May 2015 | Teaching in the Tongass

Friday, May 22, 2015

it's the end of the year as we know it...

We've been crazy busy these last few weeks of school, so a Five for Friday is a perfect way to give a quick rundown on what we've been up to!

We made these fun "Hot Dog! It's Summer!" craftivities and wrote about what our favorite part of summer is. 
We made these adorable "Lemonade Stand" craftivities and wrote descriptive sentences about lemonade.
We did an Author's Study on Robert Munsch. I am proud to say I got through Love You Forever without crying this year...and I had a baby this year. The key is to think about how weird that mom is for crawling across the floor of her ADULT son's room.. #maybetakethosepagesout
A few weeks ago I made this little sign and put it up on my whiteboard where all of the "no-name-papers" go to die...the kids love it!
We had our Muffins with Moms event, and I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to say thank you to my 3 at-home volunteers this year. 

Click below to grab the Volunteer Thank You freebies!

Check out Doodle Bugs Teaching Five for Friday linky by clicking below!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

i am butter clam...

Ahh Sea Week. I look forward to this all year long. We dive head first into science and if I'm being totally honest, it's AWESOME. I grew up here in Juneau and it's by far one of my favorite memories of school, so I know that I need to make it just that great for my own students #nopressure

We begin our unit of study (FYI Sea Week is not actually a week, but more like a month sometimes!) by taking a field trip to our local salmon hatchery (DIPAC--Douglas Island Pink and Chum). This place is. the. coolest. We get to ride the "fancy bus" (a Greyline instead of a yellow school bus) and chat it up with Mr. Rich. He is THE best. Check out how he turns a student into a squid step by step as students identify the body parts of a mollusk. So fun. Isn't it great when you take your class on a field trip and the speaker is super engaging, can talk to the kids at their vocabulary level and you can tell they really love kids?! If you have any sort of ocean center near where you live, I highly recommend adding it to your Sea Week.
 He also gives the class a little bit of a teaser and shows them some critters under the document camera and how you can hold them in the touch tanks. This is the point where I make my way away from the front to the side and start watching the kids...he holds a scallop up flat in the palm of his hand until...splirt! The front row usually gets squirted on. Love.
 These fantastic touch tanks have all kinds of fun animals to check out. And the main tank in the middle of the hatchery is incredibly beautiful.
 And we love to end our field trip to the hatchery with a song I have stuck in my head throughout the remainder of the school year...(sung to the tune of Frere Jacques). There are a few more verses and some body motions, but I'll spare myself the embarrassing video.
A few days later, we make our way to a local beach (Lena Cove) and were fortunate enough to have a beautiful sunny day. Of course, we are fortunate enough to live on the coast so this field trip is a luxury. If you don't live on the coast, watching a movie about tidepools is a close second!
 I didn't take a ton of photos without faces, but as you can imagine, they were THRILLED.
And right as it was getting to be that time to go, I asked a few kiddos to stomp out letters and spell "Alaska" in the sand. Can you see it?
 All in all, a great couple of field trips. I am so fortunate to work in this beautiful town :)
When we returned to the classroom, we had a lot to draw from our field trip experiences. We were ready to really get goin in our science notebooks. Here's a little peak at some of the fun we've been having!

We have fun learning about the very basics of ocean life...plankton!
Playing a fun game of "Who Am I?"

Using various shells to write scientific descriptions.
Learning a bit about urchins.
Starfish are always a popular sea creature!
We even create a sea urchin life cycle wheel!
Mussels are such an interesting animal! 
After reading, A House for Hermit Crab, we make these fun little craftivities. You can check it out here.
Most of these are activities and lessons from my Life in a Tide Pool resource. If you're interested, click below:
Another fun thing I like to do with my class is show this DVD. It has fun songs and the kids LOVE it. You can grab it (Amazon affiliate link) here.
So, that's it! I hope you and your students enjoy your own Sea Week! Feel free to leave a comment or question below about Sea Week if you are looking for ideas or would like to share.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Donuts with Dads

Activities and ideas for Donuts with Dads

We recently had our Donuts with Dads event and made these cute little donuts to give to the "dads" that came in. Adorable, right?!
donuts with dad
If you've thought about hosting your own Donuts with Dads event or are tinkering around with the idea this year, take the plunge! I promise you won't regret it! Here are a few tips I've learned along the way to help the process go smoothly. 
donuts with dad
 In the past, I've had my Donuts with Dads in December. However, I've noticed that if you plan for it to be closer to Father's Day (around the end of school), it seems to make more sense on the calendar!
donuts with dad

Whether or not your students have their dads in their lives, you can still host a Donuts with Dads. I've called it Donuts with Dudes for several years. Just make sure to have that honest conversation with your class about how it's okay if your dad can't make it...we have a solution! See the next tip!
donuts with dad
High school students often need extra credit hours. Many staff in your building would love to participate. Ask your own friends and family. Believe me, people will come through #ittakesavillage #peopleknowit
donuts with dad
Don't forget, people have jobs just like you. They require at least a few days notice to get time off work. If you know ahead of time, let them know! I like to give at least a month's notice in case someone is making travel arrangements.
donuts with dad
Parents are often willing to help with all kinds of things! The key is to communicate. Don't be afraid to ask for parents to bring in items for your event. They will often volunteer to be in charge of coffee or setting up/taking down. Just ask!

And how cute are these guys in this donut frame?!
donuts with dads frame

You can find the donut craft, editable donuts with dads invitation, frame and more in the Complete Donuts with Dads Event Kit.
donuts with dad

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