Sunday, October 11, 2015

Math Giveaway 5-12!

Congratulations to Brittany Kiser over at 123 Teach!  She is celebrating a TpT milestone with a pretty big give away over on her blog.  I am happy to take part along with so many others. Check it out and sign the rafflecopter for a chance of winning.  She has so many participants, there are 3 different packages that can be won!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fall Break House Cleaning and Sale

Tomorrow, Monday October 5th, I will be running a Fall Break Sale in my store.  Some of my growing bundles are about to get much bigger so it's a perfect time to save before the price goes up.  I will also be starting to clean up the store and remove items that either don't sell or need updating.  Some items will disappear for good on October 9th and some will be gone for a while as they are getting a much needed update.

Newer items:

Items about to be updated will include additional pages.  Get them right now at this price and enjoy the updates soon:

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Power of TED

I've used TED in my classroom since I began teaching junior high.   The videos are brief, engaging, and unique.  They cover so many topics that I teach in my classroom and are the perfect length for a warm up or a break in a lecture or an extension.  Each quarter I require students to complete a weekly literacy assignment in science.  Last quarter, students had to respond to current events but this quarter I'm going to have them choose their own TED Ed to listen to and analyze.  Feel free to snag a copy of the weekly response sheet I'm using this next quarter.

Monday, September 7, 2015


My 8th grade classes are finishing up our chemistry unit in the next couple of weeks and I will be sorry to see it go.  I think of all the units I teach for 7th and 8th grades, it is my favorite.  There are so many interactive activities and so many labs for them as they discover the basics of how matter works, why some atoms bond with others and what is actually happening during a chemical reaction. This past week, students completed their Reaction in a Bag Lab.  Students can see all of the indicators of a chemical reaction within a short amount of time and it is one of the most memorable activities of the year!

I use the GEMS series a LOT when I teach since it falls in line with my teaching style and it encourages inquiry without me having to come up with it all on my own.  This particular lab is in "Chemical Reactions" and is appropriate for 6-8 and it is only $10.

Click on the picture for the link.

To go with this lab I created these cute mini books that you can pick up for free by clicking on it's picture.  I've decided to use these this year as a way to help students organize their notes and make a topic easy to find in one specific area.  If you think these are something you can use too, I am working on a growing bundle that will include mini books for all the areas I cover in chemistry.  Right now the growing bundle of at least 10 mini books are on sale for $5 in my store.  Once I begin adding others, the price will go up.  I'll include 2 versions of each topic, one for students that need desk notes or that are absent and the other is a blank version.  I actually use the first version as I scaffold what my expectations are.

Click on the picture for the download.
It can also be found in the freebie section.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Getting Ready...Already!

Here in Arizona we are back to school already in July.  I hate it, but I love, love, love our 2 week end of quarter breaks, so I live with July.  This year teachers return July 14th.  So needless to say, as soon as the year is over, we here in Arizona already begin working on Back to School.  Yesterday our Target even was moving out the patio furniture and hanging back packs.  Both my kids nearly had a meltdown in the store.  They absolutely did not want to even go near it...they are 8 and 14.  There is a little drama there I think.  Anyway, now that I am beginning my 4th year in my new job, I've figured out what works and what doesn't.  What's worth doing year after year and what's not.  What is "junior high" and what is more "elementary."  It truly has taken this long.  So today I want to share some of the new things I will be trying to organize our back to school.  Students told me at the end of the year (I always loop with my 7th graders) that they would like more help with organization and making assignments available for download online.  The organization part I've got covered.  Making downloads available in a secure manner, I need some help with.  If you have something you use, I'd love to hear how it has worked for you!

Current Events!
I feel like current events are so very important to incorporate in science.  With the addition of ELA standards to science, I've finally put together something students will do weekly to prompt discussion and debate each Monday morning.  Each week student must bring in a current event that they have annotated and responded to.  You can download it here, if you are interested in looking at it and creating your own or up in the Freebie section.  I'm currently working on the instructions for proper ways to cite evidence and respond to the text.

Science Fair
Another huge project to tackle is science fair.  Since our students do most of their work at home, they told me that they need more guidance for each step and more intermediate due dates to help them keep on track.  So I delivered.  Using some of the past handouts along with information given out at the high school, I put together this guiding packet of information.

Lesson Plans
We are required to turn in lesson plans each week in a given format to the front office, but the format for me and a sub coming in just isn't working.  I need more space to make notes following the lesson and to easily find the resources needed as I'm setting up for labs or for technology based lessons.  The lesson plan format that I used as an elementary teacher just doesn't work in junior high.  I have two preps, not 10-12 and the depth and resources required for the class in much more involved than before.  This year, I plan on using a new format if only just for me.  I find it so helpful when I'm looping back to a lesson to see notes of what worked, what doesn't, and what extensions or resources might be needed.

Not too shabby for the first 3 weeks of break!  Come back later this week to see the extra credit and quarterly projects I'm planning for 1st quarter this year.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Love and Resources: Giving and Getting More Back in Return

It never ceases to amaze me that when I give to someone else, it always seems to come back to me two fold.  I want to provide this same opportunity for you.

My 14 year old daughter learned over spring break that one of her good friends was diagnosed with leukemia.  Not an easy one to treat either, but an aggressive version usually found in adults.  That's a lot for a junior higher to take in and process, not only for my daughter's friend but for everyone around her.  In an effort to feel like she is making a difference, she signed up for the Relay for Life with her school's team.  She originally said that she'd like to raise $100, thinking that it was a lofty goal.  Soon after our family came through in a big way, so now she thinks she can do even more!  If you'd like to help her out, I will send you some resources as a BIG THANK YOU for your support. I've tried to provide several options, including some of my more expensive and most popular products.

When you donate to Relay for Life your name will be added to the list on donors, just email me or leave your email in the comment section for this post letting me know your name and email where you would like the files to be sent.  I will respond to your donation within 24 hours.  All files are in pdf format, with some of the bigger files compressed in a zip file.  You will receive a tax deductible receipt for your donation and more than that back in return for your donation.

Below is a link to her fundraising site.  This opportunity is only good through May 1, 2015.

If you donate $10, I will send you either the science inquiry bundle or the classroom management bundle.  Or if you'd rather, pick $15 worth of resources from my store.

Science Inquiry: Fun with Flight Unit, 100 Licks Lab, Science Fair Logbook, Science Fair Board Headers ($18 value)

Classroom Management:  Chevron Buntings and Letters,  Classroom Labels,  Lab Station Labels and Management, I Mustache for Groups!, A Step in the Right Direction Classroom Punch Cards, and Tie Dyed Brights Calendar ($18 value)

If you'd like to donate $25 or more, in addition to the above resource choice, I will also send you my geometry bundle worth more than $30.

Geometry Bundle: All About Angles (Bundle), Basics on the Coordinate Plane, Transformations on the Coordinate Plane ($32 value)