Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Unless You Are A Snake....

"Never eat anything larger than your head...unless you are a snake."

Our garter snake named Fred firmly believes in this quote!  The kids are mystified by Fred's ability to eat his weekly mouse and after all of these years, I am still intrigued too.  How is possible for a snake to swallow something so big?  To find out more about the eating adaptations of our snake, Fred, follow the link below to a quick read about those amazing predators slithering around our gardens and yards.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dear IMA Families:

Multicultural Day is scheduled for May 20th .  In order to prepare for the event, we will be starting our geography projects on Monday.  Each child will create his/her own geography project at school.  Students are encouraged to read about their selected countries for home reading and this may be recorded on their homework logs.  Students can also collect artifacts outside of school with family members.  Artifacts are not required;  however, if your family has artifacts (money, samples of clothing, postcards, or other cultural items), students may bring those to support his/her digital display on Multicultural Day. 

This project integrates so many literacy and social studies standards and skills and promises to be an exciting learning adventure.

Students will:

•    select a country of interest.
•    generate 5 or more wonder questions about the country
•    conduct research to answer these questions
•    collect maps, images, and videos to support their learning
•    present their learning in a digital format, using applications learned in IMA

Many resources are available at our digital workspace for home learning.  Please visit:


Your child will need to log on to see the resources.  We use this resource at school daily, so they should know how to log on to our workspace.

Go to Mrs. Smith's file and find Geography Project for many helpful internet links.


Please let me know if you have questions about our upcoming work.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pebble Go Books

Chapman students have another new digital reading option for school and home reading.  The website is called Pebble Go Books.  This site was a gift from the Chapman PTO for the entire school community to share and enjoy.  Designed for kindergarten through third grade readers, it is a resource that can be enjoyed by older readers as well.  It is a great place to launch wonder questions and animal research.  A huge THANK YOU to our supportive PTO!

The username is: chapman1
The password is: animals

Enjoy the new digital book website!

Can you imagine how little this tortoise is now 
and how huge he will grow over the coming decades?

Talented Songbirds and Helpful Adaptations

Why do birds sing complicated songs?  
Do males and female birds sing?  
How do birds sing complicated songs without stopping to take a breath?  

Follow this link to an interesting article about our talented backyard musicians and their amazing adaptations.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Reality TV At Its Best: Bald Eagle Parents and Their Young

Add a daily dose of unique joy to your family's day and check in with the Bald Eagles in Decorah, Iowa.  The adult pair recently became parents and to bring awareness and knowledge to the public, a live stream video camera was installed so the world can watch many miracles unfold.  

Not only can you watch the daily events in the nest, but viewers can review captured video clips of important events such as egg turning, hatching, and feeding time.  Enjoy!

But This Baby Needs A Home....

The start of spring is filled with so many memorable moments-sunshine, blooming flowers, mud puddles, spring time walks, and of course, baby animals.  After visiting our classrooms, you know that we love pets, so we wanted to share this article about what to do when you and your child encounter young wildlife that seems to be without parents.  

If you are out walking or working in your yard and you find a young creature that appears to be alone, stop and think out loud with your child.  It is only natural that our first human impulse is to assume that the creature is abandoned, needs to be taken home and hand raised...and the baby rabbit or squirrel or robin is just so cute! 

Many times, young animals are out and about away from their nests but are still under close care of their parents.  Birds, especially robins, face space issues as their chicks grow SO big and the nest is just too small. By a certain age, robins will have a satellite nest for a fledgling or 2; the parents still care for the young birds nesting on the ground or in the bushes. 

Read this article before faced with this dilemma and it will help your child understand why wild animals should stay in their natural habitat.  Follow this link:  Should I adopt and care for a wild animal (even if it is the cutest thing I've ever seen?)

If you are highly concerned about a wild creature that you discover, you can always contact The Ohio Wildlife Center.  They are a fantastic organization and are set up to hand raise and then return creatures to the wild.  Their office is nearby on Billingsly and the professionals staffing this office run an amazing wildlife rescue center. The OWF has saved us many times in the past when children arrive at school with a box holding young birds, squirrels, rabbits, and raccoons.  The all-time amazingly unusual gift was the baby skunk!

Enjoy the beautiful weather and all that the season holds.