All About Animals

Just recently, we wrapped up one of my favorite units to teach in science...
Can you guess what it might be?


I can't help myself... every year I look forward to this unit :0) 

It's a topic that ALL students are familiar with. It's also something that children LOVE to learn about. Can you blame them?

What's great is that it doesn't matter how much of an animal expert you might think you are (my boys usually think they deserve this title from day 1), with a topic as broad as animals you're bound to learn something new!

I like to break up our unit in two... vertebrates and invertebrates. We also always begin with vertebrates since students are most familiar with this group.

What I find interesting is that although students seem more familiar with vertebrates, they only make up 5% of all animals. Can you believe that? I was shocked when I first read that. 95% of all animals actually belong in the invertebrates family ... interesting, huh? 

Ok... so let's get started...

Whenever I begin a new science topic, I like to gather a few different books on the subject and have them readily available on my board for students to read on their own.

These books were HUGE HITS with my kids!

I also like to start off with a video to introduce the topic, provide students with a visual they can begin associating with, and let's not forget... to get those brain juices flowing!
(Plus- My kiddos really pay attention to Moby!)

Next, we dove right into our vertebrates book that comes from my handy dandy  Vertebrates Unit.

I've used these books for a few years now.

Each page is dedicated to a different animal group and  explains in kid friendly language important characteristics of each group of vertebrates. We focus on skin type, how their babies are born, whether they are warm blooded or cold blooded, where their primary habitats are located, and how they breathe.

Take a peak at some of our learning!

Isn't that penguin simply ADORABLE!

Turtles laying their eggs in the sand.

The frogs sticky tongue at work...

Take a look at that live baby in it's mother's belly, and the platypus laying eggs. 

The platypus was a REAL SHOCKER for my class! How could a mammal lay eggs?
This was another great example of "the exception to the rule" that we've spoken about a few times this year. 

We also created a graphic organizer to help us compare and contrast different animals.

One thing that I am VERY DISAPPOINTED about, is that we were NOT able to get to complete our Animal Craftivity project. With our state testing right around the corner we've had to make some sacrifices... (Sigh.... I'm hoping to get back to these towards the end of the year once testing has concluded... YAY!!!!)

Click the picture to download instructions for this FREEBIE!

This project is so much FUN for the kiddos, a GREAT way for them to show all the knowledge they've gained, PERFECT for those tactile/ visual learners, and an EXCELLENT assessment tool.

Patterns included

If you'd like to read more about this resource, click here Also, if you'd like to download a FREE copy, click on any of the pictures.

I hope you've enjoyed a sneak peek into our classroom!

Teachers are Super Heroes SALE

Happy Wednesday, friends! In case you haven't heard the news, Teachers Pay Teachers is celebrating Super Heroes... Super Hero Teachers that is!

Isn't that kinda neat? I guess I never thought of myself as a Super Hero... But you know what, I think they're right! We teachers do have to move at the speed of light (in order to cover all of the material before testing), we do have super sonic hearing (you know you can hear the student that's talking at the end of the line), and we do have to jump over enormous buildings (otherwise known as piles of paperwork)... so, friends, repeat after me...


Now that we've got that cleared up, why don't you grab your super hero cape and fly on over to TPT to take advantage of their Super Savings? For the next two days (Feb. 25th and 26th), EVERYTHING in my store will be 20% off, and if you enter the promo code HEROES you will receive an additional 10%.

In case you're looking for a few suggestions, here are a few of my BEST SELLERS:

This resource is GREAT for teaching the students all about the Distributive Property of Multiplication. This concept is very tricky and difficult for students to understand. With this resource your kiddos can pretend they're doctors performing surgery on arrays in order to grasp a better understanding of this property! Check out the reviews to see how it's helped many teachers in their own classrooms.

My unit on Energy has 58 pages of science GOODNESS to help your students understand the concept. This packet includes 5 flap books, 6 different experiments that include pictures, vocab. sheets, flash cards, vocab. picture cards, a test, writing connections, etc... click on the picture above to see if its what you're looking for.

This Intro. to Science resource has everything you need to introduce science and experimenting to your kiddos. This is fabulous to use at the beginning of the year, but many teachers have told me it's been great throughout the year as well. What's unique about this resource is that it also teaches the students about the different tools that scientists use while conducting experiments. It provides them with HANDS ON PRACTICE using each tool. Click the picture above to take a closer look.

I hope you've found my recommendations helpful! Now go have yourself some FUN shopping the Super Savings!!!!

The Day I’ll Never Forget…


Thursday, December 11th, is a day I’ll never forget… it is the day that CARPE DIEM became real to me!

Up until this moment, I used the term frivolously… this day, however, it took on a whole new meaning!

The morning of December 11th, 2014 started out with tears of joy as my family of four celebrated our son’s 13th birthday. It was a BIG deal for Ryan, and an even bigger deal for his dad and I!

I remember sitting in my son’s room in awe at the boy young man that now stood before me trying to wrap my head around how fast the years had flown by.


