Please note that all downloadables and links are highlighted in yellow! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Flower Pens in Cans...

Near the first day of school a friend of mine game me an ink pen that had a sunflower taped to it. I LOVED IT! Then it dawned on me after about a month of school with my students that my pencil-borrowing/sharpening procedures took up too much valuable class time. So, I went to Wally World and bought some cute fake daisies and some polka dotted duck tape that matched my room. I made enough pens so that each student could have one when they were in my class. The pens were placed in recycled and decorated vegetable cans in the middle of my tables. Well, that was three months ago last Friday and I still had all of them!!! I wound up pulling from my reward ticket jar and allowed those students who's names were drawn to pick one for themselves. They loved it and needless to say, I gained back those valuable minutes and learned that I could trust my students.

So, today I am making new Christmas themed pens and cans. These are much cuter and sure to provide great behavior/participation motivation to earn tickets in hopes of taking these home the day we let out for Christmas break. Here's a picture:

These are really easy to make: Just get a bunch of artificial flowers, cut them about an inch and a half below the flowers. Use the duck tape to tape them on the opposite end of the point. VOILA! I used the left over tape to tape the cans, the top edge also. I also added ribbons and those sticky/reflective mailbox numbers [to identify tables]. Imagine how CUTE my room will look with these!!!

Go ahead and make some....after all, they are SCIENCE DIVA CERTIFIED!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mr. Parr...YOU are the Science King!!!!

I have stumbled upon a science song master! About a month or so ago, I was looking for a song to use with the ABC Brainstorming Method at the start of my states and changes of matter unit. [I love using songs in class especially songs that lend themselves to content related lyrics!] Anyway, I went to YouTube as I usually do and found this AMAZING 6th grade Science teacher named Mr. Parr who apparently over the summer penned and recorded MULTIPLE science content songs to current song instrumentals. He even sounds like the original artists!!! I think I went on a favorites marking spree so that I don't lose the links!

Mr. Parr, if you happen to follow this blog, check out my density song to the Barbie Girl tune...I'm sure you can do WONDERS with it!!!

Go ahead everybody, check him out...after all, Mr. Parr is officially SCIENCE DIVA CERTIFIED!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

WOW....TIME FLIES when you are REALLY BUSY!!!!

Jeez! It seems like forever since I have blogged and I guess I need to do it a little bit more! It's just that I am sooooo busy [aren't we all?!?!] !!!! Anyway, the past couple of months have been very productive. My students and I have been observed constantly by school and district administration, other teachers, a consulting group, AND myself [I have a funny to share when I get to it!]. My school is going through what is being called "the 2nd Cycle" of consultation. This is not by all means because we are in need of assistance....our scores have consistently improved by LEAPS AND BOUNDS since 2005....YAY! Our district just decided they would get a consulting group to observe and let us know what needs to be improved. So, we have someone coming into our school about 2 times a month to formally observe various classrooms and complete walk-throughs to make sure we "walk our talk" ... which we do FABULOUSLY!

I'm also in the final stages of completing my Master's degree in Educational Leadership which finds me having a lot of reflections, power points, and paperwork to complete. Here is where the funny comes in. I had to video myself teaching to conduct formal observations of myself from a leader's point of view. After watching almost 5 class periods of very engaged students, I get to the end of my last class and what do I see????? As my back was turned [I know....NEVER TURN YOUR BACK] a student walked up behind me, did the booty-slap know motioning he was "slapping that ____" back and forth with his hand and body swaying as if music were playing, and I never noticed!!!! The other students from his table & the rest of the class for that matter didn't even respond to it!!!! Man....what happened to the eyes behind my head????? LOL....I know, it IS funny....but very inappropriate....LOL!!! Of course it was handled and I don't think he will be acting up in my class again. Also....that was not so SCIENCE DIVA CERTIFIED....LOL!

Also, I did take the school leader licensure test and PASSED with a better score than I could have ever imagined!!!! I was so worried because I had to hand write 7 constructed response answers that were very VERY detailed with handwriting I will describe as "chicken-scratch". LOL! Anyway....I am graduating in December....YAY!!!!

