Interpersonal Relationships

Baby Sign Language

Occasionally, in my classes, I like to throw out little dilemma or problem situations that students must research and learn more about in order to make an informed decision. I’ve done this with baby sign language when teaching about infant language development in child development two different ways. Prior to going 1:1, I assigned this as an informational interactive foldable project, which could easily be used with interactive notebooks. I’ve also had my students use their iPads to learn more about the topic and then complete a writing assignment, applying their new-found knowledge. I also like my students to learn and share some easy signs with the class in an engaging and fun manner, where students have to use their brains and memory in addition to their hands!

Spotlight on a FACS Blog: Kayla Pins

Sometimes the non-school related blogs I follow do a blog hopping where they share other people’s blogs. I thought that would be a great idea to do this with Family & Consumer Science teachers who write their own blogs. The featured blog in this post belongs to Kayla Pins, a Health and Family & Consumer Sciences teacher, who hails from Iowa and teaches grades 7-12 at Cascade Jr.-Sr. High School. I email interviewed Kayla some questions about her blog…so read on to learn more and see some of the impressive lessons she has to offer!

Teen Pregnancy A-Z

Recently, I mentioned that my school was now 1:1 and I have been updating some of my lessons as time permits, to make them more student directed, as well as incorporate technology. Teen pregnancy, in my opinion, can be difficult to teach. I’ve tried teaching it in so many ways over the years, with success, but nothing I would really write about. This lesson was different, not only because it was self-directed, but because students really cooperated, collaborated and communicated in a way that produced a creative A to Z project. The way they worked both individually and collectively as a group made me super proud of them! So much so, that I couldn’t wait to share this update with all of you!

Sheila’s Story: Decision Making Small Group Activity

I’ve been trying to update some of my lesson plans and activities to make them more student directed, as well as incorporate technology since we are now a 1:1 school. While I liked the large group decision making activity I did in this post, I wanted to build on the decision making process and use I-messages as a way to reinforce what students learned in previous lessons, but also make it a smaller group activity to encourage more discussion from all students and include technology. So, as a way to introduce teen pregnancy, I came up with a new way to meet all of the criteria mentioned above and the results were amazing! As I circulated the room while students were completing this assignment, I couldn’t believe the levels of discussion I was hearing about each of the options, including the process of actually deciding on the best option and reasons to support it. Students really got into this assignment and told me how much they liked it compared to the original format. So, give it a try and let me know if you get similar results from your students!

Manners & Tablesetting: Breakout Style Reveiw Game

Breakout games are so much fun! It’s hard to imagine that something so fun can also be educational! Breakout games encourage students to work together, against the clock to complete challenges associated with a topic you are covering in class. Breakout games can be used as a way to introduce a lesson or unit or it can be a culminating review activity before a test. Either way, students love them! I tried my hand at creating one for reviewing manners, calculating tips and how to set the common table. Give it a try and I hope your students like it as much as mine did! Warning: This can get extremely competitive!

Off to College Series: College Roommates

Being randomly assigned a college roommate is akin to opening a box of chocolates! To quote Forrest Gump, “You never know what you’re gonna get!” I like to “try” to prepare my students for this because it can make or break their college experience. The saying that “you really don’t know someone until you live with them” is completely true. I was fortunate in my college experience to have great roommates, whom I got along well with, but not everyone is so lucky! This lesson tries to prepare them for the various types of “roomies” they could encounter and how to deal with each in a constructive way.

Hands Are for Holding, Not for Hurting Child Abuse Activity

Sometimes a teacher needs a variety of lessons and activities to choose from relating to the topics taught in the curriculum for different reasons. Sometimes, it’s because you just want to freshen up your plans or because the amount of time you have to teach something changes. Sometimes, it’s because new resources become available that you “just have to implement”. Sometimes, it’s because you need variety due to the personalities and dynamics of a class. Regardless of the reason, I thought I would share a new little project that I created and did with my Child Development students based on the child abuse topic: shaken baby syndrome.

Ideas for Teaching about Gender Stereotypes

Lately there’s been a lot of commercials and public service announcements about gender stereotypes. Any teacher wanting to incorporate this topic into their curriculum would most likely want to choose the best ideas and pull together their own version of a lesson. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to pull together a variety of resources I’ve found that I thought we be great to use when teaching about this topic. However, if you have a unique way of teaching this topic or just a great activity or project, I’d love for you to share it at Kim@familyconsumersciences.com

Gifts from the Hands

Some of the most cherished gifts our family has received over the years have been made by the hands of the people we love. In fact we look forward to those gifts every year as they’ve kind of become a tradition. Sometimes those gifts made with love were born out of necessity due to limited resources available to go out and purchase store bought gifts, but many times they were made and given out of love for the recipient(s) of the gift. For example, many years ago, very close friends of ours began making us a delicious candy-like treat that can only be described as “Christmas Crack” because once you start eating it, you can’t stop! We love the candy and our friends and look forward to that gift every year! After all, how can you look at, use or consume that wonderful gift without thinking fond thoughts of the talented person/people who took the time to make it for YOU! Why not teach your students how they can use their talents, time and resources to make gifts of love to give to those in their lives that they cherish most during this Christmas and Holiday season?

Communication Skills Lesson & Activities

In today’s society, with the abundance of electronic devices that keep students and adults ever so occupied and isolated, communication skills have never been more important and necessary. This lesson and activities strive to teach students the characteristics necessary for effective communication skills in various aspects of their lives in a fun and interactive way, using a variety of techniques. I’m sure there are many other activities that could be used in addition to what you will find here so, if you have a great way to teach communication skills, please share at feedback@familyconsumersciences.