Sometimes

As a kid, I was not a big fan of writing poetry. I didn’t like being bound by rules while trying to put my emotions and visualizations down on paper, when in my mind, poetry was a free-flow of emotions. I don’t mind it as much now. Sometimes, during the school year, I follow the rules of rhyme, rhythm, stanza measure, etc. But sometimes, during summer break, I don’t…

Sometimes, during summer break,

the ticking of the clock becomes obsolete,

and the days and weeks pass by without us knowing

what happened to our vacation days.

 

Sometimes, during summer break,

we yearn to begin rejuvenating

our minds, our bodies, and our spirits,

so that we step out of the sun a new person

with a renewed purpose and drive.

 

Sometimes, during summer break,

we take it for granted,

the days without lessons, grading papers, and tests

and our chosen calling here on this planet.

 

Sometimes, during summer break,

we forget that we are teachers

and remember once again that we are spouses and parents,

yet more importantly, human beings

whose lives are short and valuable.

 

Sometimes, during summer break,

we blink and the school year begins,

and the ticking clock returns

as the sun sets on another summer break.

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Celebrating Dr. Seuss Day with Math

When we think of celebrating the life and work of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as “Dr. Seuss,” we envision a brightly-lit palette of rhymes and rhythms. Many of us associate this literary genius with the books that defined our childhood bedtime routines and dominated the bulletin boards throughout our elementary school. When you hear the word “Seuss,” who doesn’t immediately picture a tall, lanky cat with a red-and-white-striped top hat and an obnoxiously large red bow-tie? Because of Seuss’s ingenious creativity, we immediately wanted to befriend this Cat in the Hat as well as his many other characters from the crazy land of Whoville.

Theodore Seuss Geisel was born on March 2nd, 1904. To honor this man and legend, the National Education Association has declared this day “Read Across America Day.” I’ve heard this day be called a number of things, including Seuss Day; but despite what it is named, it will always be attributed to this wonderful children’s author.

While countless reading activities are designed to celebrate this educational holiday, math activities are somewhat overshadowed. I believe books, especially picture books, are a great tool to use to teach math. And although Dr. Seuss may not have rhymed about math specifically, many of his books can be taught in the math classroom.

I would like to share with you a bunch of Seuss-related math activities I discovered via Pinterest. Although many of these pins are geared toward lower-elementary, I think older elementary students would also appreciate some of these activities or games as they take a trip back down Childhood Lane to the wonderful world of Seuss! Just click on the pictures or the links below to take you to that Pinterest pin or board.

Oh! And don’t forget to visit www.seussville.com for more FUN Seuss-activities, lessons and games!

“Congratulations!

Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places!

You’re off and away!”

— Dr. Seuss

 

November 5: “The Grapes of Math”

Have you ever looked at a problem and thought to yourself, “There has got to be a better way?!” Why do we make the easy problems so difficult sometimes? More importantly, what is the trick to making those easy problems…well, easy!

Greg Tang explains the art of problem solving in The Grapes of Math. What is the trick to making problem-solving so easy? First, we need to stay open-minded. There may not be just one way to solve a problem. Secondly, we need to combine and reorganize large problems to make them smaller. And, well, to get the next two tricks, you’ll just have to check out this cute little picture book – full of rhymes and reasoning – to find out!

This book’s review said it was for ages 7 – 10, however I think it can be used as early as Pre-K. Students will love the bright colors that Harry Briggs uses in his illustrations, the witty and bouncy poetry, and the lessons on problem solving that they read about!

If you want your students to feel smart in math,                                                            The Grapes of Math is a book you should have!

Tang, Greg. The Grapes of Math. Illustrated by Harry Briggs. Scholastic, 2004.

Teachers Are Like Crayons

Have you ever looked at a box of crayons

and wondered what they’d be,

if they morphed into teachers

just like you and me?

 

They would start off new and sharp

right out of Crayon College,

with very little experience

but packed with potential and knowledge.

 

Open the box and examine their colors

because some are common and similar,

while others are brand new and eccentric

and definitely not all too familiar.

 

Some crayons are boring and dark

and others are bright and fun;

but no matter what their hue,

they all get the coloring job done.

 

That is until others push down too hard

until you hear a disheartening crack,

‘cause just like crayons teachers can break

if not given the appropriate respect.

 

Crayons are made from wax

and we are different in that way,

but light a fire under each of us and watch,

we can be molded just the same.

 

Teachers are like crayons,

it is funny because it is true;

we simply give our lives for kids each day

in hopes of teaching them something new.

Can you see any other similarities?