Ok....I promise my next entry will be soon....I just had to start with all of this since it was taking all my time!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

No....I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth!

I am here. I have been so very busy with school, grad school, foot issues, and my overwhelming sadness due to the loss of a most BELOVED brother-in-law. Let's just say there is not enough time in the day to do all of the things that need to be done. Needless to say, I am hanging in there.

I have however, for the past few weeks, been teaching Unit 2 of our comprehensive curriculum which finds me and my students having fun with matter....measuring it in all sorts of ways. I think my students are mostly enjoying the fact that each day brings out new equipment and instruments to master using. They have especially loved using the triple beam balance....mainly since I so desperately wanted to make certain they could explain thoroughly how and why it is used that I had them write letters to our assistant principal explaining so. They did a FABULOUS job and he sooo got a kick out of the letters.

We have also been visited by he-who-will-not-be-named a few times. Just for the record, he..... is visiting our classrooms this year to make sure we are teaching well and that the students are constantly engaged. Which equates to my sore feet and early bedtimes. None-the-less, I am having more fun this year than ever.

One of my new SCIENCE DIVA CERTIFIED management procedures is the use of wonderful little cones I found at the Dollar Tree as recommended by my AWESOME friends from I have 7 orange cones and 1 yellow cone that all have a positive message like "Great Job" and "Fabulous Work" on them. Well, as my students [who by the way sit 4 to a round table which I know I have yet to post pics of my classroom] work in and with their groups on various activities and projects, I walk around monitoring and questioning as all good teachers do with these in my hands looking for the teams that are  Cooperative, On-task, Noiseless, & Efficient. Their main goal is to earn the coveted lone yellow cone to be recongnized as the CONEiacs. The coniacs of course earn a prize, too, which is usually some sort of treat to eat right there in class. I must admit that I really love this even more this year because the first time he-who-will-not-be-named visited our room with my three administrators they were all impressed by how well this worked. YAY US!

Well, it is really past my bedtime....I have the big SLLC test this weekend...wish me luck! :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Well....after 5+ hours, I thoroughly updated my class site...especially the SCIENCE FAIR page. In the past I think I just found stuff on the net and tweaked it to my needs and just slapped it on there. This go 'round, I actually took the time to walk through the whole entire process as I would teach it to my 6th graders...really, really tweaking it to fit just right. I've even included a WHOLE [made up of course] dummy project down to the graphs and conclusion. Also included are new downloads and links that specify and clarify HOW to do certain parts. I must say I am proud of myself!

Now, crossing my fingers and hoping that my little scientists take advantage of all my hard work and complete their Science Fair projects like Science Fair projects are meant to be done....with the UTMOST FUN possible!!!! After all....Science Fair project FUN is Science Diva Certified!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Science Fair Prep....

Well....let the Science Fair lessons begin! Actually, they have been going on for quite some time. Teaching 6th graders the steps in the process is very fun, but kind of like pulling teeth. They really haven't had any experience thus far making my "play dates" even more challenging. But we are all up for it! Of course I am using the scaffold that I blogged about earlier. It really breaks the Scientific Method down for them. This past week it seems like I dreamed about qualitative & quantitative observations/data, controls, independent & dependent variables, purposeful question construction, and writing awesome hypotheses every night! I certainly hope that my teaching efforts and my students practicing efforts pay off!!! I certainly can see the little gears in their minds churning and their parents scratching their heads wondering how the heck to thelp them!!! LOL!

So, with the help of each class, we created simple guidelines for writing purposeful questions and good hypotheses. Hopefully you all can use these, too. I did tell my students when "we" were writing the quidelines that they were not for them, of course, but for their parents. They LOVED that!

I know that I have yet to post pictures of my FABULOUS new classroom which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I will attempt to remember to take pictures this week and include them in one of the next posts.

Until then, be the spark in your students' minds to have them think Science all the time! :) Oh, don't forget the two guidelines...after all, they are SCIENCE DIVA CERTIFIED!


Sorry that I have been gone so long, but school started and I have been on my feet teaching, teaching, teaching! I have been so tired from using up all of my energy that I come home and zonk out! BUT....I absolutely LOVE what I do so it's all good! My goal is to post at least twice a week from here on out! Keep your fingers crossed!!!! :))))

Saturday, July 30, 2011

List is Shrinking....

Ok, so the other day I posted a list of over 25 things that I needed to do in/for my classroom. Well needless to say I did get there at 7am on Friday and was able to knock out a few things after having been sidetracked for about 2 hours doing other things [which by the way were very important!]. I still have a lot to do....jeesh! BUT I will get it all done...I think I will lock myself in there on Monday.:)

  1. tape cords to floor/secure to wall
  2. organize books and junk on tables
  3. clean tables and shelves and board, etc...
  4. bring needed bins from old room
  5. place big bins on ledge
  6. print out rules/consequences and make posters for display
  7. make signs for cougar cards
  8. request and organize team supplies
  9. make and hang team number signs over tables
  10. finish covering tin cans with polka dot tape
  11. stick curtains to window/carts/shelf
  12. hang bulletin board and periodic table
  13. decorate 8 bulletin boards [scientifically speaking, scientist of the week, science fair]
  14. hang banner above door
  15. decorate door ???
  16. hang string/clothes pins on outside wall and blank wall in class for student work display
  17. make homework and i can signs for white board
  18. finish updating website []
  19. update welcome power point and convert to flip chart
  20. play with activ board [gotta have some fun somehow!]
  21. write lesson plans
  22. move important binders to shelf behind teacher cart
  23. run off needed materials
  24. make inside covers for yellow folders
  25. edit test folder/conduct sheets
  26. ???????

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My name is The Science Diva and I'm a Procrastination Junkie!

Wow....where has summer gone???? Right now I am sitting in my big comfy chair in my house instead of working in my classroom that so desperately needs it! Just look at this mess:

Is it a lack of motivation? No. Is it a profound sense of laziness? No, not really. Well what is it you ask? I really can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's that I'm so used to procrastinating that I have to feel rushed to get it done and feel good about it. THAT'S IT...I'm a procrastination junkie!!!! I know I have to clean is very dusty and grimy in there. The chairs are around the tables, not on top any more. BUT, the tables are piled HIGH with stuff I don't want to just shove anywhere and will probably just get rid of because I haven't used it in years! I've already gotten rid of a file cabinet and the junk in it, some carts, a chair, and even a metal cabinet that I used to store my fun stuff in.... I DON'T WANT THE CLUTTER! 

But now, here I sit blogging in my big comfy chair exactly 1 week before I have to report for duty to sit all day and listen and learn. I guess my derrier will be up with the roosters tomorrow so I can get in there and knock something off of this  LOOOOONG list of things that still need to be done:

  1. tape cords to floor/secure to wall
  2. organize books and junk on tables
  3. clean tables and shelves and board, etc...
  4. bring needed bins from old room
  5. place big bins on ledge
  6. print out rules/consequences and make posters for display
  7. make signs for cougar cards
  8. request and organize team supplies
  9. make and hang team number signs over tables
  10. finish covering tin cans with polka dot tape
  11. stick curtains to window/carts/shelf
  12. hang bulletin board and periodic table
  13. decorate 8 bulletin boards [scientifically speaking, scientist of the week, science fair]
  14. hang banner above door
  15. decorate door ???
  16. hang string/clothes pins on outside wall and blank wall in class for student work display
  17. make homework and i can signs for white board
  18. finish updating website []
  19. update welcome power point and convert to flip chart
  20. play with activ board [gotta have some fun somehow!]
  21. write lesson plans
  22. move important binders to shelf behind teacher cart
  23. run off needed materials
  24. make inside covers for yellow folders
  25. edit test folder/conduct sheets
  26. ???????

OMG....25+ THINGS TO DO!!!! I do believe that is all I can think of for now...WHEW.....all I know is that once I am done I will blog about it and post pics and things I find from my school computer that are SCIENCE DIVA CERTIFIED!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

ATTN Louisiana Teachers: New Grading Scales Ready to Go & On the Go!

