Thursday, December 11, 2014

Holiday Competitions

Just a peak of our holiday competitions....

1.  We were given the challenge to decorate a box to house the food/cans for our school's food drive.  We definitely got creative on this one.  The oven doors open to be the collection bin for the cans.

2.  Our competition for Toys for Tots toy drive was to decorate our classroom door to represent the holiday season.  We chose "Santa's Christmas Castle" as our door theme.  Our door only received an honorable mention but we came in second to another fabulous door!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Classroom Technology Usage Sign

In preparation of BYOD/BYOT this school year I decided to put a spin on a usage sign. I decided to make the sign in colors which suit my classroom decor.  Although it printed a little darker than I anticipated, I was still pleased with the final product,

I made indicators in the shapes of arrows and pointers.  As the lesson progresses I will move the indicator to specified section.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

QR Code Enhanced Word Wall

Our county has finally adopted a BYOD policy!  With that good news, I plan to put that technology to use.  My first project will be to enhance my BAV word wall with QR codes that will direct students to a web page for further information.  I hope this works!

More to come soon!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ARC Customizable Notebook System by Staples

I've spent many years attempting to create my version of the perfect plan book. It is much more difficult than I ever anticipated.  Three-ring binders just don't work well for me.  I usually end up damaging the rings and losing papers.  It gets to the point that I just quit using it.  There has been a recent trend on TPT and TN of teachers creating their own teacher binder/planner/notebook pages.  I have looked at so many of them and most do not suit the needs of a middle school science teacher.  I'm sure other middle school science teachers have the same concerns.  So I was thrilled to learn of the ARC System made by Staples.  The notebooks are held together by a set of plastic discs instead of the typical three rings, or spiral binding.  Now this isn't the only system that utilizes discs.  Martha Stewart has her own line as well as other brands/stores.  There just happens to be a Staples store in my hometown.  With this system, I feel like I can completely customize my very own notebook.  I have already started putting my notebook/planner together and I am pleased with what I've started.  Will there be changes?  Yes!  The beauty of this system is that changes are allowed and are simple to do.  This will definitely be a year-long project for me as I am constantly finding new material to add.  I've created some pages myself while other resources have come from the amazing teacher authors from TPT and TB.  Take a look at some of the pictures I have of the hole-puncher and notebook.

The "System" begins with the hole puncher...
Cost:  $44

The Notebook... 
This notebook costs around $10.  There are several styles and sizes from which to choose and those prices will vary.  

These are the pages that come in the ARC notebook.  Refill packs are available or you can create your own.  Just use the hole-puncher and place the pages around the discs.  

This is an example of how you can set up calendar pages.  I downloaded these for free from Marshall In The Middle on TPT.

Password Pages - I know it isn't safe to write down your passwords.  But when you are forced to change your passwords every 60 days or so, and you can't reuse the password it becomes a task attempting to remember them all.  

These are pages I created for note-taking during content areas meetings.  At my school we have official content meeting once per week.  

Weekly planning pages - I like to use these to have a quick glance at my week.  Planning three weeks in advance becomes easier this way.  

Parent Contact Logs - Just a quick log for documenting all those contacts.  

NC Essential Standards for 8th Grade Science - A great way to have all your standards in one area.  

File Folders - ARC does have dividers available to purchase.  I decided to punch holes in some cute file folders I purchased for $1 at Wal-Mart.  

This is it for now.  I'll update the blog as I add more.  I have soooo many ideas and can't wait to put it all together.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Picture Frame Rules Display

I found a really cute picture frame which holds five photos.  The frame came from Ollie's and was only $5.99!  I decided to make 4x6 prints of my rules and displayed them in the frame.  When I'm able to get in my classroom I plan to embellish the frame with some brightly colored tissue-paper flowers.

Calling All Classroom Decorators!

Due to my classroom getting painted over the summer, I had to remove EVERYTHING off my classroom walls.  Now your normal teacher would be ecstatic.  I however experienced an abnormal amount of anxiety when given word to make my walls bare.  See, most people don't understand the time, patience, and hard work it takes to make a middle school science classroom...well, pretty.  Now I am starting over.  My classroom is a now blank canvas!  Of course I will be sticking with the zebra print, hot pink, blue, and lime green color scheme.  I just have too much stuff in those colors to start over. But I would LOVE input and ideas from other teachers.  What works for you? I would also LOVE to see photos of other classrooms.  Preferably not the ones we all see on Pinterest each day.  If you have any classroom photos you'd love to share send them to me at 

I'll even showcase your photos on my blog!  Just be sure to include your name and any other information you'd like for me to include!  

Below are some of the crafty items I've purchased this summer.  
Trips to Dollar Tree, Michael's, Ollies, and Staples!  

Found the cutest frames at Michael's!  I plan to use them as table signs.  

Looking forward to seeing YOUR ideas!!! 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Meet the Teacher Night ~ Parent/Student Activity


Meet the teacher night is always so hectic!  I find myself constantly having to repeat information and then questioning if I covered everything with each individual parent. Sometimes the line to meet me ends up out the door and into the hallway.  If parents are as impatient standing around as I am then I'm sure they get more than frustrated!  So this year I have decided to have stations for parents to visit as they are waiting in line to meet me.  At these stations, parents will pick up components of a layered book, one section at a time.  The stations will zig-zag throughout the classroom.  This will give parents to take a tour of the room and will give them something to read or look over as they wait.  The last station will be set up for parents to complete their layered book using either ribbon and hole punchers or staples to hold it together.  My hope in creating this activity is that it will free up the conversation so that I may learn a bit more about the student and his/her family.

Station 1: At this station parents and students will pick up the cover/welcome component.  I will also have a list of instructions and a sign-in sheet.  

Station 2: At this station parents and students will pick up the teacher information component.  

Station 3:  At this station parents and students will pick up classroom supplies information.  I will also have all items on display.  Parents can be visual learners too! 

Station 4: This station provides parents and students with a list of classroom expectation.  

Station 5:  This station provides a list of topics students will be learning in 8th grade science.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ecological Pyramids

I am very grateful for the opportunity of having a student teacher.  I can honestly say she is teaching me as much as I am teaching her.  This is the foldable she created for teaching biological pyramids.  It includes, energy, numbers, and biomass.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Updated: The A-B-Cs of Science

It was brought to my attention that my end of year vocabulary photo albums weren't very easy to find.  In fact, I couldn't even find the file.  I'm not sure if it had been deleted or if it was an error on my end.  But!....I created a new version and I have it posted on Teacher's Notebook for free of course!

Here is the direct link to this item:  The A-B-Cs of Science