Sunday, May 17, 2020

Wondering How to Assess Students From Home?

Solutions to Distanced Assessments:

So, how do you assess your students from home?
This is just too perfect and it's FREE!

If you don't already have an ESGI account, get one now while it's free through July 2. 
Just CLICK HERE to get your FREE account started with my code KFUN (no credit card required) and you will also automatically qualify for $40 off your 1st year if you choose to continue after the free trial. 
Click the image to get started.

Once you have your account and you have entered your students' names, just scroll down and click on  the purple box on your profile and you will get a code to share with each child's family. 
Click the image to get started.
Set up a testing appointment with each student via the phone or any video device, such as a laptop or notebook, give them the code, and they will be able to enter that code at and see the screen you want to use to test their child. 
Click the image to get started.

You can use the built-in tests already on ESGI, or you can even create your own custom tests! My ESGI tests are listed under "Friends of ESGI" and they are geared for TK, but also work well for kindergarten. Other tests may be found for pre-k, 1st, and 2nd grade.

There is more information and user-friendly tutorials on ESGI too. CLICK HERE for more info. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get started today with ESGI and get the data you need to send your students off to 1st grade! CLICK HERE to get started with your FREE trial!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

No Fabric? No Problem...

Make 2 Masks From a Dinner Napkin or Bandana:

This pattern has a hidden pocket where you can add a coffee filter
 and it has long straps that go behind your head.
I have made over 50 masks and sent them off to family, friends, and hospitals, but I ran out of fabric, so I started to make them out of 18" X 18" dinner napkins, but you could also use a bandana.

The hem around the sides may be cut off, but keep one as it creates a casing for the pipe cleaner.

Here is How:
-Fold your 18"X18" napkin in half and cut down the middle to create two 9" pieces. 

-Cut those pieces down to 16" and then in half to 8". That will give you four 8" X 9" pieces, enough to make 2 masks. 

-Cut two of the pieces down from 8" to 7". You will need one 8"X9" piece plus one 7"X9" piece to make one mask.

Save the casing you cut off.

-Cut the two 8"X9" pieces down to 4"X9".

-Hem one of the 9" sides of each of the two 9"X4" pieces. 
Before hemming.

After hemming.
-Overlap the two hemmed edges by about 1/4" and stitch in place at both ends.

-Make the casing for the pipe cleaner. Cut a pice of the casing to 4.5" long.

-Pin the casing to one of the wrong 9" side of a 9"X7" piece.
-Stitch one short side of the casing, add a pipe cleaner*, and stitch the other short side of the casing.
*note: The photo shows a 4" pipe cleaner, but you should cut a 5" pipe cleaner (or 20 gage floral wire) and loop the ends with needle nose pliers before inserting it into the casing.

-  Adding the elastic: Cut two 13" pieces of elastic and pin one end about 1" down from the corner on the 7" side of the panel with the two 4" hemmed panels or to the 7" right side of the panel with the wire in it.

-Pin the other end to the opposite side.

-Repeat with the other piece of elastic about 1" up from the bottom corners.

-Stitch around all 4 sides, but leave a 3" opening for turning. You can stitch close to the napkin/bandana hems if you left them attached and over the top edge of the pipe cleaner casing. 
If you don't make the opening for a pocket, leave an opening where you won't stitch so you can turn the mask right side out. If you make the pocket, you can skip this step. 

Stitch around all of the sides. Remember to leave that opening for turning.
Catch the casing for the wire while you are stitching.

You can use the hem (if you didn't cut it off) as a guide while stitching.

Stitch over the pocket opening where you tacked it before.
-Clip the corners.

-See how the wire allows the mask to form over your nose here:

-Turn it right side out.

-Iron it flat. Then, fold in half (hot dog style) and iron. Open, fold both ends in to the center, and iron.
Fold in half and iron.

-Fold in half again and iron flat.

-Open and pleat.

-Pin the pleats.

-Iron the pleats.

-Stitch over the sides to hold the pleats in place and also stitch the bottom edge which will seal the opening. 
That's pretty much it.

- Flip it to the side with the opening for the pocket and see if your coffee filter fits. You can also leave it empty, insert a tissue, or for the most protection, insert a piece of a HEPA vacuum cleaner bag. You may have to cut the coffee filter down. Fold anything you insert to align with the pleats so it will fold flat.

