Sunday, September 17, 2017

Cool Like A Mint: Behavior Toothpaste STEM

Have you ever seen the idea
of comparing words to a tube of toothpaste
on the internet, Pinterest, etc.?
I have.
What a super cool visual to
teach kids to think before they speak.
Well, I came across this idea last year,
and I used that analogy with my kids.

I'm not really sure who first  came
up with this....
but they are BRILLIANT!
Yah they are!
Thank you for sharing!!!
I made it into a STEM activity for my students,
Of course you did!
and they had so much fun learning
about how they should always
think before they speak.
Last year, I came up with
a verbal story I told my kids....
maybe one day I'll share that....
but I haven't finished it on paper yet.

At the beginning of this school year
I used the same STEM concept again...
but I changed it up and I made it
into a little rhyme-rap for my kiddos.
I threw in little Life Saver Mint candies
that they all received
once they showed me
that they were being
Cool Like A Mint
at school.
Gotta love the incentive of candy!
Some of my kiddos
had to work a couple of days
to get that little mint!
But then.....
They Were Cool Like A Mint!

This year I'm teaching half-day First Grade
and half-day Second Grade 
Math and Science.
I did this activity with both of my classes.

At the beginning of the year,
we ALL need to go over
behavior and expectations.
I had some of my 2nd grade students
in my class last year,
but this is such a great lesson on
watching what you say...
that it never hurts to do it again.
Sometimes it takes hearing and doing
something several times before it sticks!
PLUS the rhyme-rap was new for them.

...and I'm sharing it here with anyone
that would like to use it.

Click Here To Download The STEM activity.
Click Here to Download
my voice saying the rhyme/rap.
You probably have
 a much better voice than I do...
so go ahead and rap it yourself for your class!
Believe me....they'd love to hear you
in all your coolness!
(Or at least they'd appreciate your willingness to take a risk!)
 Download the Powerpoint, and then
click on the Slide Show Icon
(on my PC it's on the bottom middle/right section
of the Powerpoint).
Click on the forward arrow button
to get to the rhyme page
and click on the little voice icon
that'll show up to the right hand side of the Cool Cat.
There's a voice icon on both the color
and the black and white version...
they are both the same rhyme-rap.
 The kids won't be able to put
all of the toothpaste
back into the tube....
But they'll love trying!
much like when we apologize,
we can say we're sorry,
but it doesn't completely 
erase the hurt feelings
we may have caused with our words.

I like to also relate this to science...
Thomas Edison didn't ever give up,
much like many scientists.
We have to teach our kids that it's OK
to not get the "Right Answer" immediately.
Sometimes we have to just keep on trying! 
(Which also goes hand in hand with making
verbal mistakes.)
On a personal note....
I have NOT been Cool Like A Mint
on so many different levels
for the past couple of weeks.

Hurricane Irma has affected
many Floridians....
I wondered how you were doing?!
we are all just a frazzled mess
(or at least I am---there is
NOTHING cool about me)!
My town was not affected
like other places in Florida,
but Floridians (including people in my town),
have been a little traumatized by Irma.
I'm sure!
Some evacuated the state.
Some ran from one side
of the state to the other
(as Irma seemed to be going one way
and then the other).
Many Floridians have been
inching through
parking lot traffic
on the highways...
We saw that here on the news!
Praying to get to a gas station
that actually still had gas...
before running out of gas,
and coming to a complete stop
in the middle of the road. 
What a nightmare!

King Common Sense was in Texas
for Hurricane Harvey.
He texted and told me that
I needed to leave with the kids
on the Tuesday BEFORE the storm hit.
People thought I was nuts,
to leave so early....
but when my husband
says to go....
That's called 23 years of marriage.
Or as I like to call it....maiwage.
That's also called he was hanging
with Harvey and didn't want your crew
to do the same with Irma!

I quickly made 5 days of Sub Plans,
submitted and got 5 days worth of substitutes
and left at 2:00 am the next morning.
Oh my word!!!
We drove to Alabama
to stay with my
Aunt and Uncle.
There was absolutely no traffic,
and no problems getting fuel.
Thank God for that!
That changed by that evening.
We were extremely fortunate to have
family who took us in,
and who had plenty of
room for us.
What a blessing!
We were able to stay
in their beautiful, spacious lake house
during the passing of the storm
with several of my cousins
and their families.
My cousins called it their REFU-CATION.
Thank goodness for family
who can make you laugh
when you just want to sit and cry!

We all stayed
for well over a week.
Impromptu family reunion...
...sponsored by Irma!
When I left,
I drove out at 5:30pm
on a Wednesday evening
and drove through the night
until 5:30am Thursday morning.
School was cancelled for 7 days,
I can't even imagine!
so I only needed 1 day
out of the 5 days of sub plans I created.
Teachers had to be back by Friday,
or I would have stayed in Alabama
since our house lost electricity.

Losing electricity may not seem
like that big of a deal to some....
but if you live in Florida (or Texas)
it's an
Yah it is!
My husband's office
next to the house
was struck by a tornado
during the storm,
so the electricity
in our area
was very much gone.


Since teachers had to be at work
by Friday (2 days ago--11 days after I left)
for a Teacher Work Day to make sure everything
was fine for students to go to school
this Monday (tomorrow)....
AND I was so worried about getting stuck
in gridlocked traffic on the way back...
I decided to drive as much as
I could this past Wednesday night.
Yikes....of all times for your husband
to be out of town!  UGH!
Luckily, the traffic ran smoothly.
There was much more traffic than there
typically is during the middle of the night,
but it was smooth sailing.

