My Tush Hurts!

I have literally been sitting here at my computer since before lunch time!  I am in pain, tired, and for what you ask?  I have been creating some Weather Foldables for Interactive Science Notebooks!  And I am finally finished.

It ended up being a 27-page PDF document that also includes teacher answer keys for many of the pages.  I really try to do EVERYTHING in our Interactive Science Notebook and this cuts down on prep work for me and keeps all of the important information that I want my kiddos to know and remember organized (and if you haven't caught on yet...I live for organization!)  The use of a textbook in my classroom is nearly obsolete...we truly rely on the ISN as the sole source of information and we use it daily, so you've got to keep things interesting for your students.

To be taken directly to the product on my Teachers Pay Teachers site, click HERE.

Pages include information on:
•Differences in Temperature (in the oceans, on the Earth, in air masses)
•Jet Stream
•Weather vs. Climate
•Meteorologist for a Day (Forecasting the weather using a weather map)
•Pressure Systems and Fronts
•El Nino & La Nina (and normal conditions)
•Land and Sea Breezes
•Air Masses (3)
•Global Winds (2)
•Fronts (warm, cold, stationary)
•Air Pressure (Barometric Pressure)
•Weather instruments
•Reading Weather Maps
•Ocean Currents

Check out a few pages of the final product.

Good night, all my blogging buddies.  I am off to get a much needed massage from my hubby.  :)

Easy Bake Oven Turns 50

It has been awarded Time Magazine’s top 100 toys of all time.

The Easy Bake Oven will turn 50 in 2013 and to mark this important milestone, Part Select put together this infographic to showcase its evolution  from its turquoise beginnings to the modern, light bulb free version that is being produced today!  They've asked me to share this with all of my blogging buddies!  Just click on the infographic picture below to be taken to their site and see a larger version (one that you can actually read!)

Who knew that a little Easy Bake Oven Cookbook would be this popular?!?  If you missed my FREE printable cookbook, click HERE to be taken to my original post.

Weather You Like it or Not...

I decided to start working on my next semester...WEATHER!  I just finished my word wall terms/pictures that also include Spanish translation word strips.  You can check them out in my Teachers Pay Teachers store HERE.

(In case you've missed my other word wall posts, I highly recommend using these with the vinyl pockets from Lone Star Learning.  Click HERE to be taken to their site.)  This is what my word wall looked like during my physics unit:
I post the terms right above my hand-in area (students are frequently in this area turning in papers or picking up their graded papers)'s definitively a high-traffic area.  (and yes, I color-code EVERYTHING!  Each class has a designated primary color for the entire year.  I know...I have issues.
In addition to my word wall, I have dedicated an area of my board for posting my student learning objectives and guiding questions.  (In all honesty, this was more of a mandated thing for everyone in my district -- we have been thoroughly trained with the strategies of Seidlitz.).  But either way, I find that it holds me accountable for making sure that I'm teaching exactly what I am supposed to be teaching and "staying in my lane".  There's nothing worse than planning a great activity/lesson only to have the kids say "we did this last year in Mrs. So-and-So's class!"  In the beginning, it was really more of a hassle to me...I have to write the daily agenda on one board, make sure I had all of my handouts/materials/Power Points/Video clips/Labs, etc... ready for the day, AND make sure my objectives were posted along with the guiding questions.  

To cut down on the amount of writing I had to do, I decided to just create a very simple (and cute) way to post the guiding questions (since they can change from day to day, whereas the objectives may stay the same for an entire unit).  I just attached a thick ribbon to the back of my Guiding Questions Sign with hot glue.  Down the length of the ribbon, I hot glued 4 tiny clothespins to hold the guiding questions signs (check for spacing before you glue them down).  And viola!  I keep the signs stored in a file cabinet nearby organized by unit and all I have to do each day, is clip up the pertinent guiding questions.  Much easier!     

I've also created all of the guiding questions signs for my upcoming Weather Unit.  You can check them out in my Teachers Pay Teachers store HERE.

Here's a little peek at the products that can now be found in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  

And these are a few of the Guiding Questions signs:

Christmas FREEBIE- Merry Christmas Bunting

I've been hard at work today, preparing for another week in the science classroom and preparing my home for my parents to come visit this coming weekend.  To add a nice touch to my Christmas decor, I decided to make a Christmas bunting.  I haven't decided if I am going to add it to my tree or at the entrance to my kitchen, but regardless of my indecisiveness I wanted to share this with all my blogging buddies.   (Maybe I'll post a pic to show my final decision).  Hmmm....It would also look great in my classroom....

Please share where you decided to display it.

Merry Christmas to you all!  (Right click on each JPEG image below to save it to your computer.)  Or if you prefer a PDF, click HERE.

Images and Bunting Backgrounds are from Smitten Blog Designs

Not sure if I'm in love with this or not, but I went ahead and put the bunting on the tree tonight. I'm thinking a mantle or my classroom would look better. Opinions??

