October 3, 2016

Your Local Reading Council

As seen on Virginia is for Teachers! 



Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!


Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!


Your Local Reading Council

An Overview

 Certain communities are fortunate enough to have a local reading council.  I am a proud member of the Chesapeake Reading Council (CRC).  The mission of CRC is to "promote literacy throughout our city".  The Virginia State Reading Association (VSRA) is a professional organization that has the same mission for the entire state of Virginia.  Our state association falls under the International Literacy Association (ILA), formerly known as the International Reading Association.  With membership to my local reading council I automatically become a member of the VSRA.  I am also a member of the ILA.  I urge you all to join your city, state, and international association....... read to find out why!
Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!


A Partnership With Your Public School System

Chesapeake Public Schools has been an amazing supporter of CRC!  Before the official school year starts, our Superintendent, Dr. Roberts meets with our Executive Board.  The Board shares their ideas for the year and shares the new calendar of events.  Dr. Roberts shares his ideas and assists in making CRC a strong partner of Chesapeake Public Schools.  Dr. Roberts is always one of the first official members every year!
Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!
Dr. Roberts with the 2016-17 CRC Executive Board

 Dr. Roberts also invites CRC to the yearly Administrator's Back-To-School General Conference.  The President of CRC addresses all of the administrators in the city.  The administrators lend their support by becoming members, choosing CRC building representatives, and participating in the CRC activities throughout the school year.
Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!
Dr. Roberts with the CRC 2014-15 Executive Board at the Administrator's Back-To-School General Conference.  Our first official t-shirts were being revealed that morning "Keep Calm and Read On!" 

 

Fun and Free Literacy-Based Nights For Your Students

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year! CRC hosts fun literacy nights every year!  The students that come are treated to swag, literacy based activities, treats, and most important a great book!  For the last few years (including this up and coming year) Cathy Collier (ILA Board Member, a Past President of VSRA and CRC) comes to read one of her favorite books to our local students.  Families can enjoy a fun night out for free!  The parents and children love these nights out together and look forward to them year after year!

 

Activities Through the School...... and More!

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year! CRC holds certain city wide school events!  The elementary aged students participate in the Young Writers' Event (top right).  Students become authors of their own book or a class book.  Those books are displayed the night of the event and the authors receive a _______.  The middle and high school students can participate in the Literacy Jam (left).  Students who participate in the Literacy Jam can win awards and be able to read their submissions to the audience.  Every year we also host extra other events that are free to the community.  One year we were fortunate enough to have Steve Somers Amazing Teacher magic show Fizz Boom Read.  Those who came out to the event were treated to a fantastic magic show based around literacy (bottom right)!!!

 

Honoring Those Who Make Epic Strides for Literacy City Wide!

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!
James D. Mullins Leadership Award 2014-15 was Kim Pinello, Principal from Hickory Elementary School (Left).  James D. Mullins Leadership Award 2015-16 was Sonya Beasley, Principal from Southwestern Elementary School (Center).  Reading Teacher of the Year for Chesapeake and Virginia State, Laurie Lees (Reading Specialist at Hickory Elementary School).
Each year CRC celebrates amazing dedication to literacy through numerous awards.  Each school chooses a Reading Teacher of the Year.  From those teachers a Reading Teacher is chosen to represent the entire city.  This past year Chesapeake's Reading Teacher of the Year went on to become the Reading Teacher for the state of Virginia!  Administrators are also able to win the prestigious James D. Mullins Leadership Award.


Community Outreach

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!
Chesapeake Reading Council has a huge heart!  Every year they participate in community outreach events in their own community and beyond.  CRC participates in the Chesapeake Regional Hospital's Baby Fair.  Books, literacy based toys, and literature on "how to help your child read" have been given away to hundreds of expectant and new mothers over the years (left).  Workshops were led by CRC Board Members at the Chesapeake R U Ready Family night to help students with comprehension skills this past year (top right).  Once a year CRC reaches beyond their local boarders and supports literacy in other countries.  This past year students in Haiti were given books to support their library.  In the 2014-15 school year CRC gave backpacks and books to students in China (bottom right). 

End of the Year Celebrations!

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!
Chesapeake Reading Council also celebrates the great things that happen throughout the year!  Every year the Reading Teachers of the Year (RTOY)  are celebrated.  This year a local author (Jen Milius) and a speaker were invited to the event.  RTOYs also shared their great ideas, were invited to participate in a book exchange, and had yummy food in their honor!  We also have a yearly banquet where RTOYS and Building Representatives (among others) are thanked and celebrated!

