Sunday, June 10, 2012

Surprise!

The end of the school year has finally arrived...it has been quite hectic and stressful.  This has been a great year and I have truly enjoyed my first year in 6th grade AND teaching two subjects.  I was afraid it was going to be an emotional last day of school with these kiddos.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my students and at one point in the year, thought I would be looping up to 7th grade with them, but that plan changed.  And changed, and changed, and well...you get the idea.  A couple of weeks ago I was told I would remain in 6th grade, have a new teammmate and continue to teach language arts and social studies.  I can honestly say I wasn't mad about that idea.

But, things changed this past Thursday.  I found out I WAS indeed moving to 7th grade and I WAS looping with my students.  Great!  That emotional last day didn't happen because I knew we would be together again next year. 

Then the whammy was thrown at me...not only would I need to pack up my old room (I have a lot of stuff, and I had just moved to this room at the beginning of the school year), but would be moving my room next Tuesday.  What? 

On top of that...I would be teaching on a 4 person team...teaching SCIENCE.  Oh my! 

I am excited about the upcoming changes and looping with my students.  The sad part, I will be leaving my SMARTboard behind, which was just installed in February and became operational in March.  I have used that thing almost daily since the day the tech department finally performed that final connection.  As a matter of fact, we started using it before they even left the room.  Maybe they will find the funds to get another one installed in my new room.

So...it looks like I will spend my summer learning all about science (weather, physics, human body, and genetics) in 7th grade.  I will be blog stalking, Pinning, LiveBindering, borrowing, and stealing all that I can this summer.  Any ideas of things any of my followers would like to share, please feel free...I won't be offended!

I know I will continue to use interactive notebooks, found a science interactive notebooking book, and will start out the year with the scientific method, lab safety type stuff.  And we will do several mini labs to get our feet wet. 

Any book titles anyone would like to suggest that may go with my new curriculum would also be greatly appreciated.  I will use the story of Phineas Gage.  I will help the language arts teacher with informational reading this year along with finally learning how to use one of those blue TI numbered something calculators and graphing calculators that I have been afraid of for years. 

I am going to share of couple of pictures of my creation a couple of years ago for my teacher computer/document camera.  Previously, my computer was in the back corner of my room and when I used it, I had my back to the class and couldn't keep an eye on everyone - we ALL know that isn't smart in middle school.  All the classrooms were set up like this!  So I designed this computer stand, had a co-worker's husband build it for me and it has become the buzz of the school.  After using it for a couple of years, there are a couple of tweeks I would make but would NEVER change the idea.  The pictures I am going to include were taken the last day of school this year...after I started packing and moving desks around so they aren't the best.  Hopefully you will be able to see that it was placed in the middle of the back of the classroom.  This way, when I was using the document camera I could see every student.  It may look like it has an odd layout, but I should mention that I am a LEFTY! 



32 comments:

  1. What a roller coaster! I have advice for 7th grade science. I loved teaching 6th grade science, but ELA is my area of expertise now.

    I plan to use note-booking this new year too. We did a little last year, but I"m going to really commit to it. Pinterest has tons of ideas!

    Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Joan! I just moved from 7th grade to 6th grade this past year, but have only taught ELA...my masters is in reading...so this will be a wild ride.

      But I must say, I am truly looking forward to the change. For once, I won't be the one totally responsible for test scores and I can kind of chill this year and have tons of fun!

      I have already started searching pinterest and I have great friends who will share their science stuff at school. Any book titles that are related to physics, weather, human body, or genetics will be helpful.

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  2. I'm glad you have a positive attitude about the change. That makes all the difference in the world. I've been dealing with some Debbie Downers in my district lately.

    I've been teaching 7th grade Science for 5 years now and I LOVE it!!! I've done interactive notebooks one year. I now team teach and though I don't get to do interactive notebooks what we're doing has doubled our test scores so I'm happy.

    Come check out my blog. http://theclassyteacher.blogspot.com You can also email me @ elainaaweaver@gmail.com

    I'd be happy to help you in any way I can.

    Welcome to the world of science.

