Guest Post: Tanya Villacis for Earth Science Notebooks

 Today I am bringing you a guest post by a NEW blogging friend of mine. Tanya Villacis has become so excited about integrating Interactive Notebooks with her students that she has spent a great deal of time creating new flippables to make this year go so much smoother for her kiddos! Sit back, enjoy some coffee and read about her secrets to a great year!

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Well it’s that time of year. Brand new pencils needing to be sharpened…freshly cut fabric sitting in the back of our cars for bulletin boards….new work outfits hanging in our closets. Back to school is among us. Summer is coming to a close and that twinge in our stomach is starting to set in. It’s not the sensation of sadness because we can longer sleep in till 9:00 (….okay maybe a little), but more the prospect of starting anew. A new school year calls for reflecting on the year before. There are always the grand successes and the unfortunate blunders that force educators to make decisions for the new batch of kiddos coming in. I’m still not over my colossal fail of a science experiment with butter and 44 students. Need I say more?

One new addition that I implemented to my teaching style this past year was flippables. THESE ARE MY RIDE OR DIE. I’ve used interactive notebooks for a few years now, but just recently dove into flippables.

What’s the secret to cutting doors and gluing paper that makes learning so much more fun for students? Whether it’s the flippable fairies sprinkling “engagement dust” on their little heads or the fluorescent cardstock I insist on using that is hypnotizing them, my students enjoy flippables. From my perspective they are more apt to take notes when using them and can really digest the massive amounts of knowledge I shovel down their little throats (thanks standardized testing).

I had great fun purchasing already made flippables on TPT throughout the school year when needed; however I reached a road block when teaching Earth’s rotation in science. OK….anyone who has taught Earth’s revolution and rotation knows my pain. Why do the curriculum gods insist on teaching such abstract concepts to 9 and 10 years old? I needed way more resources than the science textbook offered, but couldn’t find anything online.

Enter the lovely Jennifer and her IMPRESSIVE pack of flippables. This pack has EVERYTHING you could ever want. With extensive formats and options, making your own foldables tailored to your students’ needs, while aligned to your state’s curriculum (WOW, THAT’S A MOUTH FULL) is just a few clicks away.

It took me literally 30 minutes to put together 3 foldables for my students. With them we were able to really grasp the concept of Earth’s rotation and the connection to the seasons.

Earths Rotation and Revolution

*Click on the picture above to learn more about this resource*

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  Of course there was also a hands-on component to strengthen understanding. I found squishy balls at Dollar Tree with a globe pattern. We poked a push pin on Florida and then took flashlights (representing the Sun) and modeled the rotation of Earth. SUCCESS. Mental light bulbs were going off all around my room that science lesson…or maybe it was all the flashlights that made it appear so bright.

Since that glorious science lesson I have made flippables for other various topics and subjects…Like these little guys…

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You can find these products in my TpT store by clicking the images.

Be sure to check out Jennifer’s pack of templates. Thanks Jen for making our lives easier with your templates and thank you for giving me the opportunity to guest post.

Have a great 2014-2015 school year!

DIVIDE, CONQUER, AND MAKE A FLIPPABLE.

Monday Made It: Making a Mess

Monday Made It

This week is brought to you by the letter M. M for MESS!

You know how when you procrastinate long enough on something and then you always seem to want to add just one more project to make it “perfect”. Well that is how I am when I am preparing for my conference exhibits. Yep, just that one last project is going to make it the best. HA!

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Webinar Aftermath

Thursday night I made a HUGE mess during my webinar. This was the aftermath of my desk but we had a blast and I can’t wait to do another one SOON!

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Next up, I decided that one last project would just take a few moments. Umm, did I forget that I had to print all 40 pages (with two pages per page), trim, laminate, cut out, hole punch and bind? And that was for EACH of the three grade levels!

I gave up after I had done two of them and the third is a mock-up with all of the sample photos. My printer sure got it’s workout this weekend and it is STILL going strong with ink!

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Child Labor Laws were thrown out the window this weekend as Jonna The Great helped me bag up the goodies for the SDE Reading, Writing, Math and More Conference in New Orleans.

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And it wouldn’t be a party without bags and boxes EVERYWHERE! But here I sit at 2:30 am writing this post (yep…) and I am done with all 400 bags!

Leaving tomorrow for New Orleans for a fabulous week. Can’t wait to meet some other TpT Sellers and spend some time with my dad who is joining me. He is a fellow teacher and we love teacher talk.

Left, Right, Answer Review from Live, Love, Math

Hello there! I’m Danielle from Live Love Math and I am so excited to share my review of 4mulaFun’s super cool twist on using task cards in the classroom. About a month ago, I was on spring break and like many teachers, was thinking about what I was going to do for the rest of the year. I remember being on Facebook when Jennifer posted this awesome product and just thought to myself, “I HAVE to have that!”

 
Left, Right, Answer- A New Take on Using Task Cards in you
I may have actually said it outloud. Jennifer must have heard me, because she asked if I would try in my classroom—um, “DUH!” I said. After all, everything of hers that I have bought and used in the classroom has been a smash hit.
Here is the basic premise: You divide your kids into groups (I did groups of 3-4 students…any more than that and I think it would not have worked as well). Print out a set of task cards for each group. You can have them work on the same set or you can differentiate and give a different set based on the needs of that group. I chose to have them all use the same set since this was review for a test. I chose to use my Probability of Compound Events Task Cards.
The directions for both students and teachers are included in the pack as well as several versions of the dice that you can have the kids use. I used the standard 6 sided die, but I may try the 4 sided one next time. I had my 1st period kiddos put the dice together, but in hindsight, I probably should have done this myself—8th graders are not as particular as I am about taping! Then, all that was left was to give each kid a recording sheet (with the directions on the sheet for easy reference!) and a set of the cards. My recommendation the first time that you use this is to physically pass the cards out to each student. They were so excited to get started that they just started rolling and no one had any cards!
 

