Toddler Tips: Learning Colors

Maybe it’s just the little one I spend my days with, but it seems like toddlers get hooked on a color and that is the answer to every “what color is _____?” question.

A cow? It’s blue.

That yellow school bus? Also blue.

How about her favorite food? You guessed it. Blue.
Her favorite food right now is peas, y’all.

Every once in a blue moon (see what I did there? 😉 ) I’ll get an “orange!!!” out of her, but that’s still pretty inaccurate.

So enter winter vacation and I get to pinning (big surprise) and I stumble upon this amazing article about teaching Color Immersion, as I can only think to describe it. This genius momma, Jessie, uses her 11 week program to completely surround her littles in one color each week. She works it into playtime, reading, and even bath time! What a super-star mom!

If you’ve got little ones at home and are looking for creative ways to mix up their learning, check out Jessie’s blog immediately!

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Starting New Adventures

Having missed the past couple weeks, this is going to be a big post, but filled with big news and changes. Prepare yourself 🙂 it’s about to get real.

Have you ever been put in a situation that makes you appreciate everything you have and everything you want in life?

Has some event or discussion made you really realize what you want and motivate you to set new goals for your life?

Has a fire ever been lit under your butt so hot in an instant that you become overwhelmed at the thought of it all?

That’s all happening to me.

Not so much in the “someone I love is in bad health” kind of way (thank goodness and knock on wood!) but more in the “it’s time to buckle down and get serious about life” kind of way.

Jeff and I have been talking about our wants and goals for our life together lately; and let me tell you, I am so grateful to have such a strong, supportive, encouraging partner in life. I won’t get into specifics, but we have come to realize that what we do now in terms of spending, health, and planning, will directly affect how soon we can start working towards bigger goals for our lives.

Here are our top goals as a couple:
1. Pay off our debt (both cars and our college loans, totaling around $70K, give or take)
2. Build a large savings
3. Invest in our future (retirement, college funds, etc)
4. Buy a house
5. Start a family

As you can see, we kind of need to accomplish the first few before we can work on the last two. And the real conundrum is that with many things in life, we can’t have our cake and eat it too. We are looking for ways to increase our income and/or decrease our spending so that we can accomplish our goals faster. That suggests that I either get a second job to make up the difference of what I would be making if I were teaching or we can seriously cut our budget down by moving to a cheaper apartment or cutting out all unnecessary spending. Yikes! See what I mean about overwhelming?! Breathe, Lisa, Breathe.

On top of that, I have a few goals I would like to accomplish personally as well (in no particular order):
1. Reach and maintain my goal weight of 125-130 lbs.
2. Blog and reach 100+ followers
3. Get both of our pups certified to be therapy dogs

I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. But on the other hand, my goals kind of coincide with our goals as a couple right? If I’m working towards better health, training the dogs, and blogging, we aren’t spending money. Win, win?

So here’s what’s going to happen. Every day on the blog will be something different. There won’t be pre-planned posts with themes. It’ll just be me, updating you on the good, the bad, and the ugly of what’s happening. Hopefully, most of it will be positive! It’ll be real pictures of us, (like this one of me napping with the pups this weekend)

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, real stories of our experiences, and real accounts of what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes I’ll throw in a fun post about our home or a product I’m totally in love with, but mostly it’ll be about life.

I would love to have you all as my accountability partners. I would love if you will keep me on my game and keep pushing me forward. I’d love to help you get motivated to reach your goals by sharing and commenting and talking about what we are doing in our household to make our dreams come true.

If you like this idea of things being unplanned and honest and scary and real, comment!(I could totally use the positive vibes right now!)

If I’ll lose you as a reader because you like the way things are going, comment! and I’ll do my best to do two posts per day. I won’t know if you don’t tell me though!

I want you guys to want to read this blog. I would love your feedback, negative and positive. You all are the reason I keep blogging and my inspiration to share my ideas.

So, yea.

There’s my current life story. It’s scary. I’m kind of, maybe, very nervous. I’m also kind of, maybe, super awesomely excited for the things to come. I hope you’re all with me during this adventure. Big things are coming, and I have a feeling they’re going to be very, very good 🙂

Toss Up! Learning Game

I am always on a mission to find fun ways to help my students learn. A coworker of mine was telling me about a game she was developing that sounded like a fun, interactive, engaging game to get kids interested in learning new content. I decided to modify and DIY her idea and came up with my new classroom game, Toss Up!

toss up!

Toss Up! is based off of the fishbowl games you see at the local fair where all of the fishbowls are lined up next to each other and you throw ping pong balls at the glasses with the aim of making one in to win a goldfish.

The best part about Toss Up! is that it works with any grade and any subject. I use this in my Culinary classes, but it can work with spelling, history, math, English, Foreign Language, or any other subject. Since the teacher makes the questions, it can work for every age and content area!

There are quite a few rules involved in Toss Up! If the teacher gives adequate time to explain the rules the first time it’s played, they will set the class up for success every time they play in the future.

Here are the rules:

Preparation

  • Set game board in the center of the classroom with tables towards outer edges of the room.
  • Make four lines with colored tape on the ground four feet away from each side of the board.
  • Place a line of chairs behind the line, starting with the first chair’s feet on the colored tape with the others being place behind it in a straight line

Before Game Begins

  • Students will be split into four equal teams (per color)
  • Each team will be given a ping pong ball
  • Team members will rotate chairs after the first person takes their turn tossing their ping pong ball towards the game board.
  • Teacher should make up a list of review questions related to their content:

– 46 general review questions (numbered 1-46)
– 12 “Ladybug” review question spots (numbered L1-L12)  –  these
should be hard review questions
– 12 “stinger” spots (numbered S1-S12) – consequences/chance
opportunities (explained below)

How it Works

Each team will have a chance to toss one ping pong ball at the board.

  • Numbered cup = review question asked.
    • Correct answer = +10 pts for their team
    • Incorrect answer = No points added or taken away
  • Ladybug = bonus spot question; check number on ladybug.
    • Correct answer = award related to that number (hard questions on these spots make it more interesting!)
      • Examples: Piece of candy, more points awarded, extra freebie, extra hint, etc.
  • Bee/ “Stinger” = consequence/chance spot; check number on bee.
    • No question asked, consequence/chance related to that number given to team
      • Examples: lose all points, trade one player; lose 20 points; lose one life line; etc.

Each team will get three life lines to use. These life lines cannot be reused once gone.

  • Phone a friend – ask another player on their team (has to choose which team member)
  • Hint – player can ask the teacher a question related to the question
    • Cannot ask “What is the correct answer?” type questions.
  • Freebie – answer given to student, points still awarded –OR – avoid a “Stinger” consequence

Answering Questions

  • If the current team answers correctly, they get throw another ping pong ball, but must rotate players.
  • If the current team answered incorrectly, the answer is not given and a ball is tossed by the next team.
  • If current team lands on a “stinger,” the consequence is applied and the next team tosses.
  • If the player misses the board or ball sits on top of cups, team loses a turn and the play goes to the next team.

Teams continue play until time runs out. Team with the most points wins!

  • Ideas: bonus points on next test, candy, extra time on a project, etc.

To make yourself a board, you will need:

  • One sheet of thick poster board
  • 70 clear plastic 6 oz. cups
  • Hot glue gun
  • Colored paper
  • Ladybug & Bee stamp (or two other stamps to represent the “ladybugs” and “stingers”)

I strongly urge that you make yourself a board. My high schoolers LOVE this game and ask to play it constantly! It’s fun and challenging (since I make it harder to match their ability level) and they learn a bunch each time they play!