Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cell Organelle Facebook Pages!

So last week I talked about my cell unit that I've been working on with my fifth graders. I mentioned something about posting a "Pin the Organelle on the Cell" game. Well, the more I thought about that, the worse it sounded as a good idea. You see, that game wouldn't tell me whether or not the kids knew the functions of the organelles - only that they knew how to determine what they looked like on a cell diagram. I needed something better - something that showed me that they understood the entire concept. That's where my friend Google came in. I literally just Googled "cell organelle activities" and clicked on "images" (I am a very visual person and I hate reading a whole bunch of stuff). I saw a cell on a Facebook page and I knew right away that Cell Organelle Facebook pages were genius. Unfortunately, I can't go back and give credit to whomever posted this picture - because it's just a picture. There was no other post about it anywhere that I could find - so I just made my own criteria and created a sample to show my kids. We had a brief discussion about what was required. I broke them up into groups and assigned each group a different organelle. They came up with cute names such as "Vicky Vacuole" and "Mitochondria Moe" and "Christopher Chloroplast". Then they set up their poster just like a Facebook page would look (using my example, below):

 I stressed that the MOST IMPORTANT THINGS were to make sure that when they created their "statuses" that they had to be related to the function of the organelle and that it had to demonstrate that they understood what that organelle did. They also had to create a "Friends" list and choose four other organelles. Those organelles then had to post comments on their wall (the comment had to have something to do with what that friend's function was). They turned out really cute and I could see that they really understood what each organelle did!!

These are just a few of them. We had our Boosterthon Fun Run on Friday - so it threw our schedule for a loop. We're still working on some of them - but this gives you an idea of how they turned out.

Oh! I also have the I Have, Who Has cell organelle game posted up on my TpT page. It's FREE, so click here to download your copy. It's just a quick little game you can use to review.

Up next - ECOSYSTEMS!! Complete with a terrarium/aquarium ecocolumn! Look for that soon!

So glad to be back and feeling like a human again. My fetus is treating me very nicely these days!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Marshmallow Challenege, Cells, and a Baby

Oh me - oh my. Have I been a slacker or what!? These last few months have F.L.O.W.N. by. Whisked away by Father Time. I cannot believe it's the middle of September and I also cannot believe that I haven't posted anything since July. What a loser.  But in my defense. I am pregnant. Ha! Seriously! I'm almost 12 weeks and feeling every ounce of misery that poor pregnant women often go through when they are in the early stages of pregnancy. This is my first pregnancy, so I'm probably just being a whiner more than the experienced preggie would. I sleep all the time, I eat junk like crackers and cheese and frozen yogurt and bread because I cannot even be in the same room as anything else. Smells make me sick. Any smells. Sweet smells, garlic smells, onion smells, basically any food smells - and the WORST. People's breath. I can smell you a mile away if you've had anything remotely close to Italian food and it's AWFUL. So I stay at home all the time and I when I talk to people I can't look at them or be in close "conversation" distance from them, so people probably think I'm just a jerk. But the good news is that my energy is coming back and I am counting down the days until my second trimester starts. Maybe I will be able to eat my beloved Mexican food again. Oh, Chimichanga smothered in queso - how I've missed you!!!

Anyway, so I just wanted to throw that out there and I also wanted to share my first few weeks as a teacher. It's been soooo daggone hard on me. I feel like a terrible teacher because my heart just has not been in it because of how sick I've been. I mean I waited SO LONG to step into my very own classroom and now that's it's here - I can't enjoy it and embrace it like I had envisioned. I am so thankful that I started my plans back in June because having them done has been my saving grace. But it has been really fun and we have done so many cool things in my room already! The first thing we did as a class was the Marshmallow Challenge. I won't bore you with the details of it because you can just click here to read all about it. But I WILL put up some cool pics from our very own Marshmallow Challenge. Have a peek!

They loved it and I highly encourage you to check out the link above and DO THIS in your classroom! They learn the importance of listening to each other's ideas, working together, and most importantly, the importance of PLANNING!! It's really neat to see these awesome, super-tall structures develop and then when they wait until the last minute to put that marshmallow on top..the whole structure collapses. They scramble to get it right - and to make sure it's TALL - when in reality if they stopped and thought about it...they would realize that EVERY group is going through the same thing. All they would have to do to win is create a structure only tall enough so that when the marshmallow is placed on doesn't fall down. We loved it and I'm so glad we did this the first week!!

These next few weeks, we're learning about the parts of a cell and comparing plant and animal cells. I love teaching this stuff!! It's as much fun for me as it is for the kiddos. I found the most hilarious RAP on TeacherTube and they went berserk for it!!! I will definitely be hearing the kids recite this rap for the next few weeks. Check it out here. It's worth a listen!

I am in the process of creating a "Pin the Organelle on the Cell" game in addition to an "I Have, Who Has" game - cell edition. I have used the I Have, Who Has game format for so many things. It's a great go-to game, especially for reviewing. It's also a great way to quickly asses who "gets it" and who needs a little help. Once I have the I Have Who Has Game, I'll post it up along with pics of my Pin the Organelle on the Cell game. has been my best friend this year. There are TONS of great resources on that site. Below is the interactive cell that I found on there. Go check out that site if you haven't already "discovered" it. Ha! See what I did there?

Last thing I want to share is this pre-made cell version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire". It's fantastic!!! I found it here. But look how cool it is!! I am so glad this person offered this for free. I would have at least made five bucks a pop off that thing! I can't imagine how much time it took. Nevertheless, I am thankful for freebies.

Okay, that's all for now. I think I've worn off my welcome-back. Now that you know my legitimate excuse, I hope you can understand my lack of posts. I will try to come back next week for more, but I'm not making any promises. It'll be up to my fetus...

Until next time!! Toodaloo!