Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The One About Groundhog Day

Yeah, I know what you're thinking.  "What are you doing posting during the middle of the day?  On a school day?"  Well, truth is I am home with Braeden.  He has the flu.  Yep, it hit us finally.  Amy stayed home with him on Monday and I was out yesterday and again today with him.  Luckily he seems to be on the mend and, fingers crossed, might return tomorrow!  So I've been out and now will deal with the aftermath of having a Sub for 2 days.  Now don't get me wrong, the sub I have is great.  I love her.  But a Sub is still not me.  The kids will still be crazy when I return.  Things still may not get done or, gasp, done the way I would do them.  I bumped some of the fun things I was looking forward to for when I return so that all awaits me tomorrow (I'll return even if Braeden doesn't, Amy will stay home again).  So tomorrow will be a blur of busyness.  Luckily I did take Jackson and Stella in so I was able to set out and prep the room a bit and get the papers from yesterday to grade.  At least I won't get behind in that.  I have grandiose plans of doing my lesson plans today, or at least most of them, so Friday (my usual lesson planning day) is easier.  We'll see if that happens.  I do apologize for not posting yesterday.  I totally meant to but got caught up with laundry, dishes, a sick kid, and creating for TPT of course (I posted 3 new items!).  But here I am today.  The grading is done and laundry and dishes are caught up.  So, time for blogging and more TPT has arrived.  Oh, I just realized I have strayed, surprise, from the title of this post!

So, Groundhog day was Saturday.  This is one of my most favorite days to celebrate in the classroom and it is highly underrated!  I go all-out really and we have a mini unit on groundhogs.  Usually I try to do a lot of it in one day, Groundhog Day, but since it fell on a Saturday this year I decided to spread it out over the course of a week.  Then I ended up missing part of this week so I'll still be cramming it in when I return.  But I'm still looking forward to it!  What do I do?  Funny you should ask, I was just about to tell you!

Well, for starters, last year I found this neat online site called Project Groundhog.  If you have never heard about it before you should totally check it out!  It pairs you up with classrooms across the country to track the weather and communicate for the 6 weeks following Groundhog Day.  It all culminates with the kids deciding if Punxsutawney Phil is a reliable source when it comes to predicting the weather.  Like I said, last year was my first year to do it and I, and the kids, loved it.  So I had to do it again this year.  It is fun and gets the kids involved in a hands-on way.  I highly recommend it for you next year.  

So, that's how it starts.  We have a class Groundhog and her name this year is Rosalinda, totally chosen by the kids when they voted.  We will spend at least this week, and maybe some of next week, studying groundhogs, their way of life, and all about them.  I created a Groundhog Fun Book that you can find here in my TPT store and we will do that as a culmination of our studies.  Also, on this Friday, as part of my Thematic Study, we will make hats, of course, and create a huge burrow (butcher paper over chairs.  The kids will take turns crawling in the burrow and then crawling out to see if they see their shadow.  Said shadow will be caused by another student standing on top of a chair (the sun) shining a flashlight down on them.  I love this part and the kids do too!  They get into it and make cute little groundhogs.  I'll try and post some pictures of all of this once I get them uploaded and edited to hide faces!

Groundhog Day is also special for me because it marks the 1-year anniversary of my TPT store!  It all started a year ago with this FREE resource, an I Have Who Has: Groundhog Day game!  We will of course play this on Friday as well and I'll leave it out for a week or so because the kids love to play it themselves when they finish their work.

So, what about you?  Do you celebrate Groundhog Day?  If so, what do your activities include?  If not, start planning for next year now!  Maybe I'll meet up with you on Project Groundhog!  Are there any special days that you feel are neglected and love to celebrate in your classroom?  What are they?  Well, regardless, enjoy the early spring that Phil has predicted.  Also, head on over to my TPT store to check out my first ever product and play it with your students!  Enjoy!

Thanks for hopping by!  

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