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End of Year

Whew! Another end of the year has come around. I apologize for the lack of posts this year. I didn't mention it but I took a new position this past year (and again into the coming year) as the technology coach for two elementary schools in the district. I thought I would still be able to post notebooking items on a regular basis but learning this new job has been a bit overwhelming so my posts have been hit or miss.
I've acted as a mentor for several teachers working on notebooking this past year and plan to continue in the coming year. My favorite moment this year has come from a teacher (shout out to Mrs. Maroney) who moved from third grade to fourth grade to take my position. I had been trying to talk her into notebooking for several years and she wasn't quite up to it. She was very happy to use all my notebooking stuff in the new grade level and liked it so much she has already started to work on material for next year (she is rotating back down to third). I can't wait to see how that goes for her and I will definitely be taking pictures to share!
I will continue to keep this blog up and running and as I run across items of interest, science or notebooking wise, I will post.


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Moon Phase Box

I happened to walk into a fourth grade class the other day and they were hard at work making moon phase boxes. They were totally adorable and the kids were completely into it. The teacher very kindly let me take some pictures (thank you Mrs. Parker!) and add to my blog.

Students would need a shoe box and they need to cover the inside and inside lid with black construction paper. Using fishing wire they would hang a ping pong ball in the center of the lid so it is suspended in the center of the box. They then take a flashlight and trace the light end on one of the short ends of the box and then create viewing flaps in the middle of every side (including the one with the light bulb (but that might be slightly off center). It is important that the viewing areas are flaps and not cut directly out (you need to keep the light coming into the box blocked as much as possible).

The teacher used a box cutter to cut the flaps and flashlight hole for the children. I probably would have had studen…

Google Classroom Headers (and Bitmojis)

I recently taught a class on how to use Bitmojis in the classroom to increase student engagement and help with classroom organization and management.

One fun idea was to use them to make custom Google Classroom headers. The idea came from Alice Keeler's blog and she even provided a template for her header.

My computer settings weren't the same as hers so I had to tweak my version.

This got me thinking about how the headers could be changed out frequently, as something new for students to look forward to, when they opened up Google Classroom. In my head I was thinking they could be changed out weekly (38 total headers needed) if time permitted. 

I have several other ideas, templates, and instructions linked in this presentation.

I would love to see other custom Google Classroom Header ideas! Please feel free to post a comment or tag me on Twitter at @techcoachlife.

Cookie Moon Phases

I've seen these cookie moon phases before (click here for a description of the activity on Science Bob's Blog) and wanted to share my "Moon Phase" cookie story.

After seeing these online I thought it would be fun to do it in class as part of our Astronomy unit. I decided to make these at home. They turned out adorable. Then I decided to eat them (justifying that I would let my kids eat them in class :) It quickly became apparent that 8 Oreo cookies was way too many to eat (I definitely felt queasy). I went back to the online directions and found out that I was suppose to use "mini Oreo cookies" (which made much more sense).

A note of caution, the mini Oreo cookies may not be as cost effective with large groups of children (when I taught middle school I had 80+ children). It is definitely cheaper to buy the generic chocolate sandwich cookies. I would just provide a snack or sandwich baggie so the kids could take the leftovers home.