10/18/16 — We reviewed kinetic & potential energy by using a half-pipe cover and a marble.  Students had to roll the marble down the half-pipe and it had to stop between 10 & 20 cm.  When successful, students did it again with 2 half-pipes taped together.  They had to get the same result.  If successful, they designed their own roller coaster on a link to this blog (Energy Roller Coaster).  That was fun.

11/5/16 — I Need More Space:  I really enjoyed all the activities.  My favorite, though, was creating the phases of the moon board, through which students can place their head and see that it is their point of view of the Sun’s reflection that allows them to see the different phases of the moon.

12/19/16 — The Christmas parties provided me with an opportunity to use our free food day to conduct Edible Science experiments.  We used Oreo cookies to show the phases of the moon, hard boiled eggs to show the layers of the Earth, and we used toothpicks to dig out chocolate chip cookies to represent mining.

1/21/17 — Our Dynamic Earth Workshop:  I LOVE workshops on Geology.  It was so nice to hear the speaker (mud & all).  I’m giving serious consideration to volunteering at the Paleontology lab.  I’m still bummed, though, that the fossil dig never happened.

2/18/17 — STEM Workshop:  I thought the presenters were FANTASTIC (I was one of them, though)!  It was a different take on the regular branches of Science.  The Lego activities were terrific.

3/24/17 — We added fish, snails, elodea, duckweed, and algae to our aquariums yesterday.  The kids are excited to see the connection between a pond ecosystem and a model in their classroom.  I mean, who doesn’t enjoy looking at an aquarium?

3/25/17 — Zoo Workshop:  The behind-the-scenes tour of the herpetology building was fantastic!  I never knew so many venomous reptiles were at the Dallas Zoo.

5/6/17 — Arboretum Workshop:  I loved learning about using leaves, height, and color to grade the vitality of different plants.

6/26-29/17 — The pre-Service Summer Academy was very fun.  I enjoyed intermingling with the college students.  They have a unique POV on subjects that I might not ever have been exposed to.  The hands-on portion is always terrific.

9/16/17 — Technology & Engineering Workshop:  The best part was the engineering challenge when we were at the Perot Museum’s Engineering Hall.  We were given everyday items and told to create something that would insulate an ice cube.  It’s fascinating to see all the different methods educators devised to solve the same problem.

1/27/18 — Earth Science Workshop — I liked how it began with Yes/No.  T posted questions on the screen — Left side Yes/Right side No (identify misconceptions & where teaching needs to occur).  I enjoyed Mineral Identification Stations.  I can see how to adapt this to a lower-Elementary level.  The Kahoot lesson was competitive.  I liked the challenge of making a body fossil vs. a trace fossil.

2/24/18 — Chemistry Workshop — I enjoyed the “Clue” inspired game.  I can see how to incorporate this into a variety of subjects.  I think the speaker would have been more engaging with some “hands-on” activities, even if we could only watch.  The emphasis seemed to be on physical properties, since the 2 hands-on activities were both centered around physical properties of matter rather than chemical properties.

4/28/18 — Life Workshop — I enjoyed the outdoor scavenger hunt.  I might encourage teachers to add a point value to what kids find, giving prizes for the higher amount of points accrued.  The insects life cycle was also great.  It’s important for students to see the complete & incomplete metamorphoses side-by-side.  I also thought the breakout sessions were good.  It’s nice to hear strategies from fellow teachers.

5/5/18 — TPWD Workshop — The activity with the poker chips representing competition for resources for plants was well done.  We focus mostly on animals competing for resources.  I was bummed I was not able to kayak or participate in archery.  I enjoyed the tree ring lesson.  It cleared up several misconceptions I had.

7/9/18 — Summer Institute — I enjoyed Sami’s presentation on plate tectonics.  I can use this when reviewing landforms and how they form (focusing on mountains and volcanoes).  The stations were a nice way to get some hands on experience with other teachers.

7/10/18 — Summer Institute Day 2 — Bruce had a lot of good information to share. I enjoyed the trip to the museum. I can’t wait til I can bring my family in October.  The scavenger hunt is a great idea to keep students focused on a field trip.

7/11/18 —- Summer Institute Day 3 — Thank you for the opportunity to hear Dr. Chris present. The colored sand and straw activity will be used in my class. Comparing the 2 straws and determining the oldest and youngest layers is exactly how it is tested on the STAAR test.

7/12/18 — Summer Institute Day 4 — mr Cuadra’s science rotations were a great way to show us how to set up rotations for kids. I would combine several stations so that I would have a good space and keep the time limit consistent.  The hands on Science stations were great ways to help implement less worksheet work.   The second day of weather was informative.  I can see using the hurricane tracker as a graphing assignment.