Posts Tagged ‘school assembly’

MSP and Successful Testing Tips

May 12, 2010

Earlier this week I was asked to present my Mission:  Possible assembly to kick off the MSP (Measurement of Student Progress, formerly WASL) testing for Kirkwood Elementary in Toppenish.  Although my program is normally presented as a bully prevention program, it was originally designed as a positive attitude and motivational program.  I made some changes and additions and received a lot of positive responses from students (of course!) and teachers and staff. 

“Your assembly was a HUGE success and a GREAT way to help motivate our kids to do their best on their upcoming MSP testing. Your content was perfect and memorable for all our schools ages. Thanks again and we look forward to next year.”
     -Kara Supnet, Kirkwood Elementary PTO 


In doing research for my assembly I found a lot of useful tips for helping children focus at school.  Here are a few that are easy to implement, and they’re NOT just for kids.  Following these three tips is a formula for success for adults, too! 

Set a Decent Bedtime and Make it a Habit

Look at the way pro athletes prepare to compete and the way that they take care of their bodies.  They get a good night’s rest, and it’s a recipe for YOU to do your best, too. 

Proper rest helps you focus the next day.  The National Institute of Health recommends that children and adolescents get at least nine hours of sleep each night.  In addition to not being able to focus well, sleep-deprived kids are more prone to accidents and behavior problems in school. 

Eat Nutritious and Healthy Meals

You’ve heard it before, and it’s true – breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It’s the fuel that gets you going.  It literally means “break the fast”, and if you skip breakfast you’ll pay for it later on. 

Fruit, eggs, whole grain toast, oatmeal, and low-sugar cereal are examples of healthy breakfast foods that will help increase focus at school.  And good nutrition doesn’t end with a healthy breakfast.  Students need good nutrition all day in order to focus better at school. 

Pack healthy lunches.  If you eat the school lunch, teach them how to choose healthy foods.  Likewise, having a healthy after school snack and dinner are also an important part of increasing a child’s focus at school. 

Engage in Regular Exercise

A research article in a journal published by the American College of Sports Medicine listed regular physical activity as a factor in improving academic achievement.  Additionally, varios research studies have shown correlations between regular exercise and decreases in anxiety, depression, and ADHD symptoms. 

 The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports reports that regular exercise is a factor in immune health.  Children who exercise regularly have fewer colds and upper respiratory infections.  Regular exercise can be as simpela s walking to and form school if the schools is a moderate distance and there is a safe route.  Encourage your kids to skate or ride a bike instead of being driven to local places when there are safe routes. 

Encourage physical activity by inviting the whole family to play games like touch football land tag.  Let your child discover a sport that they enjoy and encourage them to participate.  Sports are not only great exercise, but can encourage kids to grow in communication and interacting with others. 

Sports are an important part of my life.  I’ve met a lot of my best friends  through various activities.  If I don’t get to do something physical at least once every few days I stary to feel tired and complacent. 

Speaking of which, I need to take a break from the computer right now!  It’s time for a small healthy snack (sliced apple in the kitchen) and then off to bed for a good night’s sleep 🙂


Yelm, Cosmopolis, and Issaquah Magic

April 11, 2010

The Yelm Timberland Library was packed for my spring break Science Magic program.  Read the pre-program press at

Reporter Melanie Lockhart with the Nisqually Valley News stopped by to take photos, so I need to pick up a copy of the paper and see how it turned out. 

Friday I presented my Mission:  Possible respect and bully prevention assembly for Cosmopolis Elementary.  (They invited me for Science Magic just a little over a month ago, and the principal and staff were so impressed they wanted to book my other program immediately afterwards!) 

That evening I performed for Issaquah Parks and Recreation “Fantasy Night”.  The Youth Advisory Board planned a lot of activities, including games, sports, and creating magic wands and hats.  The magic show capped off the evening.  Thanks to Cathy Jones, recreation coordinator, for sharing a wonderful audio testimonial.  Learn more about my magic shows for parks and recreation departments.

Read Across America Magic

March 5, 2010

Each year on March 2, students across the country “Read Across America” to celebate Dr. Seuss’ birthday.  For several years I’ve presented my “Read Across America Magic Show” to help promote the fun and thrill of reading books.  (It’s basically a version of my Reading Magic show with more Dr. Seuss-themed routines.) 


