Friday, July 8, 2011

Dollar Tree Finds and Measurement Idea

Well I had been home for six straight days!  I went for a walk down to the river twice and drove to the post office but that was it.  Mostly I have just been painting the house and working on the computer.  I told my husband I was going to go crazy if I didn’t get out of the house.  So.... I was incredibly spontaneous and. Drumroll please.. I went into town and had my oil changed (gasp) AND went browsing at Dollar Tree.  This is what I found.

 These fabulous ocean creatures grow to be 600% bigger then their original size.  Soo..... I am planning on using them in a math measurement station.  First, my students can measure the length of each ocean creature.  Then we can put them in water.  Each day they can measure them and record their observations.  When they are finished expanding we can calculate how much they actually grew!  Sounds like fun to me :)

This one is my fave!  I swam with sea turtles on our honeymoon in Maui!

I also found these little pillows that will be added to the safe place in my room.  It is a requirement at my school that each classroom have a designated safe place.  It is a place where students can go when they need a break if they are feeling emotionally overwhelmed or stressed.  I like to teach my students meditation strategies that they can use while they are in the safe place so that they can come back to work.  Also so that they have those skills for the rest of their lives!

 Aren't they the cutest meditation pillows?

And last but NOT least..... I found THESE!!  I had spotted them in someone elses blog and buckled in the knees when with my good fortune they had them here at my small town Dollar Tree!!

I am going to sort my fake money for whole group instruction as well as for math station work!

Whew, I'm glad I got out of the house!  We even had visitors tonight.  Our good friends are here from Las Vegas with their precious six week old baby! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Inspired and uplifted through Yoga

I'm back!  I've been in beautiful New Mexico for the month of June.  Every summer my hubby and I as well as 2,000+ other amazing souls from over 40 different countries go to New Mexico to attend 3HO's Summer Solstice Yoga Festival.  I've learned a lot from attending these festivals and made some really great connections with people from all over the world. 

This year I have been particularly inspired by this incredible book:

(Click on the book for a link to purchase it.)

I'm inspired through this book because as a part of my Masters program I need to work with secondary students and this is the perfect curriculum!  I will be working with the high school students teaching them yoga, meditation and art!  This is a fabulous book and even has a chapter to do Yoga and Art with children!  

Last school year I used Yoga a lot and it was my saving grace!  One of the techniques that came in very handy I learned from a mentor of mine Shakta Kaur Khalsa.  She is the author of several books including

 (click on the picture for a link to purchase the book)

I had several students that have a difficult time managing their emotions appropriately and would have violent outbursts.  This little trick helped one student in particular go from having meltdowns several times a week that would last for several hours to a meltdown once or twice a month and with this breathing technique they could calm down in five minutes or less.

How to teach Feather Breathing:

First, gather craft feathers with stiff top feathers and soft fluffy bottom feathers.

Next, show students how to hold the feather in both hands five or six inches away from their mouth.
Demonstrate how to blow on the bottom fluffy feathers while thinking the word calm.  Continue breathing long, slow and deep allowing the belly to expand on the inhale and squeezing all the air out on the exhale. 

Tip: If a student is so upset that they won’t hold onto the feather, let them calm down a little bit and then just start tickling their face, neck and arms until they are calm enough to grab the feather.

You can also use the feather to help students wake up!  To do this have the students blow on the top stiff feathers quick and strong.  Have them inhale deeply to end.  They can meditate on the word energized while they breathe.

..Check out the guest blog I wrote for What The Teacher Wants about children's yoga HERE...

I leave you with a picture of some of the Utah attendees from last years Solstice.  :) 

Oh ya, when we got home at one o'clock in the morning we arrived to a flooded house due to a broken kitchen pipe :(  So for the last week my hubby and I have been doing a complete kitchen renovation!  Our refrigerator was sunk into the floor! 

Thanks for stopping by!  I've had a blast getting all caught up on the fabulous teaching blogs!  I can't believe how fast this summer is going by!  

Let me know if you have any questions about teaching yoga in your classroom, I'd love to help!!