Saturday, May 26, 2012

Texas Cliche

Ever been to Texas? What's the first animal you associate with my home state? Umm, besides the longhorn--something much smaller. 

Mountain lion? 
Although all 3 of these lovely animals can be found where I live in Central Texas, the critter I'm thinking of is pretty much harmless.

Anybody guess this little guy?

Even though I've lived in Texas my entire life, the only armadillos I ever saw growing up were on the side of the road.  
UPSIDE.   DOWN.            NOT.   MOVING.  
You know, like this:
The picture of the dead armadillo I almost used was just too much;
I decided to rotate the pic and let you use your imagination!

We call them Texas speed bumps. So I find it extremely weird that I've recently had 2 encounters with armadillos in my back yard
The first one happened about a month ago when I went outside to bring my dogs in from their pen. Every night I do this without incident, but this time I walked through the gate and almost stepped on a DEAD armadillo! On his back, claws up and everything! To make matters worse, just a couple feet away was another one! I'm not gonna lie, I let out a little scream. And then I looked at my dogs and they just smiled, like this:


Fast forward to incident #2: Yesterday morning I was putting the dogs back outside for the day. We have a routine--on my command they go into the pen and then I follow with their food. They've been trained to wait until I give them the sign to eat. Can you tell that we are big "Dog Whisperer" fans at my house?

Anyway, they go inside the pen and start running around sniffing and acting all crazy until Butterball darts out with an armadillo in her mouth. And then I forget everything I've learned from Cesar Milan about being calm and start running around yelling for them to drop it and come back inside the pen to eat. And then they DO come in the pen and drop the very much alive armadillo right by my feet! Ewww--I continue screaming and running around and believe it or not, this worked because the armadillo shuffled right out of the pen! Hopefully he is smart enough to stay away from the crazy screaming lady and her dogs next time.

All in all, it was a very exciting start to the last day of school for me! The rest of the day was spent scanning books for my yearly library inventory, which is the exact opposite of exciting. One good thing about doing inventory is that I am reminded of all the fabulous books in the library, so I'd like to leave you with a great read-aloud recommendation:

"Armadilly Chili" (by one of my favorite children's authors, Helen Ketteman) is a Texas-style adaptation of "The Little Red Hen".  Go out and get yourself a copy if you don't already have one! And if you ever want to see a real, live armadillo, stop by my back yard. Sam and Butterball would be happy to find one for you!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Some are hairy and fat!

Isn't that a great sentence? Are you wondering what this first-grader is describing? (Think academics, people, not how some of us feel at the start of swimsuit season...)

This little gem came from a student in Reagan's class. Earlier in the week she graciously allowed me to be a guest classroom teacher and try out my newest TpT unit on her students. (I have to say--it was fun to step out of my librarian shoes and go back to where I started my teaching career in a first grade classroom!) 

The first thing we did was to read this great caterpillar book about friendship:
This is not a new book, but back when I was a classroom teacher I always read it to my kids and they loved it!

Next we did an activity that had us thinking about fact and fiction, caterpillar style:

Then the kids got to work writing down caterpillar facts...
lots of facts, which explains the "fat and hairy" sentence, right?!

And finally, the facts were linked together to create adorable Caterpillar Datapillars! 

This Datapillar lesson plus more activities are available here at my TpT store. And although I highly recommend getting the book Charlie the Caterpillar by Dom De Luise, many of the activities in this unit can be adapted to other caterpillar/butterfly picture books.

Well friends, after a long day helping at my school's Field Day, I am signing off. I will leave you with one fact of my own, though:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cooking Up Some Fun in the Library!

Look who's ba-ack!

Hooray--Chef Reid Moore is visiting our library this whole week! He brought a fun book called Pete's a Pizza (an oldie, but a goodie) by William Steig to share with the younger grades and an exciting pizza-themed game to review library skills for the older students.

After hearing the story Pete's a Pizza, one lucky kid gets turned into a pizza!

Older students play a pizza game that reviews library skills...

Chef Reid Moore is having a blast this week, and has even managed to squeeze in some exercise running around the library. (He doesn't mind--he said he's been meaning to lose some weight anyway!) His last day will be Friday, and although the kids may be sad to see him go, he is leaving some pizza-scented bookmarks to remind them that books are YUMMY!

It's dinner time, so I'll end this post here. Besides, I'm suddenly hungry for pizza!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lots of Firsts!

This is a post about firsts: my first TpT sale in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, my first Currently, and a favorite first grade teacher. First thing's first (pun intended--hee hee), the big TpT sale:
Since this is my very first time to participate, everything in my store will be on sale! OK, being new to TpT I only have one item in my store other than a freebie, but still, a sale's a sale, right? Puppy Palooza is the item you need to get during this massive sale. Check it out at my store here.

And here's my first Currently, thanks to Farley from Oh Boy Fourth Grade:

And finally, a picture of me with my favorite first grade teacher blogger friend, Reagan from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits. This was taken last week during her library lesson. As usual, I made her wear a silly hat!

Happy weekend everybody, and remember that the first day of summer is right around the corner!