Star Trek – Astronomy Room Transformation

20181009_165553.jpg

I grew up with a dad who loved – LOVED – Star Trek. Now that I am an adult that love of space travel and Star Trek translated over to me. I was ecstatic when the new movies came out and now I frequently watch The Orville (currently have a new episode to watch on my DVR). So, when I started thinking of a transformation to do for Astronomy – STAR TREK was it. I will be honest and say that I was torn between Star Trek, Star Wars and Lost in Space; but in the end, Star Trek won!

The Decor:

I was fortunate to get a Donor’s choose project funded for this transformation. Thus I got a lot of stuff via Amazon to decorate my room. I’ll show you the pictures and then list/link the things I used.

20181009_16561720181009_16564420181010_11432220181009_165613

I set up my desks in a ‘U’ formation -using groups- and I placed my captain’s chair in the middle. If you have seen the show, then you will get my vision. I borrowed some backdrops from our school yearbook staff – they did star wars at the last dance and had a space backdrop.

The scene setters and window backdrops were purchased on Amazon. I made my beam me up Scotty area using cake plates and table cloths from Walmart and the Dollar Store.

Links to Scene Stuff:

What Students Did:

Students were given a crew badge and this assigned them to a group – alpha, beta, charlie or delta. Then they completed a team activity to dock their spacecraft and board the ship. I then allowed them onto the ship with the theme music playing in the background. I showed them some videos of Star Trek missions through the ages (5 minutes max). We then got an alert that we had engine failure. Students had to work through a series of tasks to get the engines back online.ย  We called it our evasive action plan…

Procedure 1 – Calculate Gravity (Gravity and Inertia)

Procedure 2 – Identity which planet is most similar to… (Planets in our Solar System)

Procedure 3 – Identify the space objects headed to the planet (Asteroids, Meteors, and Comets)

Procedure 4 – Rocket Vocabulary Codes and Phet Lunar Lander (Astronomy Vocabulary)

If you are a Star Trek Geek like me you may want to try something like this with your students. It was very engaging and they really loved using the Phet Lunar Lander!

Star Trek Room Transformation - Astronomy

Let me know what you do to boost engagement during Astronomy in the comments below! Until my next post…

signature

Rock Cafe Room Transformation

The inspiration for this room transformation came from an old lab/demo that my partner teacher and I did a couple of years ago (it had been done for years – the copies we had looked like they had been made using ms-dos…if you remember what that is…). Basically, in the lab demonstration, we would cook fudge, pancakes and use snickers to model the process of creating each type of rock. The kids always loved it because they got to eat yummy food while learning = win, win!!

This year instead of just doing the same lab, I decided to kick it up a notch. I donned my chef’s hat and transformed my room into the Rock Cafe!

20181204_173548

Set-up for this was super easy! I put my desks together and added a tablecloth. I also put flowers in the middle I found some cheap vases from amazon.ย  I then made some cute cafe signs and printed them ๐Ÿ™‚

My favorite part of my set up was my cake display. I borrowed some cake trays from other teachers and put some of my nicer rocks on them. Similar to the cakes sitting on display at the counter of a cafe. I know I’m a Nerd!! Here is a picture:

20181205_091300

A few years ago I typed up all the directions and the student sheet for this activity and placed it in my TpT store. It does not have the cafe signs and such – if you are interested let me know in the comments below and I can send them to you!

If you would like to use this in your class, click the link below to be directed to my TpT store:

Capture1

Thanks so much for reading this post. Don’t forget to check out my other room transformations – linked on the sidebar!

signature

 

 

Meteorology Glow Games Transformation

Image may contain: 2 people, including Jessica Lynn, people smiling

Let’s be honest – there are only so many Kahoots that you can do to review for tests (don’t get me wrong – I do love me some Kahoot!). When it came time to review for my Meteorology unit, I knew I wanted to try glow games. I had read about this idea on elementary shenanigans, and so I dove in!

The Decor

Now I will admit that this one cost a bit more than I anticipated. FOr glow games I needed black lights. Guys, black lights cost some major bucks. I remember when I was in high school you could purchase them at the dollar tree – well that is not the case anymore. The LED version will set you back about $8-9 at Lowes or Home Depot. That was my major purchase to make things glow. The other main purchase was items for the games (water bottles, glow sticks, spoons, and cones). I asked parents to donate glow-sticks and I borrowed some lamps from different family members.

The Content

Students entered the room and rotated between four different games to review for our test. They had a recording sheet to use as their study guide and they had to complete the study guide in order to play the game.

The Games:

  • Spoons – Find out how to play this card game here– students were able to match four of a kind using our meteorology vocabulary.
  • Jenga – Students answer a question under a color category and then pull that color from the Jenga Tower. The same Jenga rules apply, but you add content questions.
  • Ring Toss – In order to get a turn students to answer review questions.
  • Bowling – In order to get a turn students to answer review questions.

My Product!

