Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bat Day

In our school, we don't celebrate "Halloween".  Instead we have a theme day based on content related to the holiday.  Each year it is different.  Our theme days have included skeletons, pumpkins, creepy crawlies, potions, and spiders.  This year, the theme is bats.

I love this idea because it relates to the spirit of Halloween, but the students get so much more out of it than having a Halloween party with cookies or cupcakes.

Most of the day is planned by our wonderful PTO.  Depending on the theme, they plan guest speakers, crafts, experiments, or hands-on activities.  The teachers plan the remainder of the day with theme-based lessons. 

In preparation for the day, I've come across some really neat resources.  Who better to share them with than my blogging friends!

"A Bat in the Brownie" 

This 26 minute, PBS Learning Media video covers bat ecology, predators, insects, echolocation, and general info about bats in an animated story.  It is from the series Wild Kratts and is listed for Grades 1-4.  

The Echolocation Game

Bookmark this game on your classroom computers.  The bat in the game uses echolocation to avoid trees and find food while flying at night.  

Wild Detectives: Hanging Out with Bats

This is a brief National Geographic video that foes under the cover of darkness to discover the secret of bats. 

Adopt A Bat

I LOVE this idea.  For $30, a classroom can sponsor a bat in need. The webpage shows several "adoptees" that you can click on and read more about their journey and how they ended up at the Bat World Sanctuary.  Their bio also includes a video of them.  I think we will be adopting a bat!  

Corwin's Quest: Bats

The Flight of the Mexican Free Tail Bat - The Congress Ave. Bridge creates the perfect habitat for this bat in Austin, TX.  Over two million bats live here.  I have see this in person and it is amazing!  

Bat Printouts

Enchanted Learning offers a variety of bat printouts and activities. There's even more if you are a subscriber. 

The Story of Echo the Bat

After students read the story, they are sent on a mission to follow Echo to his hibernation cave.  Students use maps and satellite images to follow Echo.  This web quest is created by NASA. 

I hope you find something you can use if you are studying bats.  

And I'll let you know which bat we end up adopting!


Sunday, October 21, 2012


Link up at  2nd Grade Pad

Here's how to play.  Choose a fellow blogger that has MORE followers, another that has about the SAME number of followers, and last, someone that has LESS followers.

Highlight their blogs with links to encourage others to check them out.  Don't forget to let your fellow bloggers know that you shared about them.  

Lastly, leave them some love by offering them a goody from your store as their "treat."  I feel bad that I don't have a store, so please don't feel like you have to share with me.  

Here are my "BOO" friends........


Please visit my friend, Kristin, at Teach n'Tex.  Kristin is an amazing teacher and was my first teaching partner!  You will love her blog (and the adventures of her furry children!)

I can't start any science unit without visiting The Science Penguin.  There are so few science resources out there and Ari's products and ideas are terrific.  Check it out!
3rd Grade Grapevine

If you are a third grade teacher, you will love Susan's creations.  She is an experienced educator and "Teacher of the Year".  I regularly check her blog to see what's new, especially in Math!

Finally, A BIG thank you to my friends who Boo'd me.....

My real-life TBFF, Megan (blogging-master extrordinaire!)

I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

My fellow owl-lover and virtual BFF, Kelly!

Teaching Fourth


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Sunday, October 7, 2012

I am so excited!  My post about a bar graph activity has been featured in "Bagels and Blogs" at Donna's Math Coach's Corner!  You can find it HERE.  "Bagels and Blogs" is a newsletter that Donna puts out on Sunday mornings and features interesting math activities from around Blogland.   I'm a big fan of Donna's and read her blog religiously.  Check it out!


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October Currently

When you live in southern Texas, the weather is rarely cool.  Well, today our weather is so refreshingly fall-like.  It put me in the mood to do the October Currently available at Oh Boy! Fourth Grade!  Here it is...

If only I could visit an apple orchard to get a fresh apple pie with some hot spiced apple cider.  Yummmmmm!


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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Third Grade Rocks!

Well, it's been a while since I've written a post.  But, I'm back in the groove and lovin' my third graders!  I'm ready to get back to my blog.  I've missed you all!  And I have a list of things I want to share with you.  Here's one of my favorites....


To introduce bar graphs, we read the book Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.   I showed them a 6 x 6 grid and asked the students to predict how many times we could write Chrysanthemum's name to fill up all the grid squares with letters.  We decided to color the first letter of her name each time it repeated so we could see the pattern.  This is what it looked like (sorry for the blur!).

Then I taped it at the bottom of the whiteboard.  Then, each student filled a 6 x 6 grid with their name following the same procedure.  As they finished, I asked them to see if their name pattern was the same as Chrysanthemum's.  If it was, tape their grid on top of Chrysanthemum's grid.  If it wasn't the same, they were asked to put it next to Chrysanthemum's grid.

As more and more students finished, the "bars" began to grow.  As the bars grew so did their excitement.  The discovery process is fun to watch!  

Once all the names were on the board, we talked about the following:

  • X and Y axes
  • Labeling each axis
  • Numbering and the importance of no space as the bar is built.
  • Titling the graph
  • Labeling each bar
  • Why do we use bar graphs?
Lastly, we created questions that we could ask about the information in the graph.  
  • How many student's names had 4 and 5 letters?
  • What is the difference between 5 letter names and 2 letter names?
To get a free copy of the grid with directions for completing it, click HERE.  If you try this activity, I would love to know how it goes!  Happy bar-graphing!


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