Thursday, June 28, 2012

K is for Keys of the Kingdom Movement Exploration

Movement education activities are a perfect way to foster creativity and develop both fine and gross motor skills in young children. It builds self esteem as well because there are no wrong responses. In this activity we feature the letter K. It's a super way to introduce or reinforce phonics in the home or at school. Why not follow up with some kicking games?

Movements are indicated in BOLD. Put on some Regal sounding trumpet music and read the story slowly. Remember to give time between sentences for children to explore their movements.

Kevin the king was a kindergarten kid with nothing to do. He kept a key hidden in his kilt. What would the key unlock?

Use the key to unlock this big box. There’s kelp to eat. There's a kettle of tea to drink.  Kerplunk!  A klutzy kitten falls out of the box and cries.  Kiss the kitten and tell him, “It’s alright.”

Let’s use our key to open the door to the zoo! A kooky kangaroo is kickboxing. Let’s kick high. Now kick to the side. The kind koala bear is playing the kazoo. Keep in line and play with him.  Jump into the kayak and paddle down the river.

The key opens the kitchen door too! Karl, my kin, is making kebob. Yum!  Let’s put some ketchup on our kebob.  Eat it all up. Now turn on the karaoke machine and sing and dance with me!

It’s time to turn our key in the playground gate.  Let’s play kickball. Kick the ball far and run around the bases.  King Kevin sees a king snake in the outfield.” Run and hide. It can kill you,” he says.  “Just kidding. It won’t hurt you.”

Use the key to open the kite kit. Let’s make a kite! Tie the sticks together and glue the paper on.  Add the string. Run and let the wind carry the kite up into the sky. Let’s make believe we are kites. Float on the wind.  Dip down and make a circle.  Duck down. Watch out for that kiwi vine.  Now soar up high!

There’s a kazillion things to do in the king’s kingdom!

Kathy Stemke's websites:
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Monday, June 25, 2012

The 50 Best Blogs for Future Teachers

Jumping into the teaching profession certainly poses quite the potential for intimidation. After all, the very fate of future generations does hang in the balance and all. But no novice educator has to ride off into the career-tinted sunset alone after graduation. Plenty of seasoned professionals, administrators, and parents have beaucoup advice and experience to offer. Open up a little and listen to what they have to say; not all of it will necessarily stick, but learning experiences lurk in each little snippet. Supplement conversations with mentors and peers with the following blogs, or, if you’re especially brave, reach out and ask some of the writers for the best resources and approaches for helping your students shine.

  1. School Counselor Blog: Danielle Schultz and her crew talk about the issues and strategies involved with counseling kindergarteners through 12th graders on both academic and personal matters.
  2. The Principal Blog: Here, an elementary school principal opens up about the day-to-day elements of her job and shares resources and ideas that have helped her through different dilemmas.
  3. Superintendent’s Blog: While it understandably doesn’t update as frequently as some of the other blogs listed here, this Bedford, Mass.-based read sheds quite a bit of light on what running an entire school district involves.
  4. A Principal’s Reflections: Considered one of the best administrator bloggers on the Internet, New Milford High School’s Eric Sheninger is an award-winning, Google-certified instructor with amazing insight into the education industry.
  5. School Counseling Matters: Aimed at parents and teachers, School Counseling Matters offers up some incredibly valuable resources about what all the eponymous career path entails.
  6. Blogs at American Association of School Administrators: All the reads hosted here cover a wide range of administration positions, and therefore perspectives, so hop on over and learn a thing or two about what all goes into keeping a whole school chugging along as smoothly as possible.
  7. Michael Smith’s Principals Page: Stop here for exceptionally detailed musings about everything principalia, which expands upon content from the surrounding website.
  8. School Library Monthly: Libraries are essential to a successful academic institution, so teachers new and old should pay close attention to how they work and what they offer students, faculty, and staff alike.
  9. The Principal of Change: George Couros is eager to forge progressive classroom strategies that enrich and engage students, teachers, and parents so everyone grows and learns something.
  10. AASL Blog: The American Association of School Libraries keeps readers constantly updated about the latest news and views hailing from … well … exactly what its name implies.

