Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tulip Poplar Exploration

Eli, Will and I just got back inside from observing the Tulip Poplar out in front of our house.  Here are some pictures and observations from our exploration.

Eli and Will thought the bark made excellent climbing holds!

We took a closer look at the pollen from the trees flower.  We noticed tiny insects running around in the bowl.

We observed a birds nest and a small insect in the grass near the trees trunk.

We dissected the flower.  Will informed us this flower had a lot of "stamens!"

Thomas Jefferson loved the Tulip Poplar, also known as a Yellow Poplar or Tulip Tree.  You can read more about this kind of tree and Thomas Jefferson's garden at Monticello by clicking here.

If you would like to grab your own tree observation journal click here.

We can't wait to find out what kind of tree you observed!


A friend of mine stopped by yesterday and was very interested in one of the trees we have in our front yard. She had never seen a tree such as this one.  It is a Tulip Poplar and there are very few in our area.  Our conversation got me thinking about trees and how fun it would be to learn more about them.  You can use the Journal pages below to observe a tree near your home that you want to learn more about.
Tree Journal

Click here to find out more about how trees grow.

Eli, Will and I are heading out right now to explore our Tulip Poplar using this journal.  We will let you know what we find out soon!

Please share what you discover about a special tree in your yard.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Staying Creative

How do you stay creative during the summer?  I try lots of different ways and while I was exploring some ideas this morning I came across this great Vimeo video about staying creative.  It is called 29 Ways to Stay Creative.  Please watch it and then check out some of the links below to see if they help you stay or become more creative on this rainy, rainy summer day!


Map Maker Interactive
This is a great website for creating maps by National Geographic.  If you create one post the link in the comments section so we can check it out.
Hello World
You can continue your study of Spanish or one of several other languages you are interested in learning on this website.
You can go to this website and make beautiful word clouds, print them out and hang them on your wall.
Art Projects for Kids
The author of this blog has tons of fun art ideas you could try!

Don't forget about all the great websites we have linked to on our classroom webpage!  

Can't wait to hear how you stay creative!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I have been reading a GAZILLION fantastic teaching blogs this summer.  I found this great idea on the Two Can Do It of my new favorites.  It is a reading game similar to BINGO.  If you have brothers or sisters around the house you can team up with one of your parents and your sibling can team up with the other to see which one of you can get a READO first! Let me know how it goes when you play.  Do you think you could get a "blackout?" (fill up all the squares).  How long do you think it might take you?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Nature Scavenger Hunt

My Sons and I have been spending a lot of time in our backyard observing the two young chicks Eli brought home from Kindergarten this spring.  As I was sitting out in the sunshine watching them yesterday I realized there was a lot going on around me!  In that small space I saw a turquoise beetle (yes, turquoise!), beautiful blooming iris, an ant with only 5 legs, a birds nest I hadn't noticed before, shimmering green leaves on my neighbors aspen trees...and then my great idea hit!  Why not see what those sweet little scientists I know can find in their backyards!  And this is how the Nature Scavenger Hunt was born.  Of course, lots of people have created nature scavenger hunts before.  I have gone on many myself.  However, I can't say that I remember being asked to do one while sitting quietly in my backyard.  I hope you try it out and have as much fun as I did.  Please don't forget to share all of the interesting things you find with us.

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Virtual Filed Trip

It is hard for me to believe, but many objects I used as a child are now obsolete.  Obsolete means they are no longer in use!  You can take a virtual field trip to the Museum of Obsolete Objects and see some of these items for yourself.  Curators (the people who take care of the items in a museum) believe that the computer mouse will be obsolete by 2015!

Visit the museum by clicking here. After you visit the museum look through your home to see if you have any of these obsolete objects lying around.  Comment and let us know what you find!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Did you know that zookeepers can learn a lot by observing an animals scat (also known as poop!)? Visit the Who Pooped? website to learn more!  Once your finished giggling and get past the silly noises I think you will be surprised at all the interesting things you will learn about animal scat.  You can always turn the sound off on your computer if your parents find the silly animal noises annoying (wink, wink).

If you take a walk around your yard you might discover some scat.  Maybe there is a camping trip in your future or a hike in the woods.  You can look for and try to identify any animal scat you come across.  A great book to help you identify any scat you find is Tracks, Scats and Signs by Leslie Dendy.  You could check out a copy at the library or purchase a copy at Sunflower Books. 

Don't forget to share what you find!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Boredom Buster!

What better way to start our weekly summer posts than with a Summer Boredom Buster!  I came across this great idea on Pinterest last night.  I changed a few things and added a few more ideas for you to try in case you find yourself uttering these dreaded words, "I'm bored!"  You can download and print a copy to hang on your refrigerator.  Don't forget to comment on the things you try!

Summer Boredom Buster