Boom Cards & Distance Learning for Deaf /HH Students

I don’t know about you, but since life has changed a bit, I am trying to keep up and keep going. Teaching is definitely not what it looked like months ago and because it is such a drastic change I have had mixed feelings about everything.

Trying to to the best I can for my students has been a driving force. I am obviously not seeing them face to face. Being one to one with my students is vital and because of where we are…home, I can not deliver the same level of instruction.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Home-E-learning-Suggestions-and-Resources-for-Family-Support-5326320

Meeting goals and keeping my kiddos engaged has been a focus. In the beginning I was sending home paper based activities. I also had website suggestions and app ideas for my students and parents to support my goals and what the classroom teachers are doing. It has been wonderful that many online companies offered free subscriptions.

After a few weeks of teaching I started to settle in and so did my students. This is a great thing, but I still felt like I needed to do more. A good friend dipped her toe in the Boom Cards pond and I was intrigued and inspired by her process, so I decided to look into making some.

https://wow.boomlearning.com/store/authorId/WNNmzcKExv4npGZAd/1

My objective is to make materials that will help my students grow, practice skills and have fun. I focus on listening in a typical session, this is something that is not happening with distance, so I wanted to create decks that focused on listening-hearing my voice.

I decided to jump in with both feet. I needed to figure it out, which thankfully Boom is easy to navigate and I am blessed I have a friend who is willing to answer my calls for help. Putting my decks together was fun and got me pumped for distance learning. With this platform I feel I am spicing it up, meeting IEP goals, offering variety and providing interaction.

https://wow.boomlearning.com/store/authorId/WNNmzcKExv4npGZAd/1

I created my classroom, made the activities and BOOM….learning is happening. I love that there are options to track progress and assign decks for specific students. It is very customizable.

If you are looking for something to enhance what you are doing from home I recommend looking into Boom Cards. I created a store once I had a handful of activities made. My store is under my blog name and my TpT store. There are lots of resources out there to support you as you are trying to support your distance learners.

I know this can be hard and sometimes frustrating. We are teaching in unprecedented times. None of us are perfectly getting this right, but my hope is as a community we can support and share what is working for us!

Bring On The Spring

I haven’t been super motivated to write this past week. Times are strange, I miss my typical routine and the weather has been iffy. However today is looking up!

The weather is beautiful and it was easy to head outside for fresh air and sunshine.

I have some ideas I am working on for school. Distance teaching has been very interesting. It has been an adjustment, but I am trying to roll with it! My hope is this week I will post my new resources and strategies for distance teaching and itinerants.

Until the words hit the page…I am wishing you a week of peace, positive vibes and productivity. Remember we are in this together and there is strength in numbers!

Sunshine and Crafting

The sun is out! Thought I would try to motivate myself and finish a project I started….well purchased a while ago. These are organizational bins for a little crafter I know. My mini and I shopped for the items in February, when we could push a cart in peace and safety.

Today we finally added the vinyl labels. She picked the font and colors. I used my Cricut to cut them. That might be one of my favorite techie items.

Now that these are packed and ready they just need to be dropped off!!! Seeing that we can still do drive bys and leave something on a porch, I figure it is now or….June when we can take them over.

These should help keep him organized and busy!!! Finding things to do can be a struggle these days. Kids need things that are not screen time.

I hope you are finding ways to fill all of the home time.

Tell Me Something Good

30 days. 30 days of social distancing. It has been an experience and it continues to be an adjustment. One thing that seems to be a weekly take away is people need people.

A small message can mean so much. I have been trying to reach out and be present with my tribe. Some people I naturally communicate with more, but for people I would typically see at my schools and places I frequent I am making a concerted effort to check in.

Ways to Check-in

  • Text
  • Call
  • Video
  • Meme
  • Pictures
  • Group thread
  • Email
  • Card
  • Letter
  • Care package

Be that person who makes an effort to connect.

I know it is tough to be positive, to be present, and to be productive when you are staying safe and staying home. Maybe you can’t be that ray of sunshine everyday, but if you can…shed your inner light on your tribe, your people. Doing good feels good. You’ll be feeding two souls at once.