Karate Ballerina
(my oldest who took over her father's role
of keeping Mom on track during this storm)
and her boyfriend--Captain Snook--
 bought several gas containers
and filled them up for me in Alabama
so that I wouldn't run out of gas with
my two youngest in the car on the way back.
She was raised right!
She actually came to the house
the Sunday before
I unknowingly
would be evacuating and 
made sure that I had water, food,
and diesel on hand for the generator.
What a good girl!
She had told me to start prepping
that Saturday before 
I was diligently ignoring her.
I bet you won't do that again!
I told her that my life had been too
stressful up to that point,
and that the Cosmic Powers That Be
knew that I just couldn't handle one more thing.
Unfortunately, that's usually not how life works.
Just saying...
They would take pity on me.
Hurricane Irma was not going to come our way.
Very wrong...

Karate Ballerina knew I wasn't listening to her,
and she knew that her dad was out of town.
So she came over, borrowed my bank card,
and went to get everything she thought I'd need.
Thank goodness for children with common sense!
And no.....
I will never claim that they got that from me!

She and Captain Snook went to Alabama
with us, and they left
the day before we did
since he had to get back to his work.
They gave me advice on which back roads
I should take on the way home.
It was important to take back roads
as the main freeways were too congested.
Again, saw it on the news.

On the trip back to Florida from Alabama,
we actually got lost around
1:00 am in the pitch black,
empty back roads of Georgia.
Nobody ever tells you how dark
a back road can get in the middle of the night.
It was me, my 16 year old,
and my 7 year old in the car.
Yikes!  That had to be just a bit unnerving!
We were using our GPS System,
but then a road with the same name
as the one we were following popped up,
and got me completely and utterly lost.
I saw a police officer in his trooper car,
so I followed him into a parking lot.
Thank God for small favors!
I pulled up to his car
and rolled down my window.
Hanging out the window just a bit,
with my hair pulled up in a messy,
curly heap on top of my head,
I said, "Excuse me....
Can you please help me?
I'm trying to get back to Florida,
and I'm lost!"
The Officer just looked at
my frazzled state of being,
smiled a kind smile,
and gave me directions
in a Deep Southern Drawl.


He was a huge, muscular,
African American Police Officer
with the kindest tone of voice
explaining not to worry...for some
reason many people get lost in that area,
because of the 2 similarly named roads.
He told me how to get back on the
right path to Florida,
and then he followed me until I got
back onto the correct road.
I'm surprised you didn't melt into a puddle 
of grateful tears and ask him for a hug!

It just brings tears to my eyes,
that I live in a country that I feel
comfortable and confident in stopping
any random police officer
on a pitch black, desolate road
 and ask them for help.

As we drove away,
back on track to Florida...
I pointed out to Golden Boy and
The Darling Diva that the police officer
that helped us was a shining example
of what I've been telling them
for many years...
We are so very blessed
to live where we do.

alright....dry your eyes...enough!
Be Cool Like A Mint, Regina!

When we drove up to our house at 5:30 am,
all I wanted to do was sleep.
Oh, I'm sure!!
That did not happen
for the next 4 hours.
Instead, I cleaned out our
two refrigerators that were both standing in
melted, goopy, mildew puddles.
Oh my grossness!!!
We cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned.
EVERYTHING got thrown out.
Even the batteries that
we keep in the freezer
had to go.

On the way back home,
I was listening to the news
(in order to stay awake)
and they were talking about
the smell of death
that was permeating the air
in some hard hit places in Florida.
They had cadaver dogs
going out to find people,
but the dogs weren't able to
find anyone in that area (thank goodness--
as in, that smell was not really dead people---right?).

When I walked into my house,
I realized that the smell
that was smacking me in the face
was perhaps the smell
that they were talking about on the news.
It was a smell
that I had never smelled
before in my life.
...and it was TER.RI.BLE.
I talked with King Common Sense
and he told me that yes....
that IS the smell.
Well now I know something
that I never wanted to know.

It has taken a lot to try to get rid of that odor.
Luckily, I met a very nice lady
who cleans houses for a living yesterday.
We were just randomly talking
about our Storm Stories,
when I mentioned the smell
permeating my house.
She suggested I take small,
opened boxes of baking soda
and place them in and around the refrigerators.
You've never heard of that trick?
Most folks around here always
have an open box of baking soda in the fridge.
She was a Godsend!!!
This morning, I woke up...
and the smell is finally dissipating.
Go Away Bad Smell!
Go Away!
And Don't Come Back Until I Say So! may not be a Green Monster,
but it does make one feel greenish to smell it!

I just got my electricity today... don't realize what you've
got until it's gone!
So being Cool Like A Mint 
has a another totally different
meaning for me!
Late this Sunday morning
(as I was roaming around my house in pajamas),
I heard a knock on my door.
I was so excited to see the electrician at my door,
that once I realized who it was...
I threw open the door.
I had no bra.
Aw snap!
But I didn't care.
Which is rare.
Normally I care.
Whether or not
I have on proper underwear. 

So there you have it.
All it takes is 13 days of stress
and 4 days with no AC
for me to lose any sense of decency.
Oh, I'm sure you weren't the first
nor the last to have that reaction
to seeing him at the front door!

Now that I have
Air Conditioning.
I can truly be...

(and properly clothed)

On a serious note, so thankful
that you and your family 
were able to stay safe through 
those terrible storms!    


ShellyS said...

Thanks for sharing both your story and this activity. I hope it reminds people of how blessed we are living in the USA! This activity has the exact message my new class needs to hear! I'm having difficulty getting the rap to play. Any suggestions?

Queen Chaos said...

Yes....I just uploaded a Powerpoint version of it. Simply click on the CLICK HERE above. It'll take you to the Powerpoint. Click on the Slide Show and then click on the little voice icon to the right of the Cool Cat. There's one on the color page and the black and white page. They're both the same rhyme-rap.
Please let me know if it's now working on my end.
:) Regina

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