Saturday, May 31, 2014

Surviving the Chaos: Capitalize on Creativity

We've got a big state exam coming up at the end of our course in two weeks.  The kids are getting antsy. (Heck, the TEACHER is getting antsy!) and it's not always easy to stay focused and accomplish everything we need to do during these last precious hours we have together.  After months of hard work, taking notes, studying, doing lab experiments and activities, everyone is looking forward to a couple of months rest.  But not before we make it through the Regents exam.

Capturing student attention (and keeping it for 40 minutes) can be a real challenge.  One of the best ways I've found is to do creative review projects that include drawing, coloring, cutting, and sharing each one's work with another.  

I have several favorite go-to creative projects, and we're pretty good "on the fly" with not much more than a blank sheet of paper and a couple of colored pencils.  I may just have the each student draw an important diagram, then switch with a partner.  The diagrams can be labeled either together or separately.  

Sometimes I provide a diagram that's scrambled, and have the students cut it apart, color it, and put it back together like a puzzle.

Or I take a sentence, chop it up, and have teams of students race to unscramble the sentence into an important biology fact.

There are so many creative activities that will re-capture your students' drive and motivation to review and share what they've learned.  And there's no better time than now.

Engage your students with this interesting and informative article based on 
scientific information about turtles as carriers of Salmonella bacteria.
Pair this article together with the following activity 
for a great lesson about reptiles!  Comparing Reptiles and Mammals

And if you REALLY like FREEBIES.. check out my recent post called SCIENCE SHOWCASE.  Its a new blog feature I'll be running from time to time, loaded up with awesome science freebies!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Science Showcase: First Up - CHEMISTRY!

I've decided to start a regular feature in which I'll be introducing you to some fantastic freebies and paid products to help you teach science!  I'm going to start this week with some CHEMISTRY FREEBIES!

First up for chemistry teachers and students of all ages: Kelly Wilson's Chemistry Jokes and Riddles.
Everybody loves a good joke. Share these silly chemistry jokes with your students and other teachers to have a good laugh!  There are 15 pages of jokes and riddles.  Use these to have fun and keep smiling!

Next, for elementary scientists its Chemistry for Kids: an experiment investigating solid, liquid and gas.  This freebie comes to you from Science for Kids.
Your kids will love this chemistry experiment! It is a great way to teach the scientific method, to use as an intro to basic chem, or as a wrap-up to a solid, liquid, gas unit. Have your little scientists add a solid and a liquid to a baggie and then watch the bag get bigger and bigger and bigger as a gas is produced! This one never fails to amaze and delight!

And for your middle school classes, check out Tangstar Science's Properties of Matter Task Cards.

These 32 FREE Task Cards with editable template provide a great activity for student centered enrichment or review. It is a handy tool for early finishers or as an independent study or group activity. This hits common core standards for reading, listening, writing and speaking.

And from my own store, Teen Students in Science Clip Art.

8 different images of students in the lab and using technology.  Each image provided in both color and black and white line art.

We'd love to know what you think!  If you have a product you'd like to see featured on the Science Showcase, please email me at

Monday, May 5, 2014

Kindergarten Teacher in Disguise

Welcome to Strawberry Shake!  I'm excited to be a part of the Best for the Best blog hop sponsored by Amy at Teaching in Blue Jeans!

The activity I'm sharing on this blog hop is one of my favorites.  There are color and black and white cut/sort/paste activities for your students, words for your word wall, and trading cards to give your students as rewards for a job well done.  And there are additional pages for students to review the concepts they've learned by coloring and writing the names of living and non-living things in the pictures.

Though I've been teaching high school science for more than 20 years, it's time to face the truth.  I admit it, I'm a kindergarten teacher at heart.  I love the natural curiosity of kindergarteners, the fearlessness, the silly things they do.  I also love to be crafty and creative and silly, too!  I like science.  No, I love science.  I want to know how and why everything works the way it does.  I love animals and plants and nature and figuring out how they all fit together in this amazing world.  And, I want to share my excitement and enthusiasm and wonder with kids of all ages!

I hope to be able to use my knowledge, experience and expertise, along with my crafty, creative self to make fun and engaging science activities for kids.  I've had so many elementary science teachers tell me that science is their least favorite part of teaching.  That makes me sad.  I want to make teaching science easier for elementary teachers who may not have liked getting their hands dirty or investigating living things when they were young.  Science shouldn't be scary or difficult to share.

I hope you'll enjoy looking at this product, and that you'll come by my store to see what else you might find useful.  Follow my store so you'll be the first to know when there's a new product.

All of the adorable graphics in this product are from Thistlegirl Designs.

Enter to win this product and more using the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post! Then continue on The Best for the Best Teacher Appreciation Blog Hop by clicking the picture below.

Thanks again to Amy at Teaching in Blue Jeans for putting this hop together!  The days I get to teach in blue jeans are always good science days!