Friday, 28 February 2014

Teaching children to resolve conflicts

The academic year is nearing an end but i feel sometimes children behave like they haven't learnt anything about sharing and getting along with one other. My kids have been getting into small fights and arguments with each other and they come running to me with the minutest of problems, even though we have a system in place for it.
They would all move into different sections next year and i want them to cherish their friendship with each other rather than getting into a scuffle and turning grumpy. So in order to restore peace back in my class, I read children a book called "Neelu and Peelu". The book is about friendship and it deals with concepts of selfishness and pride but also talks about qualities of a true friend.

It was just the book that i needed and used it to talk about the conflict situation arising frequently and what we could do to solve it.

And when children respond and give their views, its like they are the wisest people on Planet Earth ! 
Well i was super happy to know that subconsciously they know whats the right thing to do.Its just that they need that little push at times.
We also revisited our De-Bug system. Its basically few strategies which children use to come out of a problem situation independently.

 If you are interested in downloading the poster, you could click on the link below:

Monday, 24 February 2014


I was at the New Delhi World Book Fair yesterday and i must admit that the fair has come a long way since i was a kid. The quality of books for children have improved tremendously and i was amazed at the choice of books that i came upon. Not to mention the prices ! I grew up on Nancy Drew's and Secret Seven , simply because children's literature in India was almost non existent. There were hardly any authors writing books for kids, leaving children to stock up books by Rohald Dahl, Enid Blyton, R.L. Stine and so on. As a little kid, i don't remember owning any picture books of Indian publications. Till the time i came back to India, i was relying heavily on books by western authors and i feel no guilt in admitting that some of my favorite authors are from the west. Dr Seuss, Eric Carle, Mercer Mayer, Donald Crew, David Shannon have all written fantastic books with amazing illustrations which catch children's attention in no time. This quality and variety definitely lacks in the Indian Literature but my visit to bookstores and yesterday to the book fair has made me rethink. I am glad that many people are working towards developing stories for little children and understand the need and importance of stories especially for the younger group of children.

Katha- a non profit organisation is working seamlessly in this regard.

They have been publishing fabulous books for children and their collection is worth an investment. They have a vast collection of books, both in English and Hindi. 

I got my hands on some very good titles.

I even got some amazing books that have been published by the National Book Trust of India at dirt cheap prices. I had to double check the prices to be sure. I was behaving like a loony after experiencing excitement of such great intensity and had it not been closing time i could have spent the whole night there marveling at the prices of some very good books.

I also picked David Mckee's Elmer and Norman the Slug with the Silly Shell by Sue Hendra. 

I was so ecstatic that today all i wanted to do was read to my children. :) 

After my experience at the book fair yesterday, i think i will consciously be on a look out for books by Indian authors and would be incorporating many such stories in my classroom.

My kids are turning into budding readers themselves and they are so eager to explore text of all kinds. I made some sentence strips for them to read at the literacy center. If you are interested in downloading them you could visit my TPT Store  or click on the link below:
Sentence Strips

Happy Reading !

Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentines Day

Happy valentines to all my lovely readers. It has been a crazy week  in school with getting my kiddos ready for their first stage performance, preparing props,doing valentine related activities, assessments, making portfolios(its almost the year end for us) and keeping up with the regular curriculum.Whew !! I need a breather and of course want to be at the beach.

But my desperation to be at the beach ended for a brief moment :) after i saw my children perform on stage. We did a rendition of "Swimmy" by Leo Lionni and i must say my kids were marvelous.  Two of my students mixed up their lines and one of the girl who was a  narrator promptly corrected her friends. The goof up was so hilarious that the audience burst out laughing. 
I must admit that my happiness didn't end there.Some of my kiddos made valentines cards for me and a very talented friend of mine gave me this lollipop with a sweet message.

In the class, we talked about spreading love and expressing it in different ways. I read the story"Clifford, We Love You" to the children and then we brainstormed  how we can  make someone we love happy.

Children also made a valentine card for their parents. They put the pieces of the heart together and wrote 'I love you to pieces'.
During the week, we had also talked about the importance of having friends and discussed what friends like to do together.
 During circle time, i put the names of all the children in a basket and each child picked up one stick to give a compliment to the friend whose name they had chosen.

I too wanted to express my love for the little ones and gave them cookies with a tag which said "You are one smart cookie". I wanted to bring out the baker in me and bake the cookies myself, but the exhaustion was too overwhelming. The good ol' bakery near my neighborhood came to my rescue, though i intend to bake soon.

I was experiencing happy moments through the day, and my friends decided to go out for coffee to celebrate valentines day and our friendship. And what could be better than downing caramel macchiato's in a cozy corner at Starbucks on a wet and cold winter day.

My husband added more happiness to my day by getting me my favorite white flowers.

I hate to admit that the events of the day dulled my beach obsession a bit. But what the heck! i am happy right now and  want to cherish all the happy moments that i experienced today and believe that the beach will happen soon to make me even more elated.
Happy Valentines Day! Hope you enjoy your day as much as i did.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

CVC Words

Its that time of the school year where my little angels have started to read . They have understood the concept of blending sounds and are making an attempt to read simple sentences using their phonetic and sight word knowledge. As a teacher it is such an incredible feeling to see children read and make sense of what they are reading. To elevate children's interest in reading, i have been doing a lot of fun activities in small groups with them. The most favorite activity is with magnetic letters. Children select a picture and then make words.

I have also made CVC word family tins for them. They use a strip with the word family written on it and  place individual letters to read words.

I also found interesting word family strips from

I use a context while reading CVC Words in a large group. I tell children that all the letters are playing on a slide and some are scared to go down alone. So they need to take the help of another letter friend. For instance if it is word family 'it' that we are focusing on, the letter 'i' would need help. So his friend 't' would hold his hand and they would go down the slide together. I prompt children to take out the "it" sound. These letters wait at the bottom of the slide to catch other letter friends. Children instantly say  'kit' when letter 'k' comes down the slide.
It is a super fun way to teach them blending. Even the ones who need help while blending are able to read with this strategy.

After we finish reading on the flannel board, we sing a song to reinforce all the words .
The lyrics are as follows:
The letters /i/ /t/, they always says /it/
just like in the words 'kit' and 'sit'
and 'hit' and 'pit'
and 'lit' and 'bit'

k says/k/, put /k/ before /it/
/kit/ always says  kit
s says/s/ put /s/ before /it/
/sit/ always says sit 
h says/h/ put /h/ before /it/
/hit/ always says hit 
p says/p/ put /p/ before /it/
/pit/ always says pit 
l says/l/ put /l/ before /it/
/lit/ always says lit 
b says/b/ put /b/ before /it/
/bit/ always says bit 

The letters /i/ /t/, they always says /it/
just like in the words 'kit' and 'sit'
and 'hit' and 'pit'
and 'lit' and 'bit'

I have also created a CVC Word pack for my little kiddos 
CVC Words 
I am using the sheets from my pack to send for home practice. If you would like to purchase it, you can download it from my TPT Store.

The school year is about to end in India and i want to gear up for the next session. We start the year with introducing alphabets to our little kids and end by reading simple sentences, so i am working on an alphabet pack which would soon be available on my TPT store. I would like to end the post with some free downloadable sheets for CVC words. 
CVC Word Worksheets
Click on the link below to download them.