Friday, February 22, 2013

Tying shoes - with style!

Me (Jill) again, 
a friend pinned the coolest thing and I'm addicted!
AND what luck, it's tying shoes - HA! That's a must post, Isn't it?
I teach kindergarten and I'm not super fond of tying shoes.  I get grossed out with all the germs, especially since it's on the way to lunch when I realize all of the laces flying everywhere. Blech!  My frequent answer is "Put the laces in your socks".
One year, I even bought Y-ties for the whole class - they didn't get the hint :(

At open house, I share the rule I had for my own kids when they were young: 
School shoes were velcro until you learn to tie. Period.
I would not make the teacher tie shoes. 
But, oh my son knew that tie shoes were...FASTER! He had soccer cleats so he was sure of it. Even being a not-so-coordinated lefty, 
(sorry lefties - fine motor, not so great, being a lefty in soccer - awesome)
the boy learned to tie to "earn" tie sneakers for school. 
(Girl had more options, but she too found it important to learn to tie)
Still, in my class - the laces flop everywhere, argh.
But NOW...


I see untied shoes - I say "may I tie that for you"
even to adults - HA shh, just a few

So go and tie shoes.  It takes a little practice and it's easier to go faster than slower!
Ha, I'm still chuckling I posted about tying shoes :)
Good thing Andi loves me, odd humor and all..
Enjoy and Happy Friday~

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Healthy Hearts

Hi there!
Andi’s sister, Jill, visiting again. 
(Thanks Andi  for letting me visit - xoxox)
We had a fun time on Valentine’s Day learning about our Heart.  This is late for Valentine’s but it can be used anytime to teach about how the heart works. If your school participates in Jump Rope for Heart, this lesson would fit right in.
My school likes to do grade level “festival-type” days for special occasions or culminating activities to a big theme study. We have 4-5 classes per grade level.  We cycle them through each teacher for 20 -30 minutes and each class is a different activity.  Same stuff we could have done at centers, but this way you are only in charge of one activity, its fun and kids keep moving so less time to get in trouble especially on a chocolate filled holiday.
My station was Healthy Hearts.  We learned about how the heart works and then we role played how the heart works and then we “real played” to work our heart.  We do ask for parent volunteers so there are some helping hands around (I lucked out with a nurse on board, several parents were lost at first, but then said how much they learned and had fun!) Here is the Overview Activity Sheet.

As each group entered we met at the rug and watched the following videos:
School house rock (yay, SHR can always save the day)
and then this cutie from

Then I divided them into smaller groups.  Boys went outside my back door.  Girls went out the front. In Florida, many of our schools have outside walkways like a plaza or strip mall. Anyways, it gave us more room to play so it’s all good.

I gave the parent’s a volunteer instruction sheet and a “cheat sheet” of how to set up the kids for the role play.

I made the hats with craft foam sheets.  I cut into 2” x 18” strips.  I used  1”x 3”  strips of sticky back foam to link a hair rubber bad to each end of the foam.  Easy fit for all of the kids and was CHEAP -yay! Added the picture of lungs OR body OR one of the 4 chambers of the heart. (yup, those pics are at school, will update later)

I made “blood cells” with a sheet of blue craft foam and a sheet of “sticky back” red craft foam and then cut out circles around 4” in diameter.
The kids had fun with the role play. They put the hats on and pumped the blood through the heart and to and from the lungs and body.  Everyone had a sound effect too.  I’ll let you guess the part:
<<inhale>>  <<pum-pump>>  <<nom-nom>>  <<pum-pump>>> repeat…
At first we circulated one blood cell, and then we added a few more. 
Then we acted out a slow resting heart rate and then an active heart rate- the best part!

We borrowed stethoscopes from the PE teacher to listen to our hearts (it’s easier to hear your friend’s rather than your own).  The learned the parts of the stethoscope, how it works and then where to find the heart (left side).  They listened to a resting heart.  Then did some exercise and listened again - BA-BOOM - It was a fun morning!

Later in the day when we delivered our valentine’s cards....
we watched Dental Health Stories – Ha!   
Didn’t think Valentine’s day could be filled with so much science and health – huh??! 

Here’s the link  if you’d like to purchase the Healthy Heart activity – cheap - $1
OR leave a nice comment with your email and I will send it you :)

Just an exciting note of one of my other “products”  
~ My Science Fair project “Pendulum Swing” 
won first at my school fair AND… First at our county’s regional fair. Yippee

**Have to give a shout-out to my cutie patootie presenters 
Nicky and Coleton for being AWESOME!  (and when I say awesome, I mean, both are super shy and didn’t even want to go, as in almost bailed…aagggccckkkk, but they showed up AND ROCKED it!  I am so proud of them!!
I know I am one of the few odd birds who actually likes science fair….

Well, Happy Belated Valentine’s Day to all.  
I am now ready to enjoy my President’s Day! Hope you have a great one too!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Currently, I'm in Love

Happy February!
Today was our 100th day of school, too!

I only accomplished half of what I had planned for today. Oops! I even ran out of time to do four of my students' 100 day hats. I told them we'd have to make them on Monday. One of the kids said they would add one extra dot for 101 zeros. So cute!

Here's my CURRENTLY for February:

Obviously, I'm REALLY behind on the Bachelor if I'm finally getting to watch Monday's episode tonight. It has been a fun season, I only wish Sean wasn't so darn nice to people. Great in real life, but kinda boring for television. This is a fake show, right? I'd like him to get fake pissed-off or something and kick a girl out of the house.

My kiddos in First and Kindergarten have been soooo wound up. I'm pulling out end of the year tricks to get them back and focused. They are learning, though. Just by screaming...

As an inclusion teacher this year, I am learning a lot about the teacher I was with a gen-ed class and the teacher I am now. There are some days (okay, a bunch of days) that I will not look like that wonderfully effective teacher I watch on teacher videos. But that is okay because despite the craziness I am making a difference. I wouldn't have believed it if I haven't been living it. However, I AM TIRED! Girlfriend needs a spa day - STAT.

My pet peeves are pretty self-explanatory. If you can't return your shopping cart because it is too far away, then start parking next to the cart return. There, I just solved your laziness problem. Some stores have cart returns all over the parking lot. Which does not include in-between parking spots, in front of my car, or in the walk ways.

Alright, for the turn signal pet peeve you have to understand that I live in south Florida where many retired, snow birds, and elderly people reside. This time of year is especially crowded and not so safe on the road ways. But, come on, people if you are planning on switching lanes, taking a left, or waiting for a parking spot, then turn on your blinker. That tells the other drivers what your intentions are. I'm not a mind reader and I'd like to live, so please use the signals! (and remember to turn them off, too!)

And the fake girls was just a funny because I'm watching the Bachelor. I'm just glad that 22 other women weren't after my man.

That's all for now!
I hope to blog again soon... I'd like to leave my little footprint in the blogging world a bit more often then I have been, but what can I say - I'm TIRED! :)