Sunday, July 22, 2012

That weeping and gnashing of teeth you just heard...

...was me turning 40.

Pin It Now!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Great Ant Debacle of 2012?!

I have ambitious plans this September to supplement the Ants story from our Harcourt Trophies anthology with a mini science unit on the little buggers.  But if I'm going to be completely honest here, I'll have to admit I'm having some reservations.

This could very well turn into the Great Ant Debacle of 2012.  I've never used an ant farm before and I'm not quite sure how they expect me to get a hundred or so ants between the two sheets of plastic.

While some teachers of the crunchy variety might enjoy getting out in nature and actually collecting their ants themselves, perhaps luring them with little ant snacks, there are others- and I'm not naming any names here- who'd rather spend that time on the Internet googling ant farms with the ants already enclosed (no such thing, in case you're wondering).

This city girl's plan is to buy the farm and the ants online and convince a less bug phobic colleague to set it up for me. Then the fun starts.  I'll make these adorable brown bag flip books with the kiddos.  Each day, there will be a 15-20 minute lab activity which will require them press their noses up to the farm and observe what's happening. 

I listed the Brown Bag Flip Book packet in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  In addition to the five lab activities, it includes a grading rubric, and also a blank ant themed page for you to use as needed. 

If you end up using it, be sure to write and let me know how it went.  (But I'm not liable if you find yourself in the middle of a Great Ant Debacle with those suckers crawling all over your plan book).
Pin It Now!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Just call me Alice...

...or "How I went from browsing to blogging in just six days." 

I felt a lot like Alice this week falling down the rabbit hole.  Here's the story:

First some background:

I'm spending my summer vacation mapping out my school year in preparation for September (it's actually more fun than it sounds).  One of my goals is to find more time for science and social studies.  Reading and math are the main events in first grade and everything else becomes secondary, even more so now that we're moving toward the new Common Core Standards.

So the easiest way to infuse more science and social studies into the curriculum is to capitalize on the stories in our reading series, Harcourt Trophies.  With titles like Ants, Fish are Fish, and Busy Buzzy Bees, it's clear I'll be spending a lot of time on living things. 

One thing led to another:

On Sunday, I scoured the Internet for a science journal my firsties could use to observe the ant farm and betta fish I'll bring to school.

On Monday, I gave up and made science journals for ants and betta fish myself.

On Tuesday, I created a seller's account on Teachers Pay Teachers. (I'd just spent 24 and a half hours wrangling with text boxes, why not make a few bucks, right?).

On Wednesday, I decided my first science journals sucked and learned how to make the cute kind people might actually buy (this took another 24 and a half hours).

On Thursday, I discovered people who sell those really cute products on Teachers Pay Teachers usually have really cute blogs to promote them (Hello Designer Blogs, my name is Alice).   

On Friday, I learned that if you build it, they won't necessarily come- not without some sort of incentive to get them there. Which leads me to....

The Giveaway:

I'm giving away a $5 donation to one follower's Donors Choose project, and I'll be sure to use any match codes that are available.  To enter, you must follow my blog with Google Friend Connect (the blue button on the right).  Then, leave a comment with your Donors Choose link and your email address. 

For an extra entry, you can also follow my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Please leave a separate comment for your extra entry, again with a link to your Donors Choose project. And yeah, I realize I haven't actually uploaded any cute products into my TPT store (that's tomorrow's learning curve), but think of it as getting in on the ground floor- this way, you won't miss anything! 

I'll use to pick a winner August 1st.

In the meantime, be sure to check back often!  I'm blogging about those cute science journals I made next.


My name isn't really Alice, and as of today I have no plans to reveal it.  But like everything else, that decision is subject to change in the next 24 and a half hours.

Pin It Now!