Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Add Music to your Bat Unit

Brown Bat
Stir up some excitement by adding a bit of music to your bat lessons!

Below is the lyrics to our song, "The Little Brown Bat".  The song is a great way to kick-start a unit on the only nocturnal mammal, and it can also be used as a way for students to learn lots of interesting "batty facts"--like how important bats are to our environment!

To get started:
  • Provide students with a graphic organizer or a blank piece of paper.  
  • Have them write 3-5 facts they hear in the song... (such as: 1. Bats are the only flying mammal.  2. Bats are nocturnal.  3. Bats navigate with echolocation. 4.  The Little Brown Bat is one type of bat. 5. Bats are good for the environment.)  
  • Have students include a drawing with their facts.
  • Encourage students to label their bat drawings.  


The Little Brown Bat:

Way back up in the woods
Where the sun never goes
Lives the only flying mammal that we all know
He sleeps all day
Leads a nocturnal life
And uses echolocation
Instead of his sight
Then he goes “eeeeeeeeeeee”
Another bug done gone

This little brown bat is one you’ve probably seen
Over a thousand different species from here to the Caribbean
They’re expert fliers
The acrobats of the sky
Their ecological efficiency is one you can’t deny

Now wait a minute children, there’s a reputation to correct
Bats aren’t mean and evil and they deserve a little respect
They eat the mosquitoes, the gnats and pesky flies
There’s much more to a bat than really meets the eye
Yeah, in their roosts
Is where they like to hang
It’s been the same old story since the bats began

Repeat Chorus and second verse

Be sure to check out our website: for free Bat Printables and Activity Ideas.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

There is a TREE

Children shouting "Boo" at the end of There is a Tree song.  The kids & their parents had a blast!
With fall just around the corner and a beautiful tree outside the window, we are thinking about one of our favorite movement songs for kids.  Click here to download a printable PDF. 

Song Activity Ideas for the CLASSROOM:  
Interactive Writing, Morning Movement Gross Motor Skill Development--Touche' Yoga, Reading, Literacy Center: Have students copy the song lyrics, illustrate & read aloud to a partner


There is a Tree 

(Children Standing)
There is a tree
At the bottom of my yard
It has big branches
That look like arms
(Children: Stretch out Arms)

(Children: Wiggle Stretched out Arms)
It has big bushy leaves,
(Children: bring arms up over your head and into a circle)
and stands real tall.
(Children: Stand on tip toes)
When it gets cold,
the leaves start to fall.
(Children: Flutter hands down—all the way to the floor)

Sing Softer
There is a squirrel
That lives in the tree
(Children: Put arms in an animal position and start to stand)
I always see him spying on me
(Children: Put hand above eye and look around)
So I fill my hand with a pile of food
(Children: Put hand out)
And when he gets close
(Whisper) I shout
(Yell) “BOO”

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Editorial Review:

 "Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkin Pie! I must have one before I die. It must be round and brown as toast, or I'll haunt this house a hungry ghost"... are the words i look forward to chanting each Halloween.  Who do I read this wonderfully spooky picture book to?  Everyone!   From mid-September to the end of October,  I could be caught carrying, "The Perfect Pumpkin Pie" with me just about anywhere.

Written and illustrated by Denys Cazet, The Perfect Pumpkin Pie" is the "perfect" Halloween read- aloud for children (and adults) of all ages.  With laugh-out-loud funny illustrations such as the one on the cover showing an extremely picky and ever so grouchy Mr.  Wilkerson, the words in the story have a contagious and irresistible way of flowing off the tongue.  Those that listen will have no choice but to chant along!     

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Pizza Party...Pirate Style

    Thus far, our blog posts seem to range from educational topics to family fun  as we find our way in the wonderful world of blogging.  This post is about throwing together a few ideas to create a memorable children's party.  I wasn't planning on blogging about it, but I thought it might serve as a bit of inspiration for busy parents.
    My son, Preston's third birthday was nearly two weeks away.  I hadn't planned a thing!  Was it too late?  During a quick shopping trip to Target, an adorable birthday party invitation caught my eye.  The cover showed an image of a pirate boy.  Hmm... I thought for a moment, and plopped a few packs into my cart.  Preston likes pirates.  Can I turn "PIRATES" into his theme?  What will we eat?  Where will it be?  All sorts of questions went through my mind, and then, the answers all came together to form a plan.
    I was able to rent a room at a local pizza shop.  They would provide the pizza.  All I needed were some decorations, drinks, cake and ice-cream.  I was almost there!  I began to think like a pirate--a "pizza-eating" pirate!
    First, the cake:  I took the invitation to a local bakery for inspiration and this is what they came up with:     

I thought it was cute...especially for being so last minute.  The drinks were easy: some bottled water and soda placed in an icy treasure chest for easy access.  The decorations...coins, beads (the loot and treasure), lots and lots of red and blue balloons, and some red, blue, and map covered table cloths.

