Human Hungry Hungry Hippos

So everyone loves the game Hungry Hungry Hippos, right?!? It's like a childhood least for me. Perhaps this is why my kids looked at me like a mad woman when I asked them if they've ever heard of the game. Hellooooo old woman status. ;) Yikes. Note to self: stop showing your age! 

As soon as I saw the human version of YouTube, I knew I just had to find a way to make it academic. Here is how it went down. 


The students were divided into pairs. Each pair had one minute in the arena to collect as much "food" as possible. 

*** Pretty sure their faces say it all! ***

Once they had collected their food, they headed straight to work. 

I created a booklet that had 7-10 questions that correlated to the colors of food. So I had 7-10 questions for red, pink, blue, orange, green, and yellow. The students took their baskets of food back to the bleachers and would draw one piece of food at a time. If they drew a green piece, they had to answer question #1 under the green section. Then they would throw the food back into the arena. They would continue to answer questions until their food was gone. Then they would head back to the arena for more food. They continued this process until they answered all of the questions in their booklet.  

I organized my questions into the categories that we've studied this quarter. 

Red questions = main idea
Green questions = identifying details 
Yellow questions = annotations 
Blue questions = text structures
Orange questions = figurative language 
Pink questions = identifying theme

Here's a few more shots of the hungry hippos! :) 

Such a fun game. The kids loved it. It was the perfect way to review all of the skills that we've worked so hard on this quarter. 

Halloween Party Ideas: #throwbackthursday

Halloween is right around the corner. Like literally *just* around the corner. It is literally one of my absolute favorite holidays. I know, I know...I am a little strange. I seriously love it. At home. At school. Halloween parties! Give me all of it. So I thought tonight for a little #throwbackthursday, I would share some of my favorite Halloween ideas for decorations and parties just in case you'll be throwing any over the next few weeks. I guess this is only partially teacher related. 

I always love making our house a little spooky to fit the theme! Spiders and skulls do the trick! Most of my decorations come from Home Goods and Michaels. 

Now for the food...

Loved both of these drink ideas that I found online. They are equal parts scary, tasty, and EASY! 

Vampire Juice {Shirley Temple} 
Lemon lime soda and Grenadine Syrup {I added gummy worm ice cubes for a fun effect!} 

Sewage Water: 
Mix ginger ale and rainbow sherbet if you are going for that dirty water look. I also add monster ice, but forgot to take pictures. So here is the look...

I just use these ice molds, fill them with green water, and add a cherry. Easy and they will keep your drink cold for hours!!! I love how realistic they look without changing the flavor of the drink. They are perfect in the sewage water! 

I am not a master baker by ANY stretch of the imagination, but y'all two words: CAKE POPS! incredibly easy. I could literally do this with my eyes shut. I use this sweet gem right {HERE} and it will make 12 cake pops in about 3 minutes. Then I dip them in white chocolate and add the decorations. These will probably make an appearance at every party I host from here on! 

I used this recipe right {HERE} to make dirt pudding and it is always delish!

Hope y'all are having a great week. Should we start a countdown to Halloween yet? ;) 

The Ultimate Fall Writing Bundle

Happy fall y'all. If you are looking for a way to motivate some young authors with all things spiders, bats, scarecrows, and tons s'more, {;)} you can check out my Ultimate Fall Writing Bundle. It includes seven writing activities to help your students practice a variety of writing skills. Plus, it also includes everything you need for the matching crafts that will spice up your classroom displays. Take a look below. The unit is on SALE for the next 24 hours! 

...and how cute is this little guy? 

You can head over to my TPT shop to snag it up spice up your writing. :)

Welcome to Jurassic World

Okay! So it's no secret that I love finding new ways to completely blow my students' minds. Plus, Wade and I totally fell in love with the new dino sensation, Jurassic World, and knew this would make the perfect setting for a super fun lesson. We just had to wait for the right content. 

So I give you...Jurassic World! A lesson where the students' abilities were tested and challenged to see if their knowledge could help them escape the park. They had a ticket to enter, but only their knowledge of new content could get them out. They learned all about animal classifications, adaptations, life cycles, food webs and food chains, while working their way through the scientific method, dodging park disasters by solving math problems, and using close reading and comprehension strategies to infer, predict, and draw conclusions about the Jurassic Era. I am happy to report that all 38 students did manage to escape the park...and only seconds before feeding time.