I thought that this worked very well, so I made a product that you could use with your students to review meteorology. Check it out by clicking the photo below:

Meteorology Glow Games

signature

CSI – Scientific Method Room Transformation

2018-08-29-07-24-45-480

I grew up watching CSI with my mom. I remember getting stuff done in my room and hearing the theme song and running to the living room to watch it! So, as I was brainstorming a fun way to review the steps of the scientific method, CSI immediately popped in my head.

The Decor

 

Decorating for this was SUPER-easy and pretty cheap. I asked the custodians for some large trash bags. I cut those open to cover my desks. I purchased a backdrop from Amazon – it is a line-up. You can see it in the photo above. I then used some black paper and caution tape. Then the set that I purchased from TpT had some cute hand scanners and such (so I made all my students scan in).

Links (not affiliate links) to Decorative Items I Purchased:

The Content

When searching for content I actually purchased two separate products from TpT. It’s fun that we are able to find items on Tpt and we don’t have to always make things ourselves. I purchased two products but ultimately went with one of them. I’m going to share them both and then explain why I chose to use one opposed to the other.

Scientific Method CSI Science

 

The first one that I purchased was by teacher author EzPz-Science. I ended up not using this one, but I did love the setup. It has questions reviewing scientific method and then as you answer the questions you get clues about a suspect. In the end, you can put all the clues together to solve the case. If you want a less hands-on situation, then I recommend this. It is basically print and go! (click the photo on the right to go to snag this on TpT)

 

20180828_09523320180828_122324

The one that I chose had them go through a series of investigations. They had to complete a shoeprint and fingerprint analysis, a chromatography of pen inks and finally, they had to figure out what an unknown white powder was. The students loved it and were able to see how the steps of the scientific method are used each day in an investigation.

If you would like to see more about the product I used – click the photo below:

CSI Forensics Escape Room

My students loved CSI and so did I. As they came into the Crime lab I played the theme songs and set the tone for the day. I created a crime scene for them to observe and they had a real-life experience using the scientific method.

How do you review the scientific method? Let me know in the comments!

signature

Amazing Race: Destination Transformation

I had a blast yesterday sharing all of my passion for room transformations with awesome Georgia Science Teachers! In this post I am posting links to my session notes for you to look at – I will also be adding several blog posts about my room transformations over the next couple of weeks.

 

Amazing Race Transformation Session

Jenga Example

Spoon Directions

Room Transformation Ideas

One of the great things about presenting at GSTA is the opportunity to collaborate and bounce ideas off of fellow educators! The last link in the list contains all the ideas for room transformations generated during my session. If you have more ideas please share in the comments below!

Until next time ๐Ÿ™‚

signature

Bonus – Okay so a few weeks ago I actually did the amazing race in my room for geologic timescale. Here is what I purchased for the GSTA transformation AND my classroom transformation!!

First Classroom Transformation! – Beach Day

To end our study of the ocean floor and the creatures that lie therein I decided to try a classroom transformation (this is where you make your classroom into a new place i.e. a beach, Jurassic Park, etc). At first I was a bit skeptical, because I had seen things like this done of youtube and on teacher blogs. However, I never thought I would buy into this “madness.” Especially to go through all the work for only one or two days! Ugh!

After trying classroom transformation – I am a firm believer that this brings magic into the classroom and definitely increases student engagement! If you want to see some of the awesome transformations that have inspired some of mine head over to Elementary Shenanigans!

Here’s what I did to transform my room into Isle de OCMS!

First, I told my students to bring a towel on the day of the transformation. I would not tell them why. I just told them to bring a towel. This automatically sparked their interest (Quicknote: if you are ever interested in doing this you may want to specify – BEACH towel or else you end up getting dish towels and so forth).

Next, I gathered all of my beach stuff from my house – beach umbrella, boogie boards, spare beach towels, sand buckets etc.

Then I set out to transform the room. I moved all of my desks behind my back lab table and then set to decorate everything.

20171126_193102

On my board I wrote “Welcome to Isle de OCCCMEEESS” and I explained to the students what to do. As they came in I had ocean waves and beach music playing. It is amazing what sound can do to create an ambiance.

20171127_142139

20171127_142128

Students then traveled around to several beach themed stations to go over information about the ocean floor!

The first station was called BEACHED! – For this station students had to dig in the sand to find different ocean creatures that had washed ashore. They then had to put them back in the zone where they belonged.

20171127_142148

The next station was called SEA CREATURE FEATURE. At this station students investigated different sea creatures and had to think of adjectives that would describe them. I had mollusks, sea horses, sea urchins and other preserved creatures for them to look at and feel.

20171127_142301

CUP CASTLES was the third stations. This is where students had the opportunity to build sand castles. Each cup had either a word, definition or picture on it. Students had to match the word to its definition and picture in order to build each castle.

20171127_142252

Students then had the opportunity to relax on the READING BEACH and read about their chosen sea creature.

20171127_142158

The last station was the BOOM GAME. This is an awesome game you can use with any set of task cards. It can be found on Teachers Pay Teachers by Rachel Lynnetteย  – BOOM GAME FREEBIE!

20171127_142211

This was an amazing day for me and my students. They were 100% engaged in the activities, even students who normally cause issues did great! If you are apprehensive, I suggest trying it at least once!! Here are a few pics of my students in action:

 

 

GSTA 2019!

