Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hello Mr. Gecko

Hello, Mr. Gecko!

        Spending time in Arizona means you will see a different variety of animals from the assortment we have in Michigan. One of my granddaughter's favorite pass times is looking for geckos. Baby geckos, Dada geckos, Mamma geckos, large and small, are so much fun to look for in the yard. I should say, on the outside walls of the house. These little guys are so very fast, and they blend into their environment so well. So looking for them is a challenge. But they like to hang out there in the hot Arizona sun and sun themselves.

      I have to say that I'm not sure that "gecko" is the correct term for this little reptile, but that is what my granddaughter calls them. If you know the correct name for this little guy, please feel free to leave me a comment.

      Well, one afternoon while cleaning up after lunch, Mr. Gecko decided to come into the house and walk around on the kitchen window sill. He startled me to say the least.  Then I had to figure out how to catch the little guy and get him back outside where he belonged. He was hanging out on the windowsill between the blinds and the window behind the kitchen sink.
     First,  I had to clear all the dishes, cups, etc. from in and around the sink. I needed to have easy access when trying to catch a very, very fast gecko. Then what am I to use to trap him?  I had a good size plastic bag from grapes.  You know the kind with the little holes in the sides.  

    Mr. Gecko needed to be cornered so I could carefully get him to run into the bag. As you can see in the picture, he was near the side of the window. Lucky, he did run into the bag without me making a lot of noise.  By the way, I was doing this while my granddaughter was taking an afternoon nap in her crib.  Her bedroom is adjacent to the kitchen.

    So now what do you do with a trapped gecko?  Of course I could not just let him go.  My granddaughter would have been terribly disappointed not to see the gecko close up.

      You put the gecko into a bucket for safe keeping, of course!

       Now he was only in the bucket for about an hour before my granddaughter woke up from he nap. Needless to say, she was very excited to see Mr. Gecko.
we had a good time pointing and talking  to him.

    A few weeks earlier by accident another gecko fell off the side of the house and into this same bucket.  He tried to jump out. As you can imagine, this scared my daughter and granddaughter.  When she sees a gecko, she shakes her finger and says, "No, No, Mr. Gecko, don't scare us!"

     We placed the bucket on its side so Mr. Gecko could  leave when he was ready.  I didn't want him jumping up at us this time. Eventually, Mr. Gecko went on his merry way. 
     This is one of Mr. Gecko's friends. He is much darker in color than the other gecko. This one is climbing down the outside of the house.

     Well that's all for today. No geckos in Michigan. Enjoy the spring weather where ever you live.

Please leave a comment if you find the time.  I'd love to hear from you.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Baby Hummingbirds

Baby Hummingbirds

     Today I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the "Five for Friday" weekly linky party.    
I spent a couple of weeks in Arizona in April. The palm tree in my daughter's front yard was the perfect place for this hummingbird to made her nest. The nest is only about two inches in diameter. She lined the nest with her softest feathers for the two little eggs. They look large in this picture, but remember that the inside of the nest is only about an inch and a half across.

   The eggs began to hatch on Saturday before Easter.  You can see the egg being cracked. This was so exciting. 

The baby chick was so very tiny.

      I had to be very careful because I  did not want the mother bird to get upset with me taking close up pictures with my phone. 

     Both eggs hatched and the two chicks were constantly tended by the mother bird.

     Day by day the baby birds grew quickly.

         It was so much fun to go out each day to check on the chicks, an unbelievable teaching moment.  My granddaughter had as much fun as I did.  Every morning she would say, " See hummingbirds!"  It was very difficult, but  I had to come home to Michigan. 
         I'm sure the mother bird will take very good care of her chicks without me checking on them every day.  They will soon fly off to check out all the flowering bushes in Arizona.

         Happy Spring!

Please leave a comment if you have the chance. I'd love to hear form you.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Best Job in the World

Teaching is the Best and most rewarding job in the world!

        I have been teaching for more than 25 years. Second grade, Art classes, preschool, and computer class to name a few. For the last 22 years, I have been teaching 5th grade and it is the Best!    There is the student that always gives you their personal best and then a wonderful unexpected gift.  A gift like this makes you realize  that  our kids are the real gift.

        This young lady  stitched my name onto a cloth and added a darling flower.  It brings tears to my eyes every time I gaze at it on top of my file cabinet.

Teaching is the Best and most rewarding job in the world!

      Today I was pleasantly surprised by a former student coming to visit. He has grown from a little 5th grade boy to be a wonderful, handsome young man.
I could see his boyish smile and the twinkle in his eye as he came into my room.
He gave me a big hug and lifted me off the floor. He made my day.
Teaching is the Best and most rewarding job in the world!

     When I started teaching so many years ago, I didn't realize what it was going to be like.  I am so very glad I made the decision to become a teacher, the Best Job in the World!

     I hope that you had a great day, too!   

Please leave a comment if you have the time.  

Monday, April 17, 2017

End of the year note

            Each year I have given a letter or note to each of my students.  My wonderful friend and 1st grade teacher, Emily, has helped me whenever my technology skills were lacking. With my idea in mind, I headed off to Emily's room after school.  As always, Emily dropped what she was doing to help me out.  We sat at her desk and she listened to my thoughts. This is what we came up with.