 

Chesapeake Reading Council's Great Year Ahead!


Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!

Our new shirts are ready!!!  They are inspired by the VSRA theme for the 2016-17 year "Literacy:  The Root Of All Learning".  I'm so excited to be able to wear my shirt proudly!

So much happens due to the hard work and dedication of the CRC Executive Board, Committee Members, and volunteers!  Take a look at the Calendar of Events for this coming year!  I'm so excited to participate in every single event.

 

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!

 

In this post I have listed a few things that make CRC great but I couldn't list them all.  Please take a look at the Benefits of Membership (below) to see the extent of what is available to CRC members. 

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!

 

What Will Make YOUR Reading Council Great This Year?

Tell me about your reading council!  Are you already a member?  What activities are your favorite?  What events are up and coming?  Do you have questions?  I know that many of blog followers and post readers are already involved..... so share some ideas or events so that we can all support them!  Thank you!  I can't wait to hear from you all!!!

 

 

 

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Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!

September 5, 2016

Give EVERY Child the Opportunity to Succeed!

As seen on Virginia is for Teachers! 

Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  The Mexican Proverb "They tried to bury us but they didn't know that we were seeds" stays with me always.  I know you want to give EVERY child in your classroom the opportunity to succeed.  This post will give you insight and propel you into the new year so that success will be possible for every student!   


The Mexican Proverb "They tried to bury us but they didn't know that we were seeds" stays with me always.  I know you want to give EVERY child in your classroom the opportunity to succeed.  This post will give you insight and propel you into the new year so that success will be possible for every student!


Give EVERY Child the Opportunity to Succeed!

Once Upon A Time..........

I don't know about you but there are many days that I spend reminiscing about being a young student.  The memories that are the most clear in my mind are the ones that I wish that I could erase.  In first grade I remember thinking that my teacher didn't like me and that I was (the "S" word) stupid.  I'm sure that she was just frustrated with me because I was a struggling reader.  When you are six you do not realize that you are not meeting grade level expectations, you just sense that you are less than.  I felt as if I was being buried.  Don't fret friends...... this is a success story!  I am now an educator and a Reading Specialist!  There were also many teachers that would come to support and counsel me into believing that I could rise to any occasion!  There is still one teacher that I correspond with multiple times a year and he still encourages me!

A Daily Reminder 

The Mexican Proverb "They tried to bury us but they didn't know that we were seeds" stays with me always.  I know you want to give EVERY child in your classroom the opportunity to succeed.  This post will give you insight and propel you into the new year so that success will be possible for every student!
This photo collage is taped up inside my classroom so that it is the first thing I see when I walk through the door.  During the school year I teach first grade.  On the left is me in first grade, the center is my daughter in first grade, and the right is my husband in first grade.  I try to treat my students as I would have wanted to be treated, as I would have wanted my family treated.  AND in case you're wondering.... It was not purposeful to put my daughter in a mock turtleneck and overalls like my mother did to me! 



Start the Year With a Positive Attitude!

The Mexican Proverb "They tried to bury us but they didn't know that we were seeds" stays with me always.  I know you want to give EVERY child in your classroom the opportunity to succeed.  This post will give you insight and propel you into the new year so that success will be possible for every student!
Teachers are insanely busy!  Challenging students consume our time.  It doesn't matter if the challenge is student behavior, academics, or medical issues...... it takes extra moments from our day to deal with all of these extra challenges.  Problem solve ahead of time so that you can breeze through those moments.  My advice is to collaborate!  I'm sure that your colleagues have copies of their behavior calendars, intervention paperwork, and notes that they've sent home previously.  Change the electronic document to reflect what you need and move on!  Teachers are naturally creative, helpful, and look out for each other.  BUT we can't help one another if we don't know the need is there!  Ask for help!



Take A Glimpse Into The Future

Here I am reflecting and sharing things that happened to me as a first grader.  What will be said about you?  I want all of your students to come back and tell you that they were a success because of something YOU did or YOU said!  Educators have the ability to empower students.  We can make them believe that they are a super hero writer, a rock star reader, a master mathematician by using positive speak.  We can design lessons that meet the needs of different kinds of learners.  Make sure that you allow your students to sing (yes, even the high school students), move, and play (hands on activities).  Don't be afraid to differentiate!  Maybe certain students can only handle 10 addition problems before they get frustrated but others need 20.  The students will come back and thank you for allowing them to sing a rap to remember fractions, climb around on the floor to remember animal movements, and for caring so much that you gave them classwork that met their needs.  Your actions and words will stay with these children just as they have stayed with me...... so please....... choose them wisely!