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  3. wow! I love the desk you designed! I struggle with organizing my teaching area with that document cam, too....good luck with the move! I taught 6th (la,ss) for years, then last year moved to 8th, and now back to 6th. It's great you can roll with the punches because we all know how much stuff you acquire for the subjects you teach!! have a good summer!

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  4. Love love love the cart and would have had my husband off to make this... but I managed to score a tech cart this year that I adore!

    As for the next changing assignment, I hear ya. I went from 6th grade, to 7th grade to all math, to language arts/social studies to math/science and now 6-8 computer elective! I did teach 7th grade Math/Science last year, so I do have a few tricks up my sleeve for those subjects! I know I pinned a bunch of stuff, so it's on my pinterest.

    I'm a new follower - and I'll be sending your Literature Guide over soon! :)

    Lauren
    Life in Middle School

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  5. I need some help with the tech cart. I LOVE the idea--but I think I have a few "issues" that are related to my classroom and would love some help.

    1st--I have a promethean board that is in the front of the classroom and the main computer that runs it is at the front of the room. I also have a document camera that can connect to the board. There is a black box attached to my white board that I can change out the connections. BUT last week I learned there was a program I could use that would allow me to keep my doc. camera connected and be able to switch back and forth. UGHHH I need some help here! LOL
    Any help you can offer I would love. BTW I'm a 6th grade Math teacher by nature but this upcoming year they will have be teaching Math and SS. (3-man team)

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    1. In my room, my computer is connected to my document camera. The SMARTboard is connected to my computer with a USB connection. I can hit the source button on my remote that goes with my projector mounted in the ceiling of my classroom. That allows me to switch between my computer screen and my document camera.

      I'm not sure if this helps or if a promethean board works in the same manner. Our tech people set it up that way and I really don't have to worry about it unless something goes haywire...then I just start unplugging and replugging things until I hopefully get them to working again.

      Randy

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    2. Thanks--that makes sense...now can you tell me how to make the cart? :o)

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  6. I just read your comment about Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie I cannot tell you how excited I am to learn there is a sequel. Thanks for sharing that little tidbit with me. :) Much to my dismay, none of my local bookstores have it in stock. I ordered it and am now trying to wait patiently to read it.

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  7. Just found your blog and love some of your ideas. I am an elementary teacher (4th grade) and remember the first time I learned about Phineas Gage - the brain has fascinated me ever since. Try learningscience.org for a plethora of sites and simulations elementary to high school.

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  8. Hi! I LOVE your blog and am so glad to have found it. I teach 7th ELA, so I'm not much help for science ideas - sorry! I'm writing to commend your blog efforts and willingness to share such wonderful ideas in the interest of helping students anywhere! Thank you for your kindness and creativity - I'm already planning text mapping for the fall so my 7th graders can understand their social studies textbook better starting day 1. I can't wait to see how your years goes - great attitude you have! Good luck!

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  9. I am also a middle school teacher that will be teaching science and math after a year of math only. I will enjoy stalking your blog for ideas in my room. Thanks for the great ideas so far.

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  10. I just discovered your blog via pintrest. I've been teaching for over 30 years in California and am negotiating the Common Core Standards for Language Arts this summer. I'm so inspired by your blog and look forward to using interactive notebooks in my 6th grade classroom next year! I've always dreamed of taking my 6th graders to 7th grade, but it isn't possible in my district. I'll miss your Social Studies and Language Arts inspiration.

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  11. LOVE your ideas! I am definitely going to use text mapping next year in my 6th ELA classroom. Keep the ideas coming. They are fabulous!!!

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  12. I've decided to ditch my sit-down desk. I'm looking for a stand-up desk and this is something I could work with. If nothing else, it's a starting point. It looks really pretty nice.

    Do you have any plans you could post?

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    1. Yes, please! A plan would help me get my can-do, handy hubby to get to it! :)

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    2. See..I'm not the only one interested. We have about 6 weeks before school starts and I'm super busy planning. Thanks so much!

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    3. I will try my best to go in to school and get the dimensions/measurements and draw up a rough sketch to post. I sort of drew a picture of what I wanted with some measurements and my friend took that and built this fabulous desk for me - he changed some stuff that made it even better, so I may not do it justice.

