Monday, April 30, 2012

Hoping for a Less Crazy Week!

Last week was crazy, no time to post!  I was a mother duck, we had Math Olympics and it was my intern's last week.  Then my family after school activities were even more packed!  I'm hoping this week will be slightly less crazy.  Today started the week with Field Day.

Math Olympics was a school wide activity at our school.  Each classroom had a different math related activity and the classes rotated through 5 classrooms.  My room was "Weightlifting" a measurement activity with balance scales.  In each room the students received an "Olympic Ring" (colored jelly bracelet), at the end they had all 5 rings.  It was a great way to review and touch on skills from last year.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Today is Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies!  This week I have a 2D shapes activity.  I am using it tomorrow to review with my kiddos tomorrow.  Hope you enjoy it too!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We have ducklings!

Check out the web cam in the Monday's post to see our little ducklings!  We were very worried when they hadn't hatched this morning (they started external peeping yesterday).  I had to help a little bit.  The humidity was not high enough and the membrane was a little too dry.  I had to peel back the shell a little to get them started.  We have 6 baby ducklings!  Two are all dry and fluffy.  Two are drying off in the incubator tonight.  Two more are newly hatched and still a little weak (praying for them now).  We have 3 that haven't started yet, so we will see.  Check back tomorrow for great pictures!!!!

Today I read Eric Carle's "Does A Kangaroo Have A Mother, Too?" and did the baby animal names printable from my Celebrate Moms Freebie offered on Monday.  It went great, I did notice a mistake, I fixed it and am uploading the correction.

Monday, April 23, 2012

An "EGG"citing and Manic Monday!

Yay!  This morning I came in to find several of my duck eggs with cracks, moving around and hearing sweet little quacks!  They will be hatching today!!!!  I have been so nervous awaiting these cute little ducklings!  Check out our "Egg Cam" live.

Classroom Freebies is hosting its first ever "Manic Monday"!  This is a linky party she will be doing every Monday where fabulous free bloggers link up and offer fantastic Freebies.  It is a great way to find super new blogs and get FREEBIES; what could be better than that!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
My contribution to this weeks Manic Monday is "Celebrating Moms (and learning too!)"  This is a great mini-unit to do as we approach Mother's Day.  I have included to activities to go along with Laura Numeroff's "What Mommies Do Best" and Eric Carle's "Does A Kangaroo Have A Mother, Too!"  I also included learning about baby animals and inherited traits.  I hope you enjoy it!  Just click on the picture below to download the 10 page mini-unit and enjoy!  If you like and would like to hear about new things, please follow me!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Evening awaiting Monday!

Well I am beginning my Sunday evening routine of finishing up a few things for the week ahead.  I make a keynote (mac's version of Powerpoint) for the skills of the week.  I include the words of the week, grammar skill, phonics skill, include great review videos from YouTube and link to the online versions of our textbook.  They are my plans for the week and really useful because it benefits the kids and me; I just wish I could use these as my "official plans".

One thing that worked great last week in the Super 6 (Daily 5 + STEM) was one of the Buddy Reading activities.  I had a non-fiction book about plants and their life cycle and the kids read it together and noted interesting facts on post-its.  Then posted them on a parking lot.  The kids loved it!  They were really diving into the book.  They read the facts the other students had found and tried hard to find new facts to post.  I can't wait to do it again next week.

I am so excited about tomorrow for two reasons!  First, my ducks should starting hatching.  I really hope they do, I am always nervous when doing this project with the class.  Ducks are a little harder to hatch than chicks, but will be sooooo cute!

The other reason I am excited is because tomorrow Classroom Freebies is having a linky party of all kinds of FREE stuff!  I am working on something new to "linky" with and hopefully will get a few new followers.  I am also excited to see all the great new freebies from many other bloggers!  Check it out tomorrow at !

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Live Streaming Video So Easy!

As you may know we are hatching eggs in class and the big day is fast approaching! It may begin on Sunday and the kids won't be there to see it.... So I had a brilliant idea to find a way to stream it live online. I was so excited today to find and easy and FREE way to stream this live!!!

You create a simple free account, set up a channel and you are ready to broadcast live! You can choose audio or no audio. You can use a web cam or even your phone! It is also easy to share the link and embed it. Not only can you stream live, but you can record during the stream also. Check it out!

My mind has been spinning with all of the possible fantastic uses for this. You could broadcast an awards ceremony live, class play or anything really. It could possibly be used for a parent to observe their child in the classroom setting. I'm sure there are all kinds of permissions I would need to have signed.

How might you use this???

On another note, I am now a 5 Star Blogger!
5-Star Blogger

Check out some of the other 5 Star Bloggers over at The Organized Classroom Blog
The OC Blog Button

Monday, April 16, 2012

Great Monday and Word Work Fun

Today was a Magnificent Monday! I have had a Senior intern this semester. It has been an experience, but I really missed teaching. This week I began to start taking back over. The kids and I both enjoyed it.

I am die hard "Daily Fiver" with and added twist. I combine the Daily 5 with STEM to make it the Super 6! (I will expound on this in a later post.) Today my kids loved "Word Work". Mondays are always spelling practice. In the past we have had the kiddos write the words in pencil, pen, marker and crayon. To mix it up a little, we mixed up the letters for all of the words. We gave them a word bank and then had them unscramble the words. After unscrambling the words, they did the writing practice.

