I am so excited to join this fabulous book study! We are reading and responding to the book Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites by Marcia Tate. I was drawn to the book because this is my first year using Whole Brain Teaching . The book seems to align to the Whole Brain Teaching philosophy. A dendrite is the part of the nerve cell that transfers information to other parts of the nerve cell. The more dendrites that are made, the faster information will travel and the more information that can be stored. (Thanks to my nurse husband for explaining this to me!) Let's just be real, worksheets don't grow the brain. Worksheets are quick and easy, but don't allow students the opportunity to grow their dendrites! This book includes 20 different strategies to engage the brain. Today, I am looking at the first two strategies. The first strategy is about brainstorming and discussion. The chapter opens with this quote, "They can't talk in class. They can't talk in t...
It is that time of year- the dreaded test prep season. Sigh... I don't love testing. Who does? But I have found lots of way to make the test prep a little more fun. It's all about the TASK CARDS!  I printed up a big stack of math and ELA task cards and then found lots of quick and fun ways to use them. Let me share 10 of my favorite ways to use task cards for test prep. Let's face it- we don't have extra time in our day. Quick line-up activities are perfect for the busy classroom. When my class is getting ready to leave for recess, lunch or specials- I pull out a set of task cards. I show a card to one student at a time. As they answer correctly, they get to line up. If they get it wrong, they stay in their seat. If we have enough time, I can come back to those students who missed their question on the first round. The best part is that if we run out of time, I can just have the rest of the class line up as usual. No big deal! If that happens, I just ...
I am excited to be a part of this fun link up! I have chosen 3 of my favorite Pinterest finds for the classroom in February. Since I am a sucker for social studies, I am including some fun activities for Presidents Day. My first pick is this adorable log cabin craft made with peanut butter, pretzels and crackers! I am thinking that this could be turned into a STEM project after my kiddos read about Abraham Lincoln! I have some peanut allergies, so I intend to use frosting instead of peanut butter. Click on the picture to go to the pin. The site includes directions. My second pick is a fun math and measurement activity with Abraham Lincoln! Students can compare their height to the height of Lincoln. I would extend this activity and have kiddos measure each other in both metric and standard measurements. My kids need some measuring practice!  My third pick is this great list with links to virtual field trips to learn about past presidents. ...
Let me start this post with a preface: I am not a scientist. I am not a science fair expert. You can disagree with me. My feelings won't be hurt. I am a teacher and a mother of four. I have seen, graded and helped to construct countless science fair projects. I have gotten frustrated, shed a few tears, done lots of research and learned a few things. I wanted to share my thoughts with you. Before you assign a science fair project to your class, please ask yourself why you are assigning it. What is the purpose? I am not opposed to science fair. But I think it is important that as educators we have a purpose and a goal for these projects. Otherwise they can quickly turn into parent homework that causes undue stress on the family and fails to teach the student anything useful. I don't want that to happen in my classroom! If you are assigning the science fair project because you think it will be a fun way for parents to spend time with their children- DON"T DO IT! Par...