Thursday, July 18, 2013

You deserve a break from my “back to school” blogs so today and tomorrow I will try to answer several requests from teachers who have attended recent workshops.  First, a teacher asked me to create a song to help children learn to tie their shoes.   Second, is an explanation of the importance of crossing the midline.  And, tomorrow you’ll find an explanation of what children learn from doing finger plays.

TYING SHOES
(Tune:  “This Old Man”)
Over and under, now what to do?   (Pull strings tight.)
Make a loop simple as can be.  (Make a loop with right string.)
The other string is a rabbit you see.  (Hold up left string.)
The rabbit goes around
And into the hole.  (Take left string around loop and stick in the hole.)
Pull the loops tight and there is your bow!  (Take both loops and pull.)
That’s an important thing to know.  (Hold up index finger and point.)

Hint!  I gave my own children a large teddy bear and an apron with big strings.  It was easier for them to see the process and succeed on something large before trying to tie with skinny shoestrings.

Here’s a song for a different way to tie shoes.

TYING SHOES VERSION 2
(Tune:  “Ball in the Jack”)
Take the 2 strings                     (Make loops with each string.)
Make two bunny ears.
Over and under
And a knot will appear.                (Tie loops in a knot.)
Pull the ears nice and tight.
You’ve tied your shoes and that’s alright.
Now you can tie your shoes and mine.
Knowing how to tie shoes is so fine.
You’ve tied your shoes - good for you!

SHOE SHERIFF CLUB (Karen Hansen & Karen Aikin)
This is a repeat of an idea a teacher shared last fall.  You’ll love it!  When children learn to tie their shoes they get to sign their name on a poster that says “Shoe Sheriff Club.”  Each day a child on the poster gets to wear a badge and be Shoe Sheriff for the day.  If someone’s shoes come untied, they have to go to the Sheriff instead of bothering the teacher.

*Here’s another repeat idea from Ashley Swedell.  She puts shoes on table legs and if children finish their work early they can practice their tying.

BRAIN HUG
Draw a line vertically down the middle of your body.  That’s called the midline.  Every time you cross over that line, you are helping connect the hemispheres in your brain.  Teaching children how to give themselves a brain hug will also center them and help them gain self-control.

Thumbs up.                           (Stick up your thumbs in front of you.)
Thumbs down.                      (Point thumbs down.)
Cross your arms.                  (Cross fists with thumbs pointing down.)
Clasp your fingers.               (Keeping wrists crossed hold hands.)
Bring your hands in.             (Bring clasped hands down and in toward chest.)
Give yourself a hug.             (Squeeze arms.)
Thumbs up.                            (Stick up your thumbs in front of you.)
Thumbs down.                      (Point thumbs down.)
Cross your arms.                   (Cross fists with thumbs pointing down.)
Clasp your fingers.                (Keeping wrists crossed hold hands.)
Bring your hands in.              (Bring clasped hands down and in toward chest.)
Give yourself a hug.              (Squeeze arms.)