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Friday, March 11, 2016


Some of you have been to so many of my workshops that I truly feel like we are BFF’s. Leigh Ann Towater is among my “besties.” She came to the workshop I did last Monday in Memphis and sent me this email about how she had integrated what she learned. THIS IS WHY I LOVE WHAT I DO!!

I always start my workshops by telling teachers that they will have to earn a BA and a BS.
BA Borrow and Adapt what I do!
BSBorrow and Steal what I do!
I think Leigh Ann gets an A+ for the day!

We made little books out of lunch bags and pipe cleaners and here’s how Leigh Ann said she was going to adapt them.

Use lunch bags for a lost tooth at school. I would suggest the white paper bags because they would look fancier for the tooth fairy - maybe add some sparkly stickers. Staple the sides so the tooth won’t fall out when they take it home to their parents. (They may even choose to use it to leave tooth in for tooth fairy. :)

Make a lunch bag that says "Top Secret" for those kiddos who have had some behavioral issues. Put the note (don't tell the student you did this) in the "Top Secret" bag and give it to the child and tell them it's top secret and only for their parents to see.
Note! You could also use the “top secret” bag for GOOD behavior and other accomplishments.

We strung 10 beads on a pipe cleaner to use for phonological awareness and counting. Here’s a perfect adaptation for number bonds.

Put beads on pipe cleaners to practice number bonds. I chose to do all number 5 bracelets the same color. (For example: purple pipe cleaners, yellow beads) Using the same color makes it a lot easier to keep them together in a ziplock bag.

I suggested putting a mirror in the classroom and directing children who tattled to “go tell the little boy and girl in the mirror.” Here’s another clever idea. 

I have used the tattle tale monster (stuffed animal) for years, but I would forget about it. On President’s Day most of my kiddos could spout off the name of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, but they could not tell you who the President was now. I laminated a picture of Barack Obama and put it on the wall. When they came to me to tattle, I told them to go tell President Barack Obama about it. THEY ABSOLUTELY THOUGHT THAT WAS HILARIOUS, and it’s a good way to get them to learn the President's name.

If you tie old socks in knots you can give them to children who have trouble keeping their hands to themselves. See what happened in Leigh Ann’s room!

The sock tied in knot worked a MIRACLE on one particular child in my class. He wanted to take it home, but I assured him it would be there tomorrow and he could use it then. His BEHAVIOR was much better today!!!!! That’s a real MIRACLE!

I took 2 of my daughter’s old tennis shoes and put them on table legs so the kids could practice tying shoes. I told the class they were Kali's shoes and she had to go barefoot today. One little boy still thinks she went barefoot! LOL

And that’s why going to school each day is so much fun! No standards or assessments can ever take away a teacher’s CREATIVITY and JOY!

Leigh's email is if you'd like to contact her.