Give Me A...BEAK!

We are eating, sleeping, and breathing animals lately, and the kids are lovin' it! Now, if only everything could interest them as much as animals, we would be in business. For the past two days, we have been learning about both physical and behavioral adaptations of different species of animals. Today, we focused specifically on food obtainment with a concentration on bird beaks. The kids completed a super hands-on science lab where they tested different "bird beaks" in a variety of environments to determine if the shape of a bird's beak limits the bird's food supply! 

The science lab was divided into seven different challenges for my little birds. Each station contained three different beaks. They had to time each challenge and see which beak was most appropriate to obtain the food in each environment. Challenge #5 was all about flying insects. They had to determine which beak would be the best catcher! 

Mr. Competitive {above} was determined to break open the sunflower seed with tweezers. However, he had to settle for the fact that the pliers were the best bet in this type of environment! Love this kid! 

Which beak works best to pull small insects {rice} out of "tree trunks"? 

A Little Worm Action! 

Which beak is the best for meat eaters? 

Their Favorite...which beak is best for scooping fish without getting a beak full of water?! They loved learning about a pelican's beak! I must say...those are some pretty fascinating birds! 

Such a great way for kids to really experience and understand the importance of each adaptation in the survival of so many different species of birds! 

Along with this experiment, we also completed a little science notebooking today to add to our notes about adaptations. 


Guess what is coming to our room tomorrow...

That's Right! Baby Chicks!!!! Well, the eggs at least! Let's just pray that we manage to hatch a few! Fingers crossed! 

Tomorrow, we will be taking a trip to learn more about animals and their habitats! This teacher LOVES field trips!

TGIF...almost! ;)  

Night, y'all! 

The Measurement Playbook is HERE!!!

Oh my goodness! This unit took me for.e.ver. to put together!! It is PACKED with 130+ pages of resources to spice up any measurement unit! Plus, your kiddos will get to make some super cute gallon men along the way! 

Remember these cuties?

Check It Out...
{Click on any of the images below to check it out in my TPT shop and see everything that is included!}

A Few Highlights: 

And the best part?!? You can get it on SALE for the next 48 hours! So what are you waiting for?!? :) 

Have a great week, friends! 

Whoooo Dissected Owl Pellets?!

Let's begin this post with a little FYI about me, shall we? I am anything BUT a nature girl. I hate creepy crawlies, funky animal smells, and have this crazy phobia about the way that things feel. This summer, we went on a cruise and swam with the dolphins. Y'all, I was scared out of my mind! Not about the dolphin harming me in any way, but the anticipation of how it would feel freaked me out...completely! When I go to aquariums, I NEVER touch anything in the "petting" area! Seriously! Weird much? I totally am! I am okay with it! 

So, when I began making plans for our "On Safari" unit in third grade, I knew that I *really* wanted the kids to dissect owl pellets while learning about food chains and adaptations. As I was setting up the science lab for the kids, I became completely wigged out...again! I was hoping and praying that they would be able to do this dissection with an independent attitude because I was unsure of how much help I would be! Yes, Yes! I *know* I need to put on my big girl panties, and I totally did! All for the sake of the children...right?!? I am so glad that I put all fear behind, because this was such an amazing project for the kids, and they discovered and learned pretty much everything they needed to know about animals from this one activity. I love that learning is so easy if you find a way to get them excited about what they are doing! They turn into a giant sponge that soaks up every single detail and magically :) remember all of the important facts that they would have forgotten by simply reading a science book! That makes all of the time spent planning engaging activities well worth it! Alright enough babbling...onto our dissection! 

I set up our science lab for my future scientists. We had the goggles and all the "scientific" tools. We were the *real* deal. I tell you, it's the little things that make them completely giddy! They were thrilled beyond words when they entered their dissection lab. 

Since we have been working on our measurement skills, we began by choosing the best unit to measure the length and width of our owl pellet.

Then, it was time to break that bad boy open.

Conclusion: Owls are consumers...and carnivores! 

Their bone of choice...skulls!!!! You would have thought that these kids had landed a million dollar lottery ticket each time they discovered one. They did an amazing job during the dissection and were extra careful not to break any of their precious bones! This was spot on for my kiddos! They LOVED it! 

Owl Pellet...After Dissection! 

Today, it was time to analyze our findings. We sorted and classified each bone. 

Future scientist? I think so! 

This may have been the highlight of their scientific career! :0)

Now that we have drawn conclusions and collected facts and evidence, we will be channeling our inner news reporter side tomorrow. The kids are going LIVE from inside the pellet. We will be writing and producing a news report about owl pellets. Yes, we will have a fuzzy, feathery background filled with bones! They asked for a green screen...well...that's not in the school budget! :) More to come...

