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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Go Grab This Great Freebie!

If you teach PreK or K, you'll definitely want to head over to Sweet Life of Teaching to grab some assessment sheet FREEBIES!   Be sure to join her blog while you're there!  

They just look great---clean & sharp.  I'm going to print out some to get ready for next year.  

Happy teaching!

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Friday, April 20, 2012

First Grade Common Core Based Summer Skills Review Pack--GET A FREE COPY!!!

Yea!  I just finished the first grade version of my Common Core Based Summer Skills Review Pack.  If you teach first grade or have a first grader that needs to practice their math and language arts skills over the summer, then check it out.  It has 50 short math and language arts activities (enough for 10 weeks, Monday thru Friday), as well as a game board with 5 types of cards.  It can be copied back to back (except the game board and cards, of course) and sent home with students as an end of the year "gift."

All 5 bloggers were found!  Thank you for helping me get the word out about my latest product.  If you are still interested in getting a FREE copy, read the paragraph below and enter to win one of 2 copies!  I'm STILL LOOKING FOR 1 MORE PERSON to blog about it!  And, even better, I am looking for 5 people to blog about it.  The first 5 people to blog about my First Grade Common Core Summer Skills Review Pack will receive a FREE COPY!  Just leave a comment below with the link to your post and your email.

AND . . . IF YOU DON'T HAVE A BLOG, you can still sign up for a chance to win the pack at my Teachers Notebook shop.  CLICK HERE to enter for a chance to win it!  And don't forget to add MY STORE  to your favorites while you're there!



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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Beyond Babbling

In case you missed one of my earlier posts, my preschooler was babbling (Yes, babbling, just like a baby.) for a while in Mandarin.  Soon after we started classes at Language Stars*, I would hear her in the back of the car, babbling to a tune or just making some of the sounds from the Mandarin language over and over and over (and over) again.   While extremely annoying, this was also a joy to my ears because I knew that she was picking up the sounds of the language and would soon be picking up even more.

So, this week, I heard the "more."  I am really kicking myself that I didn't park the car right that second and turn on the camera.  (Of course, we all know how things change with little ones once the camera comes on!) But, as it was, I simply enjoyed listening to the great strides she is making in the language.  Gone was the babbling.  Not only did I hear Mandarin SOUNDS, but I heard Mandarin WORDS.  I even heard WHOLE PHRASES in Mandarin--interspersed, of course, with English conjunctions and phrases when she didn't know the words in Mandarin.  (I guess she gets a little of that from me because have to do that A LOT!)

She was in the back of the car making up her own little story in Mandarin and English.  She was using phrases that I recognized.  Some of them were learned in her Language Stars classes, more through poems recited at the non-profit school, and a few from the little books that we read together at bedtime.  By stringing the phrases together with a little English, my preschooler was able to create a meaningful story that I could follow!   And, more than that, it was obvious that she understood the meaning behind each of the words and phrases--certainly a far cry from the babbling I heard a few months ago!

Ten years from now, when I look back on it, this will be one of the moments that keeps me getting up early every Saturday morning to go to Language Stars.  I remember sitting in the car, listening to her make up her little story, thinking, "The language is now becoming MEANINGFUL to her.  She's getting it.  She's really getting it!"

As always, thanks for reading,

*We get 50% off our tuition for blogging about our Language Stars experiences.  But, the opinions expressed here are still my own.
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Check Out This Great New Blog!

     If you are looking for an awesome new blog to follow, look no further!  Check out Jen's Kinder Kids!    You just HAVE to scroll down and grab some of the wonderful freebies she has in her TPT store, too!  I just got her "Bug Math Blackline Masters" and they are adorable!  My students are going to think they're so cute they'll forget they're doing math!  Click on the caption below the picture to check it out . . .  

Click here to get Jen's great freebie!  :)

Thanks for reading!

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Language, a Cultural Link, and a Legacy

     My husband's uncle came over this week.  He was all excited as he handed me a magazine in Chinese with two teenage girls on the cover.  "Look at these two girls,"  he said, smiling, "They published an article in Chinese.  They learned Chinese with only classes on Sundays.  And their mom made them write one letter a week in Chinese to practice."  He knew that this would mean a lot to me since classes at Language Stars* and an hour a week at the non-profit school is all my kids get, too.  He was encouraging me that my dream of the kids one day speaking Chinese (just to speak it would be enough for me) could actually come true.  Thanks for the vote of confidence, Uncle Victor.

     Most people give me a funny look when I tell them that the kids are in Mandarin classes.  Sometimes they say things like, "Well, does your husband speak it?"  When I say no and proceed to tell them that the rest of the family speaks Cantonese, not Mandarin, their brow furrows even more with that quizzical, semi-skeptical look which says (without actually saying it) "Then why in the world do you bother?!"  I bother because it's very important to me that my children have strong ties to their heritage.  I believe that, in order to know where you're going in life, you first have to explore where you came from.  What better way to do that than through acquiring another language?

     And, I do it because one day it just hit me:  Do I really want to get 20 years down the road and wish that I had tried?  So, part of my explanation now includes some phrase about "learning as much as we can" and being happy with that.   I finally realized that the gift of language is a legacy that I want to leave  my children.  Among other things, I want these classes (as well as years of driving them back and forth and getting up early every Saturday for FOREVER to go to Language Stars) to be something they can look back on and say, "Mom did that for me."  I think that the ability to be bilingual will provide them with more choices in life, creating more possibilities of where they might work, the kind of work they will choose, and on and on.  Who doesn't want to give their child a sense of accomplishment, pride in a job well done, and a greater chance of success?   I think second language learning does all three things.

My son writing the word "fruit."  He's young yet, but look how hard he tries!  
     Will one or more of my kids ever publish an article in Chinese?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But, more importantly, I want them to know more about their cultural heritage as a result of taking Mandarin, more about themselves, and to know that they (and mom) worked their hardest.  

As always,
Thanks for reading!

*We receive 50% off our tuition for blogging about our wonderful Language Stars experiences!  



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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Flash Sale!

I'm having a flash sale in my Teachers Pay Teachers store today!  One of my freebies was featured in the TPT newsletter, so I want to celebrate!  EVERYTHING in my store is 20% off FOR TODAY ONLY!!!

Click on the caption below the picture to take a look!


Thanks for reading,
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