This year I visited Wenatchee, Auburn, Federal Way, and Tacoma with my assembly.  Thanks to Mrs. Kelsey, principal at Meredith Hill Elementary in Federal Way, for sharing this wonderul audio review

Upcoming Public Shows

 The Timberland Regional Libraries – who I’ve been working with since 1991! – hold Family Read-Aloud special events throughout March.  I’m visiting several libraries in Thurston, Lewis, and Grays Harbor counties.  Shows are free and you’re invited! 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

  • 10:30 am – Hoquiam Library
  • 1:30 pm – Montesano Library

Saturday, March 13, 2010

  • 11:30 am – Chehalis Library
  • 2:30 pm – Centralia Library

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

  • 12:00 pm – Tenino Library
  • 2:30 pm – Lacey Library


A couple of other non-library programs that are also open to the public include McLane Elementary’s annual fundraiser auction in Olympia on Friday, March 19 at 6:00 pm.  I am performing my Family Night Magic Show, broken into two-20 minute shows with a break in between for the live auction.  I believe there is a small admission fee. 

On Sunday, March 21 the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce sponsors me for the Home and Garden Show.  Many speakers and presenters are planned throughout the weekend.  My magic show happens in the Yardbirds Cinema at 1:00 pm and is free and open to the public.

New & Improved! Respect and Bully-Prevention Assembly

January 26, 2010

It’s been several years since I first created my Mission:  Possible respect and bully prevention assembly.  So, when counselor Mario Reaves at Saltar’s Point Elementary offered to let me borrow the materials he is using to teach his students I took advantage of the opportunity. 

My show remains about 50/50 teaching kids about positive character traits (respect, perseverance, positive attitude, empathy, treating others right) and bully prevention. 

Posters are updated with some new action items that kids can use when they run into situations where they become angry and want to impusively react. 

I enjoyed visiting Saltar’s Point – my first time to their school – and Mr. Reaves gave me a wonderful review.  Thank you!

Science Magic in Spokane

January 15, 2010

It’s time to get students pumped up to participate in Science Fairs!  I traveled to Spokane and visited Woodridge, Adams, and Progress Elementary with my Science Magic assembly

It’s my FOURTH time visiting Adams Elementary in Spokane Valley.  In past years I’ve presented my Read Across America Magic Show as part of their Dr. Seuss birthday celebration.  And let me tell you, their school goes ALL OUT for this.  Teachers are all in Seuss costumes, green eggs and ham (and pancakes and sausages) are served for breakfast (local merchants help donate food), and kids all make and wear their stove-pipe hats.   It’s a real productions, and one year two teachers sang a rhyming “thank you” to me after my assembly! 

Progress Elementary had me for both an afternoon and evening program.  It was hugely popular; partly because I told the kids that afternoon to come back in the evening and see “Sparky the Trained Chicken”, and partly because Teresa and the Progress PTA did a super job promoting the show.

Save 50% Off Your School Assembly

December 16, 2009

One of the biggest reasons for fundraising is to bring fun and educational programs to your school. So, why not make your fundraiser do double-duty?  Work with Northwest Fundraising and you can reach your financial goals while getting a great deal on one of my four completely different school assembly magic programs.

Lake Hills Elementary used Northwest Fundraising, made a bunch of money, and saved $262 off my Reading Magic assembly.  You can too!  How much fun was it?  Listen to Cathi with the Lake Hills PTA and decide for yourself. 

Read more details about this special offer on my website, then call David Proctor with Northwest Fundraising at (800) 779-1706 or send e-mail to to learn about their great money-making programs for schools and organizations.

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

December 4, 2009

I love it when schools include my shows in their reader board.  I send custom posters to schools as a matter of course, but mentioning it on a reader board is a great way to get the message to parents who drive their child to or from school. 


Yesterday the King County Library System hosted two of my programs; one at Twin Lakes Elementary in Federal Way and another at the Boulevard Park Library in Seattle.   The school program was for the KCLS “Ready, Set, Read” incentive and performed my Reading Magic program. 

