Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What Works Wednesday Revisited

I had the best intentions with this blog. Unfortunately somewhere between the start of school, and today (our last state test day) life, common core, everything, and anything has gotten in the way! I am hoping now that our state test is finished, I will be able to return to a sense of normalcy. Maybe I will even be able to blog a little more often.

Since today is a Wednesday, I thought I would revisit a previous topic for What Works Wednesday.
Previously, I wrote about Bouncy Bands. Scott Ertl, Bouncy Bands CEO sent me the original bouncy bands, which consisted of recycled bicycle inner tubes and PVC pipe to go on the legs of desks.

After lots of feedback, he started using fasteners to form loops, since it was difficult to tie the tubes to the desk. Later, the company switched to a rubber bungee cord with fasteners. Last year, my students fought over the desk that had the Bouncy Band (I had mostly tables). I was able to stretch a band to fit the end of a table, but the table shook too much. I loved the bouncy bands, but this year I loaned them to colleagues that had sets of desks. It was a better use for them.
Bouncy Bands for Standard Desks
Bouncy Bands Photograph
Scott recently contacted my about the improved bands with better fasteners on the cords. He also had a new sample for me to try, Bouncy Bands for chairs. Scott sent me two sets of the improved bands, one for a desk and the other for a chair. I have a chair that has pegs on the legs, so I was able to use both sets on chairs. J With tables, this is the best solution for my classroom. The bouncy bands for chairs were a big hit.

My students love that they can bounce their feet while keeping the table still. I love that I have been able to share my other sets with colleagues. More students have the opportunity to use the Bouncy Bands. Our occupational therapist has borrowed sets, and  encouraged other teachers to try them. She is looking into a grant to fund multiple sets for our school and a neighboring district.

The Creative Child Magazine featured Bouncy Bands as a 2014 Product of the Year. They are an inexpensive solution to those fidgety students that need to move. They can be purchased with funds from Donors Choose. Scott has helped even further by giving a link to a sample project page.

Bouncy Bands are the What Works Wednesday product for this month. Give Bouncy Bands a try.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Currently April

Currently it is April 2nd. I didn't get home from a long day of conferences yesterday until after 9:00 last night. Blogging was the furthest thing from my brain after a draining day. I did want to see what Farley came up with for her last spot on the currently. She did not disappoint. How fun!

After a very long month that included March is Reading Month activities, 5th Grade Outdoor Education (Camp), Project Unify activities, and a whole lot of test prep, I am spending the first day of an extended spring break (today was a comp day!) catching up on missed episodes of some of my favorite shows. 

Yesterday was a long day. We had conferences from 8 in the morning until 8 last night. We had time off for a soup and salad lunch from our PTO moms, and dinner. My dinner was a piece of pizza at a  union executive board meeting. Some great conferences, some difficult ones. Glad they are over. Students get twelve days off and we get eleven days for break. I am staying home. Hubby doesn't have vacation and the youngest had her break three weeks ago. 

I hoped to get a long walk in today in warm weather, but the rain kept me inside. It is warm, but very wet. Snow is forecast for tomorrow night. That is Michigan weather for you.

I am looking forward to some long lasting warm weather. The students have passed flu and viruses around forever! I want them to get outside to play. I need to open windows and get some fresh air into the room. Hopefully April will bring better weather.

I have several projects planned. Some are for school, some are for home. Hope I can get them done without running out of time and energy.

My blog's name "Learning in Bliss" got its name from the fact that I am a lifelong learner. I try hard to keep a blissful environment in my classroom. My school is located at the edge of a small town that takes great pride in being a blissful place to live and learn.

What is currently happening in your life?

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