Within moments of celebrating his birthday, we began our usual hustle and bustle routine of getting ready for the school and work day. Things are always chaotic in the morning and this day was no different…

A few minutes later, I kissed my husband and the kids goodbye and off they went to school and work… just as every other day…Stone.But this was not every other day…

In front of the kid’s school that morning was a fatality accident that resulted in the school’s entrances to be roped off by police. Nonetheless, drop off took longer than ever…

I remember praying for the family of those involved in the accident. I also remember mentioning to a friend how ironic it was that that morning I had just celebrated by son’s birthday while someone else was mourning the death of a loved one. It was unreal!

an emergency room entrance at a city hospital.About an hour later, I received a phone call that rocked me to my core… My husband’s colleague was calling to let me know that my husband was having a HEART ATTACK and that they were waiting for rescue to arrive on the scene.

Within seconds I called the main office,  notified the teacher next door, my coverage arrived, and I raced out the door still NOT knowing what hospital my husband was being taken to. All I knew was that I had to get THERE (wherever there might be)!

Luckily before I reached the parking lot, I received another call telling me where my husband was going…

On my way to the hospital I prayed and I kept replaying the events from that morning in my head. I remember what my husband was wearing, what he looked like, what he sounded like on the phone…

I was in disbelief! It felt like a dream…

I had spoken to him just a few minutes ago… how could he have had a heart attack… he was feeling fine?

Medical Team Working On Patient In Emergency RoomWhen I saw EMT’s wheeling him into the ER and a group of about 20 people whisk him into a small room everything became real to me… ALL TO REAL!

The next few hours seemed to last an ETERNITY! I felt as if TIME was playing a trick on me. Why was it moving so slowly?

Two words kept creeping into my head…



Why didn’t I hug him and the kids a little longer that morning? Why were our mornings always so rushed? Why was life passing us by so quickly without us even realizing it? So many thoughts passed through my mind…

My family was extremely lucky BLESSED … because 2 days later we were able to leave the hospital with a MAJOR scare behind us, two life saving stents placed in an artery, and a bunch of medications in hand… but NONE of that mattered… what mattered was that my FAMILY of FOUR was driving home TOGETHER!

We were complete again :0)


Leaving the hospital that day the palm trees seemed greener and the skies bluer.

ALL was right in the world!

… I’m not the type of person that likes to give others advice, but I will this one time! STOP RIGHT NOW and take a moment … look around you… hug and love those around you…

Enjoy Every Moment Of Life Concept


A Few of My Favorite Things Blog Hop!

Because we value our followers and wanted to treat you to our favorite things Oprah style, we have put together the best giveaway of the season! My bloggy friends and I welcome you to the best, biggest, most cheerful event of the season:

7 winners for 7 prize packs!

Aren’t you EXCITED now… I know I am! I would LOVE for one of my loyal followers to be a winner of one of those FABULOUS Prize Packs :0)
So let’s get started… What are a few of MY favorite things?

My Favorite Store
Kirkland’s Home has got to be my favorite store at the moment! Not only is this place great to find bargains to decorate your house with, but it is also a great place to find seasonal and gift items. Take a look at a few gems I found just the other day that would be great gifts for teachers, loved ones, and even the jokester in your life.
(Check out the toilet paper holder… LOL!!!!!)

My Favorite Beauty Item
Urban Decay has 2 of my most beloved beauty essential items! First up is their All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. This product is a must have if you have oily skin like me and have a hard time keeping the shine off your face. For me it’s exceptionally hard since I live in the Sunshine State wear 80 and 90 degree weather is the norm for DECEBER! (Yup, I am still walking around in shorts, tank top, and flip flops over here.)
I use this spray daily and have found that it greatly reduces that shiny look from my face. Another plus is that I have HIGHLY SENSITIVE SKIN and have not had a single issue with this product. This would make a fabulous stocking stuffer.
Also, I cannot live without their Naked Eye shadow Palette that includes 12 of the most flattering shades I have found. This is my daily go to eye shadow palette because it has everything I need for a daily time or night time look. When I travel, it’s the only shadow I take… Another wonderful gift idea!
ABM_1417830393 (1)

My Favorite Restaurant
Cold Stone Creamery is a favorite around my house! I know it’s technically NOT a restaurant, but the truth is we have had ice cream for dinner before so I’ll go ahead and slip it in here as a favorite.
A gift certificate to Cold Stone would also be a GREAT stocking stuffer or teacher gift!

My Favorite Teaching Item
I don’t know how teachers manage to stay organized in the classroom without a set of clearly labeled and organized work bins to store copies or their daily essentials.
Learning in Wonderland designed these ADORABLE labels and they have been a life saver. I store all of my copies for the week in the drawers labeled with the days of the week and the bin on the left houses my daily essentials such as copy paper, folders, sheet protectors, etc… These 2 beautifully organized towers make me smile!
My Favorite Holiday Activity
Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year! There’s something about the smell of pine trees and cinnamon that I find soothing. So it’s probably no surprise that my favorite holiday activity is setting up the house for Christmas with my family…
… and out of all of my ornaments, this drummer boy is one of my favs. It was a Christmas gift a few years ago from one of my students and I absolutely LOVE it.
Cute and adorable ornaments is another fabulous gift idea!
christmas trees
Don’t forget….gift card pic
and ALL the other prizes included in each of the 7 Prize Packs!
I’ve also reduced the following products in my TPT store by 50%…
Come and enter the giveaway and check out my bloggy friends' favorite things.
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