Category: Family

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!

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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!

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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!

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More Newborn How-to Stations Using QR Codes

In need of more stations to accommodate her large class, Megan Piechowski of Centennial High School, Circle Pines, Minnesota developed additional activities with new topics to use with the newborn care lesson. The new topics are in keeping with the original lesson which includes the use of technology via QR Codes. Many thanks to Megan for graciously sharing her newly created materials!

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Nursery Rhyme Project

Do you remember learning nursery rhymes as a youngster? Many of us do, but a lot of youth today vaguely remember hearing them, let alone recalling them from memory. It wasn’t until I started teaching child development that I realized the full benefits of nursery rhymes on the developing child. Studies show that nursery rhymes benefit children in a variety of ways. Such benefits include teaching children the art of storytelling, brain development and social skills. In addition, they help lay the foundation for literacy skills such as speech, language and reading. I always discussed nursery rhymes and their benefits in class, but now I have an interactive activity to go along with it thanks to Mary Smith of Manila High School, Arkansas. Check out the wonderful project she has designed around this timeless topic!

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Toddler Unit: Part 2–Emotions

Emotions! We all have them, we all experience them, especially toddlers! So how can we teach our students about toddler emotions in a fun, creative way? Look below to see my attempt at a fun, interactive lesson plan and activities, including a clip from the hit movie “Inside Out”.

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Toddler Unit: Part 1–The Simulation

Many would describe toddlers as terrible, trying, impatient, busy, curious, picky and emotional! While at times those descriptions may be true…toddlerhood (ages 1-3) is all about being curious and becoming independent. It includes a colorful set of changes (especially emotionally) that differ from any other time in life. In order to fully understand the roller coaster range of abilities and emotions these little people experience, we need to put ourselves in their shoes. The lesson and activities in this unit hopefully give your students better insight as to why these little people react the way they do during this challenging, but fun phase of life!

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The Discipline Game

You’re babysitting or you’re a parent and you’ve got a misbehaving child or children on your hands. What’s the best method to handle the situation; guidance or discipline? Sometimes students have a difficult time knowing the best way to handle a misbehaving child. So, this game was created by Laura Vaske of Linn-Mar HIgh School in Marion, Iowa because she wanted her students to be able to think about when to apply certain techniques in misbehaving situations. She also wanted them to think about more than just HOW to implement the technique and more about WHEN to implement a technique. So, check out her game and give it a try the next time you’re teaching about guidance and discipline!

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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

When teaching about environmental birth defects, I like to address a 100% preventable, but 100% irreversible birth defect known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Students learn about FASD by participating in a variety of interactive activities.

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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.

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