Friday, October 21, 2011

Homeschool Unit: Bats!!

We just finished up our very first unit study on the book Stellaluna! The kids had a lot of fun and we all learned some really cool things. The unit study I used was a free one from Home school share. We added a few things and took a few things out that we thought wouldn't work for us. We kicked off the first day by reading Stellaluna and talking a little about bats, and creating our lapbook outline. If you haven't read Stellaluna to your kids, I recommend it.
It's about a fruit bat that gets seperated from his mother and ends up in a birds nest and the mother bird takes care of it. Stellaluna spends several weeks (months?) in the birds nest with his siblings (birds) feeling like he doesn't belong, until one day he is reunited with his species. It has a few elementary facts about bats that we expanded upon using other books such as The Truth About Bats from the Magic Schoolbus Series, we also used a book entitled Creatures of the Night and a couple of Animal Planet and Discovery Channel specials on bats and nocturnal creatures. 

Throughout the unit we created a lapbook about bats and nocturnal creatures. And even had a field trip to watch bats in nature. Here is what Zoe's lapbook looked like. (Keep in mind, I let my children do their own work on projects I don't "fix" it or make it look pretty, that's undermining for the child). Also Zoe has several reading/writing disabilities (due to her SPD and APD, and ADD) so it's not really reflective of a normal 3rd graders work. But she ROCKED this unit and would continue on with it if I didn't force her to move on, lol! I am pretty sure that she learned the most out of all of us!
Front Cover

What you find when you open up the first page..Nocturnal and Diurnal Animals, Predetor and Prey, Which Bat's use Echo locations, Vocabulary Words, geography lesson in where fruitbats reside and a listing of Carnivore, herbavore and Omnivore animals, Also Bat Anatomy

A few more flip books of different facts, some bat jokes and some pictures Zoe colored.

A descriptive sentence of the bats we saw in Phoenix.
And finally, livened the unit up with a trip to the Bat Cave in Phoenix, where we saw Mexican free-tailed bats fly out into the night. We also got to watch the birds of prey circle overhead for a few minutes before they came out! 

Waiting very impatiently for the bats to come out!

I didn't manage to capture more than a few at a time on camera, they flew out in twos and threes, and sometimes 5's. 

We definitely had a fun time on bats!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

MyMemories Scrapbooking Software Review and GIVEAWAY!!- CLOSED!!!!

Recently I was contacted by Liz from MyMemories to do a review and giveaway of the Mymemories Suite. (MyMemories is a digital scrapbooking program and so much more) At first I was hesitant to agree to do a review, while I love taking pictures, I have never really been a big fan of scrapbooking. But,I thought, what better time to try it out than right before the holidays? So, with that in mind I sat down and messed around with the software. It was a little daunting at first, and I was just attempting to use the pre-designed templates included with the program. I almost gave up, but then I discovered the Mymemories blog that has tons of helpful information including video and PDF tutorials and project information. After watching only the Get Started video, I was able to make a few pages using the free templates and a quick pages Christmas pack that I purchased. The three photos below are of my most recent projects.I am certainly glad that I did not give up, and I look forward to using this program for preserving my memories and family photos!
Made using Holiday Snows, one of the included scrapbook templates

Made using Holiday Snows, one of the included scrapbook templates.

Made from a purchased quickpage pack.

The website is easy to navigate, has lots of freebies including pages, elements and word clusters and fun packs to purchase at reasonable prices. The pack I purchased included 8 quickpages for $3.50. What I thought was cool about it was, as a photoshop user, I can download the pages and elements to use right in Photoshop if I wish (or any other photo editing program).

This is the perfect time to take a look at the program with the holidays coming up, here are a few of the seasonal packs available for purchase click on the thumbnails to check them out:)

As a special for all of my readers from, Mimimakes6 has it's very own coupon code that provides a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the store - $20 value!) Use the Code -STMMMS89948, and feel free to share it with your friends and family!


And are you ready for the BEST part?? Mymemories is giving YOU a chance to win this fabulous software, heres the fineprint:

To enter the Giveaway you must:
 Go to and choose your favorite layout, or digital paper pack, then leave a comment on the blog telling me which one is your favorite and why.

For Extra entries:
1. Follow MyMemories on facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you did. (they also have a freebie for fans).

2.Sign up for the MyMemories Mailing list on their blog and leave a comment here, letting me know you did.

3. Share the link to this post on your facebook account, and comment here letting me know you did.

So, that's a total of FOUR entries per person! Good Luck! Contest ends October 24th at midnight. Winner will be chosen by on October 25th.

And the winner is...............
Number 19 Rachel!! Congrats! Send an email to to claim your prize:)