For the remaining sites go to

Kathy Stemke's websites:
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Monday, June 11, 2012

The Homeschooler’s Guide to Getting Into College

There's a common misconception that homeschoolers have difficulty when it comes to getting into college. This may have been true 20 years ago, but these days, colleges are making the process of admissions for homeschoolers simple and fair. In fact, many colleges are now seeking out homeschoolers themselves, as homeschooled students tend to be excellent college students. Here, we've gathered several facts, tips, and helpful resources that you can put to work to ensure that your college admissions process as a homeschooler is smooth and successful.

Did you know that Harvard recruits homeschoolers, and that most homeschoolers have a higher GPA than regular students? Read on for these facts and more.

Top schools including Harvard, MIT, Duke, Yale, and Stanford are all actively recruiting homeschoolers. These schools don't just grudgingly accept homeschooled students, they do everything they can to get them in the door, recognizing that homeschoolers are often better prepared for college than their brick-and-mortar schooled peers.

Some homeschoolers may remember a day when it was difficult to get into college as a homeschooler, but these days, colleges are increasingly adjusting their admissions policies to be more homeschool-friendly. Many accept portfolios of work instead of transcripts, and offer a more flexible admissions procedure.

In highly competitive admissions situations, it can be hard for students to differentiate themselves from the rest of small army of applicants all vying for the same spots. Students with homeschooled experience have an advantage here, as they're different, in a good way.

A rumor has been floating around that if homeschoolers want to be eligible for federal student aid, they'll need to get a GED. This is not true: homeschooled students are specifically exempt from this requirement. But be careful, some colleges and universities believe this myth to be true.

University of St. Thomas researcher Michael Cogan has found that often, homeschool students earn more college credits before their freshman year of college than other students. On average, homeschoolers had 14.7 college credits, versus 6.0 credits for traditional school students.

Throughout their college careers, students from a homeschooled background tend to do better than traditional students. Homeschool freshmen in their first semester at college average a 3.37 GPA to the 3.08 of other freshmen, and continue to keep their advantage even into senior year with 3.46 versus 3.16.

Follow these tips to make your college admissions process easy as a homeschooler.

Colleges will expect to see that you've met certain criteria, so be sure that you know ahead of time what you need to complete in your high school years. Keep careful records and be ready to share what you've learned in a transcript so that colleges can better understand what you've been working on.

Find out when you'll need to take the SAT, submit your application, and work out your financial aid well in advance. Add all of these important dates to your calendar and don't let them slip.

You don't have to be in college to get college credit these days. High schoolers, including homeschooled ones, can earn college credit while in high school, taking advantage of duel enrollment, CLEP tests, distance learning, and AP courses.

Most homeschoolers do a great job of this already, but it's important enough to point out, even if it's just a reminder: extracurricular activities, community groups, and taking extra initiative to do things will really help you shine. Remember to keep a record of each of these activities so you don't forget to mention them when applying.

Experts report that even schools that typically don't read every essay will almost always read essays from homeschoolers. Why? Most admissions officers presume a bias in transcripts and give special attention to other documentation. That means that you'll really have to deliver when it comes to your essay, letters of recommendation, and test scores.

 Kathy Stemke's Websites:
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Banks County Schools Author Visit

I had a fantastic time with 120 first graders at the Primary School of Banks County. Working with two classes at a time, I read my two books, Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep and Trouble on Earth Day. Afterwards, we did a jumping game with consonant blends and a craft project invovlving recycled objects.

We sure had fun!!
To schedule an author visit for your school just email me at dancekam1 at yahoo dot com.

Moving Through all Seven Days link: Follow me on twitter: Follow me on Facebook:!/kathymarescomatthews.stemke?ref=profile Follow me on LinkedIn: Add to Technorati Favorites