Monday, October 31, 2011

Spooky Science

Today  Halloween fell on a Monday.  I struggled with what to do with my sixth grade science class and came up with a Halloween story with demonstrations.  I wrote a story last night until 11pm.  It was actually a pretty good story all and all.  It was basically about three kids trick-or-treating and finding themselves exploring an abandoned house only to find a wrinkled lady with a very pointed black hat.  During the story I used dry ice for a number of demonstrations that the kids loved.  One of these included taking a metal ice cream scoop and holding it against the dry ice.  This makes a great squeaky door sound.  Actually it was more like a screaming door!  I plan to revise my story and post it to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to help teachers for next years Halloween.  It turned out to be a very enjoyable day.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blog on Fire Award

A big thank you to Amy from Science Stuff for nominating me for this award.  According to the rules I have to say 7 things about myself and then nominate 7 worthy blogs!

1.  I went to college to become a geologist.  I never really considered being anything else and somehow I became a teacher.  At least I teach earth science!

2.  I am a native Boulderite!  I originally come from Boulder, Colorado which is a very unique (or strange) place to grow up. 

3.  I have two wonderful children who are 13 and 9.

4.  I grew up playing clarinet and piano.  I can still play the piano pretty well.

5.  I have been a middle school science teacher for 14 years.  I am also teaching reading this year and tutor dyslexic kids after school.

6.  My husband and I love to hike  and spend time outdoors.  I feel like a good hike is an antidepressant.  I guess I belong in nature.

7.  I love animals and have a brand new kitty who is part Siamese named Pippin. He was found roaming at one of our district schools.  He is adorable but now thinks my couch is a toilet.  Cats!!!

And now for my seven outstanding blogs.... hope you will check them out soon!

Ed Tech 4 Science
Teacher Tam's Educational Adventures
 The Teaching Bank
Education Journey
 Sunny Days in Second Grade
Teacher Gone Digital
Life in Special Education

Monday, October 17, 2011

Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, and Tonto Natural Bridge

I have once again taken my fall break in some of the southwest's most cherished locations.  I also take my camera lucky for you!  I haven't been in Arizona's Petrified Forest since 1993.  This year I decided to go back to see it again.  The logs you see in the following picture are indeed very much rocks!

You are not allowed to take any petrified wood out of the park of course.  There are however some locations near Winslow, Arizona and vicinity where you can collect pieces.  I found a great blue piece in 2007 in the Winslow area.  But alas, in the park, you cannot.  I guess this bird will stop you if you do!

 The painted desert was just beautiful this time.  It is a little tricky to take quality pictures of, however.  Here are a few from the overlook near the visitor center:

These two parks are in the same area so if you ever visit you can see them both in one day.  My husband and I did most of the hikes as well.  We stayed in Winslow at an old Harvey House on the old route 66.  The La Posada Hotel has been renovated and is a wonderful place to stay.
On our way back home to Phoenix we past Tonto Natural Bridge State Park and decided to stop.  I hadn't been there since I did my field school for my masters up in that area and really wanted to see it again.  It is the largest travertine  bridge in perhaps the world.

You can see the waterfall running from springs at the top.  This creates a micro-climate at the base of the bridge complete with many types of plants.  Here are a few pictures of the water and plant life in the bottom.

If you ever get a chance to visit Arizona, you will find amazingly different landscapes and climates in a relatively short distance.  These areas I have pictured are not far from one another.  They are within a few hours drive of Grand Canyon and Flagstaff as well.  Hope you have enjoyed my travels!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Halloween Crossword

Well it's that time of year again.  Time to welcome fall and ghoulish delights!  I have made a Halloween crossword in celebration of season.  The hardest word is jack-o-lantern and is probably suited to 4th through 6th graders.  It comes with 3 pages.  A full color page, a black and white page and an answer key.  I am hoping to create a spooky science product as well so be on the lookout for that one. Here is the link to my crossword:

Fall aspens in Flagstaff

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