Thursday, January 31, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Free 4 All Linky Party

Come join us for the 1st Free 4 All Linky Party at All Things Upper Elementary!  We will be having this linky party once a month, so keep coming back to check out all the neat freebies you can get!


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Do you read mysteries?

My former student teacher, John Spafford has a new book out.

John was our SPED assistant the year before he was my student teacher.  He would be in my room multiple times a day working with children.  I knew that he would be student teaching the next year, but it was a total surprise when he asked if he could student teach in my classroom.

John was a non-traditional student that brought many experiences and different outlooks to the classroom.  I think that I learned just as much from him as he did from me.

John's book, When the Clock Strikes Dead, is available for free right now in the Amazon Kindle store.



I will be honest and say that I haven't read his story yet.  But having worked with him for 1.5 years and hearing his stories, I know that this book will be great!  I hope to find some time to read it soon.  

If you pick it up and read it, let me know what you thought of it!  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Energy Posters

My 6th graders are in the middle of our Energy unit.  I went through each standard and made posters to cover each of them.  For those of you in Indiana, they are SCI 6.1.4, 6.1.5, 6.1.6, 6.1.7.

Even though you might not be in Indiana, you might fine these posters useful.  The posters contain the following:


1. Potential energy transforming to kinetic energy poster
2. Max and Min of potential and kinetic energy poster
3. High and low of potential and kinetic energy poster
4. Potential energy definition poster
5. Example of potential energy poster
6. Types of potential energy poster
7. Kinetic energy definition poster
8. Examples of kinetic energy poster
9. Nuclear energy poster
10. Chemical energy poster
11. Mechanical energy poster
12. Electrical energy poster
13. Light energy poster
14. Sound energy poster
15. Thermal energy poster
16. Energy transformations poster - 1
17. Energy transformations poster - 2
18. Law of conservation of energy poster


You can find them at TpT by clicking on the image below:


and in my TN store by clicking on the picture below:


We are doing a lab this week, I'll post pictures next weekend!


Monday, January 7, 2013

Pin It to Win It Giveaway!

Melissa at Teacher Treasure Hunter it having a Pin It to Win It Giveaway. She has broken up the Giveaway into a Elementary Giveaway and an Secondary Giveaway.


Click here to enter the Elementary Giveaway (Grades k-5).


You might win a copy of my Addition and Subtraction Timed Tests.



Click here to enter the Secondary Giveaway.



You might win a copy of my Integer Review Game.


Good Luck!!


Saturday, January 5, 2013

10% OFF SALE

In honor of my new venture at All Things Upper Elementary, I am offering a 10% discount on all the items in my TpT store for today only.

First, head over to the All Things Upper Elementary blog to see my post.


Then head over to my TpT store to get all those items that were on your wishlist!



Friday, January 4, 2013

Guest Blogger: Science in the City


Primary Possibilities is having a Linky Party!  




I want to introduce myself.  I am very excited to be guest blogging here.  I usually blog at Science in the City.  I write about teaching middle and high school science in an urban setting.  My regular blogging happens at

C’mon over and visit :)

Over the break, I really enjoyed the time at home with my own kids, and the chance to be slower-paced.  I  hope you did too.  However, it gave me a lot to reflect on in my teaching.  My kids, by virtue of our home life, socioeconomic status, educated family nearby get a lot of informal educational experiences that my students certainly don’t get.  This is a well-known topic.  I want to focus on one experience that my kids had over break, and how to bring a little piece of that into the classroom.



My younger son (age 3) got a butterfly kit for Christmas from Grandma.  You send away for the caterpillars, watch them grow, put them into a butterfly net house, and watch them turn into butterflies.  We decided to take pictures of the caterpillars every day so he could see them change.

Here is a picture of our caterpillars so far:


Even if its not strictly curriculum, and not a whole group project, would it be valuable to have an ongoing, high-interest project in the classroom, documented maybe with pictures?  How could you do it effectively with 100 students (4 classes).  Why bother when there is so much to ‘cover?’ 

Last year I was lucky enough to get tadpoles from another teacher.  I set them up in a tank in the back of the classroom.  I chose people in each class period, each day (either those who were done early, those who were really interested, those who were a little wiggly, or some who hadn’t done it in a while) to feed them, and draw what the tadpoles looked like. Taking pictures would have been great too.  Maybe once a week I would take 5 minutes to check in and do a very small mini-lesson about the tadpoles.  I think it was extremely valuable because the kids were fascinated.  There is something to be said for engaging kids, having them enjoy science, and keeping that curiosity!  Even if its not right in the curriculum, they like it, and they are learning science!   Aren’t life cycles, stages of development, needs of living things part of the curriculum?!  It doesn’t always have to be a prepared lesson plan!

It would be easy to even do a short assessment that does tie to curriculum in a broader sense. 

My goal in the New Year is to bring more of these experiences into the classroom, and to tie them to standards and curriculum (if not the pacing for the moment).  Kids need to see science happening, be part of it, and see the connection to the science they are learning. 

One way I know that I will be doing this is that one of my students has been telling me she has a friend that has a snake that is shedding.  She wants to bring in the snakeskin to share with the class.  I think that’s a great display object, maybe touch object, and mini-lesson!

How do you either:
      Conduct long-term experiments in class?
      Bring informal learning and high-interest things into class, even if they aren’t strictly curriculum (and why)

Feel free to leave a comment.  


Check out my post at :