- That's pretty much it!
This is the back side with the pocket open.

Let me know if you make these. :)
Stay safe, stay home. 

Friday, April 3, 2020

How Are Y'All Doing With Distant Learning?

Distant Learning & Monitoring Student Progress:

Click the image to get started!
Use the code PALMAWILD to get this FREE!

Want to see how your students are doing during this distance learning time? Looking for a solution to progress monitor while your students are at home. ESGI has a solution to continue testing one-on-one with the Student Screen option.

Don't have ESGI? No problem! Sign up today for an EXTENDED FREE TRIAL using promo code PALMAWILD

Teachers that register for a new trial and try this free resource with students will automatically be entered:

Top prize - $500 Amazon Gift Card
Ten - $50 Amazon Gift Cards will also be awarded, and
Receive a $40 discount off your first ESGI purchase

For more info, watch this quick video:

Monday, March 30, 2020

Are You Sewing Medical Masks?

Here are easy directions:

I decided to add an opening to the inside of the masks I was making so an additional filter (like a coffee filter) can be inserted into the mask. I also changed the elastic to two longer pieces that fit behind the user's head to help save their ears.

The original directions can be found here:
Click the image above to see the original directions.

Here are the changes:

-Cut one piece of the fabric to 9"X7", but cut the other piece to 9"X8".

-Cut the 9"X8" piece into two pieces that measure 9"X4".

-Hem the two inside edges with a 1/4" hem.

-Tack the two pieces together at the ends of the hemmed sides overlapping about 1/4"

-Cut two pieces of 1/4" elastic to 13". Attach one end about an inch down from the corner of one of the 9" sides. 

-Attach the other end to the opposite side. Attach the 2nd piece of elastic in the same manner about 1" from the bottom corner.

-With right sides together, attach the back panel with the finished opening in the center.
I used fabric dinner napkins, so some of the outside edges were hemmed.
I just left them that way, but you don't need to hem any of the edges.

-Continue to follow the original directions stitching the sides and leaving an opening for turning. Clip the corners and turn right side out.

-After you iron it flat and pin the pleats, iron it again (see original directions) and stitch around the perimeter.

Now, you have a pocket that is hidden on the back side of the mask. You can insert a coffee filter into the opening.

The elastic bands allow you to drop the mask below your chin.

And the coffee filter allows   you to breathe while adding a bit more protection. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Getting By With A Little Help From Our Friends:

How To Make A Hospital Mask:

First, I want to say that these are NOT surgical grade masks. They are meant to be used when nothing else is available and you are left using a bandana. They may be used alone or over an N95 mask you might be forced to re-use. It is a last resort as something is better than nothing. That said, let's begin:

I got my instructions from a link my friend, Paula, suggested and watched this video. 

(There are other patterns on her site, too.)

Then, I added a little pocket and a twister tie so you can pinch the top of the mask over the bridge of your nose. 

Let's Get Started:

I gathered up fabric (100% cotton is best), 1/4" elastic, & twister ties.

Cut rectangles of fabric 9"X7" for adults (children size = 7"X5").

Cut 2 pieces of elastic 7" long for each mask.

Cut a twister tie pocket 1/2" longer than your twister tie and 3/4" wide.

I centered the twister tie pocket on the wrong side of one of the 9" edges of the rectangle and stitched 3 of the pocket edges leaving the bottom edge open. Backstitch all of your sewing.

Tuck in a twister tie and pin the opening closed.

Flip it over to the right side and attach one elastic piece on the 7" edge of the rectangle, about 1/2" down from the 9" edge. Do the same on the other 7" side. 

Now, pin the loose ends of the elastic 1/2" from the bottom on each side.

Repeat on the other side.

Place the 2nd rectangle over the first one with right sides together and elastic bands inside. Pin and stitch leaving a 3" opening at the bottom for turning. Be sure to use catch the twister tie pocket while stitching so you enclose the twister tie inside the small pocket. See both photos below before stitching.

(The 2nd rectangle is peeking out from under the dotted one.
It it a white fabric with a black design so this mask will be reversible.)

Now, clip corners close to stitching and turn right sides out. 

Iron flat. Then, fold in half (hot dog style) and iron a crease. Open and fold both long ends in (hot dog style again) to the center crease. Photos of this on on the Sweet Red Poppy web site. CLICK HERE.

