Thirteen in '13!!

FIRST of all, let me say that this blog is undergoing some new design challenges..... my free template, background, and stuff, is gone for very good reasons....but I am now faced with redesigning on my own or paying for a custom may take a few days to the meantime I have some temporary background and headers...... which I kinda like.....

HOWEVER! Here's a great Linky idea!!

Thanks to Miss KindergartenDragonflies in First, and A Teeny Tiny Teacher for this look back at 2013! 

Here are my 13 moments of 2013:

I totally began wearing boots--- a lot--- last winter and I'm enjoying it now! Dresses, leggings, jeans..... Here's my favorite pair:
Click {HERE} to see the boots at DSW!

Oh my, there are several from which to choose:
Of course:
I re-read the second book before the movie and loved it! We saw it in a Big-D theater so it was spectacular!
But I also loved:
This is a must-see movie, for sure. you just gotta love Sandra Bullock and for about ten seconds George Clooney is in this movie. See it in 3-D!

Now, this is going to be hard....cause I'm a TV junkie. I loved the ending season of Breaking Bad and I did love Dexter and I really like The Walking Dead, but if I have to pick ONE---- it's:
Normally I watch every show after DVRing it, but not this one. This one I watch LIVE, people, so it must be serious business to actually sit through the commercials......I love it! I'm an Alicia/Will fan--- how about you?????

EWWWWW......this one is hard, cause really, if I am being totally honest, I think pop tarts make a perfectly good meal, but if I get to choose the restaurant we go to it would be:
I also think there is nothing wrong with ice cream for supper.... just sayin'.....

Well, this one is super easy to answer cause it's
TPT !!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love my store and working on products, using products, designing pages and covers, everything! The fact that it is somewhat successful after three months makes it even more fun, I must say!

We just returned from a 6 day ski trip to Colorado! This was my husband's gift to the family for Christmas this year! We took our son and his girlfriend and our daughter and her husband.
Copper Mountain was beautiful and it snowed daily. We had a lot of fun!

Really, how can you answer that question---  I pinned about 27 million things this year.......okay here's the favorites but with some categories:

FOOD: It's a Cheese Dip and quite wonderful. Click {HERE} for the recipe!

QUOTE: Makes me laugh every time.....

SCHOOL-RELATED: My classroom is a STEM Lab and this year has been one of total CREATION! Everyday is amazing, but it has been a ton of work! I have relied on web based sources for ideas for STEM lessons and design challenges. One of THE BEST I pieced together is the Spaghetti challenge! Here are some very interesting structures:

Click {HERE} for more about this challenge in my lab!!!

Welllllll....I flipped back through briefly and this post caught my eye: "PICTURE BOOKS FOR THE FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL"!
Click {HERE} to see the original post!

This is easy- it's the creation of my STEM LAB!

I worked most of the summer to turn an almost empty space into a SPECTACULAR SCIENCE LAB!  Click {HERE} or {HERE} to see more of the lab!

Another easy one:
My daughter's wedding was in June!

Gotta be the wedding:

My ultimate goal is to be the facilitator of STEM labs in the remaining elementary schools in my city. I'd love to help some schools get started in the coming months and spend the summer equipping labs and collaborating on lessons!


So, how about you?? What one word can you apply to your year?Merry Christmas, y'all!

(Today is my birthday! Dec. 25)


Some TRUTH and some Spaghetti!

Happy Weekend Friends!  I just uploaded some pictures from my camera and had some very excellent shots of a design challenge we did in the lab this week....soooo I decided to bust out a post about two things.....




Here's the truth FIRST....

I recently had to miss two days of school for workshops. I left a fabulous horrible experiment with my sub that involved GUMMY BEARS!

I thought it was GREAT! My sub told me she had fun. The kids I talked to seemed to like it. I even wrote about it on this blog and proclaimed it wonderful enough to create a TpT packet for it.

THEN I tried it with students myself.

Are you kidding me? It was a HUGE amount of preparation, the room smelled truly awful- sweetness and vinegar, yuck!- and worst of all it did practically NOTHING scientifically. It all sounded good on paper but did not prove to be.

Seriously, we used the scientific method and that is about it. We used forceps so that was a little bit sciencey...but in the end, it was not WORTH the prep it took to make all those little cups of salt water, and vinegar, and baking soda water, and soak the bears overnight. After doing it with TWO classes I had a serious rethink and went to my files for a quick one session idea for the rest of the week:

Tadaaaaaaaaaa..... It's the Spaghetti Challenge!!

Here's how it works:

Kids get a bag with 20 spaghetti sticks and a few other supplies. They are challenged to build the largest tower possible with those supplies with one item that must be on the top!

OK, I knew this was going to be fun, but ya'll it is one of THE best things we have done all year. I paid $12 to buy all those blasted Gummy Bears and a box of spaghetti and Wal- Mart brand jumbo marshmallows worked better! Really!

Lots of groups did this- one tiny strand of spaghetti to make a really tall tower- but it doesn't support the marshmallow!

This group worked on adding a cross beam!

It was quite a competition to see who could build the tallest one!

I cannot say this enough! STEM is the greatest KID HEAVEN EVER! After we finished with these structures we had the best talk. Why were we successful? Why not? One group said these words, "Well, we built a great tower but then we realized the mass of the marshmallow needed a much sturdier foundation." What????? Did you hear all that science and design in there?

So, then, I said, "What if you came in tomorrow and had all these supplies again. What would you do?" Oh my, goodness. Well, the room buzzed as they began to plan how they would change the designs based on their epic failures. (We love to use the term epic failure!) Then I added this, "What if you could double one of the supplies and rebuild? What supply would you double?" This is when they started begging to repeat this activity.

And we will.....!

AWESOME STUFF people....... and it was a box of spaghetti and a bag of marshmallows. Learning=PRICELESS!
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