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Friday, September 28, 2012


I am in LOVE with Vistaprint.  I really liked Vistaprint before, but now I am in LOVE!  Through the use of RetailMeNot (a site that provides you with discount codes and offers) and the amazing Vistaprint, I just ordered 6 classroom posters (size LARGE - 24" x 36") and 250 business cards for only $64.  The original total for this order was $150.  I can not wait for them to arrive!  Pictures coming soon...

I have also fallen in love with the cute pennant banners (hot pink and lime green, of course - $3/9 feet) and the pom-pom banner that is on sale right now at Oriental Trading ($4.99/9 feet)!  I have also ordered personalized hot pink pencils for my desk!  I am super PUMPED!  I need to find tissue paper cheap (in hot pink and lime green) soon to make those awesome tissue paper balls that have been all over Pinterest and the School Girl Style blog!

Please share pictures and decorating ideas for my classroom.  I will post before pictures soon as well as what I have been able to accomplish thus far.  I NEED HELP & INSPIRATION!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

STEM Resources & Recent Finds

Hello all...

I am so very sorry that I have not posted anything since I was hired.  As most of you can imagine, I have been SWAMPED moving classrooms, redecorating, reorganizing, learning all the ins and outs of a new school, creating lesson plans and materials, and developing the curriculum for the course.  In addition to just barely keeping my head above water professionally, I have had lots going on at home in terms of travel, company, and wrapping up summer projects.  ANYWAY...

I absolutely adore my new job.  It is a lot of work, but the best decision I ever made!  I miss my kids at my previous school, but I love the faculty, opportunities, and content I teach here. I have two things to post today - some recent finds from the other blogs I follow and what I have taught so far in class.

  • FREE POSTERS -Krissy Venosdale (Venspired) has created and uploaded 154 educational and motivational posters to Flickr for teachers to use in their classroom.  Jennifer Runde (of Runde's Room) recently blogged about how she had many of Krissy's posters printed through Vistaprint to hang in her classroom.  Vistaprint also allows for you to design your own posters, which Jennifer did, to have printed as well.  The price isn't too awful, $14.99 for a large poster and that includes the 25% new customer discount, but I plan on shopping some other sites before I make my decision.  I will keep you posted...
  • Top Educational Apps - This blog is exactly as it sounds.  It shares and rates educational applications for iPads and other devices.  This will be VERY handy when purchasing apps for my iPads.  (If ANY of my readers have ANY suggestions for educational applications for 7th grade students, PLEASE SHARE!)
  • School Girl Style - Great ideas for classroom themes and decorations.  I probably won't buy from Melanie, but I will def. follow her creative classroom mind!  Check out the Classroom Couture, Lemon Chiffon in all its glory at my cousin's blog - Teaching in the Mitten.  Courtney has done a phenomenal job decorating her new 4th grade classroom!
  • Rubik's Cube - You Can Do the Cube! - I blogged about this site previously.  I loved this lesson plan!  I was slightly concerned that the students would end up spending many many days coloring and cutting out cubes.  This was not the case AT ALL!  The students were much more interested in being engineers and had their materials prepped in a day or less so they could devote the majority of the week to making their cube move.
  • The Wonderous Windmill - K'NEX education kits come with free lesson plans or you can create a free educator account with K'NEX to access their free lesson plans.  I am in the process of completing this unit with my students.  The Construction Conundrum was SO MUCH FUN!  Only one student could look at the directions and then they were responsible for reporting back to their group and only sharing the directions verbally.  The goal of this activity was communication.  Today the students worked with completed windmills to find a way to measure efficiency.  Without ANY help from me, EVERY group of students was able to come up with their own way of measuring RPMs.  WOW!
  • KidWind: Windwise Curriculum - This is a FREE curriculum to educators.  I printed out many of the lessons and plan on spending the weekend finding ways to expand my current windmill unit!

Future units include some DefinedSTEM activities like their restaurant project and baseball sweet spot assignment.  I am also planing a Green Building unit in which the students watch a previously recorded webinar I found through the Siemen's STEM Academy.  With the FOSS Science Kits, I hope to do a unit on inventors and include Rube Goldburg machines and Henry Ford.  Everything is still very much a work in progress so resources of any kind are greatly appreciated.