When Teachers are Absent – I go to Work

I have been coming in for teachers who are sick or have emergencies that require them to take a day off.

Here are some of my encounters with young primary kids (Grades/Year 1,2,3)

l. Mary.

“Miss, I want you to know that Samantha cannot run in gym because she has

had her tonsils out.”

2. “Miss, I have designed this great idea to make baseball harder.

There is a field force at each base.   The runner has to bend his back

and fit through a space if he is to reach the base.”

3.   “Miss, can you help me get ready for home?”

Nicholas:  “I can’t undo the knot in my shoe.

Me:  “Let me help.”

Nicholas:  “Miss, you told us stories about your adventures in Australia

with koalas and kangaroos.”

Me:  “Yes, I did.  Did you enjoy them?”

Nicholas:  “I really liked them.  Could you tell us more?”

Me:  “Well, maybe if I come to your class again.”

Nicholas:  “What  if you gave me your phone number and we could

talk about more of your adventures?”

Me:   “I am not allowed to give out my phone number.”

Nicholas.  “O.K, so how about giving me your home number?”

Me:   “I’m not allowed to do that, so maybe I will come back.”

Nicholas:  “I hope so.   My teacher doesn’t speak about kangaroo!”

4.   student:   “John cannot eat peanuts.  If he does – he gets sick.  He gets

so sick that you have to phone for an ambulance.

Me.          “Has this ever happened?”

Student:     “I don’t think so, but we all have to be prepared.”

5.   Student:   “Miss, have you ever had a wish and wanted it to come true?”

Me.           “Yes.”

Student:    “Me, too!’

6.    Student:    “Did you ever wish that you could fly away when things got


Me.           “Often.

Student:    “Oh, that must have been a lot of times!   I’m not that bad!”

Cat and Dog Jokes 1: Kids Will Enjoy These


Q: Have you ever seen a catfish?

A: No. How did he hold the rod and reel?

Q. Why did the puppy cross the road?…

A.To get to the “barking lot.”


Q.Why don’t cats play poker in the jungle?

A. Too many cheetahs.

Q. Why don’t blind people like to sky dive?

A: Because it scares the dog!

Q What is a cat’s way of keeping law & order?

A. Claw Enforcement.

Q.  What do puppies and story tellers have in common?…

A.   They both have tails!


Q. Did you hear about the cat who swallowed a ball of wool?

A.  She had mittens.

Q. Have you read the book Raising Dogs?…

A.   No? you should it’s a pup-up book.


Winnie the Pooh Quotes to Inspire Kids

Again in these dark political days of wars and fighting, I have declared a week of peace, love and inspiration. These blogs are taken from my children’s site   http://childrenandteensstoriestomotivateandinspire.com

Winnie the Pooh was written in the 1920s by A.A Milne for his son Christopher Robin.  Here are some old pictures of them.

A.A Milne, his wife and Christopher Robin
Christopher Robin with Pooh his bear.

“You’re braver than you believe and stronger and smarter than you think.”

“A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.”

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”

“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.”

“Just because an animal is large, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want kindness; however big Tigger seems to be, remember that he wants as much kindness as Roo.”

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”

Piglet: “How do you spell love?”

Pooh: “You don’t spell it, you feel it.”

“It is hard to be brave, when you’re only a Very Small Animal.

“There’s the South Pole, said Christopher Robin, and I expect there’s an East Pole and a West Pole, though people don’t like talking about them.”

“It’s so much more friendly with two.”

“- What day is it?

– It’s today, – squeaked Piglet.

  • My favorite day, – said Pooh.

“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.” 

Making a Derby Car for Kids

Seven Steps for Making a Fast Pinewood Derby Car

1. Max out your pinewood derby car’s weight at 5 ounces and make sure the heaviest part is about 1 inch in front of the rear axle. This is the most important step. Science shows if you do this correctly, you will beat a pinewood derby car built exactly the same — except with the weight toward its front — by 4.6 car lengths. It works because the farther back the weight is, the more potential energy you have because your center of mass is higher up on the track. (Don’t put it too far back, or your pinewood derby car will become unstable and pop a wheelie.)


