Thursday, December 28, 2017

Jumpstart Your Second Semester Now

Two quarters of the school year are gone; two more to go! Make the second half of your year your best ever. Right now, while you are on vacation and everything is calm, prepare to have your best semester ever. Remember, success comes from what you focus on!

Set your focus on what you want to see happen in the classroom-maybe something that didn't go the way you dreamed, but now you are ready to see that happen. Brainstorm ideas on how to change things, or, if the year is great, how to maintain everything. List everything you can think of and then, check out Pinterest and see if you can find more ideas. It can even be helpful to ask help from others-even those outside the teaching profession. Sometimes a pair of outside eyes can offer fresh ideas.

Now, grab an 8x11 1/2 or large piece of cardstock and create a focus board. Add ideas that can help you keep your focus on solving issues in your classroom. Be inspirational. Be encouraging. Be direct. Remind yourself of the goal and how you expect to address it. Include scripture. Add a new focus board for each individual goal.

Because they are smaller and on cardstock, you can frame them or simply add them to your plan book. When you find yourself getting off track, simply spend time focusing on the board.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Jumping the Hurdle of the Small P.E. Budget

I teach in a small school with a small budget for physical education resources. In planning the p.e. program for this year, I decided that I wanted to have a track program. It would give my kids something to strive for without high levels of competition or hitting anyone with a ball. Hurdles are so fun, and yet, too expensive for me to buy. I have a wide range of physical sizes in my room with students from fifth to eighth-grade. I decided that my students deserved to have a chance to see what they could do. Therefore, I decided to make hurdles for them.

It all began with a trip to Home Depot. These are the supplies I bought there:

These are the tools I purchased the first day. I included 10 foot sections of 1/2-inch PVC pipe, a bag of 1/2-inch PVC pipe elbows, and a cutting tool. I already had the tape measure and the Sharpie! The only thing I have gone back and purchased (besides more pipe and elbows) is the glue. 

The first thing I did was measure out the pipe. I decided to make various sizes because-as I said earlier-my kids are various sizes. Each hurdle required 6 pieces of pipe and six elbows. I cut one set of pipes to equal 16 inches. One set equaled 20 inches and, after I went back to the store, I cut another set for 30 inches. (Thirty inches is the standard size for middle school hurdles. 

After the pieces were cut, I fit them together. 

After I fitted them together and made them square, I marked them with a Sharpie so they could be glued together and still be square. They need to be glued because they come apart when someone catches the edge with their shoe. (Yes, we learned this the hard way!)

When they were finished, this is what it looked like:

The first time through, I had two sizes. Everyone was able to jump over both of them.  I went home and made one ten inches higher. The taller students cleared it well, too!

This is what it looked like when they were used:

This is such an easy thing to make and yet, the student involvement was incredibly high! 

We will also be having relay races. The relay batons? Diving sticks I bought on sale at the end of summer.