The evening was open to the public and attended by parents with young kids.  They ate it up and were a totally enthusiastic crowd.   It was my first Holiday Magic show for the year.  Time to get tuned up as this is a HUGE weekend with four holiday parties!

Waller Road Elementary in Tacoma


Today I presented my Science Magic assembly for Waller Road Elementary in Tacoma in the afternoon and returned in the evening with my Family Night Magic Show.  Two years ago I performed my Mission:  Possible respect and bully prevention program along with an evening show. 

I love doing an afternoon and evening program.  It really improves attendance when the kids go home talking about what they’ve just seen.  They can literally drag their parents back to school, and the parents end up having a super time themselves.

New Science Magic demo video

November 26, 2009

In 1998 I created my first program for the King County Library System.   Their theme was science.  Libraries always have themes, and the closer your program title and description matches the theme, the better your chance for bookings. 

A couple of years earlier I built Reading Magic for the Timberland Regional Library Summer Reading Program and figured I could do the same for KCLS.  So, like any good marketer I chose a short and snappy title (“Science Magic”), made up a program description, and submitted my bid.  And thought nothing else about the whole thing. 

These were the days before e-mail (well, before I was booking shows by e-mail) and the first day librarians could call to schedule programs I was amazed when five ladies called to book programs.  This was repeated the next day, and the day after that. 

Holy smokes!  It was time to put together a program.  Now what did I tell them I was going to do???

Fast forward a dozen years and Science Magic is a perennial favorite with libraries and schools.

“I just wanted to thank you for coming to High Lakes Elementary, and putting on such a great show!  We have received nothing but positive feedback and “kudos” for the assembly, as well as Science & Math night from teachers, parents and most importantly, our students.  Your energy and quick wit captivates the audience in seconds, and the fact you are able to weave science knowledge in with magic is beyond entertaining.  There were times that I laughed so hard I cried from pure amusement!!” 
     -Heather Fleiner, High Lakes PTA

Gregg Campbell with Break Away Video videotaped my assembly at Olympic Elementary in Longview and put together a great demo.  It captures the fun and learning of the show.  Take a look at the video and leave a comment.

Watch one of my Science Magic instructional videos, print out my Class Activity Sheet, or build your own Levitating Magician.

Family Night at East Ridge Elementary in Woodinville

November 4, 2009

Last week I visited East Ridge Elementary in Woodinville with my Science Magic assembly in the afternoon and my Family Night Magic Show in the evening.  I love doing programs like this because it almost guarantees a full house.  Kids have a blast during the day, go home talking about what they’ve seen, and bring their parents back in the evening. 

It was a packed house.  (Was it because I promised during the afternoon that I'd chop someone's hand off that night?)

“Thank you for a great program and assembly.  I have had very positive feedback from teachers and parents.  The attendance at the evening program was among our best ever and was definitely driven by the assembly.”
     -Trish Cooper, PTA, East Ridge Elementary


A good time was had by all.  Learn more about my Family Night Magic Show.

 Thanks to Nancy Nygren who took some super photos of the evening show. 


King County Library System School Visits

October 26, 2009

The King County Library System features a program called “Ready, Set, Read!” that rewards kids for reading with free books.  (It’s an incredible program, as kids can earn several free books over the course of the school year.)  For many years the Youth Services Librarians have included me and my Reading Magic assembly program on their short list of presenters that they choose from to accompany them to schools. 

Last week I received two wonderful e-mails from school librarians. 

“Thank you, Jeff.  You were perhaps the easiest assembly to ever have!  We thank you & King County Library System for bringing you to us.  I loved the way you integrated reading & library usage into your performance.  I may have been the only one to get your “autobiography” joke though:)  Thanks for a great & energizing performance.”
     -Sharon Turpin, school librarian
     Parkwood Elementary, Shoreline

“Your assembly was terrific. The children are still talking about it–really.  I just had a third grade come in and they were interested in magic books and they even asked me if you had checked books out of my library to get your tricks.  They would like to master some tricks and perform them at an assembly, BUT – they came to the library for their books!”
     -Dewey Sullivan, school librarian
     Westwood Elementary Librarian, Auburn

This week is shaping up to be busy: