Friday, May 22, 2015

Ending the Year in a Life Cycle Garden

As the end of the year draws near, it's always such a pleasure
to have our families visit one last time to see all of their student's
hard work and learning. Our end of year open house gives me the
chance to chat with them and let parents know how proud I am of
their student and all they have accomplished this year.

Ending Our Year in a Life Cycle Garden

During our last quarter we spend a lot of time learning and
writing about life cycles.  At the end of the year it's all about frogs,
insects, and raising butterflies in our classrooom! Our parents
and students enjoyed last year's open house so much that we decided
to turn our hallway into a life cycle garden again!

Ending Our Year in a Life Cycle Garden
During our butterfly unit we compiled all of our learning 
into these butterfly booklets.

 Butterfly life cycle foldable lapbook

 Butterfly life cycle foldable lapbook
While learning about a frog's life cycle we added key facts
about each stage to our charts.  I like to make my own shapes
into a sticky note with removable glue sticks.

Writing about a frog's life cycle
We read lots of informational books about frogs and took notes.

 Writing about the stages of a frog's life cycle

We wrote about each stage of the frog's life cycle
inside these little lily pad mini-books, added some beads for 
the eggs and made this life cycle writing craft 
to display in our garden.

 Frog life cycle writing craft

Frog life cycle writing craft and bulletin board
I saved these cloud types writing and weather idioms from 
earlier in the year.

Cloud types and weather idioms

My kids loved turning themselves into butterfly kids!
My kids are such hams and love it when they get
to use pictures of themselves!

 Free Butterfly Kids writing craft
We added fan folded tissue paper to our pictures and wrote 
about what we would do if we were beautiful butterflies!
 I love all of the unit vocabulary they included in their writing!

 Free Butterfly Kids writing craft

You can download a free copy of this craft 
{HERE} or by clicking on the pictures.

Free Butterfly Kids writing craft

I'm always a little sad when it's time to take it all down
because I love it when our hallway is
filled to the brim with life, learning, and this much cuteness!
But on the other hand, taking everything down means
it's almost summer break!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Butterfly Life Cycle Resources & Free Printables

Our butterfly life cycle study is always a highlight 
 and this year was no different! These past few weeks 
have been all about caterpillars and butterflies 
and metamorphosis, oh my!

We went hands-on all the way as we learned about 
the life cycle, metamorphosis, pollination, and more!
Butterfly Life Cycle Learning Labs & FREE Printables
We began our unit with a KWL chart and since 
 we visited a live butterfly exhibit and botanical garden 
the week before we already knew a lot!

Butterfly life cycle KWL anchor chart

With our books at the ready and our charts all
in place my class was beyond excited to get started.  
Or maybe it was the fact that our caterpillars had just arrived!

FREE printable butterfly life cycle bulletin board set
You can download a free copy of this 

Butterfly life cycle activities and learning labs

Each student received their own caterpillar
and of course, named them! Pure kid-heaven!

Butterfly life cycle activities and learning labs

We used our life cycle journals to 
record dates and the changes we observed each day. 

Butterfly life cycle activities and learning labs

Once the life cycle was complete and our last 
butterfly emerged from it's chrysalis
we analyzed and discussed the data we recorded.

Butterfly Life Cycle Activities, Learning Labs & FREE Printables

Students added the dates of significant changes 
to a calendar. I then placed them in groups with these 
discussion cards. They used their calendars to 
compare dates and data, discuss with their friends, and 
count the days between changes in the life cycle.

Butterfly Life Cycle Activities, Learning Labs & FREE Printables
We learned some BIG words during this unit! My kiddos 
were quite proud of themselves as they used words like 
camouflage, metamorphosis, and pollinators during 
our discussions and as we worked through our  labs!

Butterfly Life Cycle Mini-lessons, Learning Labs & FREE Printables

We had several mini-lessons along the way
and after each one we added our written responses
to our culminating projects, this foldable butterfly booklet.
Each piece of the booklet has a mini-lesson with
  visuals or charts as well as a writing component. 
                     I love to get my kids writing, especially about science!

Butterfly life cycle foldable lapbook
My kids were in all their glory as we did a little 
pollination simulation!  

Butterfly life cycle pollination activities

How do butterflies help plants grow?  Here's what we did 
to find out. But first, we dressed up our fingers 
as very hungry butterflies!

Butterfly life cycle pollination activities

To my kids, heaven on earth is a pipe cleaner 
antennae wrapped around your finger!
100% engagement I tell ya!  
Note to self:  Do MORE with these!

Butterfly life cycle pollination activities

We talked about the bristles of the pipe cleaner being like 
the tiny hairs on many insect's feet. 
Perfect for holding pollen.

Butterfly life cycle pollination lesson
I saved this mini-lesson until after our lab
so we could compare our findings to the lesson and talk more 
about how butterflies help plants grow.

Oh, and what to do with all that leftover macaroni 
now that you've used all the cheese?
Make macaroni commas of course!
FREE butterfly life cycle commas in a series printable
You can download this free printable:

I showed my class this absolutely incredible and BEYOND beautiful 
video from Ted Talks on YouTube made by filmmaker
Louie Schwartzberg.  Click on the picture to view it.

The Beauty of Pollination by filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg on Ted Talks

Well now, being a butterfly, or a caterpillar for that matter, is not
all sunshine and nectar.  Butterflies have their problems too.

Butterfly life cycle problem/solution activity

We matched some problems to solutions in the butterfly's life cycle.

Butterfly life cycle / compound eye lesson
My class is completely enthralled with the compound eye,
although a tad bit offended that our eyes are just called
 "simple" eyes.

