Category: Interpersonal Relationships

Family Dinner Matters

One tradition that my family practiced as I was growing up was eating family dinner together regularly! I have wonderful memories of that dinner table; the fun and laughter as well as difficult conversations that ensued between my sisters and parents. This important tradition continued while raising our own children!  How my husband and I will miss this daily routine as we rapidly approach the empty nest stage of our lives. Below you will find a lesson that promotes eating together as a family and the benefits along with a variety of engaging activities and projects that can be implemented in the FACS classroom. Hopefully, students will carry this concept to their home life so it  becomes a recurring practice and a potential tradition with both their present and future families!

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Coping Skills Toolbox

If you teach about crisis or mental illness, then this culminating activity shared by Michelle Overman, a FACS teacher from Greenville Central High School, Indiana, is one for your “tool belt”.  Below you will find a variety of activities that Michelle uses when teaching this topic to her Human Development class with some additional ones that I’ve added.

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Stress & Coloring: Good Idea? Bad Idea?

Students love to doodle! Children love to color! Adult coloring books are everywhere! The theory behind this phenomenon is that it is a way to relax and decompress, in addition to being a creative outlet. So, is this really a good way to deal with stress or just a trendy way to promote a product? This lesson focuses on stress, and has students investigating this theory by researching and application before deciding whether it’s a good idea or a bad idea!

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Family Definition Media Activity

Many years ago, I was given a definition while taking a graduate course about the family.  Through the years, I have often used it as a poster project lead-in to my family unit.  However, since going 1:1, I decided to try this assignment a new way, using technology…aka iMovie!  While I’m not an expert with this app, my students are and they were eager to assist their peers when necessary.  I even surprised myself by creating a YouTube channel so I could share a couple of student samples with you!  Not a 1:1 school or have access to technology–no worries!  I’ve included my original poster assignment (see attachments), which by the way could be easily modified for the differentiated classroom. I loved seeing how each student interpreted the family definition and how unique and diverse each movie was…just like families!

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Quotation Posters Activity with Canva

Seems like quotation posters are everywhere on social media! These posters often contain very important and inspirational or motivational quotes that can be used in a variety of ways in the classroom. Below you will find a way to use them with your students in an interactive way, using the graphic design Canva App or website. A big thank you goes out to Linda Hayes, a FACS teacher from Pennsylvania, for her time and efforts spent collecting the running quotes for various FACS topics that you will find below and sharing them with us!

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Gidgee Gadget Lesson

I spent time this past summer browsing on the internet and reading teacher comments on Twitter. One of my favorite things is to watch TedTalk videos. I kept coming across ideas that what we teach students will be obsolete in 40 years, many future careers have not been invented, how fast knowledge doubles, advances in artificial intelligence, brain research, etc. So, what’s a teacher to teach? Or more importantly, what is it that students must be able to know and do to thrive in a future world full of unknowns? You may have additional thoughts but some of mine are students must be literate, be adaptive, be problem solvers, be able to think-outside-of-the-box, use technology, communicate effectively with others, work with others, and re-invent themselves in the workplace. Then, for the first time in my long career, my school adopted a partial block schedule with the first 2 days of the school year being block days. Students need to have positive experiences so they want to come back the next day plus I didn’t want to bore them. So, I wrote the Gidgee Gadget lesson. Take a look below to see what it’s all about!

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Fundamental Habits: Mindfulness & Singlehood

Independence or singlehood is the most critical stage of the family life cycle. During this stage, one strives to become fully able to support himself or herself emotionally, physically, socially and financially. Utilizing Sharon Lipinski’s “7 Generosity Habits” and Learning to Breathe: A Mindfulness Curriculum for Adolescents , Sasha Roble, a FACS teacher from Pennsylvania, created this lesson which encourages students to strive for a healthy body, mind and spirit. Keeping in mind throughout the lesson, that taking care of oneself means that you have a solid, strong foundation from which you can give to others throughout the family life cycle. After spending some time on managing one’s physical health, students in this lesson focus on the concept of mindfulness. Scientific studies show that mindfulness boosts your immune system, increases positive emotions, decreases depression and anxiety, grows additional gray matter in the brain, fosters compassion and enhances relationships.

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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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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!

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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!

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