Friday, February 12, 2016

Five for Friday February 12

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Thank you for hosting, Kacey!

This ideas SEEMS like a Valentine idea- but it's really so much more.... You can use it anytime. I love it. 

Runde's Room shared this wonderful FREEBIE at her TpT store.  In it is a link to a site where you type text into a text box, and then when you enter it, it creates a heart shaped story.  She has the item listed for intermediate grades, but I used it for Valentine's Day, and had each child tell me what they loved about everyone in their family.  I typed it up and printed it for each of them to take home. 

I shared it with my intermediate teacher friends, too.  It would be great for a Mother's Day/Father's Day gift, Grandparents' Day, end of the year teacher gifts to kids...  
We Heart Books

Here are some of my kids' Love Stories.

SPEAKING of hearts,  Rocking Dan Teaching Man wrote a How to Make a Paper Heart song from ideas from my post last week.  I just LOVE it!  My kids were thrilllllled.  Making paper hearts is also for any time of the year.  Hearts are some of my favorite things.  Enjoy!  And follow Dan's Youtube channel if you don't already.  He has such great teaching songs to use with your class. Thank you, Dan!

We talked about symmetry this week in math with our shapes.  We saw that rectangles and squares are the same on both sides when you fold them in half.  The discussion came up when we were folding our paper in half and cutting out hearts.

Teaching symmetry is another way to help students notice details and notices attributes not only in shapes, but in things the encounter in everyday life.

I love this drawing activity for symmetry, because #1. You can hear a pin drop in the classroom as they work, because they try so hard.  #2.  Symmetry becomes meaningful for the children. My friend Kathleen, from Kidpeople Classroom shared it at her blog, and I loved it!

First, I model an example of the drawing using an extra one of the children's pictures (or I could use mine, but I didn't have one).  I talk as I draw so the children see that I am thinking and figuring out what I need to draw and how to do it as I go.  This helped the children a lot when they went to do their own drawings with size (Sometimes they go very teeeeeny tiny) and with remembering to include all the different characteristics.  I pointed out eyebrows, the other half of the nose, bangs, necks,  how to draw lines for the hair, and shading with the side of the pencil.

I told them that this was not going to be an easy thing to do but to do their best- and they did it!  Nobody complained.  They tried and did a great job!

My friend Susanna has a wonderful Butterfly Freebie that's great for symmetry at her TpT store!

Weekly Freebie : Butterfly Writing Prompt (Color Words & S

Mrs. Zs Busy Bees shared this wonderful Symmetry Poster at her TpT Store.

Symmetry Poster

I found some great camo things at the Dollar Tree, so I made a Camo Write the Room.  I put the camo sightwords all over the room. The children can wear their vest and helmet, and use the binoculars to find the words.  I also bought a camo tablecloth (for $. 97 at Walmart).  I was thinking I may put that up on a wall and put the sight words on that another time just to switch it up.   If you would like a copy of the recording sheets, just click on the picture below. 


If you would like a copy of the camo sight words, click this picture below. I just printed them and cut them apart to put up around the room.  (They are simple, but they worked great!)

I also made this mat on a piece of cardboard. I know- can you believe the detail?!  I wrote sight words on the bottom of some army guys, and the children can match the army guys to their spots on the map, then record the words on their paper.  

You can also find camo pencils that would be so much fun to use for these centers. 

These great dinosaurs would also work well on my mat (since it is so simple  versitile...). You could write sight words or letters on these guys!

Helping a buddy in the trenches of writing...

One of my FAVORITE things to do is to introduce my class to the National Anthem.  I usually wait a while into the year, because I like to do a lot with the song and really have the kids learn what it says. We learn the Pledge of Allegiance right away in the year, but I usually wait to teach the National Anthem until November for Veteran's Day.  This year,  we just learned it, right before the Superbowl.
I posted ALL about how I teach it HERE- with LOTS of freebies to go with it!
I posted LOTS and LOTS of math ideas at PreK and K Sharing this week.  My new math book that I wrote with Dr. Jean JUST came out this week.  I am so excited.  The kids were thrilled because they were the stars of the book, in all the illustrations! I gave each of the children a book to keep yesterday- and we studied it page by page.    Stop over to see some of the ideas I love to use with my class.    The book is on sale at Crystal Springs books!

In fact, our book is on the front cover of the catalog!  It is so exciting for me.  Jean and I each put together 100 of our favorite math ideas, and then the editor selected from those ideas to include in the book.  So there are LOTS of great, practical ideas that we really use in the book.  Each idea also has lots of variations, so you can use it in lots of different ways.  

Finally, this was just a sweet moment from the week.  We had a few minutes before lunch, so I had the kids buddy up and practice tying shoes.  They were so serious, and so sweet- I just had to record it for a couple minutes. 

We are having a contest in PE class to see which class has everyone learn to tie shoes first.  We have won the last two years-  not that I'm competitive or anything....  but...  we do win an extra PE class if we win.

Basically, I would love the kids to learn to tie shoes, so I'm not always trying to figure out in my head WHY the laces are so wet?!  Ewww.  I don't even want to think about it. 

Meanwhile, we practice...

Have a wonderful weekend!  Thank you so much for stopping by!


  1. Another great five for Friday Carolyn! I really like the playful learning environment you have set up in your classroom! Thanks for the shout out too! :)

  2. So cute!! Loved the video ;-) What great ideas!!!

  3. So many fantastic ideas in this post my friend! We are starting our study of the star spangled banner next week, it should be lots of fun. I love all the camo ideas and am going to have to use some of them. My little boys will go crazy! Congrats on the book! So exciting! You rock!

    Luv My Kinders

  4. Hi Carolyn, LOVE hearing about that heart shaped text site! Very useful... thinking of ways to use it. And glad you had fun with the symmetry portraits, too. It's so great to watch them work at it. See you around. Kathleen

  5. Love your blog! Always get great ideas! I tried to open your camo sight words and it only opened to the recording sheet. Was hoping to get the sight words to post in my classroom too! Bridget

    1. Hi Bridget! I sent you an email- but also, I realized that I switched the two- so if you click the recording sheet picture, you get the words, and vice versa... sorry about that! Thank you for writing! :)

  6. I'm working on my lesson plans for next week and have your blog to help me along AGAIN! I love all the ideas for Star Spangled Banner. Thank you. I'm so happy for your success with the book. <3


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