Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Tropical Tuesday

I came back from my vacation on a tropical island and really struggled to let go of the relaxed atmosphere. It was hard to say good-bye to the beach towels, tropical music, and don’t even get me started on the coconut and pineapple. I decided to bring that tropical feel to my classroom every Tuesday with Tropical Tuesday. I give my students permission to bring beach towels (or any towel) and sunglasses if they have them. I also provide towels, (I asked friends and colleagues for donations from their used beach and pool towels) and a couple of beach chairs.
On Tropical Tuesday, the students spread towels all over the room to work on, some wear sunglasses, we play relaxing beach music, and eat tropical snacks. We try food such as dried coconut, plantain chips, and pineapple. We even eat goldfish and mini Mounds candy bars. The students love the change of pace and I enjoy living the island life.

Ann Marie

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Aquarium Filler

I had an empty fish aquarium but didn’t want the hassle of keeping fish, so each week I’d pick a different animal to feature in the aquarium. And by animal I mean a stuffed animal or some other kind of toy. For example, I might put a plastic hermit crab inside. Then I’d add things you’d find in a hermit crab’s habitat: a sandy background (printed and taped to the back of the tank), empty shells, a water supply and maybe even some small pebbles. Outside of the aquarium I’d set up a basket full of books all about hermit crabs. With the exception of some great literature, I try to stick with nonfiction but it depends on my class and their unique interests. No matter what, they consistently love books that tell about wild animals or how to take care of pets (like hermit crabs). If changing your animal each week feels too overwhelming then change once or twice a month. You can turn your aquarium into a center and incorporate themed writing, math or science ideas too.