Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving and Sight Words!

The remoteness of living overseas can be a bit challenging and lonely during the holiday season.     I remember feeling blessed for having the opportunity to live overseas yet feeling I could no longer keep my American traditions.   I vividly recall celebrating my first Thanksgiving (25+ years) after moving overseas, thinking that my German neighbors would probably not be celebrating Thanksgiving.  When that realization sunk in I began to feel a bit apprehensive. Could we still celebrate Thanksgiving overseas and make things feel "just right" if turkeys and cornucopias weren't on display in the German shops?

Thankfully, the answer was yes. Now 25 years later, we have found ways to take on the American Thanksgiving tradition and share a meal with our American friends and co-workers.  We have also opened our home to single soldiers.  This one has been fun!.  One of our fondest memories was gathering with our friends from various Germans towns and meeting up in Berlin to fly to Russia to spend our Thanksgiving in Moscow.  But my fondest memory and now our tradition is to spend Thanksgiving in London and meet up with family and friends  who join us from the states to enjoy  a “real” American turkey and dressing dinner that you can always find in London!  They gladly open their doors to Americans and have the turkey simmering in the oven and waiting for the Americans to invade their city.   

 Finally, it may not occur to you to invite your local neighbors that aren't Americans. This opportunity to share your own culture and traditions with your local (German) neighbors should not be missed. After all, Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks. I know I am thankful for my friends and neighbors overseas, regardless of their nationality. They make this "home" feel like “home is where the heart is” for me!  Yes I am thankful for “home” no matter where I am.

Centers this week:


Check out my new Thanksgiving Unit


Sight Words:

I had to throw this in since it’s November and most kinders are steadily moving along with learning those sight words (power words); however, there’s one or two who are just not ready!  I would love to hear what you do to get those sight words learned!

I decided to create “Word Wizards” who earn this title by learning their sight words!  There are different levels depending on the number of words learned.  I created a colored shirt and added an iron on word list.  If the kinders learn word list #1 then they earn the privilege of wearing a yellow shirt.  Word list 2 earns them the orange shirt; word list 3 earns them the red shirt and so forth.  A “Word Wizard” has the duties of leading us in our daily Smart Board lessons.  They also help other children with their word work and literacy centers.  It builds their confidence as they see that they now have “power” over those words that may have been difficult to learn!  Would love to hear more ideas on a challenging topic!



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