Saturday, May 14, 2011

Running the Race!

Wow!  I've really neglected my little slice of cyberspace this week!  Have no fear.  I am, in fact, alive.  I've been completely consumed by several meetings, a banquet, puppy agility classes, and staying afloat during a really hectic week!  Of course, next week may be even more interesting, so if I fall off of the face of the earth again, you'll know why.  Next week is Right to Read Week all over Ohio, so we have a big Oceans themed celebration all next week.  Tuesday, we will be having our Biography Wax Museum.  We also go on our field trip to an old Civil War era farm and village on Wednesday.  On Thursday, the head literacy honcho from my county will be observing my Writing Workshop.  Is it sad that I'm exhausted already, and the week hasn't even started yet!?  It should be a lot of fun though, and I'm looking forward to all of the excitement!

Admittedly though, I've been slacking in the bulletin board department.  I just can't motivate myself to spend HOURS decorating the walls when we have about 17 days left of school.  (This nine-weeks has been pretty fractured by Spring Break, Easter Break, and two weeks of state testing too.  I honestly haven't given Right to Read Week much thought, aside from creating new resources for an ocean-themed reading celebration. My goal is to finish this today, so keep your fingers crossed for me!)  The hallway didn't really make it to the top of my list, so I left the Fraction Spongebobs on the wall, and I plastered painted fish on the bulletin board.   The kiddos made the fish in Art in August, and I kept them to use during Right to Read week.  So, I fixed up the background, then I stapled the fish onto the board, and viola!  Done. Okay, maybe not.  I need to incorporate some words into the display, and I plan on decorating my door with little octopi. Each kid will be making an octopus body and add crepe paper to the bottom for every 30 minutes they read.  At least that's the plan for now.  I'm trying to keep it SIMPLE!

This week, we continued working with our lizard friends.  They are technically called anoles, but we've affectionately dubbed them "lizard wizards" because of their uncanny ability to escape from sealed, taped, weighted containers.  Actually, only two of the anoles have been rebels, and they are now relegated to their very own terrariums.  They are the only lizards that are not going to be handled throughout the duration of the experiment, because "Rambo" and "Houdini" are reckless escape artists anytime a lid is opened.  So, these two fellas (ladies?) are residing in their very own "zoo"... even though the kids refer to it as a "prison".  I like the connotation of "zoo" so much better, but eh.  Prison is probably closer to the truth.  Regardless, we still have six other friends to hold and study over the next few weeks, and they are easily handled by kiddos without risking another escape (and an overnight camp-out under a fallen anchor chart).  The kids always love this experiment, and it's always a great introduction to food chains, because the lizards each crickets and the crickets eat grass.

We created a food web with the animal cards from my Populations unit this week, and then after a discussion about how complicated they can be, we created a physical web using yarn and ourselves.  I was the sun, so that I could move freely around.  Some kids were plants, some were primary consumers, some secondary consumers, some were tertiary consumers, and some were decomposers.  They each wore a name-tag with their creature's name on it.  The kids held on to yarn and it was passed to whoever consumed them.  Eventually we had a pretty complicated web, and we talked about what would happen if one population of animals became extinct or endangered.  I snipped the yarn where that critter was, and we watched the web collapse in the middle.  We then retraced our steps to see how the other animals would be affected.  I knew it was a hit when my students asked to do it again.  Haha!

We read literature and used our observations to create this anchor chart on chromatophores.

One of our escape artists!  I think this is Rambo, because Houdini has a shorter tail.


  1. I love the octopus idea! Good luck with your super busy week! I hope your weekend is somewhat restful!

    Third Grade Experience

  2. I'm doing a linky party with bulletin board ideas. I would love for you to add this post!

    Join up at Teaching Happily Ever After!