Let's Revisit Fun and The Common Core or How Can I Put the Fun Back into Teaching and Still Meet the Standards?

Hi there...it's me again with an important message that I think ALL teachers need to think about as they get back into the school year.  It is now October and if you are like me, you can hardly believe that it is already here...where did September go?  It seems as we get older the days fly by faster and faster.  If you don't pay attention you will wake up and find out that Halloween and Thanksgiving have passed and it is already Christmas!  I mean really can you believe that Hallmark already has holiday decprations up and I am not talking Halloween decorations (they were up on fourth of July)! I am talking Christmas and Hannukah...yes those green, red and blue colors are already in the Hallmark stores in the Mall. I guess Halloween and Thanksgiving don't count!  If we continue at this pace, we won't even be celebrating those holidays...It will just be Christmas all year long! So as I thought about how rushed our socirty is becoming, I decided to bring back a post I wrote about a year ago just to remind everyone that we NEED to enjoy everything we do...EVERYTHING, family, each holiday, school, learning EVERYTHING.  Everything does not have to be rush here, rush there, rush everywhere and we CAN have fun in the process....dont stuff that Kit Kat or Choco Taco in your mouth and eat it so fast that you don't have any recollection of ever eating it! TAKE YOUR TIME AND SAVOR EVERY BITE!
So here is that post that I think is worth tweaking and bringing back:

As I sat on the beach last summer and watched all the pre-school and school aged children romp around the beach screaming, giggling and having some old fashioned fun building sand castles, grabbing for sand crabs and shrieking as the water tickled their feet, I began to think how hard it must for these kiddos to come back from the freedom of playing to sitting in classrooms and learning.

I know, as a retired teacher, that sometimes it is hard to teach all the hard core skills and concepts without pencil and paper drills, but there is one thing we must all remember instead of children merely day dreaming about the good old summer days of June through August, let's bring that FUN back into the classroom and savor every minute!

One thing to remember is that most of the FUN stuff can be aligned with the common core standards or any standards for that matter. So, with that being said, I decided to journey into the cyber world and search for some special days that people have created to bring some fun back into their day and life...days that children will remember for a long time, days to celebrate that encourage fun and learning simultaneouly.   Now, I have to admit that some of the days some individuals have chosen to celebrate are a bit...well let's just say a bit different, but then again everyone has something that they are passionate about and may want to celebrate it! ( I am not going to mention the days that I found a bit unique. I mean Diversity is the one thing we all have in common...right?)

As a result of this search, I found some really interesting days to celebrate to have fun teaching, align to Common Core and that will definitely encourage your kiddos to have fun in the classroom while learning and this IS NOT just taking skills and creating the theme. This is taking the standards and encouraging learning, critical thinking along with teaching skills and strategies that all students need to learn in order to be successful life long learners and to become active members of their community and society.

So here is just a few ideas that I found for fall ( September-December) and you can be sure that I will be creating lessons and activities to go along with these special days that will bring back the FUN in learning.

September 19th: Talk Like a Pirate Day  ( Bring Your inner Pirate out and dress like a pirate while reading some pirate books)                 

September 22nd: National Elephant Day: Elephants Never Forget So Let's Not forget the Elephants.
September 26th:  Johnny Appleseed
(I know Septmebr is gone so just save these ideas for next year!)

October 9th: Fire Prevention: Stay Safe!
October 12th: Columbus Day: Who really discovered America?
October 21st: Count Your Buttons Day:  Sounds like a great way to integrate Corduroy and the Lost Button, pete the Cat and His Four Groovey Buttons and some great math activities!
October 31st: Halloween: Fun with graphing Halloween costumes, tons of math activities, writing , reading and teaching nouns all with a Halloween Theme

November 13th: World Kindness Day: Lets be aware of our acts of kindness now...don't wait until February 14th!
November 16th:  Button Day: If you did not get to it on October 21st. Add the lessons and ideas here!!
Let's Not forget Thanksgiving!

December 7th: Letter Writing Day: Get a head start on those holiday cards and letters.
December 13th: National Ice Cream Day: The sky is the limit with this idea! Tons of lessons and activities can be found and will be shared!
December 21st: National Flashlight Day: Anyone Up for reading with flashlights today?  Flip off the lights and let's get started! Just think of the possibilities!

So, all these themes can be integrated with Common Core and if we slow down, our kiddos can have some fun in the classroom and not be rushed through the learning and the year!  I hope this has brought a little brightness to your day and some fun things to look forward to this year!  Remember teaching is the best job. You have the ability to make a lifelong impression on the minds you touch! Have a great year!

Look for ideas on TpT and Teacher's Notebook to bring the Fun back into learning!



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