Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fun Activities to Review the Moon Phases

Well, I hope you are experiencing some warm weather where you are.  The month of March was so incredibly busy for me it just flew by.

This week I decided to go back and do some review activities in Science with my 7th graders.  We had finished up a unit not long ago on the moon and space.  Even after the test, some of my students were still confused on rotation versus revolution, the moon phases, how the moon interacts with the tides, and the different eclipses.

We began by watching Flocabulary's Confessions of a Planet.  They were equally intrigued and mock horrified with the video.  It was a good way to begin the discussion, though.

I first had us complete some foldables from this Space Interactive Notebook file I had bought last year.  We compared and contrasted revolution and rotation.  Then, we labeled the different moon phases and put them in the correct order.

We used these two websites to help us look up the moon phases and review:

Today we did the activity where you make the moon phases out of Oreos.  Edible labs are always better! I know this is an activity often done with younger students, but I found this great set of lab directions as a freebie from Addie Williams.

It has a great set of procedures and really good questions for them to answer at the end.  It took the activity from just being an activity to truly being more of a lab.

Overall, it was a good week in Science and we got to have some fun reviewing and reteaching. How is your week going?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Inside Recess is Evil

Don't you love winter?  Long days of cold wetness with children stuck inside.  Days of energy multiplying and patience dwindling. I believe inside recess is an evil invention made to torture teachers.  #justsaying

I teach middle school now, so honestly my students don't really go to recess anymore.   However, the same thoughts apply.  Over the last week, the energy level and the chattiness has multiplied exponentially.  Just in time for my pre-algebra students to do their unit on exponents, too. Now, energy levels and chattiness always go up right before spring break, but days and days of cold and no sunshine make it worse.

I know there are all sorts of great ways to get your students up and moving this time of year.  Great ways to harness their energy. This is not that post. I have used those strategies.  Today I just feel like saying I prefer sunshine to helpful inside strategies.

Next week is Spring Break, and yet tonight in North Texas we are anticipating "wintry mix." We had spring in January and February and then winter showed up just in time for spring break.  Go away, Winter!  I want sunshine and vitamin D.  I am sure I might complain later when it is 105 in Dallas in July. I know I need to be grateful for all of the precipitation that is good for my foundation,  but I just don't feel grateful on the inside. Right now I want sunshine.

So that's it.  No words of wisdom or great ideas to share.  I just wanted to say I am ready for sun and flowers and spring.

I hope you are having a wonderful week, and that inside recess makes you feel rainbows and unicorns and sunshine and not tired and tortured and worn out.  I guess that is why we have spring break.  Not for the kids...for the teachers.

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