Improving Your Children’s Relationship With Their Teacher (FREE Personality Assessment For Your Child)

Improving Your Children's Relationship With Their Teacher - FREE Personality Assessment For Your Child - From TeacherHelpForParents.com

Does your child have a teacher that he feels doesn’t quite understand him?  Does your child have a hard time adjusting to how the teacher interacts with her?  There is hope.  The reason may be a difference in personalities and understanding how to interact with those personalities.

There are many different types of personality assessments that you can find online.  One of these was developed by Gary Smalley.  He divides personalities into four types: lion, otter, golden retriever, and beaver.

The Lion Personality

Lions are people who like to take charge and are competitive.  Their communication style is blunt and direct.  They enjoy recognition and problem solving.

The Otter Personality

Otters are people who are optimistic and motivating.  Their communication style is encouraging and motivating.  They enjoy approval and social recognition.

The Golden Retriever Personality

Golden Retrievers are people who are peace-makers and sensitive.  Their communication style is indirect and they are great listeners.  They enjoy emotional security and an agreeable environment.

The Beaver Personality

Beavers are people who are accurate, precise, and analytical.  Their communication style is factual and they are great listeners concerning tasks.  They enjoy quality and exact expectations.

Looking at the descriptions above, you may be able to guess which personality type is your child and which personality type is your child’s teacher.  To find out for sure, here is a free simple personality assessment for your child from Gary Smalley: Smalley Institute Personality Assessment.

After reviewing the assessment, look at the matrix that comes after the assessment that will further describe the personalities.  You will find useful information about what your child needs.  You can also explain to your child the personality type that you think may belong to his teacher.  Show your child how his teacher sees the world and how it may come across to him.  It can make for a great teachable moment of understanding how people are different in how they think and relate.

Here is a great resource that you can find on Amazon, other retailers, or maybe even your public library.  It is a kid-friendly book that explains the four personalities in a way that is simple for children to understand: The Treasure Tree: Helping Kids Understand Their Personality.


Click the picture above to be taken to Amazon.com to view this book.
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FREE PRINTABLE Long A Word List

FREE PRINTABLE Long A Word List - From TeacherHelpForParents.com

Before beginning long vowel sound word lists, let’s review what makes a long vowel sound. One way to describe this spelling is to present the letter “e” as “bossy e.” Explain to your child that, in a root word, when there is a vowel-consonant-e, the letter “e” is bossy and makes the vowel say its name. The letter “e” is then silent when you read the word

Another way that long a is spelled is “ai.” Teach your child the famous saying, “When two vowels go a walking, the first one does the talking.”

Long a can also be spelled “ay.”

Finally, long a is also spelled “eigh.”

Explain to your child there are other ways to spell long a as well that will be discussed at a later time.

Word Sort
Read over the list of long a words together. On the top of a sheet of paper, make four columns with the four different ways to spell long a mentioned here. Sort the words and write them under the correct heading.

Example:

A consonant E Ai Eigh Ay
Rate Drain Eight Say
Blade Rain Weigh Day

Begin by writing the words on index cards. Continue practicing with your child until he or she can say the words accurately. Mix the cards up each time to further help with reading practice.

Once your child can read the words on the index cards, print out this list of words. Start by reading the list to him or her. Then, have your child read with you. Finally, have your child read independently. The goal is for your child to be able to read each list in under one minute.

Razor haven Bake same Lake
Place Cake Fame name Lane
Plate rake Came Game page
Invade parade Ape Brave Date
Flake Haste Pain Say Ate
Day Flame Hate Pave Shape
Bake Cane Eight Frame Lake
Pay Base Cape Face Lame
Rain Take blade cave blaze
fake grade make rate Crane
Fame Grape May Brake Dame
Fate Nape Same Way Gain
Aid Drain Rain Tail Wail

Printable Long A Word List

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More Long Vowel Sounds Word Lists
Long E Words
Long I Words
Long O Words
Long U Words

Short Vowel Sound Word Lists
Short A Words
Short E Words
Short I Words
Short O Words
Short U Words

R-Controlled Word Lists
AR Words
ER Words
IR Words
OR Words
UR Words

Oi / Oy Sight Word List

High Frequency Sight Words and Phrases

Sight Words Your Child Needs To Know (Dolch Sight Words)

More Sight Words Your Child Needs To Know (Ekwall Sight Words)

Fry Phrases For Reading Fluency (Use After Sight Words)

How Do I Help My Child Become A Better Reader?

Reading Fluency: Increasing Speed and Expression

How Can I Help My Child With Reading Comprehension? (Free Reading Comprehension Printables)

Motivating Your Child To Read

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FREE PRINTABLE Short Vowel Word Lists

FREE Printable Short Vowel Word Lists - From TeacherHelpForParents.com

You can find all of my short vowel sound lists here in one easy place. The left column shares ideas for how to use the lists. The right column contains pdf files of the lists for easy printing and saving.

