The Attentionology Traveler

a world of ideas at your fingertips!

Hi! Ever thought about the many ways that teachers can travel?

Through the magic of technology, the world really is at our fingertips!

TV Channel-surfing last night, I happened on a major US network news feature about children’s fascination with boxes.

The report affirmed what I’ve learned from my own experience using boxes,

Turn a colorful storage box into a cool teaching tool!

like the one in my blog pic here, to catch and keep kids’ attention in the classroom.

I’ve published three Attentionology posts in three years that offer a variety of ways to use boxes as teaching tools.

Check them out in your online travels: The first post about boxes as tools to help kids learn was on 08/30/10 – Help Students Mind Their Brains.

The second post was on 07/25/11 – Grab Attention with a Smart Box (shown in the blog pic above).

The most recent post was on 02/13/12 – Box Tricks Attract Attention.

It’s back to boxes we go in today’s Attentionology Traveler; a good move to make as many of us begin the biggest holiday season of the year. Holiday gift-giving brings boxes to home and school.

See if you can use boxes as attentionology tools too…

Consider these ideas:

1) BOXES ARE KEEPERS – Make a promise to keep gift boxes that you and members of your family receive this year, for use as creative attention-getting teaching tools in 2013.

2) MAKING A LIST, CHECKING IT TWICE – Tell your class that box-keeping is on your need-to-do list for December. It’s nice, not naughty, to reuse resources like perfectly good boxes!

3) ONE BOX, TWO, NO MATTER HOW FEW – Some of your students may not receive many gifts over the holidays. Suggest that students keep any clean, reusable boxes that arrive at home over the holidays, no matter how few.

4) PLANS FOR SAVED BOXES – Remind the class that every box contribution counts. Advise them that you and they will develop plans for the boxes you all save. All boxes can become much more than packing for presents.

5) GOOD STEWARDSHIP – Elaborate on the connection with saving boxes and environmental stewardship. Begin a discussion on ways that we can all make a difference when we reduce, reuse and recycle.

6) HOLIDAY CHALLENGE – Ask students to spend a little time over the holiday break thinking about what a gift box could become after it delivers a present. Encourage the children to jot down their ideas. If you teach kids in grades 3 – 5 organize your own ideas (and ask students to do the same) into two focus categories: * boxes for learning * boxes for playtime (The two aren’t mutually exclusive, are they!)

Last night’s network news report focused on boxes for playtime. Get the story here.

I’ve added some other possibilities below that you can share with your class to jump-start their thinking about what a box can become for fun and learning…

Refrigerator Box = Space Station

Computer Box = Cat’s (or stuffed animal’s) hiding (pretend hiding) place

Shoe Box = Social Studies or Science Diorama

Shirt Box = 2 Framed cardboard spaces for finger painting

Jewelry Box = Home for saved fortunes from fortune cookies

Speaking of fortunes, there’s no question that children believe that boxes are every bit as, and sometimes even more valuable than the gifts that come inside them!

Traveling on…

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

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Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
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Solution: Show toy airplanes, pretending to make them "take off" across notebook paper. Explain to the class that stories, like airplanes, require clear "flight paths."

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