Sunday, September 30, 2012

Teacher Wisdom at Dog Obedience Class AND a Big "Thank You!"

I was supposed to finish up a "Fall for All" Literacy and Math pack tonight to post...but it just didn't happen.  I am super excited to share it with you!
Math games with spider rings? Oh yea. They're in there.
Do you have any idea what a child will do for a spider ring?  They go BANANAS for them.
Go ahead and grab a bag at the Dollar Tree because I hope to be back early in the week to get that pack to you in time to use...before it becomes "Scarecrows and Spiders in Winter" Literacy and Math pack. 
Oy.  Not enough time in the day.
On another note...I have been absolutely blown away by all of the sweet comments I received in response to my 100 followers giveaway.  It quickly became my 200 followers giveaway...and I couldn't be more thankful to all of you sweet ladies who are helping to make it happen.  Keep spreading the word...giveaway doesn't end until Friday at midnight.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I have read every single comment and the encouraging words have made my heart so happy.  I have not responded to everyone yet...but I will!
I have a big THANK YOU freebie in the works for my new followers and the sweet friends who have helped them find me. :) Stay tuned!
This week we are working on a decoding strategy with our reading buddy "Eegore the Eagle."
He uses his "eagle eye" to look for picture clues to figure out unknown words. 
So, in the past...I have used coloring book pages to do this activity. 
(By the way...that's one of my kid's favorite writing activities.  It's super easy and quick (even for an emergency substitute plan!).  I pick up coloring books whenever I find them cheap, and then I pull out the pages that I like and my kiddos can choose one and write a story about what's happening in the picture.  Then, they get to color it!)
My coloring book pages were looking a little rough when I pulled them out again this year so I went ahead and made a little something to use this week that I can share with you.
There are ten different pictures.  For each picture, there are three separate pages.  The first page shows a picture with some key words "blacked out."  Students should use clues from the picture to guess the unknown word.
Then, you can show students the second picture with only the beginning sounds of the "mystery" words showing so that they can make the connection between using phonics with their new picture strategy.  They should think about/revise their guesses based on the beginning sounds.

Finally, you can reveal the picture with the entire sentence!  They will get so daggone excited when they realize they guessed the word correctly.
Such a simple activity, but it leads to such great discussions about decoding unknown words.  This is also a great time to introduce "schema" to your students. More specific instructions are included. :)
I hope you can use this to make your students more confident readers! 
 It is on sale for $1 in my TPT store.  Grab it here.
If you are not interested in a long-winded story about my dog, you should stop reading now.  If you'd like to know what I learned about teaching at dog obedience class on. :)
I learned a lot at Sawyer's dog obedience class today. I wish I could say the same for Sawyer....
Well, kinda kidding. :)
Bless his heart.  That's all I can say.
To make a long story short, Sawyer used to go to doggy daycare, the dog park, you name it...I did all of the right "socializing" things a pet mom is supposed to do.
Then, one day at a park, his moron mom (me) didn't put his leash on right and he ran up to a dog that was less than friendly. It made him very unsure about certain dogs. So, we got him "professional help." First...some one on one training sessions. Now, we're in "group therapy" as Andy calls it.
Sawyer's "issues" make me sad. They have even made me cry. Obviously, I may be a tad more attached to my dog than some (or most).
And a tad more emotional than some (or most).
But it does bother me a lot that we can't take him out in public like we used to. It bothers me that people give me a disapproving look when we go on walks. Or worse...when they make snotty comments about how I really should "get him used to other dogs." (Like I've never thought of that before ;))
Not having kids of my own yet, the closest thing I have to try to understand what parents must feel like is how I feel about my dog. I've had some "a-ha" moments throughout the process, especially today.
It's hard to have "that dog" that has to be in the corner because he flips out when dogs walk by him. It's hard not to compare my dog to the other dogs in the class. It's hard not to get frustrated with one step forward and two steps back. It's hard not to want to defend him or blame his behavior on someone or something else. And it's hard to keep going to class celebrate the small successes when the progress is so slow.
Just as I would imagine it's hard for parents when they get a letter that their child must be pulled out for remediation, or that they didn't do well on a math test, or they are having trouble getting along with their peers.
I know that my dog is a sweet, gentle, love bug...just as the parents of my students know how precious their children are. It's hard when you don't think others see that.
I also know how much it means when the trainer points out  progress, gives encouragement, and doesn't constantly dwell on his flaws.
Maybe those of you who have children of your own don't need as much of a reminder about that, but it certainly makes me think about myself as a teacher. 
Especially as we all are heading into "conference season." I know it's a fine line between being informative and being negative...but I also know I will be thinking about the lump in my throat in dog obedience class when I'm talking to my parents at our fall conferences.  
And since Sawyer is sitting beside me..he'd also like for me to add that he wasn't THAT bad at class today. 
And finally...I have to steal our sweet trainer's philosophy that she ends each class with...
"Practice makes progress."
Perfection is not always the end goal...and that's OK. 
 I hope you celebrate some small successes this week. Have a FABULOUS one!
And remember as you're working with your precious children...practice makes progress. ;)
Happy teaching to you!