Fold, pin, and iron 3 pleats towards the top (where the twister tie is), and stitch in place. Continue stitching along the bottom edge which will close the 3" opening. 

Here, you ca see how the twister tie allows the fabric to bend and stay in place over your nose.
I made 18 of these today. I plan to make more tomorrow. 

I made lots of happy, colorful ones, but now I'm making lots of the more popular plain ones. 

Hospitals will wash these. I washed mine with Tide Free & Gentle (which is not free and not particularly gentle, but it's fragrance free) and they did fine in a dryer on the low (delicate) setting. Since they are cotton, an iron helps, but I kept it off of the area by the plastic-coated twister tie. 

Do check with your local health care providers as not all are accepting these. For those of you who live near me, our local hospital is requesting a different pattern which I plan to work on tomorrow. Thanks to my friend, Kathy, for sharing this link with me: CLICK HERE for another pattern.

Thank you for helping your friends, community, and fellow humans. We are all in this together! Stay strong. We can do this!  

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Let's Make Learning FUN at Home because I HATE FLASHCARDS!

FREE for Parents To Use At Home:

Are you wondering where to begin when teaching your children at home? ESGI has your answers and it's FREE!  CLICK HERE for the free link.
Click the image above to get started FREE! 

Whether or not your child's teacher uses ESGI, you can use it for FREE with your child! 
(Directions on how to get started with ESGI for FREE are at the end of this post.)
Click the image above to get started FREE! 

Creative Ways To Use Flashcards:

Yes, I HATE flashcards. Life should NOT always be a test! But, if you use them as "skill cards" they can change everything:

Here is how to use flashcards in FUN ways:

1. Print your child's flashcards from ESGI.
(Directions about how to use ESGI for FREE are at the end of this post.)

2. Choose a few "skill cards" (let's not call them flashcards any longer) and have your child cut them out. (Use fancy scissors to make it more fun and to build fine motor skills as they are usually a little trickier to use.)
Have them cut around the
1st (a great word to discuss)
and keep the scraps.

                 Use the scraps for an art project!

3. Place 2 skill cards, back-to-back, inside a sandwich size zipper bag. 

4. Remove the air from some of the bags and seal.

5. Add air, by inserting a straw and blowing air into the bag, to some of the bags and seal.

6. Now, let's play! In the bathtub, or even in a sink, play "Sink That Skill!" Let the bags with air in them float as your child scans all of the bags for the skill you call out. "Sink the letter Q." "Sink the letter P."
Imagine the tub filled with floating bags of skill cards!
Click on the video:

And use the bags without air to stick skills to the tile. And don't forget to talk about sinking and floating to get a bit of science in too! :)

What Else Can I Do With These Skill Cards?

~Stick individual cards to your child's bedroom door or at the bottom of the stairs and have them slap the skill card and say the letter, #, sight word, etc. as they pass by.
~Hide a skill card under each dinner plate at the dinner table tonight and each person gets to look at their skill card and give clues to the family to help them guess the letter, #, sight word, etc.
~Copy a 2nd set of skill cards, cut them out and attach them, face down, to the refrigerator with magnets. Let your child play the Memory Game as they peek at skill cards and try to match them up.
~Use skill cards as "brag tags" and let your child tape the cards that have the skills they have mastered onto their shirt and wear the brag tags all day long. 
Whatever you do, make learning FUN and don't forget to return to ESGI to re-test your child's skills. They will be overjoyed to see the results as their pie graph turns green and, once they see this, they will actually beg you to test them! Really, they will! :)
So, what are you waiting for? Get started with ESGI for FREE! Here is how...

Getting Started With FREE ESGI:

If your child's teacher doesn't already use ESGI, NO PROBLEM! You can get a FREE account and use it at home.   Just CLICK HERE.
Then, just choose a few tests to run, such as letter names or sounds, number recognition, etc.
After you have tested your child you will have all of the information you need to work on the skills your child has not mastered yet. 
CLICK HERE to get started free.
If your child's teacher already uses ESGI, your child must have an amazing teacher! Just ask him or her for the link to your child's testing data. Then, you'll be all ready to print and play! 
CLICK HERE to get started 
until you get that link or password from your child's teacher.
The FREE LINK is good until July 3.

If you have ANY questions, just ask in by leaving a comment below and enjoy spending time with your child. You've got this, Mom & Dad! :)