Classroom Pets Dash’s Big Day Out!

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Our new class pet, Dash, went for his first walk about today! We believe he was in an induced hibernation. So he has has been a little slow to get going. Also when we put him in water (shallow water) he tried to fully submerge his head as if he was desperate for hydration! Box Turtle do not swim and easily drown but like any living thing they need water. I have been keeping his habitat moist and spraying him several times daily. Box Turtles are an easy classroom pet. They really need a habitat that is based on things you find outside your back door! After a quick spritz of water and sunbathing for a moment Dash was on the move. I’m not sure how long it had been since he had been out but he seemed to truly enjoy it!

Stellaluna Comparing Fiction and Non-Fiction

I’m a guest blogger at Charity Preston’s The Organized Classroom Blog.

This is a portion of the post I wrote for The Organized Classroom Blog for this month.  To read the first part of the post click over to Reorganizing, Reading and Stellaluna

These are books that I took out of my book boxes labeled for other topics.  I like to use the small round white labels because they are easy to remove and don’t damage the books. I put new labels on the books to make a collection about bats.

Books about Bats

books about bats

These books have gotten a “B” for bats. They will be placed in their own book box during the unit and them returned to their original boxes.  This allows me to easily display books and encourage the children to read them.  It also gives children a way to find materials and then to return them to the proper place.  My kindergarteners and first graders are doing a great job getting books back in their places. It has been a wonderful time saver for me!

Stellaluna Where Science Meets Art

Since Stellaluna is one of the featured books, I wanted to share an activity with you all that integrates art and science. There have been times when I really didn’t want to read the book Stellaluna near Halloween because it creates so many misconceptions about bats.  I decided it was time to correct those misconceptions and put the children’s interest about bats to work.  It is the perfect time to compare fiction and non-fiction informational texts. Some of the fiction texts I use are Bats Big Game and Stellaluna. The fiction texts I use are National Geographic for Bats and Gail Gibbons Bats. We do oral comparisons as well as written ones.  I do the Daily 5 in my class and I often overhear conversation during Read to Someone about texts. It is music to the teacher’s soul to hear the kids using the language they have learned in school about comparing texts.  In my class library I have a tub devoted to non-fiction for animals and another tub devoted to fiction with animal characters. All of the bat books came out of those tubs when the unit is over I will place them back in the tubs.

I used the rectangle to help the children make their own original art.  This is an example of one I drew but the children drew their own. This is also a great way to integrate math by talking about symmetry.  The picture under this photo shows a “mommy bat and it’s baby snuggling” that one of the children created. After all Stellaluna is a story about love.

bats and Stellaluna

science bats

Stellaluna

Tearing light brown long rectangles to make the branches. By using rectangles each child creates an original piece of art work . I love original work from the children and so do the parents.

bats art Stellaluna

Almost finished piece without the leaves. We used the Stellaluna book for reference in making the art. We used brown instead of black since we were learning about fruit bats. Everything was made out of a series of rectangles.  This is a project you will love to do with your class. It is easily modified for students in all elementary grades.

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