Wednesday, January 19, 2011

National Handwriting Day

Originally uploaded by lloydcrew
National Handwriting Day is on John Hancock's birthday, January 23 (although there is some debate that his birthday is actually January 12). Take this opportunity to stress good handwriting with your students. Why not post a large birthday card to John in the school hallway and have the students sign with their best signatures? For more ideas, check the Handwriting Without Tears website.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Stepping Out

Get moving
Originally uploaded by lloydcrew
Ten years age Ms. Donovan, first grade teacher, had a "stepper" in her room. It was a bit unusual as a classroom tool, but it made perfect sense. When antsy youngsters needed breaks, they had a place to go that was not removed from their learning environment. As a piece of furniture, it was ideal. It stood upright without demanding a lot of space. The students would be directed to "step out the alphabet" or "count backwards from 12" before returning to work. Well, that mythical movement machine made its way to several classrooms but has since disappeared from the halls of Hosmer. I still keep my eyes out for ones on the curbside.

Here is our "Get Moving" station right inside out room. Students start or end their sessions with a boost. Others students come by for a 5 minute alertness break.

What do you have hanging around your basement?

Thursday, January 06, 2011


Originally uploaded by lloydcrew
Getting kids to sit and attend on the rug is a real challenge. Sometimes giving more support is helpful. One favorite item at our school is the beach chair. Having back support works in some cases. As you can see in this photo, it is not always the answer, however. Without movement, this student is melting into the rug. Our solution was to add a small air cushion to the seat of the beach chair. It helped to change this youngster's alertness level, sitting posture and attention!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Wiggling Feet

Originally uploaded by lloydcrew
Theraband is great material to wrap around legs of chairs. Kids can use it to bounce their feet on, keeping them alert and on track. They can use it as resistance to stretch against. They can reach down, grab the band on each side and pull up to give their writing hand a break. We usually run out of this material and it can be expensive. Go to your local bike shop and have them save old bike tubes for you. They work just as well.

Let kids move!

Let kids move!
Originally uploaded by lloydcrew
Remember, our bodies were not made to sit in a chair at a desk all day...let kids move! How can you build movement into a student's day? Check in daily this week for suggestions!