Make a Connection – Growing Minds – Expandable Attire

Host a Shoe Show that includes closed shoes and ones that let toes poke out. Kids will wonder...why the show?

Host a Shoe Show that includes closed shoes and ones that let toes poke out. Kids will wonder…why this show?

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

Catch kids’ attention this year with a new take on the importance of growing their minds…

First buckle a belt on the tightest notch. Is there room for this belt to grow like a child's mind? Yes!

First buckle a belt on the tightest notch. Is there room for this belt to grow, like a child’s mind can grow? Yes!

Make a connection between growing minds and expandable attire.

Host a Shoe Show – Belt Buckle Bonanza – Surprise students at the start of a school day by setting two pairs of shoes on a desk in front of the class.

Present one pair of closed toe shoes and one pair of open toe shoes.

After you buckle a belt tight, let it out to make the belt bigger. Make a connection with growing minds.

After you buckle a belt tight, let it out to make the belt bigger. Make a connection – growing minds – expandable attire.

Place an expandable belt next to the shoes.

Kids will wonder…why this show?

Lift the belt up for all to see and instruct students to look closely as you:

1. pull the belt tight and hook the buckle to the last notch.

2. unbuckle the belt, let it out (as if to accommodate an expanding waistline), and hook the buckle to make the belt “grow bigger.”

Set the belt down again next to the shoes.

Ask everyone to look once more at the shoes and belt and then answer a curious question

What do an expandable belt and shoes have to do with growing young minds?

Answer: Shoes and belts that are designed to get bigger, as needed, are like children’s brains that have room to grow.

Kenton Lee, featured in a recent CBS news report, inspired this attentionology trick.

He is the mastermind behind…

The Shoe That Grows Project – Lee traveled the world after college at Northwest Nazarene University, located in his hometown of Nampa, Idaho (US).

His observation skills and inventive mind sparked a bright idea during a journey to Africa.

"Let's look and listen to this video. It's a story about a sister and brother growing up on a farm. Can you see the title? What is it everyone?...

Kids with healthy feet and shoes that fit have more energy to raise their hands for learning.

Lee made a special connection with helping children grow up healthy.

While volunteering at an orphanage in Kenya, Lee was shocked to see a young girl who had cut out the front of her shoes to accommodate her growing feet.

She needed shoes that “grow.”

Lee’s concept began to take flight after his persistence in approaching shoe manufacturers and shoe company executives finally paid off.

The Shoe That Grows project is now a thriving part of Lee’s non-profit, Because International.

The basic design of Lee’s shoe that grows includes three expandable parts:

* posts that let out in the front of the shoe

* snaps on the side of the shoe

* a buckle on the back of the shoe

Fascinating and cool!

The key to Lee’s dedication to the development of this project is simple…

Healthy feet need shoes that fit.

Healthy kids have better chances to succeed.

But, keeping kids in the right size shoes is an economic challenge in impoverished communities.

That’s why The Shoe That Grows stands to benefit children around the globe.

Challenge Growing Minds to Design Other Kinds of Expandable Attire – Making a connection between growing minds and expandable attire doesn’t need to end with shoes and belts that you show in class.

If your curriculum and grade level are a good fit for expanding on this concept, challenge your class to put their growing minds to work coming up with designs for other kinds of expandable attire.

Who knows? The next Kenton Lee may be sitting in front of you, paying attention not just to you…

…to her/his own mind too, a mind full of new possibilities for meeting the needs of others worldwide.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

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Posted in Attentionology for K-5 Teachers
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.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Students are acting sluggish in class.

Solution: Show "The BIG E," for ENERGY, an enlarged letter E (or other first letter for the word energy in your alphabet), available in craft stores. Remind the class that energy is a must-have item to get good work done. Tell the class to show you "The BIG E!"

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