Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Edmodo Summer Series! (Summer Series #3)

Welcome back! it's been a few weeks, but I have been distracted with an online NASA STEM course I am a part of which is amazing! andddd playing Pokemon GO (I know I'm crazy lol) If you missed any of the previous edmodo summer series post check them out here first:

Edmodo Summer Series 1 
Edmodo Summer Series 2

Welcome to series #3! we are going to focus on the options available at the top of the individual group where you see: Note, Assignment, Quiz, Poll, and Snapshot. I do feel like these post are going to get longer and longer, so bare with me! If you want to focus on just one of these at a time click on the anchor links to take you to that part of the blog post.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Edmodo Summer Series! (Summer Series #2)

Welcome to edmodo summer series #2! This post is looooonggg so I apologize in advance! lol

Edmodo summer series #1 focused on the basics of edmodo and signing up, pretty simple but if you haven't signed up, stop by post #1 to get the step by step guide on becoming a part of the edmodo community. 

for summer series #2 we are going to focus on setting up groups and how to post, use the folders, and control member settings.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Edmodo Summer Series! (Summer Series #1)

YAY for summer! School ended last week and I've spent the last few days doing nothing which feels fantastic. Of course, I can't sit still for too long and started to think and plan for the next school year (and for the blog of course, made a few changes!) . I looked at what I did this past year that I really enjoyed and what I need to work on. One thing that I love using year after year is Edmodo. I decided to focus on an Edmodo summer series on the blog to share the love on all that is Edmodo!

 Lets focus on the basics of signing up and setting up your profile for summer series #1:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Cut it! Paper Dissections & The Real Deal

Can you believe it is the end of the school year!? I am shocked at how quickly it flew by! It was a crazy year with lots of events and prepping for my 8th graders to take their 10 grade Biology End of Course Exam (which happened at the end of May). I am totally ready for summer and relaxation! 4 more days for me!

I am so glad that's over and the students feel relieved to have completed the exam. This is when we get into dissections! as a way of "relaxing" my crazy teenagers love the idea of pretending to be doctors or veterinarians and operate on our dissecting specimens. As a congrats for them we dissected earthworms and frogs. The earthworm is a simple way of introducing the tools in the dissecting kit as well as proper ways of handling all the materials. One of my favorite things to do first in our dissection unit is to have the students create their "paper" earthworm or frog to get to know the various parts. This is where one of my favorite products comes in to play: 3-D Earthworm Dissection & 3-D Frog Dissection.

In my classroom we only have 55 mins for set up, getting the dissecting done, and clean up. Not a lot of time if you ask me. I spent 2 days reviewing the earthworm paper dissection to prepare the kids on what they should be looking for and then 1 day actually performing the dissections. I did the same the following week with the frog unit. As always, the students impressed me every step of the way with their work as well as their maturity during the actual dissection (it gets nerve racking handing a 14 year old a scalpel!) For the frog unit, we took it a step further. Instead of having the students write a lab report, they made a video of the dissection explaining the parts of the frog. Some of them got really excited and made some incredible videos. Check out one of the videos below the paper dissection photos, but tread lightly if you get queezy! Viewer discretion is advised!

Check out this paper Earthworm!

and the frogs!

Frog Video:

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Full STEAM ahead!

     Awesome news! My school will be offering a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) class next year and I get to teach it! It will be called Full STEAM Ahead! The Science department brought up the idea at the beginning of this school year to the administration and they thought about it for a while until it was finally approved.

     Within the past few school years, I have been in charge or sponsored various science competitions for my students to be a part of. It was always done after school or before school, weekends, personal time, etc. It has become a bit overwhelming so having this class will really help with all those competitions. Of course this means I have to come up with a curriculum plan for the 2016-2017 school year for the course and I have no idea where to start! :( I have some ideas on what I want to incorporate in the class:

1. E-portfolios - have the students post their work on a blog, site, or some sort of online portfolio to document their engineering process. The best scenario would be to use Edmodo since I use it for everything.

2. Relate activities & competitions to STEAM careers - number 1 question I get in science class with some of the concepts we learn, "when am I ever going to use this in real life?" or "what type of job does this relate to?" this should have students research what STEAM careers relate to specific challenges or topics.

3. Monthly themes - I wanted to make each month a different theme with real world challenges that students need to come up with solutions for, like one month focused on water and all the issues we can think of with water and how to fix it! I need to the class to be structured enough where students don't find themselves bored or asking what they should be doing.

4. Think critically - seems cliche, but a lot of students can't solve an issue even if its a simple one like how to load staples into the stapler. I want them to be ready for the future and to become those members in society that will fix the world's problems.

5. Robots! - ok this is because I like robots among other nerdy science things and I ordered 3 SPHERO Bots that students can code to perform certain functions. Coding is not only fun but part of the future and they catch on pretty quickly. I've had the students code in class using code.org where they created their own games and posted it on Edmodo for other students to play. I had to test out the SPHERO so my husband bought me BB-8 from star wars and it's been all fun and games at home! check out the video of BB-8 at home:

Check back next year when the class is in full effect!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Record it!

I finally did it! I recorded my first lecture for my flipped classroom trial. My goal this school year is to try out the flipped classroom for some of my class periods in the hopes that I can implement it all next year.

I'll admit, it was overwhelming figuring out what to do first. I decided to pick our next topic in class and record over the PowerPoint lecture. That was a bit strange too trying to speak into the slides with no real audience in front of you was intimidating. Once I did that (short and sweet about 10 mins) I uploaded the file to Edmodo where the students had access to the notes. I also posted 2 questions for the students to answer on Edmodo based on the lecture to hold them accountable for taking the notes at home. I ran into some issues of course: 

1. Some students didn't do it at home. Period. But it was a smaller number than I thought. 

2. Some students ran into issues watching the notes because the file was too large. 

So those students that had a hard time taking the notes or did not do it, used in class tha lets to take the notes while the other students completed an interesting lab. Of course the students were working hard on the notes to finish and not be left out of the lab. The next time I did notes online I had more students complete the task. I also used something new called office mix. I really enjoyed this add on to the Microsoft office 2016. The add on lets you record directly onto the slides with a screen capture and you can put quiz questions into the slides!! One of my favorites. However, I always run into issues. Students had to be logged into their county accounts and Edmodo in order to answer the questions in the PowerPoint to receive credit. It might work well if no questions are included in the PowerPoint and just make it a public office mix for them to watch. 

Example photos coming soon! Stay tuned!


Here is a link to the recorded lessons I created and had my students take notes on. If anyone has any pointers, please let me know! :)

Chapter 14.1 - structure of an atom

Office Mix Powerpoint Lecture - Chapter 15.1

Thursday, February 11, 2016

30 before 30

About a year ago I was having a moment of "what are you doing with your life?!" Over a glass of wine (orbs few) and ended up making this list of things to do before I turn 30. I turn 30 in about 6 months so a lot of these might not get done but I am proud of what I've done so far! Get inspired and make a list and set some goals! 

✔️Make a piece of art with paint nite
✔️Take a dance class
✔️Do a handstand against a wall
Learn to drive stick shift (manual)
✔️Go to Vegas
Shooting range 
Touch a butterfly
✔️Watch the sunrise
✔️Visit Grand Canyon 
Cliff jump
Burning man  
Half marathon 
✔️Drink a bottle of wine
✔️Finish a craft bottle of beer 
✔️Swim with whale sharks
Learn to skate 
Watch all the bond movies
Get your fortune read 
Try skiing again 
Learn a song with babe and sing it
Dye my hair crazy color 
✔️Drink alone and relax 
✔️Get married  
Have a baby
Have a big 30s bday bash