In Love With My Glue... and Classroom Organizational Systems I know this is on the verge of the most pathetic statement EVER, but... I am in love with my new glue caps!  I can't tell you how many times I've said "A Dab'll Do Ya!" as I watch in horror as my 8th graders mound a glob of glue onto something that is about to be glued into the Interactive Science Notebook.  Now, I don't have to say it anymore and even better... my students think these caps are so cool.  Of course a few of the smarty-pants Pre-AP kids have figured out how to circumvent the entire thing by removing the cap altogether (they think they are soooooo hilarious...ugh, how annoying!), but for the most part, it has been a huge success.

But really, they are perfect for teachers who really utilize the interactive notebooks on a daily basis.  And as an added bonus, they don't spill out glue when the kids throw them in a drawer or they end up laying on their side.  The caps will fit on the 4 oz or 8 oz bottles.

So, here they are....wait for it......

AHHHHHH..... (insert heavenly angel music here)

I got mine at School Specialty (click HERE to be taken directly to the product).

Classroom Organizational Systems

I love my over-the-door organizer (it can also be wall mounted) from Simply Stashed.  Even though my arrangement isn't exactly beautiful, it is a great product and would be a great addition to any classroom (or home).  This one is the "Variety Stash", but they have many other shapes, sizes, and arrangements.

Check it out by clicking HERE.

I have built in shelving in my room (which I cover with fabric curtains to hide what is behind them more than anything).  I've tried using stacked document trays, but I never really loved them and they couldn't hold very much weight, without buckling.  This summer, I found these stack-able nesting bins at Wal-Mart.  I can print my handouts for weeks in advance, organize and store them in these stacking bins.  Things are easy to find and easy to take off the shelf.  No more stacking paper trays for me.  Click HERE to be taken directly to the Sterilite product.

Below is a pic of my paper hand-in area  (and to the right of each hand-in box (in the vertical boxes) is where I put all graded papers).  My students never have to ask where to hand-in classwork (tests and major grades are always turned into me directly).  And if they are wondering if I've graded a particular assignment or not, they know exactly where to go and check for it.  If it's not in the graded papers box for their class, it hasn't been graded -it's as simple as that.

And above that, you can see my word wall.  I teach ELL's, regular ed students, Pre-AP and GT students.  It's important that my word wall is friendly for ALL!  I think it's muy importante to include the Spanish version of each word in addition to some sort of related visual to accompany it.  You can purchase my "Forces that Change the Earth Word Wall Terms" HERE, along with all of the other word wall terms I've created up to this point (more to come as the year progresses) in my Teacher Pay Teachers store.  The vinyl pockets that I put them in were purchased from a company called Lone Star Learning.  Click HERE to be taken directly to their site.  I love these pockets because they have an area perfect for displaying your 4.5″ x 8″ vocabulary cards and a small additional pocket to hold either the definition strip or the Spanish word strip to accompany the displayed card.

Newest Product - Just in Time for the Holidays

I am so excited about my newest product and it's winter/Christmas themed!  It is an Exploration Station Rotation activity, in which students move around the room, exploring different forces in motion, using easy-to-find-materials.  As they work on each station, they record observations and data into their Interactive Science Notebook.

After completing the 2 day investigation, you teach them about Newton's 3 Laws of Motion (which I have some great Forces in Motion Foldables (see below) to help you with just that!)  Then, have the students come back to the observations and data in their ISN's and explain how each of Newton's 3 Laws was evidenced in each station.

This year, I numbered my students off, assigning just one station to each group.  For example, all of the 1's were in charge of Station 1 and teaching the class how all 3 of Newton's Laws were evidenced in that station (they became the experts and taught the rest of the class.)  While they were presenting to the class, the audience took notes and asked questions.  It was a great way to spiral back to previous investigations and relate new information to prior learning and personal experiences.

Get it in time for the holidays!  Just $5 on my Teachers Pay Teachers site!

Click on the picture below to be taken directly to it.        

December Currently and a Hurting Heart

I am linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy, 4th grade for the December version of Currently.

I really struggled answering the last one...Random Acts of Kindness.  I have had a tough day today... I found out that one of my sweet 8th graders lost his father today.  And if that wasn't bad enough, today is also my student's birthday.  I wish I could DO something - a random act of kindness, in a way.  I want to attend his father's funeral, even though I've never met him and I want to find a way to honor and celebrate his father's life, but I am seriously at a loss...I don't know what to do.  I've always thought that if I taught an English class, I could be more of a touchy, feely, emotional type of teacher.  But being a science teacher, we don't often get to see that side of our students - their emotions and inner thoughts.  We look at evidence, collect data, and focus on the things that are observable in this world.  It's tough to find a place to fit in faith and feelings to the mix.        

I spent several hours today online, looking for ideas to use in the classroom when dealing with a loss, but it simply boils down to this - NO child should have to bear the burden of losing a parent at such an early age.  They aren't prepared and the emotions are confusing. While it can be a good thing for the student to have the routine of school and the stable environment, I, as the teacher, don't know how much or how little attention to give to the situation.  My heart just aches...  Please say a little prayer to bring my student healing and sweet remembrances of his father.

Need some more ideas to spread kindness at your workplace?  Check out: Kind Over Matter