Ideas
For Use

Pdf
Files For Easy Saving And Printing

Short A Ideas Short A List
Short E Ideas Short E List
Short I Ideas Short I List
Short O Ideas Short O List
Short U Ideas Short U List

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Long Vowel Sounds Word Lists
Long AWords
Long E Words
Long I Words
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Long U Words

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AR Words
ER Words
IR Words
OR Words
UR Words

Oi / Oy Sight Word List

High Frequency Sight Words and Phrases

Sight Words Your Child Needs To Know (Dolch Sight Words)

More Sight Words Your Child Needs To Know (Ekwall Sight Words)

Fry Phrases For Reading Fluency (Use After Sight Words)

More Reading Help

How Do I Help My Child Become A Better Reader?

Reading Fluency: Increasing Speed and Expression

How Can I Help My Child With Reading Comprehension? (Free Reading Comprehension Printables)

Motivating Your Child To Read

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How To Learn With Placemats: Using Placemats For No Pressure Learning

Using Placemats For No Pressure Learning - Great For All Ages - From TeacherHelpForParents.com

Mealtime is an opportune time for no pressure learning.  This can be done simply with the use of strategically picked placemats.  Awhile back, I saw a young boy on a talk show who had memorized all of the presidents, the order they were president, and an interesting fact about each one.  When the parents were asked how this young boy could know all of this information, their answer was simple: a placemat.  They had found an inexpensive placemat with presidents on it for their son.  They were surprised when, at meal time, he would ask questions about each president.  The parents would answer his questions, and his learning grew.

I thought to myself, what a great idea!  Kids are sitting at the table eating and conversing.  Why not try an alphabet, number, or geography placemat as conversation starters?  I’ve heard of kids not only asking for the names of the letters on an alphabet placemat, but the sound the letter makes and a word that starts with that letter as well.  It then turns into a game with the kids as they want their parents to ask them questions such as: “What letter makes the ‘ssssss’ sound?” or “What letter does cow start with?”  It adds to mealtime conversation with the whole family, and is no pressure learning guided by the children’s questions about what they want to know.

Give it a try.  You’ll be surprised how much your children learn all while having fun.

You can find placemats many places such as the grocery store, dollar store, or online.  I really like the Melissa and Doug placemats that can be found on Amazon or other stores.

Here are some examples:

       

According to the reviews, people really like these placemats.  They do; however, caution about not using the crayons on them.
These placemats are my affiliate links.

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THFP Archive: How Do I Help My Child With Reading Comprehension? (Free Comprehension Printables)

How Do I Help My Child With Reading Comprehension?  FREE COMPREHENSION PRINTABLES - From TeacherHelpForParents.com


Over the years, parents have asked me what they can do at home to help their children become better at reading comprehension. Here are four ideas you can do at home that can help your children do better in reading comprehension.

Background
It is important for children to be familiar with the topic they are reading. If they are reading fiction, an understanding of where or when the story takes place (especially if it is in the past or future), familiarity with the characters, and a general understanding of the topic will help them make sense of what they are reading. Just think if you were asked to read a book about a setting you knew nothing about, and characters that confused you, and they were all wound up together in a plot that was confusing to you. Would there be much comprehension and understanding happening as you read it? There would be very little. Now imagine if you understood these things first. You would have a much easier time understanding what you were reading. Every experience your children have – field trips, vacations, museums, meeting new people – help with building their background knowledge and eventually their reading comprehension.

Vocabulary
Knowing the vocabulary that is used in the book is closely tied to background knowledge. If you read a paragraph and don’t understand three or four of the words you just read – you’re out of luck! If your children do not understand what a word means, encourage them to show you so you can explain it to them. Or, if you rather, they can tried to figure out what the word means through context clues. This means they look at the sentences before or after, and then try to figure out what would make sense for the meaning of the word. Vocabulary can be increased starting in babyhood and going all the way through childhood by continually naming and explaining what your children see.

Make Connections (Text to Self, Text to Text, and Text to World)
Reading comprehension is not only recalling facts and details about what was read, but understanding what was read as well. One of my favorite reading comprehension books is Mosaic of Thoughtby Susan Zimmermann. In this book, the author defines three ways your children can make connections to what they are reading that will help them understand and remember what they are reading.

The first is text to self. The idea here is to help children relate the books they are reading to themselves. It could be something that happened in the books that also happened to them, or it could even be how the main character’s qualities remind them of themselves. For example, “Lucy was very honest when she told her mother she accidentally broke the lamp. That reminds me of the time I was honest when I told our neighbor I accidentally threw a ball threw their window.

