Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer SLANT Box!

The theme for #slantbox June/July was "Sunshine".

I was paired to send to Jameson at Lessons With Coffee.  No pressure at all sending to the creator of Slant Box!  I really enjoyed getting to know her though and to learn more about all the fun things she is doing.

The person sending to me was the fabulous Kristen from The Book Monsters.  I loved getting to know her as well and thanks to her I have lots of books on my reading list now.

I was so excited to come home earlier this month and find this waiting at my door:
I love mail and presents and fun surprises!  I opened it and found so many awesome things!

A chevron lunch bag, skittles (2 flavors), post-its, animal print items for our new theme this year, and so many other goodies.  I also loved her sweet card and the ice-pop maker.  This was definitely a box of sunshine!

Thank you so much to Kristen for all the treats and to Jameson for organizing!  Can't wait for August SLANT!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Summer of Science

I have had a very busy summer so far.  I signed up for VISTA with my 4th and 5th grade teammates.   What is VISTA?  In June and July, I met up with 38 other Virginia teachers at Virginia Commonwealth University to participate in a four-week professional development institute designed to shift science instruction from the traditional teacher-led, lecture-driven classroom to a hands-on, problem-based learning environment.  You can find out more about VISTA at

The program has been wonderful.   It has also been overwhelming and stressful and enlightening and completely worth it.  I have learned so much over the last 4 weeks.  I never felt science was my strongest subject.  To say that I was out of my comfort zone would be an understatement.  
One piece of this program was teaching part of a science camp for students with high need. I loved working with the students and teaching science in a fun, hands-on, and engaging way.  For the last three days of training we are working as teams to create a 2-week problem based unit to implement this upcoming school year.

We learned about discourse and teaching students to talk like scientists and really get into deeper conversations.  Here is a poster I made for my classroom.  I plan to reference it when we are starting discourse circles.  You can download it by clicking the link under the picture.

Another resource I made was a set of posters about NOS.  What is NOS?  Nature of Science...totally didn't even know that before this summer.  I have nine posters and you can download them for free from TeachersPayTeachers.  While you are there, feel free to follow my store!