Happy Oops Day!

Sometimes your classroom schedules changes. You may have a special presentation or it may be an early release day. Whatever the reason is, it helps to prompt your students for this change. Using a  simple sign is a great way to prompt students that the day will be a little different. It also plays into helping your students with anxiety know that it will be OK and it is just a “Oops” schedule, not time to panic. I recommend hanging them on the door to the classroom and maybe on the white board or over your posted class schedule.

Happy Oops Day

Some of my teacher friends use a small personalized strip of paper and hand it to the student who struggle with changes in routine when they enter the room. It is a special way of saying, “I know schedule changes are hard for you and I am thinking about you today.”

You can download my Happy Oops Day Printable from my Teacherspayteachers store!


App Review: Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read

Most of us by now have heard of the Hooked on Phonics reading program that was created in 1987 as a tool for parents and teachers alike to teach young children how to read. With numerous product launches since its inception, as well as a number of Teachers’ Choice and Best Educational Product awards, it’s no surprise that they have developed an app that is just as popular.

The Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read application targets beginning readers who are familiar with the alphabet and teaches concepts that address some of the Common Core State Standards in Reading: Foundational Skills for Kindergarten including print concepts, phonological awareness and phonics word recognition. Compatible with Apple and Android devices, it does come at a bit of a steep cost of $49.99 for the complete set, with the first lesson and corresponding books being free of charge for trial purposes. However, customers do have the option of purchasing as little or as many of the 12 units and 3 corresponding eBooks as they choose for around $6 ­-$10 each. The cost is well worth it as each lesson builds on the previous and includes about 10 minutes of songs, interactive games, quizzes and stories.

The application utilizes a positive reinforcement system by rewarding the completion of games and lessons with encouraging praise, virtual trophies, stars, and celebratory music. The games are all designed to keep young children’s attention and create a feeling of excitement about reading and creating words.

Post written by Lauren Bronson from Tampa Learning Co. 

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep: It can make or break your child’s day at school, help support or hinder his/her development, and ultimately affect almost every facet of your child’s physical, mental and emotionalwell­being. According to the National Sleep Foundation,numerousstudieshavebeen conducted proving that reduced amounts of sleep, even for over only one week’s time, impact children’s academic performance at school by negatively affecting their energy levels, cognitive abilities, attention spans, and overall happy moods.
Each child is different and therefore every child’s sleep needs will vary. As a general guideline, it is recommended that children aged 3­5 years old have 11­13 hours of sleep each night while children 5­12 years are able to manage 10­11 hours each night. Kids Health adds that most teenagers require 8 1⁄2 ­ 9 1⁄2 hours each night and losing as little as 1 hour of sleep a night can add up to an entire night without sleep by the end of the week. Sleep deprivation can be extremely dangerous ­­ especially for teenagers as “more than half of ‘asleep­at­the­wheel’ car accidents are caused by teens” (http://www.kidshealth.org).


Sleep for Kids provides great tips for parents who are looking to develop great sleep habits for their children. Routine is key: let your children know their bedtime and stick with it. Develop a bedtime routine that is predictable for them and creates an atmosphere conducive to settling down at least 1 hour before bedtime. The routine should include bathing, dressing in their pajamas and brushing their teeth. Avoiding caffeine or sugary drinks and keeping activities low­key such as reading books or playing quiet games will allow children to settle down and beginrelaxing. Itisalsorecommendedthatalltoysareeitherputawayintheirproperplacesor kept out of their bedroom completely in addition to removing any electronics, cell phones, etc.

Blog written by Lauren Bronson at Tampa Learning Co.

Ronald McDonald House

Research has shown that having a strong support system of family in close­ proximity during medical treatment can go a long way when it comes to the healing process. Multiply that need for a support system by a billion when it comes to sick children. That is why it is so vital for families to stay connected and close during such a scary time. Unfortunately, many families have to travel thousands of miles in order to obtain the best treatment possible for children. Where do those families stay during that time? How do they pay for it when, in many cases, insurance alone does not cover the cost of medical bills? Often times, parents are forced to leave their jobs in order to remain by their child’s side 24­hours a day. That is where Ronald McDonald House Charities is helping to bridge the gap. An organization that allows sick children, who are receiving medical treatment at local pediatric facilities, and their families to remain in close proximity during their treatment for little or no cost. Each year, Ronald McDonald House enables nearly 9 million families around the world to stay together for the length of their medical treatment!

Passionate about this charity and its mission, Playful By Design and Add Ease Tutoring is excited to share RonaldMcDonald Charities as their chosen charity! Playful By Design has been supporting Roland McDonald House of Tampa for over a year and we are so pleased that Add Ease Tutoring joined on this mission on November 2014.
The average cost for a family of 4 per night is $80 at the Ronald McDonald House in Tampa. The family shares 1 room with either 2 twin beds or 2 double beds and a private bathroom. All of the guests of the house share a fully­stocked kitchen, eating area, laundry facilities and play areas. While families who are utilizing the house are asked to donate the $80/night themselves, it is not a requirement if they are financially unable; Ronald McDonald house will waive the nightly fee but it requires donations from the public in order to do so.

In addition to monetary donations, Ronald McDonald House also gratefully accepts food donations in order to provide their families with nutritious meals each day. Meals can either be prepared by a restaurant or bought at local grocery stores and then prepared directly at RMD. The academic coaches at Playful By Design will also be participating in this opportunity and we encourage all of our followers to do the same!

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