The second is text to text. This means it’s important for your children to find similarities in the books they are reading to other books they have already read or heard. For example, “Junie B. Jones reminds me of Ramona Quimby because both of them are precocious and mean well, but usually end up getting themselves in a pickle”. Children will probably start off simple like there are kids and animals in both books, but help them move farther.

The third is text to world. The children find something that is happening in the book and relate it to what is happening (or has happened) in the world. For example, “Little House on the Prairie reminds me of what I learned about the pioneers on the Oregon trail.”

I use to make “Text To” journals for the students to write down the connections they were making while reading. These journals would be great for reading while at home as well. I’ve included a free text to journal printable that you can use. I would photocopy the paper, cut it in half, fold a piece of construction paper or the journal cover below over it, and then staple it together on top. You could also use a three ring binder and follow the same concept.

Text To Journal Cover

Text To Journal Cover

Text To Journal

Text to Journal Free Printable

I also have added big posters made from butcher paper in my classroom. I have one that says, “Text To Self,” another that says “Text To Text,” and a third that says, “Text To World.” As students would find connections in their reading, they would go to the appropriate posters and add the connections that they found along with their names.

Building these connections will help them personalize what they are reading and make it purposeful. Personalizing helps children understand what they are reading better and will help them to remember what they read as well.

Story Elements and Higher Order Questions

It is good to encourage your children to think broader and deeper while reading. Not only will this help them understand what they are reading, but it will also help to prepare them for state tests such as Common Core (now in the majority of states). I have included a free printable download below with questions for each part of the story elements. These questions are great because they can be used with just about any fiction book. Help your children to think beyond a question such as, “What color was the boy’s shirt?” and up to a question such as, “If you were in the same position as the boy, would you have done the same thing? Why or why not?” The questions I provided below provide higher order questions like these. There is one for preschool through first grade children and another for second grade through sixth grade children. They will help your children to start seeing reading as understanding what they are reading as opposed to just memorizing and recalling details of what they are reading. Understanding is key in reading comprehension.

Use this story elements questions free printable for second through sixth grade children. Story Elements Questions

 

Use this story elements questions free printable for preschool through first grade children. These questions can be used for many of the books your children read including simple picture books. Starting reading comprehension elements early will help your children as they grow older.

Story Element Questions For Preschool Through First Grade

 

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Free Letter To Santa Printables – Plus Santa’s Address

Free Letter To Santa Printable Plus Santa's Address - From TeacherHelpForParents.com

Practice your writing skills with these free letters to Santa printables.  Plus, keep reading to find out Santa’s address.

Below are letters to Santa printables for younger and older children. The first one is in a list format and is perfect for young writers.  The second is in a letter format and is perfect for older children.  Either way, Santa will be delighted to receive the letters.

Letter To Santa Template For Young Kids - Plus Santa's AddressLetter To Santa Template For Young Kids

Letter To Santa Template For Older Kids - Plus Santa's Address

Letter To Santa Template For Older Kids

After the letters are written, you can mail them to Santa’s address:

U.S.A. Address:

Canada Address:

Santa Claus
1 Reindeer Lane
North Pole, Alaska 99705
Santa Claus
North Pole
H0H 0H0  CANADA

Whichever address you choose to use, Santa will be sure to receive your letter.

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Parent Tips For Parent – Teacher Conferences

Parent Tips For Parent - Teacher Conferences by TeacherHelpForParents

It’s parent-teacher conference time again, and here are 6 tips to get the most out of your individual time with your child’s teacher:

1.  Schedule early – If you have a choice of when to schedule your child’s conference, ask for a time early in the day.  This is the time teachers are at their best.  With 25 – 30 individual conferences (or more), a teacher can be worn out mentally toward the end of the day.

2.  This is your time to address concerns – Determine in advance if there are concerns that you would like to address with your child’s teacher.  These concerns can be anything from friends, to homework, to academics.  This moment is set aside for you to have individual time with your child’s teacher to talk about your concerns.  If you believe your child may have a learning disability and would like to speed up the testing process, check out my post How To Request A Learning Disability Test For Your Child.

3Determine if you will need longer than the allotted conference time – If you have some concerns that you would like to address with your child’s teacher that may take the bulk of the conference time, ask if you can schedule a longer conference time.  You can also ask to schedule a longer time on a different day.  This will help to insure that your concerns receive the attention and time that they need.

4.  Ask if children can attend conferences – If you will need (or want) to bring your children (or siblings) to the conference, ask in advance what the policy is for this.  Usually you will find that your children (and siblings) are welcome.  Often, teachers will set up an area in their classrooms or the hallway with crayons, paper, and books to entertain the children while you meet.  Some teachers will even invite your children to be involved in the conference if what is being discussed isn’t sensitive in nature.

