Shark Week Fun for the Kiddos

Shark Week 2014 begins on Sunday, August 10th.     Here in New Jersey, Shark Week is very popular.  I live near the Jersey shore in the Matawan area where there was a shark attack almost 100 years ago in 1916.  The town of Matawan even has a Shark Week festival for kids the first week of August. 

For the younger kids, the Discovery Channel shows can be scary so here is a roundup of some kid friendly ideas and activities for fun during Shark Week:

Light Hearted Ways to Enjoy Shark Week

FREE Printables from In All You Do

Shark Week Snacks from A Few Short Cuts

Great Roundup from A Day in Your Shoes

Round Up of Easy Shark Week Crafts

Free Printable Shark Facts from All For the Boys

I love these Footprint Sharks from Glued to My Crafts

Shark Week Lap Book FREE Printable from Frugal HomeSchool Family

Shark Party Ideas from Chickabug Blog

FREE Printables for hosting your own Shark Week party from Pretty Providence

Shark Week Humor

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Need more Ideas?  Check out my Shark Week Pinterest Board!

Nature Walk with Toddlers {Free Printables}

The little kids and I were invited to head down the shore (that's what you call the beach when you live in NJ) today with our friends. We had to decline because Lucas just started antibiotics for strep throat yesterday and he is not feeling 100% yet.   It was a beautiful day though so I decided it was ok to spend a little time outside before nap time.  What should we do?

You can read about the Nature Club last year in this post.

Last summer I started a Nature Club for my oldest daughter in an attempt to keep her from playing electronics all day, all summer.  This summer she goes to day camp so it is just the little kids and me.  So this afternoon was the perfect time for a leisurely nature walk.   The nature walk that I did last year was a little too advanced for my little ones this summer so it was time for a Toddler Nature Walk.

 We used the FREE printable pictured below for our nature walk.   It had just the right amount of items on it for the attention spans of my two little ones.  The pictures were also perfect since neither one can read yet.  Lucas particularly liked the boxes to check off when he found one of the items on the list. The kids felt very "big" carrying their clipboard and pen.

Free Printable Nature Scavenger Hunt for Toddlers found on Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT memberships are free)

We only spent about 30 minutes on the search but they had such a great time working together to complete the task.   By time we got home they were tired and ready for a nap!

 Still need more ideas?  Check out my Nature Club Pinterest Board!

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Free Camping Printables for Fun With the Kids

 My best friend loves to go camping.    So this post is dedicated to her!   This is a round-up of Camping fun and printables for you and her to use while having fun campping this summer!

Mom with a Lesson Plan rounds up Games Recipes and Activities for Camping with Kids

Your campers will love school time with these FREE Camping themed educational printables from a Teaching Mommy

Free Printable Packing Lists from A Daily Dose of Davis

FREE printable conversation starters from that can be used around the campfire or at home

Free Printable Campfire Mad Libs

FREE Printable list of ideas for charades from The Joys of Boys

10 Kid Friendly Recipes from puts together 20+ ideas for Camping fun as part of her ABC's of summer fun series

FREE Printable Leveled Camping Themed Learning Pack from

Love the idea of this Camping Scavenger Hunt from The Creative Homemaker- FREE Printable

Camping Hacks that are a Must Read

Fun Campfire Games for Kids from the Happy Gal

Not into the outdoors but still want to go camping?  Here are some great indoor camping ideas from Rainbows Within Reach

 Still need more ideas?  Check out my Camping Pinterest Board!

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Book Review- Middle School: The Inside Story

Title: Middle School: The Inside Story
Subtitle: What Kids Tell Us, But Don't Tell You
Authors: Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna
Genre: Family & Relationships 

"Middle School"- just the mention of those two words might make your face break out again and palms get all sweaty!  Memories of high hair, braces and glasses come flooding back to your mind.  You remember those awkward days.    

Now comes an even scarier time... being the parent of a middle schooler!  Do you ever wonder what is going on in the mind of your middle schooler?  The authors of this book have spent countless hours researching and communicating with middle schoolers to help parents and teachers to better understand this age group.

The book is broken down into section which is helpful to the reader.  Part One covers the physical differences between the middle schooler and other children.  The authors discuss that awkward phase and what is typical for kids in that age group.  

Part Two is written for Parents of middle schoolers.  The chapters in this section cover communication, relationships, values and discipline in the home. 

Part Three is covers the problems middle schoolers encounter with friendships and other relationships.  The authors also discuss other "red flag" areas such as depression, eating disorders and bullying.  

Part Four covers the middle schooler in the school environment.  Since I am a middle school teacher, I enjoyed this section the most.  The authors covered learning styles and how parents can help their middle schooler succeed in school.

I would recommend this book for parents of middle school students and for parents of students entering that middle school age.  It would be ideal for parents to read this book BEFORE your kids enter the dreaded middle school years.   I would suggest reading this book when your kids enter the 3rd-5th grades.

My only criticism of the book, is that the book made no mention of praying for your middle schooler.  The book was published by a Christian Publishing Company for Focus on the Family so I expected it to be a Christian resource.  There was no mention of the Bible in the book.  I was surprised that there was not a chapter dedicated to praying over your child, especially when they are in middle school!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Tyndale House Publishing Company in exchange for an honest review.

Interactive Notebook Roundup

Do you use Interactive Notebooks in your classroom?  I used them for the first time this past year.  I really liked using them but found it overwhelming to get started at first so I rounded up some posts that helped me when I first got started using them.

How to answer the critics of notebooking

Why Should I Use Interactive Notebooks in My Classroom?

Get started with Interactive Notebooks

Resources to Get Started with Interactive Notebooks

Left Side Versus Right Side for INBs

What do you do when a student is absent?

Tips to make Interactive Notebooks work for you

Laura Candler's Page with a link party filled with FREE foldables for your Interactive Notebooks

How to use the "Cutting Corner" method with Interactive Notebooks

How do you grade Interactive Notebooks?

For anything relating to interactive science notebooks, you need to check out the Science Penguin.  She is my favorite!

This was the bulletin board in my middle science classroom last year that displayed for the students how to set up the input and out pages of their notebooks.

Printable Left and Right Side Ideas for Interactive Notebooks

Not sure of the source for this picture but it is a great way to demonstrate how to apply glue to the notebook.

Do you still need more ideas?  Check out my Pinterest page...

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