Sand in shoes... I may need a procedure

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Backroads, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Any of you who have a playground area with a sandbox... how exactly do you handle sand in shoes?

    Allowing students to dump out after recess in the garbage can has not been successful... takes too much time and makes a big mess.

    I am attempting to set up a situation where they dump out before they come in the classroom, but a lot of them can't tie their shoes (1st grade)

    The sad fact is that I need something. I have a kid who bawls from the irritation of sandy shoes, and telling them "just deal with" results in a lot of fidgeting.
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I can sympathize with students and teacher. I absolutely hate sand in my shoes, and am so distracted that everything has to be put on hold until the sand is gone. As a teacher, I would hate to have to have a time-eating procedure after every recess just to let the kids get the sand out of their shoes. I'm guessing that students who are without socks are more troubled, but if it were me, all the socks in the world wouldn't placate me if there was sand in my shoes. Let us know what you come up with!
     
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  4. otterpop

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    What if you closed the sandbox down three to five minutes before the end of recess and gave kids the chance to dump out the sand while still outside?
     
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  5. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    Otter has the right idea. I don't like to waste time either, but it is better to waste recess time than class time afterwards. We do not have sand....just pebbles. Some kids ( not all) dump their shoes and pebbles all over the floor. ( Wasting time having to pick them all up!) We only have duty 1 x every couple of wks. It would be like herding cats to get all of the duty people to do it here. :)
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 31, 2019

    My school switched from a sandbox to a pebble box. I wasn't a this building last year, but I've been told that the pebbles are much less messy. Maybe you put a bug in the ear of your admin or PTO about replacing the sand with pebbles...?

    In the meantime, I'd probably just allot five minutes or so in the schedule for cleaning out shoes. To me, it's kind of like a whole-class bathroom break. I hate wasting class time for them, and I know it interferes with our learning schedule, but it's necessary (so I've been told about first grade; I didn't do them in third and up) and reduces disruptions later. For that matter, you could just make it part of your restroom break. Have a bucket for dumping out sand while your students are in line to use the bathroom or something.
     
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  7. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I'll let you know how it works long-term, but I brought in an old cookie tray to stick under the trash can. They have until everyone is done with drinks and bathroom.

    Plus, apparently another teacher was frustrated and is now using the end-of-recess line to tell them to dump shoes. It doesn't solve the tying shoes issue, but yet another teacher mused about germy shoelaces and now... I just can't tie them, I just can't. So I am placing all shoe tying on them and there are a few students who can tie them for the others.
     
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  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    That's exactly what I do when it comes to tying shoes... Find a friend to help. It's good practice for them and keeps the germs away from me!
     
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  9. Tired Teacher

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    OMGoodness! I am so glad to know I am not alone. I look at those germy shoelaces and can't touch them. I am amazed how many 3rd graders can't tie shoes. I remember that used to be taught at home. Then K teachers got boards w/ laces for the kids to practice with, but now it just isn't taught to kids.
    I'd love to teach them, but seriously can't get past that feeling of how gross and germy they are. I am not a germaphobe, but that is 1 of my few things I will not touch. I don't like zippers either.
    I was just thinking this on Friday as we started to leave the gym and 3 kids had untied shoes. I try to get other kids who volunteer to help teach the kids who can't tie. I think I am going to get a bunch of string and bring it in Monday. I really want them to be able to do it themselves.
     
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  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I'm thinking that perhaps you need a secret stash of nitrile gloves that fit well. They don't have to be by number size - just try the letter size of the brand that is easily accessible to you and remember which size of that brand fits you best. Sam's Club, and I am sure the rest of the big box stores, sell them at a great price. They will put "germy shoelaces" in their place, and keep the teacher as free of unnecessary exposure to those "little kid" germs. For what it is worth, I refuse to work with any grade below second, and would prefer to start 4th or above. There are only so many snotty noses I can stand, and the tying shoes exhausts me. I thought that velcro had eliminated some of the shoe tying, but apparently the tide has turned on velcro - now parents want their kids to experience tying their shoes at an early age - again. Trends change, and we can just flow with the tides.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
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  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I was the 3rd grader who couldn't tie shoes. It was beyond my skill and not for a lack of trying and tutelage.

    But to make a point... I was abnormal. I wasn't teased, but I was aware I was an oddity in the age group.

    Fortunately I became a master of knots during my college Scout camp days.

    These days it doesn't seem to be a big deal. Sad.

    But I am at peace washing my hands of shoelaces. One kid just tucked his shoelaces into his shoes yesterday when all else failed. Good enough.
     
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  12. Tired Teacher

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    I think my kids could learn how to do it if I use string to make those types of boards. They could have their own to practice on while we do it side by side....step by step. My class this yr is overall really sweet. I have 1 group of them that like to show others and are nice about it.
    It wouldn't be a big deal if the parents would just get their kids some Velcro shoes or loafers....lol :)
    Friday, there was no safe way of getting down the hall w/out those laces trailing kids. It is great you became a master at knot tying. Tucking them in is a new way to do it too for me. Until they learn, I'll try that! :)
     
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  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Maybe the kids who can't tie their own shoes should have an email sent home to the parents that the sand is truly bothering the students, so is there any chance that a pair of shoes with velcro closures might be sent to school until a better solution is found? If the answer is no, you've lost nothing, but if even a quarter of the students did bring in velcro closing shoes, it would cut down on bringing in the kids from the sand box. The parents may not be aware of the situation.
     