What Do You Remember?

Please share!  What do you remember from your childhood?  Who was your favorite teacher?  Why?  What activities do you implement?  How do you address the students in your class to make them feel empowered?  I'm so excited to hear from you!













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The Mexican Proverb "They tried to bury us but they didn't know that we were seeds" stays with me always.  I know you want to give EVERY child in your classroom the opportunity to succeed.  This post will give you insight and propel you into the new year so that success will be possible for every student!

August 18, 2016

Parent Communication - Your Key To A Successful Year!

Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  Research says that good communication between teachers and parents contributes to a student's educational success.  We all hope to have a fantastic school year with great parent communication.  This post, along with this cutting edge (and FREE) application, will pave your way to a wonderful year!!!



Parent Communication - Your Key To A Successful Year!

Research says that good communication between teachers and parents contributes to a student's educational success.  We all wish for a great year with open and easy communication.  This post, along with this cutting edge (and FREE) application, will pave your way to a wonderful year!!!  

How I Got Started!

I didn't believe it myself!  A free app that was going to change the way I communicate with parents?  All I knew is that it had to be easier and less time consuming than what I was doing before!  When my students were at lunch I was frantically writing notes to parents.  If I wanted to keep student tests on file I had to make photo copies so that I could send them home.  If there were special moments in class that I wanted to share I was making a trip to the local corner store to get photos made.  All of this nonsense stopped the moment I downloaded the Remind App! (Remind: Safe Classroom Communication   formerly remind101)

The Set Up:
Research says that good communication between teachers and parents contributes to a student's educational success.  We all wish for a great year with open and easy communication.  This post, along with this cutting edge (and FREE) application, will pave your way to a wonderful year!!!

I was amazed at how easy remind was to implement.  After downloading the app onto my phone I received a message from remind.  The message gave me instructions on how to have parents join my "class".  They simply text a class code to a certain number, fill in basic information (like their name so I know who they are), and they are done!  Their information stays private and so does mine!  Within one day all of my parents were signed up!  I sent home the letter that you see below.  Please feel free to use it to help you!

Research says that good communication between teachers and parents contributes to a student's educational success.  We all hope to have a fantastic school year with great parent communication.  This post, along with this cutting edge (and FREE) application, will pave your way to a wonderful year!!!

Research says that good communication between teachers and parents contributes to a student's educational success.  We all wish for a great year with open and easy communication.  This post, along with this cutting edge (and FREE) application, will pave your way to a wonderful year!!! Woah.... I Never Thought of That!

These are the reasons why you should use remind:

*most everyone has a phone
*communication through text message is easy and private
*you can type or dictate your message
*you can follow classes for ideas on how others use remind
*you get immediate responses! (No waiting for the folder to be returned)
*you choose if you want an email, text, remind message or a combination
*business hours can be set so that you won't be contacted before or after certain times (the parent is notified about this via friendly message)
*when you go to send a message the app will ask you if you really want to send a message (if outside of business hours)
*you can send individual and/or group messages
*group messages can include information on field trips, snow days, report cards, test days, assignments due etc.
*individual messages can include pictures of activities, test results, encouraging messages etc.

What It Can Do For You!

This application can be used to keep in contact with parents and it can also be used to remind students that have the application downloaded.  I am a primary school teacher and I have enjoyed how easy it has been to communicate with parents.  If you teach upper grades you can communicate with students on this app and remind gives you and the student user guidelines to keep communication safe and appropriate.  

The parents that I worked with last year immediately responded with messages of, "I love this app!"  They started communicating with me on a more regular basis too.  It made it so easy for them to get on their phone and send me a quick message on their way out the door.

Here are some examples of actual correspondence in my classroom:

Research says that good communication between teachers and parents contributes to a student's educational success.  We all hope to have a fantastic school year with great parent communication.  This post, along with this cutting edge (and FREE) application, will pave your way to a wonderful year!!!






Using the remind app I could quickly take a picture of a student test and send it to their parents.  No need to make photo copies to keep in a file.  The parents were so thankful to have quick feedback. I could take the picture and send it from school or home!