This year Louisiana is going to a state-wide grading scale. Well, like all DIVAS, I have a FABULOUS FRIEND that shared a document that contains over 50 ready to copy and paste grading scales based upon the total number of test points. What makes her TOTALLY FAB is that she told me that I can share it with anyone that can use it. Thanks Sonya H.!!! This will certainly make test-making & grading easier!!!

Also, for those of you with Androids or iPhones you can find FREE ez grader apps in your market or app store .... I do know that after testing the free Android apps that I prefer the one called Boosed Grader.

Go Sonya's Ready-to-Go Grading Scales or an ez grader app for your phone. After all, they are SCIENCE DIVA CERTIFIED!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mouse Mischief

I was just reading on PROTEACHER about the free Microsoft program Mouse Mischief. THIS IS AWESOME! It allows you to link up as many computer mice you can find to turn your power points into interactive presentations. I do have a Promethean board and some actiVotes, but boy this is an AWESOME alternative for those who may not have interactive boards and/or equipment!

Go ahead, check it out....and yes, you know it's SCIENCE DIVA CERTIFIED!

"Teaching" Science is Different...

I really dislike the way some administrators [NOT mine...they are AWESOME!] or higher ups expect all teachers to plan and teach the same exact way. Just as students need differentiation, so do teachers and the respective courses being taught. There is no way I'd expect a Reading teacher to teach the same way I do. Science lends itself more towards engaging hands-on activities...that to me is just expected of what I do. I remember the days [long ago of course] of sitting in Science class READING day in and day out, never DOING anything! Oh how I wished I could just DO something! That's why my kids DO, DO, DO!

A few years ago I attended LaSIP and another Science teacher training that were intensive, yet quite spectacular. They both focused on using the 5 Es of a Science Lesson that focuses, in this order, on Engage. Explore. Explain. Elaborate. Evaluate.  

Through the use of this method, accompanied with Kagan strategies, Thinking Maps, and other Literacy Strategies, my students are always engaged and doing something from the second they walk in my classroom.

Check out the link is very informative and when coupled with your curriculum and a sound classroom management plan, can change your classroom environment into one that is always captivating and engaging. [The last few slides are irrelevant since this was used in a training somewhere, good none-the-less!]
Go ahead, check it out...after all, it is SCIENCE DIVA CERTIFIED!


I know, I know! This is a Science teacher/resource blog. BUT...I have to talk about it or I will EXPLODE!!!! This movie was AMAZING and is definitely SCIENCE DIVA CERTIFIED! I have so many feelings .... HAPPY that I finally saw what I pictured in my mind for the past year or so BROUGHT to LIFE better than I could have ever imagined...AMAZED at the acting talent of Alan Rickman [Snape] who was by far the BEST ACTOR in this whole series!... HONORED to have shared this with both of my children for the last 10 years or so... SAD that this is the UTMOST END to the entire series... RELIEVED that I will be able to watch what took 10 years to bring to life [HP 1- 7.2] in a matter of 16 hours.... & finally CURIOUS as to what I will get all worked up about next!

Now normally I can not STAND 3D movies...but boy did this one really convert me! Especially since I was fortunate to not only have awesome 3D glasses but ROUND HARRY POTTER 3D GLASSES!!!! Was soooo worth the price for the double feature!!!

I just loved every aspect of the HP series brought about a surge in childhood imagination and sparked curiosities in what COULD be if one only imagined it! How AWESOME it was for JK Rowling  to do this!?! 

Well in order to move on with my life, I must quote JK: "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."  J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

So, Rest in Peace Snape....and Goodbye Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and the rest of the magical world... Mischief Managed!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Do YOU Have a Theme Song????

I do! At the beginning of every school year and for open house, I present a power point that contains student expectations for the year. My THEME song is Thomas Dolby's 'She Blinded Me With Science'. Of course I don't use the video or the lyric version...just the midi file which can be found among thousands at MIDIDATABASE.COM which is completely free to use by the way. If you don't have a theme song, find one. It will truly set the tone for your year....and will always be that reminder to your students when they hear the tune again in the future! 

