Monday, March 28, 2011

10 things about Teaching and Learning

Wouldn't this be fun for a back to school night display?  I like this idea much better for pre-service teachers than writing out a philosophy paper.   The idea and excerpt can be found below from:

I put together this slide show for a presentation at Literacies for All Summer Institute in Indianapolis. I loved putting it together. Here is my thinking behind it. Sometimes it feels like it is a hard time to be in education. But it is also the most exciting time to be a teacher. There are so many things to be excited about. I realized how many new things I am excited about these days and I wanted to share them in my talk. I think as teachers we need to find a bit more time to share the things we are exciting about--new things we are discovering, new learning, etc. So, I am making that a mission for the year--paying more attention to the things I am excited about in education today and sharing those with others. 
Below is the slideshow I used at the conference a few weeks ago. I am not sure how much sense it will make without the story behind each slide. But maybe you'll find something worthwhile there. All of the links that go with the slides are on my website ( If you see a slide that you want to know more about, go to the site and find the link. Some slides show videos, some have information on a new tool for kids, etc. All of the links to those things are on the site. Hope you find something to get excited about and then share it out. Then maybe someone else will find something to be excited about and they'll share it....

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Newspaper Blackout

Another great idea that I can't show pictures of, but check it out at

It would be a great creative writing activity!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Book Spine Poem

There is the coolest idea found at this website.  I can't add the picture due to copyright, so link over to check out this Book Spine Poem.

Anybody who wants to try one, send me a picture of it, and I'll add it on this blog.  I'm intrigued by this idea!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Math Night

My son recently had a third grade math night with centers focusing on patterns, math games, and sports related math.  Here he is dancing to a Wii game.  I love you can see his teacher, Mrs. Jeppson in the background dancing right along with the kids.  She burned a lot of calories that night!  Once each third grader danced, they got their "passport" stamped which later earned a prize.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mini Offices

A great idea I've seen in use is the "office" or "mini office" for a student's desk.  While some may tape file folders together and let the kids decorate it, others take more time by gluing 2 or 3 file folders, placing resources on them and laminating them.

They can be used for table toppers for privacy, as portable word walls, for quizzes, for voting, etc.

Some I've seen with resources on one side and blank on the other (for testing).  You could specialize them as well:  math mini office, sstudies mini office, ABC mini office.

Go to for tutorials and links to resources.  A very cute idea!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cute Vocabulary Idea...

Made by some awesome pre-service teachers doing a presentation on how to make vocabulary instruction fun.  I want one!  The black outside says Spell it on one side and sentence on the other, the white ring says synoymns and antonymns, the inner black ring says related words and roots and the center target says define. Then you toss velcro balls to the felt target and play.  Cool, right?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Science Picture Books

My son is loving science in third grade this year which got me thinking about how I need a lot more science books. Here are few of the latest fun ones:

Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs
Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs
This is a very kid friendly introduction to how a scientific theory is formed through the careful collection and analysis of evidence — and how new evidence can turn a theory upside down.

How to Think Like a Scientist
How to Think Like a Scientist
Using everyday situations as examples, the author shows kids how to ask the right questions and set up a valid experiment — two critical pieces of the scientific method.

I See Myself
I See Myself
The child becomes the scientist in this picture book for preschoolers — a young girl finds out about vision, light, and reflection by playing with a mirror, a flashlight, and a bouncing ball. Part of the Science Play series, which encourages hands-on discovery about the world.

The Magic School Bus and the Science Fair Expedition
The Magic School Bus and the Science Fair Expedition
Ms. Frizzle has a mission: her students need science fair projects. What better way to get ideas than to learn from some of the all-time greats? The class heads to the museum to see the exhibit Great Scientists Through the Ages, where — suddenly — Galileo comes to life! An excellent introduction to scientists and what they do.

The Simple Truth About Scientists
The Simple Truth About Scientists
Bust all those myths and find out how real scientists use their sharp observation and predicting skills, test, collect data, and describe what they learn.

Science Fair Bunnies
Science Fair Bunnies
This entertaining story featuring the inquisitive Clyde and Rosemary introduces children to scientific reasoning, logic, predicting, experimenting, recording observations, charting data, and analyzing results.

All scientific inquiry begins with a question, something at which Jack is quite adept. He wonders why crackers have holes, why feet stink, and why hair doesn't hurt when cut. This book is sure to generate even more inquisitiveness about children's everyday experiences.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mad Hatter Hat

I had some money to spend at the Bookstore with no Books, otherwise known as Blickenstaff's.  So, I decided on not getting anything for my children and indulging in a little whimsy for myself.  Here is my find:  an Alice In Wonderland Mad Hatter's Hat.  I have no plans for a tea party to where it to yet, but my future office or writers workshop is going to be so cute!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Business Books

I thought I'd highlight some of the business books I've read in the past few years with my MBA husband.  In fact, at one school that I loved to visit in Arizona, the principal would choose one management/leadership or education type book for the whole staff and they would read it by christmas and have a book discussion party about how it applies to them  Then they would frame the book cover and put it outside his office.  I thought it was a good idea.

This one below is one that many schools in Arizona are using to create a schoolwide management and motivation program.

This one was recommended to me by my sister and after a test, it identifies your top five strengths to highlight in your career setting.  My husband has taken the test, but not me.  It was right on.

 An older book but still one referred to a lot in setting where change is taking place.  In a failing school, it is a very useful book to read and keep in mind because there is tons of turnover, curriculum adoptions and "change."

I like this author.  Definitely worth a read.

I've read the first book Freakonomics but haven't read this one yet.  I've heard my brother loved it though.

 Some oldies, but goodies. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Eric Carle's New Book

My one year old just loves Eric Carle.  At the doctors office, one room was painted with Eric Carle characters and he pointed, grunted and got made any noise he could to communicate how much he loved it.  We've got all the board books and can't wait for this next one!

Coming in fall 2011, Eric Carle’s The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse was inspired by the work of artist Franz Marc.

Continue reading on HERE

Eric Carle’s other published books include these popular children’s titles:
  • A House for Hermit Crab
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
  •  Mister Seahorse
  • Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do you Hear?
  • The Greedy Python
  • The Grouchy Ladybug
  • The Tiny Seed
  • The Very Busy Spider
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • The Very Lonely Firefly
  • The Very Quiet Cricket

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Children's Literature Conference in Utah

A two–day symposium for librarians, teachers, parents, and anyone who enjoys children’s literature

Dates: July 14–15, 2011

Come join us for two enjoyable days with six nationally known authors and illustrators of children’s literature. Each author and illustrator will share their unique perspective on children’s literature followed by a short question–and–answer session. In addition, two autograph sessions and four informal discussion groups with individual authors will be available.
Featuring nationally acclaimed authors and illustrators:
  • Robert Burleigh
  • Mary Downing Hahn
  • Susan Meddaugh
  • Gennady Spirin
  • Rebecca Stead
  • David Wiesner
Sponsored by Brigham Young University’s Department of Teacher Education, Harold B. Lee Library, Division of Continuing Education, the BYU Bookstore, and the Provo City Library.
Space is limited, so register early!

If you recall from my blog last year (See July 2010 for a full overview), , I went to this conference and loved it.  Now I just need a conference buddy to go with.  Although I did meet some great people there!  Who wants to come with me?