Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Welcome, Kathy Stemke!

This month I’d like to welcome author/educator Kathy Stemke. As a freelance writer Kathy has published several articles. She is a contributing editor for The National Writing for Children's Center. Kathy's first children's books came out in 2009: Moving Through All Seven Days, Trouble on Earth Day, and Visual Dance Poetry. Sh, Sh, Sh Will the Baby Sleep? will come out in 2010. She loves to write about relationships, health and fitness, education, antiques, biographical personalities, children's picture books, literature, and biological sciences. But today we're going to focus on her free monthly newsletter, MOVEMENT AND RHYTHM. Here is just a sampling of the exciting activities and teaching tips that you can expect to see in this wonderful newsletter.


Kathy Stemke offers activities that focus on the holiday de jour in each of her monthly newsletters.Here is an example of an Earth Day activity:

Help the Earth Activity

First, discuss with the children how they can help the earth. Then introduce this game. The teacher makes a statement. If the statement is true or a good way to help the earth, the children jump up and down. If the statement is false or an activity that would hurt the earth, the children squat down and touch the floor. Use these questions and add a few of your own.

Donate your old toys to charity. (true)
Fix a leaky faucet. (true)
Let the water run when brushing your teeth. (false)
Sleep with your lights on at night. (false)
Bring old cans to a recycling center. (true)
Join with your friends to collect trash in the neighborhood. (true)
Throw your trash out the window of your car. (false)
Throw the newspaper out every day. (false)
Plant a tree. (true)
Turn the lights off when you leave a room. (true)
Use both sides of a paper. (true)
Catch rain in a bucket to water the garden. (true)
Let helium balloons float up into the sky. (false)
Grow a garden. (true)
Rethink, reuse, recycle. (true)
Fill your bathtub up to the top. (false)

Kathy’s newsletter is bursting with original songs and suggested movements like the following example:


I can be a sunbeam Hands clasped together, arms high,
A sunbeam, a sunbeam, make a large circle like the sun.
I can be a sunbeam,
And I'll shine down on you!

I can be a raindrop, Arms in the air, fingers floating
A raindrop, a raindrop. down like rain
I can be a raindrop,
So here's some rain for you!

I can be a flower, Children in squatting position,
A flower, a flower. slowly 'growing' to stand big and tall
I can be a flower,
Growing just for you!

I can be a buzzing bee, ‘Buzz' around like a bee
A buzzing bee, a buzzing bee.
I can be a buzzing bee,
With honey sweet for you!

There are also great math games in every newsletter like the one below:

Math Game

Tub of geometric shapes
Ramp made of blocks and mat board. Build the ramp with a long piece of mat board and blocks
Hula Hoops
Word cards - Slide, roll, slide and roll

• Work with small groups of about ten students.
• Give each child a 3D shape.
• Have each child take a turn to see if their object slides or rolls down the ramp or does both. Let them try a few times.
• Put two Hula Hoops on the carpet that are intersected like a Venn diagram.
* Place the word cards in the hoops at the appropriate places.
• Students place objects that roll on one side, objects that slide on the other and objects that do both in the middle.
• Count how many objects in each category and record the number on a paper.
• Talk about which side has fewer and which side has more. Ask children why some did not roll or did not slide.

Kathy likes to feature one children's author each newsletter. If you write children's books and would like to be featured in Kathy's newsletter, email her at dancekam1@yahoo.com

Here is an example of a spot about Shari Lyle-Soffe.

Meet Shari Lyle-Soffe author of The Rooter and Snuffle Series, Nothing Stops Noah, A Horse Of Course. Shari lives in the woods of Southern Oregon where she writes about the animals she sees in her yard. The animals tend to act like children and have to solve the same problems. Her work has been published in many of the leading children's magazines.

For great teacher resources and to learn more about these books go to http://sharilylesoffe.com

WELCOME TO GRANDPA'S PET SHOP! Noah wants to earn some money for something special, but who would hire a boy so young? Nothing stops Noah! He quickly finds someone who will give him a job and he goes to work right away. Counting is required for the job and Noah can only count to ten. Counting to ten leads to a lot of mishaps and misunderstandings, but no matter what happens Nothing Stops Noah! Chaos breaks out in the pet store. Will Noah get everything back together before the owner returns? Will Noah get paid? What is the something special Noah wants to buy?

If you write children’s books or teacher activity books and would like to be part of Kathy’s newsletter, just email her at: dancekam1@yahoo.com

To find out more about Kathy’s blog, books and newsletter go here: http://educationtipster.blogspot.com

Moving Through all Seven Days link: http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/moving-through-all-seven-days/7386965

Follow Kathy on twitter: http://twitter.com/kathystemke

Follow Kathy on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=6147172660&topic=4910#!/kathymarescomatthews.stemke?ref=profile


Martha said...

I love Kathy's newsletter. I teach preschool and love to use her ideas.
Martha Swirzinski

Darcía said...

Kathy, I love your "Help The Earth Activity". What a great way to help kids gain awareness! You have amazing talent for communicating with children.

Dallas, thank you for sharing this post with us!

Nancy Famolari said...

The ideas in Kathy's newsletter are great for children. Great post!

kathy stemke said...

Thanks for visiting.

Dallas said...

It was my pleasure to have you, Kathy! I love your newsletter -- you are so creative and attuned to children's wants and needs.

Accountant, Author & Freelance Writer said...

The Help the Earth Activity looks wonderful! I'll be participating with my kids. Thank you for sharing the ideas.

Kari Wolfe said...

When my daughter gets older this will be fantastic for her :)

Kathy, you have some great ideas :) I'll be subscribing to your newsletter.

Thanks, Dallas, for hosting! :)

Katie Hines said...

Wow, I had no idea Kathy did all of these things. Certainly one talented lady. I could NEVER come up with that sort of thing. Sounds like you've found a real niche, Kathy.

Janet Ann Collins said...

I wish Kathy's book and newsletter had been around back when I was teaching preschool. I'm sure kids love them.

Karen Cioffi said...

Kathy is such a multi-talented author, and I love her newsletter also - it's always full of such useful information.

Wonderful post, Dallas!

kathy stemke said...

Thanks for hosting me, Dallas. I had 13 new sign-ups for my newsletter on 4/20!!

Debra Eckerling said...

Great article, Dallas. Loved the peek into the mind of Kathy - and all the things you do! I especially loved the tips for Earth day!