Saturday, April 30, 2016

Countdown to Scuba Dog- 2 Days Left!

It’s almost here! In only two school days Scuba Dog will make his literary debut. So far, our classes have drawn pictures of the deep sea, made gifts to celebrate friendship and researched whales. Many of our students have made predictions regarding what the story will be about and they’ve slightly changed with each countdown activity. Today is a day I know my kids will enjoy because they will get to use their predictions to help them decide what to draw. Today’s activity: Design a T-shirt! Scuba Dog’s friends are in a 3-dog band. They wear fun t-shirts throughout the book. Design a new t-shirt for one of the band members. Print out the t-shirt pattern or draw your own. Take a picture of your t-shirt and post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (#ScubaDog).
You can find Ann Marie with the following usernames:
Twitter, Instagram and Vine: @AMStephens_
Facebook: Ann Marie Stephens
Pinterest: @AMSdiver

They loved it! Check these out!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Countdown to Scuba Dog- 3 Days Left!

Three days to go and our kids are getting seriously pumped up for Scuba Dog. If you didn’t get a chance to do the activities from Day 5 or Day 4 yet, go see what our classes did! Today’s activity is a great discussion starter and may lead to some independent research projects.

Day 3: Celebrate Whales! While swimming in the ocean, Scuba Dog meets a whale and they become friends. Head to the library and read books about whales. What kind of whale would you like to have as a friend? What would you name him or her? Look at these sites online and adopt your very own whale!

We set up a center full of whale fun! Information sheets, a writing prompt and a place for students to write what they learned from their research.  Did you know that some whales (the ones with baleen) have TWO BLOWHOLES?!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Countdown to Scuba Dog- 4 Days Left!

Only four days left until you get to meet Scuba Dog! Yesterday we had a great time creating our own pictures of life under the sea. (If you missed that activity, be sure to check it out!) Today we’re in for some more fun as we celebrate the joy of friendship. Day 4: Make Gifts for Friends! Despite their differences, Scuba Dog and Whale become the best of friends and give each other gifts. Make friendship pins or necklaces for your friends. For pins, you will need large safety pins and small, colorful beads. For necklaces you will need some type of string and beads with larger holes. When your pins or necklaces are made, surprise your friends with their gifts.

**Beep, beep, beep- breaking news!**

I was totally inspired by this picture today.
Because of that we made friendship BRACELETS! Our classes cheered when they presented each other with their bracelets and even had (unprompted) loud choruses of "Thank you!" afterwards.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Countdown to Scuba Dog- 5 Days Left!

The countdown is on! THERE ARE ONLY FIVE SCHOOL DAYS LEFT BEFORE SCUBA DOG IS RELEASED!! In order to get our classes as excited as we are about the new release, we’ve put together a list of countdown activities! Check back each school day until May 3rd for a fun, new activity. For today: Take a Trip Under the Ocean! After Scuba Dog gets his SCUBA certification, he spends a lot of time deep in the ocean. What do you think it looks like down there? Make a picture with crayons, markers, or watercolor paints. Hang your picture in the classroom or at home. Purchase a bottle of bubbles from the dollar store. Blow bubbles in front of your picture as you show your family and friends your creation. Take a picture and post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (#ScubaDog).
You can find Ann Marie with the following usernames:
Twitter, Instagram and Vine: @AMStephens_
Facebook: Ann Marie Stephens
Pinterest: @AMSdiver

My heart melted when I realized this was Scuba Dog and the whale!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Here Comes Scuba Dog!

I'm thrilled to share that Ann Marie's book SCUBA DOG will be here May 3rd! To celebrate, we’ve put together a 5-day countdown. Since we're planners, we thought we'd share our list ahead of time in case you'd like to join in on any of the activities. We will start on Wednesday, April 27th! We hope you will dive in with us! Make sure to post your pictures on social media with #ScubaDog so we can see them! 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Virtual Class Pet

When I was in school I LOVED having class pets. My favorite year was fifth grade, when we had bunnies and black corn snakes. When I became a teacher, however, I couldn’t even begin to understand how other teachers could actually manage to keep a pet alive and healthy in a classroom full of wild animals students. Who feeds it? Can it survive in school over the weekends? What about spring break? What happens if we have unplanned snow days and I can’t get into the school? What if it starts making noise during a test or if it, God forbid, DIES?! I get heart palpitations just thinking about it.

Instead, I came up with a new idea to satisfy my students’ desires for a class pet. A virtual class pet!

We can check in on it every day, we can write stories about it and draw pictures of it doing silly things without any of the worries that accompany live class pets. (Did I mention my overwhelming fear of it dying in class?) Because of the fact that the animal doesn’t need to be in my classroom, my students have class pets much more exciting than a goldfish. We’ve had pandas, penguins, sharks and gorillas. This year we’ve even watched a pair of local bald eagles take care of their babies before and after they hatched!

We’re learning about things like animal habitats and conservation efforts and I don’t have any of the stress that comes with having real class pets. Have you ever had a virtual pet? What did you do with yours?