Jenni said...

Oh Amy ... I feel your pain about dog obedience class. We have Jax, a lovable 18 month old boxer, who has many of the same issues that you described. I'll send you a picture of my little one. All the same thoughts you wrote in your blog have come to my mind as well. We've been through a lot with our Jax, but I wouldn't trade any of it. Jax is our 3rd boxer. Our first was only with us for a year (sad story for another day). Our second, Mike, was our baby for 10-1/2 years. Our two kids still believe that our dogs are our favorite children ... they don't talk back, they listen to everything we say ... and we don't have to pay for college for the dogs! Just love your Sawyer and all will be well. You're a good mommy!

Thanks for your great products - I love them and so do my kiddos!

Heather's Heart said...

I love this is perfect for Eagle Eyes AND Skippy Kangaroo! =)

You have such a big heart Amy. I loved reading your story about Sawyer. God put him with you for a reason. =)

Heather's Heart

Stephanie said...

Oh Amy I feel you pain on the dog-mommy woes!! We've had my dog Ariel since she was an itty-bitty and much like you, tried to do everything we could to get her properly socialized- including taking her to dog parks, which I now regret :( She loved playing with other dogs until this big alpha male Huskey chased her down and really tried to hurt her. It was terrible!! After that we still tried to take her to the park to show her that she could still play with other dogs but she was terrified and would just lay with her tail between her legs as close to the fence as possible. So eventually stopped going. But the older she got the more aggressive SHE got towards other dogs. I think she views every dog as a potential threat to her and us. One time ran out of the house before we could get her leash on and tried to attack a dog that was walking by our house with its owner. It was awful! She's a hearding dog, sweetest thing you will ever meet, LOVES people and kids, but hates other dogs. We used to be able to take her to the park & let her run around off leash because she was so well trained but now we have to be careful when we just go out on a regular walk. And it breaks my heart! I wish I could find a "group" therapy class for her to go to. So no real point to tell you all this other than I feel your puppy pain!!

❤ -Stephanie
Falling Into First

dianna walter said...

Dog obedience and training was a nightmare for me.. still is actually but I'll try this activity and see if this works with my poodle. Hope it does.

Patrick Wong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrick Wong said...

GREAT ! You convey the impression as if you have an implausible knowledge on it and its your gratefulness for giving out and imparting your knowledge and blog with others.

Dog Obedience Training

dog obedience said...

I too agree. My dog doesn't understand or even comprehend obedience. Had my dog enrolled and somehow he's getting "kinder" now. LOL but not all
dog obedience class is effective.

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The Dog Listener Consultancy said...

I too agree. my dog doesn't apprehend or even understand obedience.

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