Click on the image above or here to download the Word template for this. Just insert your spelling lists.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


It is that time of year when we are all getting ready standardized state tests! My older daughter has her big state test (FCAT) next week and my 2nd grader and class have them coming up in 3 weeks (GMADE/GRADE)!
I was looking around for all types of practice resources and found a fantabulous site!

The best part it is that it is FREE! I did notice when printing worksheets that are multiple pages if you "scale" them down to 80% they will fit on one sheet.

I made Lucky Penny Cards for my daughter's class and will for mine too. Click here to get a copy with multiples on each page. Just attach you "Lucky Pennies"! There is a nice saying on the back too.

I am also finishing up some super "sweet" motivation cards too! I should have them ready to go tomorrow! What do you do to get your kiddos ready for the BIG tests??

Monday, April 9, 2012

Great Day Back from Break!

Yes, I admit I was sad to go back from a wonderful Spring Break! However, a very wise friend helped me look at it another way... We are even closer to Summer Break!!! Which had me so happy for a while until I realized crunch time is fast approaching. So much to do and the days are dwindling. So I will take it a day at a time!

Today I sold my first ever mini unit on TpT and Teachers Notebook. I have never been so excited over earning $2.90. I can't wait to create and share even more.

Over Spring Break, I "egg sat" the eggs in my incubator. I brought them back to school today and the kiddos were beyond excited to see what was going on inside. Here is a video clip of what we saw today (Day 14) inside our duck eggs.

In my quest to enter and follow the teaching "blogosphere" I have been looking all around to find fabulous blogs to follow. This is a great site to find blogs grouped by grade level. I am happy to be a member now.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hatching Eggs!

Hatching eggs with my class is always one of my favorite experiences! Here are some helpful hints and class activities to go along with the experience. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Hatching the Eggs: First you need to get an incubator. Either borrow one or they are not very expensive to buy from a feed and farm store. Then find a place in your area to get fertilized eggs. Usually someone from the farm and feed store can help with that too. The wonderful people I use even give teachers the eggs for free and the best part is that they agree to take the chicks back when they hatch!

Set the incubator up first and get the temperature stabilized first (trust me from a sad experience…). Then you are ready to start the journey. Make sure you time it so they are not going to hatch over the weekend or a break so the kids can watch it.

Predicting What’s in the Egg! I have my husband Mr. Eric bring in the eggs for the class. Wouldn’t you know it, I sent Mr. Eric to the farm to get eggs and he forgot to find out what kind of animal they came from! Silly Mr. Eric!

Circle Map: We brainstorm together and make a circle map of what animals hatch from eggs (in attached packet). Animals that hatch from eggs on the inside and animals that don’t on the outside.

Graphic Organizer: Then we use a graphic organizer using a little three part flip book (in packet). The students pick one animal they know it could not be (a mammal) and list reasons why it isn’t on the inside. Then they pick an animal it might be but probably isn’t (like an insect, fish or dinosaur) and list details inside. Then they make their prediction and justify their prediction on the inside.

What’s in the Egg Journal: Using the journal paper we write a narrative of what we think will hatch from the egg. The students use their graphic organizers to help. They draw a picture of each animal along with their writing. So much fun and they turn out fantastic! They then read them aloud to the class and we make a graph of our class predictions.

Click Here for a FREEBIE!

Egg Chick Craft:

This is a super easy and cute craft. Turning a yellow egg shape into a baby chick or duckling. We did these to hang up with our journals.

Incubator Reading Passage and Comprehension Questions:

I explain the process of hatching eggs in an incubator in a student friendly passage. I also included several reading comprehension questions; great practice for answering “right there” answers. Don’t let students forget to underline their proof!

Candling the Eggs:

Candling the eggs is a way to see inside the eggs during the incubation period by shining a bright light through them. I found many ways to make contraptions to candle eggs. One way to do it is using an old school overhead projector. Google it and you can see how it is done. I also found several boxes my husband could have made me (although on his time scale, the eggs would have hatched before it was done!) Then I had an aha moment! I made and egg-candling device with an old Pringles can, duct tape, grocery bags and a flashlight! It is so simple and works amazing. See the easy to follow pictures.

You can candle the eggs at about 4 days and dispose of any eggs that are not fertilized. This helps with the smell a lot! I then candle the eggs every few days to check on their growth. You can take great pictures to show the process.

What’s going on inside?

The students use a sheet to draw and describe what they see going on inside the eggs. This is best done in a small group setting. I do it in my STEM center.

Our eggs are on day 11 of 28. (We are hatching ducks this time.) I will be back with an update as our process continues. You can get the entire hatching eggs mini unit in my Teachers Notebook store,

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring Break!

I am enjoying Spring Break! It is hard to believe it is half over. My girls and I had a fabulous time at Busch Gardens and I know my school kiddos did many wonderful things too. Here is a quick freebie you can use to help them organize their thoughts about what they did over Spring Break and write about it. (I actually sent the organizer home before Spring Break) When we get back I can't wait to see the spectacular writing and hear about their many adventures over Spring Break.

Click Here to download

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