Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Unthinkable

As soon as I heard the news my heart began to ache...

It continues and will until our country treats each other with more respect and less drama.

I cannot teach a child all the morals that a parent does.  I can only be a model and hope that they remember.

Prayers for our entire nation...

The Zookeeper

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ancient Mali???

Ancient Mali

I bet some of you are wondering how to pronounce that... It's "Molly".  Here in Virginia we have Standards of Learning. One of them is to study Ancient Mali.

Mali is in Africa.  It was ruled by kings.  We compare and contrast it to Ancient Greece and Rome.

I added to my TN and TpT stores my study guide and vocabulary power point.

Here is a peek...
The Study Guide...
Vocabulary Power Point...

There are 34 slides for students to practice reading these words.  It is also a great opportunity to review the meanings of the words.  It's hard to find material on Mali. I hope this helps and is a great addition to your Mali Unit! :)
The Zookeeper

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ancient Rome...

It's that time of year again. The leaves are falling, the weather is getting cooler, the days shorter, and ancient Rome...  (Say, WHAT?)

In Virginia we have the Standards of Learning. (Not sure why we haven't adopted Common Core????)  Anywhoo, one of our SOLs (Yes, go ahead and make fun of that. We do.) is ancient Rome.

Yep, in third grade...where they can't even remember a city from a continent.   (Love their little hearts!)


When we start a new unit for science or social studies, we hand out a study guide of basic information that the kids will need to learn for that unit.  Each night part of their homework is to review the study guide.

Here is a pic of my ancient Rome study guide.

My parents LOVE the study guides.  It gives them  a really good idea of what their child is responsible to learn.  

If you would like this study  guide or the others that I have created, please stop by my store at TpT or TN.  I would love to know what you think!

Have a fabulous Sunday!
The Zookeeper

Ready, Set, GO!!

Greetings from the ZOO!!!

It has felt like a zoo this week. We have been learning about simple machines.  The kids always LOVE this unit.

They had a project to make a vehicle to race against their classmates and all of third grade.  It always amazes me at what they come up with.

Well, my monkey #2 is also in third grade with me this year.  He teacher is one of my great friends.  When she told them of this assignment, he came home SOOOOO excited.  (Me, not so much!  Haha...)

He said, "Mom, I'm building a TANK!"  I was thrilled at his creativity.  Here are pictures of the finished project. :)

His tank was a little bigger than the racing lanes, but hey... it actually went the farthest distance! He was so excited and proud. 

(Shh... so was I.)

I helped him hot glue, but other than that, he did it. :)

What kinds of projects do you do for simple machines??

The Zookeeper

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Abbreviations Sorting

Here is another sorting packet.  This one is bigger than the other two.  There are sooooo many abbreviations out there. I know I haven't included them all, BUT I did get a bunch of them. The packet contains 154 words/abbreviations! Wow!

Here is a sneak peek!

Included are the days of the week, months of the year, cardinal directions, and other common abbreviations.

Since this packet is bigger than the other ones, I decided to price it at $3.00. (That's still a great deal!)  You can find it here at my TpT store or here at my TN store.

I'm working on a Long Vowel Sorting packet.  Keep coming back to see its progress. :)
The Zookeeper

Compound Words Sorting

I'm on a sorting kick!  I have created another sorting packet.  This one is on Compound Words.

Here is a sneak peek!

I want to make sure I have some things that I can use for Word Work when we get ready to add that station.

You can get this eight page packet by visiting my TpT store here or my Teacher's Notebook store here.  It's only $2.00!! :)

Thanks for stopping by!!

The Zookeeper

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Short Vowel Review...

We are approaching the end of the first six weeks.  (Wow, time FLIES...)

So far most of my third graders have worked well with our spelling and now we are at REVIEW time.  We will be reviewing short vowel sounds. I decided I would create a "Cut and Sort" activity for my monkeys.  

We use Open Court materials for reading and spelling.  The first unit focuses on Friendship and short vowel sounds review for spelling.

The green cards are the labels for sorting.

There are 50 words in all to sort.

The recording page lets kids write down their sorts.  This helps with brain retention.

I like to have certain students do this activity with me in small group.  It gives me an idea of who has really mastered short vowels and who needs more practice.

If you would like this activity, please click here to go to my TpT store.  It's only $2.00!!!

I hope you are having a fabulous day!  What kinds of things do you do for review of short vowel sounds?  I'd love to have more ideas!

The Zookeeper

Friday, September 7, 2012

Open House Week on TBA

If you haven't checked out Teaching Blog Addicts' Open House, then get on over there!!!

I'm linked up with some other FABULOUS blogs!

Open House Week

Enjoy the ADDICTION!! :)
The Zookeeper

Monday, September 3, 2012

Homework Sheets

Communication with parents is a MUST!  One thing I make sure to send home each week is a homework sheet.

It looks like this...

I always include my email address, website address, vocabulary words, spelling words, and upcoming events.  This way parents are informed about what homework their child has for that day.  Some teachers include a parent initial box for each day.  I don't do this in third grade.  I want to make sure that kids are starting to be responsible for their own work, but it is easy enough to add if you wish.

I keep my files according to weeks on a jump drive (flash drive) and a back up copy on my hard drive.  This saves me time the following year.  I already have the vocabulary and spelling on the homework sheet, I just have to change the dates and notes. It has become a time saver!!

I always get great compliments because of my homework sheet.

