It’s Friday – what if…

I’ve been in our classroom cleaning, sorting through books and trying to get things ready for a new school year.  I remembered meeting Greg Trine last fall and how fun it was to create stories with him.  I checked out  the Melvin Beederman site and that got me thinking…

What if everyone in your family had a super power?

Which family member would have which super power and how would it work?

What would your super power be?

I’d love to know what you dream up.  What could your story be?

Make a Plan to View the Eclipse

I hope you’ve heard about the eclipse.  It’ll be here in 17 days, 3 hours, 34 minutes and 25 seconds  – well that time changes quickly, but you can check out the exact time by clicking on this link.  There are lots of different resources about the eclipse.  I learned a lot from this quick video.  I think you’ll enjoy it too.  Make sure to get some glasses.  Check with the town library.  They might have some.  I know you can order them online too.  Ask your family about them.

The total solar eclipse is a real big deal.  It only happens once in a life time and the last time a eclipse like this moved across the United States like this was in 1918!  We aren’t going to see the full eclipse but even in New Hampshire it will look as through a bite has been taken out of the sun.

The Exploratorium is going to set up a live stream on the path of the total eclipse so you can watch it happening.  It only last for short time, so make a plan.  That way you and your family won’t miss it.

There are a couple of thing you can do to see the eclipse if you don’t have glasses.  There are some direction on the Exploratorium link above.  Mystery Science has some directions for a pinhole projector that I’ve attached here.  There is also going to be an Eclipse Party at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in in Concord.  The schedule says there will be events happening between 10:30 and 4:00.  The maximum viewing time for the partial eclipse is around 2:45.  There are several resources on that site as well. Check them out and make a plan.

The next total eclipse will be in 2023.  You’ll have to travel to see evidence of that one.

Enjoy!  Science is cool!

(The blue letters are live links.  Click on them for the information mentioned in the post.)

It’s Friday – what if…

…you just found a treasure map!  What will you do next?  Will you look for the treasure on your own?  Will you find someone to help you on your adventure?  What supplies with you need?

And then, once you’ve found the treasure, now what?

Have fun creating and imagining – your life is full of treasures already!  What will you do in this story?

It’s Friday – what if…

… you wanted to create your own geode?  You could use an egg, some alum and some dye to do it.  With adult help, you can grow some beautiful crystals in just three days.

Materials –

  • a blown-out eggshell
  • alum powder (you can get this in the grocery store in the spice area)
  • white glue and a small paintbrush
  • dye, hot water and a plastic or glass container
  • a spoon for mixing, latex gloves (to keep your hands from getting dyed) and a place to dry your “geodes” the next day.

Steps –

  1.  Blow out a large egg.  Split it in half the long way by cracking and breaking it gently.  Wash and dry both pieces completely.  You can only grow one geode at a time but you can prepare both pieces with glue and alum powder at the same time.
  2. With the small paint brush cover the inside and cracked edges with white glue.  Sprinkle the glue with alum powder so it is completely covered.  Let it dry overnight.  (The crystals are going to grow on the alum, so coat the egg halves well.)
  3. The next day, prepare your growing solution.  You’ll need the container.  Put 2 cups of almost boiling water, 40 drops of food coloring and 3/4 cup of powered alum.  Mix the solution to be sure all the alum dissolves.  If there is any left in the bottom, place the solution in the microwave for a few minutes to dissolve them.
  4. Once the alum is completely dissolved, let the solution cool slightly (for about 30 minutes) and then submerge one of the dried, alum-coated eggshells in the growing solution.  allow it to rest on the bottom of the container with the inside of the shell facing up.

  5. Set the container in a safe place overnight to allow the crystals to grow undisturbed. The longer the eggshell is in the solution, the larger the crystals in the geode will be. 12 to 15 hours is just about right.

  6. When you’re ready, put the gloves on and remove the geode from the solution.  Be gentle, wet crystals are fragile.  Place your geode on newspaper to dry.  Let it dry completely before you handle it.
  7. If you’d like to make another geode, re-dissolve the crystals remaining at the bottom in the microwave and follow the directions again.  Have fun!


Friday Fun – what if…

What if…

… a ship loaded with animals got blown off course in a storm.  Off the coast of Argentina the ship was swamped and the animals had to swim to safety.  After what seemed like forever, a giraffe and a lemur found themselves together on the shore of Antartica.  Write the story of how their friendship formed  and how some penguins helped them survive until their rescue came.

We’d love to read your story.  If you have a chance, leave it in a comment below.

It’s Friday – have some fun

At the beginning of the school year we read The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau.  Do you remember how he taught himself to paint?  Do you remember how he kept entering contests and being told how terrible his work was?  But finally he painted The Sleeping Gypsy and everything changed.

