Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I'm Back!

Oh boy, thanks for hanging in there with me - a family emergency has kept me at sick kids for the past few weeks so I've been away from blogging.  I'm happy to say that everything is good and hopefully returning back to normal! Including my teaching posts!  So are you a super teacher?  If so, I have a tool for you!

Have you heard of Super Teacher Tools?  If not, it is a website that allows you to make your own games like classroom jeopardy and millionaire, but that's not the reason that I have posted about it today.  I love the classroom management tools.  Specifically, the random group generator and the random name generator.  If you have access to a whiteboard in your room, the kids go INSANE when you bring this tool up on the board!  The only time consuming part of this is that you need to spend a few minutes typing in your class list.  Once you have done that you can save your list and when you return to the website, you enter in the number that they give you when you saved your list.  In an instant, it will bring up the random generator and if you need to put kids into groups you just select how many kids you want in a group and it does it all for you.  Of course, it doesn't factor in who is absent, BUT, you can make up for this yourself.  Anyways, the kids loved when I would bring this up and they were more apt to accept their groups because there was no conversations about why did I have to put so and so in so and so's group!  The random name generator was great when I needed a volunteer.  Same thing, the kids didn't feel like they were being "picked on" as so often is the case in the middle school grades!  I saved my number on a post it and taped it to my laptop for easy reference.  Sometimes I would even have the kids set up the group generator for me.  Here is a look at these wonderful resources below.

                        If the student is away, you just click the next arrow and someone else comes up!!

So what else is awesome in my teaching life right now?  Well...my best friend at school was declared surplus, so I was afraid she was leaving our school, but she just found out that she is returning as the grade 8 teacher! Awesome!  I now have a co-planner :)

Hope you are enjoying the sunshine wherever you are!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Science Freebies Online and April Currently!

Oh my goodness, between Easter held at my house this year and fighting off a nasty virus, I have been away from my blog for too long...LOL. So here is my April Currently (from Farley)...a little on the late side, but here nonetheless with some science freebies to follow!

Ok...science FREEBIES.  Last year as some of you who have been following know, I spent my first year teaching grades six and seven after many years in the primary grades.  So, I didn't have a whole lot of time for creating, especially while learning two new grades and also getting used to all of the drama that happens with older kids.  I'm not sure whether these topics fit your science expectations or not, but they are super fun and I loved the way that the science lesson plans are laid out for you! I will put some of them in so that you can peruse them to see if they might work for you. The most awesome thing about these lessons are that they tell you what the students SHOULD OBSERVE or LEARN from the experiment.  So, when you are marking it's easy to assess.  Being new to the experiments, this was a definite bonus.  Check out these resources below. There are seven different chapters  You can download a student textbook for each chapter too!  Click here to go to the website!

I'm posting a lesson below that I have used using m & m's. Again, I am wishing that I had taken pics of my kids doing these activities for you, but at the time, I didn't know I was going to be joining the blogging world, so hopefully pictures will come in September when I return to the classroom!

Chapter 1 - Lesson 1

Mysterious M & M's - What Happens When One M&M is Placed In Water?

Super EASY to Navigate this Site and even EMAIL the lesson to your friends!

Here is the FABULOUS teacher resource!
Do you see the words "expected results"??

Here is the Student Handout!

The Follow Up - Review and Apply the Science!

Don't Have a Textbook?  Here is Unit One in Textbook Format!
Chapter One

Ok, so that gives you a pretty good idea of what is going on with these lesson plans.  If you integrate technology which I'm sure you all do, you can post the textbook on your webpage or blog for students to read and access when needed, which is awesome and totally paperless.  I hope that you enjoy these activities just as much as I do!  They are so teacher friendly and fun for middle school students!

Just in case you couldn't see the different chapters from the screen shot, I have posted them below!
Chapter One - Inquiry
Chapter Two - Physical Properties and Physical Change in Solids
Chapter Three - Physical Properties and Physical Change in Liquids
Chapter Four - Dissolving Solids, Liquids and Gases
Chapter Five - Chemical Change
Chapter Six - States of Matter
Chapter Seven - Density