About Bernadette Ortiz-Grbic & her Blog
Bernadette is a winner of Top 25 Teacher Moms - 2012
How long have you been a teacher?
I have been teaching for 14+ years and have taught grades Preschool thru 3rd grade in that time.
What are three of your favorite books for children? (Please share what age they are best for.)
I am going to cheat a little here. My first recommendations are actually series.
The first is the Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems. This is a fabulous series for beginning readers. Kids really enjoy the characters' antics and it gives them a sense of confidence to be able to read the books independently. Any books by Mo Willems are favorites in our house especially the Pigeon series :)
Another of my favorite series are the Skippyjon Jones books for preschool thru early elementary. My students and my girls really enjoy these books and they literally laugh out loud at all of Skippyjon Jones antics.
The last books I will mention (since I can only pick 3 - I actually have so many more favorites) are by Julia Donaldson. My preschoolers always enjoy the illustrations in these stories and they are great books.
What can parents do to help when their child doesn't like school?
This is something many parents struggle with. My answer is to try and make learning fun in general. We do not segregate learning as "just for school" in our home. My girls continue to read and learn with me at home in a fun and unstructured way. This is a great way to tap into your child's interests, take soemthing they learned at school at school and build on it or focus on something they may be struggling with. When children are excited about learning and do not feel frustrated they tend to enjoy going to school more.
What are your favorite Blog Posts?
What can parents do to get their child ready for Kindergarten?
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Kindergarten is a big step for children. In order to get them ready it is important to encourage their independence - at school they will be expected to do things for themselves. Work on developing their fine motor skills - school involves lots of writing, cutting, coloring and pasting. Ensure your child has basic knowledge of letters, numbers and sounds, can write his/her name and knows their address and telephone number. It is also wise to encourage an interest in reading. It would be ideal to spend time each day reading books. Nurture a child's curiosity about learning and the world around them. Children develop at different rates but when a child is eager to learn and not afraid to try somehting new - they tend to be more successful in school. Encourage children to explore by asking questions, taking trips to zoos and museums, reading different types of books from the library, engage in experiments and science play, etc. This is the time to awaken and celebrate their curiosity and desire to learn!
How can parents get the most out of parent-teacher conferences?
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Parents can get the most out of parent-teacher conferences by:
1. Make TIME for the conference - even a phone conference is better than pushing it aside. Being informed is one of the best ways to help your child achieve.
2. Be focused - have in mind 2-3 target areas or concerns that you would like to discuss. Teachers are usually seeing parents back to back, they have their own list to discuss with you but there isn't much time for general chatting.
3. Try to be open minded versus defensive. It's difficult to hear about problems or concerns but remember that the teacher wants what is best for your child. They are trying to help.
4. Be willing to do your part after the conference. Take suggestions and implement them, seeking help if necessary.
5. Be Positive - let your child know how proud you are of their hard work and that you are there to help with any difficulties.