karonadrummond

Because We Love Children

Happy New School Year! (Part One)

Happy New Year! School year, that is. Are you excited? Maybe you’re a bit sad to see Summer wave, “So long.” I am . But here in Texas, we’re pretty ready to boot summer out by the end of August. At least, we want to show the heat out and show the Autumn  cool in.

If you teach in the classroom, at home, or both (That’s me!) it’s time. We teachers lead the way.

Here is one of my all-time favorite quotes for educators:

“I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate.  It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous.  I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or deescalated, a child humanized or dehumanized.”

quote by Haim Ginott  Teacher and Child (1976)  Avon Books

We have to come in with a positive attitude. And we owe it to our students to be prepared. One of my favorite books on getting the school year off to a bright start is: The First Days of School (How to be an Effective Teacher) by Harry K. and Rosemary T. Wong.

This book shows teachers how to bring their best professional educator selves to the classroom. You will find a treasury of tips on running a successful classroom. These tips include: preparing yourself and your environment, lesson planning, and teaching procedures. If you are clear in explaining exactly what you want the children to do, and you are consistent, you will be your most effective self in the classroom.

Happy Teaching, where ever that may be for you!

🙂 Karona Drummond

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We Can All Be Bucket Fillers

 

“All day long, everyone in the whole wide world walks around carrying an invisible bucket.” That is how this wonderful book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today?, begins This bucket, according to author Carol McCloud, contains good thoughts and feelings about ourselves.

How do we keep our buckets full? By filling other people’s buckets. How do we fill other people’s buckets? By our kind words and deeds. What if someone tries to dip into our bucket by being unkind to us? We close the lids of our buckets to the unkind individual.

I stumbled upon this beautiful concept picture book while shopping for school supplies at Mardel. I bought the book right then and there. I shared Have You Filled a Bucket Today? with my family, fellow teachers, and the director of the school where I teach. We are going to spend this school year learning how to be “bucket fillers”.

There are other related books, and free activities at the bucket fillers website: www.bucketfillers101.com  .

Also, take a look at Pinterest. Check out the way other moms and teachers have implemented bucket filling into their homes and classrooms.

Now go forth and be bucket fillers! 🙂

Karona Drummond

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Andrew Clements Does it Again

Andrew Clements is one of my favorite authors for elementary-aged children.  He writes in a way that engages the reader and makes him/her think. Clements’ book, About Average, is no exception. My kids and I listened to the audio book version in our car.

In About Average, Jordan Johnston feels like she is just ordinary. She makes a list of the things she is great at, okay at, and not good at. Her “okay at” list is so much shorter that her “great at” list! Do you ever feel like that?  For more information on Andrew Clements and his books, visit  http://www.andrewclements.com/

My kids and I talked about our talents and what truly makes us valuable as human beings. We also discussed Andrew Clements” careful use of foreshadowing and including details that would make the climax in the story understandable.

For you adults who would like to read more on the subject of being average (or not), and how talent and IQ play into the mix, I recommend The Genius in All of Us by David Shenk. When I picked up the audio book version at the library, I thought it would be another “Rah, rah, sis, boom bah! You can do it! Yeah, yeah, yeah!” kind of a book. And that would have been okay. I can use a little pep talk now and again. But it was so much more.  The Genius in All of Us is packed with scientific information that will make you ponder just how much of what we accomplish in this short Earth life has to do with talent, IQ, and genes and just how much hard work and passion for our pursuit might come into play. Great food for thought. For more information on David Shenks , go to http://geniusblog.davidshenk.com/

Happy reading!

Karona

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My Home/My Workshop

 

 

If you’re a teacher like me, you probably have some challenges with home upkeep. If you have kids at home, and if you homeschool, you face even greater challenges.

Maybe you’re a lot neater than I am. If you are, I commend you.
You can probably give me some pointers, which I can try to use.
🙂 I homeschool part time, teach in a classroom setting part time,
and write poetry and children’s stories. It’s a blessed life.

But if you would like to drop by my house for a visit, please call a couple of weeks ahead. You may still want to put blinders on when you walk into my home. If you’re a frequent visitor, you might comment, as a friend of mine did recenty, “Don’t worry. I’m used to it.”