Something to consider. I hope you are well. I hope this makes you stop and say hmmmmm??

5 Ways To Cope With Being Inside Right Now

Since work and home are not exactly normal these days I am trying to find a balance in how to make this the time positive, productive and peaceful. As a mother and a wife I am looking for things to do and ways to stay grounded for my people and myself. In this post I really wanted to focus on the five things I feel are working and pulling me through these weeks.

Reorganizing

In my last post I shared my newly reorganized closet. It took up some time to do and now when I step in, to put on a clean pair of yoga pants, I feel calm and can see everything. I am not getting dressed for work everyday, so putting things I am wearing, at home, in easier places to reach has been a help.

However fast or slow you go….you will get there and what gets done gets done.

I recommend starting small. Try one cupboard or drawer. Maybe that junk drawer needs a tidy. Even just rearranging the refrigerator can help. Seeing things the same day after day can be mind numbing. Switch up what your looking at.

Yoga

So many of us are finding ways to get fitness in. If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know yoga is my jam. I have been doing my own home practice and hopping online to take a classes from my teacher. This has been great for my mental health more than my physical. If yoga isn’t your thing maybe search to see what local gyms or studios are doing to keep going forward in this bizarre time.

This speaks to me on so many levels……

Netflix and Chill

I am trying to take this time at home in daily bits. Some days I have the energy to clean and organize. Some days the only thing I want to lift is the remote and a snack to my mouth. While trying to resist the snacks I will indulge in a bit of binging. Time clearly goes by and seeing that I was a bit behind on watching TV- finding the silver lining here, I am happily catching up on suspense and drama.

Here are a few things I am watching ….

  • Outlander
  • Jack Ryan
  • Harry Potter Marathons
  • Ozark
  • Key House
Chips and TV it is!!!!!

Walks

This has become our family exercise. We try, weather dependent, to get out and walk. It is basic, we are blessed we can still do this simple activity and it seems normal. It is not unusual for us to get out and walk together. My hubs likes to make sure he has gotten his steps in, so he is usually the catalyst for this time. We typically just do 1-2 miles in our neighborhood.

These messages of hope keep me looking forward.

Since this staying in, staying home and staying safe situation has become our new normal, we have been trying to kick it up a notch. I think many other people have been too. I have always thought we lived in a quiet and dull neighborhood, but with this current situation I have seen more people out than ever. Families with kids, couples, dogs and even a cat are getting as much fresh air as they can. Step counts are up!

Daily Connections

This is the thing that I think is important. So many of us are attached to our phones. We mindlessly scroll Instagram or Facebook. We use our phones to do work-emails, research and video calls/meetings.

I am choosing to stay as positive as I can…there will be crap days for sure, but they will pass and I can breathe knowing that.

I was almost getting really sick of my phone and I definitely think a daily timeout is healthy, but another thing I find to be helpful at this time is making sure I text or call atleast two people everyday….and not about work. I want to know how they are doing and possibly hear something funny. I have had a few great conversations lately, that made me laugh and remember why I love my tribe. Normally we are to busy to invest that amount of time, but we have time, so I’m using it!

Ways to Connect

  • Text
  • Phone call
  • Pictures
  • Group threads
  • Video calls…whatever format works for you. Facetime, Skype or Zoom.
  • Cards and letters
  • Send a gift or package
I see you. I know you are doing the best you can….keep doing that.

However you are getting through this time, I hope you are doing well and able to see the light at the end of this tunnel. Take time to breathe and do what feels right. If you feel like a mass purge or just sitting and hibernating know both of those things are okay. We are all in this together and there is no right way to feel or react. Be well and stay safe.

Reorganizing and Reevaluating While Being At Home

How many of us are trying to make the most of this very weird time off??? I know as I am walking in my neighborhood, to get a daily dose of air and steps, and while out I see the curb loaded with trash on garbage night. People seem to be taking advantage of the hours at home and are filling them with mass purging.

I know we have things in our basement that need to find a new home, but seeing that we are living a life of social distancing, none of the places we typically donate to are currently taking donations. With that reality we had to pump the breaks on purging, but reorganizing is still very doable. There are many areas in my house that I am reevaluating.

