Sunday, January 26, 2014

February is around the Corner…Time to Salute our Presidents

Presidents’ Day is coming and with it comes a great time for many fun activities and learning about our nations’ Leaders of the past.   Here are some ideas for the classroom that students will enjoy….

-          Engage students in a discussion about what they know about the job of being the President of the United States.  What do they think is most important?

-          Hold a mock classroom debate on the topic of Presidential term limits. Are they a good idea? Why or why not?

-          President for a Day- Students imagine they are President for a day!  What would they do? What would their day be like?

-          Creating a timeline about all the Presidents of the United States

-          Creating a new monument for a past President

-          Presidential Powers- Students discuss the powers of the President  and then write down an idea for a new power for the President of the United States.

-          Presidents picture book- Students can create a picture book of their favorite Presidents with illustrations and explain the reasons for the choice of favorites.

-          Presidents’ name  Word Search / Word Scramble

-          Follow the Leader- Have the students split into teams and  try to arrange photos of the Presidents in chronological order

-          Presidents’ Day Crafts- Students can create cotton ball wigs, flags, Washington’s cherry tree,  Lincoln’s hat??

  These are just a few ideas….Have fun celebrating and learning about the Leaders of our great country.



Monday, January 20, 2014

A Volunteer's Viewpoint

Marge Lotter, who sits on the board of Hatboro Horsham is also a new volunteer with S.A.G.E.  She was kind enough to share her experiences assisting children in a kindergarten class. 
Being a S.A G. E. volunteer at Hallowell School in the AM Kindergarten class with Miss Caldwell is rewarding and fun.  Miss Caldwell is a treat to observe in action.  She is a natural as a Kindergarten teacher and the children respond in kind.

My hour is spent interacting with the children in various activities related to building their reading skills.  My favorite time with them is when I read stories on the ‘reading rug’.

When I visited in December, I explained to the children why my face was contorted (I came down with Bell’s Palsy).  They responded with kindness and curiosity.  When I visited in January I was greeted with warm hello’s and questions by some of the students as to how I was feeling.  I was strongly affected by their concern.

This time, instead of reading to the children, we invented our own story based on magical powers of the ‘reading rug’.  Our imaginations flew us out of the room (we had to duck to get out the window) and into the sky.  We saw familiar places and came back safely, by leaning back to slow down.   

Next time I’d like to ‘visit’ the zoo, but according to the children’s feedback, we may be going to Disney World.  My imaginary bags are already packed.
It is wonderful to hear about such a warm and friendly experience.  Thanks for sharing Marge!  We always love sharing stories with our readers.  If you have a story you'd like to share, email 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Student Resolutions…a fun way to start the New Year!

As classes have now resumed for the New Year, helping students develop a New Year’s resolution for themselves can be a fun and fresh activity.  Working on resolutions together can be a great group activity to inspire students to do something special. 

A few ideas…

-          Ask the students who has heard of New Year’s resolutions.  Some may have…many more may have not.  Explain the practice & purpose of making resolutions  and the effort involved to accomplish them.  

-          Tell the students that resolutions are like promises you make to yourself.

-          Discuss how important it is to make a resolution creative and challenging, but also realistic.

-          Share some examples of past resolutions you have made. How did you do?  Where some easier to keep than others? How great did it feel when you accomplished your goal?

-          Discuss ideas for some resolutions as a group then allow students time to work on their own resolutions.  Provide some realistic examples for them to visualize.

-          Perhaps provide an  example: When I am at_________, I promise to________ because _______.

-          Allow for some time for the students to share their resolutions with the class and discuss the importance of supporting one another to help achieve their goals.

-          Have the students illustrate their resolutions and then display in the classroom to provide encouragement and a visual reminder of the goals they have chosen for themselves.

Attached is a helpful link with a creative template that students could use…

Have fun & Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

How to Successfully Return to School After Break!

Returning to school after an extended break can be tough on students AND teachers.  After a few weeks of relaxing and eating lots of holiday goodies, the prospect of diving back into the routine of studying can be hard to take. Here are some pointers to help students ease back into the school routine...


1. It is important to show care and concern for what students accomplished with their friends and family over the break.  It builds child/adult connection and gives you feedback on activities and topics that interest the students in the classroom.  Use this information to connect curricular material to the students' and/or your own experiences.  By connecting students' interests and experiences to what is being taught inside of the classroom, students are motivated to learn and an exciting ambiance is created in the learning environment!


2. Teachers usually spend the first few days getting back to speed with whatever students were looking at before Christmas, and giving feedback on any work submitted prior to the break.  During this time, students should set short term goals when learning new material throughout the first month of the new year.  These goals can focus on accomplishing a new task or be a challenge to beat a record for a well-known task.  As a SAGE volunteer, you could assist classroom teachers in gearing their students for accomplishment of these short term goals to start 2014 on a successful path!  Then you can be a part of celebrating their short-term goals with some small rewards!


3. Last but not least, be sure to establish a schedule and keep with this schedule so that students can ease back into a routine.  When families are home over the holidays, their schedules usually vary from non-holiday months.  Sleep patterns change and meals are eaten at different times during the holidays, so in order to succeed within school after the holidays, a schedule must be established to set normality for students and families.


These are just three ways to help students go back to school after the holiday break!  Happy 2014!  :)