Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Paratrooper Zombie Mice and Christmas Gifts!

Yep, parachuting mice!  I have to admit that I got "zombie mice" from one of my 7th graders, but it probably grabbed your attention! 

This morning as I was speed reading through the news, an article on MSNBC caught my eye; "Two thousand mice dropped on Guam - by parachute."  It was at this point that I knew I had been teaching at middle school way too long, because all I could see were little mice with headgear and parachutes jumping out of a plane right out of a 1940's war movie. 

After that, I could hardly wait to share it with my 7th grade intervention class - since they were probably the only ones who would appreciate it and because we had just read about Guam in our Read 180 R-Book, "Alien Invaders."  They loved it. 

Where does the "zombie" part come from?  Well, the USAF killed the little critters, injected them with acetaminophen (which happens to be one of the few things poisonous to brown tree snakes), strapped the "zombie" mice down to a piece of cardboard, and dropped them out of helicopters with their little green tissue paper parachutes.  Only 7th grade boys can love something that awful.

The reality of the article was slightly different than the visual that flashed through my head at breakfast.

However, not only did the article tie in nicely to our Workshop Alien Invaders, but it also presents an interesting topic for argumentative writing.  The article does a great job of explaining the problem that brown tree snakes present in Guam, and the reasons why they should be eradicated.  But, dropping zombie mice is not going to make many animal lovers happy.  Perfect article for a debate and argumentative writing, whether or not you are a Read 180 classroom.  Just wanted to share:).

TPT Christmas Gifts

I know, you are probably tired of everyone pushing their TPT store, but on the way home I had a flash of genius - it happens on a fairly regular basis, but most the time I forget by the time I get home:).  I was struggling with what to do for Christmas gifts for my fellow teachers.  Usually, they get fudge and cookies.  They love it, but no matter how hard I try, some of that fudge ends up finding its way to adding on a couple inches to my hips.  This year I am trying really hard to be healthy, and to get through the holidays relatively unscathed (calorie-wise).

That is when my TPT Wishlist and my Gift List collided!  Recently when I was out of the classroom for some unexpected training, I used Erin's (from Lovin' Lit)  A Day at the Zoo packet for my sub plans.  Sure, I did a little accommodating for my Read 180 kids, but the instructions were so easy to follow - for the sub and my kids - and it kept them busy ALL DAY.  Often, I am the one the secretary calls on for sub plans when SOMEONE DOES NOT have them ready (or if there is a real emergency), so to make my life just a little easier - I ordered extra licenses of A Roller Coaster Day!  It was already on my wishlist, and with a little Christmas clip art to dress up the e-card, everyone has their own set of EMERGENCY LESSON PLANS!  Not only does everyone get 7 hour sub plans, but it helps spread the word about Teachers Pay Teachers.  So easy, so genius...and if you already thought of it, just let me have this ray of sunshine on an icky day.

Something to think about as your making your final selections at the SALE.  Don't forget to check out my store too!  I used some of my TPT credits that I earned from leaving FEEDBACK, and took another $5 dollars off my TPT purchases.  Every little bit helps, and we really appreciate the feedback!

Don't forget to check out the paratrooper zombie mice article and have a great week!  On my way to Disco Zumba - I zumba so much better when the only light is a disco ball!

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