Sunday, February 22, 2015

On the Fly

We are moving ahead in social studies this week, focusing on our first president...the one and only George Washington!  I was out two days last week with a SCREAMING case of mountain cedar sinuses, so on Friday when I returned, I was more than discombobulated.  I knew it was in my plans to study George Washington, and I remembered that I wanted to do something different than last year, but in my allergy haze, I hadn't figured out exactly what that "something different" was.

When does a teacher do his or her best thinking???  That's right!  On the fly!  What I came up with wasn't as pretty as this cute little bundle I put together over the weekend, but we didn't get that far in the activity, and I can't wait to introduce the rest of it tomorrow!
Available in my TPT store FREE for a limited time - click the picture to download your copy!
Included in the bundle is a reading passage on George Washington, a graphic organizer to chart his traits, and a cute craft to put it all together.  I will post pics of the final product when my kiddos finish up.  They are so artsy, I can't wait to see what they do with this!

I have to admit that I stole some of the idea for this activity from another one that I created a while back - my People Book Craftivity.  The concept is different, but you might recognize the body template in the craft.  Forgive me!  It's been a crrrrrrrrraaaaaaaazzzzzzzzy few weeks for me and the kiddos.  On top of our normal extra-curricular craziness, the girls and I are in a play.  Our church has a wonderfully growing theatre group, and opening night was last night.  We've been in rehearsal for the past two months, spending our nights and weekends singing and dancing and getting super silly!  The show is a revue of classics and crazies, with numbers from Spamalot, Mame, 42nd Street, Oliver, Gypsy, Sister Act, Hair, Miss Saigon, Hairspray, and lots of others.

That's me on the left, getting trashy for a bit of fun on Avenue Q!
I love these characters, including the other 61 people in the cast, the director, the musicians, the techies, and everyone in my theatre family who make this kind of kooky awesomeness possible!  Those who know me also know that I never showed the teeniest bit of interest in theater in my other life.  And then God took me on a roller-coaster of a ride, which included moving me to make an on-the-fly decision to audition for Steel MagnoliasIt's been four years and seven shows, and I will forever be grateful to Him, and these wonderful (and sometimes trashy) people who make my new life so much better.  I mean, seriously...tell me of another Lutheran church family whose pastor is willing to dress in drag so that we can have an Edna for Hairspray???

And I get to share the love!  Two of my students are in the show, too!  One of my little lovelies has been a part of the Zion Theatre Group for ages (her dad is in the picture above - what happens in the theater, stays in the theater).  But we recruited another lovely lady from our class to join us.  ZTG is changing lives, one show at a time!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Food Chains, Food Webs...and Kittens

So far, February has been just what I expected it to be...  Fast and furious!  State testing commences in less than two months, and the nightmares have begun.  You know the ones I'm talking about.  I'm not even gonna go there right now because the sun is going down and I don't want to feed the monster!!!

Focusing on the positive...  We've moved on to the life sciences, and this is by far my favorite unit.  I'm an animal lover (hence my SEVEN pets - four dogs, three cats), so I guess that explains why I love teaching about animal adaptations, food chains, ecosystems...  Last year, I bought several class pets to help teach the unit.  We had multiple goldfish (we tried to train them to come to the surface to feed, but they all died before we could get any hard data), a tadpole (sadly El Guapo died before he even lost his tail - not so guapo), and two hamsters (Petco really will take them back within seven days, especially when you arrive bawling with a mostly dead hamster in a shoebox - that's a whole other story).  This year, I strategically avoided class pets by rescuing three kittens over the Christmas holidays. 

Yeah, somehow I think last year wins.

Moving on... 
I wrote this mini-unit to supplement my curriculum on food chains and food webs.  It integrates reading with passages on several topics, research, as well as a cute craftivity to make it fun and meaningful.  It's absolutely FREE for a limited time, so get it while you can!  Click HERE to visit my TPT store and download your copy!

Craftivity to go with mini-unit 

In case you were wondering how I ended up with three kittens, it turns out that I am categorically unable to turn away homeless animals, or say no to my children when it comes to adopting homeless animals.  Even when they are cats.  Cats I swore I would never own.  Ever. 
My friends and family have decided to put my picture up in all pet stores, along with a Animals Anonymous hotline.  But seriously, how do you say no to these faces!?!? 

Emily and Tex

Tiger - grrrrrrrrrrrr!!!  Doesn't he look tough???