          I personalized each one for my homeroom students.

        My inspiration came from something I found on Pinterest.  Miss DeCarbo from Second Grade Sugar and Spice designed this piece.

Today I linked up with Forever in Fifth Grade for the Show and Tell linky.

       Enjoy your summer!


Friday, April 14, 2017

Donated Easter Baskets

                Donated Easter Baskets

      Every year  my 5th graders begin a collection of empty clementine boxes.  In the spring the boxes are taken home by the students to paint and decorate. All families have a can or two of interior wall paint left over from a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, or  family room.  The kids paint the boxes and with smiling faces bring them back to school.


          During Lent we begin to collect donations of candy, plastic eggs, Easter grass, stuffed animals, books, toys, school supplies, toothpaste and tooth brushes, just to name a few items. The kids set up an " Easter Basket Store" in my classroom. Baskets are chosen and filled with Easter grass. Each child decides who they are shopping for, little boy or girl, older boy or girl.  



The shopping begins!


After shopping, each student made a tag for a boy or girl.

              As you can see, every basket is completely different.  Here is a small sample of the 104 Easter baskets that were filled by my outstanding students and their generous families.

      The baskets were wrapped in plastic bags and loaded  up to be delivered.  Parents have also volunteered to deliver all the Easter baskets to a local food pantry just in time for Easter!

      Everyone has realized that it is better to give than receive.

                      Happy Easter!


Please feel free to leave a comment.  I always enjoy hearing from you.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Loyalists & Patriots

      In order to wrap help the students understand the differences between Loyalists and Patriots, I made up a comparison chart.  

         Bullet points were used to complete the comparison. Then the kiddos used their artistic abilities to draw an illustration to focus on a visual difference.

I like to expressions.

Look at those eyes!

         This activity was done the day after our 5th graders experienced the Boston Tea Party.  We  SKYPED with the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. They each portrayed either a Loyalist or a Patriot.  I think my students understand the difference.  The work shows  off their knowledge. I was very pleased with this activity.

       5th grade Social Studies has been a huge part of my life. The American Revolution and the events leading up to it are so much fun to teach. 

      Please leave a comment. I'd love hear your thoughts.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

ABC Caps

I have linked up with Forever in 5th Grade for  SHOW and TELL.
ABC Caps

               We decided to work on another service project for our little friends in the kindergarten class.  My students enjoy seeing the kindergarteners when we go down to Music class. Once a month my students sit with the kindergarten children while at weekly mass. 
              The Green Team at St. Michael Catholic School is very hard working. Recycled bottle caps have been collected and were just waiting for a fun and  useful upcycle project.
         First, my students needed to look through the bottle cap collection.  Groups of three of the same color cap were collected. These colorful gallon milk jug caps were the perfect size.  We needed 26 groups of three caps. Our school Administrative Assistant kindly offered to print out labels with capital and lower case letters of the alphabet for our project.    
        Next, the labels needed to be cut an glued onto the caps. You can see that my 5th graders did the cutting of the letters. That is why they aren't perfect. The Modpodge was applied over the letters. Three or four layers of Modpodge was added to make sure the stickers adhered to the caps.  Little fingers won't be able to pick the letters off of the caps.

              A variety of colors were used so that color matching of 5 year olds would be used in addition to matching the letters and the pictures.  
             Finding the appropriate pictures was a challenge for my fifth graders.  They had a large variety of stickers to choose from.  Sometimes a picture would be chosen but had to be discarded because the younger children might not be able to identify and match it to the letters.   That is why I cut a circle of yellow paper to match with Y and y,  the word "BOXING" to match with X and x, and "VOTED" as a match for V and v.  
            This was a group project in which so many of my students had a hand i the works.   Great Team Work 5th grade!

            I hope this post will inspire you and your class to reach out and help to younger children in your school.

      Please go to Forever in 5th Grade for the Show and Tell Linky to see all the great ideas. 

           Please leave a short comment if you have a spare minute. I'd love to hear from you.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

A little bird told me...


    I have linked up with doodle bugs teaching for Five for Friday linky.

       The fifth and second graders share the first floor of our school.   We are getting ready to celebrate Catholic Schools Week beginning Sunday, January 31.  A joint hallway display, with the 2nd and 5th graders, would be fun to do.  We had a bulletin board tree on the wall, so we had a good base for our project.

A little bird told me....   
.....St. Michael Catholic School is GREAT!  Became the fifth grade theme.   Each 5th grader  got a little bird to design and write a comment about their impression of our school.

    We needed something underneath the tree.  So the second graders  colored and wrote a message on acorns. 
 A cute little squirrel says, " We are NUTS about St. Michael School!"  The 2nd graders thought the talking squirrel was so funny.

       I was impressed this week by how many children stopped to read the little messages written by our students.  We have an OPEN HOUSE for the public on Sunday, January 30 and a spaghetti dinner and open house for our school families on Thursday.  Hopefully many more people will take some time to stop and read our children's thoughts about St. Michael Catholic School, too.
     Happy Catholic Schools Week! 

  It would be very nice to read your comments, so take a minutes and leave me a note.