Monday, September 12, 2016

Field Testers Needed - Medicines and Me

I received the following information via e-mail and wanted to pass this on to you if you were interested.

The Life Sciences Learning Center at the University of Rochester has developed a series of Medicines and Me lessons that focus on the safe use of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. These lessons are designed to incorporate medicine safety education into middle school life science, biology, health, or family and consumer science classrooms.

We are seeking grade 7-10 teachers who are willing to field test
one of these Medicines and Me lessons with their students:

A Family Medicine Cabinet   
Students use information from a brief reading to classify labels and compare prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and dietary supplements.  They learn that scientific testing is an important part of determining that drugs are safe and effective.  Estimated time = 2 forty minute class periods

Choosing and Using Medicines Safely    
Students analyze mini-cases and Drug Facts labels to determine which over-the-counter medicines patients should use and how to use them safely.   Estimated time = 2 forty minute class periods

Cold, Flu, or Allergy?    
Students conduct simulated flu tests to determine whether patients have the flu or not.  Product labels are used to select the medicines appropriate for patients with the flu, the common cold, or allergies.  Estimated time = 2 forty minute class periods

Field test teachers will be asked to:
  • Make copies of the student handout, pre-test, and post-test for their students
  • Administer a brief pre-test (10-15 questions) for the lesson to their students
  • Use the lesson with their students
  • Administer a post-test for the lesson to their students
  • Match the pre-test and post-test answer sheets
  • Complete a lesson evaluation survey
  • Provide written feedback with suggestions for improving the lesson activities, the student instructions, and the teacher guide
  • Provide 3 samples of student work for the lesson

Field test teachers will be provided with instructions and free supplies needed to complete one Medicines and Me lesson with their students.  Field testing will take place between October 15 and May 1.

A stipend of
$100 will be provided for teachers who return matched pre/post-test answer sheets, a lesson evaluation survey, annotated teacher information and student handouts, and samples of student work.  All field testing data must be returned no later than May 1.
Here is a link to the online application:

Please complete the application by September 20.  Field test teachers will be selected by September 30.  Lesson materials will be shipped to field test teachers by October 15.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Get to know your students with Padlet

I have never really done a get to know you activity with my students because my school is small.  The kids have been together since Kindergarten and by the time they are in middle and high school I figured that they knew everything there is to know about each other.  This year I am trying something new and, of course, I am using technology to help me out with it.  I've decided to have each student share one fact about them that most people don't know.  To do this, I created a Padlet board for each of my classes.  Padlet is basically an online builtin board.  You share the link with others and they an add text, videos and images to the board.  Neither you or the people you share your board with need an account, but I find it help to have one as the teacher.  Padlet gives you the ability to choose a background image and set other preferences to customize what your board looks like.

Once students have all submitted their facts about themselves, I am going to have the students try to guess who they think each fact belongs to.  I'm still trying to think of a fun way to do that part, but I would love any suggestions that you have!

This post is cross posted on my technology blog The Tech Savvy Science Teacher

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Zygote Body - 3D Anatomy Viewer

Zygote Body is a 3D Anatomy Viewer that allows you to slowly peel back the layers of the body.
When you first log into the website you will have to choose a subscription plan.  There are three plans, but I choose the free one (we know teachers want everything for free).  Of course the free version is as robust, but the features you can't find for free here can be found for free on other websites.

There is a slider on left side that allows your to move through the layers of the viewer.  The first layer that you encounter is the skin.  Following that you reach muscles, bones, tendon/ligaments, interior organs, circulatory system, nervous system and finally the brain.

You also have the option to turn on and off individual systems.  If you click on the bottom of the slider images, the slider will change from and up and down continuous slider to a left to right slider for each system.  This way you can turn on and off specific systems.

On top of the slider column is a box that will allow you to change the model from a male to a female.

Lastly, at the very top there are arrows to move the body up and down and spin it left and right.  Although you don't have to use those arrows because you can click and drag the image around.  Below that are plus and minus signs that allow you to zoom in and out on the image. You can also do that by scrolling up and down over the image.

Below is a video that will show you the features of this website, but it does show many of the features that are paid features.  My suggestion, and this is usually my suggestion for all new sites you are exploring, is to just go to the website and play around with it. :-)

What are some other images or animations you use with your students when discussing the body systems?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Savvy Secondary Science Newsletter

Over the years I have been collecting resources that others have shared opening.  I have since created a Google Folder for all secondary science areas and levels.  If you sign up to received my monthly newsletter you can get get access to these folders.  If you have anything to add to these folders I would love to have you share it with me so I can add it.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

42 Awesome YouTube channels for your Science Classroom

a collections of YouTube Channels perfect for the science classroom
Monica Martinez created a list of YouTube channels that are great for science teachers.  She took educator submissions and put all of the suggestions into a playlist.  What's even better is that this spreadsheet includes lists for other subjects as well, so go ahead and share this post with other teachers.  There are also edtech playlists so check those out for your technology needs.

If you have a great channel suggestions, Monica welcome suggestions and we could grow this list past 42!

I hope you all are enjoying the end of your school year and I Hope you have a great summer!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Looking for Teachers for an Evolution unit pilot

I received this e-mail last week and wanted to share it with any of you who are Biology teachers. It sounds really cool and all of your expenses are paid for (including travel). If any of you go, I would love to hear about your experiences.

