Friday, July 3, 2015

Five For Friday {July 3rd}

It's Friday! You know what that means! Here is a peek at what I've been up to this week :) I've been trying to find a balance of being productive AND relaxing/enjoying my summer. It's easy to get caught up in school stuff with decorating and organizing and creating, but I also need to make sure I'm chillin out, maxin, relaxin all cool. :) LOL! (Fresh Prince, anyone??)
Okay time for my Five for Friday!
This handsome fella and I bought bikes recently and we live ridiculously close to a pretty popular river in the area, so  we have been going on as many bikes rides as we can! It's great for many reasons! Aside from the initial investment (which was more than I liked, but what can you do?) it is free entertainment! I'm also getting in some good exercise when we go. However, my favorite part is that it is such good quality time. Neither of us can be on our phones and we get to just talk and enjoy the scenery. It is quickly becoming our favorite weekend activity!
I ordered an EC planner last week and so I have been having fun organizing it! I am able to keep track of social activities, chores, dinner menu, blog posts, and TpT products. It really helps me stay on track because I am totally one to just sit down and have a Netflix marathon without even meaning to!
I love my planner but I think I'm going to order another cover. I'm kind of already bored with that one! But that's beauty of a removable cover. :)

Don't forget to check back with me on Sunday so you have a peep at my planner! You won't want to miss it... there's going to be a giveaway!
This has been my crew for the past few weeks! They sure are LOVING having their momma home. (Yes, I am one of *those* people that think of my pets as my babies). They get to play fetch during the day, they I get snuggles at lunchtime. Not to mention, when I talk to myself throughout the day, I can pretend I'm just talking to them!
The picture is tiny b/c of the kiddos faces! :)
I've also been hanging out with these monsters as much as I can! Lunches, pool dates, road trips, naptime, potty breaks, pacifiers, and diaper changes. My niece and nephew mean the world to me and my sister is such a great mom to them. I really hope I'm half the mom she is when we decide to have kiddos!  
Speaking of pool dates, I am trying to spend as MUCH TIME as I can at the pool without turning into a lobster. Between one of my best friends and my sister, I'm totally set on laying out, reading a good book, and swimming. :)
I hope you enjoyed my 5 for Friday! If you linked up too, make sure you leave me a thoughtful comment below so I can check yours out too! :)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

How To Do An Animal Research Project in the Lower Grades
Each year in the spring, the teachers on my team do an animal research project. It's how we kick off our animal unit and the kids just go crazy for it! When we walk into the computer lab and I tell them that they get to get on Pebble Go and explore- they lose their minds!

We start off by checking out all the different animal research project possibilities. Pebble Go has so much interesting information and a TON of animals. My students fill out a thinking map of the different animals they are interested I learning about. Then, I have them take their map home to talk with their parents about which one they should choose. I have them circle their top 2 choices and bring their map back to school. (I have also had where students didn't have anyone help them figure out which one to do, so I did that part with them at school).
After students have chosen their animal to research, the next step is to think about what they already know about the animal. For a lot of them it isn't much because I guide them towards picking an animal that they aren't really familiar with. No dogs or cats for this project! :)
When the first few tasks are complete, we spend time actually doing the research. The majority of the information comes from Pebble Go, but they might also look in the classroom library or the school library. While researching, students take notes that has guides for what information they should be looking for.

The next step we usually take is putting all of the information together to make a brochure. We spend a little bit of time on this each day. I model a section of the brochure first and then the students work on theirs. We normally display these at Open House, so I stress to the students to take their time and do their best work. They think it is so exciting to make a brochure- and even more exciting that other people will look at them.

Around the time that we start the brochure, I send home the parent letter that explains a diorama project for the animal's habitat. I send an email with some information prior to that so that families can start planning. I like to give about 2-3 weeks on this project, although most finish sooner than that. They bring their projects up to school and we can then set everything out for Open House. We also like to try to have a 'Gallery Walk' between all of our classes so that the kids can see the work of the other students in the grade level.

Here are my sweeties from last year showing off their projects!

Since I teach first grade, this research packet is definitely geared towards the younger grades. It is not extensive or super-involved, but rather a simple way to allow the young ones to research.
Click here or the pictures above to visit this product in my TpT store. Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the steps above. :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Currently

Hey everyone! Today I am linking up with Farley for her July Currently.

I am listening to Seinfeld on Hulu right now. I never watched it when it was on TV and my husband LOVES it (he quotes it ALL.THE.TIME) so I figured I better get on that. Let me tell you... it's quite a shock to switch from Netflix to Hulu on a binge watching kick. Who needs commercials?!
I am SOOO EXCITED for Vegas next week. But also equally parts nervous. I love Las Vegas. This will be my 4th time going to the city, but my 1st time going with thousands of other teachers!! When I tell people outside the blogging/TPT world that I'm going to Vegas with tons of other teachers they aren't sure what to think of it. Teachers can party too right?!? :)
I am thinking about doing some yoga on my TV. I'm a complete hermit and would much rather work out at home! To go to the gym I actually have to put decent clothes on. To do yoga at home I get to wear my PAJAMAS! To say I worked out and didn't even have to put on real clothes? That's amazing!
Of course, I am wanting to hit up Target. That's pretty much an every day occurrence for me. I'll have to get dressed for that. Decisions... pajamas or Target? #thestruggleisreal

Ugh I NEED to do laundry. I also NEED to fold the clothes that are in baskets from the last time I did laundry. It's a vicious cycle.
I am an all star at organization. I love spreadsheets and charts and color coding and plastic bins.
Thanks for reading! Make sure you check back on Sunday for a peep at my new Erin Condren planner! :)