Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bats: Creatures of the Night

Hi Everyone!

The kids and I had a wonderful time last week "going batty."  I must say, it is one of my favorite units to teach because all of the kids LOVE learning about bats!

We started our unit by reading "Bats Creatures of the Night" and other non-fiction books on bats.   Here is my collection of bat books incase you would like to expand your own collection!

During and after reading, the kids recorded new bat facts on stars.  Also, during the week we added to our bat as they learned new things.

Once they learned lots of new facts, they used their stars to create their own
"Can, Have, Are" graphic organizer on bats.  They look adorable hanging
from the ceiling!

Once we read lots of non-fiction books on bats, we read "Stellaluna"
and compared bats to birds with a venn diagram and cut and past worksheet. 
They also wrote incredible bat reports and published them.
All of these activities can be found on my TpT "Bats - Creatures of the Night"
The unit aligns with the common core exemplar "Creatures of the Night" by Joyce Milton.
Next we read "There was an old lady who swallowed a bat"
I fed my "big" old lady, while the kids each had smaller ones that they made. 
The kids loved feeding their old ladies, but I think they liked feeding mine more! :)
Also available on my TPT  "Swallowed a Bat"
 We also did a few things found on Pinterest and TpT that the kids really loved!
During our study we learned that bats can eat 600 mosquitoes in 1 hour. 
To visually demonstrate just how many that is, we used an idea I found
on Jodi Southard's  "Fun in First Grade" blog! 
While we watched the Magic School bus on bats, the kids
glued 600 tiny mosquitoes to plates.  They loved it!
Finally, we wrapped up our bat week by writing "bat diaries."
To begin with we read "The Diary of a Spider" and watched
the Scholastic video "Diary of a Worm," then it was their turn to
write "The Diary of a Bat."  It was great seeing them use everything
they learned to explain what a day in the life of a bat might be like!

What a busy and batty week it has been!  Next week---we tackle pumpkins!  :)


Friday, October 19, 2012

Out of the Mouth of Babes!

Hi everyone!

We all know kids say the darnedest things!  Well, my classroom is definitely no exception!  Hopefully these adorable little moments will put a smile on your face!  :)

This week has been all about bats (more about this later).  Well today the kids and I were brainstorming for our bats "can, have, are" chart.  We got to "are" and one of the kids announced that bats are mammals (My thought, she's right--- yay!).

Child 1 chimed in with:  "What's a mammal?"
Child 2 replied:  "It means they give birth to live babies and the mommy feeds the baby her milk (Right again, yay!)."
Child 3 gets this look of total confusion and says: "But how does the baby come out of the tummy?"
Child 4 (his mom had a baby a week ago) says:  "AWK....WARD!"  
Child 5 then announced:  "the bat has a c-rection and gets baby is cut out of its stomach."
Child 4:  Slaps his forehead and shakes his head.

I quickly asked "What else are bats" and the subjects is changed for good (thank goodness)!  It was all I could do to keep from laughing though!  I quickly grabed my notebook and recorded this cute moment!  :-)

Cute moment number 2:

Boy 1: Mrs. Cason---he is going to tattle on me!

Boy 2: “Mrs. Cason, he said he didn’t like me!"

Boy 1: I told you he was going to tattle!

Me: “Did you say you didn't like him?"

Boy 1: “Yes, but I told him it was opposite day!"

Me: “Did he tell you it was opposite day?"

Boy 1: “Yes."

Me: “Do you know what opposite day is?"

Boy 1:  “No."

Me: “Ok, I want you to go back to your seats, and he can explain what opposite day is to you."

::boys walk off::

Once they left a sweet girl chimes in: “That’s why you can’t trust boys, they never just say what they mean!!!"

I hope my kiddos insane cuteness put a little smile on your face!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hectic Happenings and Huge Hugs!

Hi Everyone!

One question: Does this sound familiar?!

I can definitely say school is now in full swing.  The kids are expected to know their routines and procedures and they are learning lots of new skills!   Report cards are about to go home, so grades are due in the grade book and in our reading database, and pacing calendars for the next 9 weeks will soon be due.  The evidence from my current reading goal needs to be gathered and my new reading goals need to be written.  Students need to be assessed and I have loads of conferences that have already begun.  Also, because I teach the lowest quartile of first graders in our school for reading, I need to begin tutoring and get kids started on the RTI process.

It seems like this time of year we have meeting after meeting.  There are the data meetings, RTI meetings, reading goal meetings, grade-level meetings, faculty meetings, literacy committee meetings, technology meetings, team meetings, IEP meetings, vertical team meetings, PMP just goes on and on and on.   Then there are the weekly lesson plans to write (and submit to administration), the weekly newsletter, field trips to plan, parties to organize, and oh so much more.  Just reading that list makes me tired....but the crazy thing is that all of that happens *behind the scenes!*

Before, during, and after all of that stuff, my main, most important job, is meeting the needs of my kids INSIDE the classroom.  It is making sure I cover every standards and differentiate my instruction as needed.  It is keeping my kids engaged, making learning fun, and providing a safe learning environment where kids are free to speak their mind and make mistakes.  It is creating a "caring community of learners dedicated to making the world a better place" <---part of our mission statement.  It is my job to TEACH these kids.  Yes I can assess them, I can chart them, I can analyze them, I can plan for them, but at the end of the day---my real job is to teach them.  And THAT is the part of my job that I LOVE

What other job can you get paid to receive sincere hugs all day?  (I counted today---out of curiosity---I received 84 unsolicited "just because" hugs in one day.

What other job will kids tell you that you are the BEST teacher they've ever had, that they love you so much,  or scream "This is the best day EVER!" with a huge smile on their face---every day?  What other job will someone daily tell you that you have the prettiest hair, eyes, clothes, and maybe even feet they've ever seen?!  How many other jobs will someone compliment your art and singing abilities regaurdless how average they may be?! 

I mean really.  How lucky are we?! 

Also, please check out this great giveaway opportunity!  :-)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Product Swap!!

Hi Everyone!
I have teamed up with Ashley from The Teacher's Treasure Chest for the product swap!

For this swap Ashley sent her "Synonyms and Anthonyms Literacy Pack."
The literacy pack was very easy to prepare for a quick skill building center on Synonyms and Antonyms.  All I had to do was print, cut, and laminate!  Perfect for a busy teachers schedule.
She also included *lots* of words, which provides for indepth practice of the skill.

Sadie had a great time helping!  She kept trying to steal the paper!

All of the games can be used as a face down matching game, or simply as a pairing game!

Love this product!?  Check out Ashley's store!