The first day of school is upon us – for me it is officially August 7th! I am both excited and nervous as I always am for the first days of school. I am anxious that I won’t be firm enough on the first day of school (because I have had years like that in the past) and then my whole year is ruined – not really, but it feels that way.
So, what am I going to do to set the stage?
At our school, the very first day is already prescribed for us. In all academic classes, we read through a section of the handbook. ALL. DAY. LONG. – It is one of the necessary parts of teaching. Especially because I have 6th Grade. In order to break up the monotony, I try to plan a light-hearted activity. In the past, I have played two truths and a lie, but this year I think I am going to try something new.
I am going to try an investigative challenge. Students will have to gather clues from items around my room to decide what type of teacher I am. I found this idea on Pinterest – which then lead me to TpT and teacher-author: Write With Ms. G. I am excited to try this out with my students and I will update you with how it works.
As I was perusing her store I also found a set of back to school stations. Stations are a large part of my teaching. I use a lot of Kesler station labs and others that I create myself. I thought this set of stations would be a good way to train my students how stations work, while getting them to look through the syllabus, etc.
What are your plans for the first day or week of school? Let me know in the comments below!
As I was researching Cornell Doodle Notes, I found Sunrise Science. There is an awesome Article available on her blog with tips for how to use Cornell Doodle Notes.
Please check it out for some amazing information and strategies to use these in your classroom this year!
If you have subscribed to my blog for any amount of time, then you know that I love doodle notes. I have also written about using Cornell notes as well. Toward the end of the year, I stumbled across the best of both of these note-taking methods = CORNELL DOODLE NOTES!
Basically, you combine the organization of Cornell notes with the graphic organization of doodle notes. Over the summer I have been converting a lot of my notes into this style of note-taking.
Here are a couple of examples of notes that I’ve created so far:
From my BIG BANG THEORY Notes –
From my WHERE WE ARE IN THE UNIVERSE Notes –
I love that I can combine graphics and notes in such a well-organized way. I cannot wait to use these with my students! Have you thought of any new ideas this summer?
So, I can now clearly see the end of summer! We go back to school for pre-planning on August 1st! Why do summers fly by so fast?
I will say that around my house we were a lot more productive, but I am still having that end of summer moment where I’m just flabbergasted that it is almost over! How are you feeling right now?
In the past, I have been dependent upon pacing guides and curriculum maps. I knew the units of study at the beginning of the year. Then, I just planned week by week using that as my guide. However, what I found was that I would spend too much time on some topics and gloss over others.
This year I wanted to intentional about long-range planning. So, I looked at each standard and came up with the main topics. Sort of the top five or so for each standard. my plan is to spend one week on each main topic. I am hoping this will help me not to rush through things and also with retention of information.
I’ll give you updates about how my planning is working out as the year progresses. How do you long range plan?
Bonnie is a fellow Christ follower and she is an awesome educator. She teaches elementary, but I was drawn to her because she creates Bible studies for teachers. She also has a group called TEACHERS IN THE WORD.
She has an awesome website where she blogs and tells more about her daily life. She also shares new products and Bible studies. Click the photo below to visit her site:
If you are interested in growing in God’s word as a teacher I definitely recommend her bible studies. They can be found in her tpt store.
I hope that you will take a moment to look at some of her products and see everything she has available. I have joined her facebook group – teachers in the word and I hope you will join me too!
“Iron Sharpens Iron, and so one man sharpens another” ~ Proverbs 27:17
I am a teacher, but way above that, I am a Christian. Self-care has been a huge buzz word as of late and I do agree that we need to take time to ourselves. It is like the oxygen mask on the airplane – you have to put yours on before helping others. We cannot continue to teach if we are constantly used up by our students. That is what leads to burn out.
The thing that aids me and sustains me as a teacher is my relationship with Christ. When I feel like I cannot go on I can pray and he is there to give me exactly what I need. If you are not a Christian, then this may be strange sounding to you. You may also question how I could possibly teach science as a Christian – but that is a tale for another time.
Recently, one practice that has helped me is to take time to Bible Journal. If you look up bible journaling you will get many different ideas about what it means. Some people paint all over their Bible and create wonderful works of art. For me, it simply means to write – annotate – & to reflect on God’s word.
Above you can see what a typical page in my Bible – you can see that I circle keywords, underline details and add annotations about what things mean. I also have coloring pages in the margins of my Bible that I add color to and I also add tip-ins with further notes. This has greatly helped me to learn more about God’s word and what it means for me!
If you would like to look at some of the methods I have used you can visit my board on Pinterest! I add to it at different times.
I hope that this has helped you to see how I study God’s word. It truly does give me peace and helps to anchor me when I am feeling overwhelmed in the day to day aspects of teaching. Until next time…
After a bought of sickness, I am back in my classroom. And I cannot believe that it is already MAY. I survived testing and jury duty and now there are only 17.5 days left including weekends!
I only have a few weeks left to share with my sixth graders. May is always a bit bittersweet for me. My students are moving on and I will have a brand new set of students next year! At this time of the year I try to finish strong, but I cannot help to look forward to things I want to do next year.
Lucky for me and the other teachers in the United States that around this time we have Teacher Appreciation Week! Tomorrow TpT will have its annual sale and I cannot wait to stock up on some goodies for next year!
Some of the Items on My Wishlist:
I already use the doodle notes from this teacher-author about the seasons. I think this would be great to use at the beginning of the year because it hits some key ideas that are a pinnacle of our learning throughout the year.
I purchased these a couple of years ago. I love using them to update my syllabus. If you don’t have a great template check these out!
One of my weaker lessons is talking about Gravity and Inertia. I would like to look at this set and see if it would add to what I already use.
My classroom has a cactus & succulent theme. I love these posters for my classroom. I am looking for some easy ways to spruce up the room without re-doing everything (which is what I have done every year I have taught!).
What kinds of stuff will you be shopping for?
When it comes to writing in science, sometimes my students get confused or don’t know where to begin. I like to give them a tool to use in the beginning to help them form sentences. It is a simple page with sentence starters to help them form good/complete sentences.
Sentence Starters for Science
I introduce them to the starters and explain some of the terminologies. I then give them some simple practice questions to try. As the year progresses this is a tool they can use whenever we have a written assignment. It is nice because I don’t have to constantly formulate ideas and I can point them back to this as a tool.
What tools do you use for writing in science?
Earlier in the year as I was looking on TeachersPayTeachers for scientific method resources, I came across EzPz-Science. She has some really cute stuff that later I found my self coming back to again and again.
On her main page she says that her goal is to increase student engagement with fun and creative lessons for middle school science. I personally think she is doing a phenomenal job.
The first resource that I ever used from her was a seek and find. It is a picture that contains key vocabulary words. Read more about them here in a blog post by EzPz Science!
Check out this freebie (a.k.a my first resource from her)
I really want to try out her seek and sorts as well. You can find all her amazing resources along with more information at https://ezpz-science.com/