If you'd like an editable version of my homework sheet, click here.  It is FREE at my TpT store.  Check out my other great products there, too!

Now, back to the zoo!!
The Zookeeper

Sunday, September 2, 2012

OPEN HOUSE & A Little Organization...


It's here. That fabulous time when you get to connect with new (and some old) parents and children.  You are excited to see your new little monkeys and they are delighted to see you.  (Well, most of them are.)  It is a great time to build that bridge from school to home.

My best advice...put a SMILE on your face and KEEP IT THERE!!!  No matter what is said or done.  Just be HAPPY that you are back with your new zoo recruits.

You should know by now that parents can usually tell if someone is going to be interested in their child or interested in a paycheck.  So, be prepared and look happy.


Over the years there have been a few things that parents always like about my classroom and management.  One is that I have a website where information is easily accessible.  You can check it out here. Let me know what you think!

The other is keeping them informed by giving them a hands on copy of information.  One thing that I make sure I do is give them a copy of our daily schedule at OPEN HOUSE (or whatever you call your first get together with parents).  I try my BEST to fit this on ONE sheet.  I give them a color copy to put on their 'fridge.

Parents are thankful because they can easily see when we have specialty and lunch.  It can also be a great help when determining a doctor or dentist appointment.

Parents often remark about how organized I am.  I know that my schedule has to be outside my classroom door for administrators, so this isn't any extra work for me.  I just print it out for parents, too.

You can download my schedule here at my TpT store.  It is in Word form so that it is editable to suit your needs.

I hope that it helps!  It can tame some of the zoo atmosphere! ;)

The Zookeeper

Something Screwy is Going On...

Gosh... I feel soooo bad!  Something is wrong with my computer and that is why I have been absent from the blogging world!


This is crazy!  I think when my son-a-saurus downloaded a game my computer went all screwy!!!  I sure hope that I can keep whatever it is at bay long enough to catch up on some posts!

We have been in school now since August 8th.  Yes, that's right, AUGUST 8TH!!  But, that's okay.  My new group is shaping up.  They are sweet as can be and are working hard to impress me! So, I will try to do the same!  (I have to keep reminding myself that I am training them.  They don't know my "way" of doing things and they aren't the group that I sent on in May. But, they will get there... SO, KEEP chugging along!)

I hope you are having a GREAT start to the new school year!!  :)

(And computer...please, please, please let me back in to do another post!)
The Zookeeper

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Hello All!
I hope you are enjoying your summer!

I've been trying to figure out graphics and frames.  I somehow think I have the ability to do such things.  I could be wrong!!!

I created the following frames for your use.  You may use them for your classroom needs or to create materials to sell on TpT or Teacher's Notebook.  So, that means for personal or commercial use.  Yay!

There is also a red one and a white one. :)  Click here to get them at my TpT store.

I also decided to go ahead and add the pastel flash frames.

You can find these here at my TpT store for FREE, too.

Let me know if the frames do not work. Keep in mind that I am a rookie!

I'd love to hear how they work for you and what you have created!!
The Zookeeper

Friday, July 20, 2012

Soil Part 1

Let's get DIRTY!!!

I mean the studying of SOIL!! (Gosh, have you been reading 50 Shades of Gray? LOL.)

So, I've been revamping my unit on soil and I wanted to share the first thing I have completed.  We love to use music to help children remember things.  Our team uses the following song.  I wanted to make it a great visual for students too.  I can also put it in our "Read to Self" library.

Here is a pic of the finished product.  You can find the download here at my TpT store.

***Please note I did NOT write this song!  I wish I knew who did so that I could give them credit!!  If you recognize this as yours, let me know and I will sing your praises!

More goodies to follow. Have a GREAT day!!
The Zookeeper

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I've Been Working on the...

(In my BEST singing voice- which may sound a little like nails on a chalkboard.)

"I've been working on the railroad classroom,
all the live long day!!!
I've been working on the railroad classroom,
just to pass the summer away...
Can't you hear my whistle duck call quacking?
Rise up so early before noon;
Don't you hear the teacher shouting,
"Johnny, you better change your tune!"

Hahaha... you know I'm kidding! That last line was a hard one! So I went with being witty. ;)

(I apologize for getting that tune stuck in your brain.)

The line about the duck call is right!  With my new obsession of Duck Dynasty I have purchased a duck call. A Teal one to be exact.  Found it on sale at Walmart and danced with glee right there in the store.  I can't wait to call the kiddos to the carpet with this baby!! Can you say, "creative"?
If you haven't watched the show. I recommend it. HILARIOUS and good family values!


I've worked some today. I feel so stupid productive!  It's a Sunday and Summer Vacation! What??? 

Well, it's one of my favorite things to do... laminate.  But, before I could do that I had to make and fix some cute little posters for my classroom!  The laminating made it all worth it!

So here are some pics of today's progress.  Just a few.  I have more cutting out to do...

 This will go outside my room above my door with Horton the elephant before the word Horton.
 Rules :)

I LOVE this one. If you haven't tried this one. DO IT!! The kids especially love it.  All I have to do sometimes is say, "Keep your dear teacher..." with one of those teacherly looks we have. :)

So, are you crazy like me and have started working on your room?  
(Honestly, who are we kidding? We've NEVER stopped!)

Let me know what your theme will be. Mine is owls (and ducks) in the woodland habitat! 

Quack, quack! Whoooo, whoooo!!
The Zookeeper