" Addie Education - Teacher Talk

Monday, March 3, 2014

Plate Tectonic Play Dough

One of my favourite units to teach is Plate Tectonics - it's a great unit to hook kids and get them excited about geology and earth sciences.  It does not seem to matter if my students are 10 or 20 years old, videos and stories about erupting volcanoes and earthquakes never fail to impress.

One of the ways I like to wrap up this unit is with an assessment using Play Dough.... and again, whether my students are 10 or 20 years old, they get excited about the chance to play with Play Dough.  There's just something about the smell and feel that takes everyone back to their childhood.

This activity takes about 60-90 minutes and can be done with just a few simple and inexpensive supplies.
                  -  paper / styrofoam plates (from our school cafeteria)
                  -  plastic knives for "carving" the playdough (also from the cafeteria)
                  -  a "can" of play dough for each student 
                  -  plain white or lined paper

I hand out a "can" of Play Dough to each student and then ask them to form groups of 2-3.  I leave the rest of the supplies on my lab table at the front of the room and let students gather what they need throughout the lesson.

I ask students to do the following:

Plate Boundaries
- You must demonstrate your understanding of the three types of plate boundaries (converging, diverging and sliding).
- You must include all features associated with each boundary - trench, volcano, ridge...

- You must demonstrate your understanding of the three types of volcanoes (cinder cone, strata, shield)

- You must demonstrate your understanding of the three types of faults we studied in class (normal, reverse, transform)

They may use any of the supplies I have in the classroom or their school bags (I've had some creative ideas used before!).  My students often add little flags or signs, they add writing to the plate or paper that their Play Dough is displayed on or they carve symbols or words into the Play Dough.

I also wander around the classroom and ask each student in the group to orally explain one aspect of their Play Dough creations.  I give students a mark as I go through the room based on the level of detail that they have included and their ability to explain what's going on.

Have fun! I hope you and your students have as much fun with 
Play Dough as we do!

Enjoy! Addie

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Goals and Resolutions Activity - FREE

Wow... where did the holidays go!?  Unfortunately, I spent most of my Christmas break dealing with a nasty cold - this one really knocked me out!  Hoping that most of you managed to escape the cold season and spent some great time with your families and friends.

Have you made some New Year's Resolutions???  I like to think about ideas for the year and see how many I can stick to... some years I'm better than other!  Here's what I came up with for 2014 - I'm going to print it out and stick it on the bulletin board in my office - I figure if I stare at it often enough, I might just remember to follow some of them!  Grab a copy of the organizer below to make your own!

Grab a copy of the worksheet I used for my own resolutions - I think it's important to do this activity if I am going to ask my students to do it.

 These two worksheets are simple and so can be used in a variety of classrooms with a variety of ages and abilities!

To download a FREE copy of both of these worksheets head to my TpT Store and download it FREE!

Happy New Year ~Addie

Monday, December 9, 2013

Holiday Freebies - 2013 Winter ebook

For the past couple of years, Rachel Lynette has orchestrated the creation of wonderful resources, Winter Holiday Tips and Freebies books. There are 4 books in all: 
{PK-K}, {1-2}, {3-6}, and {7-12}. 

Many people submitted to this resource, but there wasn't room for all the wonderful entries. In an attempt to show everyone who makes a difference in the lives of children, just how thankful for them we are, we decided to throw a linky party with extra goodies galore! 

Be sure to get your gift books and check out even more goodies here!

So get your flash drive ready 
and get ready for fun! 
Just click the cute links 
and then you'll be done!
(Shopping for freebies that is! 
Can't help you with the rest of your list! 
You may have to call Santa for that!)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Winter Idioms - A FREEBIE

Wow... where as the time gone! This year has flown by and we're well into holiday preparations... never mind that the first snow has been forecast for later this week!

I don't know about your students, but mine get the Christmas Crazies or the Winter Holiday Wiggles as they start the countdown to Christmas Break! 

Here's a Winter Idioms freebie to help you during the busy holiday season - a little gift from me to you!!

Click HERE below to grab the freebie from my TpT Store and help your students learn about idioms through this winter themed activity!

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 4, 2013

House of Comprehension - A Review

The House of Comprehension, by Constance D. Casserly

I was thrilled to be asked by Connie Casserly to write a review of her book "House of Comprehension - Teaching Students the Elements of Literature".  What a wonderful book to review! It's a complete program for ELA teachers with 40 different activities ready to implement in a classroom right away!

The book is structured around the idea of building a house - you need blueprints, a foundation, a framework, decorating and more! Each of these ideas relates to a chapter and different elements in literature to guide teachers and their students through process of writing about literature.

This complete program covers all of the key elements of literature including, plot, characters, mood, tone, setting, conflict, point of view, symbolism and more!  This teaching resource helps students to relate each of these elements to the whole story structure rather than learning each in isolation. This process provides students with a deep and rich understanding of a novel or short story.

I love how easy this book is to use!  From aligning everything to the Common Core State Standards to providing suggestions for when to teach each lesson / use an activity, this book is ready for you to use immediately in your classroom.  The directions, provided on a "Teacher Notes" page, are clear and easy to follow.  Many tips and tricks are provided to help teachers implement the ideas in their classrooms and it's clear that Connie has extensive experience with English Language Arts.  As well, the student worksheets are nicely designed for students in 6-9th grade and don't have any "cute" or "primary" graphics... and there's a ton of them!

There is a wealth of information contained in this book and a wonderful selection of engaging activities for you to use with a whole class novel study, literature circles, independent novel study or short story unit.  Each of these activities could be used with any novel or short story making it a versatile and extremely useful teaching resource.  To sample one of the activities, there is a free download of the Ten Sentence Format over at Connie's TpT store.

This book is available for purchase through Compass Publishing or on Amazon.  If you purchase it through Compass, you can buy it as a digital download.

Check out Connie Casserly's TpT Store or her Teach It Write Blog. 

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Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Using Cookies in Your Science Classroom

I don't know about your students, but food is a big motivator for my kiddos!  I love to incorporate food and hands on activities as much as I can into my high-school science classroom.

I use the "Cookie Lab" to have students review and demonstrate their knowledge of rocks and the rock cycle. Depending on the level and abilities of your students you can use just three types of cookies for the three groups of rocks or you can get really detailed and ask for more differentiation. I usually do this activity at the end of a Rock & Mineral Unit so that it's one of the culminating activities for the students. 

Here are the cookies I use for each of the different rock types - I would love to hear your ideas for some of the specific rocks types I don't have cookies for!!

When we do the activity I put out 4-5 different types of cookie "rocks" and ask students to work in groups of 2-3.  I provide enough cookies for each group to have one of each and a napkin / paper plate.  I usually buy my cookies from the Dollar Store and the kids never complain - they're just happy to have cookies! (Students may each the cookies when they've completed the activity.)

If you're looking for more Earth Science / Geology resources be sure to check out some of the graphic organizers and activities I have in my TeachersPayTeachers shop.

Have fun rockin' out with rocks!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Educents Deal for 6th-8th Grade!!


It's an exciting time of year for us teachers! I am excited to celebrate by having this amazing deal for you along with 16 other bloggers and Educents! 

The bundle includes 27 instant downloads and covers everything from ELA, to SS, Math & Science.  The regular retail price of this bundle is over $175, but it's available on Educents for only $30!!

I've included my Writing Pack in the bundle which includes activities to help students learn and practice Descriptive, Expository, Narrative, Persuasive & Creative Writing.

And that's just one product.  Check out the rest of the products below that you also get in this limited time bundle from Educents!  

This bundle is only available for a short time so you will want to head on over to get it before it's gone!

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