Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Swimming With Sharks...and a little Claustrophobia!

Last night was the culmination of our ocean studies and boy did we throw a rockin' bash!!!  We began with a program which magically lures those proud parents right into the school.  Then we surprised them with a PTA meeting.  Ha!  Next they watched their little ones perform poetry by Shel Silverstein and finally they all took a long walk down the hall to their ocean project museum!

Here's a peek at some of the projects:


Now on to our museum!  This is what the parents walked in to see!

This year I used Susan's Unit to help us write our reports.

Okay so that's what it looked like before parents...Are you ready for this?  I thought I would die.  It was total claustrophobia!!!

Whew!!!  Every kid was accounted for!  AMAZING!  That has never happened before y'all.  Ever.  I mean every little heart was filled with love and pride.  Mine burst.  It was so wonderful.

Playing on the smartboard I had this smilebox.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
This free photo slideshow made with Smilebox

 It filled the room with fun music and the kids crowded around to watch it over and over!  If you haven't tried smilebox, it's easy and free!  I send out a weekly smilebox to my families sharing a lot of what we have done that week.  It's been a fun addition this year.  (sorry that sounded like an ad!  It really isn't!  I just love smilebox!)

Along with our ocean studies, we did a massive ocean foldable book.  It has two chambers and secret pockets!   I am way more proud of this baby than I care to admit.  Do you have old worksheets circa 1982?  This is a GREAT way to use them in a cool way!
This is the foldable book closed all up!
 I flipped it over and on the back is a world map.  
(This was the first piece we added right after learning the oceans of the world)
 When you open the first two doors you find more foldables inside!  Are you giddy? 
 Each one of those opens into some kind of cut up information that I have pillaged out of worksheets of old.
 This was one of our favorites! Lots of fun.
 So that is the first set of doors...
 Now we open the second set of doors to find...
 Individual ocean creature info on more foldables!  Are you squealing with excitement?  Aren't you glad you have all those old worksheets now?  Totally validating...
 I can't share the worksheets since they are old, copyrighted, and well I have no idea where they came from to be honest, but if you want to start using foldables you should check out this sight HERE!

If you are looking to do an ocean unit, or you want something for a parent night celebration I have put my ocean unit together on TpT.  Just click Here to check it out! 


  1. Amazing quality project! What a huge success. Congrats.
    Can I borrow your kids,please?
    My Second Sense

  2. Love the art projects! Did they do all those at school?

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

  3. Those projects are jaw dropping! I bet your kiddos loved every second of this unit study and who can blame them! I'm in awe of all the families you had attend. It is like pulling teeth to get parents to chaperone for field trips and then show up on the day of the field trip. :(


  4. Great projects and it's always so exciting to get so much parent involvement. I love Smilebox too and did you know you can get a free premium teacher's account? Look for the link that says Teacher's Toolbox. Oh and I see they have an app now too.

  5. Wow! Your kids worked so hard and it truly shows! I'm sure they were so proud to show off their museum ;)

  6. Here's just another reason that I check your night every night! You are the best! Congratulations of creating the kind of night that the children (and parents) will remember forever.....

  7. OOPS! Should have said "site" every night!

  8. Holy Cow those are amazing Reagan! The ray and the shark with the goodies in the belly are awesome-so creative. Looks like a wonderful night. Cute cute!

    ~Christy & Tammy
    Fluttering Through First Grade

  9. Reagan, this is amazing! I am sure the parents and students absolutely love it. What fantastic final products! I cannot imagine how long it took you all - go you! :) I love the idea of sending home a Smilebox a week; thanks for sharing :)

    The Brown-Bag Teacher

  10. Oh my gosh....everything looks amazing!! I'm going to get that ocean unit :)

  11. Let's talk about how your classroom is cuter and better decorated than my house!

  12. Wow! First graders made those projects!! The whole unit looks like a it!

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

  13. WOW, Kudos to you and the kiddies! Looks like it was tons of fun!!!

  14. Reagan,
    I LOVED this post! Your room looks FANTASTIC, and the kids' projects are amazing! Don't you just love it when your room is so full of proud parents that there is standing room only? The Smilebox slideshow was so cute. I am definitely going to check it out! Thanks for the inspiration! Your students are so lucky to have you as their teacher.

    A Little Tech

  15. Reagan.....Teachers in my school think I do a lot! I have to introduce them to you!! You rock!

  16. Great googly what a great post with TONS of great ideas! Your ocean unit looks a-mah-zing! Adding this to my wishlist for our ocean unit next year! :)
    Funky Fresh Firsties