Jan 19, 2019

IGIST Aim Far!



Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for writing this review

I want to share a book with you that is particularly relevant and engaging to middle school readers.  The book, IGIST, is available here, is recently published.  It is geared more towards girls, but I gave it to my twelve-year-old son to read first. 

The book can be read like a traditional book, or through an app!  The app still contains the content, but also additional interactive features.  It is called an ‘immersive novel.’ This is sure to engage more reluctant readers, by allowing them to be part of the story and interact with the story in a new and different way.   You can check it out at https://igist.com/ 

So, why was this book created??   The author mentioned that in the past science fiction writing has inspired inventors and scientists. However, many of these famous pieces of literature focus on men and are somewhat outdated now.  

This book is part of a series where “there is a strong, smart female version of Tom Swift in order to inspire my daughters but hopefully more young women (and everyone) that they can be a great inventor and a scientist.” -- LS Larson, Author of IGIST

My Son’s Review

As I mentioned, I first gave it to my son to read:  He loved it!  He actually likes to read but is a pretty picky reader. He texted me from school during the day to tell me how much he loved the book! 

He says his favorite part was when the main character got into IGIST and was so happy about it.  He recommends this book for teens and older tweens, as well as anyone who likes Science,  Science Fiction, or Fantasy.  He thinks that while it would be appropriate for younger kids, they would not as much out of it. 

He gives this book an overall score of 8/10 because the story was good and exciting to follow, and it also showed character traits such as determination and problem-solving, as well as confidence, in the main character.  


My Thoughts: 

As a female science educator, I love the idea of a novel with a strong female teen character. When possible, I love to try to bring different gender, age and racial role models for students. The idea of being able to do this through a book is fantastic.  Then on top of that, the creation of an app really makes it unique! Kids are used to interacting with the world around them in such different ways now that an app is a perfect way to engage young people and draw them into a story even if they might not traditionally be a reader.   I hope this book can encourage many more kids to be interested in science.


Jan 7, 2019

5 Days of New Year Science Cheer! Sign Up to Receive Gifts


If you aren't on my email list, use this opportunity to sign up! 

Click here!

A group of science teachers are hosting 5 Days of New Year Cheer this week!  This is not a random raffle or giveaway, there are deals everyday this week. Friday all email subscribers will receive a huge gift from myself and the other science teachers. BUT this is only for email subscribers, so get on the list before Friday!


Dec 8, 2018

Don't Panic! You Just Found out You're Teaching __________, Tomorrow!

Sometimes your teaching assignment changes, whether it be for the year or for the day/week. That can be enough to throw you into a panic, and cause a lot of stress!! But you can handle it!

Don’t panic!!

Strategies and Encouragement when you just found out your teaching plans were changed

Why did this happen?

There could be a lot of reasons that this happened. Some common ones I’ve seen are changes in course registrations or enrollments so that maybe extra section is offered, or one less section is offered and something else needs to fill in. Changes in staffing, even at the last minute someone quits, or their certification is not quite what it was thought to be. Things like assemblies, school-wide events, or other temporary schedule changes, or even weather delays, that can throw your plans out the window!

What Do You Do First?

Regroup, and don’t panic! You are a trained teacher, working with kids, and you know how to do this! Think about the big picture. What is the purpose for the change? What do you need to do right away? Do you need a filler activity for one day? Do you need to just start with some basic science skills while you let things settle out, and give yourself a chance to get planned further ahead?

For many of these situations basic measuring and graphing, news articles about current science news, or a controversial science related topic can be a good place to start. You get a chance to assess students a bit, and they get to know you, and hopefully get some interest up about the upcoming class.

A few activities that would be good for this situation would be this Buoyancy: Diving Ketchup activity, or this E-cigarettes Literacy Article and Position Paper.

What’s the Next Step:

It depends on your situation but if this is a longer situation than just a day or two, and you need to make some bigger plans, here are some ideas:

  • Look for other resources

    • This is the time to lean on your colleagues, whether it is your real-life colleagues, those through professional organizations, Facebook groups, Twitter, Pinterest, or get on some mailing lists and make connections. Now, with all the technology at our disposal, it is easier than ever to make connections, share ideas, and find resources.

  • Keep it simple

    • This isn’t the time to design the perfect lesson plan, but to think about what you can do that will be a good start; or a rough draft. Consider it a ‘beta version.’ Be ready to make revisions, but get something to start with. 

  • Take it one step at a time

    • If all you can do it set up a pacing guide, and plan some introductory activities, that’s ok for right now.
    • You know what students have to do to start, then soon come back to your pacing guide and focus in on Unit 1. It will get easier as you get going, but don’t get too overwhelmed.
You can do this. And if we can help at all, don’t hesitate to reach out in my Facebook Group and ask!
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