Are you reassessing things in your home?

I am not a professional organizer, but there are a few rules I try to follow when reorganizing. Questions to keep me going.

When was the last time I used this??

This is a question I first ask myself. I am a bit of a saver by nature, but as I have gotten older I find it is easier to part with things because I try to take the emotion out of things. If I haven’t used it in over a year I think about how likely I will use it in the future. If I pause and hesitate too long….time to rehome!

Sometimes this can be difficult if I think about who gave it to me or when I got it. There is that emotional part. I have learned that I need to stop and really think about how important it is to hold onto an item. I struggle at times because I know if someone gave me something they put in thought and care…that is the tricky part.

Reality Check

No matter who bought an item, including myself, I try to think about the need, the purpose and the value it holds in the grand scheme of my house and life. If I can not find solid, nonhoarder reasons -I need to let go. Hiding things in a closet, drawer or cupboard is not giving items a purpose or value. Guilt is not a reason to keep items. I am sure I could fill a page listing items I currently have or clung onto for this reason alone! It is okay to make room, release and move on from “things”.

Who could use this??

This is another question I ask myself or my people. I love passing things onto friends or family. As I have stated in previous posts I very much like variety, but our walls can’t contain all my phases and style mood swings. We pass on kid stuff all the time. It makes us feel good knowing we could give away things we enjoyed, and we hope they bring joy to friends as well.

Donate or Sell?

When getting ready to purge we often have this common conversation: Do we still need this? Who can use this? Do we donate? Do we sell it?

I can say more than 99% of the time we donate or give away. I know people who are very good at selling items they no longer need or want. I think it is great how they use different online outlets to post and sell. I am actually a little envious of how they manage it, but to my core I am not that person. I know I am not going to take the time to photograph, post, comment and set up a pick up. It is just easier to box up and donate. However if you do want to sell there awesome options online and local consignment stores.

Ignoring the Basement and Opening Closets

One of the easiest places to start reorganizing or purging is my closet. I am terrible at keeping it looking tidy and reorganizing happens biweekly, but a purge is another story. I did a massive overhaul 2 summers ago and it was liberating. I think most of us hold onto clothing items because we think:

  1. I will fit this again.
  2. I got this on sale.
  3. This was expensive.
  4. I could wear this again.
  5. What if I “need” this.

All of these statements we tell our selves can be true. You might wear it again or fit into those sale pants, but what are they doing for you now? Taking up space? Adding to physical and mental clutter? Stressing you out?

If you are ever like me and do the I have nothing to wear or I hate everything in my closet battle, it is time to reevaluate. Time to take a hard look at what gets worn and what gets removed. Seeing that many of us have extra time at home these days it is a perfect opportunity to edit closets and drawers.

Keep, Toss Or Donate

My closet is no different than other parts of my house I ask myself the same questions and start to refold, rehang or pitch items. If I know I really love a piece, it fits great, it is still in good condition or it is fairly new, it stays. Items that hit these categories are easy to keep physically and mentally, it is the items I pause on that go in piles on the floor.

  1. Garbage
  2. Donate
  3. Storage

I am sure professional organizers would agree with the first two, but wonder why a need for storage. Well, because. Because I still do battle with myself over items and don’t want to part with them. I get a storage container and pack them away. I have a basement and space isn’t an issue, so I carry down my questionable pieces, however I do set a time limit. I give the bin 1 year. If I don’t think about it, look for something or revisit the bin-that is my answer. Time to donate.

Once all of these steps are completed, my hope is I feel better, lighter and have a sense of accomplishment. Sort of seems silly in the grand scheme of things, but it works for me! Hopefully I can look in my closet and easily select something to wear…no more closet battle.

During this very odd and unique time finding the good in everyday can be a struggle. Finding mini projects helps me cope with this new, unwanted, restrictive freetime. I am moving on to my mini’s closet next and then maybe some cupboards and drawers that have been begging for a reboot.

I hope you are finding positive and uplifting ways to get through this time of staying home.