June 30, 2015

Dare to Dream~ TPT Challenge

I'm new to the TPT Challenge, but this week we are challenged to DREAM!!!

 My long-term dream is to have money set aside for my girls' college!  My short-term dream is to pay off my car!!
How freeing would that be to not have to have to worry about every month!!!
These are the dreams that push me to work a little extra with TPT!  My TPT dream is to have 200 followers on TPT by August and 100 followers on my Blog!!! 

June 29, 2015

North American Monarch Institute: Learning about Monarchs!

Science Resources (Yay! Teachers love new resources)

North American Monarch Institute:

I’m so excited about learning about Monarchs! Wings Across America is a US Forest Service Program that teaches teachers to integrate Monarch and environment science into their classrooms. 

Milkweed:  without milkweed you won't have any Monarchs. There are many different types of Milkweed, depending on the region you live in! 

Monarch Eggs 

  • Monarch butterflies lay 100- 300 eggs in a lifetime.
  • The caterpillar eats the egg after it emerges. 


Caterpillar Observations

Gains 2,000 x their body mass in ten days
 Butterflies  4 Stages

Stages 1:  Breeding
Stages 2: Fall Migration 
Stage 3: Overwintering
Stage 4: Spring Migration

June 23, 2015

A Great Teacher Resource~STEM Lesson Essentials

Summer is always the time I use to catch up on reading my teacher resource books.  STEM Lesson Essentials has been on the top of my stack of must-reads.  While traveling to Kentucky for the Ag in the Classroom Conference I had two layovers, this finally gave me the opportunity to read it!  I couldn't put it down.  It has practical and engaging ways to implement STEM into your classroom.  I couldn't stop writing in my book.  
Yes~ I WRITE IN MY BOOKS! I take notes, make wish list, write in activities that will connect to their ideals, etc.  (Teachers use comprehension strategies too!) 

This book reenergized my love for integrating my curriculum, making connections to real event learning, and project based learning! The key I gained from this book was the importance of making learning RELEVANT~ Giving students a purpose to learn! 

If you know me, you would know that I wasn’t the smartest cookie in class.  As a student I struggled with reading (Black Bird Reading Group), which led me to struggle with every other content area.  Learning didn’t engage me, I would rather count the ceiling tiles, draw the patterns of the floor tiles, count how many times my teacher said a certain word, or watch out the window as bus drivers walked to the convenient store.  I’m not saying my teachers didn’t do cool projects, I was just getting tutored in reading while students were learning about pioneers, creating plays about the Silk Road, or anything else concerning Science or Social Studies.  (Note: my reading group did get to come back to be the AUDIENCE for their performances) I don’t hold a hint of bitterness!  Just kidding! Teachers do the best they can with the knowledge they have at the time! Reading is important, but sometimes the key to get struggling students excited about reading is to integrate it into Science and Social Studies.
Book Highlights: 
·    Teachers must be intentional in integrating.
·    STEM units need to have a variety of outcomes.
·    Problem- based/ Project Based Approaches
·    Can students see connections in the skills they are learning to other subject areas? (Are skills transferring?)
·    Ways to Challenge students
·    “Technology is any modification of the natural world to meet a human need or achieve a goal.”  
·    Activities: Gear Activity (can’t wait to do this with my class), Roller coasters, Geodesic Cities, and several others. 

I love summer! Rest, Relax, and READ!  My goal is to always be learning how to be a better teacher!