Motivate 'Children' to do well in school!
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Glow in Dark Party for Accelerated Reader students (nice idea)

Awesome - Glow in Dark Party for Accelerated Reader students (nice idea)

These kids have been working hard in school and in their extracurricular “Accelerated Reader” efforts. They have maintained and above avg. of 80% and some have read more than 300 points in the reading program we call AR. For all their hard work and their dedicated effort to read, learn and past these AR test we throw a party for the children who strive to meet these goals. The last party of the year is (was) a cool awesome ‘Glow in the Dark’ AR party.


I admit it – I danced, I laughed, I partied like it was 1999! Oops, showing my age.

But in all seriousness it was fun, I had a good time, the children had a great time and we did it all to reward them for all their hard work. People ask me what we do, what do I do to motivate children to learn. My answer will always be the same – give them a reason to want to learn. Give them something that will motivate them to do more, to try harder, something that will drive them to succeed.
For some children motivation may come in the form of acceptance, acknowledgement, love, attention or a reward. For other children it may be the desire to earn money, fame or they are thinking of the future – really, who doesn’t think about the future. But all in all, find what motivates them, drives them – what gets them pumped up and fired up and you will see a change in them.

funny learning reading

fun reading party

reading made fun learning

fun reading party
Me with glowing blinking lights in ears.. lol

Learning made interesting and Fun - or funny?

How to make learning interesting, fun and even funny.

Honest this is the truth: I shared it on face book but I thought I should give a bit more detail here on my blog. So here goes.

Being one who works hard at motivating my children to learn and to desire to learn - especially when it comes to being inquisitive, I found myself in a funny but tough spot.

I'm driving in the car with my son after spending less than an hour at the mall to buy he new pair of sneakers (* surprise - wife wasn't with us so the trip was short... :)  in and out, just how I like it. LOL) So my son decides to have a conversation about animals and to be honest, I wasn't putting to much attention to what he was saying, he can really go on and on sometmes. but out of the blue he ask me a simple question - let me give you a play by play reinacment.

Son: "Dad do all animals eat?"
Dad: "of course son, they all eat in one form or another."
Son: "Do sharks eat?"
Dad: "Yeah, sharks eat - why?"
Son: "So how do sharks poop?"
Dad: "....."

No really, I was speachless. It was something I never thought to consider and he was serious.

Of course I gave him the only logical answer that I could give him - I don't know but we can google it when we get home.

When we got home he went off to parade himself about as he showed off his new sneakers to his sister and then his mom. I thought he forgot all about it - nope, he didn't. An hour later he comes up to me with his mother s smart phone in hand and said, ok Dad lets find out how sharks poop. What could I tell him, no, not interested. I'm always telling him that learning is fun, that we should always be seeking knowledge, learning something new every day. I couldn't just tell him, no. So we sat thier together and we did a simple google search - how do sharks poop.

To my surprised we found a video and lets just say we laughed hard as we were grossed out at how sharks poop. My son to verify that this was an actual video and not some gag he went online and looked it up. He found a nature web site with facts on sharks and he read out loud how sharks 'poop'. It dipected everything we saw in the video. Sadly enough this lead to a strange desire (by my son) to find out how whales and other sea creatures 'poop'.

My is the point to all this - learning can be fun and we as parents should never hinder our children from learning. Yes, they will ask the same question a million times over and they will want to find out some of the wierdest and even grossest things you can imagine. But it's all done in the name of learning. Sitting there with him fulfilled several parential duties: spending time, showing him his thoughts are important and that learning is a high priority even for Dad.

So now that I know how shark poop - I thought you would want to watch the video.

For children How to become Rich, Successful and Do well in School  Order your copy

Christmas / Santa breakfast - Fred Wild Elementary

Fred wild elementary – Christmas / Santa breakfast
(* Looking back on the past school year 2013-2014)

The Fred Wild: this has been a very fun year. Now, I didn’t say we didn’t have work or that it hasn’t been hard work. All I am saying is that it has been a pleasure to work at Fred Wild Elementary. Though I miss my old school – I have made new friends, have interesting colleagues to work with and the kids, well the children are great.

