Thursday, March 31, 2016

Eagle Cams!

Raise your hand if you and your class love to watch the eagle cams! I do, I do! My classes and I have been enjoying the eagle cams for the last 6 years! I started out watching them when I was with my first kindergarten class. 

There are so many benefits to watching the cams. My class has loved learning about the life cycle of the eagle. The children have learned compassion for animals. We have cried when an eaglet or adult eagle has passed away. We have discussed the weather surrounding the nests including why the Florida eagles lay their eggs earlier than the eagles who live in northern states. We have seen feedings with different animals, watched a mouse run around a nest, and even seen a video of a bear going up in an empty eagle nest to take a nap. We have learned about the laws surrounding the eagles and that young eagles are often mistaken for other types of birds. The children are fascinated. I am fascinated. It is one of my favorite activities to share with my students each day.

I usually start my eagle watching with one of the Florida cams. These eggs hatch around Christmas time each year. Then we move on to other cams where these babies come just in time for Easter. Most of the time there are only two eggs, but occasionally we are treated to three!

There are eagle nests everywhere! If you would like to watch the cams with your class here is a wonderful list. If you know of one that is not listed please let me know and I will add it.

United States












New Jersey

North Carolina






Washington, D.C.

West Virginia



Please note that there are a number of cams across the United States that are currently offline and therefore have not been included on this list. In addition, if you are having trouble with any of the cams listed above try switching browsers for better results.

If you need some activities to use with your students I have just the thing! My favorite part of this product is the book the children make! They love it! The kids enjoy making it and it really helps to reinforce what we have learned about the eagles. They become eagle experts! Click on the picture below to grab this product for your classroom!

Eagle Clipart by Poppydreamz Digital Art

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Leprechaun Traps for St. Patricks Day

My class has been busy making Leprechaun Traps! I have to admit that we had a blast coming up with ideas and designing our traps. Our school's art teacher even came to help out and was having so much fun she didn't want to leave when it was time for her next class! 

Not only did my kiddos create traps, but they also had to write about why their trap was the best. I teach a combo class this year of 1st and 2nd graders so we are having a writing contest. There will be a winner from each grade for the best and most creative writing. The two winners will receive a chocolate Easter bunny on St. Patrick's Day when I announce it! If you would like to use our special writing paper when your class makes Leprechaun Traps you will find that FREEBIE down below!

Here are the pictures of each trap my kids made. Which ones do you think could catch a leprechaun?

Here is a video of what that Leprechaun did to our traps!!! At least he left us chocolate gold coins!

Here is the video of the children discovering their traps in the morning.

Click on the picture below to grab the writing paper FREEBIE!!!
(It comes it two differnent forms. One for your beginning writers and one for your older writers)


Monday, March 7, 2016

Spill the Beans

Want to play Spill the Beans? This is a very popular game in my classroom! I know it will also become a favorite in yours! 

Here are the directions and everything you need to get started. As shown, by the picture below, you need to purchase some red/white bean counters. These can be found at Amazon and come in a bag of 200.

 Use a sharpie marker to write the letters of the alphabet on the white side of the beans. I used the scrabble game as my guide. 

Here is how many beans you need for each letter. 

A=18, B=4, C=4, D=8, E=24, F=4, G=6, H=4, I=18, J=2, K=2, L=8, M=4, N=12, O=16, P=4, Q=2, R=12, S=8, T=12, U=8, V=4, W=4, X=2, Y=4, Z=2  

(You will have a few beans left over to replace any beans that get lost.)

  The freebie cover comes in a color and a black and white version. Laminate the version of your choice and cut out. Wrap it around a half-size Pringles can and secure with tape. 
(Just a note: Dawn Dish Soap cleans the inside of the Pringles can very well!)

The freebie comes with a recording sheet for your students.

This game can be played with two or more students. Students get a small pile of beans. The children manipulate the beans to create words and record them on their recording sheets. The child who creates the most words wins. For a math center, buy a second set of beans and write math problems on each one.

What I love about this game is that every grade level can play it! Kindergarteners can work on simple word families while older students can create more complex words. Math can be simple addition or complex multiplication. 

I hope you and your students enjoy this game!