Animals 2X2: New and Improved!

Every year that I’ve been creating curriculum packets, I learn more, which is wonderful, it makes me a better teacher, but then it also compels me to go back through curriculum that I have out there and make changes.  I aspire to be as good as some of the amazing teachers out there blogging, creating, and working as teachers.

Summer has started, and I’ve dived back into some of the packets that I’ve been wanting to update.  I’ve finished the Goldfish and Worm packet… for this year at least!  I love science and so this has been at the top of my list for some time now 🙂

earthworms and red worms preview

I’ve updated the look, expanded the ‘big’ questions that you can explore with your class, and created some fact pages that you can make into a book and use as a guide as you and your students go through the units.

goldfish and guppies preview

Clipart generally becomes one of the biggest challenges to creating curriculum for me.  I’ve learned how to make my own drawings, scan them, and photoshop them as a supplement.  My daughter actually made most of the art for both of these packets, which as awesome.  Below is her beautiful goldfish.

goldfish sample page

I still a beginner with photoshop, so I am sure as I continue to work with it, as with anything, I’ll get better, learn new tricks, and then find myself back in older documents, updating my work.  I tend to do best with scientific drawings, though they can be somewhat rudimentary.  I am live in a house full of artists, so I am hoping, as with blogging, I’ll get better as I go, develop a personal style that I feel comfortable with, and learn all the tools I need to make work I am proud of and that other teachers enjoy.

worm clipart sampleCan you tell who drew the picture of the adult worm and who drew the hatchling and cocoon?  Which was mother and which was daughter?  At least I got the job done and the science across.

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The kids art, of course, is always my most favorite.

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Happy learning!

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Say Hello to our Pet Mantis

On Sunday, I found this enormous praying mantis in our yard.  When my daughter was little (now she is a sophomore in high school… not so little anymore) we caught one, gave it a little habitat, fed it (catching bugs at the patio light each night was loads of fun), and eventually found her a mate… something I don’t recommend.  We were all a bit shocked when she ate him.

Finding this one reminded me of that time with my daughter: playing outside, catching lizards, finding cool rocks..  My daughter, Olive, has always loved nature and can catch anything- she is my go to girl when some critter is in the house.

I brought this one to school.  She is so big!  We’ve been feeding her crickets.  The kids are amazed.  I think she is pregnant and will have babies soon.  Then we’ll have 100’s and 100’s of mantises.  We will be able to fill our garden.

One of my favorite picture books goes along with caring for a mantis.  It is called Mary Ann and was written by Betsy James.

I highly recommend it.  Click on the image to read more about it on Amazon.

My students want to name our mantis, so I think we’ll vote on a name tomorrow.