I’ve spent this past week preparing my classroom for the upcoming school year (and, as always, planning and making time for my workouts!). As many of you know, this summer I taught a healthy living class for summer school. During that time, I taught them about healthy eating, yoga, and getting active. The students seemed to truly enjoy it, and I loved teaching them about the topics I’m so passionate about.
While this school year will be jam-packed with curriculum (3rd grade is a BIG year!), I still hope to be able to incorporate many little lessons regarding healthy living. Last year, we were fortunate enough to receive exercise balls for all of our students to replace the chairs. This year, we will continue to use them. Here’s a glimpse into my classroom before Meet The Teacher last night.
Parents and children alike were ecstatic to see the green balls. Some parents are very curious as to if the balls really “work,” or if they’re more distracting. During the few months we used them, they were incredible effective. It is crucial to set the ground rules during the first few days of school to ensure the students’ safety. Some of my rules I implement:
- Bottoms on the balls, both feet on the floor
- Small bounces (again: bottoms on the balls)
- Balls stay on the floor (no throwing)
- Bottoms, hands, desks, and floor are the only things that touch the balls (no pencils, scissors, markers, etc.)
If a child has trouble abiding by these rules, then they simply get a stool or chair for the remainder of the day. The following day, they have the option to try a ball again. We also discuss the importance of respecting property and maintaining safety (all of the rules stem from respect and safety which we talk about a lot). Last year, I think I only had a couple of instances where kids needed to put their ball away for the day. It works and is an easy way for kids to develop their their core strength, and work on their stability and balance throughout the day.
(Note: Kids don’t spend an extraordinary time at their desks. Large group lessons are taught on the carpet, and independent work is completed in a variety of places including the floor, their desk, or a larger table.)
I’ve used the fish theme every year I’ve taught. I love it, and each year I add new things whenever a fresh idea presents itself. Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve had several new ideas this year. The students completed a short scavenger hunt in the room last night, and when they finished, they brought me their paper for a “3rd grade only!” treat.
Fruit snacks certainly are not a nutritional superstar (or nutritional whatsoever), but every so often a sweet treat is just fine. (Plus, how perfect is Nemo for my classroom? And I use goldfish during my Open House with a “Your child is quite a catch!” note attached, so I didn’t want to overuse the goldfish idea.)
Switching gears, let’s talk High Five Friday with A Dash of Meg.
This week’s high five goes to my younger brother, Justin. Justin recently accepted a new job in Phoenix, Arizona. While I’m sad he’ll be leaving San Diego (it was SUCH a fun place to visit!), I know he’ll totally rock his new job (like everything else he does in his life). Plus, Arizona is not too shabby, and makes for a great vacation spot. And Jonny’s brother lives there, so we’ll get to visit both of our brothers at the same time!
Congrats, Boy! You know I’m always so proud of you.
I’m off to finish up my classroom, then enjoy my last weekend before school o-FISH-ally begins on Tuesday.
What are some other fish-themed snack ideas? Who does your high five go to today? Weekend plans?