Thursday, August 4, 2016

Force! Motion! Energy!

Science standards are changing even with the New Common Core Standards being introduced. STEM is being implemented everywhere! So when I got an email for a new STEM endorsement program in my state, I jumped at the opportunity. So far, its been some of the absolute best professional development I've ever had. I think a lot of it is due to the topic and another huge portion is due to the two ladies running the program, Peggy and Antinette. Seriously fun ladies and I adore that they are TBFs (Teacher Best Friends). Most other professional development is okay, but these classes are hands on and the things we do in the program are things that we can take directly back to our classroom. There are 6 classes total and we have done four. Two more to go and I'm so excited! 

Throughout the endorsement, the homework is to create a unit of 3 to 5 lessons that take the cross-cutting concept we are working on and integrate it with the Common Core Science Standard for our grade. So I have been doing one unit per class. So this last class during the summer, the cross-cutting concept was ENERGY! The 3rd grade science standard is FORCE AND MOTION! Hence the title of my new unit. What's getting great about my unit planning is that every time I write a new unit, it gets better than the old one. So some older units that I've done include Fossils, Rocks and Minerals, Soil, and Adaptations. This new unit is one of my best units yet. The graphics are better, there is better organization, standards are included, and the lessons are easy to follow with an outline and the materials that you need. 

So lets get down to it! Let me tell you all about my lesson plan on Force! Motion! Energy! First you have all the standards and objectives listed so you know exactly what to expect to teach. (Great resource if you are required to turn lesson plans into someone like your principal). Next you have a list of all the materials for the unit you are going to need. Give your students the pretest and set the test aside after grading it. Its really cool when students can compare pre to post test results. Next is an anticipatory set of questions to get your students really thinking about force, motion, and energy. 

Next you have vocabulary cards and word wall cards along with a lesson plan on introducing the vocabulary words. Students then have a follow up worksheet that I am fully intending to let them use the word wall to help answer the questions. 

After teaching the vocabulary, you have 13 lessons all ready to go that integrate reading into science.  Each lesson has a video to watch, a reading passage with text dependent questions that the students have to highlight the answers in order to answer the question. Lastly there is an activity that is super easy to reinforce the idea. 

There are 6 interactive notebook activities that help the interactive notebook. 

Lastly comes the STEM! I love this part! There are 6 STEM activities for students to do that have worksheets with them to guide students along with their project! Its super fun! Here's a sneak peek! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

After the TPT Sale, Did it Take Anyone Else Hours to Clean Up Your Computer?

Oh my gosh! I can't tell you how much the stuff I got from TPT made me excited. I have friends that are like "Oh I refuse to spend money on TPT and will only use the free stuff." I think "That's a shame, the free stuff is only samples of the amazing stuff on there." But I'm not going to say that to them. When they ask me where I get my stuff, then I'll tell them!

So after the sale, I realized that my files were all SUPER cluttered! Screenshots and files I'm working on were littering my desktop! And then I had another row of stuff that I need to print for school! So I realized, it was time to officially declutter my computer! First I started with downloads. I will be honest, I get a lot of free stuff off TPT and its not what I am looking for. So it needed to get deleted or sorted into a file in a place I'll use it. Then I went over to documents and threw out everything there except for the assignments that were from my master's program. I don't know why, but I couldn't part with them just yet.

Now pretty much everything else was on the desktop! Oh yeah.... it was THAT BAD! I'm not even kidding you! Files were on top of files. So I started creating files. If you don't know how to do that, its a right click on the desktop (don't be hovering over anything else). I got things sorted into 16 files! (Granted some of the files are personal.) So here's my list of files:
  • School Pictures
  • Personal Pictures (like from my wedding) 
  • School (General Files)
  • 3rd Grade Science (Where I'm putting files I gather for my units) 
  • STEM (Homework for my Endorsement/activities I find to do with my students)
  • SLO Folder (This part of school teacher evaluations for merit pay) 
  • JPAS (The other part of teacher evaluations) 
  • Reports (All student data) 
  • Movies (These are personal movies that I put on my computer like Harry Potter)
  • To Print (Everything that as soon as I can go to school needs to get printed)
  •  Bill Nye Videos (the state has permission that allows us to download to school computers) 
  • Games (these are games that I want to do with students) 
  • TPT (projects and PDFs of final stuff that I have on TPT)
  • TPT Resources (Files, fonts, graphics, anything I use to make products) 
  • TPT ideas (Screenshots of things I want to do or make) 
There are still a couple more files, pdfs, documents, powerpoints on my background but those are things that I want to see everyday so that I don't forget about them or where I put them. I don't store anything in documents. I put them all in folders on the desktop to makes things easier for me. SO... its your turn: how do you file things on your computer? Comment and let me know! 

