Saturday, March 16, 2013

Glorious Saturdays!

This will end up being a rather long post - you have been warned.

First off just a few general updates. I haven't had much to share this past week, our school had our annual winter carnival this week. The kids had a great time, I advise the 10th grade and they tied for first place with the seniors. Everyone had lots of fun with games like flag football, hockey, pie eating, sled races, and much more. As a result I did not do a whole lot of teaching this past week.

So for my Successful Saturday Linky! As I said I did not do a whole lot of teaching this week - so I am pulling from our winter carnival for this entry. One of the challenges of being an advisor to a class is dealing with the personal differences between students and the inevitable drama that comes from being in a small school. The class that I work with has had their fair share of ups and downs. I took over as their advisor this year and the beginning of the year was pretty rough for some of them in terms of being able to work together well. Over the past many weeks I have seen an improvement in how they are working together. I think this years winter carnival was a good bonding opportunity and I saw students working together very well. A majority of the students organized a sleep over on Thrusday night to work on their class poster and dance routine for an event called the Mock Rock. The pulled off a first place winning Mock Rock and a very cool poster. It was great to see them working together so well and celebrating their success. I hope that they are able to carry the good feellings and motivation to work together through the rest of our school year.

Be sure to head over to "The Lower Elementary Cottage" and share your successes from this week.

My next order of business is sharing a wonderful Freebie on my TpT store. I am linking up again with "An Educators Life" for his bi-monthly freebie share. This week I am happy to be sharing a simple Lab RERUN form that is great for any science and could easily be used with grades 5-12. RERUN stands for ...

Recall – Summarize what you did in the lab.

Explain – Explain the purpose of the lab.

Results – Describe the results of the lab and what they mean.

Uncertainties – Describe what you are still uncertain about.

New – Write at least two new things that you learned from this lab.
It is a one page form that can be used at the end of a lab activity as a short report form that students turn in. For some activities this is the full extent of the write-up that students turn in. For other activities we fill out this form at the end of the activity so that the thoughts are recorded and students refer back to the form while writing up something more formal. Be sure to check out this and the many many other freebies being shared today - there is something for everyone.
Ok my long post is just about over. I have to get lots of school work done as next week will be very busy. I am hoping for a very busy week with my biology class. We will be pouring agar plates and sowing our C-Fern spores this week for their Planting Science projects. My physics class is starting 2D kinematics which can be a challenging topics, and the forensics class is starting DNA evidence.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring Giveaway!

An awesome opportunity came across my blog roll this morning. Heather over at Heather's Heart is having a fantastic Spring Blessings Giveaway. I just signed up and wanted to share the information. Be sure to follow her great blog if you are entering the giveaway!


Sunday, March 10, 2013

It's a Linky Sort of Day!

I have been reading blogs from lots of folks who participate in this monthly "Currently" linky. This evening I finally tracked down and found the directions on how to do this. So, despite it already being the middle of March I have decided to join up! So here it goes!

Listening - This weekend we dug out a set of 3 Johnny Cash CDs that have been riding around in the car but we haven't listened to in quite some time. I am a junkie for "real" country music!

Loving - Yep, Lazy weekends! I might be a bit further along with my TpT projects, grading, house cleaning, crafts, and numerous other things if I hadn't discovered the wonders of sleeping in late and bumming around the house in sweatpants.

Thinking - This coming week is Winter Carnival at my school among other interruptions. Tomorrow is a 1:00pm early dismissal for students and us teachers have workshop/staff development. Tuesday is no school at all for us. Wednesday is elementary winter carnival and many of the high school students help with those events. Finally Thursday and Friday are high school winter carnival! So basically my lesson plans are on hold for the week.

Wanting - It has been so nice this weekend, it feels and smells like spring! I just hope that it stays this way!

Needing - I desperatly need to get the house cleaned back up, but my loving lazy weekends is interfeering with this.

Like - Love - Hate - So this month these are all supposed to start with the first letter of our first name I have been watching episodes of "Alaska State Troopers" which has reignited my interest in travelling there. I have and probably always will love Apes of all kinds. I had a really hard time coming up with a hate that started with A....but I am not a huge fan of spiders and I really do hate that they always decided to live in my bathtub!

So there is is my first "Currently" now I just have to go link up and I am alllllll set!

Successful Saturday

I just came across a great idea for a linky and decided to join. Lisa over at The Lower Elementary Cottage is starting a Successful Saturday Weekly Linky! Basically the idea is to share a success story from the previous week with other readers! So here goes my first entry for Successful Saturday!

Last week at school was very hectic; grades closed for progress reports and the computer grade program was acting up, and it seemed like there were a million other things going on. For my biology class we were struggling through learning cell division and the first quiz the class took was a big bust for most of them. I was really frustrated with this and spent most of the next day trying to come up with ways to review and reinforce the concepts without completly reteaching the lesson. We ended up doing a whole bunch of different activities, including the songs I posted about previously. We also did a mitosis card sort activity; which you can find in my store here. As well as the mitosis 4x4 puzzle which is also in the store. And just to really drive home the message students took the list of objectives from the chapter and used their book and notes to make a study sheet which would help them study for the test. We took another quiz on Friday and the results were much better so I think all of the review efforts payed off. I am very glad that I didn't just continue to move on when it was apparent that the majority of the class hadn't gotten the concepts. I am really trying to stress to this gorup of students that it isn't just about getting through a chapter and moving on but that the goal is for them to understand the concepts and be able to use the information they learn. It was a tough week but the results of the quiz on Friday were uplifting. I am hoping that by Monday the students will all do well on their test. I don't usually test on a Monday but the remainder of the week is our high school winter carnival so we need to wrap up this unit before then.

Ok, so here is the link for Successful Saturday Weekly Linky! I hope to see others joining!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring Forward Weekend Sale

In honor of Springing forward (our clocks that is) this weekend I am hosting a sale on TpT! All of my items will be 10% off from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th. There are also a few freebie items that you should check out. Go to my store with this link.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sing a little song, do a little dance, teach a lot of science!

So I mentioned in an earlier post that my husband has slowly come to the conclusions that I'm a little nuts. Probably in part because he often enters a room to find me listening to something like this. As much as a point out that it is school work, I think it still thinks its a bit strange.

Anyways, over the last few years of teaching I have realized that for the life of me I cannot get students to remember things like the difference between mitosis and meiosis and yet they can sing every single Katy Perry, Kanye West, or Taylor Swift song they have ever heard. I have an ever growing collection of youtube videos by awesome science teachers that I can pull up on the screen in my classroom. Mr. Parr, who I linked to above is one of my favorite people to consult for cool science songs. All of his songs are set to popular songs that the majority of my students recognize. The videos put the lyrics up on the screen and my students start singing along and doing little dances. This has become a fun way to review we did today with the dreaded mitosis. It doesn't take very long and can be a good break between things that might not seem as exciting to the students - gets the blood flowing to their brains again! Tomorrow several of my students are retaking their quiz on mitosis so hopefully including this in our review was helpful!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Freebie Linky Party!

Just a quick post to share and awesome linky party that I have come across and am participating in for the first time this week. Lots of great resources are beings shared and all are Free! Check it out here!