Research says that good communication between teachers and parents contributes to a student's educational success.  We all hope to have a fantastic school year with great parent communication.  This post, along with this cutting edge (and FREE) application, will pave your way to a wonderful year!!!




My class was fortunate enough to watch the life cycle of butterflies!  Of course my students would go home and tell their parents all about the changes they were seeing in our butterfly house but the pictures I would send brought their stories to life!  This picture is from our butterfly release day.  All of my friends were waving goodbye to the butterflies.  I loved that I was able to share this moment with the parents on remind.







Research says that good communication between teachers and parents contributes to a student's educational success.  We all hope to have a fantastic school year with great parent communication.  This post, along with this cutting edge (and FREE) application, will pave your way to a wonderful year!!!






Our School has a sock hop every year.  At one point my class took a break from dancing to have a picture taken.  I was able to share this fun photo with all of the parents!










Research says that good communication between teachers and parents contributes to a student's educational success.  We all hope to have a fantastic school year with great parent communication.  This post, along with this cutting edge (and FREE) application, will pave your way to a wonderful year!!!





During indoor recess this little friend was so proud of herself after she used Lincoln Logs to build this amazing little house!  She said, "I wish my mom could see this!"  I thought for a moment and remembered..... I CAN SHARE IT WITH YOUR MOM!  I took this picture and sent it off right away. 





 What Will You Do?

Have you ever heard of Remind?  Do you know anyone who uses the app?  What are the things that you love about it?  What challenges have you come across?  Will you download the app after reading this post?  Please let me know what you think about it!  I can't wait to hear!!!



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Research says that good communication between teachers and parents contributes to a student's educational success.  We all wish for a great year with open and easy communication.  This post, along with this cutting edge (and FREE) application, will pave your way to a wonderful year!!!



August 15, 2016

Easy, Last Minute, Sight Word Crafts

Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  Studies say that sight word acquisition through fun, hands-on activities will lead to student engagement and  build strong fluency. With very little time and effort, you can create simple and captivating activities for your students!  This post will give you 5 specific ideas to get those creative juices flowing!  Have fun!!!

Studies say that sight word acquisition through fun, hands-on activities will lead to student engagement and  build strong fluency. With very little time and effort, you can create simple and captivating activities for your students!  This post will give you 5 specific ideas to get those creative juices flowing!  Have fun!!!



Easy, Last Minute, Sight Word Crafts

It Doesn't Have To Be Difficult 

How many times have you put off doing some wonderful classroom craft because you simply don't have the time?  It happens to me all of the time.  Another issue is the cost!  Everyone who teaches knows that this is not a career...... it's an expensive hobby!  We use our own money all of the time in our own classrooms.  The following ideas for sight word engagement in your classroom can be differentiated to suit different levels, they are easy to create, and they are inexpensive!  Have fun and get a pedicure with the money you have saved.... you deserve it!!!


Studies say that sight word acquisition through fun, hands-on activities will lead to student engagement and  build strong fluency. With very little time and effort, you can create simple and captivating activities for your students!  This post will give you 5 specific ideas to get those creative juices flowing!  Have fun!!!

 Building Blocks

These adorable building blocks are $3 at Target!  They come in a clear zipper closing container.  Students can build using different sized blocks and wheels.  I used calendar labels that I had left over from last year's calendar to differentiate.  The container is labeled so that students and helpers in the classroom know what "color" labels to look for.  My blocks cover all preprimer, primer, 1st, and 2nd Dolch sight words.  The student must be able to read his word (you could even have them put that word into a sentence or ask a question using that word) before they can build with it.  I have 2 sets of these and the students beg me to use them! You can also find these at garage sales and save even more money!

Studies say that sight word acquisition through fun, hands-on activities will lead to student engagement and  build strong fluency. With very little time and effort, you can create simple and captivating activities for your students!  This post will give you 5 specific ideas to get those creative juices flowing!  Have fun!!!

 Fluency Sentences

Using colorful sentence strips I made these fluency sentences.  Each color strip represents a different level of Dolch sight word.  The levels are endless but I have preprimer - 3rd grade sight words.  On the back of each piece I have a number.  If students mix up the sentences they are easily reorganized.  I was fortunate and I didn't have to pay for the sentence strips but Lakeshore sells 100 of these colorful strips for under $5.  A sharpie and a pair of scissors and my project was complete.  This has helped my students with sentence structure, reading, and writing.  You can even have your student write the sentence once they have put it together.  My students love to grab a set of fluency sentences for morning work.

