Writing words, solving math problems, practicing spelling words are just a few of the things students write every day. It can be boring as a teacher and even more boring as a kid. Which brings us to this weeks TEACHER TIP!
Dry erase markers are probably my favorite school supply! I love to use them in math, phonics, writing, you name it.
I have found that writing on the table with dry erase markers is the best! You don't have to pass out white boards and students are engaged and eager to participate! It is easier to erase with your finger and fix a mistake than to erase with pencil on paper.
I have even given spelling tests this way! I ask the students to write the words on the table in front of them and go around and mark how many words they got right. Students are invested and there are no papers to grade!
Clean up is pretty easy- I used clorox wipes or if I didn't have any hand sanitizer and a paper towel. I've also used it as an incentive by choosing a student at each table who has done a great job to wipe away the dry erase marker.
Have you tried this in your classroom? How has it worked? I'd love to hear your ideas!
One of the worst parts of being a kindergarten teacher is when you reach down to tie a students shoe and it is wet. GROSS! Why is it wet? You definitely don't want to know the specifics.
In an effort to avoid wet shoelaces and to motivate students to learn a life skill I have worked to incentivize shoe tying ability.
The big culmination is the SHOE TYING OLYMPICS! It might not sound like much but we had over 150 students cheering and competing in the cafeteria. Read about how we set up our Shoe Tying Olympics and get a certificate for free!
The First Annual Shoe Tying Olympics took place at Akili Academy with kindergarten through second grade.
In the first round each student was paired up with someone in their grade. The student who tied their shoe first was the winner and moved on to the next round and the loser became their personal cheerleader. The winner would match up against another winner and the loser of that match, plus their cheerleader, would join the cheering squad for the winner. This continued until there was just one winner per grade! The rest of the grade was their cheerleaders.
In the finals the champions from kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade faced off in a 3 way shoe tying battle! The winner was crowned the Shoe Tying Champion! In the First Annual Shoe Tying Olympic a second grader was crowned the champion with a kindergartener coming in second! It is a big deal as a kindergartener to be able to say that you beat the first grade champion!
The competition was fierce and the hype was real! All week at recess students were practicing their shoe tying. Parents and older siblings were reporting to us that kids were practicing at home, on the bus, anywhere there was a shoe to be tied. Plus, the quick shoe tiers were used as tutors, helping their classmates master the intricacies of either the bunny ear or one loop method
Shoe Tying Club
The Olympics is a later in the year event but that does not mean we wait to encourage students to learn to tie their shoes. This is one of the simplest incentives I have ever used but it was effective!
I created a poster that said "Shoe Tying Club" and when a student showed me that they could tie their shoe I would add their name to the chart using fancy letters! Students were eager to be a member of the club. I had to make it clear when was an appropriate time to practice- during recess was great, in the middle of my math lesson was not! Even in the first few weeks of kindergarten we were able to add students to the club!
The club was great because it made the members into special helpers, able to tie a classmates shoe, helping me further avoid the mysterious wet laces!
I have two shoe tying freebies for you! One is a certificate for being a member of the "Shoe Tying Club" the other is for the champion of the Shoe Tying Olympics! Fill in your email below to get the freebies!
Miriam taught kindergarten and first grade for 5+ years in New Orleans.