30 May

Online Self-Study Book Studies (APPROVED)

Online self-study book studies can be a great (and convenient) way to earn training hours from the comfort of your own home/space. Here are three options that are APPROVED through MN Develop for training hours:

  1. Rae Pica’s What If Everybody Understood Child Development? http://blogs.dctc.edu/dawnbraa/2015/08/05/new-feature-beyond-the-pages-a-blog-book-study/ (7hrs, Free + cost of book)
  2. Stacie Goffin’s Professionalizing Early Childhood Education as a Field of Practice https://enhancingyoungminds.com/2015/12/beyond-the-pages-book-study-goffin-frequently-asked-questions/ (6hrs, $30 + cost of book)
  3. Dr. Sara Langworthy’s Bridging the Relationship Gap: Connecting with Children Facing Adversity https://enhancingyoungminds.com/2016/12/beyond-pages-book-study-frequently-asked-questions-langworthy/ (6hrs, $30+ cost of book)

General instructions:
You’ll access the study at the above link provided, depending on chosen study. After purchasing required book, read the chapter or grouping of chapters according to the book study timeline and then read the correlating guest expert commentary on the blog. To do so, under the timeline, click on the chapter to view the expert commentary for the coinciding chapter. *Hint* The reading timeline is at the bottom of the page (use above link). If you’re participating after the LIVE event, ignore the timeline dates. You are free to complete the study at your own pace. After reading the chapter(s) and the guest expert commentary, REPLY directly on the blog with your reflection on all the reading for that grouping.

Pay for book study 2 or 3 by visiting https://enhancingyoungminds.com/ and clicking on the PayPal icon under Pay for Bookstudy.

Testimonials of recent participants:
“I really enjoyed the book and commentary, it gave me a lot to think about!  I also enjoyed being able to knock out some training hours in a fun and different way that was very convenient and free to boot.”

“I have to say I am very impressed with my overall experience. First of all, I loved the book which made the class enjoyable to complete. Second of all, the information that was provided by each speaker was amazing additional reading! I loved the videos attached to enhance our learning and found them all to be very applicable. I am most impressed with the overall communication between the students and the people organizing this study. I seriously cannot say one negative thing about my experience. I hope that I still get to be a part of this Facebook group because I would love to share with some of my fellow teachers in my school the videos that I was able to watch. I think they would enjoy them and benefit from them as much as I did!”

“Thank you I loved it and will definitely participate in another one soon!”

Do not hesitate to ask questions 😉 dawnbraa1@gmail.com


30 Mar

I Have…Who Has…?

ihavenumbersWrap Around Games are one of my all-time favorite games for children. Why? They encourage social interaction and reinforce critical thinking skills. I have made many different games for toddlers to school-agers (colors, shapes, dinosaurs, etc.)

How does the game work? Pass out all the cards, one to each child. One child begins by saying, “I Have…Who Has…?” The child that has that item says, “I Have…Who Has…?” The game continues until all of the children have gone. You’ll know the game was played correctly when the game ends with the same person that began – hence the name Wrap Around Games.

PreKinders has a *FREE* printable NUMBERS WRAP AROUND GAME. Check it out! Want the SHAPE GAME too? You can grab it HERE.  There is a Fact or Fiction *FREE* game online through Lakeshore Learning (for school-age children).


22 Dec

Another Semester Down…Almost

grading papersThe end of the semester has come. As I grade through the seemingly never-ending pile of papers, I reflect. How did the students respond to the textbook and certain activities this semester? How engaged did they seem during class? I consider the success level on student assignments and how that success was determined. Should I modify the assignment? The rubric? Do I allow for students to “show what they know” in a variety of ways, depending on their personal preferences and learning styles? Although the semester is over for students, my learning continues.

In fact, I learn quite a bit each semester. Did that new approach produce the desired results? Was that structure a headache or worth it? Were there student needs I was unprepared for? How can I better set each student up for success, while still allowing them to meet high standards?

One of my favorite reflection tools at the end of the semester is the exit ticket. Each student completes one, whether in a face-to-face or online course, before they leave the course. It’s their final task. The exit ticket provides me with student insight for the course but also assists me in learning more about each student. Although I modify it slightly every semester, here’s what the exit ticket entails:

When answering the following, reflect on the entire course.

  • Top 10 takeaways
  • Favorite aspect or activity
  • Talk about the textbook
  • Syllabus assessment
  • Personal growth/new insights
  • Do over- what is something you’d do differently?
  • Greatest achievement
  • Anything else you’d like me to know…

Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to semester break like the next person, but I also recognize the importance of reflecting during those final hours. In fact, this is a crucial step in reflective practice. According to Educational Psychologist, Dr. Kenneth Wolf, “Reflection is what allows us to learn from our experiences: it is an assessment of where we have been and where we want to go next.”

After the final grade has been entered, I will take a break to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. This short break provides me with a much needed breather so that I can return next week, ready to apply what I’ve learned and move forward in planning the next semester.

What tools do you use for self-reflection regarding your teaching practice? Comment/Reply below.