Earth Day STEM Challenge

We may have been finishing up April Vacation on the actual Earth Day, but when we returned to school I took the opportunity to celebrate this important day with my students. Students watched a few short video clips about Earth Day, did quick writes and completed a mystery picture math page, but the big Earth Day project was a STEM lesson in the STEM Lab. With Antoni Gaudi as my inspiration, I tied in recycling old things to make something new in a way that connected to students. After learning a bit about Gaudi and his artwork, which recycled many […]

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Travel Gallery Wall

My travel gallery wall has been 13 years in the making. Starting way back to my first overseas trip to London, I have been collecting art and taking pictures of places around the world every time I travel. Fast forward to today, I finally have not only thousands of photos to choose from, but more importantly wall space to create a gallery wall! I absolutely love how it came out! Each time I walk through my door when I come home, I am greeted with fond memories of countless trips. Hours on Pinterest gave me ideas and lots of great […]

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Travel Spring STEM Challenges

With a week off, I had a lot of time to think about ways to incorporate more travel into my teaching in the coming term. Recently I have created several STEM lessons that connect animals and their habitats and the seven continents, but I was thinking, there has to be more! It was as I was pouring over old photos from previous trips, to create a gallery wall over my couch, that I was struck with inspiration. Earth Day STEM challenges! Spring is right around the corner, and with it comes Earth Day. Many of the places I have seen […]

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Animals of the Galapagos Islands

Bright blue feet perched on top of jagged black rocks. Hundreds of little faces turned toward the sun soaking up rays with eyes closed. Lounging sea lions barely opening an eye as you walk by them on a lounge chair on the beach. It feels like it was yesterday, instead of four years ago, that I traveled to the Galapagos Islands. Teaming with unique and endangered wildlife the islands were unlike any place I have ever been. It was truly a trip of a lifetime and I have loved sharing what I learned there with students over the last few […]

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STEM Fun: Building A Home For Pecky the Puffin

I was thrilled when our science curriculum changed to include information about animals around the world and their habitats. Not only does this dovetail with our social studies curriculum perfectly (the seven continents), but it inspired me to write new STEM lessons to do with my students. As an avid traveler, as many of you know, I have had the pleasure to see animals around the world in their natural habitats. I have amassed a rather large photo collection of these animals that I am anxious to share with students in a meaningful way. After much thought of how to […]

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Travel and STEM Lessons

Traveling sparks inspiration for classroom lessons long after my suitcases are put away and pictures have been posted on Instagram. Sometimes the ideas come as I begin to investigate new curriculum. Other times it is a comment from a student that reminds me of somewhere I have been. Or sometimes it is just a connection to a story we are reading. But if I’m being honest, recently my inspiration has been spurred on each time someone discovers one of my products on TeachersPayTeachers. There is something exciting when another teacher (ones I don’t even know!) think lessons I have created […]

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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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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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