Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ladybug Love!

Happy Tuesday!   My work week is half way over.   I am heading to NC Friday morning to celebrate my cousin's wedding.   I am so excited to see my family!   I live far away from everyone,  so I cherish the time we get together.   My kids are not coming with us,  as this is a super quick trip,  so Jay and I actually going to have some alone time!  I think this is the first full weekend we have had away together since Eden was born,  in October....of 2010!

We have been having the BEST time in class talking about insects.   We started with our ladybugs.   Our larvae are starting to pupate,  well,  I think.   I am not exactly sure,  but my kids totally ARE.   Someone is back there shouting reporting about the MIRACLES happening in that little habitat all day long! 

We have been out in the field looking for the little ladies,  and have even found a couple larva and EGGS!  They are so excited!
I had some ideas of what I wanted the kids to do with this unit.  I had planned to have everyone do ladybug reports and videos, projects or Powerpoints.  We started to research...


 


But, as they often do,  my kids had different and better ideas.   They decided they all wanted to pick different insects to report on and compare and contrast them to ladybugs.  So,  I gave them some time to talk to each other,  to decide what they wanted to do.   I decided to leave it open as I could,  but wanted them to have some clear objectives.  

We discussed our objectives and decided that each presentation should:
  • explain what type of metamorphosis the insect has - simple or complex
  • explain the habitats the insect would be found in
  • explain how the insect gets around
  • explain any benefits or dangers the insect might present to humans
  • explain the appearance of the insect
  • include interesting facts
  • BE INTERESTING to the audience
They are able to present their information in any way that they would like - video,  tv news show,  comedy, skit,  rap, newspaper, Powerpoint etc.   They are all working so hard.   They are tapping their little fingers off on their computers and driving our sweet librarian crazy I am sure,  depleting the library of all  insect books.   I am super excited to see what they come up with.  I even bought a couple of pairs of these funny glasses for them to use as props!


In the spirit of all things buggy, and in an attempt to have a few more pages I can take grades on,   I have created a  packet of supplemental materials to go along with our study.   It includes a ladybug life cycle book,  several pages that compare and contrast ladybugs to other insects,  a research guide,  math activities,  and  ELA activities that include science vocabulary.  I love how it turned out.  You can find it here.
















We have been measuring like mad in our room,  so we used the ladybug life cycle measuring activity yesterday.   They did a great job with it. 



Gotta go write some sub plans!  Ughhh!  There is no such thing as a free day off I guess! 

Have a great one!
 






 



 
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Sunday, April 28, 2013

TpT Sale! 20% off EVERYTHING!

In celebration of my new blog design,  I am holding a TpT sale until Tuesday night.   Everything in my store is 20% off.  Please go check it out!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/In-That-Room


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My Blog Makeover by Christi Fultz!

I am so thrilled with the fantabulous work of Christi Fultz!   She could not have been easier to work with and I love the new design!   I just told her what I wanted and she totally got it!    I finally feel like a "real blogger".   Thank you so much Christi! 


Here is the old look - huge difference, huh?


Go check her out!


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Saturday, April 27, 2013

I LOVE this!

Have you read this?   It has been flying around Facebook and I can't get over how true this rings.   This man,  Brent Beasley,  hit the nail on the head.    I do not know him,   but I wish I did,  because he is brilliant and I would like to tell him thank you for explaining this so well.  

The Pigs and the Scale

The farmer wants his pigs to be fat. Of course he does. The fatter the better. 

He became concerned when he realized that, even though he fed them all the same, some pigs were fatter than others. The problem, he concluded, was that he wasn’t weighing the pigs enough. So he began to weigh the pigs a few times a year. Still, while some of the pigs were getting plenty fat, many of them were still skinny or, at least, not fat enough. 

The farmer decided that the best thing to do to solve the problem would be to weigh them again and again throughout the year. So, the farmer invested a lot of his resources in weighing. He developed new types of scales. He began keeping complicated records of the pigs’ weights. He devised a system where he could compare the weights of the pigs not just individually but between each different pen and also based on what color each pig was. All the while, the pigs weren’t getting any fatter. The only thing that seemed to be getting fatter was the wallet of the scale-maker.

