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Starting the Year Right

OK folks! It is time to start your engines for another year and a new batch of fresh young minds. This is the time of year when we cannot walk past a back-to-school sale without buying a few things for those kids who do not have the finances to shop. I love handing a new student a brand new calculator or notebook and saying, “it was left over from last year, why don’t you use it this year.”

On the idea of equipping students for the new year, how about equipping teachers. There are lots of sites that do a nice job of providing forms that we need to keep everything organized in science. One of my favorites gives a host of graphic organizers. You can download the organizers in several different formats. I keep a notebook of them handy so I can select the right one for which ever big understanding I am working on in science.

If you are moving into a curriculum review cycle check out Page Keeley’s Curriculum Topic Study book and her Formative Assessment Probes. The Science Spot site gives a list of teacher tested ideas for the first day of school. It is also a great idea to check with other teachers so students are not experiencing 7 full periods of scavenger hunts the first week. I promised last year to blog about the big ideas in science and that is what may come next. As you get into the rush of the year it is easy to forget that we are teaching big understandings and not bits of content.

Have a great start!

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