Being Flexible About Flexible Seating

Yoga balls, wiggle stools, standing desks, floor seating, even a teepee with floor pillows. I am fully invested in the flexible seating movement. To be fair, I have taught with a flexible seating mind set long before I had all the goodies to make it a reality. It started small, letting students sit on the floor around the room, allowing students to find a place that felt right for working. Over time I bought seats, trays, the teepee and asked for tables to be lowered. I even wrote a donors choose project to fund more flexible seating choices for students. […]

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Searching for Matter One Country At A Time 

Another year, another chance to show students the world. I am lucky our social studies curriculum is the seven continents so intergrating pictures from my travels is practically a must do!  This year I have taken the opportunity to weave in travel with science as I cover matter. Last year I made an iMovie on states of matter around the world as a model for students. This year I am adding to that through introductory lessons on solid, liquid and gas with PowerPoints. Each PowerPoint focuses on one state of matter and asks students to identify examples of that state […]

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Why I Love Blogging with Students

Over my seven years of teaching; despite grade changes, district moves, building moves, and classroom moves, there is one thing that I have done consistently, blogging with students. It is a resource that spans grade levels, abilities and curriculum. Strong writers, developing writers, everyone can access the blog and write to their best ability. It is also a resource that spans subjects. Reading, math, social studies, science; there is something to write about no matter what the subject. Link an educational website or article in a blog post and students have the opportunity to practice reading online material. This gives […]

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Flexible Seating Year Two

Flexible seating was a thing in my room before I knew it was called flexible seating. Providing students with choice of where and how they sit always seemed like a no brainer to me. I mean, I don’t like to sit on a hard chair all day, in fact I spend most of my day on my feet walking around, why would I think that my students want to sit static for hours on end? In the last few years I have really ramped up my flexible seating options. Last year I wrote a DonorsChoose project that provided my students […]

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Ready To Jump Into Another School Year: Or How Traveling Will Shape My School Year Again 

New school year starts next week. All I can say is Bring.It.On New group of students- check New classroom arrangement- check New flexible seating options- check New travel experiences to incorporate into my teaching- check! As many of you know, I am obsessed with traveling and sharing my experiences with students. This past summer, my trip to South Africa gave me new travel material to share and brought me one step closer to a personal goal of visiting all seven continents. I have now been to six of the seven continents. Antarctica might require a bit more planning (or saving) to […]

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Cape Town’s Small Pleasures

Now there are tons of major sights and experiences I could go on and on about from my trip to Cape Town. There’s the V&A Waterfront, a visit to Robben Island, and of course taking the funicular up Table Mountain. At some point I will blog about all of those things, but today I wanted to share some of the little moments that really stuck with me. The views! Everywhere we turned there were mountains in the distance. Sunrise, sunset or smack dab in the middle of the day, the mountains that surrounded us were impressive. In the city, countryside, […]

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Winter Safari in South Africa 

We skipped the long trek to get to Kruger National Park for our safari. I know, I know, it is suppose to be the best place for safari; a huge area to self drive, breathtaking views and one of the most famous places in South Africa to see the big five, but it just wasn’t in the plans with the time we had. Having said that, we couldn’t have picked a better game reserve than Amakhala in the Eastern Cape just outside of Port Elizabeth. A chat with my aunt pointed me in their direction and I can’t thank her […]

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Take Off to South Africa 

I can’t believe it’s finally here! Time to get out of dodge and hit the open road. I have been patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for this trip to South Africa for almost a year, but now that it’s finally here I can’t believe it!  Not only am I beyond thrilled to be spending two full weeks in South Africa, but my friend, Christine and I even snagged some bonus time in Germany. I mean, when you’re looking for the cheapest flights possible, sometimes you have to do an eleven hour layover. No complaints here, since it will give […]

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Summer Travel, Countdown to South Africa 

Happy Summer! The whole summer is stretched before me and there is so much to look forward to, but by far the biggest adventure of the summer will be traveling to South Africa with friends. In fact we leave in just a few short weeks and I have to admit I am so not ready! Besides packing which I usually like to do embarrassingly early, that I haven’t done, I feel like I have so much reading to do before leaving. While all the flights are booked and places to stay are set, I feel very behind the eightball on […]

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Teach Like Finland: My Summer Pick for PD Reading 

Summer is right around the corner. Exactly one week from today in fact, summer will officially start for me. And while it will be hard to pry myself from my classroom and promise not to return until at least the end of July, I am looking forward to several big events and lots of recharging for another year. One thing summer means to me is more time for reading. I have a stack of fun read books along with several “teacher” books I am looking to tackle. All I need now is the time to actually read them. Top on […]

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