Powered By Blog Gadgets

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting With a Toddler

My 2-year-old (well, he'll be 2 in a few days) and I were waiting in the doctor's office the other day.  If you've ever waited for ANYTHING with a 2-year-old, you know how that goes.  And if you haven't, then try really hard to never have to do it.  It is not pleasant.  "Wait" is definitely not a word he has learned yet.  Anyway, we're in the waiting room and I took my iPad, crazily thinking that would actually help!  First, you have to understand that I have a "teacher iPad," meaning everything I let the kids do on the iPad is educational.  And he was having NONE of it!  The only thing that finally got his attention was the new watch Disney Junior app where you just watch tv.  Yeah, I know it's sad that I had to resort to that, but if you've ever waited with a 2-year-old, you'd totally understand.

My experience with him in the waiting room made me think about what a great job the teachers at Language Stars* are doing keeping him engaged in class.  After our recent trip to the doctor's office, I now understand how truly difficult it is to keep little ones happy without any of their normal toys and gadgets.  Here's one way they do it:  Anticipation.  At the Parents and Tots class last week, the teacher had those huge yellow bags again.  She just leaves them propped up against the wall before class.  They are clearly filled with something that promises to be fun, so kids and adults alike can't help but be distracted by them as class starts.  WHAT IN THE WORLD is in there?

Last week, it was filled with these huge, blow-up fish!  I have no idea where they get all of this super cool stuff, but my child (and I) LOVE it!  He was totally engaged for almost (he is 2 after all) the entire class.  Nothing gets everyone's attention quite like blow-up fish.  Then, she brought out the colorful preschool parachute to bounce them on while singing the song of the week about fish.  (A song I sang ALL WEEK last week, by the way.)

Here's a bad picture of the fish.  In my defense, the kids kept rolling them around because
they were having so much fun.  It's hard to take a picture of moving fish!  
Here's a better picture.  Isn't this toy just adorable?!
Then, the teacher brought out water and various foam sea creatures.  Water is always a hit with my little one.  He LOVES to play in the water table at home and would do so for hours if he could.  All little ones love water, so she knows that this activity is sure to delight the entire class.  Again, everyone is engaged.  Now, if I could just figure out a way to sneak some water and all of his water toys into the doctor's office, we'll be all set . . .

Thanks for reading!

*We receive 50% off of our tuition for blogging about our Language Stars experience.  But, all of the opinions are ours.  We love LS!

Pin It!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Christmas in July!

Tomorrow, July 25, the Blog Hoppin' crew and friends will be celebrating "Christmas in July"!   In honor of my 3-year-old son and his LOVE of The Polar Express (which we have been watching clips of almost every day of this hot, hot summer), I have decided to participate.  Most of my holiday and seasonal items will be at least 20% off (my 2 newest items are 50% off)!  Check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store to get ready for the new school year!  Wishing you good thoughts of Christmas, snow, and all things cold so you can cool off in the heat!  

Ho! Ho! Ho!
Teacher Tam
Pin It!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A FREE Font for Personal AND Commercial Use

I have a NEW, FREE font available on Teachers Pay Teachers!  This font can be used commercially and you are NOT required to give credit.

I also have a set of 6 seasonal/holiday fonts on sale for 50% off thru Wednesday.  Here are 2 examples from the set:  

Click here to see the set of 6 seasonal/holiday fonts.

Thanks for reading and I hope you like the free font!  

Pin It!

Friday, July 20, 2012

A "Just Because" 20% Off Flash Sale!

I'm having a 20% off flash sale this weekend in both of my stores!  Get prepared for this fall because EVERYTHING in my stores is 20% off this Saturday and Sunday (July 21 & 22).  Click on the links at the right to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers or Teachers Notebook shops.  Here are just 3 recent products on sale:

Click here to see this NEW PRODUCT!  

Click here to see this NEW PRODUCT!  

Click here to see this NEW PRODUCT!
To see the kindergarten set like this, click here.

All of these products and more are also available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  

Hope you find everything you need for the new school year!  

Pin It!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mandarin vs. Dance Class

Believe it or not, I have found several people who don't understand why I take my kids to Mandarin classes.  The most recent comment was, "You're going WHERE?  WHY?"  (Said in THAT tone.)  Of course, I just sigh and launch into the same prepared speech that I have already given about 10 or 12 times (no exaggeration).  It goes something like:  I take them because I think it's important to learn a language;  the most spoken language in the WORLD is Mandarin;  studies show they'll do better academically, not to mention have less of a chance of Alzheimer's;  and, last but not least, they are part Chinese so learning about their cultural heritage is important.  I thought everyone was taking their kid to SOMETHING, so I really don't understand why people seem so shocked.  Nobody bats an eye when I say we're going to dance class.

At the same time, I realize that it might be a little hard to understand because it is somewhat out of the ordinary.   I know that my children have a unique opportunity.  As far as I know, Language Stars* only exists in Chicagoland & Washington, D.C., so I feel very lucky that my kids even have the option of learning Mandarin.  But, that's not the only reason we go to Language Stars.  Maybe a couple of pictures from recent weeks will help clarify why I take my kids to Language Stars and what they are getting out of it.

Isn't this just adorable?  It's no wonder my son LOVED it!  

The tiger toy was a hit!
On this particular day, the teacher had 2 HUGE, brightly-colored bags in the corner of the room.  My son and the other children kept looking at them throughout the beginning of class.  When she finally opened the bags, they couldn't wait to see what was inside.  Blow-up toys!  The topic was zoo animals and she had 4 or 5 different animals represented.  All of the children were so happy just to get the animals that they were gladly repeating  (or trying to repeat) the animal names as she passed them out one by one.  Pairing the language with fun activities makes learning Mandarin fun and easy!  

Nothing gets their attention like water!  

My son would do this ALL day!  

These pictures are from back in the spring when the lesson focused on counting.  The teacher would count the fish as they went "swimming" in the water.  We did a similar activity this week as we studied ocean animals.  Their eyes literally light up when the teacher lifts the tub down from the shelf.  There's just something about splashing water that makes for a really fun class!  Every child is listening attentively while she counts, names animals, and describes what they are doing.  Children have to be engaged before they can be taught.  The teachers and planned activities at Language Stars do a wonderful job engaging students.  

So, in a nutshell, we go to Language Stars because not only are they learning Mandarin, but my children are learning Mandarin in a play-based, engaging manner.  They're learning a second language and having fun doing it.  And, to me, that's much better than any dance class.  

Thanks for reading,

*We get 50% off of our tuition for blogging about our Language Stars experience.  But, all opinions expressed here are my own.  

Pin It!