It’s time to let the teachers in our lives know how thankful we are for their hard work!
And what better time to throw in a little lesson on brainstorming than on a day when kids are creating cards to show how much they love their teacher?
Last night, our intention was for Maddy to write a short note to her teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week, but before we knew it, she created an entire Teacher Story Card. . .
- Teacher Story Card: Maddy and I had talked throughout the day about the note that she was going to write to her teacher, and our plan was to work on it before bed. So while Maddy was in the bathtub, I helped her do her brainstorming.
I said, Okay, Maddy, you want to write a note to Mrs. — to tell her how much you appreciate her hard work and all that she does for you. Let’s brainstorm all of the things you want to include in your note.
She said, I want to say that Mrs. — teaches me.
Right. You want to say that she teaches you things because she sure does! I wrote ‘Mrs. — teaches me’ large in the center of the page, and then I said, Okay, so what kind of things does she teach you? Take a minute to think about it and then tell me. I’ll write down what you say, and then we’ll use this web to help us remember your ideas when you write your note. It’s called a ‘web’ because it looks like a big spider web when we’re finished.
So Maddy added a few specifics–‘about money’ and ‘plus stories’ and then she said, Oh, and she teaches me to read!
Thankfully she hit on a broader topic so that I could then ask her to give me some details to add. I said, Awesome. She teaches you to read. What kinds of things does she teach you?
We completed the web, rinsed her off, and met in her bedroom to compose her note. The paper I found didn’t really lend itself to letter writing, but I knew Maddy loved to use it because of the big space for a picture at the top. She said, Mom, I think I’m going to make a ‘Teacher Story’ instead of a note. Is that okay? I said it was fantastic and that her teacher would love it now matter what she wrote.
Before she started writing, I said, Wow! You thought of a ton of ideas here. I read all of the ideas, and we talked briefly about each one.
Close your eyes and think about what you want to say, how you want to start your story and what you want to say. Say it out loud first, then write it. That’s the cool thing about writing stories and notes–sometimes if you take time to think a little bit before you start, you end up writing an even better story.
Maddy and I cooperatively wrote the story like we usually do. Maddy had a pen, and I had a pen, and although she writes on the final draft, I use a blank piece of paper where I write the words that we work through.
For shared, or cooperative writing, instead of me ‘giving’ her the spelling of difficult words, I’ll say, What sound do you hear in the beginning/middle/end of the word. . . ? to help her. I’ll write down the letters she knows, and I’ll add ones I know she doesn’t have yet, like most long vowel patterns, digraphs, some blends, etc.
She took a lot of time to draw the pictures for each page, that we had to make the cover this morning before school. Maddy wrote the title and went sticker-crazy. And then we shoved it in her backpack, and we ran to school. (Nothing like advance planning, right?)
Sure, every teacher I know would love a gift card for a spa day or even a cuppa joe, but almost every teacher also appreciates a hand-written, heartfelt note of gratitude from their students.
And it sure is meaningful learning for our little ones to hear from their parents how grateful we are for their teachers and how much we appreciate their teachers’ hard work. It’s a win-win!
More Teacher Appreciation Week ideas tomorrow. . . simple, inexpensive, thoughtful.