Change Sings by Amanda Gorman   As teachers, we know how important it is to provide opportunities for social-emotional learning and development in a child the fact that they can make a difference in the world. One young lady has done that and has inspired adults, and this book can inspire kids as well. Amanda Gorman is not only the youngest poet who has recited her poem at the U.S. inauguration but is also the first youth Poet Laureate in the United States. She was raised by a single mom who was an English teacher and has revealed she has an auditory processing disorder and speech disorder. To practice her speech development, she sang.  Your students with various abilities can probably relate to the struggles of overcoming speech issues.  But to the book..... The illustrations by Loren Long are fabulous. Gorman refers to singing often. Another great aspect of the book that is unique to music is Long's use of musical instruments in the illustrations and the mentioning of diversity b...
  Bulletin boards . You might totally love them or totally hate them. You may love the process of putting them up, but hate the end result. OR, you might hate the process, but love the result. Or, you might put up the bulletin board paper and leave it blank until a colleague is tired of it and slaps something up for you. However you slice it, when you get down to it, bulletin boards add a special aspect to teaching. We know visuals are important, based on various studies. We also know that time is precious. You just might not have the TIME to keep changing bulletin boards. You also know the length of a student attention span. If you don't call attention to what is on the board and never change it, it languishes like the dust bunnies behind the piano. If you have several bulletin boards, are you wasting your time keeping the information fresh? Why not create interactive bulletin boards? OK, I don't mean interactive like virtual or digital, but bulletin boards that can be utilize...
A few years ago, I wrote about ideas for calming the kindergartners because, as we know, kindergartners can be a big challenge, especially since their development is different from child to child. Kindergartners are a mixed bag of experiences . We have kids who are expected to not only know their letters, but need to be ready to read by midterm. We have kids who aren't just counting, they're counting and grouping. We have kids who attending school since infanthood. We have kids who have a couple of years of preschool. We have kids who never had preschool. We have kids whose parents spent time playing music to Mommy's tummy and reading to the child in the womb, playing music constantly, and singing to their children. We have kids whose parents plop them in front of the TV.  We have kids whose parents prepared them for school through social interactions. We have kids whose parents give in at the first sign of a tantrum and "NO!". We don't do naps for kindergarte...