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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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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