The three of us have been in education for many years and bring a unique perspective to Staying Centered. Grade level teammates for nearly 20 years, Barbara and Mary Beth understand the need for activities that students can use independently in centers so that teachers are free to provide interventions with small groups of students. Barbara's sister, Beth, is an amazing artist with a friendly, unique style that engages students immediately. Beth enjoys teaching cartooning classes to students of all ages and has her own TPT shop, "NoodlzArt" which is entirely focused on products she created using her original drawings. Be sure to check it out!
We tend to think thematically when it comes to creating classroom activities. Validated by brain research which indicates the value of patterns and themes in learning, we work to create activities which align with current instruction while also reviewing past skills. For example, teachers have found the Harcourt Storytown activities to be valuable because they provide a week's worth of activities which students can complete independently. We believe the activities should involve more than simply writing answers on paper. While we do have those activities, we also provide opportunities for students to be more actively engaged. Students may be asked to manipulate letters to form new words from a larger word, illustrate a new ending for a story, create a vocabulary booklet where they write definitions for the week's words, cut apart and sequence key details from the selection and so on. Relating the activities directly to current classwork provides meaningful, respectful work as well as continuity for students.
Arizona School Board's Golden Bell Award, WESD Lamp of Learning recipients, National Board Certified Teacher
Lewis and Clark College, Arizona State University, University of Phoenix
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