Thursday, October 1, 2015

Penguins In The Classroom!

Hey Science Friends,
 Are you ready for the 2015-2106 Adélie Penguin breeding season in Antarctica?   Starting Nov 24, follow 10 new penguin families as they raise their chicks at Cape Royds, on Ross Island.  Adopt a penguin family, keep a field notebook, record parent foraging trips, egg hatching and chick rearing data. Follow daily pictures as these amazing birds raise their chicks.
Combine science, art and geography. Have your students track their penguin postcards as they are mailed down to us, and then back from Antarctica.

 Design and make a flag to fly at our research station.
 Ready made instructional powerpoints (with teaching notes) about penguins, Antarctica and more!

Something for everyone about Antarctic!

Penguin Science is an NSF funded project engaging and educating classrooms and the public about Antarctica and the amazing Adélie penguins as they raise their chicks and cope with global climate change.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Science Of Teaching Science!
Hey Science friends,
As teachers we prepare to greet classrooms full of new faces in the coming weeks, many of us turn to professional development opportunities to refresh and strengthen our skills for the year ahead. Recognizing the challenges of traditional professional development tools, which often require significant investments of both time and money, the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) launched Good Thinking!: The Science of Teaching Science in June — a free, engaging and entertaining web series designed to support science educators. The series addresses the need for accessible professional development tools that help teachers break down barriers to understanding scientific principles and enhance their classroom skills.
 A first-of-its-kind series, Good Thinking! comprises short, animated videos that explore pedagogical ideas across a range of subject-matter topics such as natural selection, energy, and the water cycle as well as cognitive research findings on topics like student motivation, the myths of learning styles, and left- and right-brained people.
Good Thinking! shines a light on the pedagogical challenges teachers face, and provides solid, science-based ideas that keep their teaching on track. The series enhances K-8 science education and deepens understanding of STEM topics, for teachers and students alike.
 Join me as we explore a little about the Science of teaching Science
with the Smithsonian Science Education Center!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tell Us About You Tuesday!

Hey Science friends,
Well, I am linking up with my friends at Freebielicious for Tell Us About You Tuesday. And it's early Wednesday morning, go figure. You know what they say for some people the wee hours in the morning are the most productive. I am a night owl and that is the way I have always been.
I am heading into my 16th year of teaching with a fresh and renewed mindset.
All of my career I have spent in Kindergarten which has been a true blessing for me.
I went to school and thought I would be a Science teacher because during my college years I truly recognized my love for the natural world and living things and I discovered the answers to many childhood questions I had about the world around me. In my last semester of college I took 27 hours just to take a kindergarten job that fell into my lap.
I live and teach deep in the heart of Texas. I have been here my whole life. Living in Texas my whole life, you would have thought that I had seen it all but that was not really the case conversation kind of changed that all for me. Since I was a child I had always wanted to travel the back roads and see Texas! After sharing my childhood dream with my husband, it wasn't long before we hit the road! We hitched a little travel trailer and I swear we never looked back...not even once!
It is safe to say I have had my share of lakeside picnics along the dusty dirt roads of Texas. This experience has given me a chance to play around with my love of photography that I always had brewing inside of me but never knew I had a real use for until teaching and blogging came into my life.
I now have a lot of memories and pictures to share with my class when we talk about Texas and natural resources which also comes in handy for writer's workshop.
The sun was shinning so bright it was hard to tell what this picture would look like. I am sure there is a setting that I should have been using but balancing yourself on a kayak with a new camera this was my best shot.
My family and I are planning a future trip to Caddo Lake. I am looking forward to pictures from that area of Texas.
 I love cooking and I have a thing for setting the table. Inside and outside the table is always set. Setting the table for brunch is my all time favorite. Who doesn't like brunch? A laid back and stress free meal...ahhh! If I only have about one brunch a month, then I want it to be special! I blog about
that here!
 Until the back to school season gets in full swing I am sure you can find me somewhere between here and there on some dusty dirt road in Texas taking pictures and blogging along the way.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sunny Sunflowers!

Hey Science Friends,
Well nothing really says summer like a sunflower! This week we ended our day putting together our sunny sunflowers. As we were working, I could hear a lot of science talk around the room. My pieces for the project were precut to save a little time.
Here are some of my favorite books about sunflowers that I have collected over the years. Any Eve Bunting book would surely be on my list.
When reading, This Is The Sunflower, we talked a lot about seeds. My class was really interested in seed dispersal this year.
I found this book two years ago and have used it each year since I discovered it, This is a good one to integrate some process art into a plant unit. We read the book and do a little internet research and look at some of the paintings. Once we have seen some of the artwork we begin talking about the different elements in the paintings that we have viewed. We will end up with artist inspired sunflower paintings before it is all said and done.
Everyone is always surprised at how easy these actually are to create. Just a little paper, pencil, crayon and watercolors are all you need. These are the "go to" projects we work on when we finish our other work.
Once the dry, a quick trip to the laminator makes the colors come alive and they are so beautiful we can't take our eyes off of them. They are so worth the time and effort. I can't wait to get these started this week!

Friday, February 6, 2015


Hey Science Friends,
We are gearing up for some investigations with rocks. Everybody needs a rock, right? Well this year we are diving right in to rocks so close to Valentine's day and although these two seem like an unlikely pair, we have made a little connection.
As I was planning for my classroom rock investigations, I was surprised to discover a few new resources to spice this Science focus up a bit. As I was searching on the Internet I discovered this new to me book and it caught my eye. I am patiently waiting for this little gem to arrive.
Love You When...
When we discuss rocks we describe properties of rocks by-
I usually spend time on each property and allow a lot of time to observe and describe different rocks to help develop or foster sensory language. With young children this can be challenging at times. I have learned that this takes time and multiple exposures. Books help me keep this area of focus alive interesting and ongoing. I will use this book as we talk about shape but what I am really excited to try is using this book for shared writing. And considering Valentine's day is approaching, I think it will offer a good opportunity to reread the text and discuss the pattern in the book.
I love you when...the sun shines bright.
Not only does this book lend itself to shared writing, the pictures support a discussion on rock shape but this book could also be integrated into the area of art. Linda Kranz is a popular "rock artist" and her painted rocks are vividly and creatively displayed along with natural rocks and stones.
Another treasure I have unearthed is Heart Stones. This book is a great lead in to some wonderful outdoor investigations because...everybody needs a rock! The children will be surprised to learn that heart stones are not all that rare and can be found.
I wonder who will find the first heart stone?
With our hand lens in hand, I know we will be ready to investigate our playground rocks and search to find one or two.
Along my journey I also discovered See A Heart Share A Heart. What speaks to me about this book is the photographic journey of hearts in nature.
Can we find heart shapes in nature?
This would be the perfect book to read as you head outside again and explore the great outdoors. I know those budding scientist will be able to capture this experience in their notebooks.
These three books should add some spice to your rock discussion and investigations. I have to admit, I am excited to give them all a try.
For more information on I Can Be A Scientist Exploring Rocks, click on the image above to take you to my store.


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