We had a fun week exploring crabs. Students learned some fun facts about these creatures including they have eight legs and two pincers. (I had to convince the students that they are indeed called pincers and not pinchers.) We also learned that the largest crab is as big as a person! (eeewwwww!) I showed students this video on hermit crabs….so interesting!

On Tuesday, students participated in an experiment where they used the three types of claws that crabs can have: scooping, grasping, and scraping. They tried to “eat” different types of food to determine which type of claw worked best for them.

Students try collecting food using a scraping claw (small spoon), like that of a shore crab.

Students use a scooping claw (ice cream scooper and large spoon) like that of a porcelain crab.

H. uses grasping claws (chopsticks, salad tongs, clothespin), like those of a hermit crab.

After each student used each type of claw, we came back together to discuss our findings. Watch the funny video below. The crab eyes on the headbands are super wiggly!

During Friday Fun, students made a crabby crabwich. How cute are these?!

We changed the recipe a bit adding blueberries instead of olives for the eyes,  strawberries instead of peppers for the pincers, a slice of mandarin for the mouth instead of a slice of radish…we also added the CORRECT number of carrot legs…EIGHT!!

The added bonus fro this activity for me was that the students ate almost ALL the crab pieces! Looks like a good, healthy snack!

Ocean Animal Presentations

What a great way to start the day! Parents joined students for their BrainPop movie presentations.We have been working on this project for three weeks! It all started with research. Students learned about their ocean animals habitat, life cycle, body, and diet. They were encouraged to add a fun fact as well.

Once they wrote down their research, students began the process of making a BrainPop movie. You might remember that BrainPop is a teaching tool I use frequently in the classroom. They offer a large variety of short animated movies on a broad range of topics. With a recent overhaul of their website came the addition of Make-a-Movie. To help students prepare to make a movie, I created a template that outlined the steps needed for each slide, such as choosing a background color and deciding what text or images were necessary. Here is what that looked like:

The makers of BrainPop are still working out the bugs, so sometimes the iPAD was the best option for students…

and other times the desktop was necessary. I was very appreciative with the students’ flexibility with this project, as several times as they were working on a slide, the slide was unable to be saved and their creations were lost. The students definitely demonstrated resilience!

After the slides were created, each student narrated their facts. I loved the enthusiasm and sense of humor they infused into their presentations. Enjoy! (There is currently no way to share the movies from the Brainpop site, so I have recorded the movies…I apologize in advance for the shakiness!)

Humpback Whale


Gray Whale


Sea Lion


Sperm Whale

Blue Whale

Sea Horse

Tiger Shark


We learned about how ocean animals use camouflage. I showed these amazing images from National Geographic, and we tried to find each of the ocean animals.

Here is the link to these great images:

(All images are from National Geographic)

I then read aloud Mister Sea Horse, by Eric Carle. While the book tells the story of how male sea horses and a few other “male mothers” give birth to their young, it also illustrates the concept of camouflage nicely.

Students then created their own camouflage picture using a page protector, permanent marker, sea horse drawing, and tissue paper.

I love how these turned out!

Tide Pool School

The kindergartners had the amazing opportunity to participate in Tide Pool School earlier this week. (Tide Pool School is usually reserved for students in third grade and up.) They brought their new learning about oceans to Tide Pool School and put their knowledge to the test. Oh, the sea life we saw!!



hermit crabs…

a GIANT sea hare!!!!

Do I really want to hold this thing????….Yay! He did!

I was impressed with how many students touched this sticky, slimy, creature!


crabs…look at the eggs on the crab above..gigantic!

more crabs!! (This one is a male. Ask your child to tell you how we know this is a male crab….)


and sea stars…finally! We saw four sea stars! This is the first trip in three years where we saw sea stars, as they have been fighting a deadly virus since late 2013, early 2014 and have died off in mass numbers. I was so excited to see these beautiful creatures back in the inter tidal.

Do you see the tube feet attached to the rock on the underside of the sea star? Ask your child to tell you how a sea star eats its food….eeewwwww!

Students got to use nets and test tubes to collect the sea life.

We collected the sea life in buckets. Students participated in a sharing session after exploring the tide pools. All items collected were carefully returned to their habitats following the sharing session.

We ended the trip with a picnic and a serene bus ride back to school. (really! Half the students took a nap!) What a beautiful day and a memorable experience! Thank you Ms. Svedlund for organizing this excursion.