I am not a fan of the afternoon duty that I have, but it has allowed me to get some what familiar with many of the walk home kids.
One of the things I like most about working in a school (elementary school) is that many if not mostly all of the children are still relatively innocent – they may not say they believe in Santa Clause but – Hmm 200 plus kids showing up and paying hard earned roar tickets to go have breakfast with Santa must mean something. This year there were too many kids to have a small intimate breakfast with Santa so they moved it to the cafeteria. I understand my son was the one who came up with the idea to cover the tables with large paper so the kids can draw as well as color and leave Santa Christmas notes. Great job Caleb.

One of the most interesting things I saw was watching how the fifth and fourth grades went up to talk to Santa – so much for "I don’t believe in Santa"... LOL.

We all had a great time and I think the children loved it. We got some great pictures too, I can only put a few up here but trust me - this was a blast. Events like these are what help me stay young (on the inside that is. LOL) - I am young at heart.


 


 
 

$100 million wasted on NJ schools - Parents are best hope for kids education

The importance of children, kids education - teaching your child to read, do math and more may need to be a top priority for parents because apparently the people who say they know, don't know squat.

Apparently - You can give $100 million dollars for education, but that won't help.

People still complain about my book title, how “Rich” is some form of four letter word that no one should use. But I believe that children need as much help as possible to succeed in life and whichever form of motivation that works – parents should employ.
I think parents are the first and best line of defense when it comes to kids education, their desire to learn and motivation behind their desire to do well in school. Trust me, if you are waiting for the government and all these “we know better” individuals to properly teach your children – by all means wait, but don’t hold your breath as you wait.
The article (see excerpt below) is proof that simply throwing money at a problem, especially a social problem that involves issues that stem from home life, poverty and lack of motivation as well as purpose – it just will not work.

Excerpt of: Mark Zuckerberg gave New Jersey $100 million to fix Newark's schools, and it looks like it was a waste

Immediately, Booker appointed Cami Anderson for the job. She implemented ways to help students and improve schools (all which The New Yorker detailed), but there were roadblocks along the way, like how the students brought the issues going on in their homes with them to the classroom.
Anderson wanted to give schools more support to help students on emotional and social levels, but Newark had already been spending more money per student than most districts in the entire country, none of which was reaching the children it existed to help.

New contracts were being created, money was being hemorrhaged, and the district was going broke. But interviews — like this one in Forbes — regarding the money and the future of Newark's schools were always positive, highlighting, of course, only the good aspects of the huge monetary donation.

Article found at: Business insider / By Caroline Moss

I want you to consider this – while they pay consultants upwards of “$1,000 dollars a day” as reported by the New Yorker, children are still not being taught and money is being mismanaged (corruption or ignorance – probably more like stupidity) their children are going to private, high end schools and they pay people to tutor and instruct their children.

So I ask you – I ask myself: As a parent, what can we do?

It’s not an easy question to answer but I do believe this is a good place to start – parents need to be truly involved in their children’s education. They have to find a way to motivate their children to “want to learn” because the school system with all the wonderful and caring teachers that it has – is failing us.



Learning tool / Monopoly: do you suck at it or just miss the point?

Learning tool / Monopoly: do you suck at it or just miss the point?

I wrote a post a while back on how I use monopoly to teach my children about money, finances, and the skill to negotiate – Yes I know their only children. But the point is that children are not taught in school how to manage money much less how to think when it comes to business, managing art the art of deal making. While the school system is teaching them how to play nice, be fair and no one losses, the real world is ready and waiting to knock them on their kister. It has been reported that teens as well as young adults who graduate high school do not even know how to balance a check book. Now you might suggest that with the age of technology that doesn’t matter – but you would be considerably wrong.

As parents we all say we teach our children about money – but in truth, most of us do not. Balancing a check but is more than just balancing a bunch of numbers. Also Monopoly is also more than just a simple game to pass the time or an outdated game that should be forgotten.

Article I read: You Don’t Hate Monopoly, You Just Suck at It
By Jonathan Chait / the national interest

I agree with the article that the game is fun and that if played right it is not boring. I don’t agree with the assertion that it can be played quickly and people shouldn’t complain that it takes too long to play.