    Then, the goody bags:  I wanted to use them as sort of a decoration, so I made the pirate boy from the invitation and stapled a friendly little face to each of the bags.  I also tied a balloon to each of the bags.  They turned out pretty cute!  You can see them in the background of the photo above.  Next, I had to come up with a hands-on activity for the kids and some giveaways (of course).  I decided to turn the kids into little pirates by giving them an eye patch and a bandana.  I also armed them with swords.  For the activity, I had the kids create their own thumbprint ocean designs.  All we needed was ink-pads, some markers and some tiny fingers.  Thumbprint octopuses....little orange's amazing what a kid will come up with!  They loved the activity, and it was a nice keepsake for the moms and dads.

That's Preston the Pizza Eating Pirate on the right!


    Since I sent out the invitations last minute, they served more as a reminder.  I made phone calls and used FaceBook to get the word out!  Everything turned out great...except, we were so busy visiting and making fingerprint pictures that we didn't have time to get any super good photos.
    The kids are still talking about the party and from what I hear, they're looking forward to the next one.  I better get planning!!  In the mean time, my little pirate is causing me to "Shiver Me Timbers" as I try to type this post.  I'm about to make him "Walk the Plank!"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Survived...The Substitute

       What would your class do if they had Viola Swamp as their substitute teacher?  Would they follow all the rules?  Would you return to a class of total chaos?  In "Miss Nelson is Missing," her class learns a valuable lesson after experiencing a not-so-nice substitute teacher.

      Now, you too can help enforce classroom rules... even when you are away from the classroom.  Simply, use these "I Survived the Substitute Behavior Incentive Cards" available for download at Teachers Pay Teachers.
      These cards are a terrific way to reinforce good behavior; and substitutes will appreciate this one-of-a-kind classroom management tool designed especially for them.  Also, kids will get a kick out of the idea of surviving the substitute... 

Helpful Hints: 
  •  Introduce the cards by reading a book such as Miss Nelson is Missing.           
  • Print onto colorful card stock and cut!  Store them in an envelope with your substitute binder.
Picture Book Recommendation: Miss Nelson is Missing, Written by: Harry G. Allard Jr., Illustrated by: James Marshall 

Be sure to check out some of the other Miss Nelson is Missing Books:


Do you know of any other classroom activities that go with the Miss Nelson is Missing Books?  Share them with us!  We'd love to hear your ideas.

I Survived the Substitute Behavior Cards--a Touche' EDI completely original idea and teaching resource.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

~Mr. Arachnid's Great Idea~ Part I unedited~

Mr. Arachnid is a friendly, but misunderstood spider who lives in the crook of an old oak tree just outside of NEW YORK CITY.  He was very happy there.  Every day was the same as the day before and the day before that, and the…well, you see what I mean.  The web shakes, you wake up, and you eat a bug.  Ah, yes… life was good for our misunderstood friend.  But, this was all about to change.
Mr. Arachnid woke up one morning to a very loud noise.  His web shook like it never had before, but there was nothing trapped inside.  What is going on, he wondered?
Suddenly another loud crash!!  His web shook even more than the first time.  “What is happening here?”  Mr. Arachnid shouted!  Another CRASH, another THUD, then BUZZ, BUZZ, BUZZzzz…and a cRAsH, BaNG, THuD.  “OH MY!  The trees!  The trees are falling down—one by one!  Down, down, down!”  
Mr. Arachnid worried: What if the tree my web is in falls down, too?  Whatever will I do?  Oh, whatever will I do?  I will have no home.  I will have no food!  I will have no place to sleep!  What shall I do?
Then, a strange...but, wonderful thing happened.  Mr. Arachnid had a great idea—a greater than great idea…a SUPER, STUPENDOUS, COLOSSAL, BIGGER than BIG idea.  What if, he thought, I leave this place and travel the world.  Maybe, I’ll meet new friends, and together we can stop this madness.
Our hairy little friend didn’t know for sure how he was going to go about leaving the old oak tree, but he knew he had to try.  “Who can help me?”  Mr. Arachnid wondered.  “Maybe my friend Little Brown will have an idea.” 
Only one tree over, there lived a very unlikely friend of Mr. Arachnid’s—Little Brown—the Little Brown Bat, who just so happened to be on his way over to see if Mr. Arachnid knew what all the noise was that was shaking his roost and keeping him awake.  After all, he was up all night eating bugs, and he needed to get to sleep…And, who could sleep with all this noise?
 “Good morning, Mr. Arachnid.”  “Little Brown!  Little Brown!  Come look and see…the trees…the trees are falling down.  What is happening?” While watching the trees fall, first one, then another, Mr. Arachnid told his friend all about the idea he had.  Little Brown said, “I’ll help, too!”  “Let’s make a plan.  Who do we know who can help us?” 
The words no sooner left Little Brown’s mouth when, “OWWWWW, owwww” from out of the brush, around the bottom of the old oak tree, sprang yet another friend of Mr. Arachnid and Little Brown’s.  It was Edowrd T. Gray Wolf. 
“Edword! Edword!  Come and see!  See  what is happening!”  The three unlikely friends sat and watched as one tree fell, then another, and yet another.  Down.  Down.  Down.  As they watched, Mr. Arachnid and Little Brown filled Edword in on their plans.  Edword shouted, “OWWWWW!  I’m in!” 
Even though the unlikely three had no idea what to do next, they knew they were going to do something.