We have SO much STUFF! My kids have homework, projects, and regular kid stuff. My husband adores books and DVDs. I have all sorts of teaching suppies and goodies, including many books, and my ever-present tub of library books which flow in and out of the house.

Now that it’s spring, I am attempting to hatch praying mantises, herd ladybugs, and farm worms. Then there are the regular critters:
indoor dog, indoor cat, and outdoor cat, with all their sundry
ammenities.

Sometimes I look around my house and sigh. Just getting OUT of the house for awhile is refreshing. But one must come home. Mind you,
we DO clean. Laundry, dishes, bathrooms, food prep, etc. It’s all ongoing and seemingly going on forever. The kids pitch in.
The hubby pitches in. I take stuff to Goodwill frequently. But still, there is so much that in all the “getting things done”,
that never gets done.

Then I had a realization which has dramatically changed my outlook.
Maybe it could help you, too. My home isn’t a showplace, and never will be. My home is well lived in and filled with love. My home is our laboratory, our workshop, and our studio. It oozes with creativity and productivity.

Maybe someday I will have a separate studio to work in. But for now, I am right AT HOME in my very own workshop! And I hope you will be,
too.

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Plastic Eggs are for More Than Egg Hunts

Have you filled any plastic eggs lately? Egg hunting season is in full swing. Enjoy!

You can use the eggs for more than the “Big Day” egg hunts. Here are a few ideas for you. I am sure you will think of more.

1. If you’re a mom or teacher of young children, give your kids some eggs and containers to take turns having their own egg hunts for each other. Supply them with containers to put the eggs in. This can be done inside or outside.

2. Set up a big tub of uncooked rice or uncooked pinto beans. Place plastic eggs in the tub. Encourage your children to
fill, empty, hide and find the eggs in the tub.

4. Set up an egg number-object matching center. Put numbers 1-12 on a dozen eggs. Get something small, like uncooked beans. Have your child fill each egg with the number of beans on the outside of the egg.
For an edible version of this idea, use a small cereal pieces, such as Cheerios.

5. Have your child work on his/her color skills. Use pom poms. Your child can match the pom pom to the color of the egg. Have your child put the matching color of pom pom inside each egg. Then put unmatched colors of pom poms and introduce the word “mismatched”.

6. Make an edible version of the above activity.Use a small colored cereal, like Froot Loops.

7. After you do the Froot Loop activity with counting, involve the sense of smell. Have your chlid close her eyes or put on a blindfold. Can she identify the color of the egg by the matching Froot Loops’ smell? Open the eggs one at a time and “see” how it goes.

8. Next, let your child blindfold you. Can you identify the color of the egg by the smell of the Froot Loops
inside? “Waste not, want not.” You had better go ahead and eat those Froot Loops in the name of frugality. 🙂

9. Simple addition: After you do the number matching activities, try this simple addition activity: Choose 2 eggs with numbers on them and the corresponding number of small objects inside. If you add those two numbers of objects, how many will you have? Empty the contents of the eggs and check your answer.

10. For older children: Work on math facts with plastic eggs. Using masking tape, write a simple math fact on the outside of the egg. Write the answer on a small piece of paper and insert into the egg. Do this with as many math facts as you would like to work on for the day. (Example: all the addition 3s facts) Have your child say the math fact, then the answer. Have him open the egg to check if he said the correct answer.

11. To extend the above activity: Place all the answers to a set of math facts in a pile on the table. Give your child the eggs with the math facts that go with those answers. Have your child put the right answer in the right egg.

12. An oldie but a goodie: Fill a bunch eggs about halfway with rice. Tape up the eggs. Give each child (and yourself)
2 eggs to hold. Put on some happy music. Shake those eggs to the beat of the music! 🙂

Happy Easter!!

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These are some fun snow ideas. Thanks, Darlene!

