Since we are learning about the rainforest we invited Educazoo to come to our school last week. Our animator was named Mesissa and she brought 7 different animals for us to learn more about and see up close. She brought a tree frog, a crested gecko, a chameleon, 2 short tailed opossums, a python, a hedgehog, and a ferret.  The animals that we might find in a rainforest would be the tree frog, the gecko, the opossum and the chameleon.  These animals need moisture.

It was an awesome experience to see these animals up close and to actually hold and touch them.

Some things we learned and liked:
*The tree frog and chameleon don’t have eye lids. They use their tongues to lick their eyes.
*The tree frog has sticky feet that help him climb and walk.
*The chameleon only changes color to show emotion. When he is angry he turns orange.
*The opossum is from the kangaroo family. She has two spots on her tummy that her babies will stick to and that’s how she carries them. The opossum doesn’t sleep hanging upside down.
*The hedgehog sleeps curled up in a ball to protect herself.
*The ferret is from the skunk family.

The gecko jumped on Andy’s stomach.  He didn’t like it when it happened but after he thought it was funny.

Leo liked having the python around his neck.  He said it felt cold.  The python is cold blooded.

Many of the children liked that some of the animals peed and pooped a few times.  Melissa quickly cleaned up any messes.

Zephanie liked watching the ferret do the tricks.

Olivier liked learning about the chameleon and how he only changes color to show emotion.

Talyssa liked watching the ferret do all three tricks.  He stood up, he jumped through a hoop and he rolled over.  She thought he was funny.

Kayliya liked all the animals and liked how Melissa taught us all about the animals.

James liked having the python on his arms.

Cassandra liked learning about the many places that the animals were from.

Lia liked all the names the animals had.  Telus was the tree frog.  Mr. Frisou was the crested gecko.  Albert was the chameleon.  Prince was the python.  Bulle was the hedgehog and Zoe was the ferret.

 I hope all our parents and blogging friends enjoyed watching our video.

What animal did you enjoy seeing the most?


One of our first read alouds this year was Peter Reynolds story ISH. It is a story about a little boy named Ramon who loves to draw “anytime, anything anywhere”.   When his older brother laughs at his drawings and tells Ramon that his flower doesn’t look like a flower Ramon crumples up all his drawings.  When he finds that his little sister has been recovering all his drawings and putting them up on her bedroom wall he asks her why she would want pictures that don’t look right.  She tells him that his flower looks flower-ish, his tree looks tree-ish, his animals look animal-ish.  From then on Ramon looks at his creative endeavors differently.  In class we talk about our work being – ish, too.

Last week I read aloud Brian Wildsmiths awesome Squirrels book the other day.  The illustrations are beautiful watercolors.  The book tells about different squirrel facts.  The children loved it.  After reading the story we brainstormed facts about squirrels.  The next day in art we used this book for ideas on how to draw squirrels.  At first, I thought drawing squirrels might be a bit challenging for second graders but I was mistaken.  Check out our slideshow to see all our beautiful squirrels- ish drawings.

We loved his illustrations and learned a lot about squirrels.

Squirrel Facts on PhotoPeach


Can you add anything else to our facts about squirrels?

Introducing Our Class Mascot, Jake

I’d like to introduce the newest member to our classroom. His name is Jake and he is a chocolate lab. We will take turns taking him home and playing with him. He will come home in a bag with a “Martha Speaks” story and an information book about dogs. Who knows maybe he is a dog like Martha and will speak to you at your house. Also included in the bag is a tangram game that you can play with Jake. Finally, there is a journal for you to write about what you did with Jake. I know Jake can’t wait to come to your house.jake's journaljake

Martha Speaks

Do you watch PBS Kids? This is a public television channel that has lots of great shows for kids. It is a great channel for all my students to tune into to help them with their English. One new addition to their programming is Martha Speaks. I fell in love with Susan Meddaugh stories a few years ago and have a collection. Martha is a talking dog and has many adventures with her ability to speak. Check out the Martha Speaks site on the internet. There are videos and games to play. martha

I added “Martha” to our list of links on the right.

Plasticine Art Projects

Grade One loves Barbara Reids stories and her illustrations. She uses plasticine to make her pictures. We tried this art form and chose animals to create. We are also learning how to use adjectives to make our writing more descriptive. Adjectives are words like red, blue, green, striped, spotted, shiny or soft, etc. Check out our work. What do you think?

Check out Mrs. McGeady’s Class’ Adjective Monsters on a Voicethread. They are amazing. Just click on Mrs. McGeady’s name and it will take you to her blog. They are in Australia.

Plasticine Animal Art from Mary Ellen Lynch on Vimeo.

Grade One Animal Projects

We read books about animals. Then we brainstormed names of animals that we would like to learn more about. We rated which animals we would most like to do a report on and then our teacher paired us up. Books went home the first week and parents were asked to read them to the kids. Questions to answer also went home. In class students wrote in the their journal why they chose their animal. Each day we chose a different question to answer in our journal. Students worked with their partners. Where does your animal live? What does your animal eat? What does your animal look like? Finally, what interesting facts do you know about your animal? After we answered these questions we chose a poster board and started copying information to go on our poster. We collected pictures of our animals. Then we made a plan of how we wanted to set up our poster with the title, pictures and written information. As you can see from this video it was a successful project. Thanks to all the parents for their help. The kids learned lots of information about animals and they were very keen to share it. What do you think?

Animal Projects from Mary Ellen Lynch on Vimeo.

We Begin Our Animal Projects

Today we met with partners to begin our animal projects. We wrote a rough draft in our science journals on what our animal looked like. We are working on Owls, Wolves, Snakes, Rabbits, Bears, Sharks, Whales, Fish and Birds.

Our Visit from Educazoo

Yesterday Educazoo came to our school. Isabelle brought many animals. It was so much fun to see and touch the animals. We saw a box turtle, a soft chinchilla, a corn snake, a blue-tongued skink (a lizard), a flying green tree frog, a dancing ferret, and a baby chameleon. Catherine loved all the animals. Victoria thought Isabelle was really nice. Branden liked the box turtle. Hunter liked when he got to pet the chinchilla. It was so soft. Anthony liked when the ferret did the belly dance. It was so funny. William liked touching the chinchilla, too. Thomas liked having the snake around his neck. Tyler liked the turtle.

We learned a lot about the animals, too. Did you know that a chameleon only has 4 colors? If blue is not one of its colors when he is on something blue he won’t turn blue. The flying green tree frog uses its green color as camouflage to help it stay safe. It is nocturnal. This means that he sleeps during the day and is active at night.

Enjoy watching our video.

Untitled from Mary Ellen Lynch on Vimeo.