Well...It's Official! I'm a Red Raider

I walked the stage this weekend in Lubbock, Texas and received my Master of Science in Multidisciplinary Science from Texas Tech University.  So I guess that makes me a Bobcat and an official Red Raider.  I am so excited to be done and to never have to make that 5 hour drive again...it's the worst!  My wonderful family came from even farther to support me and I am so appreciative.
Receiving my medallion from the College of Education

My favorite Physics Professor, Dr. David Lamp 
My favorite Engineering Professor, Dr. Mukaddes Darwish...what a goober!

My family, who has put up with A LOT over the past 3 years (it's made my 3 year old a little nuts!)

My happy parents

Receiving my medallion for the MS^2 Program (a $3 million grant from the Greater Texas Foundation)

Hugs and handshakes from the professors in my Masters program

Yay!  I finally found my family in the crowded United Spirit Arena

Sisters!  She says I'm finally an official Red Raider.  Wow!  It only took 3 years to become official.

My sister and her hubby and me and my hubby.  We represent Longhorns, Red Raiders, Bobcats and Aggies!

Get Your Guns Up and Eat 'Em Up Cats!

Today's thought:  I am a lifelong learner and thrive on continually finding ways to better myself and be a better science teacher.  I am wondering what my next adventure in life will be, what greater things will I pursue, what seems impossible now but will be revealed as attainable?...  What is your next adventure in life?

Of Course You Want Some Free Stuff!

Miss Klohn has reached 700 followers and is doing an "EPIC GIVEAWAY".  I happen to work with her at FMS (I might have coached her many years ago... ok, I did) and she's a wonderful, inspirational, hard-working woman.  Congrats!  Over 15 items are up for grabs (two donated by yours truly), so you don't want to miss it.  Head on over and get entered... NOW!

Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher

Go Check out the 6th Grade All-Stars Blog and enter to win in her 100 followers giveaway!  Over 8 products are being given away, including a Starbucks gift card.  Congrats Mrs. Crouse!

The Responsibility of the Student

I love this message and created a poster to put in my classroom.  Feel free to save and print.  (I'm not sure who the author is, but I'd love to give him/her credit.)

Foldable Fun

I love incorporating Foldables into my daily routines as often as possible, so I'm always looking for new/creative ways to do this.  Because I use an Interactive Science Notebook on an almost daily basis as well, most Foldables fit perfectly into the Spirals or Composition Notebooks.

Here are a few sites I've gathered up to share with you!  Click on the picture or Webpage Title to be directed to the site.

Foldables Wiki (if you click on "Pages and Files" on the left of page, you will have access to Teacher-Created Foldables)

Center for Math and Science Education Wiki

Print Cut Fold (click HERE to get a PDF of all of their Activity Types and HERE for Free Templates from Arlington ISD)

PDF Guide to Making Tons of Foldables

Substitute Binder! And it's EDITABLE!

I've never put much effort into my Substitute Binder because: #1 I don't have a sub that often, and #2 I never have enough time.  Well, that's all changed thanks to Think Share Teach!  Farrah has created 3 different editable Sub Binders and I am in love (with the binders).

Click on the pic below to head over to her site and download them now!  Make sure you thank her for all of her hard work.

Currently Link Up

Currently Link up with Farley from http://ohboy3rdgrade.blogspot.com

I Believe I Just Had My World ROCKED!!

Somehow I just came across this amazing website that converts your handwriting into a font TOTALLY FREE!!

At http://www.myscriptfont.com/ you can download their PDF template document, write each character in the correct box, scan it, upload it to the site, give it a name and add it to the fonts you use on your computer.  It's so quick and easy!  I am seriously obsessed with this right now.  I've already created 3 fonts in the past 30 minutes.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.  And if this is one of those things that I am like the last to know, well, just don't spoil my fun...let me think this is ground-breaking stuff just for a little while longer.

DIY - Just a Little Classroom DIY

Need a cute storage idea for your randomizing Popsicle sticks?  Look no further!  Simply take a Crystal light container (I used the cheaper HEB version, which worked fine), remove the outer wrapping and decorate using washi tape and homemade labels!

Another simple DIY is converting a used Velveeta box into a cute classroom container that can hold just about anything.

Simply remove the Velveeta box lid (carefully... it will serve as your tracing template).  Trace it onto a large piece of sturdy scrapbooking paper or other large 12" x 12" piece of cardstock.  

The ends of the Velveeta box actually hung over the piece of scrapbook paper, so after cutting it out, I had to make separate end panels to glue on top of the existing end panels that were too short.  It actually made the box lid a little sturdier, so not a big deal.  

Using a craft bone folder or the edge of a smooth ruler, crease the new scrapbook paper lid in the exact places that the Velveeta lid was creased.  Glue it together and use paperclips to hold it all in place for a few minutes while it dries.  

After it dries, just put the new lid you made on top of the cardboard bottom of the Velveeta box and VOILA!  Instant cute box!!

Celebrating the Smaller Things

I don't know about the rest of you, but once the school year gets started and the State Mandated Testing looms over my head, I get caught up in the swing of things and don't always have time to focus on the accomplishments and celebrations of my students.  So to make things easier, I prepare for birthdays at the very beginning of the year (just one less thing to do during the busy school year).  I always have a bulletin board dedicated to birthdays (right by my word wall) and because I have over 130 students each day, I must update the board monthly.

This year, I decided to do an owl theme, not because I think my 8th graders will even care, but because I think they are so darn cute.  I created a poster using one of my new faves (http://www.blockposters.com/) and some decorative 3 inch circles and 3 inch owl circles with room for each student's name and birthday.  All of this is available for $1.00 in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Seventh, Eighth, Middle School - TeachersPayTeachers.com

And I just have to share my new favorite crafting tool... it seriously cuts the job in half (or even less than that!)  Fiskars Lever Punch!!

And for 2 inch circles I love the Fiskars Round-'N-Round Squeeze Punch!! 
These two beauts take a page full of circles that used to take me a couple of minutes to cut out down to literally SECONDS!!  I'm all about Teacher Timesavers!!

Student Grouping - Famous Trios

As I was lying in bed at 6 a.m. this morning thinking about school (and wondering why I'm such a nut and can't just let it go for the summer), I thought about creating some student grouping cards that would randomly put my students into groups of three.  I began brainstorming famous trios and created these student grouping cards.

Click on this link to check it out in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store:
Seventh, Eighth, Middle School - TeachersPayTeachers.com
I have found that I must continually change how I group my 8th graders.  It doesn't take them long to figure out the cards (the first time they see them, they aren't quite sure, but after that....forget it!).  After they become familiar with the cards, I find them trading with fellow classmates so that they can be partnered with their BFFs.  So, I have to add to my bag of tricks all year long just to keep them on their toes.

Next task on the To Do List...  Famous Groups of FOUR!