Hats off to teachers…it’s time for Mid – Week Focus!
Mid – Week Focus is all about quick and easy ways to approach teaching to keep kids on task in any instructional setting.
Let’s share insight and practical ideas. Let’s blend fun with function, and LET’S SPEND TIME WITH EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS THAT INTEGRATE SUBJECT AREAS TO REACH “THE WHOLE CHILD.”
Last week I welcomed you to THE “teach me” STORE, Diane Weisbredt’s family enterprise. We’re back for another visit. Diane, shown in my blog pic below,
opened “teach me” twenty-one years ago with two kids of her own in elementary school and a baby “behind the counter.”
Diane grew up in Michigan (US) and vividly remembers her Kindergarten teacher using music and lyrics to help her learn. “Everything was in a song,” recalls Diane. “My teacher had a piano in the room and she sang everything from the ABCs song to School House Rock.”
Educational materials have changed drastically since Diane’s elementary school years. “Today at my store,” Diane points out, “kids are often wrapped up in technology. I see 3 and 4-year-olds walk in with hand-held devices. They stay close to their moms but they never look up at the resources or the people in the store!”
Diane believes that even in today’s technology-driven global community we need what she calls, “hands-on…no batteries required.”
As my blog pic here shows, THE “teach me” STORE is geared for global and local learning. “The terminology of educational materials has changed over time,” explains Diane. “In (US) states that have recently adopted Common Core Standards,” she says, “parents are looking for help with what their kids are going through as they (and their teachers) adjust to a new curriculum.”
A driving force for the adoption of Common Core, as Diane sees it, is the transience that’s been caused by a sluggish recovery from a major economic downturn. Many kids stay on the move today, including children in military families. Before Common Core, relocated children were often out of sync in their new schools. As Common Core Standards gain a foothold that won’t be the case.
Parents often come into THE “teach me” STORE looking for ways to help their children catch up. Diane and her staff have the know-how to assist customers in choosing educational materials that not only teach, but also boost a child’s self-esteem.
Diane employs teachers of grades K – 6, plus family members. Now there are two grandchildren behind the counter! Diane laughs at a description of her 3-year-old granddaughter serving as a “sales assistant.” She models the effectiveness of the store’s teaching resources.
You could say that Diane’s grandchildren are carrying on the family’s tradition. Diane started THE “teach me” STORE because when she had her own young children she couldn’t find the resources she wanted for them. Diane knows first-hand that a parent is a child’s first teacher. She advises worried moms and dads to not think badly about themselves if their children are struggling. “You just need the right tools to help children succeed,” she says.
THE “teach me” STORE offers resources for early learners all the way up through high school students. You can visit online at www.teachmestore.com Reading the store’s comprehensive catalog is an education in itself. The catalog has 368 pages plus an index detailing products for everything from Active Play, Creative Play, Construction Play, Puzzle Play, Flannelboard Fun, Special Needs, Readiness Skills, Music, Children’s Books, Literacy and Language Arts to Multilingual/ELL (English Language Learning) and ESL (English as a Second Language) Education.
Early Childhood Resources are also cataloged and available online and in-store,
as you see in my blog pic here.
The “teach me” catalog includes sections, too, of resources for Social Studies, Science, Mathematics, Games, Classroom Technology, Middle & High School, Critical Thinking, Independent Study/Test Prep, Teacher Resources, Teacher/Classroom Tools and Bulletin Boards Plus.
No question, teachers have to be masters of many subject areas! No wonder we need effective educational materials to aid us in catching and keeping kids’ attention, helping them be successful in school.
Diane knows that eye-catching visual materials work best at the elementary school level because, as she says, “Kids have to be captivated. They respond to visual resources and hands on activities.”
In (US) schools that use the new Common Core and in schools worldwide that embrace integrating subject areas to teach core skills, teachers can find a goldmine of integrated educational resources at “teach me” that are grouped by subject. “For example,” explains Diane, “we have a whole math area with beginner books to middle school resources, including story books about math concepts, counting manipulatives and more, all in addition to resources that feature standard math problems.
The goal is to meet the different needs of children with different learning styles; that’s why teachers and parents need to be able to access a range of educational materials that are fun and functional.
“If you can’t find something you want to play with when you walk in THE “teach me” STORE,” says Diane, “something is wrong! It’s great when parents walk in and relate to our resources. ‘I remember that!’ parents often exclaim, pointing to a book or game that one of their own teachers used when they were in school.”
Having access to educational materials is one of the keys to any teacher’s success. Pair that with a good partnership between a dedicated teacher and supportive parents of students that stay on task, and you’re on the success track in education.
Check back with Attentionology again soon for more tools and tricks for K – 5 teachers,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet