Saturday, November 22, 2014

Great deal!!

Just a quick update to let you know of a great deal you may want to take advantage of.

CAST  2014 is this week in Dallas, TX. 9 of us science teachers from Teachers Pay Teachers got together and created an awesome bundle of products for the event. Even if you are not at the conference you can take a look at the activities online and purchase. http://www.4mulafun.com/product/science-teachers-of-tpt-volume-1/ This is a limited run product and 80% off retail value. Enjoy.

This bundled CD includes a great selection of products at a huge discount!

Science Teachers of TPT


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Monday, November 10, 2014

A Teacher's Power

I would like to simply share a brief story that has caused me a lot of reflection lately.  My son is in kindergarten.  In gym class, his gym teacher told him he was a champ, or called him champ recently.  
He has literally talked for weeks about how his gym teacher thinks he's a champ.  He has taken this to mean that he is great at gym, and he thinks he has to work extra hard to not let the gym teacher down, since the gym teacher thinks he's a champ!

As a teacher we often are reminded about the power of our words, and the fact that we are working with impressionable young kids.  I think it is easy to lose track of this fact, in the day to day shuffle.   This has been a big reminder to me of the power of our words.

Remind your students that they are champs!  Don't be afraid to compliment them!  And be thoughtful about what you say, because you don't know the impression it will leave.  
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Great Free Resource


I was lucky to be part of a cooperative effort spearheaded by Brain Waves Instruction, Literary Sherri, and Getting Nerdy with Mel and Gerdy. Each page gives a chance to 'meet' a secondary seller, and a printable, ready to teach freebie.  My page includes 4 immediately usable exit tickets.  These are part of a larger e-book with TONS of resources, across subject areas (see below for details).





They have compiled 3 FREE Meet and Teach e-books profiling SECONDARY teacher-authors and sharing print-and-teach resources from 25 TpT stores in each e-book.  The e-books center around ELA, Math & Science, and Humanities (Social Studies, Art, Foreign Language, and more ELA).  In them you'll find a 'meet' page completed by each seller that includes responses to 5 prompts.  You'll get to learn a bit about each seller like their favorite book or things that make them happy.  Then, each seller provided you with a 1-page resource that you can use in your classroom.  These e-books are filled with awesome teachers, little insights into each sellers' life, and resources that are easy to implement in your classroom.  They're pretty amazing.  Of course, you don't have to take my word for it, you can find them here:

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Meet-and-Teach-eBook-ELA-Grades-6-12-Free-1468027

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Meet-and-Teach-eBook-Math-Science-Grades-6-12-Free-1466695

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Meet-and-Teach-eBook-Humanities-Grades-6-12-Free-1466589


Download each free e-book and you'll get a chance to meet and teach resources from these teacher-authors: 
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Learning Reflection


In secondary education I feel that we don’t spend enough time building relationships, and 
nurturing our students’ curiosity because we are bound by curriculum and pacing.   This sheet is something that I often use at the end of the class period in my own classroom.  We are only two weeks into school and I  and have already found that students are looking for my response each day, and are thinking about what to write during class (reflecting upon what they learned, or jotting down questions). 

This tool has become a great tool for formative assessment, and especially for 
differentiation. It is open-ended enough that the lower level students can simply 
state what they learned, or ask a question about the lesson, where higher level 
students can ask more in-depth questions, and I have an easy way built in to 
respond to them. 

I think it is critically important for students to reflect on their own learning, and, if needed, I can give a more specific prompt for the day. However, sometimes it is better open-ended.  On Friday I had one student write "I learned today that I need to come to this class ready to work, not fool around" .....If he learned that, I'm happy as well :)

Classroom freebies
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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Seating Chart Freebie

I created seating charts for my classes, as the year begins, and thought they might be useful for you as well.  As such, I am offering this seating chart freebie.

It is offered in PowerPoint, so the template is editable to type in names, or move the location of seats and

This is a sample of a larger product available at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.





Classroom freebies
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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Social Action and Current Issues in the Classroom

I have spent a lot of time this summer reading and educating myself on food, and nutrition. I have been interested for several years, as my son has several food allergies, so I am forced to read labels, and, for the most part, cook from scratch. A few years ago I read The Unhealthy Truth, by Robyn O'Brien, but mostly with my kids in mind. In the meantime I have gotten busy, have two kids now to make school lunches for, and have gotten lazy (not about the allergies, which are life-threatening, but about health choices that are not immediately life threatening).

 I have also been very tired, and just low energy, getting sick (just with colds) more frequently. Bloodwork last year didn't turn up anything, and the doctor had a conversation with me about stress management, and eating healthy. That rung true, but not quite. I didn't feel like I was under anymore stress than I have been, maybe less as my kids are both old enough to sleep well, I'm a more experienced teacher, was at a better school last year than the two previous years.

 Near the end of school a colleague was excited about the "Whole30" and the energy boost, health benefits, etc. I read up on that, experimented a bit (decided it was WAY too restrictive for without a strict reason or problem to solve). But that experiment and reading led me to more reading on gluten, and on other health myths/topics. Then a friend's doctor recommended the book "Eat to Live." I was intrigued and also read some of that. I found this more well supported, and backed by research, as well it made more sense to me logically, but is basically a vegan diet, focusing on salad, maybe 2 meals a day. I don't see that as feasible for me right now. But I did try to make some changes. In all this reading and thinking (which I only have time for in the summer), I came across two things that really got my attention as far as the classroom.

 1) The blog 100daysofrealfood.com (and the associated recipes, facebook page, etc. This is also about healthier eating, but from a little different perspective. What really stuck out to me, however, is that unlike a lot of the other things I had been reading, the author here emphasizes taking small steps (mini-challenges), and that any improvement is better, and that this does not have to be a 100% change. I think that is also an important lesson for our students -- take small steps to make changes. Any improvement is better in the big picture.

 2) I also stumbled across this book: The Omnivore's Dilemma for Kids.  This is supposed to be written for teens.  A lot of it is about science -evaluating different studies, analyzing nutrients in our bodies and how our bodies break down and utilize various chemicals.  Now I really want to use this book with my students.  I'm trying to determine where in the curriculum it fits, and how best to do this.  Where I teach, I'm sure this is not a topic of why my students are very much aware, at all.  When I taught AP Environmental, several years ago, I did a similar unit and my students were completely blank slates before.  Such a far removed topic from their daily lives.  I would like to bring some awareness to ninth grade biology students, maybe through the use of this book.


I think I will start with writing a donorschoose.org grant for the book, but in the meantime I need to determine where in the curriculum it would go, and how I could use it.

Any ideas, send them my way :)
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Freebie - Blog Exclusive

I have been getting my classroom ready for the upcoming school year, and part of that process for me is making up signs to mark areas with in the classroom that I want to be clear to students.  We get a lot of student schedule changes and transitions, and student attendance is not always great.  For those reasons, and because students have several classes to keep track of, I try to make procedures clear for them early in the year, and post reminders.

This is an exclusive freebie to my blog readers.  It is a set of signs and a classroom scavenger hunt that I use in my classroom. The files are in PowerPoint format, so that they are completely editable and customizable to your classroom needs as well.








Classroom freebies
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