      Anyway...I will try to get to it today or tomorrow. I work part time at the local community college and am teaching both mornings and afternoons this week and am off to get my mother in WV on Thursday to go visit my brother in Massachuesetts on Friday. I may not be able to make it to school until after I return and after the week of the 4th (our whole system is closed that week).

      Randy

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  13. I really enjoyed the book "Using Science Notebooks in Elementary Classrooms" by Michael P. Klentschy. Although it is geared toward elementary, I am sure you can make tweaks to make it middle school appropriate. Blessings. -MG

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  14. Just saw your blog from pinterest! I am a 7th and 8th grade science teacher and made several livebinders this past year for both grade levels to use in the computer lab with my class...Thought you'd enjoy using them (at least as a jumping off point.) Learning an entirely new subject is hard! Hope this helps!

    http://www.livebinders.com/shelf/search_author?terms=sdean

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  15. I taught middle school science for 11 years. I am passing along my most favorite web site for activities and science lessons EVER:
    http://sciencespot.net/
    (check out the stuff for scientific method and lab safety!)
    Good Luck to you!

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  16. Hi Seldy! Thanks for linking up on my More Teaching Blogs page. I'm glad I found you. It is awesome that you are looping with your students. I have gotten to do it twice and it is amazing to see the growth over 2 years, plus you REALLY, REALLY do become attached. I hope you understand that now that emotional goodbye is going to be about 10,000 times harder next year. It's all worth it though. Looking forward to reading more on you blog.

    Amanda
    The Teaching Thief

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  17. Thank you so much for your blog. I am a 10th grade English teacher , and I struggle finding fun, hands-on activities for my students. Many of the stratigies you feature can be adapted to many grade levels. One question for you (I couldn't find that you have addressed before), and it isn't a fun one. Grading? How do you , or do you, grade material in your interactive notebooks? Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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  18. Good luck on your transition to 7th grade! I just got my first teaching job this summer for 6th grade!! Look forward to keeping up with your blog and your ideas!!

    Mallory @ {6th Grade} All-Stars

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  19. I haven't heard the term "livebindering". . .can you share?

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    1. Livebinders is somewhat like pinterest, but like a "binder" you would use in your classroom. Our school is starting to move toward more technology type things...so we are expected to use them with our students for lessons.

      Students can use it to attach their notes and such for school. Our students have a login where they store all of their documents, but cannot access them from home. By using livebinder, they can access their documents at home. Check it out at http://www.livebinders.com/.

      Randy

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  20. Hi Seldy, your note booking ideas are terrific! Although I've been teaching for 25 years, I am using this concept next year for the first time and changing my class to reflect Debbie Diller's Spaces and Places research, as well as trying out the Daily 5 and CAFE in gr. 5. I am so excited (and my summer holiday just started). Will you be explaining what tweaks you would suggest to your stool desk ( as I think it should be called), when you post the dimensions? My current huge teacher desk is just a clutter collector. I usually sit at a table to correct anything. Keep up the interesting posts!

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  21. Hi! I teach 7th grade science (Populations and Ecosystems, Physics, Space, Earth, and Health!) Def. use Interactive notebooks and Foldables! (We use the the small comp. books).. Def. get your kids OUTSIDE to for observation vs. inference - Nature Journals... Google the SPONGEBOB GENETICS! The kids LOVE it and it shows them how to do punnet squares/figure percentages...etc! Genetics book - Maximum Ride (KIDS LOVE IT!)

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  22. Oh my Email if you have questions or need ideas for some stuff kellyknight1130@yahoo.com

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  23. Just stumbled across your site today - love the notebook stuff - tried it one year for one nine weeks - would like to do it all the time - I have taught 7th grade science for 9 years now - 6th grade science for 5 years and 2 stints with 8th grade science while I was also teaching 7th. I am familiar with life, earth & physical science. E-mail me for ideas - I do a big "Sesame Street Genetics" project as a culminating activity - the kids love it! bettieilse@yahoo.com

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  24. Seldy,

    I really like your media cart. Can you send me the dimensions so I can make my own.

    Terrell
    terrell8fleming@gmail.com

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  25. Is there anyway to get the dimensions for this?

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