2. Use lightweight wheels. This is illegal in some races, but if it’s not in yours, this is a must-do step that will give you a 2.1-car-length advantage at the finish line versus a car with normal wheels. It works because heavy wheels take away from the kinetic energy (the energy something has due to its motion), which makes the pinewood derby car slower.

3. Use bent polished axles.

Bending your axles with a bending tool will make the wheels ride up against the nailhead, which creates less friction than if the wheel is bouncing around and rubbing against the wooden pinewood derby car body. See video for details.

4. Railride. Railriding means you steer your pinewood derby car into the center guide track just enough that you keep the car from bouncing around. This helps reduce friction and saves energy for speed. See video for details.

5. Create a pinewood derby car that is reasonably aerodynamic, meaning its design cuts down on drag caused by air. No need to get crazy here, but simply having a wedge-shaped pinewood derby car instead of the standard block out of the box will equal a 1.4-car advantage at the finish line.

6. Ride on three wheels by raising one wheel off the track.(Check the rules to make sure this is allowed in your race.) You will move faster if you have to get only three wheels rotating, giving you a 1.1-car advantage over an identical pinewood derby car riding on four wheels.


7. Use lots of graphite. There isn’t a big difference in types of graphite, so buy the cheap stuff and use as much as possible. Be sure to get plenty around each wheel and on the axle.

It works! After my research, my son and I wanted to do one final test to prove that this is a good list. So we built a simple pinewood derby car using this list in 45 minutes, and we beat the fastest pinewood derby car in our local race by two car lengths. Turns out, science works!

roberMeet Mark Rober

Mark Rober worked as a mechanical engineer at NASA for nine years. During this time, he worked on Curiosity, a car-sized robot that left Earth in 2011, landed on Mars in 2012, and has been exploring, conducting experiments and sending back pictures ever since. Now Mark makes high-tech Halloween costumes.

And Then What Happened? by Pauline Gallagher ©


             by Pauline Gallagher  ©

This morning I got dressed for school.

And then what happened?

Rufus put his dirty paws all over me!



I ate my favorite cereal.

And then what happened?

My front tooth fell out!


I waited for the school bus.

And then what happened?

A speeding car splashed me!


I took off my boots in school.

And then what happened?

I saw a big hole in my sock!


I put up my hand in class.

And then what happened?

I got the wrong answer!


The teacher asked me a question.

And then what happened?

I go the right answer!


I was finger-painting,

And then what happened?

My nose became itchy!


I cleaned up for the teacher.

And then what happened?

I forgot to turn the water tap off!


I played ball in the school yard.

And then what happened?

I broke the Principal’s window!

Mom said there was no dessert.

And then what happened?

She took us to an ice cream parlour.


I broke my mom’s best vase.

And then what happened?

I was sent to my room.


My mother told my father

And then what happened?

My father told me to be careful.


My bedroom went dark.

And then what happened?

Mom and Dad kissed me “Goodnight.”


Our Own Pet Phobe Birds – They Have Laid Eggs

This is at least the fourth year for Mr. and Mrs. Phobe (Fee-bee) to return to our Canadian lake.  Penny is the wife and Frankie is the husband.  They are very friendly birds and often land near us when we are having coffee in the sun room.

Mrs. Phobe has built her mud and grass nest under our eave’s.  We cannot see her nest but she flies in and out of it quite often.  When Mrs. Phobe is on the nest, Mr. Phobe goes hunting for insects.

Here are some notes from a book on birds.

Mrs. Penny Phone
Mr. Frankie Phone

One of our most familiar eastern flycatchers, the Eastern Phoebe’s raspy “phoebe” (Fee-bee)  call is a frequent sound around yards and farms in spring and summer. These brown-and-white songbirds sit upright and wag their tails from prominent, low perches. They typically place their mud-and-grass nests in protected nooks on bridges, barns, and houses, which adds to the species’ familiarity to humans. Hardy birds, Eastern Phoebes winter farther north than most other flycatchers and are one of the earliest returning migrants in spring.

Size & Shape
The Eastern Phoebe is a plump songbird with a medium-length tail. It appears large-headed for a bird of its size. The head often appears flat on top, but phoebes sometimes raise the feathers up into a peak. Like most small flycatchers, they have short, thin bills used for catching insects.

