Friday, November 13, 2015

Thanksgiving Blog Hop

Thanksgiving is coming up so soon! I love the idea of a holiday that is 100% centered around getting together with friends and family to reflect on all of the things we are thankful for each year.  I have partnered up with a few of my FAVORITE blogging friends to participate in a Thanksgiving Hop to reflect on the things that we are thankful for, and to share a few traditions, recipes and FREEBIES with you!  

There are so many things I am thankful for that it would be impossible to pick just one!  Here are a few things I am thankful for this year:

My Family

An oldie but goodie of the whole family from our trip to Disneyland a few years ago.  All 6 of our boys lived at home then, now we are down to 3!

A more current picture of our third son with his girlfriend.

One of my favorite pictures of my husband with my youngest two.

My Students & Their Families

My students become like family to me and their families do too!

My Blogging and TpT Friends

As I've said before, my blogging friends really help me to become a better teacher, through innovative ideas, brainstorming, and collaboration.  I couldn't do it without you!  Here are just a few of my favorites:

Chandra from PowerPoint Gaming

Kathleen from A+ Kids

Our Thanksgiving family traditions include a big family dinner at our home.  Since we had so many kids (6 boys) it was always easier to invite people here than to lug them all out.  Now that 3 of our older boys are fully grown, life is less complicated, but we still host Thanksgiving dinner.

One of our favorite dishes is the infamous green bean casserole.  Here is the recipe:

Green Bean Casserole

1 can Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup milk
1 dash black pepper
4 cans cooked green beans (I prefer French style)
1 1/3 cups French Fried Onions

1. Stir all of the ingredients together in a casserole dish (leaving out about 2/3 of the French Onions).
2. Sprinkle remaining French Onions on top.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

    I have made a special Thanksgiving freebie just for you!  Just click on the link to download these Thanksgiving themed equivalent fraction task cards.  I am so thankful for your readership and support!  

    Don't forget to hop through and collect all of the tips and freebies!

    Saturday, November 7, 2015

    Energy Balls and Enter to Win a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

    One of the things I learned about at the NSTA (National Science Teachers' Association) were these amazing energy balls (you can buy them here).  I purchased a few for my classroom and decided to use them as an Engagement activity to introduce our FOSS energy unit.  I am so glad that I did, as my students were absolutely enthralled and engaged!

    I handed out the energy balls to my students and let them try them out a bit (without telling them to much).  "What are these?" They wondered.

    At first, nothing seemed to be happening.

    But eventually, group by group, they discovered the magic and were able to light them up.

    Then my little scientists started testing out theories about how to make it work.

    If we touch hands it turns on, but if we let go...

    the ball turns off.


    At first they thought it only worked with their hands, but then a few tried some other places...

    like their faces! LOL!

    We discovered it even worked with more than two people.

    They work with other items too!  Of course we had to test EVERYTHING!

    Impromptu science "notebooks" even appeared on their desks without any teacher input!  I LOVE when they pay attention and transfer what they have learned!

    This was hands down one of my best science lessons so far, and I can't wait to delve into the ideas I learned even more!  

    Now the moment you have been waiting for.... my monthly TpT gift certificate giveaway!  Enter below!

    Time to enter my monthly $25 Teachers pay Teachers gift card giveaway!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Sunday, November 1, 2015

    Paper Folding Science Experiment

    I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the NSTA (National Science Teacher's Association) conference held in Reno two weeks ago.  I learned sooo much and I am so excited to bring back some of the ideas to my students.  

    One of the lessons demonstrated during the seminar was a great way to introduce scientific thinking and questioning to your students and could be used with a variety of grade levels.  I had my students try it out last week.

    The project is essentially a physics experiment that asks how many times can you fold a piece of paper in half.

    I had my students make predictions before they began folding, and they wrote their predictions on post-it notes.  We talked about how we could organize our data, and they suggested putting the estimations that were the same together.

    Don't judge our dirty white board easel - it is well loved :)

    Most students predicted around 7 folds.  Then, I had the students each fold a piece of paper counting how many times they folded it in half.  They then told me how many folds they had, and we collected that data.

    We found that most students could fold their paper in half 6 to 7 times.  Then I asked them if they had any questions about what we had done.  One of them asked, "Would bigger paper make more folds?"  We voted to see what we thought.

    "How could we test it?" I asked.

    "Could we use one of the anchor chart papers?"  One of my students asked.

    We tried it out.

    With the big paper we were able to fold it 6 times.  "Any other questions?"

    "Would it work with a smaller paper?" Someone asked as they were already folding a post-it.  6 times again.

    "Does that always work?"

    "Interesting that you ask... MythBusters checked this out."  I told them and then showed this video.

    "Does the thickness of the paper matter?" Another student asked after watching the video.

    "Again another great question!  Did you know a STUDENT actually asked this question and came up with a mathematical equation to figure that out?"  We then read this article about the high school student who did just that.

    It was a great lesson that really got my students thinking like scientists, and was so inspiring for them to  see that they could make mathematical discoveries.

    I will be sharing some other lessons soon, so stay tuned!

    If you do this lesson with your students, I would love to hear how it goes!

    Friday, October 30, 2015

    5 For Friday - Oct. 30, 2015

    It has been awhile since I've joined in with DoodleBugsTeaching for Five for Friday, but since I have the day off today in honor of Nevada Day, I really have no excuse not to!

    In Nevada, we celebrate Nevada Day the Friday before the official Nevada Day (October 31st).  So, since today is a day off of school, we had our Halloween celebrations yesterday.  The kids had a blast!  I am not going to lie and say that Halloween is NOT my favorite day of the year as a teacher, but I do enjoy seeing them have a good time.

    Because today is a holiday, we took our weekly math tests yesterday morning.  You could imagine my students' surprise when our principal (dressed as Sandra D), vice principal (dressed as a T-bird) , school secretaries (Pink Ladies), and school counselor (T-bird) burst into our room singing and dancing.

    They had a little speaker with them that was playing You're The 
    One I Want from Grease as they came in.  My students just sat there in shock.  As they walked out one of them said, "I think that song was from a movie." LOL!

    I was able to attend the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) conference last week and learned so much!  I can't wait to share the ideas with my students and also with you here on the blog. Stay tuned to Sunday's blog post for the science lesson I used with my students this week.

    We have had a crazy few weeks as a family as well with Tyler's first Homecoming and Cody's first band concert.

    In honor of Nevada Day, some of my fellow Nevada sellers have gotten together to throw a sale at our TPT stores.  My sale is running today and tomorrow.  You can visit my TpT store here.

    Hope you have a great weekend and a Happy Halloween!

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