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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Compliment Party: Pillow Fight

Part of my classroom management plan is having my students earn class parties. We earn these parties by earning compliments from other teachers, administrators, and visitors to our room/ building.

If you see us in the hallway and we're all in a good looking line- give us a compliment!

If you visit our room and we impress you with our brilliance- give us a compliment!

Over the years, my students have earned pizza parties, ice cream parties, nachos, popcorn and movies, pajama days, and even a nap party. That's right- NAP. My students got to bring a small pillow and/ or small blanket and we had hot chocolate and read a bedtime story during the last 20 minutes of the day.

This year my students came up with another first- a pillow fight. Of course we had to come up with rules.
1. No head shots. Body shots only.
2. No ganging up on one person. (Unless the person asks for it. I had a few volunteers for "chase me!")
3. Watch out for holes in the ground. The last thing we needed were sprained ankles.

So, at 2:15 on Friday we headed out to the field next to the playground, my students found their starting positions, and off they went! They had a blast!






I even got video! ( I had a 4th grade helper)

I can't wait to see what they come up with next!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Science Tubs: Made with Units in Mind

This past Monday I had the pleasure of taking a Professional Day to go do something I've wanted to do for at least a year now: take an inventory of science tubs at Barger Academy.


It was a dream come true! (Yes, really!) It all started when I attended the Hamilton County science PDs. (Professional Developments) I also started attending an extra PLN (Professional Learning Network) for elementary science teachers. Susan Dorsa at Barger Academy allowed us the use of her room and equipment.

She has tubs. For everything.  

Great, big tubs full of wonderful science magic and happiness!!

 She would bring a different tub to each of the sessions; each full of materials organized by topic of study. And these tubs are available to the Barger teachers to borrow and use whenever they need. Simply wonderful!

So, my idea was to inventory these tubs to see what makes them so magical, then take the inventory back to my building to see what we can recreate. I know we have the materials floating around the building, it's just a matter of getting them in a central location for classroom consumption.

Below are pictures of what Mrs. Dorsa had. Some of the tubs were for large units, some were for mini lessons, and others held random materials for different lessons. If you'd like a PDF of the materials list, you'll find a link at the bottom of the post.

Space
Sound
Light

Electricity and Circuits

Rocks and Minerals
Bird Beaks: Animal Adaptations
Cell Making
Chemical Reactions 
(This tub was bought, not created. The PDF has links to where you can find the Student Manuals and other activities)
Sea Turtles: Adaptations and Conservation
(The PDF has a copy of a game you can play with your students.)

Food Chains and Food Webs 
(You can find a link to a Food Chain War Game HERE! Leave a comment on this post and I'll send it to you for FREE!!)
Heredity 
(PDF file has link to printable activities)
Inherited vs Acquired
(PDF has a printable version of the game included)

Extra Materials
(full list of extra materials included in the file)
She also had a Magnets tub, but 3rd grade had checked it out. 

I was like a nerdy kid in a science candy store. It was wonderful. I can't wait to share my findings with my school. I would love for  my school to have these kinds of easy-to-access materials. (And I'm just the Type-A personality to get it done!)

Thank you, Mrs. Dorsa for allowing me to invade your space! 
I had a wonderful time!

Want a guide to help you make science tubs?