I had the above problems until I created the The Laces Club! One little boy this year was particularly inept at shoe-tying, yet he was sent every day in shoes with laces. If he was one of the kids who walked around not minding his floppy strings, perhaps things wouldn't have come to a head. BUT, this young man would ask me, other students, volunteer moms, even other teachers MULTIPLE times a day and DURING LESSONS! He just could not do ANYTHING else until his shoes were tied. I was going NUTS so even though shoe-tying is not a standard, I felt this was a life skill that needed to be addressed.
I did not spend a lot of class time but the kids were so motivated they spent their free time practicing.
What to do:
1. Demonstrate how to tie shoes (a document camera gives a nice close-up.)
2. Read the included poem together several times.
3. Explain that anyone who can show that they can tie their shoes will get a certificate to take home and a badge to put on our bulletin board display. This was a great ego boost for a few children who don't usually excel academically but were one of the first to get up on the board.
I had a shoe-tying book from when my kids were little
but so many kids were motivated to practice I made extra practice boards.
These practice materials were available for early finishers or recess use. I was lucky enough to have parent helpers available to "test" the students who were ready. I also was often asked during recess duty. Seeing names go up motivated others to keep practicing so they could join. Club members became the experts, helping their classmates to learn. Watching them encourage each other out at recess was absolutely adorable!
My question for you is which method of shoe-tying do you use? Bunny ears or the traditional? Have you heard of the Ian knot? I found this video and showed it to my 5th grader and he thought it was SO much faster he now uses it daily!
I was thinking of making some real practice shoes available this year. I could continue to feed my chevron addiction...
or it might be cute to match the theme if you have one.