Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Trip to New Mexico

My mom lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  Last week my kids and I drove from Phoenix to visit.  Unfortunately, it was just as hot as Phoenix.  Right at the New Mexico/ Arizona border you could see the forest fires raging.  This smoke could be seen all the way in Las Cruces.  Here is a picture from my phone of the fire I could see from I-10:

Driving in to southern New Mexico is always an adventure.  Near Deming and Lordsburg you start seeing these signs that make you want to pull off the road.  They start with the dust storm sign seen below:

This sign looked like it was about to blow over anyway.  It was actually pretty dusty as you can tell.  This sign is followed by a sign that says do not stop in travel lanes and yet another that says zero visibility possible.  If that isn't enough, yet another sign says use extreme caution!  These signs are spaced close to one another and you get the idea that maybe you should turn around and go home.   I did make it through the dust storms to get to Las Cruces.  The mountains behind my mom's house look like this:

This picture doesn't really do the Organ Mountains justice, however.  We all had a great time together despite the heat.  All that smoke from Arizona made for some nice sunsets as well:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Teacher 2 Teacher MEGA CONTEST!

Attention! Attention! You don't want to miss out on this awesome opportunity. THIRTY-THREE teacher-sellers at Teachers Pay Teachers donated top notch classroom products for our T2T MEGA CONTEST! There are 3 major contest categories: K-2, 3-6 (1 winner each), and Middle School / High School (5 winners -1 per subject area: English, math, science, social studies / history, and fine arts).

Contest Dates: Starts Thursday, 6/16/11. Ends Sunday, 6/19/11 at 12:00 p.m. Midnight / Central time.

How to Enter: 

  • You receive TWO entries for each contributing seller you follow at Teachers Pay Teachers!
  • You receive ONE entry for each contributing seller's Facebook page that you LIKE.
  • You receive ONE entry for each contributing seller you follow on Twitter.
  • You receive ONE entry for each contributing seller's blog you read and leave a comment on.
  • You receive ONE entry for leaving a comment on this blog post telling us which category you entered and who you followed.
  • You receive TWO entries as a BONUS for every TEN entries you make.
In order to be officially entered in the contest, you must fill out the contest entry form for the appropriate category.  Go to this link for the form:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fun Things to Do in Science Class

Before I start my astronomy unit I usually have students do a fun activity.  Students are given toilet paper, construction paper, NASA stickers, foil, tape, and 10 minutes.  Within that 10 minutes they have to figure out how to construct something that looks like a spacesuit on one of their group members.  It is hilarious to watch. 
I did a similar activity in Houston when I was a part of NEAT (Network of Educator Astronaut Teachers).  All of us applied to become astronauts and were invited down to Houston.  During our spacesuit activity we only had toilet paper but were allowed to use anything on our tables.  Since this activity took place after dinner, you can imagine what ended up in our spacesuit.  Salad bowls, tablecloths, and certain utensils made excellent astronauts.  I can remember how much fun we had as adults doing this and that is what led me to repeating it in my classroom.  Excitement works great for motivation!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Scientific Method Template

Here is a new product that my class has used but I thought I would revamp it a bit and post to my store.  Usually, before our school science fair we practice with a smaller format.  Here is  one page of the publisher brochure that I use to have students record their data.

Students can type directly into this template or you can copy it and give it out as a handout.  This is much easier for me to grade than collecting student notebooks.  I usually have them glue it in their notebook after I hand it back.  Students get good practice in collecting data and recording their findings before we actually do a full science fair project.  Here is the link to my store to check it out:
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