Saturday, December 31, 2011

I Resolve to...

Well it's that time of the year again.  Time to make (and usually break) resolutions.  I know most people do not keep resolutions.  I look to my exercise class as an example of this.  At the beginning of the year there are scores of new people that seem very gung ho to get into shape.  About March they start to drift back into old habits and you never see them again.  Let's face it, most of us would rather not have to step out of our comfort zone and do something difficult, new or time consuming.  I have my students think about resolutions when we get back to school in January and I always tell them my goals.  This year my personal resolution is to spend more quality time with my family.  This includes my husband, kids, and two wee kittens we adopted at the end of 2011.  I think it is a realistic goal and quite possible to meet if I don't get bogged down with too much work overload in 2012.  My professional goal is to reread "Who Moved My Cheese"  and follow the advice therein!
Hope you have a wonderful New Year and may we all keep to our realistic goals this year!  Click on the link at the top of this post to submit your resolutions!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Papers, Papers, Everywhere!

I consider myself pretty neat.  I do not exist in chaos well at all.  I have a system that I have used for many years that works very well for managing paper in my classroom.  This year it is not working!  I am teaching three subject areas this year.  6th grade science, 7th grade science, and 7th grade reading.  I have test papers for reading in piles.  I have graded water cycle tests scattered about with ungraded ones in my car.  I have some papers that fell into my recycling bin today accidentally and I had a fleeting thought of just leaving them there.  I have science safety contracts on my counter and today's assignment on my bookshelf.  I have completely lost control of paper in my classroom!  I would really like to clean this mess up by Christmas!!  That means I have approximately 3 days to do it.  If you have any good ideas for controlling my paper problem, don't hesitate to comment!  Maybe I could wave my magic wand!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Water Cycle Game: the incredible journey

This year was my first year teaching 6th grade science.  I just finished teaching the water cycle and I think we had a good time in the process.  I used a Project Wet idea for an engagement activity to start students thinking how water could move through the cycle.  I had students create different pictures for stations in the game; plants, river, ocean, clouds etc.  Students would visit these stations and roll a die when they got there to determine where they would go next.  They would also keep track of which stations they had visited.  Students used this list to create a comic strip from the point of view of drop of water as an assessment.  My sixth graders did an awesome job of creating comic strips this year!  They had cute story-lines  and were very artistic.  This is a link to the directions for this lesson:
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