I'm including a pdf version of my BEGINNING OF THE YEAR POWER POINT. Please feel free to use it as inspiration to create your own. The fonts may not show up properly, but you will get the idea! 

Here's the video to She Blinded Me With Science. After all, it is SCIENCE DIVA CERTIFIED!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ever Walked Through Paper????

GOOD MORNING INQUIRING MINDS! Did you know that a square piece of dry paper cannot be folded in half more than 7 times???? Go ahead...try it! :)

I love finding weird, yet true science bits. My students especially love those bits, too! Like this one: Walking Through Paper. Maybe some of you have done this when teaching matter/physical changes. I tell my students that I can walk through paper and proceed to talk about physical changes while cutting a piece of folded paper. In the end, I open up the paper which is now a HUGE circle and walk through it. In the video on youtube, the girl cuts hers a bit too large. I try to cut along the blue lines of the paper to get that HUGENESS. Of course my students all want to do it too, so I allow them a few minutes to try. I assign them the task of going home and "tricking" their parents and writing a reflection of the "tricking". The next day they come back to school with such FABULOUS reflections that they want to share. I post these on a bulletin board for all to read. I love sparking that curiosity and creativity!

Go ahead, check out the "Walking Through Paper" video. After all, it is SCIENCE DIVA CERTIFIED!

Remember: "All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind". ~Martin H. Fischer

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Newbie Among the Pros!

I am moving in some uncharted territory [well for me it is!]. I have so many things I want to share that I don't really know where to begin. A lot of my GOODIES are on my computer at school, so as soon as I can get there and save my GOODIES to my portable hard drive [which I just bought on ebay...said it was a 300GB but is REALLY a 500GB!] I will most certainly begin my posting spree to share, share, SHARE!

For now, check out my AWESOME SCIENCE DIVA CERTIFIED BLOG ROLL.... there is something there for EVERYONE!!! Also, I am thrilled that I was added to the SQWORL of The Organized Classroom Blog here: SQWORL. Check it out and visit some FABULOUS blogs!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Nominate Your or Your Child's Favorite Teacher!

Go to Scholastic's page and nominate the teacher that has inspired you or your child to be the best they can be. You both can win a trip to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!!!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

OMG! I'm Vista'd Out!

Ok... when teachers jump on a bandwagon, they roll until their tires run flat...well in my case, rolling on the rims and making sparks! I had to PRY myself off of my computer at 3am this morning. Darn Vistaprint! Free shipping here, $1 shipping there. It was crazy! Well needless to say if you haven't heard about the great deals you can get at then you are missing out! I created so many things for my classroom and family members that I really can't remember all I made! Oh, the BEST part is that I maybe paid a total of $10!!! Y'all I created and bought like $300 of stuff for only that $10...which is including shipping! Like what you ask? Well...

6 huge magnetic signs [for my homework board and other areas]
2 banners [one with rules, etc. and the other for over my door]
5 bumper stickers with my class website on them
5 personalized pens
5 personalized sticky notes
5 different sets of blank business cards [will use to write student names for use when calling on them]
1 set of business cards with my info on it for parents
5 sets of 10 blank note cards for use to identify groups, etc..
4 different rubber stamps
2 personalized mouse pads
2 sets of address labels [one with just my name and the other with name, website, email addy, and planning times to stick in test folders/agendas]
And...I'm probably leaving somethings off...but basically that's it...for now!

If you need "things" for your class, you have to check out what you can do there! After all, it is SCIENCE DIVA CERTIFIED!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Science + Music = Lots of Learning Fun!

One of the things I kicked up a notch this year is the number of content-related songs used in my classroom. Youtube and Schooltube are excellent sources for science songs. I especially love the group They Might Be Giants. Their songs and videos are catchy and have really helped my students remember important concepts.

