10 Ways to Pass the Time While Monitoring Students During Standardized Testing

Our district just completed our "first round" of standardized testing for the year last week, and let me tell you - it was no picnic. For me or the kids. Blah. Double blah. I just HATE this time of year. And now we are taking tests like this TWICE each year. Boooooo.

Okay, I do understand WHY we are required to test our students. I just don't like it. I wish I could change it. But I can't. So, as I paced slowly around the classroom last week for hours on end, I had to come up with some "creative" ways to keep myself from going brain-dead from boredom while not breaking any of the test security rules that could get me fired. Um, yeah. I need my job still. 
Every teacher dreads standardized testing. Especially being bored as you monitor students during testing. This blog post shares a teacher hack: 10 things to do while monitoring students taking standardized tests. Try a few the next time you’re stuck walking up and down the rows in your classroom. Definitely a teacher sanity saver. My favorites are #3 and #9!
So today I'm sharing ten of the ideas I came up with.
Hopefully you'll be able to use some of these while monitoring your own students during the upcoming state testing that we all dread.


Weekend in Review {2016 French Lick Blogger Meet-Up}

One of my goals this month was to take some time for myself, and I definitely did that last weekend. I had the most amazing opportunity to attend a blogger meet-up in French Lick, Indiana with around 200 other teacher-bloggers.
Before the event, I was asked to share some of my thoughts. 
In a video. 
To be shared at the meet-up.
I was asked to share was why I liked attending meet-ups and collaborating with other teachers. 
Well.....I kinda shared something else instead.


Songs in the STEM Class {Kinetic and Potential Energy}

Last month I shared one of my favorite teaching strategies: using songs to review and reinforce concepts in science. Read more about it here. The short version? I find that students retain basic information better when it is put to a catchy (albeit sometimes annoyingly so) tune.
If you aren’t using music in the classroom yet, you should be! Songs are a great strategy for teaching science concepts and vocabulary. A catchy tune will help those concepts stick.
This month I want to share another song that I found while scouring YouTube for something to accompany my Energy Unit.


Slow Motion Videos

First and foremost, I have to give my husband credit for this idea...sort of. 
(He insisted.)

The other night, we had Family STEM Night at our school (but that's another post for another day). One of the activities that students got to try had to do with an object's center of mass. My husband (whose phone is permanently attached to his hand) decided to record our kids using the slow motion feature of his camera. It was actually pretty cool. I had honestly never thought to use that feature on my phone before. Hence, he gets to claim credit for the idea...sort of.
Teacher Tech Tip Hack: Using slow motion videos to teach about Newton's Law of Inertia. Student activity that shows the impact inertia and gravity have on a moving object.
I'm currently teaching students about forces, motion, friction, and energy. I absolutely LOVE teaching about Newton's 3 Laws of Motion. Every year I collect so many ideas for demonstrations, videos, and lab activities on my Forces & Motion Pinterest board that I have a hard time making a choice of what I will actually use!


My Teaching Style Metaphor

I've come across several great lists where people compare teaching to other things.
It got me thinking. But not just about what teaching is like.
Instead, I started thinking about my own TEACHING STYLE and how it is unique to me.

My teaching style metaphor: PIZZA! This is such a fun way to think about what I do as an elementary science teacher. Self-reflection | Humor | Food
So today I share with you...
Why I think my teaching style is a pizza!
Keep reading...
I know you're curious.

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