Color Pattern
The Eastern Phoebe is brownish-gray above and off-white below, with a dusky wash to the sides of the breast. The head is typically the darkest part of the upperparts. Birds in fresh fall plumage show faint yellow on the belly and whitish edging on the folded wing feathers.

The Eastern Phoebe generally perches low in trees or on fencelines. Phoebes are very active, making short flights to capture insects and very often returning to the same perch. They make sharp “peep” calls in addition to their familiar “phoebe” vocalizations. When perched, Eastern Phoebes wag their tails down and up frequently.

These birds favor open woods such as yards, parks, woodlands, and woodland edges. Phoebes usually breed around buildings or bridges on which they construct their nests under the protection of an eave or ledge.

Summer Sun – Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson

Summer Sun – Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson

Great is the sun, and wide he goes

Through empty heaven with repose;

And in the blue and glowing days

More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull

To keep the shady parlour cool,

Yet he will find a chink or two

To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad

He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;

And through the broken edge of tiles

Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around

He bares to all the garden ground,

And sheds a warm and glittering look

Among the ivy’s inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,

Round the bright air with footing true,

To please the child, to paint the rose,

The gardener of the World, he goes.

Robert Louis Stevenson

The Moon: Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson

Enjoy “The Moon” by Robert Louis Stevenson.  He wrote “Treasure Island,”  “Kidnapped” and “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

The Moon :

The moon has a face like the clock in the hall; 

She shines on thieves on the garden wall, 

On streets and fields and harbour quays, 

And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees. 

The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse, 

The howling dog by the door of the house, 

The bat that lies in bed at noon, 

All love to be out by the light of the moon. 

But all of the things that belong to the day 

Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way; 

And flowers and children close their eyes 

Till up in the morning the sun shall rise. 

Robert Louis Stevenson.

Kid Facts About Moon

“I See the Moon and the Moon sees me!” (song)

The Earth moves around the sun and the moon moves around the earth. This movement is called an orbit.  The Moon orbits the Earth every 27.3 days.


It is the fifth largest ‘moon’ in the solar system.  Some planets have different sized and number of moons.  Earth just has one natural satellite – that orbits it and it is the Moon.

How Far Away is the Moon from Earth?

  • Yes, humans have reached the moon.  The average distance from the Moon to the Earth is 384403 kilometres (238857 miles).  The first human to set foot on the moon was American astronaut, Neil Armstrong in 1969.  He flew in NASA  Apollo 11 spacecraft.  Gravity on the moon is only about 17% of earth.  This would answer why Neil Armstrong and his fellow astronauts were able to bounce around.  Earth’s gravity keeps our feet on the ground.

Apollo 11’s mission was to land two men on the moon. They also had to come back to Earth safely. Apollo 11 blasted off on July 16, 1969. Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins were the astronauts on Apollo

Neil Armstrong
Neil and Buzz
Michael Collins stayed in the space capsule and did not walk on the moon

-How to Describe the Moon

Neil Armstrong would have seen first hand that the Moon had craters.

The surface of the Moon features a huge number of impact craters from comets and asteroids that have collided with the surface over time. Because the Moon lacks an atmosphere or weather these craters remain well preserved.  There is a mountain on the moon that is half the height of Mt. Everest (8848m).  It is called Mons Huygens and it stand at around 4,700 metres tall.

How Hot or Cold is the Moon?

During the day the average surface temperature is around 107 Celsius.  At night, it would be easy for humans to freeze to death.  The night temperature is about minus 153 Celsius (-153 C).  Most scientists think that the Moon has small amounts of water.

What is a Lunar Eclipse?

This occurs when the Earth is BETWEEN the sun and the Moon. During a lunar eclipse, the Earth’s shadow can be seen on the moon’s surface.

Now, enjoy “The Moon” by Robert Louis Stevenson.  He wrote “Treasure Island,”  “Kidnapped” and “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

The Moon :

The moon has a face like the clock in the hall; 

She shines on thieves on the garden wall, 

On streets and fields and harbour quays, 

And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees. 

The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse, 

The howling dog by the door of the house, 

The bat that lies in bed at noon, 

All love to be out by the light of the moon. 

But all of the things that belong to the day 

Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way; 

And flowers and children close their eyes 

Till up in the morning the sun shall rise. 

Robert Louis Stevenson.