Sometimes, when I am brave, I will write a song to sing along with current popular tunes kind of like The Atoms Family Song . A few years ago, a student was in class humming and singing the Barbie Girl song. It was kind of distracting the lesson I was teaching on density so I challenged him to create a song about density to the same tune. Well in turn he challenged me too! The very next day, he came ready with his and I was ready with mine. Little did we know we would collaboratively write one of the songs that is always requested on the first day of school by new classes each year since! Here are the lyrics...THE DENSITY's kinda catchy!  And, here is a SCIENCE DIVA CERTIFIED video of one of my classes singing the song...just fast forward about 1 minute into it [my video making skills need some tweaking!].

Friday, July 1, 2011

We're Now On Facebook, Too!

Just look to the right ---------> and click can follow us there as well! :)

Teaching the Scientific Method

It is a requirement in my district for all science teachers that will have students participate in the Science Fair to attend an in-service that supplies us with a set of lesson plans to teach how to create a science fair project. My problem with this is that they are the SAME for grades 6 through 12! My poor babies really haven't had to formally use the scientific method to this extent which can be a tad bit overwhelming for a 6th grader! So, I do my own BORROWED thing. :)

A few....well maybe 5....summers ago I participated in a Math and Science partnership through the local university in which they used the "Student Scaffold for Designing and Conducting Experiments" that I have used in my classroom ever since. I have tweaked it a bit to include writing lines and more space for my kiddos [when I get to my school computer, I will link it as it is not on any of my jump drives here]. The only prep you need to do is have a class set of 1x1 sticky notes ready [4 each of 2 different colors per student] and a class set of the object in which you plan for them to investigate and manipulate [and any variations of it that the kids could possibly think of]. I used a small popper making sure they were all the same color and walked them through the entire scaffold. There are 2 sets of 4 boxes. The first 4 are for the independent variable and the the second set of 4 for the dependent variable. To make this interactive, you use the 2 different colored 1x1 sticky notes: the first same 4 for the independent and the second same 4 for the dependent. What they wind up with is one of each variable which helps develop the rest of the method. The best part of this is that they go through and learn the whole entire method in a matter of days and actually have the "Science Fair Experience" before they even have to do it.

I do have to add in here that in the beginning when they are trying to determine exactly what the popper is [yes I have students that don't know] we research like all good scientists and write down what we find and cite the sources! In the end they have to write up am "Experimental Research Report" in which they have to use the information we gathered through research and in the experiment.

I have used this with growing dinosaurs and the sponge capsules, too. Go ahead and give it a try...after all, it is Science Diva Certified! :) If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to message me!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Learning Logs are a MUST!

One of the BEST things that I do is have my students keep a current learning log for the unit being taught. They are required to have a cover page [which I usually provide in the beginning or have them quickly copy from the board] that includes the title of the current unit, grade level expectations [objs]/standards, name, date, etc... with a copy of the RUBRIC I will use to grade the log upon completion. Throughout the lesson they put EVERYTHING we do in there. I always keep a log, too, to remind them where we are. One other thing is I list the order on MY CLASS WEBSITE. Any of the pages that I can provide digital copies of [in case they lose a sheet or want to revisit what we did] are linked on the site. Using this log really puts responsibility on the students and provides evidence to parents of what was or should have been done by their child. This also is the perfect study guide since it includes everything! :) 

Go ahead, check out my will be under construction soon! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Whew!!!! My super-intense summer mini grad school session is finally over so let the blogging begin!!!

Last year I really didn't do a theme in my classroom...just a compilation of science "stuff". I did find on my favorite teacher site PROTEACHER.NET a link to some science safety posters that someone made. all teachers....I borrowed the idea [which was not copy-righted] and made some of my own to go along with my Science Stuff Theme. Here are my CAUTION POSTERS [normal 8 x 11 page size] that I made...I will probably tweak them in a few weeks to go with the robot/gear theme I want to use this year. So if you can use them, have at it! If you'd like for me to post the ppt version so you can change them, just let me know!!!

Stay tuned...more posts to come!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My First Post....

Wow! Never thought I'd actually do this! I know this is a great, HUGE endeavor but I plan to make this THE place to visit for all things Science! So, I will start by sharing some simple bin labels I made in power point that go with my GEAR/ROBOT theme for this year. Check it I said, it is simple, but they look great! Enjoy!
- The Science Diva