This School Year, Think Outside the Box

Lunch boxes, pencil boxes, crayon boxes, tissue boxes… students’ school supply lists can seem endless! As the 2022-23 school year arrives, who’s ready to think outside the box when considering what our children need to be successful?

It goes without saying that there are ‘must have’ items that kids need in order to be productive in school, like the resources mentioned above. More importantly, though, are the things that cannot simply be purchased during a Target run. (Target run…box store…think outside the box…get it?) Thoughtfully preparing for the fact that kids enter our schools with very personal life experiences, prior knowledge, and unique strengths is critical when starting the school year off strong---even more vital than a freshly sharpened pencil!

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It's Not Too Late

It’s that time of the summer when teachers across the country who, just a few weeks ago were counting down the days and swearing off all things work-related, are beginning to daydream about rearranging their classrooms for the upcoming school year, are peeking at Target and Walmart sales, and maybe…just maybe… are getting excited about starting off the new school year on a high note! If you teach emergent bilingual students, you may be experiencing that excitement while at the same time feeling a teeny bit overwhelmed. If this sounds familiar and you’re wondering whether or not it’s too late to get your hands on what you need for this upcoming school year, never fear! With GrapeSEED, you’ll march into 2022-2023 confidently, with the tools and support that you’ve always dreamed of having. Check out this testimonial from teacher Jen Andres, who implemented the GrapeSEED curriculum successfully with newcomers from Guatemala for seven years. Then contact us to learn how to get GrapeSEED for your classroom!

“Teaching is one of the most rewarding and most gratifying careers one can choose. Yet, if you are currently teaching, you know that it is not without its challenges. Whether you are new to teaching or are a veteran teacher, you understand the diverse set of learning styles and abilities that demand your attention. One of the fastest growing populations today are English Language Learners. If you are fortunate enough to experience teaching immigrant students, it’s imperative that you think back to how you learned to speak and think, and if you're a parent, how you taught your own children to speak and think. My guess is that your parents did not get out flash cards and begin drilling you and have you memorizing words and phrases, but rather they sang, and read stories, played games, clapped, smiled and had lots of fun.

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Sprinkle in Learning, All Summer Long

Riding bikes, playing catch, eating popsicles, tossing water balloons, running barefoot! Everyone loves summer’s rites of passage and all children deserve to experience them. In addition to spending lots of time playing and exploring outdoors, children can continue learning with a little bit of support from the adults in their lives. Does this mean hours and hours at the kitchen table doing school work? Not at all. Instead, a pinch of ‘academic rigor’ can be sprinkled in to each day in such a way that kids won’t even realize they’re learning. They’ll just think that they are having fun! If you’re an educator, here are a few ideas for you to share with parents and families to help them keep the learning momentum going -- stress free -- all summer long!

Get involved in community activities.

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Splash Into Summer

With summer break right around the corner, it’s time for teachers and families alike to start planning activities that will keep kids thinking, creating, and learning in fresh, fun, summertime kinds of ways. Let’s be honest, no adult wants to hear ‘I’m bored’ all summer long, and no child wants to feel bored, either! As much as kids may say they want a break from the structure of their school days, the truth is that most kids do better when they have some sort of daily routine, sprinkled with lots of joy, of course.

No matter how old the children in your life are, there are gobs of ways for them to stay happily active and engaged. So whether you’re a parent or caregiver searching for things to do, or a teacher sharing ideas with families before the end of the school year, check out our bucket list of activities that will help everyone splash into summer.

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Science of Reading

“There is nothing permanent except change.”

No, this quote wasn’t coined by your school superintendent, building principal or grade level team leader, although it surely could have been. It was actually first stated by Heraclitus of Ephesus, an Ancient Greek philosopher who, believe it or not, never taught in an elementary school! Anyone in education would surely agree that teachers are the most flexible of people…ready to embrace change on a daily basis. Sometimes the change is imposed, yet other times, we seek out change ourselves. For example, when we see a colleague using a new strategy or concept that we haven’t tried before, we often find ourselves looking forward to incorporating the new idea, or parts of it, into our own instruction. Yet when larger movements like Science of Reading come along, there is less of a “oh, I like that neat little idea…maybe I’ll give it a whirl in my own class” type of vibe, and more of a total shift in thinking and teaching.

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Recent Posts
It's Not Too Late
Splash Into Summer
Science of Reading