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Friday, February 8, 2013

Weekly Update

Reflections on this week…
I had forgotten about the little science nerd that was resting dormant in my head, but she was certainly awakened during the last two weeks by crickets and owl pellets. Who knew that things that are stereotypically “gross” could be so much fun?! Planning for a day in the lab opened my eyes to all of the opportunities that science can bring to our students, both in the realm of experiences and cross-curricular connections. I can’t wait to see what great things we make happen with the awesome resources we have available in the science lab.
Thanks to everyone who sent students to the lab on Cricket Day. If you couldn't fit it into your schedule, have no fear! The crickets have a more permanent home (thanks to Ericka), and students can observe them any time. The owl pellet lab was so much fun today! You can see a picture of the lady from the Audubon Society below (go Meg for getting that in order!).

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities
·         West Houston Area Council of Teachers of English: An Evening with Authors
Thursday, March 7, 6:00 p.m.
See REGISTRATION FORM for more details
·         Science 3D-2D
Teachers will learn how to go from hands-on to checking for understanding to ensure student success on the STAAR test.
February 12, 3:30-5:30
West Transition Campus, Room 1C

Some stuff I’ve been reading…
                The February issue of Educational Leadership has some really cool articles centered on creativity. HERE is an article I found really informative, but I thought I would also share some quotes from another one of the articles that really stood out to me. These come from “Fundamentals of Creativity” by Ronald A. Beghetto and James C. Kaufman.

·         “Teachers who understand that creativity combines both originality and task appropriateness are in a better position to integrate student creativity into the everyday curriculum in ways that complement, rather than compete with, academic learning.”

·         “Research shows that creativity can suffer when people are promised rewards for creative work, when learning conditions stress competition and social comparisons, or when individuals are highly aware of being monitored and evaluated y others.”

·         “Students need to develop creative metacognition—a combination of creative self-knowledge (knowing one’s own creative strengths and limitations, both within a domain and as a general trait) and contextual knowledge (knowing when, where, how, and why to be creative).”

Some sites worth exploring…
·         PBS Kids Play!
An online, cross-curricular program for Pre-K to 1st grade. It contains hundreds of interactive activities. Check it out!
·         Kid Wings
This site teaches kids about the world of birds. It was recommended to me by the lady visiting from the Audubon Society this morning. It even has virtual owl pellet dissection.
·         Math League: Whole Numbers
This site is divided into two sections, “Using Whole Numbers” and “Operations and Their Properties.” The main Math League site also has some great sample problem solving contests. It is worth exploring
·         WatchKnowLearn
A decent resource for finding educational videos.


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