Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Brain Break Mania or...How Save Your Sanity

The first few weeks of school are a little rough. None of us are quite ready to be cooped up all day, or  to sit and focus especially the kids! We do brain breaks all year long throughout the day, but at the beginning of the year we tend to do/need more of them more often. These are some of our favorites!

First the high tech ones... I have these all set up and linked on a slide in SMART notebook so all we have to do is click and go!

Just Dance Kids 2 - Despicable Me

We love that even the skeleton dances!

The Jungle Jive

 Our favorite part is the hedgehog part at the end, the kids yell "HEDGEHOGS"!

Just Dance Kids 2 - The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Can you find the hidden lion!?

Just Dance Kids 2 The Hokey Pokey

One of my kiddos is flat out obsessed with song!

Just Dance Kids 2 - The Gummy Bear Song

What can I say... even the bears like to bop!

Children's Zumba-Waka Waka

Even the older girls ( fifth and sixth graders) I have in afterschool clubs LOVE this one!

Children's Zumba-BoroBoro

Another favorite of my older girls!

Just Dance Kids 2 - Jump Up

I love this one because the kid in front cracks me up!

 Bop Until You Drop
A great old Steve and Greg song live and in action!

Ready Set Dance
More fun with Steve and Greg!

Going on a Bear Hunt
This year's number one kid favorite!

Just Dance Kids - Monkey Dance

My wild animals love this one!

 Dance Kids 2 - I'm Gonna Catch You

Another favorite for this year's bunch!

Just Dance Kids 2 - Five Little Monkeys

Great for a classroom full of monkeys!

Just Dance Kids - Kung Fu Fighting

Guess who loves this one... yep let's hear it for the boys!

 Here are some low tech ones, they are just as fun as the ones listed above, and fast to do!

This game gives their brain a real workout, but they will never know. It is best played with a little music, but it can be played without if nothing is available. For this game everyone stands around the circle. Have everyone put their left hand out to their side with the palm up and flat.  They then rest the tip of their right pointer finger in their neighbor’s palm. When every gets set up (this takes a while the first several times you play it with a new group of kids) the music starts to play. When the music stops (if there is no music just yell gotcha) each player tries to pull their finger up before their neighbor grabs it, and at the same time tries to grab their neighbor’s finger. If you get caught you’re out and you get to dance in the middle. (You can also get two circles going and those that are out switch circles)

Wonder ball

I love games that can be played everywhere and anywhere.  All you need for this game is a small ball or stuffed toy (like a beanie baby). The item is passed around the circle as everyone sings this song:

The wonder ball goes round and round

To touch it you are surely bound

So hold it not

If you’re the one to touch it last

The game for you has surely passed

And you are out

Whoever is left holding the ball is out and they must sit and watch. Like Gotcha you can get two circles going and students can switch circles when they get out.

Silent Ball

The rules of this game are simple, and it can be played anywhere. All you need is something small and soft to toss. I normally use a small Koosh ball, but if one is not available any small soft ball or beanie baby style stuffed animal will work.  To remain “in” this game you must be silent. If you talk you are out, and you sit down! You can also get out by throwing the ball to far/hard, and failing to make eye contact with the receiver (depending on the group you can also have those who drop the ball be out). The teacher starts out with the ball, and makes eye contact with one student who is close by before softly tossing the ball to them. The student does the same, and the game continues on until the teacher says “mine” then the ball is thrown back to them and the game is over.
Have fun brain breaking!
P.S. Be on the lookout for my Halloween brain breaks coming at the end of September!


* Please note I do not own these videos, they are posted here strictly for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement in intended.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Piece of Cake

Our first day was a piece of cake... well sort of, there were the normal tears, and fears that come with the first day of school. Particularly the first day of first grade, but my new little sweethearts were such troopers (I knew they would be) that I wanted to make sure to end things on a "sweet" note. I have no allergies this year (gotta love low income schools) so I whipped up ( buy whipped up I mean raided the Safe*ay bakery section) these little goodies.
This little project was ridiculously easy! Who would ever have know that some brownies, baggies, ribbon and a few labels would be such a huge hit. I gave them out right before we went out the door, and everybody thought they were super cute!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Marvelous Monogramed Back to School Gifts for Teammates

Well school is about to start, and everyone is a little stressed so I decided to whip up these cute little monogramed Sharpie mugs as gifts for my teammates. I had seen similar ones on pinterest, and wanted to give it a try. I read up on the best way to do it, and here is what I came up with. I started with cheap Dollar Tree mugs.
I gave them a quick wash, and added a letter sticker, also from Dollar Tree (the whole project cost four dollars).
The next step was to cover the entire area around the letter with a Sharpie dots.
When I had the amount of coverage I wanted I waited for several minutes to allow the marker to dry before peeling off the sticker.
I did the same with each mug and then placed them in the oven at 425 for 30 minutes. Do not preheat the oven, the gradual heating helps the glaze on the mugs to melt and bond with the marker. After thirty minutes turn off the oven, but do not take the mugs out until they are fairly cool. This also helps make the designs permanent.
The finished product turned out great! The blue and the green faded a little, but they look fine, and the red (which many sites claim turns yellow) and purple look amazing!
I also made up little cards to go with them, which you can find here.
Have fun creating your own!