September - An Idea for Every Day - Week 4
We finally got our summer camping trip in! Yes… it’s true…. we waited until after our first snowfall, but nevertheless, we got it in! And, technically, it’s still summer, so "Woohoo!" to accomplished goals. Our nieces and nephews spent the weekend hunting down Bigfoot and feeding chipmunks. My sister and I got scorched in the concentrated UV waves that come with higher elevations while on a four-mile walk around a nearby lake; our husbands came through relatively unscathed. Trips were made to a local Starbucks because our coffee solution failed. And while we formed plans to go again in two weeks, those plans quickly changed. It appears that as the season comes to an end, the campsites are booked solid. So, we’re not the only crazies going out this late in the season! It truly was a weekend of memory making and I’m so glad we were able to do it before summer’s end!
What's coming up this week? Well, I’m glad you asked. Check out these daily holidays with paired learning activities we’ve been stewing on for you in this week’s edition of Wolfe Stew’s An Idea for Every Day. (Click the link to “jump” to descriptions of the chosen day’s activities.)
- Neighborhood Day (Third September Saturday) - Reflections on Neighborhoods
- International Day of Peace (September 21st Annually) - SEL (peacekeeping activities); MUSIC (songs about peace)
- Fall Equinox (Varies Annually 9.22.22) - SCIENCE (Earth and space); SOCIAL STUIDES (cultural traditions); ART (fall crafts)
- International Day of Sign Languages (September 23rd Annually) - COMMUNICATION (spelling, sign language, charades, virtual teaching)
- Punctuation Day (September 24th Annually) - WRITING (conventions)
- Comic Book Day (September 25th Annually) - WRITING (creative, sequencing, storytelling, dialogue); READING (comic books); ART (cartooning)
- Family Health & Fitness Day (September 26th Annually) - Share family tips for staying healthy.
And we’d love to plate them up for you in the way that best suits your personal tastes. Glance over the options below:
- September Calendar (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022) – Ideas at a glance with clickable links for you advanced planners.
- Weekly Blog - You’re reading it now. 😊
- SUBSCRIBE by sharing your email in the field on the left side panel to get them delivered directly to your inbox.
- Check out the four latest posts (ideas never expire):
- Even More Ideas – Look over our Pinterest board.
|Neighborhood image by Daniel Frank via Pexels|
I think what it means to be a good neighbor today, is way different than what it meant to be a good neighbor in yesteryears. We definitely live more isolated lives, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to be better neighbors. Just saying a friendly, “Hello,” complimenting a pet, or picking up some trash all help make our neighborhoods better places. What’s your neighborhood like? Are you happy with the way it is, or do you wish it could be different? If you wished it could be different, what could you do to make that change happen? I think, however, an advantage of the world we currently live in is that the whole world, in a way, is our neighbor. And, in seeing the world from this perspective, I humbly ask: “Won’t you be my neighbor?”
September 21st Annually – International Day of Peace
|Peace image via RawPixel|
Peace, or at least lasting world peace, seems an unattainable goal - an ideal. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t work toward that end. Just because something is unattainable, doesn’t mean we don’t strive toward achieving it, especially if we think it’s worthwhile. And peace is a worthwhile goal. The most reasonable place to start in the search for peace is within ourselves. Maybe when we attain peace there, even if it’s only for an instant, we’re more capable of extending peace outward. To help you grow in your journey toward peace discovery, sample these ideas we’ve stewed on for you.
The United States Institute of Peace provides a set of five peace teaching lesson plans (They’ll define conflict, understand levels of conflict, define peace, list categories of a peacebuilder, and explore ways to observe conflict to find a resolution.) and an appendix of action ideas for your Third to Fifth Grade learners. For additional support, this site also provides a list of books about peace.
If you’re looking to teach a Biblical approach to peace, Ministry to Children has you covered. It is part of a series on spiritual fruits and suggested for First to Third Graders, yet we’re confident you could tailor make this to fit your learner. Based on all New Testament scriptures, the lesson aims to teach learners that true peace comes from God, and it is our goal to pursue peace with everyone. Don’t miss the related resources at the bottom of the post. I’ll leave you with the verse they’ll memorize:
Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
|Fall Leaf via PXFuel|
For the first day of fall, I’m going to celebrate by getting a Pumpkin Spice Latte. I love fall. It really is my favorite season. The crispness in the air, the smell and color of fall leaves, the open invitation for baking, for all these reasons and more, fall is my favorite. But I’m a stickler when it comes to following the rules. It irritates me that pumpkin spice season begins for many in August. To maintain the sanctity of everything that is fall, I attempt to wait until the actual first day to indulge in Pumpkin Spice flavors. So, I, for one, anxiously anticipate the actual first day of Fall and my heart jumps for joy knowing that it is (finally) in this upcoming week.
Explain changing daylight lengths with this Wolfe Stew paper plate manipulative which has differentiation options applicable to Preschool to Sixth Grade learners in addition to even more resources for fall learning.
