Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tried-It-Tuesday - Groundhog Day! {Craft Freebie}

Today I am linking up with the Fourth Grade Flipper for her Tried It Tuesday.  I know I'm a couple days late but we had two snow days this week so it really does feel like a Tuesday.  The weather has not been very nice here in Northwest Illinois.  We've used 6 snow days so far and will be attending school well into the first week of June.  Thankfully, we only need make up 5 of those days because the forecast for the next week looks a bit daunting.  
With Groundhog's Day coming up, I began digging for some great units on TpT.  I found three goodies that I couldn't decide on so I used bits and pieces from each!
By the way . . . all three are FREE!

The first comes from Amy Murdock - Groundhog's Day: Mini-Writing Pack.  You can click on the image to take you to her TpT page.

The second pack that I found is by Nicole Johnson - Groundhog Day: Mini Book.  She also has her own blog.  You can click on the blog button below to check out her offerings.  

And finally, the last pack I found is by First Grade Blue Skies (Jennifer White) - Groundhog Day! A Fun Freebie.  Jennifer also has her own blog. 
GroundHog DaY Art, Graphing, and More Freebies!

In addition to these great packets, I also visited to learn more about Punxsutawney Phil.  We read about the history of Groundhog Day, past predictions, and fun facts about the common groundhog.  
To help my students make their own predictions, we looked at the weather forecast of Gobbler's Knob, because the weather can effect whether Phil sees his shadow or not. 

Below are a few shots of my kiddos and their finished products.

I also happened to have a story book in my library that I read to my class.  It was called Good Morning, Groundhog! by Abby Klein.  This was from my many orders from Scholastic.  
We couldn't help noticing that the ground was covered in green grass and the characters wore nothing more than sweatshirts outside.  Coming from Northwest Illinois, buried under at least a foot of snow and suffering through -35 degree temps, we didn't see why Freddie was so concerned about Spring.  

Since this theme lends itself so well to crafting, I pulled out a groundhog craft that I have had for years.  I figured I had better share that with you as well.  They just turned out so cute!
Click on the groundhog picture below to get your own copy of patterns.

So that's it.  Be sure link back up with the Fourth Grade Flipper to see other great Tried-Its.

Friday, January 24, 2014

It's Decorah Eagles Time!

Meet the Decorah Eagles.  This duo is the crown jewel of the Raptor Resource Project which specializes in the preservation of falcons, eagles, ospreys, hawks, and owls. They create, improve, and directly maintain over 40 nests and nest sites, provide training in nest site creation and management, and develop innovations in nest site management and viewing that bring people closer to the natural world. 

Through streaming video, we are able to observe the bald eagle during it most exciting time: nesting and hatching of the next generation!  In late January, the eagles begin to ready their nests in preparation for their eggs.  By mid-February to early March, the cameras go in for a close-up for a glimpse of a new eaglet hatchling!  

Last year we were unable to view this amazing sight because the eagles had built a second nest and the RRP couldn't get a camera installed.  It appears they are continuing to use the new nest this year and the cameras will be rolling!

Soar on over to UStream TV and check out the live feed from the nest.  The feed is intermittent right now, but will be going to full time on February 17th.  If an egg is laid prior to the 17th, they will begin filming immediately.

This is also a great time to let you know about the unit that I created to follow the Decorah Eagles!  This unit teaches the kids about scientific observation, as well as, the bald eagle as a national symbol.  The kids will love watching the eagles and we even do some great math and writing activities.

Perhaps my favorite is the final craft.

The kids write word acrostic poems and publish them with the uber-cute eagle peek-over, complete with wings!  When you hang these in the hallway, people will certainly take notice!  
This can be found at my TpT store.  Currently, this unit is not Common Core aligned but I am working on it and will have an updated one posted soon!