Fred the Fish

#science #waterpollution #FredtheFish #ARiverRanWild

Fred teaches students about human impact on watershed and the importance of being aware of pollution to help keep the Earth and it’s water clean.

Fred

I learned about this activity a few years ago while I was participating in the University of Houston’s Science Teaching Equity Program. I wasn’t able to use the Fred lesson until this year but he finally fit in perfectly for my 7th graders for Human Impact on Water.

 

Introduction to the lesson (optional) A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry: An Environmental History. To purchase this book, click the image below to take you to Amazon.com. I let my students color their Fred while I read the book and use my document camera to project the illustrations. Screen Shot 2018-04-20 at 9.04.21 AM

After I read the book, students wrote 1-9 on their appear and as I went through the steps, students wrote down the type of pollution contaminating Fred’s water.

 

What’s going through Fred’s mind? When I finish step 4, I pause and tell students to write what think Fred is thinking or saying in his thought bubble.

After going through the steps, I let my students talk about Fred and what happened. I guide the questions to relate to pollution and watershed.

At  he bottom of the worksheet, I tell students to write three things they can do to prevent this from happening to Freds in the future.

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Digital Materials

Fred the Fish:

  • Fred the Fish Lesson Plan Materials for the lesson can be found on the lesson plan.
  • Fred Script Cards Feel free to adapt the order of the script to your classroom.
  • Fred This PDF is an image of Fred and a thought bubble. I used this paper for several different activities throughout the activity.

 

 

 

Lego Mindstorm Mission to Mars

#Robotics #Coding #programming #middleschool #iteachmiddle #LEGO #SpaceChallenge #LEGO Mindstorm EV3

The Robotics/ Coding club that I sponsor came in 5th and 7th (out of 17) teams in the LEGO Mindstorm EV3 Space Challenge held by our district!

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I am very fortunate to be a part of a district that encourages and supports the implementation of robotics on school campuses.

The Competition:

The district arranged for each school to do a video conference competition. We used Skype and competed against one other campus with a judge watching.  Each team was timed and judged using a rubric. My only recommendation would be to screen record the other team- just in case you disagree with the scoring!

Below is a video of Team 2 who came in fifth place! They did such a great job and we are so proud of them!

In the Space Challenge, there are 7 missions to accomplish, this video shows the first 6 missions but does not show the last mission as a result of technical error; we learned from our mistakes and are better prepared for next year.

To complete in this challenge you will need the following:

Software

Hardware

This competition was tremendously fun for the coding/ robotics students and equipped them with a variety of skills including (but not limited to) computer coding and teamwork!

 

 

 

Schoology

I LOVE SCHOOLOGY!

#schoology #learningmanagementsystem #LMS #NotAnAd #ShouldBeAnAd

I first learned about Schoology when I was working on my Masters, investigating different Learning Management Systems. The following year, my district decided to implement Schoology at all campuses, so I was able to dive deep into the implementation process.

I am able to use Schoology to upload content including, but not limited to, PDFs, Presentations, Quizlets and link or embed websites. I can give quizzes, hold discussions, and so much more! One feature (that I assume my district pays for but so worth it) is that our gradebook, Skyward is linked to Schoology so transferring grades to the gradebook only takes a few clicks. Schoology enables you to save anything you upload which can be transferred to other courses the same year, or the next.

Schoology allows students to create portfolios to store assignments, pictures, or accomplishments which stays with them from year to year. Schoology is a great learning management system and I recommend it to anyone looking for a way to manage digital resources and materials or just looking to make teaching a little bit easier!

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Happy New Year! Welcome Back!

#2018 #Teacher #ScienceTeacher #iteachmiddle #edtech #blendedlearning #schoology #respectagreement

The 2018 calendar year has begun and I will be seeing my rambunctious 7th graders again very soon! For the first day back, I decided to hold off on starting my lesson to have a ‘Welcome Back; Let’s review classroom procedures’ type of day.

First, we will…

My students and I will be creating a respect agreement by submitting words to a poll I set up with http://www.PollEverywhere.com. The poll asks students, “What is a word or short phrase that relates to or defines respect?’

The words are gathered and create a ‘Word Cloud’. My plan is to then use my Cricut to cut out words and put them on a white board for the students to sign (update coming eventually). The point is that, as a class, we are coming together and defining and agreeing on how we will treat each other in class, by showing respect.

