Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year..New Beginnings...New Pineapple!

January 5, 2014~Is it possible..can it be....I am amazed on how "I'll get to it" turns out to be a two year hiatus. It was not my intention but juggling time as a wife, mother, step-mother, aunt, sister, daughter, teacher, friend, co-worker and all the other titles that could be listed here prevented me from my reflections and thoughts. So I find it interesting as we approach 2014 that I begin where I left off.

My Pineapple. 
It is extremely significant for many reasons.
  1. I was teaching sixth grade science to the same group of students that I currently teach 8th grade mathematics. Thereby, I have a special bond with the plant and my students. 
  2. The sixth grade class brought in the original pineapple to propagate during our plant reproduction unit. 
  3. It is the beginning of 2014 and a time of new beginnings (you see the cold snap killed the original plant) 
    Original Pineapple Plant
  4. Everyone deserves a fresh start: parents, students, teachers, etc
So as I begin again with my pineapple plant, I am reflecting on how I can take this symbolism and use it for 2014.

First: Positivity: I have been known to be a positive person, however, lately a lot of things have come in the way of keeping that positive. Keep the positive..there is always a bright-side. I may not see it at the time of occurrence but God has a reason for everything.

Second: Cherish every moment: Growing up I felt like I always had to be doing something and in that I forgot to savor the experience. Savor the moments with my husband, my three girls, my family, my students and my friends.

Third: Laugh and Smile: Recently it was shared that a student (that I do not teach) said I was mean and did not smile. While having a stern reputation as a teacher is not a bad thing, I would rather not be known as the "mean teacher".  

So what are your "pineapples" and how are you going to propagate your new beginnings? I know I am going to take this new year, new pineapple and new beginning to work to find balance. Balance to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend and teacher. 
New Pineapple Plant
1/5/14

Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13, 2012~Day five of our experiment. Changing the water today.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Plants, Plants, and more Plants.....

Day 1 2/8/2012
February 9, 2012~We are in the middle of our plant unit and several students stated they had not experienced vegetative propagation with a pineapple. So begins our experiment...Yesterday a student brought to school a pineapple. I took it home and prepared it for the process and so our experiment begins...
If you have had success or failures with this in class, please share. I will  be posting photos as we go through the experiment.

Friday, July 22, 2011

New Year Approaching....

July 22, 2011 ~ As a new year approaches (in about 20 days for teachers), I often ponder on what I can do to create a community in my classroom. What to do as ice-breakers and beginning of the year activities that either are "new" (at least to me and the students) and unique to get their attention and stir their internal motivation. I have done some research and come up with some resources.

These are just a few links to hopefully spark some creativity. Please share if you have any thoughts or ideas that have proved useful in your classroom!

Beginning of the year activities:
10 Great Classroom Icebreakers
http://www.worksheetlibrary.com/teachingtips/icebreakers.html
Interesting Ways to get to know your new Class
http://edte.ch/blog/2011/07/11/interesting-ways-to-get-to-know-your-new-class-2/

Back-To-School Activities
http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/beginning-of-year.html

Back-to-School Activities from Mathwire (for my math friends)
http://www.mathwire.com/seasonal/school1.html
Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators Back to School
http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schrockguide/edres.html

eThemes~Back-to-School
http://ethemes.missouri.edu/themes/606

Classroom setup ideas:
Pictures of my classroom
http://edte.ch/blog/2008/09/03/pictures-of-my-classroom/

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Links for the Science and Social Studies Classroom

June 7, 2011~
  • National Jukebox (More for 7th grade but good way to expose all students to music from our past starting about 1900's)
      ( http://www.loc.gov/jukebox/)
        The Library of Congress presents the National Jukebox, which makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. The Jukebox includes recordings from the extraordinary collections of the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation and other contributing libraries and archives.

      (http://weatherspark.com/#!graphs;a=USA/SC/Cayce)
       WeatherSpark is a website dedicated to making in-depth weather information easily   accessible.

     (http://www.fergusonfoundation.org/hbf/classified_information/fishid/index.shtml)
      Keys are tools that provide a systematic (step-by-step) way to identify plants and animals. A series of choices are made based on the organism's characteristics to discover its identity. This fish key is based on body shape and physical features.

Cohort Planning for 2011-2012

June 7, 2011~ During the course of the year, my school participates in early release days for students. These six to seven student half days are designed to allow teachers more time for planning. Teachers sign up for a cohort of their choosing and develop their skills. I was asked to facilitate a cohort for the coming year. The course will be entitled "Integrating Technology into the Middle School Curriculum". Training for facilitators will not be until August, however, I wanted to get a "jump" on the technology component prior to training. I have my favorite tools that I would like to share but know the best way to help teachers integrate is to give them choices to allow for ownership of the process. I will be conducting a survey at the first session and have a few that I prefer and they are listed below.

Technology Options:
Animoto
Musuem Box
Voicethread
Glogster
Poll Everywhere

I am looking for suggestions of other integration tools that you may have had success with in your classroom. Please share and give thoughts, ideas and concerns (including classroom management aspects during integration)....