heard, show a lack of respect for children and their age and stage. Comments that involve innuendo, sarcasm, swearing or negative comments about other people seem to be common place among children now. When did that change? I may sound old here but when I grew up, there was very, very rarely a swear word or bad word said about other people within earshot. I am sure that plenty of things were said behind close doors. Where they belong! When did it become okay to overshare inappropriate information with the kids. In my job, I see the effects of this shift in adult concepts being shared by children.
Kids use these comments to other kids and think it is ok: Many comments that I hear at my job are about some kids saying the most inappropriate things to each other. When you stop and question the kids, they have heard their parents or an adult say it so they think it is ok. Usually when I ask them what it means, they have little understanding of the impact of those words.
Kids don’t understand adult concepts: Comments that kids repeat of an inappropriate nature say so because they think its ok or they want a rise out of the other child. They have heard someone use words to hurt another and they think it is ok. This is often confusing for kids because they have no idea of the meaning or depth behind those words. When you try to address this, they think that your being unreasonable because they have heard an adult already say it.
We shouldn’t want kids to understand adult concepts yet: Do we really want a society where kids are saying swear words and sexually inappropriate words and comments? Does anyone like hearing kids repeat these things? Kids brains are not ready to process the feelings and emotions that often go with adult concepts. They say things without understanding the emotions behind them. Why? Because they haven’t had the experiences and nor should we want them too!
Be careful what you say because kids repeat at the worst times: I am sure that adults have had an experience where they made a comment and their kids have repeated it at the worst time. I have seen people wish a hole would swallow them when I share what their kids have repeated. If it is a private, adult concept and conversation then keep it private and behind close doors. Negative feelings about spouses or ex partners, personal adult stories, drug concepts, sexual comments, jokes, your complaints and views about things need to be screened for the sake of your kids. Too many times I have heard “But my mum said…” or “My dad says that…”. Sometimes what follows next shouldn't come from the mouth of any child.
So please, I beg you, for the sake of your children, other children and society in general, keep the adult conversations to the adults! If you want polite, well mannered and positive children who people want to socialise with, then act like a good role model! It is time to keep adult conversations where they belong- with adults!
Over the years, I have tried many ways to cut household planning and organisation down. After all, an organised home frees up time to enjoy the better things in life. I used to rely on folders that contained all of the important information. However, I found it too time consuming and messy to have many so folders that are opened as well as flicking back and forth between folders to find documents. Therefore, I read some blog articles, looked at ideas on Pinterest and decided that I would have a go at making my own.
The first thing that I decided was to make my life planner into one book. A book that was bound and easy to flick through. Everything in one easy book. No more writing things in different folders or switching folders. Easy to carry and store. The fun part was picking a theme. As I wanted my husband to get involved, I asked him to select the theme and he selected Circus. Next, I made a list of what I would like in my life planner. I wanted a section at the front full of important documents as well as a weekly overview at a glance. Having room to write and organise each day was also important to me. Here is the list that I came up with:
1. Emergency details: two simple pages that contained important emergency details
2. Yearly bill tracker: a sheet that reminded me at a glance what bills need to pay regularly and when
3. Birthdays: a yearly overview of whose birthday is when
4. Password tracker: I needed website, banking etc. passwords in one central spot
5. Contacts: a list of family contact numbers, emails etc.
6. Things that I want to do: A list of dreams and wishes that I have for that year. Almost a yearly bucket list!
7. Monthly front covers: A front cover that separates each month
8. Monthly calendar overview: what events are on each month at a glance
9. Weekly overview: This was the most important one for me. I wanted a design that broke down each day into three blocks morning, afternoon and night. I also wanted to add a general meal box, notes, calls to make and bills to pay section for the week.
10. Weekly shopping list and menu: a sheet that contained the meals that I planned for the week as well as quick shopping list
11. To do list: a list of weekly jobs that needed to be completed
12. Project design sheet: This was important to my husband and I as we try to complete one team task a month to keep the household running smoothly
13. Exercise tick sheet: a sheet that ticked or left space to record what exercise I had done for the month
14. Goal sheet: A quick sheet that had the goals for the month and a tick box to see how I am going
Once I decided on exactly what I wanted in my life planner, I got to work designing each element to my liking. The best part of this was that I could create and design things how I needed them. Some planners had too little space to record what I needed.
Once I had designed each sheet, I simply then photocopied them all. The colour part was expensive for the initial start-up cost, as I wanted the cover pages in colour. You could simply print them in black and white if you wanted. Then I organised the important events section first. Next, I arranged each month and made sure that it had each of the elements that I needed. I had to be careful with the dates as some months went into a fifth week. Finally, when I had the shell put together, I went to Officeworks and had a folder bound. I also created one for my husband. It was a grand total of $6 each to have the folders bound. Gee, I was excited when my life planner was handed back and beautifully bound! When I got home, I simply added divided tabs to ensure that I could find each month quickly. Then I recorded all of the dates for the year.
I decided to strengthen my own binder by creating small stickers to label important bill reminders, events, birthdays etc. This also helped make my binder look pretty! I simply designed the stickers and printed them on label paper. I cut them out and then stick them on when I am planning a week or month.
So after all of that effort, would I go back to folders? No way! When we touch base each week, my husband and I have a quick meeting for 15 minutes to create our weekly overview or sometimes half an hour for the month. Depending on time of course. I found that designing my life planner made it easier to write information as there was more space. As everything is in one spot, it cuts down time. We simply go plan our bills, calls to make, budget and then slide in the weekly events and things to do. I prefer a large weekly overview. I can also print more pages if needed or cut things out that I do not need.The other added benefit is that if I see a shopping list or some other cute little element from Kikki K that I like, I can simply clip it in. I have included the Circus theme life planner in our store for $6.00 if you wanted to use the one that I created. You can email us if you want a page added. So happy life planning and I hope that you get time to enjoy the better things in life!
#lifeplanner #twocreativeteachers #organisation #home #printables
One of the things that I love about teaching is that we get to design and create new and exciting displays. Creating an inviting and exciting welcome space does not have to be time consuming or complex. One thing that I have learnt over the years is sometimes the small displays can have the biggest impact. I have done some large and over the top welcome displays on my door or bulletin boards. Scaling it down and keeping it simple can often have a big impact. The one thing that does make a difference is having a theme that you can stick too. Selecting a common theme with matching images as well as a colour scheme can help you to create some amazing little displays. Here are my top five tips to creating a high standard welcoming display:
1. Keep it simple, easy and achievable: Keep it simple and something that you can finish. If you are like me, the ideas in my head do not always translate into an achievable reality. Keep it on a small scale. That way you can change it and it can still have a big impact. It is also less time consuming.
2. Include visuals and lots of pictures: Kids love pictures that are bright and vibrant. When I talk to kids about what displays engage their attention, they nearly always say colour and attractive images. Make images the focus of your display.
3. Clear theme: Make sure that you have a common thread or theme. I have seen too many displays that look nice but I couldn’t detect what they are for or what the theme was. It ended up looking like a mess of mismatched elements
4. Have a large heading with font that is easy to read: This one I learnt the hard way. A few times over the years, I have had many great display but the font was too fancy or too decorative to read. It looked good in theory but in reality it was too complex for people to read.
5. Keep it colourful and bright: One of the things that kids love is bright and bold colours. It always seems to draw their attention as well as the attention of the people walking past the classroom. You want people to view your display.
A great welcoming display is essential for any classroom. It creates a warm, welcoming and engaging environment. It shows that you have put in efforts to engage the children.
thanks to lauren M for sending us an image of how she is using one of our products
#twocreativeteachers #welcomedisplay #classroomdisplay #teachers
Technological expectations and connections for educators: The Catch 22
Are social educational apps and technology placing too many expectations on teacher’s personal lives? Let me start this article by saying that I am on board the technology train. I fully embrace technology and it is certainly a passion of mine. There has been a dramatic shift in our society about connecting with people without the boundaries of time and space. Even as a junior teacher, I believe that it is never too early to teach technology skills such as emailing. Technology creates excellent connections. Connections between students, families and other teachers has never been so easy to create. So why does it feel so challenging and does it place too many expectations on teachers personal lives?
“Connect! Anytime, anywhere!”
I have attended professional seminars and read information, like we all have, about the ease of technology. It is presented as easy to connect with students. Easy to add data at the click of a button. Easy to share dates, learning and times with families. Great. Love it. During school hours. The issue that I have is that technological connections after certain hours are almost an invasion of my personal and private time. Take Edmodo for example. Amazing and a highly beneficial app. But it is a full time app. When I taught seniors, I would be getting questions, assignment posts, notifications etc. My Ipad would be pinging and dinging. I would be out to dinner and a question pops up. I would be in the middle of a TV show and a discussion between kids starts. But it still felt like a catch 22. I loved that fact that the kids embraced it, used it and did some amazing things that I didn’t expect. Parents could shot me quick questions if needed. But again, it was still going on at 9:00 and 10:00 at night.
“The click of a button access to teachers”
Programs and apps are presented as “at the click of a button”. Great for parent and student communication. Great for relationship building and connections. They are presented as wonderful because they allow you to do things anytime and anywhere. But let’s stop and really think about that in reality. At the click of a button, parents can shoot you a question late at night. I have heard many stories of how parents have emailed teachers late at night and expected a response immediately. And then emailed to ask why the response wasn’t prompt. Students can catch you again, at home in your own time. Time that you need to collapse after the long working day. Time that you need to relax, unwind and feel like you have a second to yourself. Time when you can see your family and friends. Time to refresh and renew so the kids get the best of you the next day. So is the “click of a button” really what teachers need or want?
The “I will just do it tonight” syndrome
The other side of the coin is that you put off doing blog posts, assignment posts, quizzes, data entry, responses, and dates during the school day. Why? Because you can. Because the day is so busy that you haven’t had time. Because there are so many other things that need your attention and physical presence. Because on your priority list it IS something that you can do later. So what do you do? You do it when you get home. You sit on the iPad while watching TV. You read while eating dinner. You quickly check emails before you go to bed. Why? Because you can’t sleep until its done. You sleep better knowing that the day is finalised.
So the major technological selling points also have a dark side. A hidden side that can suck the life out of you, your personal life and your personal time. So what can teachers do to balance building great technological connections and personal lives?
Tips that I have learnt to manage technological connections and expectations:
1. Turn off notifications after a certain time. A time that you select. I had to let go and accept that it won’t matter if I get to it the following morning
2. Be clear to parents that you are accessible within reasonable hours. Remind parents gently that you need a break from work too.
3. Check emails, apps etc. in the morning and at early in the night
4. Try and do as many things as you can at work
5. Prioritise what is highly beneficial
Teaching has changed dramatically in the last ten years. Teachers are now more accessible than ever. Being a teacher means building connections and part of that connection is being flexible in how accessible you are. This is important and valuable. However, be careful of the hidden traps that can suck you into working too many hours. Switch off some technology and give yourself a hard earned rest. The kids will thank you in the long run. Your family will thank you in the long run and you will thank yourself too.
Annette Palma and Carley Rogozik/ Dawson