Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I just saw this article on KSL and thought it was very appropriate. It is very important that we volunteer and help out in our children's or even local elementary schools. The kids need us.
Due to the fact that more and more parents are being forced to work outside the home due to financial strain schools are shouldering the burden of raising the kids in many situations. This puts teachers in difficult positions as they try to mass raise children who will be able to contribute to society. We need to help more. I do not currently have children in school but I help out where I can. I can't go in because I come with little ones and from a teacher's stand point that generally is not a good thing. It's too much of a distraction to the kids who need to be learning. I have however told the teachers at the local school that I am willing to help them from home by cutting and preparing things for them so they will have more time to work with and teach the kids.
My local school has even asked for grandparents to come and read with the kids. You don't have to have a child in the schools to help out. Remember it's your community and you make it what you want it to be. The more you help and contribute the better off it will be.

Local PTA asks for more help
October 20th, 2010 @ 9:15am
By Mary Richards

DAVIS COUNTY -- A Davis County PTA is begging parents to step up. It says it's in danger of losing valuable programs for schools.

The Davis Central Council PTA has eight schools in the Layton and Kaysville area. But the dues are down considerably because there isn't a high enough percentage of PTA membership at some of those schools. That means it may lose its standing with the national PTA organization.

Those dues go to great programs like Red and Green Ribbon weeks, Battle of the Bands, and Reflections, says Nicole Miller, the president of the Central Council PTA.

"I know our Legislature often can't find enough money for arts and education, and I think it's great that the PTA can bring this to children," says Miller about Reflections.

She says Red Ribbon Week teaches valuable information about drugs.

"Sometimes we as a society leave it up to others to teach the dangers of drugs and alcohol. What a wonderful thing to come to the school and discuss it for a whole week," she says.

That's why she's worried about the situation. Miller says she knows it's hard for many families to pay even just $5 in dues right now, so it is asking for volunteers too.

"If that's all parents can afford right now is time, we'd love the gift of time," she says. "Sometimes that's even more precious than the money."

It is asking for three hours over a school year, which could mean 15 minutes here and there helping with a booth or reading in a classroom.

She hopes this is also a call for parents and grandparents anywhere in Utah to help out at their schools too.

"I would love for you to come out in swarms, and even if you've already paid dues maybe you can pay an extra $5 to sponsor a family that can't afford it. If you can't do that, then give of your time," says Miller.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Food Pyramid

Eating healthy is important but not always an easy thing to convince your kids to do. I somehow got lucky. My kids favorite vegetable is broccoli. Many of my friends didn't though. My son's friend won't eat anything unless it is one of 5 things, and not many of them are fruits and vegetables.
I found this neat website with a game that teaches kids what happens when they eat healthy. If they do it right their rocket blasts off to a planet where they can print off a certificate saying that they know how to eat healthy. It plans their meals for the day and lets them choose what they would like to eat. It's pretty fun. It won't entertain them for a long time but it will help start a discussion on health eating or reinforce what was taught.

Launch Game

Grade: B
Ages: K-3

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Parent Teacher Conference

I wanted to post this last week because I know that Parent Teacher Conferences are coming up but we have been dealing with sick children. We love cold and flu season. Send extra tissues and hand sanitizer with your kids for the next few months. Teacher burn through these like crazy this time of year.
Parent teacher conferences is a stressful yet fun time. The kids never know what the teachers are going to say, the teachers have to spent HOURS preparing, and then there are the parents nerves wondering what they are going to tell you about your child.
Let me start by saying the teacher generally sees a very different child in school than you see at home. When I talk to parents and tell them I have a hard time getting their child to answer questions at school they looked shocked because I have the child that is never quiet at home. This is normal. Kids act different in different situations. Just make sure their behavior isn't a problem.

When I was a new teacher I had a principal tell me that parent teacher conference was a time to celebrate the child and their accomplishments which is what I strived to do with each child. We saved important papers to show parents and just had fun. We also addressed minor problems in the goals that we set.

It's also a chance to talk about their grades. Most schools send home the grades either before the conference or ask you to look at them on-line. I suggest you do this weekly not just at the end of the term. By the end of the term it's too late to fix the problems like missing work or poorly completed projects. I really wish they would hold these conferences at mid-term, not the end of the term. So many problems could be avoided.

When I was student teaching a child had gone from all 4's (or A's) in 4th grade to 2's (or D's) in 5th. It wasn't because she didn't understand the work but because everything was late and the teacher I was working with had a strict late policy. If it was late they received half credit. The parent's were not pleased. Make sure you know the teacher and the school's policies to avoid this problem. It wasn't pretty for me or the teacher.

Remember be kind to the teacher. They are in for a LONG, LONG week because not only do they have kids all day (or half the day) they also have to be at the school until 7:00 at night then go home and take care of their own families. If there is a major problem schedule a different time to discus it. Maybe the teacher made a mistake (Yes, this does happen. I have made many on grades as I attempted to get everything in quickly sometimes something get missed.). Give them time to fix or look up these problems. You are your child's advocate but that doesn't mean you can abuse and yell at the teacher.

Which brings me to my next point. Be kind and respectful to the teacher!!!! Do not tell your student how stupid the teacher is, how horrible they are when they make a mistake or do something you don't agree with in front of the teacher or in front of the student. Everyone needs to vent. Vent to another adult not your child!!!! If you say it to your child it gives them a reason not to listen or respect the teacher which ultimately will hurt your child because if they aren't listening, they aren't learning. If you have a problem with the way the teacher is doing something, first talk to them, if that doesn't work take it to the principal.
I understand that not all teachers are perfect. I have worked with teachers and said to my husband that my child will never be in their class. I also know that for some people I was that teacher because they didn't like how I did things. That's just life. You can't please everyone.

Finally, listen to the teacher. If they are bring up something like "they like to talk to their neighbor" or "we are having a problem with name calling" it is a BIG problem. Teacher's know that kids need to be kids and don't normally bring up the little things. All kids talk to their neighbor, all kids call names, and all kids hit once in a while. If the teacher brings it up at parent teacher conference it's a big problem and it's time to get involved with your child at home. There are easy ways to do this. You can start by asking your child how much of a problem it really is and then set a goal to work on it. It helps to have a relationship with your child where they feel comfortable telling you the truth so don't yell at them. If it's something that needs a consequence do so but tell them it's to help them remember not to do it again. Ask them about their goal daily. Put a note in the car or by the door to remind you to ask them about it each day. Don't try to fix it for them make them own the problem and have them be responsible for fixing it (with your help and guidance of course). Discuss how they did each day and how they can do better. This works with any goals that will be made at parent teacher conference. Why make a goal if you aren't going to work on it?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Website Review - Game Goo

I found this site with my son as I was looking for a phonic site that he could play on. This site makes lots of weird noises that or course my little boy just loves. It is full of fun educational games. I love the fact that it has different levels that challenge the kids. It goes from basic matching capital and lowercase letters to spelling words that they hear. It has funny creatures that go with teach game. The best part is there are NO AD's on this site so there aren't any crazy things for them to click on that will take them to a different site without you knowing.
I wish I could pull over a picture of the site but my computer did an update and it won't let me do that anymore so until I figure out how to take screen shots on a mac you will just have to view them for yourself.
Ages: pre-K - 2
Grade: A+
Cost: Nothing