Check out our latest Periscope video to see how all of the magic {and tons of learning} went down: 

Here is a closer look at some lesson specifics: 

As each student entered the room, they were loaded into a park jeep. 

These jeeps were created out of black plastic (you could also use trash bags), insulation pipes ($1.00 a piece at Lowe's), aluminum foil, and pie pans. Easiest thing I've done in a while! Plus they totally scream Jurassic World! 

The students were instructed to keep all hands and valuable body parts in the jeep at all times. ;) Once they were buckled in, they immediately put their headlamps to use. 

Making the headlamps was another super easy task. I simply put a piece of clear tape over the batteries, added a dab of hot glue to a black sweatband, and secured the push light. I found these lights at Walmart super cheap. 

Now, let's talk content. Before the students entered the gates of the park, they had to complete a close read activity to educate themselves about the Jurassic Period. We have been working diligently on close reading skills, so the students got right to annotations, identifying key ideas, vocabulary, text structure, etc. Each student in the jeep selected a different article. After each student was an expert on his/her topic, they jigsawed to share their findings. 

It was finally time...all students were welcomed into the park. I showed several video clips but had to heavily monitor the language! :) This made it feel extremely real as we were sitting in our jeeps. Here is the video I showed as they were welcomed into the park! 

After their initial welcome, the students were instructed that they are given the challenge or completing four tasks in order to exit the park. Here is a closer look at those tasks.

During task one, we reviewed animal classifications and talked about how specific dinosaurs would be classified. Each group was then handed a giant dino egg. Inside the egg, they found six new species of dinosaurs. They were given the task to create their own dichotomous key to name the new species. 

Task #2 was all about animal adaptations. We discussed the difference between physical and behavior adaptations, along with understanding the difference between instinctive and learned behaviors. We discussed the ways that scientists have learned about animals in our world and how they have been able to draw conclusions about the past. We explained how scientists must use fossils to infer adaptations about the dinos in our park since we have never actually observed a dino in real life. The kids quickly transitioned into their next role as excavator. They had to dig to find the fossils of three different dinosaurs. Then they had to piece their findings together and infer adaptations. At the conclusion of their inferences, I showed some research from real scientists. They confirmed their observations. 

As we lead into task #3, I showed this quick video clip. Again...I monitored for language! 

Before the students were given their task, they were first required to work their way through the scientific method to solve the issue with one of our dinos in the park. 

Then came task #3. My favorite! We had a lesson about energy, food chains, and food webs. I told the students that our scientists at the park, much like all scientists, find a lot of information about animals through inspecting their feces. Lucky for them, I had gone out to the field to collect samples for them to investigate. They freaked! OUT! 

So what were they investigating for? Evidence of energy. Kinda like owl pellets...only dino dung! :) In the bottom, I placed 12 different cards that would create a complete food web for our park. The students had to find the cards and figure out what they created. Once they identified that it created a food web, they had to identify the produces, consumers, decomposers, and individual food chains found within. 

The dino dung was simply brownie mix, water, marshmallows, and few different seeds. 

And taks four? Well, their jeeps broke down right before the final exit of the park, they had to construct a scientific experiment to get their jeeps back up and running. 

Note: I typically would have taught one task per day. However, I had 5th grade for four hours this day, so I was able to accomplish a great amount of content. 

So how did we incorporate math? During each task, at some point, the students would hear this sound: 

Immediately a math problem/park crisis would pop up on the board. They must solve the crisis by answering the math problem with the correct answer. Every student in their jeep must have solved the problem for them to resume completing the task that they were currently working on. Just to shake things up a bit. 

Umm...did I mention that the students learned 52 new vocabulary words within this lesson? These were all included in their "vocabulosaurus"

This was such a fun lesson. I seriously think we hit a good 25 different standards, and I was able to plow through a great amount of my life science content. 

Of course we had lots of great dinosaurs sounds playing throughout the lesson. Here are a few links: 

This was such a fund day. I may have had more fun than the kids. If you have any questions about this lesson, feel free to leave them in the comments below and I will do a follow up post! :) 

Hope y'all had a happy Monday.