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  • Mallory Foster

Hello Again and Thermometer Tasks

Updated: Jul 23, 2018

Welp...It's been a minute since I posted... Since the April "A Month in Moments" post, I've finished two major papers, a few big projects (Adobe Captivate is...time consuming), graduated with my MEd, started training as a #newleader with #tinkergarten (WOOTTTT!), celebrated my first Mothers' Day and my baby's first birthday, got orders to re-station in Fort Lee, VA, and celebrated Will's second Fathers' Day. Enough of my busy-ness litany - we all have seasons where personal projects take the back burner for a few :). All that to say HELLO AGAIN! My goal for the summer is weekly posts! Next week will be a special summer month in moments! Feel free to comment with types of activities you'd like to see.


WOOT! So excited to lead Tinkergarten classes starting in the fall! I'm ready to get outdoors and play and learn with kids and their adults!

So, on to "Thermometer Tasks". As a teacher, I did this crazy lab that involved pancake batter, soil, newspaper, water, blow dryers, and a whole lot of mess. The lab is GREAT for looking at erosive forces and thinking about best practices farmers can use to prevent excessive erosion. AND, as a reflective teacher, it was a good "thermometer" for how much energy and patience I had for hands-on, messy, real learning. The more resistant I was to doing the lab, the more I realized I needed to do a bit more self-care (running, yoga, actually sleeping, reading for fun, tea every night). Now, as a parent, I'm refiguring out what my thermometer tasks are, and I encourage you to do the same! It's important to notice when we need more time for ourselves so that we can fully jump into learning and playing with our younger, curious humans! As a parent, some of my thermometers are bath time and walks - how much I rush my one year old is a good measure for how fast my brain might be going instead of staying in the moment with my kiddo.


My classroom thermometer task! Designing an erosion-proof mock farm field.


What can you do if your thermometer says, "SELF CARE NOW!" or "UGH, I don't want to pick more dirt out of your mouth/up from the floor"?

  • Self-care can be as simple as going into the bathroom and turning the fan on for a minute before returning to the mess or it can be a weekly (or monthly) yoga/fitness/art class or book club. Self-care is NEVER selfish. Commit some time to yourself so you can commit time to those you love. (Just telling yourself that may be all you need :)

  • Simplify the task - I have a slight obsession with subscription boxes. Instead of working on canvas, HG and I work in the boxes - this keeps the mess a bit contained. In my science class, this was groups of three instead of partners and more specific directions

  • Teach kiddos to help clean up and give reasonable amounts of time to help clean up - make it into a game or challenge :). Teens need a timer and explicit, specific directions when you want them to clean up efficiently, too - not just our little ones!

For simple self-care at home, I suggest Cosmic Kids Yoga (if you are watching your little ones), DoYogaWithMe.com, and Fitness Blender (for me, self care is all about movement - find what you need!). I also listen to podcasts in the car to recharge (10 Minute Teacher Podcast, Dear Hank and John, Preschool Research Podcast). And, a thermos of tea when you're out on errands or teaching can be your split-second mental break that you need to recharge! Find what works, run with it, and keep learning and playing!


Mess slightly contained on a big piece of cardboard :). Also, tissue paper and a wet paint brush over white cardboard can be a fun project :). It's like a cheap Buddha Board!

Please comment with how you take care of yourself and any requests for July's Month in Moments.

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