Hello, dear readers! I apologize for being an awful blogger; obviously I have not yet mastered the balance of work, home and posts! I do hope you are well, and thanks for sticking around! Can you believe that it’s mid-June already? Most of my teacher-friends are already out of school! In fact, my own kid is out this week, but here I am, with still approximately seven (torturous–oops, did I type that out loud?) days left on our extended school year calendar. What’s that sound? Ah, it’s me hissing in envy as I imagine my peers frolicking on the beach, while I sit in a hot second-story classroom, trying to teach.
To take my mind off those lovely beach scenes, I am posting my favorite highlights of the school year. If this post was a scrapbook, it would have glittery stickers with “super star” and “awesome” all over it. Don’t get me wrong; this year definitely posed a lot of challenges, but I believe I experienced more highs than lows. A lot of my professional growth this year centered on my decision to put my fears aside and just do something different. I did exactly that, and boy, was it a lot of fun!
My Top 7 Favorite Highlights of the Year:
1. Acquiring classroom pets through PetCo grants. (Watch out for Max’s stinky poops!)
2. Setting up more (free) field trips throughout the year. (Thanks, Field Trip Factory!)
3. Helping my students make real-life connections with science instruction, application, and careers in science through multiple guest-speaker visits and field trips to local colleges. (Thanks to our service women at Stratton Air National Guard Base!)
4. Setting up and supervising a year-long all-girls after school STEM mentoring program. (Go #STEMGirls!)
5. Focusing more on hands-on activities and engineering design practices to help students learn science concepts. (It doesn’t hurt to indulge in our sweet tooth once in awhile!)
6. Incorporating more long-term collaborative problem-based unit projects in my instruction (The following photos show students in various stages of research, design, and presentation during our month-long Code Blue Human Body Systems Unit. Many thanks to the pediatricians from The Children’s Hospital, Albany Medical Center, for listening to and assessing our Grand Rounds presentations!)
7. Attending the NSTA Boston Conference as a conference speaker, and getting to talk about the uses of social media in the science classroom with some awesome kick-butt people!