After giving instructions again and reminding students to FIRST deal out all the cards evenly, they were ready to go! I would recommend giving an even number of task cards to each group that is easily divisible. I used a set that had 24 cards so I could group them in 3, 4, or even 6 people and no one would complain that someone started out with less than another student.

I loved that they helped each other with the questions that they had to answer. This question was tricky for this student and the rest of her group jumped in to help! Even though they originally loved the idea of not having to solve every card, most groups ended up solving every card anyway since they all worked together. Cooperative learning at its finest!

 I did have a few instances throughout the day where I saw a sheet like this. The student “just happened to” land on “left” or “right” each time, so I instituted a new rule that the die had to actually “flip” in the air before it landed on the desk or the floor. That took care of any intentional non-answering! Wouldn’t you know, the next roll, this student had to answer a question. Her group mates were overjoyed! 

 One thing I forgot to mention was how to keep the cards that have been answered separated from the cards that are still in play. There is this super-cute sheet called the “Task Card Graveyard” that the kids place the cards on. When all of the cards have been answered, the game is over. In some classes, the games were still going strong with 10 minutes left in class. I had those classes stop the game and answer any cards in their possession. This gave us some time to go over the answers before their test the next day. Overall, I
was so pleased with the result of this activity in class. I will definitely be
using this again! I think it would be perfect to review for semester exams with a larger set of questions…maybe 48 or so. It definitely kept my kids engaged and in middle school on a Friday, that is the ULTIMATE goal!

Thanks to Danielle for sharing how she used Left, Right, Answer in her classroom. Feel free to check out her blog or her Teachers Pay Teachers store to learn more about her and her middle school math classroom.

I am in the giving mood and would love to give away a copy to one lucky follower who leave a comment on this blog post.

Leave a comment on this blog post by Saturday, April 19th at MIDNIGHT about how you would use this in your classroom and I will pick a LUCKY winner on Sunday and send Left, Right, Answer your way!

Sent out an email to ALL who left a comment! ENJOY!

 

Last Minute of Course…

As many teachers are now on Christmas Break, we are all starting to wrap up last minute things around our own home and with our family for the holidays.

If you are anything like me you are just really having time to wrap the presents that you will start giving away this weekend! I know, crazy! As I was wrapping tonight I started thinking about gift tags because I don’t have any on hand. Well of course I wanted them to be super cute so I decided to whip some up of my own and of course SHARE them with you!

No Peeking Christmas Tag Freebie

Simply click on the photo and you can download them for free! Leave me a comment if you decide to use them or share about them on Facebook or Pinterest. Off to go and wrap some more now that I have my tags printed!

Made It Monday: Framed Goals Printable (with FREEBIE)

MondayMadeIt

I was so ready for this week’s Monday Made It Linky Party after a conversation with my cousin on Facebook on Friday about her daughter Julianne. We talked about making goals for the day, week, month, etc. so that she has something to work towards at home and at school. She is 7 with the mind of a 10 year old and is always looking ahead.

So knowing that I am always setting goals, I figured it would be great for Julianne to set her own goals as well. I asked my cousin what Julianne’s favorite colors were and being the typical girl that she is of course pinks and purples were on the list.

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So now I present to you Goals 4 All! I had to make a few different versions of them so that they could be used in various decor but also, I wanted them to be able to be used for classroom or family goals.

Goals 4 All- Freebie Printable

And of course I had to test it out and write some goals…

Goals 4 All in the Classroom

And then a goal for home…

Goals 4 All at Home

Feel free to click on the any of  the pictures to be taken to my FREEBIE printable including pink, purple, teal and the gray/yellow combo shown above. If you use it in your classroom or home, I’d love to see a photo!

Off to go check out what everyone else made! :)

Monday Made It: Washi Tape Binder Clips

I am so excited to finally be linking up for Monday Made It! I’ve made things over and over again but never linked up! Silly me!

MondayMadeIt

So this week, I am taking my love of organization and love of Washi tape and finally making something that I “pinned” over a year ago for sure. (I know this because I featured it on my blog last summer as a Friday Fav.) And with that, I am also going to link up with Optimum Organization!

Optimum Organization Linky Final

So let’s get on with today’s project! What you will need is simple: binder clips of ANY size and Washi Tape (or if you are at my house, it’s Wasabi Tape… he, he)

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So, now that you have your materials together (what? you don’t own dozens of rolls of Washi Tape in all different patterns? Well, you need to fix that! Some of my fav places are here, here and here for some killer deals!) you will simply need to do the following steps…

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1. Tear of multiple strips of washi tape slightly larger than the binder clip. For the 1″ binder clips, I needed two strips and the larger binder clips needed four strips.

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2. Fold back the clips and stick the first piece of Washi Tape all the way down in the crevice with edges hanging over both sides.

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3. Snip the tape at the bend in the binder clip.

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4. Fold the “tails” of the tape inside your binder clip. I pushed mine inside the clip with the end of a mechanical pencil.

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5. Repeat steps 2-4 on the the other side of your binder clip.

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Voila! It’s as simple as that and there is really NO MESSING this up! You can create until your heart’s content, or until your run out of supplies and have to buy more binder clips… or more washi tape!

Extra tidbits of info: If you have thin washi tape, you might want to do a second layer so the color of the binder clip doesn’t peek through the tape.

Hope you enjoyed this little Monday Made It project! Don’t forget to head on over to 4th Grade Frolic’s blog to check out the other lovely projects this week! Hope to see you back for another Monday Made It soon!