So, the farmer added more weigh-ins. And in the days and weeks leading up to each weigh-in, he held practice weigh-ins for the pigs. One day, the pigs were looking longingly at the food piled up around their pens. “No time to waste sitting around eating,” the farmer said. “I need you to practice weighing. Here are some tips on how to make yourself seem heavier.” The only weigh-in strategy that seemed to help at all was eating a good breakfast. 

But even on the days that one particular group of pigs wasn’t weighing-in or practicing weighing-in, the farmer didn’t like them to eat. Pigs are noisy eaters, you know. They might disturb the others who are weighing-in or practicing weighing-in. Besides, there was no one to feed them, anyway. All the workers on the farm were overseeing the weighing of the pigs or the practicing of the weighing of the pigs in some of the other pens, so the pigs that weren’t being weighed or practicing being weighed were herded over to one particular area and told to sit still, be quiet, and wait. 

After the last weigh-in of the year, everybody relaxed. But the pigs wondered, “Why bother to eat now, if we aren’t going to even be weighed anymore?” The farmer told them that the weighing was only to help them get fatter. But the pigs didn’t believe him. They knew that the scale was much more important than the food. They knew that it’s the weighing that makes a pig fatter. They had been taught that well.






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Friday, April 26, 2013

Five for Friday!

I am exhausted... EX-HAUST-ED!   But wanted to do a quick link up with the DoodleBug Girls for Five for Friday!





 Five random shots of our week,  the week I am too weak to write much about! 
 Notes to my class from last year to encourage them to do their best.
 Amy Lemons cutie patootie Earth Day book/Craftivity.
making dirt pudding
little ladybug set I bought and LOVE
window in my room with our Rachel's Challenge Links draped across - each one represents something kind someone has done for someone else - we are more than half way around our room!

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ladybugs Everywhere!

This week we are discussing insects and their life cycles.   I decided to hit it a little different this year.   I decided to REALLY focus on one insect (the ladybug) and then use it to compare and contrast other insects.   So far,  I am loving it.

I bought this cute little kit from Amazon (click to pic to see it on Amazon).  It came with a coupon for free ladybug larvae ($5.00 shipping).   I ordered it early last week and received everything by Tuesday of this week.    I received about 15 larvae in a little tube and they were all alive and in good shape (I was worried that half of the would be dead).   I didn't tell my kids what I had, and asked them to draw pictures of "baby ladybugs".   They were really cute. 


I also had them write down all their schema about ladybugs on the other side of the paper.  


Finally I pulled out the little tube of larvae and showed them what a "baby ladybug" really looks like.   They were amazed!   I gave pairs of students clear plastic cups,  "entomologist sticks" (wooden craft sticks) and a couple larvae.   They used magnifying glasses to look at them and talk about what they saw.



 
They adjusted their drawings to reflect their new schema...


 


We plopped the larvae into our little habitat...
 
 




Then we made a schema chart...





And asked some BURNING QUESTIONS...
Tomorrow students will pick a partner to work with,  choose a question or group of questions and do some searching for answers.   They are able to create powerpoints,  or video interview each other and present to the class.
I also created this little ditty to go with the unit.   It is simple and straightforward.  It is a little mini-book that will help let me know who is getting it and who isn't.  You can go pick it up for $1.50 here.



 
I am working on some other ladybug activities but I am kind of building it as I go.  I am having my kids lead me this time around!
 
Happy Thursday Y'all!
 

 
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day!

We had a fun Earth Day celebration today.   My kids had a great time working on Amy Lemon's Earth Day packet, making little globe guy books http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Earth-Day-Craftivity-Unit-    We also made dirt pudding,  and worked on a great Earth Day packet by Elementary Elle.  I highly recommend it for any primary teacher - it was full of great ideas and fun activities!
 http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Earth-Day-Math-and-Literacy-Printable-Pack#tab_ratings_feedback


Here are a few pictures from our day...




 




And here a couple pictures of the cutest project I have ever seen!  My son's daycare teachers came up with this.   It is a nylon foot,  filled with sawdust and grass seed in the toe,  twisted and tied off for eyes and ears.   They used fabric glue for the eyes and bows.   Have you ever seen anything this stinking cute????    This is DEFINITELY on the agenda for next year,  with a process writing assignment of course!     I am so blessed to have these ladies in my life!



 
 
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