Saturday, February 27, 2016

Five and Some Funnies

Oh, I have five goodies to share today so thanks to Doodle BugsTeaching for the weekly link-up... though at this time of year I find it hard to get to weekly!

I'm also linking up with Small Victories Link-up. I think readers will especially enjoy numbers 1 and 5 below. Everyone needs a chuckle here and there. If this is the first you've heard of Small Victories you might want to check it out– you'll find recipes, DIY, kids activities, healthy living... a whole bunch of neat information.

1.  Click to get a chuckle. It's in German but you only need to know that the daughter is asking her father how he likes the new iPad she bought for him.

I found this on Diane Ravitch's blog and I thank her for it. I just cracked up. I was surprised by the number of comments that said the video was putting older folks down, though. I didn't see it that way at all. I think the technology we use is the technology we need. It doesn't depend on a person's age. As a teacher I hear about all sorts of apps and devices and techno short cuts for doing all sorts of things. If they don't have any real use in my life, I let them go and think, maybe later.

My sweet daughter shared this quote with me a while back. I had fun turning it into a meme using a very old photo of my youngest.

2. I found a new resource! Our district is putting extra emphasis this year on the teaching of vocabulary. I found a great site with good resources.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Literacy page has some very useful downloadable free teacher plans. The vocabulary lessons help you set purpose, contextualize the word, give a student-friendly definition, show other contexts, and engage students with a variety of quick activities.

Here is a sample so you get the idea

I find  the format easy to use, so I printed the single sheet for some of my favorite books and then just stuck it in the book so it is ready to go the next time I read that title. There are many different texts to choose from. Now that I've used a couple of the plans, I find myself transferring the format into my own thinking about vocabulary as I read other books to the kiddos. Very useful to have my own thinking expanded. Check out the site by clicking on their icon above.

3. Michigan Bloggers! Check out the button change!

Over there on the right sidebar you'll see this Michigan button that links my blog to the list of Michigan bloggers kept by at Fifth in the Middle. It's a handy spot to go to when looking for a blogger in a specific state.

Well, a reader contacted me about the old button, which only had the lower peninsula on it. As iconic as the mitten is, it is only half our state. So I contacted Fifth in the Middle and it was changed to a more complete button in short order. If you are a Michigan blogger you might want to change your button, too. Your spot on the state list won't change if you just swap out the button. Let's hear it for Michigan... all of it.

4. There are oodles and oodles of 100th Day activities to do, aren't there? It's hard to pick and choose which ones are best for your students– there are a finite number of minutes to the day after all. The kidpeople and I had a blast with our 100th day, and I managed to cook up a new little activity, too. I hesitate saying it is original... I think it is... but the longer I'm in the world the more I think there isn't any original thought. As we all strive to teach the same concepts in new and interesting ways, and share on the internet, it's only a matter of time before you see the same idea in completely different places.

My kids were greeted on our 100th day with this sign, "Can you Limbo under 100 centimeters?"

Limbo under 100 cm on the 100th day of school

I put a meter stick in the door frame, marking 100 centimeters, and stretched the sign across the doorway. My Littles had to limbo... duck... creep... slither.... under the doorway to get through. It was just one more way to demonstrate 100 of something. I left it all up all day... yep, I had to limbo crawl through the door each time, too. Even parents got in on the act.

How low can she go on the 100th day?
I put together a little freebie sign for you to download to save you some time. Print up as many pages as you need to span your doorway, taping them together. (My original sign was made from a roll of paper, but I realize not everyone has that handy. The freebie sign marks the 100 cm level, too, so I'll use it next year.) I put transparent tape all along the bottom of the sign so it was less likely to rip. It did indeed stay up all day with twenty kids going in and out numerous times. Hope you have fun with it, even if it is for next year. Click here to download.

Another thing we did was take a fun "100" photo in our goofy 100 hats. (The kids stamped ten bingo dots on ten strips of paper that they then put on the headband hat.) We put ourselves into a "100" and then I took a photo from above (yes, I was standing on a table... a low table... the kids promised not to tell on me.) To get us all into the picture I had to use the panorama feature on my iPhone– those kids were v-e-r-y patient as I figured this out!

Do YOU see the 100? The kiddos were happy with how it came out in the end... one shouted, "I CAN see the 100!" in amazement... that's when I realized some of them had NO idea why I was climbing around on a table trying to take a picture... just another day in wacky life with Mrs. Wright...

See how we made 100?

5.  And here's a little 100th Day Funny Kid Story

I used the Aging Booth app to age the kids. (The app is free to download and easy to use.) The kids got a huge kick out of seeing themselves "old." We then discussed what it would be like to be 100 years old, with me acting as scribe for the list. It started out like this.

When you are 100 years old...
• you have to use a walker
• you have to sit a lot
• you can't drive a car any more
• you have to have lots of help...

"Hey, wait a minute! This sounds horrible. Maybe you guys don't want to live to be 100 years old, eh?" I interjected with mock shock.

Hmmmm.... some silent, big eyed reflection.

The list making continuted.

When you are 100 years old...
• you can reach things
• you can eat what you want
• you get to have a candy stick to walk with (new use for candy canes ??)
• you are not afraid of the dark
• you don't have nightmares
• you don't worry about wild animals coming into your house (??)
• people will do stuff for you
• you can play lots of games because you know lots of rules
• you don't have to fold clothes (??)
• you have grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren
• people love you and there are lots of people who love you!

Whew! Now that sounds more like it!

Happy 100-something days of school! Here's to the 80-ish more!

Click on back to the either link-up to find more good stuff and leave a little love below.

Mom's Small Victories


  1. I would NOT be able to limbo. I'd have to crawl, probably. It wouldn't be pretty. I've never seen your idea around before, so it seems original to me! I know what you mean about it seeming like there are no original thought left. Pinterest gives me so many great ideas, that I feel like my ability to think of new things is slipping! Have a great week.
    Laughter and Consistency

  2. I know what you mean when sometimes they don't get it and they must wonder what on earth we as their teacher are up to - but they just let us get on with it? You obviously have a penchant for standing on desks!! Lots to chuckle over in your Five for Friday :) Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

  3. I love your blog! I am so using the Limbo idea next year on our 100th day! I also like the 100 hats and the photo from above - Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Oh, thanks so much, Theresa. You made my day :) Hope you have fun doing the ol' limbo! Kathleen

  4. How fun! I would have loved to limbo into my classroom!

    1. It was lots of fun. We don't do enough limboing in life, I say :) Thanks for stopping by. Kathleen