Friday, February 5, 2016

Five for Friday and a Funny

Happy chilly Friday in February. Here are five random things going on in this Five for Friday... including a Funny Kid Story. Haven't had one in a while.


Gotta have this up near my library book bin. It is going to mean LOVE for some of my short fellows. And who knows, maybe they'll remember their books more often. Comes from Imgur.

2.  We learned about symmetry in the past weeks. I tie it each year to our trip to the art museum because we'll sure see it there. As we were talking about how symmetry is everywhere, even right there on our faces, an art project occurred to me. I'm sure I've seen it somewhere over the years, but who knows where.

Here's how I did it. I took headshots of the kiddos and then printed on a regular black and white printer on regular paper. I cut the photo straight down the middle of the face. I then cut out the head and shoulder and glued it to another plain piece of paper. I demo'd with my own photo which the kids loved. I decided to give them only drawing pencils to keep with the black and white mode and to allow them the opportunity to shade. Our drawing pencils are fat number two pencils without erasers. (I use black vis-a-vis pens and black flairs for a lot of drawing projects, as well, but I thought those would be too harsh a line. My illustrator husband sees good value in kids not being able to erase, and over the years for a variety of reasons, I've have found it to be true.)

Boy, did they put in effort. The room had barely a murmur as they worked, totally engrossed in reproducing their own face. They had to really pay attention to detail and they LOVED it. The adults who have come into our room where they are on display have not failed to comment. They are pretty impressive and "Picasso-like" as one dad said when they are all seen together in the collection. It really is a worthwhile project and I highly recommend it, whether for a symmetry lesson or an All About project.

3. Our latest FAVORITE math video.

It is a favorite for the kids because the timing is just right to sing along to. It counts all the way up to 100 with a pause before each ten number. I say "Tell me" in that pause, and they say the next ten number, which is the tricky part in counting to 100 and you see some of them putting in extra thinking effort. There is a bonus for the math wizzes, too, because it counts past 100 going through the thousands, millions, billions, to one trillion. I tell you, one trillion is a very exciting number. In addition to great counting practice, I love it for it's sound. It is a more melodic tune than the raps, yet isn't babyish, and the singer articulates the numbers very well. Try it. Listen and you'll see why the kids love Big Numbers. KidsTV123 has other videos up on YouTube as well, and there are more goodies to be found. It is nice that most classrooms these days have the ability for just a few minutes of engaging number counting in the form of videos to keep kids on their toes and engaged. Ah, technology... and to think when I was in Ed School I had to learn how to load a film projector...

4. Have you tried a new trend– Small Worlds? I have to chuckle as I type "new trend" because imaginative play in this way has been around for a long time. I particularly like, though, how this is "packaged," and it's given me new ways to group items for play centers.

In a nutshell, you gather small items- toys, blocks, items from nature, scraps– and put them together in collections which lead kids to play in smaller, quieter ways around a theme. As I thought about it I could come up with several themes just with the stuff I already had. Here are some photos of one collection over a few days.

Small World play is fun!

I pulled Jenga blocks, popsicle sticks, micro cars, small signs, trees, figures and animals. The astro turf squares come from Menards– they are free samples– put you could just as easily use felt squares. The kiddos were totally engrossed. They worked individually and in groups to form roads, fences, buildings, cities, zoos, farms, forests with all sorts of things going on. They LOVED it.

I also put together a beach themed collection, and have stuff ready to go if we ever get snow again to do a winter themed one. Bringing snow into the classroom is always a hit, but now with the small world theme, it will have yet another purpose. I'm even working on an alien planet– the sky's the limit... er, rather NOT the limit. You can't imagine all the doodads I'm finding around the house and classroom to put to use this way. Have fun.


Do you ever wonder just HOW much your kids keep track of you? I was coming down with a cold the other day and to combat it I was drinking plenty of fluids, with the usual result. I was in the bathroom, which is in our own classroom, when I heard through the vent in the door:

Child A:  Where's Mrs. Wright?
Child B:  She's in the bathroom.
Child A: No...

I emerge at this moment.

Child B: See, she was in there.
Me: Teachers have to go to the bathroom, too, you know.
Child A: But you only go once a day, and you've already been today.

Hope you have a great weekend with no little eyes watching you. Thanks for stopping by.

Click on back for more posts. Thanks, Kacey.

P.S Anybody going to this retreat? I am planning on it, but am looking for buddies. Let me know. Midwest events don't come too often.

Self Portrait Symmetry- Great Project

Just goofing around with PicMonkey and making things Pinnable. Hope you'll Pin away!


  1. I remember doing those types of drawings in school. I always loved that. That bathroom story made me smile. They are nosy little things aren't they? I love the "Small Worlds" sets idea. They'd be PERFECT for indoor recess days. Have a great week!
    Laughter and Consistency

    1. Thanks Jan. Glad some stuff resonated with you! See you later. Kathleen

  2. The symmetry art pieces are great! I followed you on tpt and left feedback! Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi TT. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you and yours have fun with the symmetry. Kathleen

  3. What a GREAT post! I love your blog because you always have real ideas to use! I love the symmetry pictures. I can't wait to do that. AND LOVE the Batman returns books idea. I am going to share that with our librarian! Can't wait! Hope you feel better. Just think- you can go to the bathroom as much as you want this weekend! WOOT! WOOT! No little eyes watching!

    1. Thanks, Carolyn. You make me chuckle :) See you around. Kathleen

  4. Hi, Kathleen! I love the symmetry activity! Can't wait to do that with my older kids! :)

    Ili from Grumpy Dumpling

    1. Hi Grumpy! LOVE your name :) Hope they love it. Bet they do. Thanks for stopping by. Kathleen

  5. I don't know where my first comment went, Kathleen - must be my internet playing up? As per usual, your funny story made me chuckle and I have also used the symmetry photo idea for drawing with young children to good effect. Small Worlds play has been around for some years in the UK and I have loved collecting things (normally from charity shops and car boots) to create them :)

    1. Nice to hear from you, lady. I didn't find a first comment, but glad to get this one. Thanks for stopping by! Kathleen

  6. They surely enjoyed so much.


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