Thursday, April 17, 2014

Animal Classification and Habitats Unit
Animal Group Posters from my Animal Classification/Habitats Unit

     Okay, so I seriously put off writing this post all day because I'm totally embarassed by how long it's been since I last wrote a blog post......whoops.  I think I may have set a new record for blog neglect. But it's all good because it is SPRING BREAK baby, and I finally have some time to blog!!  I seriously don't know what I would have done if Spring Break had not come this was SO late this year and me and my kiddos were SO ready for a break.  I love my little ones, but you all know how it gets when it's been too long without a break....whew!  Anyway, I started off my break by skipping town and heading down to Atlanta to see my sister.  It was great not being home, because when I had free time there was nothing I could do! And I never get to just do nothing. You know, when you're at home and you have a moment of free time you feel like you need to be DOING something....laundry, unloading the dishwasher, paying bills, checking email, etc. you know the drill.  But when you're at somebody else's house you aren't at your house to do anything, so you can just chill.  It was bliss.
Animal Group & Habitats Student Response Booklets

      And........ then I came home and did what only psycho teachers do - I sat on my laptop for two days straight making the unit that this blog post is featuring.  I didn't shower, I didn't leave the house, and I didn't get out of my pajamas.  It was ridiculous and totally unhealthy....but it's done and it's going to be awesome!  I can't wait to start my animals unit!  This is the first time I have gotten to teach animals, because the past 5 years I was in 1st grade and we didn't have any animal standards.  And now that I'm in 2nd grade, we do!! So I'm really excited, and I know my kids are going to love their animals and habitats booklet.
Animal Habitat Posters with Fact Sheets

    My motivation for creating this unit was the fact that I sometimes feel like social studies and science gets pushed to the sideline and done "halfway" if you know what I mean.  In 2nd grade at my school, social studies and science is not actually graded, so it tends to have less emphasis put on assessment, but I always want to know what my kids have learned and I want them to have some record or hands-on proof that they have learned something in our thematic unit....hence the animals and habitats student booklets I created!  The two main standards for animals in our unit are on classifying animals into their different groups and learning about the different habitats and how they support life for the animals who live there. So I made a poster set for each animal group and habitat to help my students learn the different types (in addition to some great videos on the animal groups and habitats on United Streaming/Brain Pop, etc),  and then I made a booklet for students to respond to and record what they have learned!  My kids love having something to take home with them to show their families what they have learned in class as well, so it's a win win! I'm also working on some animal life cycle and food chain activities Animal Unit Volume 2 will be on the way soon!   
     I hope this helps some of you guys who are getting ready to teach animals.  You can get this unit in my TPT store right now! Just click any of the pictures above to purchase.  And for those of you out there on your week off....Happy Spring Break!!!