On Wednesday I will be headed to the Georgia Science Teachers Association Conference. I am super excited about going, but also super nervous too!

I will be presenting a session at 8am on Friday over Room Transformations and how to engage students with real-world science. My session will be Amazing Race themed and I even have goodies for all of my participants. If you are attending, please come to my session. I would love to meet you!

Some other sessions I am interested in:

Thursday

First-timers Session – I had the opportunity to attend NSTA last year. However, this is my first GSTA, so I thought it might be helpful.

Incorporating Literacy into Stations –ย I feel pretty strong in this area. However, I am interested to see what other people are doing in their classroom.

Teaching Guided Science Through Stations – This is something I am very interested in. I would love to incorporate more stations into my day to day lessons.

Time Saving Strategies with Science Notebooks– I love my science notebooks, but I hate how much time I feel is wasted on putting together foldables sometimes. I hope to find some great ideas from this session.

Friday

My Session – eeekkk!! It’s going to be great ๐Ÿ™‚ I cannot wait to transform a session room!

Increasing Literacy in 6th Grade Science- Wow a session just for 6th grade. I am thrilled and hope I can make it to this because it is right after my session.

Making Lessons Sticky – Retention is huge and the problem this session is set to help solve.

Quit Teaching, Start Facilitating –ย This has been one of my goals as well. To have students who could be leaders in their own learning.

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, We love Close Reading and You will Too!ย – I already love close reading, so I am excited to expand my toolbox.

Saturday

I am unsure about the sessions on Saturday that I want to attend.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Overall, I am very excited to meet new people, learn new things and share with people! I cannot wait for GSTA!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Please comment below if I will see you there!

 

 

 

 

The Reading Strategies Book

I am convinced (along with many of you) that all teachers no matter what the content/subject area are reading teachers. As I was perusing some of my favorite teacher youtubers, I came across this great resource. It was reviewed by the Lettered Classroom and Tina Beitler. They both ranted and raved about the strategies presented along with the anchor chart ideas built into the book. I decided to get a copy, and I do not regret it.

I was worried after purchasing that this was going to be a book totally geared toward ELA teachers and not useful for me in the science classroom. And while it does have the language of an ELA teacher’s resource, it still provides valuable strategies to use across content areas.

There are four sections in the book that focus on nonfiction reading strategies. Within these sections is where I found some great ideas. One idea that I use quite frequently is the boxes and bullets strategy. The book explains how to teach students to pull bullet point ideas from their reading in orderly to concisely comprehend the text. It also goes on to show an anchor chart/handout to use with students.

This is not a sponsored post by any stretch of the imagination. I just simply wanted to recommend a good resource if you are wanting to up your literacy game. What strategies do you use in your class?

Want to know more about the Reading Strategies Book – Check out this article!ย 

NewsELA (not just for ELA)

When I transitioned into the science classroom from ELA several years ago, I was very surprised how many science teachers didn’t know about NewsELA. It was a resource that I used at least weekly with my ELA classes. Naturally that did not change when I became a science teacher. I started pulling articles relevant to our topic of study, and found that students were very engaged with the current-ness of the articles.

How to find articles and What to do with them?

  1. Go to newsela.com
  2. Type in your topic (in my example below I looked for fossils)
  3. Find an article that may work for your group.
  4. Print it with the additional resources OR save the url to share with your students (there is also a pro version where you can create classes and assign articles)

Here is an example of the search and what comes up after you search:

capture3

What I really like about newsELA is the ability to differentiate. You can give the same article but change the reading level. One thing that I do is ask for my students reading level when they take their reading level assessment (STAR or MAP) from my English department. That way I can pinpoint what level students need for their articles.

capture4

Another cool thing is that, if you use BrainPop, NewsELA is now linked to Brain Pop!! Yay! That means it automatically pulls in targeted articles based on the topic of the brain pop.

So, if you have not explored NewsELA I highly recommend that you do so. You can pull in some close reading strategies and really engage students with real-world content! Let me know if you use NewsELA or try it out in the comments below!

signature

February Finds!

I cannot believe it is already FEBRUARY!!! January flew by in all its winter glory. Here in Georgia we got several threats of snow, but no snow days ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I know, I know I shouldn’t even need a snow day yet. However, the longing for snow is more for my two-year-old than anything ๐Ÿ™‚

The month of February is going to bring the study of plate tectonics to my classroom. I am excited to try some new tools that I recently found.

The first tool is an interactive map. Students can plot their address and watch as it changes through 750 million years of Earth’s history. Students are actually able to see the plates move and all the changes the land around them has gone through. This is going to make it more real for my students and I cannot wait to use it. (Click the image to check it out yourself)earth-permian.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smart

I honestly wish that I had used this with my geologic timescale lesson – but I am going to use it for that next year.

The second item I want to share with you is a collaboration. I have collaborated with over twenty other teacher-authors to bring you a bundle of seasonal resources. I cannot wait to use the science resources included in the bundle. Check it out by clicking the image below:

ig pk-5 winter bundle

For some more awesome February Finds, check the Linky List!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click hereย to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…