Sunday, February 5, 2017


Thumbs Up 
To encourage positive behavior develop “I am” statements. (These can be based on your school’s goals or let the children suggest statements.) Write these on a language experience chart and then begin the day by sticking up your thumbs and repeating them.
     I am respectful.
     I am trustworthy.
     I am responsible.
     I am fair.
     I am caring.
     I use good manners.
     I use kind words.
     I can do it.
*Role-play these positive behaviors.
*Let students make books called “Thumbs Up.”
Thanks to Brenda Lee Hernandez for sharing this idea with me!

Estes Elementary School Early Learning Academy
Here's another "thumb" thing special from the teachers at Estes Elementary in Owensboro, KY. Several months ago when I presented a workshop in Kentucky they told us about a transitional program they offered for preschool and kindergarteners. It was such a great idea for providing younger five year olds who are not ready for the "rigor" of kindergarten that I asked them to tell you about their Early Learning Academy.
We are Estes Elementary School Early Learning Academy (ELA)! We are so excited to share with you our vision of early childhood education that focuses on the “whole” child. We are 45 students and 5 staff members that are grouped and regrouped again according to our individual needs. There are 2 elementary certified teachers and 1 early childhood certified teacher. We are supported by 2 classified instructional assistants. There are 20 preschoolers (4 year olds) and 25 kindergartners (4 and 5 year olds when school started). Our students come to school all day Monday through Friday.

Using the 7 Habits of LIM and Second Step lessons, we are building the social and emotional needs of our students. Using LiteraSci, Zoo Phonics, Erikson math, and Michael Heggerty (phonemic awareness) strategies, we are meeting the academic needs of our students. We use sensory centers, art projects, interactive physical education lessons, field trips, and scientific exploration to build fine and gross motor skills in our students. We use preschool and kindergarten standards at the same time. We assess frequently to ensure continuous progress, we celebrate growth in the “whole” child, and not just preset benchmarks.

We want to ensure future success in school through fun, engaging, playful, student-centered experiences. We believe building a strong foundation in early childhood education will create students who will pursue their own success with perseverance and passion!
Our students learn through experiences, experiments, and real life learning.