Compound eye learning lab

 We used kaleidoscopes with this lab to help us imagine 
life through an insect's eyes and to compare 
a compound eye to a simple eye.

Butterfly life cycle facts: True or false?

During our literacy centers we held a 
"butterfly bop" and bopped around the room to
determine if butterfly "facts" were true or false.

Butterfly life cycle foldable lapbook

And that about wraps up our butterfly unit! We added all 
of our mini-books and writing to our butterfly booklets 
to display at our Spring open house next week! 

If you need more resources for your own butterfly unit
you can find this complete unit in my TeachersPayTeachers shop.
Here's a little peek at all that's included:
Butterfly life cycle lessons and activities

Butterfly life cycle lessons and activities
The unit includes 9 mini-lessons and 6 learning labs.
Each mini-lesson and lab includes a writing component 
or mini-book that can be added to the final project, the 
foldable butterfly booklet. I've added 
several versions of many of the writing pieces and prompts 
to make differentiating a snap! Customize your booklets 
by choosing the versions you wish to use!
Butterfly life cycle foldable lapbook

I've included everything you need to teach a complete unit including
lesson plans, vocabulary work, reference charts and assessment.
Butterfly life cycle lessons and activities

Butterfly life cycle unit

And the good new is... it's on sale!
Don't miss the Teacher Appreciation Sale happening
May 5-6 on TeachersPayTeachers!
Save 20% on my entire store and save even more
with the promo code: THANKYOU
For even more savings, be sure to leave feedback on all 
previous purchases to earn credits redeemable at checkout!

 Every teacher loves a little extra credit, right?
Happy teacher appreciation week, friends!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Teachers Are Superheroes

Most of my heroes are teachers. Just like you.
Linda Kamp Primary Teaching Resources on

Teachers are truly the everyday heroes.  Every day. All day.
So treat yourself to a sale on some super resources to make 
your day a whole lot easier.

Save 28%  in my TeacherspayTeachers store 
February 25 & 26 with the Promo code: HEROES.
***Save even more by leaving feedback on previous purchases
to earn TPT credits redeemable at checkout!*** 

And for your little superheroes...

Superhero writing crafts

Superhero writing crafts to highlight their learning superpowers!
Perfect for back to school or end of year displays!

Superhero end of year memory books for K-3
End of year memory books for grades K-3
Formatted in the style of a graphic novel your class is sure to love, 
These end of year memory books include lots of fun ways 
for students to showcase their memories as well as their learning.  
Students will enjoy recording favorite events and activities, 
highlighting their learning superpowers, but most of all, realizing
the  power of friendship, laughter, celebration, 
our words, kindness, and respect.  

Superhero end of year memory books for K-3

 Memory books and writing crafts may be purchased separately.
**Save when you buy a BUNDLE and receive these 
BONUS student and parent gifts!**

Bonus gifts for students and volunteers with purchase of Superhero end of year memory book bundle.

 Happy saving teacher friends!  You are ALL my HEROES!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Apothecary Jars for the Classroom~Storing Your Supplies in Style!

I'm linking up with another Bright Ideas Blog Hop 
to bring you some easy ideas for making apothecary jars
and storing your supplies in style! 

DIY apothecary jars for storing office supplies in style

As teachers we always have lots of little things
that we use daily but never enough places
to store them.  Repurpose old jars to freshen up your
classroom and make those supplies part of your decor!

Classroom decor ideas with DIY apothecary jars
I love the look of apothecary jars and thought 
why not use them in my classroom?

Find jars you like at thrift stores, garage sales, 
craft stores, and even in your fridge! 
I needed some smaller jars to use on my desk so 
I went on a little jar journey to Wal-mart.  

Repurpose jars like these to make DIY apothecary jars for storing office supplies

So as not to be wasteful I saved that good salsa 
and garlic but, please forgive me, those okra pickles 
went straight in the trash! 

Easy ideas for classroom decor with DIY apothecary jars

 I used glass candle stick holders from various
thrift stores (You can also find them at the dollar store.)
 then glued them to the jars with E6000. You can 
find E6000 at Wal-mart or any craft or
home improvement store.

This teacher shares simple storage ideas with DIY apothecary jars for the classroom!

Use sandpaper to lightly sand the lids before spray painting.
I used Krylon spray paint in 'Iris' to paint the lids to 
match my classroom. 

This teacher repurposed old jars into cute storage for guided reading supplies

Create a little candy store of guided reading go-to's.
When I taught Kindergarten my classroom had a candy store 
theme.  I stored everything in big plastic jars left over from 
whatever treat I took to t-ball the night before!
 I don't have nearly as much space now but I still love 
the look of eye-catching-and-colorful-in-a-jar!

Classroom decor and teacher gifts with DIY apothecary jars

Add little do-dads for more decor or teacher gifts!
Gifts-in-a-jar are easy and fun and when the goodies are
gone they make great decor! 

DIY Apothecary jar air freshener for the classroom

Use a jar with die cut holes in the lid to make a 
DIY air freshener!
Fill the jar with laundry scent booster. If you're using it in
your classroom be sure to seal the lids on with hot glue 
 just in case little hands get curious.  I keep mine on 
top of a bookcase behind my desk and made sure 
to tell my second graders that this was 
soap and not candy! 

  DIY air freshener for the classroom

Late one school night, when I should have been
in bed, I decided to carry over my craftiness into my kitchen.
Apples and coffee for the tired teacher!
Apples and Coffee.
Hmm...kind of  a fail. I know there's a "tired teacher" 
pun in there somewhere, I just can't put my finger on it! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!  
For more great ideas, resources, and classroom adventures
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more time saving tips and bright ideas! 

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