Personally I play with my children and sometimes my wife joins in and that gives us the right mix of three to four players with a diverse method in playing style ( I believe the game is even better with more players ). The fact that negotiating is an intricate part of the game, it is also what makes it fun and to be honest – it is what takes up much of the playing time. I believe that negotiating, learning how to manage (play) money is the intended purpose of the game. If you want to play a quick fun game, go play cards, the turnover rate is high. But if the only reason you hate Monopoly is because you don’t like games that take a long time to play, then you are also the type of person who has probably never finished a video game in your life. Video games take time, sometimes days and for some weeks to finish – if monopoly is too long then most real hardcore video games are not your thing as well.

Look, maybe it’s just me but I have sat for hours playing games, like checkers, chess, life, and many of the new games: time is not the issue. If I play one round for an hour or if I play three to four rounds for an hour – the time stays the same. It’s the quality of the players, the fun and interest the people who are involved in the game that truly matters.

Comment from article: “Monopoly was an exciting game for the 1930s, and there's nothing wrong with appreciating it as a classic example of early board games, just like you might go to a museum to see a piece by Giotto or Donatello.” ~ JasonGL

But for those of you who still believe that Monopoly is too long and you want something with a faster pace I heard that Acquire is an interesting game to play.

“For those not familiar with the game, there are tiles that are placed on the game board. When two or more are joined, they form a hotel chain. Only 6 hotel chains can exist on the board at a time, so certain tiles can become unplayable for a period of time. When a tile is played that connects two hotels, they are merged with the longer chain taking over the smaller. If they are the same size, the person playing the merging tile determines which chain takes over.” ~ By Eric H. Robinson / Gamestore
 
You can also consider Cargo Noir: but it deals with being a gangster and all that.
“Easy to learn and play, and different strategies to win make Cargo Noir a lot of fun for everybody. It also has some of the hands-down most vivid artwork of any "themed" game like this currently on the market, and I own a LOT of them. I like playing it with my kids because deciding how to acquire goods involves doing math on the fly to figure out if you should try to monopolize one type of resource, or take as many different types as you can, or some combination of the two that will maximize your score.” ~ By N. Christensen

FREE - Video tool for Teachers and Students

BRING AWESOMENESS TO YOUR CLASSROOM!
Create animated videos and presentations easy!

Teachers: Flip your classroom, inspire, engage and delight your students.
Students: Have fun presenting your assignments with a Wow!

"Finally, a presentation tool that incorporates an intuitive user interface, super cool comic graphics, is 200% less frustrating than Prezi, and offers a zillion more options than the free version of GoAnimate. I know we just met, PowToon, but I think I am in love." - Amy Gibson HS Teacher -

Personally - I think its cool.
It is very easy to use, once you get a handle on things.



I will be honest; it took a bit of playing in order to get a hand of this cool video tool. But after a while it turned out to be pretty easy to manage. I love the hand that moves the characters back and forth so yes, that is why it’s in my video. Of course there are a lot more features; I simply stayed with the basics for my video. I didn’t even use feature to add music, which would have made the video a bit more appealing or dramatic but – I believe simple is better sometimes.

As stated before the feature is free for an educator, that is, considering that they block some of the fancier features. It’s an attempt to move people from the free version to the “Pay” version. All in all I think it suits its purpose and teachers as well as student can easily create some fun interesting videos.
To learn more go to: http://www.powtoon.com/about/

Funny: Children in school can drive a teacher Bonkers

Funny and maybe Not so Funny school wide email  - SEE BELOW

I love children, they are all unique in their own special way.
But I am a realist and I know for a fact that the right child can drive any adult to the brink of insanity.
I have seen a lot of things working in the school system and dealing with all sorts of children - but this, the email I received from a friend, this takes the cake.

Before I let you read the email, I want you to consider this: children are children.
You "DON'T" send children to school to learn manners, respect or any social skill that should be taught at home. With that said I am sure that if it was you that had to deal with these out of control children - you would not be so ready to judge.

You tell me: what would you do if a child crapped his pants in the middle of your class and doesn't want to change his clothing?



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