Spotlight on Clara Barton the Humanitarian

25696090-1DD8-B71C-07D19277C1863E5COriginal Clara Barton was born on Christmas Day in 1821. Her birthplace was in Oxford Massachusetts. She grew up as the youngest of five children. She was fortunate enough to be taught how to read and write by her older brothers. Growing up on a farm, she had many chores such as chopping wood, milking cows and cleaning barn stalls.

Clara was a humanitarian who helped many throughout her life. Compassion for those who were suffering drove her to do big things. She began by organzing supply donations to the battlefields of the Civil War. She loaded wagons and delivered many supplies herself to the dangerous frontline.  Clara also served as a nurse, aiding wounded soldiers.

While providing aid in France, Clara learned of a humanitarian organization called the Red Cross. The Red Cross provided relief to those who were hurt or were otherwise in distress. Starting the Red Cross in the United States became a mission for Clara. It took her 4 years of lobbying in Washington, but she finally started the American Red Cross in 1881. She served as their president before resigning at the age of 82 years old.       Clara_Barton_by_Mathew_Brady_1865 You can find my Clara Barton biography mini unit HERE


Black History spotlight on Bessie Coleman

Bessie_Coleman,_First_African_American_Pilot_-_GPN-2004-00027    Bessie Coleman was born in the state of Texas in 1892. Bessie was able to go to school where she was a good reader and loved mathematics. In her 20’s Coleman loved stories that her brothers told her of World War I and how French woman were strong pilots. She began applying for flight schools all over and was denied because of her gender and the color of her skin. She started saving money and with the help of friends, in 1920 took a ship to France. While in France, she trained and earned her international pilot’s license in 1921. She had become the first African American woman to hold an international pilot’s license.

Click HERE for a Bessie Coleman biography mini unit.

Why Project Based Learning?

Project based learning and STEM go hand and hand in helping to prepare students to their future. Both challenge students to solve a real problem and to collaborate with others. Project based learning (PBL) experiences can be a lengthy project or a short term activity.

I begin PBL opportunities with a hard hitting question. One that engages the student’s curiosity, life experiences and interests. One of my favorite PBL adventures started with the question, “What kinds of adaptations do animals have to make in order to survive in their given habitat?”  It was a great question, because students immediately started citing key vocabulary terms from our recent ecosystems unit. “Mimicry” “Camouflage” “Predators” just to name a few. Proud teacher moment!!!

For the project, I split students into groups of 3-4 and gave each one a picture of a habitat and a short description. Each group had to design a fictitious animal, plant and insect that would survive the environment. It is amazing the creativity that explodes from students when they are given the freedom to guide themselves through PBL.


This life science unit I created for Ecosystems was vital in preparing them for the PBL experience. Ecosystems Unit

animal resource bundle coverWe had also studied different types of animals within this unit with comprehension and vocabulary activities. Animals bundle

Fall Leaf Fossils Craft

There is something extra special when you can apply your current science curriculum with a meaningful craft as well as tit into the current season. Cue fall leaf fossils with rocks and fossils science standards. I found this awesome craft on the Scholastic website that is fun, easy, age appropriate, meaningful and cheap. Can I get a win-win?

Fall Leaf Fossil Craft

Students take a leaf scavenger hunt through the school yard or bring leaves/plants from home. Once discussing fossils and how they are “made” with your students, this leaf craft is just fabulous for bringing that standard home.

Here are some authentic plant fossils to show your students.


In my TPT store I have a rocks and fossils word wall resource. A great visual to have displayed while teaching rocks and fossils.


Elementary Fall Resources

Hello everyone!

I have been busy, busy, busy giving my fall resources major facelifts. Fall themed math and literacy products are ready for download. Each are little to no prep and sure to engage your students with meaningful activities and assessments to compliment your curriculum. I’ve done the hard work, click on the links below to visit my TPT store and view the products. Thank You!

Second Grade Fall Math Centers

Third grade Fall Math Centers


Print and Go Fall Estimation and Rounding Task Cards


Fall ELA and Creative Writing Center Ideas & Assessments



Back to School Giveaway Contest

giveaway 2018 august

Hello educators,


I hope you have enjoyed your summer! To make this season a little easier this year, myself and a team of amazing teachers have grouped together to gift ONE awesome, lucky teacher with a TPT gift card, Target gift card, and an Amazon gift card!

PRIZES INCLUDE 1 x $150 TPT Giftcard, 1 x $150 Target Giftcard, 1 x $50 Amazon Giftcard

#1 TAG your teacher friends by adding their names in the comment section

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Easy Days of Summer Winding Down

The easy days of summer are dwindling, open house is next week and school starts in 7 days. We are trying to squeak in all that we can before the hectic schedules, homework and early rising starts. Yesterday we adopted a new “pet”. It is a common garden spider that is living outside our window. My boys named him Yoshi. I have been amazed at how interested they are to watch him (from afar, behind glass). Today Yoshi caught a big and spun it into its silk. This led to some researching and conversations about why spiders spin their food into webs. Super exciting stuff for a science teacher nerd like myself.

Earlier in the week, we went on a short hike. We found an interesting caterpillar that I have yet to find the species.


We found 3 kindness rocks while hiking which thrilled my boys. This led to picking up supplies to paint our own rocks. Hey, it is a win if they elect to put down the electronics. Our hike also led to me capturing a brief sweet moment as they resting on some stairs.


Today was spent journeying from store to store to find a fabric binder with a shoulder strap. Finally success at Office Max. I think we are ready for school!

Father’s Day TPT Giveaway


Happy Father’s Day! Myself and a team of amazing teachers have grouped together to gift an awesome teacher with a TPT gift card to show them how appreciative we are!

PRIZES INCLUDE 1 x $200 TPT Giftcard

#1 SHARE THIS Blog post
#3 ENTER HERE: Giveaway Link Click HERE

REMEMBER: each entry counts as ONE entry, the more links you complete, the higher your chances of winning!!

Raffle CLOSES: Saturday 22nd June 2018 12am


fathers day giveaway 2018

Grand Canyon and It’s Wonder

Last week, my family and I had the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona. We stood in awe for many moments upon entering, just taking it all in. My son had a ton of questions that I was unable to answer, so we did a little research afterwards that I will share.

* It is 277 miles long.
* The widest part is 18 miles wide.
* The Colorado river runs through the canyon and had been eroding the sides for millions of years.
* There are many types of rocks that make up the canyon.
* It is a National park.
* We were amazed to read that it is NOT the widest or the deepest canyon in the world.

While there, my son spilled some water. Within seconds a large and friendly squirrel was at his feet drinking the water from the sidewalk. We offered the water bottle and the squirrel drank right from it. My kids were floored. To be honest, my husband I were too.

We have enjoyed visiting The Grand Canyon National Geographic Kids Website

As a teacher, I was so inspired of the teachable moments that were presented. Rocks, animals, weather, erosion, measurements and the list goes on. I cannot wait to get started on activity and lesson planning!