Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Kid Craft: Foam Visors with Letters

photo by: David Castillo Dominici
If you're looking for a fun and inexpensive craft look no further. Perfect for a rainy day, or for a birthday craft, you can personalize foam visors with foam letters or shapes. Creating things with foam accessories is not only quick and simple, you can reuse the leftover pieces for a future craft endeavors.

Kids love to personalize things— at least my kids do. If they see something in the store with their name on it, they just “have to” have it. And when their birthday signs they we hang each year inevitably end up hanging in their room until the next banner with their name appears in the kitchen on their birthday. With that thought in mind, I ran across a cute craft that your children will likely enjoy making just as mine did. It only takes two basic supplies— foam visors and foam sticker— but it will be well worth the time it takes for your child to create it, since they can enjoy their handiwork each time they leave the house.

Head to the local teacher-supply, craft store, online or at the discount dollar store and look for a colorful visor for each child. I found visors at a teacher-supply store for $1 each (but I think I’ve seen them in multiple packs at the dollar store before). Select a few foam sticker packs for the children to use to decorate their visor. Look for a variety of shapes and colors, and grab a few packs of letters too. It seems that the manufacturers never seem to add enough “RSTLNE” and A’s to the pack for several children to be able to spell their names fully. And while you are near the craft supplies, consider grabbing some googly eye stickers too, they just look so cute on almost anything!
  1. Spread the craft supplies out on the table, and allow children to apply the stickers to the visor as they prefer. (Tip: Remove strap from the visor and lay the visor flat on the table covered in newspaper or a brown paper bag (to protect the surface).
  2. Help children select the correct letter (for example Ns and Zs can look so similar) and help them take off the sticker backing as necessary.
  3. Peel the sticker backing off the letters or shapes you've bought.
  4. Place the foam sticker on the appropriate place on the visor.
  5. Replace the unused foam stickers in a bag for use next time.
Clean up is relatively simple, yet those sticker backings may pop up around the house for the next few days. And don’t forget to take pictures of the constructing process and the final product. Kids LOVE to show off what they have created themselves, and long-distance relatives are sure to enjoy seeing the kids make and wear their handiwork.

Pass out permanent markers or glitter glue, and let kids draw on the top part of the foam visor.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

How to Lecture for Student Participation- Whole Brain Teaching

Have you ever sat in a classroom lecture and fallen asleep? If not, you are certainly a better student than me! The teacher in this classroom can't help but have engaged students, and he likely has students with great grades too, since he requires participation from everyone at multiple times during his classroom lecture.

While this lecture technique may be a little too disjointed for my tastes, I can definitely understand how students would enjoy this method of learning, particularly those who learn by aurally— since they will remember what is heard and what they themself say.

Check out this brief video (5 minutes) for an example of how to lecture in a new and exciting way that the instructor— Chris Biffle— calls Whole Brain Teaching.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


To say my kids "enjoy" trying to stump me and my husband is an understatement. The problem is, they keep asking us the same questions every day, and try to get us to not answer correctly. Not only are the questions SOOOOO simple (okay, I'll cut them a break, they are only in 4th, 3rd, and 2nd grades) but the questions are just so inane too

So while looking for the next great book to introduce my kids' repetoire, I stumbled upon the book that I think might educate both them and me a bit, or at least it would make for some great dinner conversation. The Time for Kids "Big Book of Why" seems like the perfect book, doesn't it?