["Genetic Science Learning Center"]
Dear Teachers-
As you are working to close out another school year, we are looking ahead to the next! The Genetic Science Learning Center has developed an NGSS-aligned unit on Evolution for high school Biology and is seeking teachers to pilot test the unit during the 2016-2017 academic year. This exciting new six-week unit utilizes real data, science practices and cross-cutting concepts to explore the shared biochemistry of life, common ancestry, heredity, natural selection, and speciation.
Pilot Testing will involve:
  • Attending an expenses-paid training in Salt Lake City, UT July 26-29, 2016
  • Using the six week unit with 2 or more general biology classes during the 2016-2017 academic year
  • A $600 stipend upon completion of the Pilot Test
For more information and to apply visit:
Application deadline is May 15.
Questions? Contact Molly Malone, GSLC Sr. Education Specialist
Thank you for your consideration,
The Genetic Science Learning Center

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Get organized with a planner

I always feel like I have a million things going on and I have trouble focusing on what needs to get done and what is just fun to do.  I now have two planners: one I use for personal stuff that I carry around with me and another I use for school related stuff that stays on my desk at school.  I have recently started decorating my personal planner with some functional stickers that help me organize my thoughts.  I was contacted by the great people at Oh Hello Co about doing a blog post about how I could use their stickers in a school planner.  I love their stickers and use them in my personal planner so I decided that they would be great in my school planner as well.  Below is a quick video on how I plan a week in my school planner.  If you are interested in checking out these stickers, click on this affiliate link that will take you to their shop.  As a thank you, you will get $5 off your first order.

What do you do to stay organized? 

Disclaimer: Links used in this post are afflilate links. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Earth's Motion Stations

When I teach Earth's motion to my 8th grade students, they think they understand it, but often get confused.  Rotation and revolution confuses them and I have to battle their misconceptions on the reason that we have seasons.  I have put together 10 different activities for my students and created a rotation for them to move through them.  Not all students will do all ten stations as it depends on their level.  My high achieving students will get to all ten of the stations, but my lower achieving students will only get to six.  This allows me to challenge the students who can grasp the material quickly and still give other students who need it, the extra time they'll need.

My ten stations include several worksheets, a mini lab and notes on Earth's Motion and the Seasons that I record videos of so students can watch at their own pace and rewind when needed.

One resource I came across after I taught these lessons was a common core aligned reading followed with comprehension questions about seasons.  You can find it here; it's a free resource from TPT.   Some of the items I made myself and have posted them online.  My reason for the seasons lab is also on TN.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A STEM Giveaway - science and math products to win!

I have teamed up some other Science and Math teachers to do a fun giveaway.  There are several choices of prizes and you can choose to enter to win one or more of the prizes.  I hope that you are the winner!  This giveaway ends on March 28th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

image from 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Twist on the typical Cell Project

Each year I do a cell project with my middle school students during our unit on cells.  Students, in groups, are charged with creating a 3D model of a cell.  The twist is that the organelles can't be represented as they actually look, but must be represented as their function.  For example, the mitochondrion might be represented as a power plant because the mitochondrion converts energy stored in food into ATP for cells.

You can get a copy of this project for free on TPT, TN, TES and Syllabuy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Best Pencil Sharpener EVER!!!

This year I started using the BEST PENCIL SHARPENER EVER!!!  Ok, this may seem dramatic, but as a teacher you know that pencil sharpeners can be a big pain in the classroom.  In my classroom there were two choices - the old fashion pencil sharpener that has been bolted the wall for the past fifty years or the electric sharpener that always gets jammed or makes so much noise.  I had hear about the pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies last year and, though it looked good, wasn't sure if it was really worth it.  I finally took the plunge and bought a sharpener.  I am so glad that I did because it really is the best sharpener.  It's super easy to use, quiet and works great.  I recorded a short video so you can see how it works.

I know I mentioned this is the video, but while it comes with a clamp I would suggest that you don't use it.  I have used it with and without the clamp and I think it's better without the clamp.  It falls off and then the kids think they broke it and it just takes up time.  There is a permanent mounting bracket you can get if you want to permanently mount it somewhere.

So since writing is not my strong suit and I'm not good at conclusions, I'm just going to leave you with this:  You need at least one of these sharpeners in your classroom asap.  I regret not getting one sooner.

Classroom Friendly Supplies has provided me with this sharpener for purposes of providing a review. I received it at no charge to me and I am under no obligation to return the product but can keep it for me own personal use. In addition, the above link is a referral link.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Build molecules in 2D and view them in 3D

MolView is a website (and it works on iPads too!!) that allows you to build molecules and see what they would look like in a variety of views.  Even better, it has a giant list of compounds, molecules and atoms that you can choose from.
There is a slight learning curve when building your own molecules, but once you figure it out it's pretty easy.  All you need to do is to drop some atoms on the screen and then choose the bond type and connect the two atoms.  You can get fancier and start with some fragments (as the site calls them).  These are you basic carbon rings and things like that.
If you need to to have all of the directions spelled out for you, you can view the user manual here.   You might be more a visual learner and, if so, you can view their YouTube channel for some quick videos.   Here is an overview video of what the site has to offer.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Phases of the Moon Webquest

Last week I had some of my students complete a phases of the moon webquest. I say some of my students, because I have been differentiating my classroom assignments and so not all students do every assignment as they are at different levels.

What I like about this is that it hits many learning styles. PBS has a great site that is included in the webquest. You can check this out here. After I had the students go through that with some questions they moved onto to drawing the phases of the moon. I like to think of it as a cross between a little doodling and coloring. It's an easy task to let the kids feel like they are getting a break. The whole activity ends with students looking up what the phase of the moon on the day that they were born. A site like this can be used.

Feel free to take this idea and make it your own, but if you would like to get the one that I made up you can find it on Syllabuy.

Take a look at my other lessons 
  Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Homeschooler, Not Grade Specific -