Monday, August 1, 2016

That Earth, Sun, and Moon STEM Unit You Just Can't Pass Up!

Seriously! Its getting late and I'm supposed to be going to bed! ......But its summer! All I have to do tomorrow is laundry and hit the grocery store! So for the last 12 hours I've been on the computer! I really really need to get off! What have I been doing?! Working on Lesson Plans, BUYING Lesson plans, and creating a whole new brand of ME!

I'm now SUPER CHEEZY! Ha playing off my last name of course. I changed my store name to: Cheezy Solutions to Lesson Planning! Dun Duh! 

So in all serious now! I gotta give mad props to myself! You see, I never ever used to write lesson plans! Let alone look at standards. I kind of just threw things together! BUT you know what? When you write lesson plans, things come together in a more coherent way. If you are that lazy teacher who I used to be like... LUCKY YOU! You got teachers all over the internet who will do it for you! You just got to pay for it. I love it and I do pay for some stuff. But seriously, you can be so rockin' awesome by piecing together some of the best of the best from around the web. Me: I like to do a bit of both! You see, I buy a little and create a little making the best classroom ever! 

So I've told you that I'm switching it up to 3rd Grade! Wahoo! Holla! I'm stoked for my team. I get to teach with 5 (wow 5! huge team I know!) veteran teachers! I'm the new girl! I don't know what these teachers do in their rooms and I am not one to go reinvent the wheel. However I am one to go and make the wheel better for me! 

So where did I start? SCIENCE! I've taken a look at all my science standards and decided I need to integrate them with Language Arts! So I'm about to tell you why my unit is better than all the units out there!  First I'm gonna post a snapshot! 

So here is what teachers need to do. First, buy this awesome unit for only $5.99! That's a great deal with 77 pages total! I've been online and found units ranging from $8 to $15 for the entire unit! I'm seriously not trying to rip any other teacher off. 

Next, there is a list of things you are going to need to gather up. Its STEM! STEM isn't full of worksheets! You're gonna need some supplies likes Oreos, glue, craft sticks, paper plates, and that sort of thing. 

Now just follow the unit in order! Give students a pretest, teach the vocabulary lesson, review vocabulary words in a worksheet, give students an anticipatory set and dive into the language arts portion of the unit. The language arts portion has 8 mini lessons to teach. In every lesson, there is a video off Youtube that you can show your students. Next you'll read a passage that talks about an important concept. Along with the passage is a set of text dependent questions. In order to answer the questions, students will need to use crayons to highlight the answers. Lastly, in each lesson there is a short activity. (Well some take longer than others). 

Next up, students have several worksheets they can do and glue into a science notebook if you have those going in your classroom. Vocabulary worksheets can be done on their own or go into that notebook as well. One of my favorite activities is a Scavenger Hunt for students to do on computers. If you can't get a computer for each individual student, put them in pairs, or even do it as a whole class. I think my grade has a set of iPads. I'm not sure yet but that may provide a way for students to do this activity. Lastly, the Language Arts portion would be incomplete with out writing involved! Three writing prompts are included: one descriptive, one informative, and one narrative. 

Now for the STEM Part! There are three different tasks that involve STEM. You could split your class into groups and have them each take one. Or you could do all 3! Its up to the materials you have and the time constraints each classroom has. But one thing I love about each of these STEM lessons is that there is a worksheet to guide students through their project without telling them what to do. It allows students who have a hard time getting started to think about what they know and how they can apply it to make their project. 

One thing I'm really looking forward to is our summative project assessment. I only included pictures in the unit, but I want to have a classroom Outer Space Party. I want students to invite their parents and their younger siblings in to the party. For the party, students to help make the decorations, send home invitations, and have their projects and things that they've learned from the unit on display. I also want centers and things students can do at the party with their parents. All of the centers are something that I want students to have contributed in helping to put together.

Center 1: A snack table
Center 2: A photo booth
Center 3: A Spaceship walk
Center 4: Craft activity
Center 5: Play with Moon Sand
Center 6: Pin the ship on the Moon
Center 7: Planet Bean Bag Toss Game 
Center 8: Space Mazes

After the party, a review game is needed before the test! What better way than with a game called 'Blow the Roof Off'. Its my spin on the game "I Have, Who Has". Instead of kids asking questions, they say their number listed on the card, do an action that is associated with a concept, and the class tries to complete all of the cards as fast as they can going in order. There are 30 cards so if I have less than that, then some kids get more than one. If I have more, I'll give one the assignment of timer and one the judge. Then I play a couple rounds and switch cards every round to get everyone in the game! After the game, give students the posttest and compare results to the pretest. 