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  14. otterpop

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    I think it's appropriate to ask. I don't think you even need to mention "until another solution is found." Students should not wear shoes that they are not able to put on and take off on their own. If they are not able to tie them, they need other shoes. I realize this might be an unpopular stance, however parents should be teaching that skill at home, and teachers should not be responsible for tying 5-10+ students' shoes to get the class in from recess. There is enough going on in the classroom already.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
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  15. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    While I see how your view could be harsh and unpopular... it's one I never considered yet totally agree with. I think I long considered tying shoes as part of the drill in lower elementary, but you're absolutely freakin' right.

    My daughter last year in kindergarten was challenged to learn how to tie shoes. I believe it was primarily a home skill, but they tested it in class. Nothing fancy, I believe, but there was a cute little shoe-tying status you could achieve. It was a good idea. My daughter has mastered tying shoes.

    I don't recall this being a big problem last year, but I also had one child who could have been on the other side of the classroom/home sick/exploring the furthest reaches of the universe and STILL would pop up right there to offer to tie a fellow student's shoes if the situation warranted.

    Yeah, it's a home skill. For whatever reason it's a problem this year, I probably do not need to be tying shoes.
     
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  16. TeacherNY

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    The other solution is them learning to tie their shoes. I think that's obvious. They probably think it is being taught in school. Not everything can be taught in school. Some things the parents must step up and do themselves.
     
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  17. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I found myself scouring the internet. Some teachers have shoe-tying centers, which isn't a half-bad idea. But they were kinder teachers and I have no center time.

    Yeah, it's not getting taught by me, at least in any official capacity.
     
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  18. TeacherNY

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    I can't imagine you have extra time to do everything. Not enough hours in a day. Do you think any of them practiced when they were home ALL SUMMER??? o_O
     
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  19. Aces

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    So completely off topic but I have to give those of you who work with younger grades credit. Tiny humans are a lot. Let's be honest here: I'm grown and barely manage to tie my shoes "correctly" most days. Let alone teaching somebody else to do it.
     
  20. bella84

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    This thread actually inspired me to search for shoe-tying activities that I could put into a fine motor center that I already have going. I didn't purchase them yet (see your "No Spend Challenge" thread), but I'm thinking that it wouldn't be a bad idea.
     
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  21. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I so sympathize with those who aren't tolerant of sand in the shoes. Maybe it would add a little levity to the situation to read "The Princess and the Pea", and compare that "pea" to grains of sand. ;)
     
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  22. TeacherNY

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    Sand literally jumps into my shoe any chance it gets LOL Little pebbles too! Sometimes I dump out my shoe and hardly anything comes out but whatever it was so annoying me!!
     
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  23. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    A similar topic came up in a mom group. Many moms apparently say at least in theory they give shoes the kid can handle. Others say they tie really well so the laces are less likely to come undone. The latter is all well and good, of course, until the recess sand issue.
     
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  24. Tired Teacher

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    I very seldom watch TV, but last night I saw a commercial for these things you snap on shoe laces once they are tied and you don't ever have to mess with them again....or so the commercial says! I wonder if they work. If yes, I am breaking down on the no spend yr challenge ….lol I need 3.
    I thought teaching to tie shoes would be easier. When I was 4, we had a strict German babysitter. She was fair, but no nonsense. I asked her to tie my shoes so I could go outside to play. She said I could go play when I learned to tie my shoes.
    She proceeded to teach me. I remember it being torturous and taking what seemed to be hrs to learn. Finally though, I got it to her satisfaction and was able to go play! I think most kids can learn it if they want to bad enough.
     
  25. TeacherNY

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    NOOOO you can't force the little snowflakes to do it!! They want you to do it for them :p
     
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  26. MrsC

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    Every year I have at least one Grade 7 student who can't tie their shoes; I refuse, however, to do it for them (I did have one ask this year already).
     
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  27. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    For real? How are they getting up there?
     
  28. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    For real. I shake my head every time. They have good strategies--tucking their laces into the shoes, elastic laces, friends...
     
  29. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I guess that they have majored in alternative solutions. Don't know if we should applaud the creative solutions, or shake our heads in amusement because they are missing the obvious solution. A teacher's dilemma!
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
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  30. TeacherNY

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    Do the parents know or are they cleverly hiding these lack of skills for the past 10 years?
     
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  31. YoungTeacherGuy

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    I have never seen a single sandbox in any of the elementary schools around here. Regional thing, maybe?

    Shoes: I tie so many laces every day. The only time I get grossed out is when the laces are wet (and it’s not due to weather because it’s well over 100 degrees right now).
     
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  32. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I'm not sure if it's regional. My last school had wood chips. This one has sand. They're a city apart.
     
  33. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Oh, good news.

    I found something that works.

    I had this cardboard box I never got around to taking out... it's big enough and low enough for them to easily dump the sand from their shoes in there.

    Still avoiding shoelaces.
     
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  34. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    When you collect enough sand in the box, pot it and plant a cactus or other succulent. If you choose to plant a cactus, you can tell your students that the cactus is probably "prickly" because the sand is just as annoying to the plant as it was to their feet. However, the cactus can now become the "hero" for the room, accepting the sandy submissions so that the student's feet are pain free. I suggest giving the "hero" a name, and a place of honor on a higher shelf with lots of sun! :sunglasses:
     
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