Happy Wednesday! 

Valentine's Week...and...Then Some...

I have been a little MIA lately, because I have been right here..

I meant to post all about our Valentine's week while in NYC, but...I is NYC, and there is never a spare second! I love city living, but dang this city was FREEZING! For all of my northern friends, I just don't see how y'all do it! I will stay right here with my sweet {WARM} southern weather! 

Alright, back to Valentine's week. Last week flew by super duper fast. You will see why in a second, because I think this post may have a good 100 pictures! ;) {Sorry about that!} I would split this up into several posts, but I can't promise what tomorrow will bring, so I better get it all in tonight! :)  

Of course, we were all in a lovey dovey mood, and many of our activities revolved around this holiday. We began the week with our Heart Attack writings. Although we did this same activity last year, it was still a class favorite. They were beyond excited when they saw the conversation hearts! 

These turned out precious! I don't know why, but every time I pull out the hearts, their creativity runs wild! 

We also worked on some riddle writing to really pull out our descriptive language. We have our PASS Writing Test in 20 school days {but who's counting?} ;) We have our essay structure down and are ready to go, but we have really been working on how our writing sounds. How did we practice this descriptive language? By writing ValenSLIMES! 

Most of my kids chose to write to another student in our class. They were all about Valensliming their friends! 

Following this activity, we spent time reviewing similes {another way to spruce up our writing}. 

We wrote "text messages" to our friends in the form of similes. These kids cracked me right up. Their messages were so cute, and they really put a lot of thought behind what they were writing. I have to say my favorite was: " You are as crazy as a group of monkeys waiting on some bananas."    

After last week, they better not have an excuse for lacking creativity. They better knock my socks off on their prompts this week! ;) 

On Valentine's Day, we had several special activities. We began by creating our boxes to hold all of our letters from our friends. This year, we used cereal boxes to make I {heart} South Carolina boxes. On the back of their boxes, they wrote their SC Top 10 {Ten things they have LOVED learning about SC History.}

We love our great state! 

In math, we have been working on money and fractions. I had planned for the kids to make Valentine's Day pizza, but first, they had to create their order slip. They had a certain amount of money that they could spend, and they had to create an order that was less than the given amount. Then, they had to determine how much change they should receive in return.

Once their order form was set and ready to go, they designed their pizza. They had to choose how they would divide their pizza and their toppings. We had all types of variations displayed and analyzed our pizzas to determine which fractions were represented in our classroom. 

Finally, we made our pizzas {in real life}. :) They had to follow their order and design their pizza to represent their fractions. 

We finished off our pizza experience by sharing our process with others. We focused on the importance of including even the smallest steps like where to place the sauce and how long to cook the pizza. It helped that they had actually made a pizza a few minutes earlier. 

Although many of last week's activities were centered around Valentine's Day, we also kept up with our math and science units. 

In math, we are about to finish up our measurement unit {once we complete money this week.} Most of our measurement activities have been centered around football. I really wanted for the students to be able to apply what they have learned during this unit, so we did a little PBL to tie everything together. I was a little nervous about this activity, but I always love what happens when you give kids the opportunity to really show how smart they are! They love it too! Such a great confidence builder. 


Basically, I gave the kids a mission. They had to design a football field for the 2014 Super Bowl. I gave them the perimeter for their field and the distance that should separate each yard line. Then, I gave them a ruler, measuring tape, a poster board, and markers, and they went to work. I know I brag on my kids A LOT, but seriously, they blew me away! I went over how to use rulers to make a straight line from top to bottom, and they used all of the tricks! Check out these super straight, amazingly accurate football fields! 

This group below was minutes away from completing the task when they realized they were a little off on their measurements. They had to decide if they could fix the issue or if they needed to start over from scratch. They decided that it would be easier to start over to make it exact. Such a great lesson to discover independently. Proud teacher moment!

This activity will be included in my measurement pack which will be out SOON! 

Almost done...I swear! 

In science, we finished off the week by learning about different life cycles. They have to understand the life cycle of each classification group. After our instruction, I gave the kids a "test". They had to design a windsock that would highlight the life cycle of their favorite animal and also include the basic life cycle pattern of each animal classification group. Here's what they came up with...

Most chose to use the strips at the bottom to represent the different life cycles and the actual sock part to highlight the life cycle of their favorite creature. 

Here is where they are now...

Do you like our display? :) I will be hanging them in our room tomorrow! 

If you stayed with me this long, you are amazing! Thanks for following along with our week! Hope y'all had an amazing weekend and are ready for a wonderful week in your classroom! Night, friends!