Friday, August 7, 2015

Five for Friday August 7th

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Thank you for hosting, Kacey! Happy August! I bet we've all been busy, busy, busy with back to school and just things we want to finish up before back to school- but I hope you're taking time to enjoy the moments of this beautiful summer. Because you know it- before long...

Do we all have to do that?  For some reason it starts the year off on a paranoid note for me.  Anyway, here are some of my favorites for the week!

Back to school means LOTS of character education lessons for my students.  I love to fit these lessons in here and there, and EVERYWHERE. There's always time to teach kindness.  We teach by what we do, without taking any extra time, because those little eyes are always watching.  Plus, we all have those extra minutes here and there, lining up, before lunch... any of those are great opportunities to reinforce building kind hearts!

I made a Character Education Prezi that's free if you would like to use it.  I keep it up on the Smartboard just in case we have those extra  moments, or in case a particular "teachable moment" comes up during the day. 

I love my class to feel like a school family- and also learn HOW to be kind, caring, and thoughtful. Children (Adults... whatever- you fill in the blank!) are usually pretty self-centered.  Many times, they really need to be taught how to care for and think of others.  Here are a few lessons I found on empathy that were really kid-friendly and easy to understand.  I loved them!  Empathy is a hard concept to understand sometimes. 

As always, I start thinking about something and find LOTS of different quotes and things I love to go with it. So- let's go!

This is from ABC Schools.  As I reread it, I'm thought this would be an awesome faculty meeting idea... for teachers to put on students' shoes or other faculty members' shoes.  I kept thinking that if we as teachers had to live the lives many of our students do at home, we would be so much more understanding and patient.  

EMPATHY is the ablility to put oneself in another's shoes. To identify with and understand another's feelings.
Below are some students during a lesson on empathy. In this activity, students volunteer to choose a shoebox to open and put the shoes on from the box.  A written scenario inside each box tells about the person who wears the shoes. Based on the information given, the student has to "put themselves in that person's shoes," identifying how that person might feel.
The class 
then suggests ways we might show compassion to the person in the shoes.

That's a good lesson to remember anywhere you go throughout the day- in the car, when someone races by you and cuts you off, in the grocery store, or if someone just plain isn't nice to you.  

Here's a great video that explains empathy really well to older students, even adults. 

There are some different thoughts about whether or not children are empathetic by nature:

I think I can see both thoughts.  (Probably because I'm so empathetic, don't ya know!)
I guess, more importantly, whether children are born with empathy or not, unless it is modeled and put into practice by those around them, it doesn't really matter if they were born empathetic.  Children need to see empathy in action to take it on for themselves. 

This video is wonderful to share with the children.  It's on my Character Education Prezi, too.

I found this article about teaching empathy to children at Parent Further .

Bryant's Empathy Index for Children has some great questions that you could adapt for younger children or use for older students during a discussion about empathy.

To go along with the idea of seeing things from someone else's point of view,  I made  a Perspective and Optical Illusion Prezi that is FREE for you this week at my TPT Store! 


It's a great way to show students how looking at things differently makes all the difference in how we see something.

 Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a great book to use to introduce children to the idea of seeing things from a different perspective.

Here is the video of the book.


I found some great name writing activities, and put them together in my post at PreK and K Sharing this week. Some are ideas that I already use, some are ideas I can't wait to use, and some are FREEBIES I found on TPT.  You can pin them for later so you know where to find them!

Here are a few of the name ideas to show you.  I love this little poem, and I made a couple different styles for the kids to use. If you'd like a copy, just click the picture.  I have each child draw his/her picture on the bottom of the paper. 

After we read this name poem, I have the children turn it over, cut apart the letters in their names from two colors of names I  printed,  and make two AB pattern names. 

OR how about  this cute activity from totschooling!  This is an "I can't wait to try it," activity.  I think I may use this as a special RTI activity for some of my little ones who have an extra hard time spelling their names as the year goes on. 

Here is another fun name writing idea, that led me to another thought.   Write one letter on top of each strip of colored paper. Have students order the paper to spell their name and then practice writing those letters!  I'm so sorry, I cannot find the original link for this activity.  I just saved the picture a long time ago.  When I do find the link, I will put it in here. If it's your idea, thank you, and please let me know!  

This idea got me thinking, that if you know a sweet worker at a paint store, maybe you could get enough paint sample strips to have your students practice writing names on those!  Line the strips up and practice one letter on each strip, writing a letter in each shade.  You could punch a hole in the corner of the strips and clip them together with a book ring, so each student would have a colorful name ring.

You can find strips of color shades online, if you google "shades of color"  (well, duh!).  Here is one example at

Stop over to PreK and K Sharing for more ideas and LOTS of name writing freebies!

FINALLY, I have to share this article about my sweet friend Anne  from Common Core Connections. She and her son have developed AMAZING apps and were featured in this Binghamton University article. She is the kindest person, and I'm so thrilled for her.  She is a "real life" friend who actually lives near me!

Here is an example of one of her math apps called Math Word Problems, with a video to show it in action.

HERE it is on iTunes- with lots of other apps she and her son have made!

I am just SO proud of her- and did I mention there could not be a sweeter person?

We are having a study group soon with our grade level to put an order in for our school to buy apps- and you can bet these are on the top of my list for all of us at school.  

Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for stopping by!


  1. Let's see.... love the prezi and some of your images. Will be useful in the classroom. (Yes, I did finally sign-up for Prezi :) ) And I am happy to hear about your friend's app! Good for her. Will check it out. Pin, pin, pin :) See you later. Kathleen

  2. You are always my first stop on the Five for Friday! I'm so glad you're warming up even though school doesn't start for you for awhile. You're my favorite lesson planner! We start on the 19th and I'll be using all of this!!!! Love the shoe box activity on empathy-sooooo important. Thank you, Carolyn!

  3. Oh my goodness, your posts are just FILLED with super great ideas! I start school on Monday, and all of your pictures about empathy are good reminders of the other things we teach our kids besides reading and math. Thanks for that =)

    Kindergarten Teacher at the Wheel

  4. Love your empathy ideas....yes, adults should see it too!!


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