This blog is dedicated to elementary teachers who need hands-on ideas in teaching STEM concepts, especially focusing on SCIENCE. For newbies, STEM is an acronym for SCIENCE * TECHNOLOGY * ENGINEERING * MATH. In my classroom, I consider it organized play that is a liiiiittttle chaotic at times. For someone entering my classroom at random, you may see my 6th graders ooohing and aaahhing while observing LIVE microscopic worms found from a duck pond, 5th graders building electrical circuits, 4th graders sorting animal photos into the correct ecosystem, or my enthusiastic 3rd graders racing balloon powered cars and graphing the results. Thus, it’s organized play as much as I can create. This blog will be a show-n-tell of my work as a full-time science specialist in my school. Magic starts here. Now. Today. My kids can learn just like any other kids even though 90% are considered in poverty. We have something like 18 languages spoken with a quite diverse population including refugees, chronically homeless students, and a whole lot of language barriers. Challenges, yes, of course. This is the population I want to work with because I not only make a difference every day, but I learn from THEM every day. I chose it and sought it out. I choose THEM. I learn to be grateful for my life and the beautiful experiences I have had. I have learned that education changes lives from these kids. I have learned that many of our families love each other and value education. I have learned that hard work really does pay off. I am in LOVE with humanity and those that dedicate so much to help teachers like me in the classroom with funding, time, and love. In the words of my 6th grade student, Jorge, “Money sure doesn’t give you happiness.” He is right. So do these kids, and so do all you AMAZING teachers out there!
I teach using interactive science journals to my 12 classes (yes! 12!!) who see me twice a week for 50 minutes each class. I teach roughly 250 students in downtown Salt Lake City at my Title 1 school. I love seeing my students love science. It truly warms my soul to the core. I look forward to the discovery that naturally occurs in science. It tickles me PINK when a teacher comments that her students are upset that there isn’t school on Friday because they don’t want to miss my science class (3rd gr) OR to hear that students came up with an I LOVE SCIENCE (Tory) dance and perform the said jig while lining up to see me OR when students say they never liked science before this year OR when a 6th grader loved the microbiology unit sooooo much that she asked for a microscope for Christmas (Shaylice). I feel truly grateful for the opportunity to teach our future scientists. I do what I do and work all these hours day in and day out for them….and hopefully a few will become future scientists as a result.
Because I teach 21 science units per school year (GASP!!), I am always searching for ways to communicate the curriculum to our families and my peers. Thus, this blog was created. I create a large quantity of my science curriculum and sell some of it on Teachers Pay Teachers. I will also be posting FREEBIES on this blog. I also created a video website last year where I used a mixture of videos for a flipped instruction approach. Thus, in theory, the students were supposed to watch a video I created/ mixed before they came to class in their homeroom. I attempted to emphasize science vocabulary and scaffolded previous lessons. Check out my Science Station website! Let the science fun begin!