Friday, February 28, 2014

What's That You're Wearing?-- Durable Security Gear

Security in schools has certainly been updated in recent years. Most school staff are now asked to wear picture id so that it is visible at all times. Many schools are putting in electronic security systems and always keeping doors locked, which means school staff must carry key cards to go in and out of the building during the day with students. Both id and key cards must be ready at any moment.

Teachers are looking for easy to use, durable, card carrying systems.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Shh... a Little Secret about Wipe Off Envelopes

We are all trying to use less paper these days to be both earth friendly and thrifty.  There just isn't money for paper and copies like there used to be in my pocketbook, or the district's.  Most of you probably already know about wipe off envelopes, but here's a tip to save you a little more money.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Standing Centers for a Little More Movement

Whether we give our kiddos opportunity to move because we know it grows their brains, or whether we help them move to combat the winter wiggles brought on when extra snow and subzero temps keep us inside, the name of the game is movement for learning! One way I provide that in my classroom is by having a Standing Center. On days when we aren't doing Motor Kids (see previous post), we designate one of our centers to be a standing center. Each of the five students in the group goes to a different spot in the room to do their work. Two of the stations have rocker boards to stand on, one has a balance board, one has an ordinary two by four, and one has a "log."

Monday, February 17, 2014

We've Got to Move It, Move It- Motor Kids

There is a lot of brain research that says kids learn better when we give them lots of opportunities to move their bodies.  Over the years I've used various programs to give my students these opportunities during the day.  One great program is Motor Moms and Dads, developed by Nancy Sornson here in Michigan. The reason I don't do Motor Moms and Dads as it is designed any more is because I don't have enough parent volunteers to use in this way.  I also use Brain Gym.  Both the posters and video are helpful in incorporating movement into our day.  This winter, with all the extra snow and below zero temps keeping us inside, I've had extra reason to work on the movement challenge, and I am happy to share I formed two new structures that bring movement into our learning time most days of the week.

The one I'll talk about in this post is the one I've dubbed Motor Kids because it is similar to Motor Moms and Dads, but without the adult. This fifteen minute center takes place during center time, and is broken into five, two and a half minute rotations which the kids do completely independently. Students start at any one of the five stations and go through all of them while at this center. 
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