I know I usually write about teaching. But do you guys know what else I love? I really love food. I do not skip meals. But I do eat breakfast in my car on the way to school. When I … Continue reading
Second semester is here again! I really love to use that first day back to get the kids up, moving, and being creative. But I know they need to ease back into school… no heavy content just yet. My go … Continue reading
I have been stating for a while that I am not a techie. But I recently switched from a 1-1 school to a non 1-1 school. And I am quickly realizing just how much I did use tech in my … Continue reading
Tonight I’m stepping out of my usual audience box (teachers) and writing for parents. I realize there probably aren’t many non-teacher parents checking my blog, so if you could pass this along that’d be super. =) It’s that time of … Continue reading
For those of us that are teaching science using the NGSS, we know the importance of students creating and using models. I’ve recently been using them in place of (or at least in addition to) taking notes. We all have … Continue reading
As promised…. I have a gift for you!
Just to recap- because I love all my readers and FB likers so much, I am giving you a code that gets you $5 off EVERY SINGLE PIECE you buy from Megan Rusek’s LulaRoe group starting Wednesday, November 8th through Friday, November 10th (2017!). If you know and love LulaRoe, great! If you’ve never tried it… now’s the time! If it’s not for you… what about your adorable kids? Why not, it’s on sale? =)
“Get to the code, Mikos.” OK- here it is: Refuse to Reinvent the Wheel appreciates me. Send Megan a message with that code and you get $5 off all the Lula.
DON’T FORGET! I will be raffling off LulaRoe gift cards on my Facebook page all week… If you haven’t already “liked” it, get to it to be eligible to win!
Thanks again so much for all of your support!
I am so very thankful that anyone wants to read what I write. I appreciate all of the teachers out there who give me their feedback, collaborate, and inspire me. As a small token of my gratitude, I have posted a giveaway on my Facebook page at Thanksgiving the past 2 years. (BTW- if you haven’t checked out and “liked” my Facebook page, stop on by! I am much more active there because I have time to write 1 sentence much more often than full blog posts. Click here!)
The past 2 years I raffled off custom lanyard keychains in the winner’s school colors. This year, I’m upping my game! A friend of mine recently started selling LulaRoe…. she is married to a teacher, so we can trust her. 😉 She has agreed to do a LulaRoe sale sponsored by Refuse to Reinvent the Wheel. Ok, I know. I’m giving you the opportunity to spend money…. that’s the opposite of a raffle.
Stay. With. Me.
For the 3 days of the sale (November 8-10, mark your calendars), I will have a “discount phrase” posted here on my blog. If you send her a message with that code, you will get $5 off EVERY PIECE you buy!! AAANNNNDDDDD- I will be raffling off TWO gift certificates for LulaRoe from Megan Rusek on my Facebook page (seriously, go like it now!). So there, that’s how much I love you! =)
In Conclusion : If you haven’t seen/liked me Facebook page, here it is. Go join Megan Rusek’s LulaRoe Facebook group so that you’re ready when the big day comes. Mark your calendars for the LulaCash giveaways and sale on November 8-10.
As always, THANKS for stopping by! =)
Do your students just love Wikipedia? Do they love competitions? Do you want to see how much they know about a topic before you start and are sick of pre-tests? Are you looking for opportunities to further challenge your students that finish their work early or who are ready to move on while others in the class need another round of review?
If your answer to any of those questions was yes, then this is the blog post for you! Once again, this is not my original brain child. I don’t remember exactly where I heard about this, so if it was you then thanks. There are so many ways that you can use this technique and your students will find it strangely addicting.
I call these Wiki Relays. The idea is to get from one Wikipedia page to another in as few links as possible. Seems simple enough, right? The trick is you have to go in ahead of time and make sure there are no direct links between the two pages. This forces students to think about which links they should click that might take them in the right direction.
For example, if the task was to get from the Wikipedia page on dogs to the one on elephants:
You would think that the more students know about a topic, the shorter the number of clicks because they should know which ones will lead them in the right direction. But sometimes the link they think will get them there doesn’t… and around and around they go. They get frustrated, but can’t stop. It can actually be quite entertaining to watch. And what the kids don’t see is that you are watching their every click in the name of formative assessment! Have them write down every page they click on so that you can see who did it in the shortest number of links and give that student a prize, but also so that you can see their process. Are they just randomly clicking links? Do they have any idea what the connection between the blood and iron is? Do they know a lot about that connection and can’t decide which link will be the best?
Added bonus- you can introduce students to the Ctrl+F function (also known as how I got through graduate school). Instead of reading (change that- skimming) the entire page, if they think they know a word that might connect the two pages they can just use Ctrl+F to search for it! It’s such a valuable tool that hopefully they will take into other digital research assignments too!
Have you used Wiki Relays in your classes? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Thanks for stopping by! =)
Last summer, as part of my Master’s in Teaching Biology (which was awesome, learn more here.) I took a class on bioinspiration. I had never really heard of bioinspiration and didn’t know what I was getting into. IT WAS SO … Continue reading
Last summer, my (then) 3 year old went to nature camp at our local forest preserve. As a warm up activity, they had the kids match pieces of butterfly pictures that were velcroed to a manila folder. Brilliant!
Though I thought my high schoolers might appreciate the simplicity of butterfly pictures (and maybe they’d actually appreciate the brain break), clearly I would have to make them more challenging. And what’s more challenging than scientific word parts?? So here’s what I created:
I printed out a bunch of scientific words split into two parts with the meaning next to each word.
Then I cut them all out and glued the first part of each word to an old manila folder (I had a ton laying in a drawer from activities I no longer use and I just couldn’t bear to throw them out…. ). Then I laminated the folder and all the loose pieces.
I bought a roll of Velcro that’s sticky on both sides and cut it into small pieces. Then I attached all of the loose pieces and their matching Velcro to the folder.
I tore off all the velcroed pieces and stored them in the folder (make sure you paper clips the sides shut so they don’t fall out and get lost).
I made 20 of these. You can hand kids a folder as they walk in the door to get their brains going. I have the pile sitting in a spot students can get to if they finish their work early. It’s so simple. The kids are not intimidated by it. If they get one wrong, just peel it off and fix it. Teaching kids scientific word parts is tough because they are so detached from the words. But the more they use them, the stronger their vocab skills become.
My next step- make another set for my A&P students with medical terms! You could use these Velcro folder puzzles in just about any class: English with characters or details from a book, math with numbers and have the kids create their own problems, chemistry to balance equations…
*UPDATE: I used the words from my B1 Word Parts power point. I just copied/pasted. We go over these words in class and students write them all in the notebook, so they’ve seen the words before (or at least will before the end of the year….). Feel free to use the power point!
How would you use them? Comment below with your thoughts! Thanks for stopping by! =)