Friday, May 1, 2015

Five for Friday May 1

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Thank you for hosting, Kacey! Happy May!
Every year I look forward to our My Favorite Things lessons.  We bring in our favorite thing to tell and write about.  It's great for opinion writing because we write why it is our favorite thing out of ALL of our things. 

The children love to learn the song- and learn it so quickly, I can never believe it.  All three verses!  You just can't help but be happy.

I use my   My Favorite Things Prezi (You can download it free at my TPT store!) to help introduce the song.  I have pictures to go with the words of the song in the middle of the Prezi that you can click through at your own pace as you sing.  Then, I have different versions of the song all along the edge from Youtube. Now, with the Prezi app for iPads, I can put this Prezi on the iPad for center time and the kids can listen and practice all they want!

Last year, I had the children write books about their favorite things:
Her doll is named Juliet. I loved how she spelled it here.   

I love the illustrations in this one! She gets SO excited to get her ideas down and works as fast as her little characters are moving in the pictures! I love all the movement and expression she adds! 

 Don't you just want to know what happens next? There are lots more pages, but SPOILER ALERT: He ends up in the dryer and didn't want to be there!
 This was a "Favorite Thing Picture Photobomb...

This year, I had the children write about their favorite thing so I could hang it above the lockers.

This is my other idea linked to "My Favorite Things. " I adapted Dr. Jean's fabulous Self Control Lotion idea. I just I covered a bottle of lotion (just Jergens Original Cherry Almond- shhh!     with a picture of "My Favorite Things" taped down on the front, and changed the idea to go along with My Favorite Things, since that is what we are working in now.
When someone needs a few minutes to settle down, relax, or take a little time out, I put a little lotion from this bottle on his/her hands and quietly tell him/her to rub it all in slowly, and to think about some favorite things. The few times I have used this, the reaction has been the same. Since I believe it works, it works- just like most things in Kindergarten! When the teachers says it will make you feel better, it will. (Don't you wish everyone believed in you like that!) After sitting and rubbing the lotion in for a while, the child has come over and just started telling me all about everything that happened WRONG that day at home, on the bus, with a friend... I just think it lets the child know you care and you want him or her to feel better and feel loved. Sometimes, it is just that simple! Sometimes, it isn't- but it is worth a try!

Part two of our My Favorite Things lesson involves the children's favorite books.  Each child brought in a favorite book from home.  We shared these and again told and wrote about why this was a favorite book.  I explained that it could be one of several favorite books, because it seems like every time I sit down with a read aloud, I am saying, "This is another one of my FAVORITE BOOKS." 

I am SO glad I let this one finish his writing before I said anything... because all I saw when I was walking around were the first three words...  and I was curious.   Now I know it is supposed to say, "I like this book because it is so funny."  Phew!

In technology class, the children are making iMovies about their favorite books. 

They are loving it.
We are making very simple iMovies.  The first session, the children are taking pictures of their cover, and a couple pages of the book to show their favorite part and what the book is about.   The second session, we are going to input the pictures and record our book commercial.  The children are going to introduce their book, tell why they like the book and think others would like to read it, and finish with a "Read to find out ..." sentence about their book.  We'll add a little background music and have some fun book commercials.  I will show you some when we're done!  I can't wait.

This is a good tutorial about iMovies.  This one is much more involved than what we're doing, but it sort of shows how easy it is to figure out or at least play around with for fun!

Art for Kids Hub is such a wonderful site!  I am using it  for free choice as one of the centers for the children to choose a couple times a week.  I made blank books for each child.  I have all sorts of pens, pencils, markers, colored pencils, and crayons available.  During free choice,  I play a guided art video for the children to draw along with if they would like.  They just love it.

This one was King Creeper from Minecraft.  Well, it was free choice, after all. The kids get to vote on the drawings. 

One morning we went through the pictures of all the available drawings, and the kids were sooooo excited. 

The fun part is that some children want to draw every single thing.  Some don't.  That is just fine!

I do use some of the guided drawings to go with writing activities, which we all do. For example after we read our books about ducks, the children draw the duck and then write about it. 

Here is a little video of the children drawing Elsa.  This is free choice time- and listen to how quiet it is!  

Next  is sort of a funny fail.  We have been working on adding more details to writing.  One day for our lesson before writing, we played the Detail Game.  Everyone begins standing.  When I say a detail that does not apply, the child sits down.  For example, if I say, "This person is a girl,"  all the boys sit down.  I keep giving more and more specific details until only one person is standing. 

Next, I had the children close their eyes and picture the sentence that I said.  I explained that details in writing help the reader make pictures in their minds instead of having an illustration on paper.  I began with , "I see a dog. "  I asked several students what dog they pictured. I got all sorts- a pug, a bull dog, a poodle.  Then, they closed their eyes again and I said, "I see a little black and white spotted dog sleeping on a furry red rug next to his bone."  When the children opened their eyes, I asked again what they pictured- and most said the dog that I described.  But, the first little girl I asked said, "Well... I actually saw only black. Then some squiggles.  Then they turned into shapes which I turned into a castle." There was really nothing more to say.

Detail Lesson Fail.  
Finally, this is just for a little laugh of the week. We had this game when I was little.  It was my favorite.  I played it every time I had a friend over.  A few years ago, I looked all over for it and no one had any idea what I was talking about.  Well, then... THIS!  Now it's out there, but pretty expen$ive.  Although when I see this video, it seems like it's worth it.  

And one more...  We had a few minutes before specials today after we read our book "Good News/Bad News," so I had the kids draw and share a quick good news on one side and bad news on the other... 
He MEANT to say boo boos, by the way...

Have a happy, healthy weekend. Thank you for stopping by! 


  1. Wow! *picks jaw off floor* What an amazing post! I love the guided art as a choice for an activity and that you are having your kids make imovies of their books along with commercials. You are my teachspiration for the day!

    -Bri @ Knowledge Mobile

  2. Hi Carolyn!
    Just THIS week I was given a description of King Creeper... in explicit detail from one of my kiddos. Until then, I was totally unaware of this creature! :)

    I seriously LOVE reading all your posts. Thank you for inspiring me to teach one more day...

  3. Carolyn, your posts are amazing! You have so many fabulous ideas! I love the ideas of a book commercial!

    .... "no boobz". Hahaha! Thanks for the laugh!

  4. HI Carolyn. Lots of great ideas here. I didn't know that Art for Kids did videos... now I do :) The kids will love those. See you around. Kathleen
    Kidpeople Classroom

  5. Thank you for the my favorite lotion idea!!! I have a really emotional boy in my class this year and I tried it today with him....and it totally worked! Something about rubbing their hands to calm down gave them something else to focus on. Simply amazing!!!

    I also use your neat seats idea as well! I am enjoying your blog....that you for sharing


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