Invite Preschool to Sixth Grade learners to celebrate fall with a decorative craft at Proud to Be Primary. We like the following for each grade level band:
- Preschool to Second – Fall leaf stamping (using a toilet paper roll!) at Crafty Morning
- Third and Fourth – Salt and Watercolor Fall Leaves at Art is Basic
- Fifth and Sixth – Popsicle Stick Scarecrows from One Sharp Bunch
To really fall into equinox learning, check out National Geographic’s encyclopedia page to learn more about equinoxes from scientific and cultural perspectives with your Fifth and Sixth Graders learners.
“The heat of autumn is different from the heat of summer. One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider.” – Jane Hirshfield
|ASL Alphabet image via Public Domain Pictures|
As a child, my sister and I spoke in “secret code” and that “secret code” was sign language. No, we did not speak sign language fluently. In fact, all we knew was the alphabet. So, we would painstakingly spell out each word using the American Sign Language Alphabet in the message we wished to convey. She tried communicating with me using our “secret code” recently, and I’ll admit, I’m not nearly as skilled as she remains. If learning sign language has ever been a dream of yours or your learners', you may wish to look through these ideas we’ve stewed on for you.
Learn basic words at ASL kids or the alphabetat Kid Courses. If you’d rather look up specific words or phrases using a visual dictionary, check out Hand Speak. Using these resources, you might have learners:
· Teach each other the sign they learned
· Perform the sign and have peers guess what the sign means
· Practice spelling by using alphabet signs to spell the words to each other
· String together a series of words to communicate a message or summarize a main idea
Alternatively, you can incorporate sign language into classroom management with these tips from For the Love of Teachers. Christine Weis, the author, shows you some common signs she uses in her classroom, including the sign for “q,” which means “I have a question.” Or “a,” which means, “I have an answer.” And this article, from Edutopia, provides suggestions for bringing sign language into virtual learning. Signs such as “again” and “slow” help students communicate their needs quickly to a virtual teacher.
Indeed, the benefits of using sign language in learning clearly extend beyond secretly communicating to a sibling. Sign language becomes a quiet, effective, and efficient means of communicating among members of a learning community.
|Punctuation via Raw Pixel|
Every time I see this word, the Leap Pad song lyrics play in my head:
When there’s a comma, you should pause for a beat.
A period means that the sentence is complete.
It was one of my nephew’s favorite songs on the Leap Pad - that and the sticky letters song. Anyway, as in the song, your learner needs to know their punctuation. It’s paramount to understanding and writing in the written word.
To help your learners understand the importance of punctuation, we recommend reading Punctuation Takes a Vacation by Robin Pulver (opens to a YouTube read aloud by Katherine Detrick). It’s a fun book that imagines what might happen with no punctuation.
After reading the book, consider tallying every punctuation mark you observe today and decide which one really needs a vacation. Then come back and let us know! We’re curious.
|Incredible Hulk image via PX Fuel|
Are you a fan of comic books? To be honest, I never got into them. The Mr., however, is a diehard fan. I’m clueless, and he’ll roll his eyes when I don’t know every hero’s backstory including every villain battled and each outfit worn. He and his brother actually tried their hand at writing their own comic at one point in time. Do you think your learner might enjoy comic book learning? If so, glance through these ideas we’ve stewed on for you.
If comic reading is what they’d most enjoy, then have them choose one from these lists of recommended comic books for varying age groups. If you'd rather we choose, check out our selections below:
- Preschool to First: From Mental Floss list of “10 Great Kids Comics for Early Readers,” we’d choose the Nursery Rhyme or Fairy Tale Comics edited by Chris Duffy
- Second to Third: From Library Mom’s post of “Great Graphic Novels for 2nd and 3rd Graders,” we’d choose The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey
- Fourth to Sixth Graders: From Mom Junction’s post of “13 Enjoyable Comic Books for Kids,” we’d choose the Marvel Avengers comics
If comic creation is their preference, might we offer paper and electronic versions up to you? For a paper comic strip creation tutorial, check out this Education.com lesson. Or, if you’d rather go digital, check out this digital comic strip writing activity from CommonSense.org that uses the Make Beliefs Comix platform.
|Family Health via PX Fuel|
With online learning and working from home, our family certainly lives a more sedentary life than we did during the summer. We’re looking for some ways to eat healthier, move more, and rest effectively. Here are our goals in every area:
- Eat a fruit or vegetable with every meal while also monitoring our carbohydrate intake.
- Get up and move every hour while working at our computers and take a daily walk.
- Keep Sundays sacred as rest days – time with God, time with family, time with self.
What do you and your family do to eat healthily, move more, and rest effectively? Seriously, any tip you have to offer is welcome.
Before You Go
We’d Love to Know:
- What is your favorite season?
- If you enjoy camping, would you rather go when it’s too hot or too cold?
We sincerely thank you for spending part of your day with us. We’re glad you’re here. Here’s to hoping you find pockets of JOY in every day of the upcoming week.
At Your Service,
Interested in even more educational resources? Then stop by our Learning Lab. It's here where we store all the educational resources we've cooked up to date.