Studies say that sight word acquisition through fun, hands-on activities will lead to student engagement and  build strong fluency. With very little time and effort, you can create simple and captivating activities for your students!  This post will give you 5 specific ideas to get those creative juices flowing!  Have fun!!!

 Popcorn Game

I have seen many versions of this game but this one is my favorite!  I printed out popcorn shaped clip art onto card stock to create this game.  The bucket is only $1 at the Dollar Tree store.  I found the card stock (250 pack) for approximately $6 at Walmart.  I had plenty of card stock to make multiple levels of Dolch words for leveled game play!  You can also differentiate by adding directional game cards.  On my preprimer cards a student may pick a popcorn that says, "POP".  This means that they have to put all of their popcorn back in the bucket.  For the 2nd grade level it may say, "Give your popcorn to the player to your right." 

Studies say that sight word acquisition through fun, hands-on activities will lead to student engagement and  build strong fluency. With very little time and effort, you can create simple and captivating activities for your students!  This post will give you 5 specific ideas to get those creative juices flowing!  Have fun!!!

  Dice Roll

To create my sight word dice roll I use my story retell cube.  I received this one from a friend (the best way to get new resources) but you can find this at Oriental Trading for under $7.  I like to put our sight words of the week in the cube.  The student then can have a choice to roll and write three sentences using that word.  Illustrate and write a story using that word.  Sing a song using that word.  Do jumping jacks while saying and spelling the word.  They can also do a combination of the above choices.  To save money I have also made cubes like this using a simple box that is wrapped with wrapping paper and covered with clear, packing tape.  The I use packing tape to create pockets!  It's fun and quiet when it rolls on the table!

Studies say that sight word acquisition through fun, hands-on activities will lead to student engagement and  build strong fluency. With very little time and effort, you can create simple and captivating activities for your students!  This post will give you 5 specific ideas to get those creative juices flowing!  Have fun!!!Cup Stacking

Using Dixie cups I made these stacking cups.  I have also seen teachers call them "Towers of Power".  You can store them in washed out Pringle containersI bought 200 cups for under $4 at Walmart.  The students must be able to read the word and have their partner check it before they can build with it.  If their tower falls they have to start all over again.  This keeps them working quietly and carefully.  I have the sight words written in different colors to keep them organized.  If they get mixed up with another level of Dolch word they are easily noticed and put back into their proper place.  Before the students can take their tower down they read the words again.

Share Your Great Ideas:

Do you have some fun games in mind that have helped your students flourish as readers?  We want to hear it!!!  Please share here!  Let us know how much it cost, the time it took, and how it was implemented into your classroom.  As always, I am so excited to hear your amazing ideas!









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Studies say that sight word acquisition through fun, hands-on activities will lead to student engagement and  build strong fluency. With very little time and effort, you can create simple and captivating activities for your students!  This post will give you 5 specific ideas to get those creative juices flowing!  Have fun!!!


August 9, 2016

Brain Balance Makes Sense For Disconnected Kids!

Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful HeatherBrain Balance® has done extensive research (through their founder Dr. Robert Melillo) and found that "disconnected students" often have imbalanced communication between the left and right brain hemispheres.  Wouldn't you like to have an answer for those students that have behavioral, academic, emotional and social struggles in your classroom/school?  Well, learning about Brain Balance® may be the answer you've been looking for!  

Brain Balance® has done extensive research (through their founder Dr. Robert Melillo) and found that "disconnected students" often have imbalanced communication between the left and right brain hemispheres.  Wouldn't you like to have an answer for those students that have behavioral, academic, emotional and social struggles in your classroom/school?  Well, learning about Brain Balance® may be the answer you've been looking for!


Brain Balance® makes sense for Disconnected Kids!

