My new comprehension tool - the mystery box. This is slightly different from the learning kits I have been putting together, as you can change this one from day to day.
I used an old Math U See box and painted the top with chalkboard paint.
I filled the inside with items related to the Phoenicians, the section we were about to read in our history book. I had the kids inspect the items, and told them they needed to figure out how they related to the Phoenicians. This made them listen closely to the chapter, then use their critical thinking skills to figure out how the items were connected to the passage. It also helped my visual learner process the information in the book. The best part is that I can erase the title, fill it with something else, and use it again tomorrow!
I started out as a performing arts major and ended up as a special ed/social studies sixth grade teacher. Now after many years of teaching and two children, I've decided to live my art, no excuses. Working in education for many years has opened my eyes to the lack of creativity that children have today (let's give a big thanks to No Child Left Behind for that one!), and how important it is to nuture all forms of creativity in our children and ourselves. I encourage my kids to make art during the day, and I make my own at night. As Ali Edwards said, "living a creative life is a choice." I've made the choice to live my art, and I invite all mommies (and everyone else, for that matter) to do the same.