5. Conferences are also a time to meet with your child’s specialists – If your child’s school has specialist teachers such as music, physical education, technology, and art, you can meet with them during this time as well.  Often, these conferences are just “pop in” conferences.  Usually, you can just stop by their classrooms for a few minutes to say “hi” and receive a little feedback on how your child is performing.  Other specialists such as speech, special education, Title 1, and advanced learning are usually present at your child’s conference with the teacher.

6.  The biggest tip (and secret) of all is teachers are just as nervous as the parents – While I’m sure there are exceptions to this secret, the fact is, most teachers are anxious during conference time.  Teachers care so much about your children and are hoping that the conferences are a success.

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For Teachers: How To Have A Success Parent-Teacher Conference (FREE Conference Planning Printable)

How To Have A Successful Parent – Teacher Conference (Free Conference Planning Printable)

How To Have A Successful Parent - Teacher Conference (Free Conference Planning Printable) From TeacherHelpForParents.com

 

Teachers, are you wondering how to make your parent-teacher conferences a success?  Here are some helpful tips and a free conference planning printable to assist you with your conferences this year.

These tips and printable come from retired teacher Nancy.

CONFERENCE HINTS

Here are a few things to think about for conferences that I did as much for me as for the parents.

*I would have the classroom staged for a regular day of learning, objectives up, schedules, examples of work, spelling/vocabulary lists, etc. so the parents have a better idea of what their child’s day looks like.  You want parents to see the richness of the learning environment.  Textbooks can be set in the hall so those parents waiting have an opportunity to look at them.  (Make sure you have “big-people” chairs available!)

*I would work from an uncluttered table or group of desks and sit on the same side as the parents – no table or desk separating us.

*I would have a small bouquet of flowers or a scented candle on it.  Can you light a candle in the schools anymore?

*I would have a small bowl of treats available, pumpkin jelly beans, apple slices, banana bread, or something similar this time of year.

*I would have soft (elevator?) music playing in the background.

*I would seldom have all of the brightest lights on.

In other words, I would set the stage for a relaxed, enjoyable time of sharing with the parents.

 

Here is a free printable to help organize your conferences.

FREE Printable Parent - Teacher Conference Planning Paper

FREE PRINTABLE – Conference Planning Paper

Rationale for Conference Notes

  1. Parents appreciate the obvious time and effort you spent focusing on their child
  2. You come across as being very prepared, very professional
  3. Allows you to look at the whole child instead of just the academic grades
  4. Allows you to be in charge of the conference instead of the report card
  5. Allows you to prioritize your message to the parents in the time allotted for each conference
  6. Gives you a format for taking notes during the conference
  7. Gives you a format for noting those things you told the attendees you would follow through with
  8. Easy to hang on to these from conference to conference – I would save them for a year so that I would have information to share with next year’s teacher if necessary

Do you have any other conference tips that could help other teachers?  I would like to hear them.  Please comment below to share your ideas with other teachers.

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Thanksgiving Poetry – Writing Sensory Poems For Kids (Free Printables)

Thanksgiving Poetry - Sensory Poems - FREE PRINTABLES

It’s Thanksgiving and the perfect time for your children to express their thankfulness creatively through poetry. One of my favorite forms of poetry for Thanksgiving is a sensory poem. Here’s how to write one:

1. Brainstorm what you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel at Thanksgiving. I’ve included a brainstorming sheet below that you can use.

Brainstorming Sheet Print-Save

2. Choose one thing from each category and write it on the appropriate line on the paper below. Also include a final line for “I know that.” It can be any summarizing sentence to conclude the poem.

Rough Draft Print – Save

3. Ready for poetry magic? Cross out the typed words and presto! – instant poetry. See example below. Capitalize the first word of the new phrase and cross out the period at the end.

4. Write your poem on a piece of construction or decorative paper. Include an illustration too.


Enlarged Final Draft Example

5. Share your poem with the world (or at least Grandma and Grandpa). There are many sites that will publish children’s poems for free. Two such sites are Kid Lit and Poetry Zone.

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Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Pumpkin Decorating Party – Harvest Social / Halloween Party

Pumpkin Decorating Party - Harvest Social - Halloween Party

Are you in charge of events for a Halloween party or harvest social?  Here’s an idea for a pumpkin decorating activity that’s sure to be a hit.

Why not mix up all the yummy candy with some fruits and veggies?  Lay out different fruits and vegetables for students to sample and use to decorate a pumpkin.  They can decorate little individual pumpkins or work as partners or in teams to decorate large pumpkins.

 Pumpkin Decorating Contest For Harvest - Halloween Party - Social 1  Pumpkin Decorating Contest For Harvest - Halloween Party - Social 3
 Pumpkin Decorating Contest For Harvest - Halloween Party - Social 5  Pumpkin Decorating Contest For Harvest - Halloween Party - Social 2

A variation on this idea is to have the children decorate pumpkins to resemble their favorite book characters.  They can use felt, construction paper, or paint to decorate their pumpkins.

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