Monday, September 28, 2015

Teacher Treasure Trunk

Over the summer I attended the Texas School Ready conference in Houston.  While there, I took a class entitled "101 Ways to Motivate Your Staff".  Kristy Thornton was the instructor.  She had some awesome ideas.  The main thing I took from the class was the Teacher Treasure Trunk.  When I returned home from the conference, I contacted my wonderful school board and shared this idea.  I also asked the church that AFDS is a part of for donations.  We've collected and purchased a LOT of goodies for my staff to buy!

Buy?  How do they afford to buy anything?'s not real money!  They earn BONUS BUCKS.

They are able to earn these bucks for doing a variety of things:
Perfect Attendance
Great Customer Service
Completing Training
Going beyond job duties
Participating in extra events
Etc Etc Etc

They then can take these bucks and purchase the things in the treasure trunk.  There's everything from candy to a paid day off!  The prices also range from $1-$80!  It's a fun way to keep them motivated!  Some spend their money as soon as they earn it...some are saving up for a paid day off.  Some are saving for gift cards (Walmart, Outback, Massage, Starbucks, etc)  We've got some great prizes!  And they deserve this and much more.  Pre-K teachers work so hard, yet get paid so little.  This is the least I can do for them.

This is a photo of all the goodies they can choose from:

I am also planning other fun things to do together.  On our first staff meeting of the year, we had mini facials by a local Mary Kay lady.  Some other ideas that we are doing include:
Girls Night In - Craft Night
Lunch on the Boss (we've done this several times)
Lunch on the Board (also always a hit)
Staff Christmas Party (Ugly Sweater and Scavenger hunt - fun years)
etc etc

I hope this makes AFDS a fun place to work.  Happy Staff = Happy Kids = Happy Parents = Happy Director = and on and on it goes!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Environmental Print

My pre-schoolers can read!  But before you think I am bragging....all pre-schoolers can read!  They can read Environmental Print...which is just a fancy way of saying, all of the print that surrounds us.  It comes in the forms of signs and logos.  You find it everywhere around us.  I  think they know the Golden Arches stands for McDonalds, from the womb!  We recently did an activity in our four year old classes that involved Environmental Print.  We gave each 4 y/o a sheet of construction paper with the following instructions:

Our class is making an Environmental Print book.  Environmental Print is the print we see all around us (signs, logos, labels, etc). Please assist your child and allow him/her to cut out pictures of things that start with the first letter of his/her name.  These may be found in magazines, newspapers or photos.  

The parents did a great job of helping their child find items starting with their letter. We are now binding each page to make a class book.  This activity promotes:
  • Letter Recognition
  • Family Bonding Time
  • Early Literacy
  • FUN!
These were a few examples:

You will be shocked to see how many words your kiddo can already "read".  Make a game of it...have them read all the signs they know on the way to school.  This is a great intro to literacy!