Seriously! This is that unit you just can't pass up! Complete with standards and all!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Great TPT Back-To-School Sale! What am I buying?!

Okay everyone! Its time to start getting ready for school.
I'm curriculum mapping like crazy and trying to figure out how the heck I'm going to start off this new year to make it #bestyearever!

So is getting ready to throw their 'Back-to-School' sale and I'll be darned if I miss it! Its about 20% off plus take an extra 8% off on certain products. So if you buy of TPT, now is the time to do it. I always wait until the sales if I'm going to buy stuff and I'm definitely going to be buying the best of the best of stuff for my new little 3rd graders!

So what am I going to buy? Well my philosophy is if it isn't my forte and I don't know how to make it, then I'm going to buy it. I'm only buying things that I'm going to need for the first part of the school year. So couple things that have had my eye over the summer:

Back-To-School Stuff:
Create-Abilities made this ADORABLE booklet that I'm so giving out on Back-to-School Night! Its $4 regularly -

My classroom theme is Basketball! So I found an awesome Powerpoint to use for Back-to-School night. Now normally I wouldn't buy this, I would probably make this. BUT it looks super good. I really don't think I could make something this cute and have it ready in time. I only have two weeks to be set up! Its $5 by ARTrageous Fun!  (I like that name!)

I am debating on this one... its a flip-flap book. I like the idea... sort of. I've never done a flip flap book and it is one that is all about students for the first day of school. I would really work on it during the first two weeks of school. Its $4 and its by 'Simply Skilled in Second'.

3rd Grade starts with Multiplication and teaching math facts:

So first is a unit on Multiplication created by a teacher named Ashleigh - Its $10 regularly and I'm super excited to see the entire unit. If I like it, I'll be probably buying the rest of her math stuff.

Also to go with it I want an interactive notebook that I found by 'The Not So Wimpy Teacher'
and its only $5 regularly. She also has interactive notebooks for every unit. It will be cool to see how her stuff works and if I like it, again, I'll probably buy the rest of her stuff.

I found a Ninja Math Fact tracker that I loved by this teacher named Kelly Malloy. I emailed and asked her if she would make it in a Basketball theme! She did! I'm stoked! Its $6 for each version.

Language Arts:
I start by teaching Parts of Speech so I found some cool stuff.

Here are some Task Cards for $2 by 'The Not So Wimpy Teacher'

Here are some Tab-Its by 'Simply Skilled In Second' and I've never done Tab-its before so this will be a first. I'll let you know what I think of them. These are a little on the pricey side so I'll see if its worth it. They are $8.

Lastly, I'm thinking of Reading Groups and I'm debating on this one! It looks pretty cool. Its a No Prep Printable Reading Activities by G'day Y'all Teaching at its regularly $5.

Social Studies:
Okay! So one of my most favorite TPT Authors is Kayse Morris! I've watched all her videos and I think she's the best. If she taught with me, I'm sure she'd be my TBF (Teacher Best Friend). Anything she makes, I pretty much buy! I suck at making the interactive notebooks! She's a rockstar and her lesson plans are super easy to follow! So here is the entire interactive notebook for 3rd Grade for Social Studies! What a bargain! And its only $10 regularly!

The first unit I teach in 3rd is on the Moon! I made a whole STEM unit during the summer (which wasn't very long since I was year-round) and I love it. I consider it cheap because its an ENTIRE UNIT for only $5.99 and as soon as I put it up, people were seeing the value and buying it.
Check it out! Oh and yes it will be on sale these next few days!

Anyways I find myself getting impatient when I make interactive notebooks and that sort of thing. 'Simply Skilled in Second' has a cool book that I am going to buy. Its regularly $4.

So the sale hasn't started and my checkout total is $75.25. I'm hoping that goes down! I've already way over spent my budget for this school year and now everything is coming out of my own pockets! That's switching grades for ya! But I'm super excited for this new school year! As I'm signin' off I got 15 days until school starts!

Check out that awesome TPT sale that starts tomorrow and don't forget to check out my store! 


Edit: Just wanted to let you know, the sale started at my total with the 28% discount was...... $54.63! And yep! I'm buying ALL OF IT! Even the stuff I felt ??? Super excited for teacher sales!