 

How I Was Enlightened

Have you ever been somewhere and met someone and you knew that there was a greater meaning and purpose for this meeting?  This happened to me!  A few years ago I was in a Barnes & Noble children's section with a small friend who was searching for a book.  She was attracted to a woman face painting and soon was being beautifully accessorized with paint!  Brain Balance® was there and they were packing up and getting ready to leave yet they gave us 100% of their attention.  That's when I started a conversation with Tom Shenk.  Tom was an educator in the Hampton Roads area for 22 years.  Some of his experience was as a Physical Education instructor.  His work with students academically and their physical ability in P.E. classes influenced his studies on how physical activity can effect brain function.  These studies led to him being honored as Teacher of the Year in Region II of the entire state of Virginia!  He has an immense amount of knowledge but speaks like a caring educator with terminology that is understandable.  It is immediately apparent that he cares about struggling students, their worried parents, and concerned teachers.  I hope someday you can meet him too!
Brain Balance® has done extensive research (through their founder Dr. Robert Melillo) and found that "disconnected students" often have imbalanced communication between the left and right brain hemispheres.  Wouldn't you like to have an answer for those students that have behavioral, academic, emotional and social struggles in your classroom/school?  Well, learning about Brain Balance® may be the answer you've been looking for!
Tom Shenk is the Center Director for the
 Virginia Beach, Virginia Brain Balance Center


Brain Balance® has done extensive research (through their founder Dr. Robert Melillo) and found that "disconnected students" often have imbalanced communication between the left and right brain hemispheres.  Wouldn't you like to have an answer for those students that have behavioral, academic, emotional and social struggles in your classroom/school?  Well, learning about Brain Balance® may be the answer you've been looking for!

A Great Read!

The book Disconnected Kids is a great read and it also explains in depth the idea of treating children with using Brain Balance® instead of prescriptions.  If you have time this book is a must read!  Tom Shenk gave me the last copy he had that day I met him and the book changed the way I think about autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and other neurobehavioral disorders.  

Think About It

Imagine that your left leg is not as strong as your right leg.  This effects the way you walk, it's not comfortable for you, and you feel different..... and maybe less than.  You go to your physical therapist and they look at your leg, ask you questions, and test the strength of your weaker leg.  After this initial appointment the physical therapist helps you strengthen that leg with specific exercises, stretches, and challenges to balance the weight that you carry onto both legs comfortably.  This is common and everyone can agree that it's the smartest solution to get back to feeling "normal" again.  So... why is the brain any different?  If there is a right and left hemisphere they can have an imbalance and the same care needs to be implemented.  That is where Brain Balance® comes in.  The same kind of appointment can be set up for students being challenged with behavioral, academic, emotional, and social issues.  The first step is to make an appointment.  At that appointment questions are asked and the student completes a 2-3 hour Comprehensive Assessment that tests the child's sensory, motor, and cognitive functions.  Once the testing is complete an individualized plan of action is created and discussed.  Each appointment is specific to the needs of the student, and as they complete fun movement, sensory, and cognitive activities that stimulate only the weaker hemisphere, it's processing speed improves.  As the two hemispheres begin communicating properly, the symptoms reduce naturally, without medication, so that the child's TRUE POTENTIAL emerges!


Brain Balance® has done extensive research (through their founder Dr. Robert Melillo) and found that "disconnected students" often have imbalanced communication between the left and right brain hemispheres.  Wouldn't you like to have an answer for those students that have behavioral, academic, emotional and social struggles in your classroom/school?  Well, learning about Brain Balance® may be the answer you've been looking for!  Community Outreach

Tom Shenk honored Chesapeake Reading Council by offering a free educational learning session about Brain Balance® at their yearly Reading Teacher of the Year celebration.  He had educators up and moving and expanding their knowledge about how the brain works.  Everyone who was present was astounded that more isn't done to help struggling students with these behavioral, academic, emotional, and social issues.  When planning professional development time into the new school year consider inviting Tom Shenk and learning about Brain Balance®.  He knows what you are dealing with and wants to help (remember he 


Don't Just Take My Word For It!  

Please visit the website for Brain Balance® and read all about it.  Read impressive success stories and learn about free community events happening in your area.  My hope is that in the future the idea of balancing the hemispheres of the brain can be implemented in public schools to help our students!  


Tell Me! 

Have you ever heard about Brain Balance® before?  Have you read the book Disconnected Kids by Dr. Robert Melillo?  Would you like an answer for those students who are struggling?  What questions do you have?  I look forward to hearing from you!






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Brain Balance® has done extensive research (through their founder Dr. Robert Melillo) and found that "disconnected students" often have imbalanced communication between the left and right brain hemispheres.  Wouldn't you like to have an answer for those students that have behavioral, academic, emotional and social struggles in your classroom/school?  Well, learning about Brain Balance® may be the answer you've been looking for!







June 25, 2016

Parental Involvement Perfection!

As seen on Virginia is for Teachers!

Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful HeatherResearch says that students that have involved parents do better academically! Would you like to boost parental involvement in your classroom?  Well, you already have the ability!  This post (along with an awesome book) will give you the push you need to ensure parental involvement perfection!   

Would you like to boost parental involvement in your classroom?  Well, you already have the ability!  My post (along with an awesome book) will give you the push you need to ensure parental involvement perfection!

Parental Involvement Perfection!

Would you like to boost parental involvement in your classroom?  Well, you already have the ability!  My post (along with an awesome book) will give you the push you need to ensure parental involvement perfection!
Summertime is the perfect time for teachers to reflect and prepare for the next school year.  Many teachers also enjoy reading (by the beach or pool if we're lucky).  Using the book RAISING A ROCK-STAR READER: 75 Quick Tips to Help Your Child Develop a Lifelong Love of Reading, you can empower your student's parents and pave your way to success as a classroom educator.

(photo credit:  Cathy Collier The WISE Owl)


 
I implore you to share your knowledge with parents.  We may assume that parents know what to do with their emergent readers when they don't.  Hand over your wealth of knowledge to parents and watch your students flourish.  Together teachers and parents can create students that want to read and love to read.  RAISING A ROCK-STAR READER is segmented into ten chapters.  Each chapter captures the essence of the strategies used when teaching reading.  You'll be treated to game ideas, how-tos, dialog, and more on the following subjects:
Would you like to boost parental involvement in your classroom?  Well, you already have the ability!  My post (along with an awesome book) will give you the push you need to ensure parental involvement perfection!

  • best books at all ages
  • technology used for academics
  • speech development
  • concept of print
  • phonemes
  • phonics
  • learning the letters
  • rhyme
  • emergent readers
  • the writing connection 
  • fluency, comprehension, and more!  


 Ideas That Have Worked!

Would you like to boost parental involvement in your classroom?  Well, you already have the ability!  My post (along with an awesome book) will give you the push you need to ensure parental involvement perfection!
Every week I send a newsletter home to parents.  In each supplement there is a section about reading.  I simply discuss something that would help their students grow as readers.  You could write about a new app for sight words, questions to ask students after reading, or simply how to read with them.  There are many parents that don't realize that reading a recipe, a bedtime story, or looking for letters in the environment while on a road trip will help their students.  What I thought was a very simple idea has been loved and used by many parents over the years.  Of course you will have to think of ideas every week.  If you have difficulty with that you can use the 75 hints in RAISING A ROCK-STAR READER.  Ok...... I'm no math genius but with 36 weeks of school........ there are plenty of options and choices for you! 

Remember, when you are talking or writing to parents they may not be familiar with terms like concept of print, schema, fluency, visualization, or sight words.  It is very common place for us to use those words but it scares parents and makes them feel closed to the partnership that we are trying to forge.  Make sure you are using vocabulary that is common to them without speaking over their heads.  

RAISING A ROCK-STAR READER will also help you when planning parent/teacher conferences.  If a student is having difficulty with rhyme a parent may not know what to do.  Teachers have resources to help their students in the classroom but we need to come up with some quick and easy ways to implement those strategies at home and this book is full of amazing and engaging ideas. 

At the beginning of the school year and the end of the school year I send home a list of apps and websites that are helpful academically.  If our students are spending a portion of their summer on a device I want the time to be meaningful!  RAISING A ROCK-STAR READER gives you a list to start with...... the work is already done!

Something To Look Forward To:

Inspired by RAISING A ROCK-STAR READER I plan on including 3 items in every newsletter next school year:
  • a book that we've read in class that the students enjoyed
  • a fun activity to play with the family at home (hangman which I call smart student) 
  • a new app or website to help academically 
Would you like to boost parental involvement in your classroom?  Well, you already have the ability!  My post (along with an awesome book) will give you the push you need to ensure parental involvement perfection!

Remember above all make sure that families know that reading is FUN!  As you can see I lead by example...... whenever my family sees a statue we pose and read to them. The (reading) statues on the campus of William & Mary are perfect for that!  My family always encourages reading when potty training!  Reading can be done everywhere and a sense of humor is helpful!

What Will You Do?

Let this post inspire you to use your knowledge to empower parents and make them feel like they are part of the team!   Let us all know how you are motivating parents to be involved with their own student's success.  I can't wait to hear how you get parents involved!!!

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Would you like to boost parental involvement in your classroom?  Well, you already have the ability!  My post (along with an awesome book) will give you the push you need to ensure parental involvement perfection!