Darlene Beck-Jacobson

Now that the holidays are behind us, children look forward to some winter-time fun.  When snow arrives, head outside and make the most of the slippery white stuff before it disappears.  In addition to snow angels, skating, sledding and snowball fights, there’s building men  – and beasts  – out of snow. Be creative and go beyond the usual snow man. Try farm animals like the snow pig below.  Or make sea creatures, dinosaurs, whatever catches your fancy.  Don’t forget to take pictures of these snow sculptures before they melt.   snow pig

No snow?  Try making the stick snowman craft below.   All you need are craft sticks, white and black  acrylic paints, tacky glue, googly eyes, dry beans or buttons for the mouth and a piece of pipe cleaner for a nose.  Let them hang in the windows until winter is done.

Whether you make snow creatures indoors or out, finish off…

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A Little Christmas Silliness

 

 

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Are we having Christmas fun yet? Or are we running around in a crazy Christmas tizzy? I am guilty as charged.
But I am trying to have a little fun along the way. I’m taking the Christmas “to-do” list and putting some of it in the Christmas
“to-don’t list.

Christmas To-Don’t List
1. Don’t try to do everything.
2. Don’t go around in a Grump like the Grinch.
3. Don’t forget what and who are most important.

One way I let go of a “to-do” was with the Christmas tree. The Christmas boxes were in the house. The tree was up… and empty.
Neither my kids nor my hubby seemed too keen on decorating. One morning I stared at that big ol’ empty tree. I looked around the room. A large, red set of butterfly wings left over from our (October) costume party caught my eye. I put them on the tree. Then the blue set. Then the yellow ones. Hmmm…

Later that day, I washed my son’s Mohawk knitted cap. When it came time to put it back in his drawer, I decided to let it air out instead. I put it on top of the Christmas tree. I found a pair of my daughter’s sunglasses on the floor. You know where they went. Next, I added slinky arms with gloves attached.

When my husband came into the room, he took a long look at the tree. “I have a pair of boots in the closet,” he said. We put them at the base of the tree.

My daughter came in from playing outside.

“Mom! What have you done to the tree?”
I smiled. “Do you like it?”
“He needs a smile.” She said.

We added a plastic banana grin, then a HUGE plastic carrot nose. We grabbed a Christmas table runner for a scarf.

VOILA! Christmas Tree Man!

Every time I pass that silly tree, I grin or giggle. Maybe we’ll re-decorate it in a more traditional way. (Maybe not.)

Back to my Christmas to-do list:

1.Do what really matters to you and yours.
2.Go around with joy in your heart. God has already given the greatest gift of all.
3. Remember what and who are most important.

God bless you. And MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Love,

Karona Drummond

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Ordinary Blessings

Have you ever had days, weeks, maybe even months, when it seemed like everything was a blur? Maybe it was a good time. Maybe not so much.

As Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approach, let’s take some time in the midst of all the fun, preparations, and busyness
of the season to reflect on our everyday blessings. I enjoy this special time of year. But even more, I appreciate the “little”
blessings that I am granted on ordinary days.

Here is a poem I wrote to reflect those feelings. Enjoy!

Ordinary Blessings

Ordinary beauty
Of an ordinary day
Bubbles up inside me
In an effervescent way.

Ordinary sky
Ordinary sun
Ordinary oatmeal
Eaten on the run.

Ordinary conversation
Ordinary plans
Ordinary work
Done by ordinary hands.

Ordinary lunchtime
Eating bread and meat
Walking in the park
With ordinary feet.

Ordinary sunset
Seen from an ordinary car
Back to an ordinary house
With an ordinary yard.

Ordinary family
With smiles and hugs galore
Ordinary evening
Doing ordinary chores.

Thank you, Dear Lord
For this ordinary day
Filled with ordinary blessings
You so freely sent my way.

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Wholesome Mashed Potatoes

Wholesome Mashed Potatoes.

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Welcome to Karona Drummond’s Blog for Readers, Educators, and Parents!

Hello world! My name is Karona Drummond. I am a children’s author and a teacher of young children. I teach in a classroom two days per week and homeschool my own 2 children three days per week.
My goals in this blog are: to share teaching, homeschooling, and parenting tips and resources. Teaching and parenting are tough jobs. But they are SO worth it! Let’s make it fun and memorable as we raise these precious little (and bigger) ones.

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