Mordicai Gerstein used that painting to create a whole new story called The Sleeping Gypsy.  Using that idea, I thought it might be fun to tell the stories behind other famous works of art.

Here are a few.  If you’re inspired, leave your story in a comment. Have fun!

It’s Friday – have fun!

For the past three days I’ve been exploring water, woods and fields at a science institute for teachers.  We made hygrometers.  We created ph test solutions.  We examined all different kinds of environments, and we made a woodland terrarium.  The teacher who lead us in this activity shared three different types of terrariums: freshwater, wetlands and woodlands.  The freshwater terrarium was full of copepods and algae.  We could see them without a microscope,  That terrarium had been thriving for nearly 15 years!  The wetland terrarium was full of moss and small plants.  It had been thriving for 8 years!  And finally, the woodland terrarium had been thriving for nearly 2 years.  It was full of wintergreen plants, ferns, moss and all the microorganisms that are in soil.

I couldn’t believe how long these “habitats-in-a-jar” had been thriving!

I made a woodland habitat.  I wonder how long it will survive.  I can’t wait to see.  I thought you might like to make one too.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 clear liter bottle cut into two pieces – 2/3’s at the bottom, 1/3 at the top (Ask for help starting the cut.  Once a hole is made, you can cut the bottle with scissors.  Draw a line if you want it to be straight.)
  • coarse gravel – fish tank gravel or collected from your yard
  • soil from the forest where you’re collecting the plants
  • moss and small plants
  • clear utility tape

Here’s what to do:

  • Cut the bottle
  • Put 1 inch course gravel in the bottom (you need to let the roots breathe)
  • Put 2 inches of soil on top of the gravel
  • Put a few plants – not too many because your terrarium isn’t very big – in/on the soil.
  • Cover the soil and plant roots with small pieces of moss.  The plant stems will stick between the different mosses.
  • Spray the whole thing generously with water.  If the sides of your bottle got dirty, “spritz” the dirt away.
  • Place the top piece back on your bottle and tape the two pieces together.  Make sure the bottle is completely sealed.  You don’t want any air to  get in.

That’s it.  I noticed that my terrarium began to get foggy in a few minutes.  That’s because the plants were breathing.  Now I’ll wait to see what happens.

PS – I wish mine wasn’t cut in half, but higher up.  I think you’d be able to see the plants better.  That’s why I put one third/two thirds in the direction.
I also learned from my teacher, Mr. Zink, that you could put just one part of a fern leaf in the terrarium.  It will grow roots and become a plant.  You might want to give that a try too.
I’ll bring my terrarium to school at the end to the summer.  I wonder how it will change! Stop by to see it.

Let me know about your terrarium adventures in a comment below.

Friday Fun!

Bored-125It’s Friday and I have something fun you might like to do.  A few days ago I came across this project.  Debbie Ripath Ohi, author/illustrator of I’m Bored, a book we loved and laughed with, created a Look Again:  Found Objects Doodles project. She explains to project  and shows lots of examples here on her blog.  This is how she opens the challenge:


I invite young writers and artists aged 6-12 to enter my second annual Summer “Look Again” Challenge! I’ll choose a selection to display in a special gallery later this year. One entry per child. Deadline: August 15th, 2016.

You can read all the rules here:  2016 Summer LOOK AGAIN Challenge for Young Writers and Artists.

I can’t participate in the project (too old:)), but I did have fun creating.  Here are a rubber band hamster feather dragonflycouple of my doodles.  I used a rubber band to make the body of my hamster and feathers I collected in our yard for the dragonfly.  What things do you see when you look again?  Have fun creating!  I hope you’ll share them in a comment if you do!  Happy Creating!

Mrs. Eaves


It’s Friday – you might have fun making this…

A few years ago I discovered this craft book and craft.  Click on craft for directions.Unknown

I was trying to come up with a Friday post to share with you, and I thought of this.  I can imagine so many of you having fun making these for pencil pals.  I wish I had thought of it while we were in school when we did our animal studies.  I wonder how a flamingo would have looked, or a caribou, a jaguar or a koala. Have fun making one or two!

Unknown-3Unknown-2When you’ve made your own pipe cleaner pal, please post your creation with your comment.

I hope your summer has begun perfectly.  I am missing you a ton.  Enjoy every day!

Mrs. Eaves


Friday – feeling almost ready

I’ve been unpacking and cleaning, arranging and planning.  Our classroom is mostly ready. Now it just needs you – the students of 3E to bring it to life.  Here’s a view of our room from the door and from the corner by the sink.  We’ve got a lot of space to jazz up and fill with amazing art, exciting experiments and wonderful words – all yours!

waiting for the classfrom the fish tank







The books are waiting to be read.  We’ve got fish and hermit crabs to care for and lots of things to observe and wonder about, question and create.  In the words of Kid President – “what are you going to teach the world?”

by the sign in shelffiction chapter books