Sunday, August 30, 2015



Sleep is so important to our good health.  Sadly, many Americans, including children, have a chronic deficit of sleep.  We have all had (or been) students who yawn frequently, who are excessively crabby, and who may fall asleep in class.  Sleep debt has negative effects on brain function, cognitive abilities, energy levels, and emotional balance.  The effects of not getting enough sleep are cumulative and can lead to problems, like interfering with coordination, balance, memory, focus, and decision-making, as well as contributing to obesity.  


Growth hormones are released during sleep.  Cell and tissue repair and muscle mass development take place because of that.  You can see how chronic sleep shortage would impact a child's normal physical development.

I'm borrowing this sleep chart from Wilson Elementary in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  It will be a good is visual to pass along to parents.  The demands of school are challenge enough without hampering children's efforts because of lack of sleep.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Welcome Wagon

A Little Red Wagon shout-out to my newest wagoneers.  Carla is a first grade teacher in Tulsa.  Lisa is a reading specialist in Coweta.  Welcome to my wagon train, ladies.  Hope you'll share ideas with us from time to time.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Make 10

One of the activities I engaged my 2ndies in at the beginning of each school year was a game called Make 10.  I made three sets of flashcards of the numerals 0-10.  


To play, students started by sitting at their seats with heads down and eyes closed.  I walked around the room placing a numeral card on each desk.  All the leftover cards I displayed on the chalk rail.  Then I said, "Make 10!"


Students would jump up and place their cards on their chests so that others could see it.  Without talking they would quickly find their partner, whose number with their own equaled 10.  When all the partners were matched up, children who hadn't found one yet could select the appropriate number card from the chalk rail.  Then the partners would line up together.  The ones who didn't have a partner would hold both number cards.


 I would have the first pair come up and show their cards while standing by me.  I said, "They say 2 + 8 = 10.  Is that right?"  The class would answer yes or no.  If their cards didn't equal 10, I had the partners go sit down and figure out what their cards equaled.  Then they could go to the numeral cards displayed on the chalk rail to choose correct matches and get back in line for a second try.

We tried to do all this as quickly as possible without talking, except for the yes/no.  They had to compute the addends while walking around.  They saw and heard the math facts.  These actions helped their visual, auditory and motor memory to help cement the math facts to long-term memory.  They enjoyed this fast-paced game and stayed focused.  We usually played it two to three times, and each time they tried to do it more quickly.

I'm a firm believer in helping students reach automaticity in their basic math facts.  They must master facts to this level in order to move on to higher level math skills.  If I had a group whose skills were so weak they struggled with the sums to 10, I backed up to spend plenty of time on the sums to 5.

Try Make 10.  Your young learners will love it, and you'll be moving them along toward automaticity.  This was a good springboard to later in the 2nd grade year when we played Make 100.





Thursday, August 20, 2015

Back in the Saddle Again


Who would have guess that after a year's retirement, I would be back in the classroom?  A year to relax and rejuvenate.  I came back to the same school from which I retired - even the same classroom.  However, I am the Title 1 reading specialist this year rather than second grade. 


It's great to come back to a faculty who feels like family.  I'm looking forward to a wonderful year.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

KidScents Diffusers - Brand New

Earlier this week I went to the Young Living Essential Oils Convention in Grapevine, Texas.  They unveiled their new products, including the KidScents diffusers above.  They are ADORABLE!!  They should be posted on the online catalog soon.


The artistry is beautiful with many handcrafted parts.  You can use it as  humidifier, diffuser, and/or nightlight.  The red lava and the coral tubes glow when the light is on and the mist is coming out.  The light illuminates the vapor, or the lights and diffusion can operate separately.  There is no heating element to worry about as water and oil are turned to mist ultrasonically.  You have the option of continuous or intermittent flow (10-minute intervals) with automatic shut-off.  The diffuser covers are interchangeable.                                                                                            


At least two bottles of essential oil come with each diffuser.  It may be three or four, I don't remember for sure.  

It's not posted on the online catalog just yet as they are revealing it at convention just this week.   Check back in a week or so to see if it's up.  Here's my Young Living number you'll use if you want to order a diffuser at retail price: 1614610  Use that number in both the Sponsor and Enroller boxes if you would prefer to order your diffuser at retail price (24% off retail).  Email me if you need help ordering or have questions.

 If you look under the small dolphin's tail, you can see the mist coming out of the  coral tube.  Can you see the mist above the dark blue dolphin's body?  The picture doesn't do it justice in showing how cute it is.