Friday, July 18, 2014

Five for Friday and Funny Kid Friday

Today I am linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday and Kathleen from Kid People Classroom for Funny Kid Friday!  Happy Friday!

Of COURSE this article was my favorite of the week: How Finland Keeps Kids Focused Through Free Play.  The premise of this article is that there is data to PROVE that children (and teachers) are more productive after an unstructured break to PLAY. (I never needed data, by the way- if you are a teacher- you experience this data.) This article focuses on a 5th grade classroom. In Finland, students are given 15 minutes of play time after every 45 minutes of lessons. The article is about a teacher from the US, who at first tried to stop this practice and teach like we do here- and what he found out about the benefits (for both students and teachers) of this break.

I feel like I am preaching to the choir, here, but I also feel like it helps me to remember that kids. need. to.  play.   It's not only okay.  It is essential.  Teaching today seems to focus so much on more rigor, more tests, and more paperwork and data- that it's easy to feel like you  have to sneak in playtime. 

Somehow the benefits of play for the child are forgotten.  It's easy to feel like there isn't time for play and that play is somehow frivilous, out-dated, and not justified.  But when  I read this article, I was reminded that there isn't time to NOT let children play.  

Here is my Play Every Day Prezi with some of my FAVORITE quotes about the importance of play. Sometimes I just quickly go through it to remind myself. 

In our world today, I don't think there can be enough emphasis on treating others kindly, looking someone in the eye when you speak, sharing, and playing well with others.  Children don't get the opportunity to practice this like they used to. I have more teachable moments during free choice time than any other time in my day. Talk about individual instruction!  

Here are some of my favorite quotes about play that I included on my Prezi.  I thought it was good for me to revisit before I begin the new school year, to remind myself not to be overwhelmed with everything else, but to remember that both play and academics are what children need.  

 (I love this one so much, and think of it every time my husband and son go off to play golf.)

 (This is my VERY favorite because these 2 princesses are my girls when they were little! :)

To go along with what's important, how much do you LOVE this letter?

I posted all about some fun activities to go with Frog and Toad Together,with lots of FREEBIES earlier this week. I use each story in the book to introduce something that we work on.  For example, one of the stories is The List.  

Lists are a great way to get children thinking and writing. I made a list of list ideas, as a matter of fact! You can get a copy by clicking on the picture below if you would like it!
I also included LOTS of cookie freebies to go along with Cookies, which may be one of my FAVORITE Frog and Toad stories!
I posted some great TPT Writing Freebies that I love to use in my classroom in my Beginning Year Writing Post.
Matt Gomez posts a FABULOUS post sharing 170 Online Ebooks for Young Kids! This is a fabulous resource if you haven't seen it.  Just go there. It's great!  

Here is my Funny Kid Friday for the week! 
This story is about my OWN son.  I was so proud of him when he was really catching on with his reading when he was little- maybe a little more proud than I should have been.  We used to go to Walmart's One Hour Photo a lot back then- when we used to get film developed (remember that?!).

One day, as we were just a few feet from a sweet girl working at the Photo Lab, my son said, "OH NO- Do we have to go to One Whore Photo AGAIN?!" 
I'm PRETTTTTY sure my face (and the face of the one sweet girl working at One 'Whore' Photo)  went through all of the following phases of "WHAT did you say?":
My friend and I still laugh about this - and use it whenever we get the chance. She will write, "I have whores and whores of housework to do this morning..."  It never seems to get old.  I still laugh. See, it worked out well that I didn't teach that "wh" blend too well. 
Have a fabulous weekend!  Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Yes, yes yes to unstructured playtime!! Your son's comment had me laughing, Carolyn! Happy weekend, friend!

  2. Reading your posts always gets me going... a few years back we got new administrators. In prepping for the big arrival, I was told I was not to use the "p" word... When did play become a dirty word?? I love the research that says students who get free choice play actually do better in ACADEMICS than students who don't.

    I enjoyed your "list of lists" and other freebies. I hope you went to my TPT and got the two freebie list packs that are there. My special gift to you, Carolyn :)

    And thanks for linking up! LOVED your son's line... now it's time for me to put some thought to company coming tonight for the dinner whore :)
    Kidpeople Classroom

  3. I always enjoy your posts (and your heart). I finally learned about prezis and was able to download this one. I have been more and more concerned about the play scarcity lately. Also, that letter from a school about test scores reminds me of the song/video by Barry Lane, called "More than a Number". You've probably seen it, but if not I KNOW you will love it. (You can youtube it.)


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