Sunday, May 12, 2013
Sunday, May 5, 2013
I have been off the radar for the past couple of weeks! You are just going to have to hang with me while I tell you what I have been doing the past couple of weeks. The freebie is below. I have been helping my daughter's high school drama program with the musical Legally Blonde. This is my daughter Olivia's last show with the Page Playmakers. It was a bittersweet moment on Saturday when the curtain closed for the last time. My daughter Emily also went through the same program. Our whole family has been involved with this program for seven years! My husband has built light towers and sets and I have created and designed costumes. It has been one of the great joys of our lives. We have had the opportunity to get to know Olivia and Emily's friends and to make some great friends ourselves. I can tell you from first hand experience that there are wonderful teenagers in our world! I love all the kids I have worked with. I found out they need the same things first graders need: hugs, encouragement and adults that care for them.
One of the favorite numbers from this show is Bend and Snap check out the Broadway version and put some snap into your day!
My first graders have been busy learning about living organisms. We are writing a fact book as a take home project but it can be used as a class project as well. We went to Lazy Five Ranch for a field trip. This place is amazing! You ride around in a wagon pulled by beautiful horses and you get to feed and view the animals up close and way personal! Why even one buffalo took a liking to me and licked my leg. Oooooooo but cool at the same time.This is a picture of one of my sweet little boys feeding a buffalo. If you are ever in North Carolina be sure to check it out. I always love visiting Lazy Five!
You can get The Animal Groups Fact Book here on Google Drive. I am really working on getting my first graders to use their brains when writing. The rubric has a place for the children to draw a smiley face if they used their own brains and not their moms and dads or shh....Google! We have been learning so much about animals it would be a shame, shame to get the information from someone else. The book is two pages back to front and the children write about six different animal groups.
Sorry for the long post but I wanted to tell you all what I have been up to! I was just savoring these last days of high school with my daughter. She is off to college in the fall! Thanks for sticking with me. There are more freebies on the way!
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Hear from Jonah's Mom and watch a video here.
I can't believe it is spring and let me tell you why. Today it snowed and sleeted in Greensboro, NC. Now mind you we are on spring break! We just don't have snow and sleet this late. Well for part of the day I sat on my couch and drank ice tea, read a book and wrapped up in a blanket. I can't fuss too much because it gave me time to create this fun literacy center for my classroom and yours. Some of my honeys are still having difficulty with that tricky Magic E. This center has differentiation with added blends on some word pairs. You get sixteen matching pairs and a recording sheet. The recording sheet has space to record twelve matches. Check out the center below.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
It is my pleasure to be guest blogging today here at I Dream of First Grade! I am Lauren, mom to three boys, an elementary reading specialist and literacy coach (currently on a leave of absence), and blogger over at~
In honor of World Autism Awareness Day, I share a little of my own experience with this heartbreaking disorder.
Today, April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day, an event that kicks off Autism Awareness Month.
Around the world, businesses, schools, retailers, social media outlets, and individuals will be shining a light on spreading Autism awareness. While the focus is on children, those of us who participate are also wanting to educate the public as to what this disorder is and how it affects not only the child but the entire family.
This day is personal for me, because my family has been touched with Autism. My oldest son is on the Autism spectrum, as is my young nephew. For twenty-four years, I have dealt with Autism, whether it be as a teacher, a parent, or an aunt. Parenting is hard. Parenting a child with any disability is harder. The label does not mean much to me. I didn't need an Asperger's label to tell me that my son was struggling, was in distress, was a challenge, was in pain, was not functioning within the "normal" range. However, what a label does do is open doors and opportunities for help~ whether it be an IEP, 504 Plan, Medical Card, or professional help.
Parents of Autistic children can feel all alone as they struggle with the daily challenges of nurturing and caring for their child. Many feel isolated as even family members may not fully understand the child's behavior. Social outings are stressful, unpredictable, and so many parents feel that it is too risky and exhausting for them and their child to attend birthday parties, take a trip to the grocery store or even to the park. If you have an Autistic child you get it. I get it; I really do.
When life gets harder, I pray harder. It is my main way to cope with all things in life, especially with those circumstances that I cannot control, fix, heal, or change. Another way I cope is to read all I can as a way to educate myself, inform others, and to know that I am not alone.
I want to share with you a few websites that I have found very helpful. Whether you are a teacher, a parent, a friend, or a relative of a loved one on the Austism spectrum, I encourage you to check out these sites. I have no affiliation with these sites... I found them in my search for answers and support, and I hope they do the same for you.
- Child Mind Institute- Has a wealth of information for childhood psychiatric and learning disorders , including Autism and Selective Mutism (NOT on the Autism spectrum, but personal to me as well).
- Autism Speaks- World's leading autism science and advocacy organization
- Kennedy Krieger Institute- An internationally recognized institution dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system.
When my child was first diagnosed with Asperger's at the age of fourteen, I discovered the book, Look Me in the Eye. Both my son and I read it. It gave us insight and hope. Click the picture below to check it out. If you have a child or teach a child with Asperger's, this is a must read!
Recently, I found the book ,Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum. Although I have not read it yet, the book is on my wish list, as it looks to be inspiring.
My prayer is that if your life has been touched with Autism in any way, that something from today's post will be helpful to you. If nothing else, my goal was to share a little part of my story with Autism and to offer you hope. There is always hope. I know that when caring for an Autistic child the days can be long, the days can be lonely, the days can be exhausting, sucking the life out of you as you struggle to remain strong, and the days can be beyond frustrating.
But there is always hope and there is always love.