Next…

Login to Schoology and take a ‘personality quiz’ students answer questions to determine their personality ‘color’. Submit color through Schoology assessment. Knowing about a students personality can help me get to know them better and assist when assigning students to groups.

Finally,

Students will take a Back to Class Quiz on Schoology. The questions will include things like,

When is the best time to use the restroom?

A. Between classes

B. In the middle of a lesson

C. The first 10 or last 10 minutes of class (10/10 Rule)

What is the best way to get Ms. Bedner’s attention?

A. Saying ‘Ms. Bedner’ repeatedly

B. By creeping up behind her when she’s talking to another student

C. Raising your hand

D. Asking when she’s in the middle of talking to the class

Just a silly quiz to remind my students of my rules and procedures. Can be used to replace/ drop a daily grade.

Random Thought of the Moment: Instead of turning in lesson plans, can my principal just read my blog?

Teacher Hacks: Silent Sliding Tables

#TeacherHacks #SilentTables #Teachers #IteachSCIENCE #ScienceLab #Sharpie #AmazonPrimeTeacher #ColorfulPuzzleMat

If your classroom is anything like mine, desk rearrangement is a pretty regular thing; groups, lines, individuals, STAAR protocols, you name it, I’ve tried it.  In a science lab though, I’m not sliding my desks across carpet, I’m tugging and yanking large, heavy tables, hoping the teacher below me doesn’t have to come check to make sure ‘everything’s alright.’  To make table arrangement easier, cut out pieces of felt and hot glue them to the bottom of table legs for an easy glide for smoother classroom rearrangement.

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Hard floors? Need some cushion? check out my colorful ‘puzzle mat‘! Adds cushion when standing all day and can be used by students for flexible seating, also available in black.

 

Implementing a Blended Learning Classroom

Over the past year and a half, I decided to implement blended learning into my classroom and hoped to be able to provide evidence for my district that blended learning should be implemented campus and district wide.

The first step in implementing blended learning was to develop a plan for my campus to implement blended learning.  After developing a plan, I developed a professional learning course to help teachers get a better understanding of the importance of implementing blended learning in the digital age. The course included strategies to help students be successful in their online learning as well as providing Digitools such as apps, programs, and websites to help teachers implement blended learning.

I did a lot of research on blended learning and studied to determine that blended learning is comparable to traditional learning but provides many more positive skills needed for the future where technology skills are becoming essential. Blended learning is growing in education and it’s important to prepare students with useful skills for the future.

When implementing blended learning, it’s important to create a significant learning environment for students.  A blended learning course should involve the COVA model which gives students choice, ownership, and express their voice with authentic learning experiences.  Students can define and expand their interests when they are able to find areas that interest them.

As the use of technology is increasing in our daily lives, there’s no surprise that technology has begun to impact our lives in many different ways, including education. There are many important aspects to ensure we are teaching to our students about using technology in a classroom including teaching students how to be good digital citizens, the laws of copyright and plagiarism, and the potentially catastrophic impacts of cyberbullying. Being online is an extension of your real- everyday life and the things that you do, say, and post, can affect your real- everyday life.

Throughout the whole process, I learned a lot about myself and my philosophy of education, teaching, and learning.  I learned so much about blended learning and have been able to narrow and focus in on my own interests to determine that path I would like to take in my career in education. Implementing blended learning is an ongoing process; During my journey, I started a new job in a new district so my plan took a short pause for a while. I am still working to implement blended learning and still working towards motivating other teachers to implement blended learning as well.  My new district also has limited technology, just a few iPad/laptop cards for the entire campus. I am still promoting and communicating my plan to implement blended learning but I am currently in the process of adapting my blended learning plan to my new environment and collecting evidence that blended learning can still work even with limited technology. I am hoping that by next year, I will have more teachers onboard to implement blended learning in their classrooms. Using the strategies and components I have learned in the DLL program, I feel I will be able to successfully implement a blended learning classroom as well as lead change in my organization.

 

DigiTools

Resources, Websites, Apps, and more.

Checkout my edshelf which allows me to display digital tools and resources that I use in my classroom. This is not a full list of resources that I use, but it’s a good start!

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#Education #DigiTools #edshelf #DigitalShelf #Schoology #Kahoot! # Quizlet #QuizletLive #Kindle # Edmodo #Microsoft #OneDrive #Outlook #Remind #Socrative #LegoMindstorm #Robotics #Coding