Think Outside the Box

Think Outside the Box

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Less than ONE week!

It's official, I got my back to school letter from my principal yesterday.  And wouldn't you know, I had my mind prepped for reporting on Wednesday, only to find that the first day of pre-planning is actually Tuesday!  Doh!

Last year I started off with students personalizing a Fakebook page I found for FREE on Teachers pay Teachers.  I found, though, that my high school students were much LESS into Facebook than my middle schoolers had been.  This was kind of a flop for me.  (I *am* still thinking about using it as a product choice as we learn about different scientists.  I'm thinking I will have a bulletin board of profiles that students create.  What would be REALLY cool, would be to have a "News Feed" along side of it, using emoji post-it notes and hashtags.)
This year, I want to start off the year with a Growth Mindset theme.  I was contemplating all these cool bulletin boards and posters that I could buy or make.  But what better way to get buy-in than to have my classes make them?  

The project I'm most excited for this year is my Wonder Wall/ Innovation Space.  I want to have stations where groups can collaborate and brainstorm - whiteboards, rolls of brown kraft paper, chalkboards - and present.  I'm floating an idea past my principal to paint my tables in the lab with chalkboard and/or dry erase paint.  (If that doesn't work, I'll just cover with paper like at Maggiano's).

All of these will be used as I try my hand at Genius Hour with my Physical Science kids.  These 80/20 projects will give students the opportunity to research, plan, experiment, create, revise, and present solutions to a problem or topic of their choice.  (I am going to write a grant for some easy to program robots, to entice them to choose technology and engineering topics, but we'll see how it goes.)

I guess in the next 10 days I'm going to have to sit down and plan how this is really going to work.  I'm excited to go back to school and tackle these projects!  What projects or strategies are you excited to try out this year?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


PHYSICAL SCIENCE BUNDLE - All in One Bulletin Boards
Hooray!  ALL of the posted requirements for ALL of your observations for Physical Science.  This bundle includes a LEARNING GOAL & SCALE, ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS, and VOCABULARY for *every* unit in Physical Science!

  • Nature of Science
  • Motion & Forces
  • Work, Power & Energy
  • Waves: Sound & Light
  • Electricity & Magnetism
  • Thermal Energy & Heat
  • Properties & States of Matter
  • Atoms & The Periodic Table of Elements
  • Chemical Bonds & Reactions
  • Solutions, Acids & Bases
  • Carbon Chemistry & Biochemistry

And, as if that wasn't enough, I've also posted my Marzano Scales Bundle.  The same topics are covered, for every unit, for the WHOLE year!  


I'll be adding the individual All-in-One Boards and Marzano Scales later this week, but to get the most bang for your buck, go for the BUNDLE! 


-Carrie from Sunshine State Science

Friday, July 22, 2016


Goal for the day: Pass on good vibes!

1. Download a FREE item from Sunshine State Science @ Teachers pay Teachers.
2. Write a review.
3. Leave your email, so I can reach you.

** I'll send you a prize!! ** 

(First 10 reviewers get a little something to sip as they sit through their pre-planning day.)

Thanks a latte!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Back to school already?!? Yup.

Two weeks from Wednesday, teachers in my district report back to school. I'm excited to do my  to school shopping. (Who am I kidding, I loaded up on school supplies before the Walmart displays were totally stocked. And I found some killer rebate deals on copy paper at Staples a couple of weeks ago.). I'm eager to catch up with my friends: colleagues and students.  I like the routine of the days and surprise of the unpredictable moments. I'm rested and ready.

I am in a different place, mentally, this summer.  For the first time, I took the month of July off.  I didn't plan.  I didn't professionally develop, I didn't even read a motivational book.  Instead, I did my professional development and Chemistry certification test in June.  I studied eight hours a day for weeks getting ready.  Then I took my exam and turned off my "school brain."  We took a road trip to the mountains.  I read Judy Blume and watched two seasons of Glee.  I relaxed on the couch and pinned sunsets and nothing related to education (lie, but very few...).

At first, I felt guilty.  But then I realized that for these three weeks, I'm actually getting the mental vacation I have earned through the school year.  I have finally figured out what my administrators have been encouraging: rest and relaxation. Rejuvenation. Respite. And in two more weeks, I'm going to be ready to return.

I am looking forward I the year.  I'm excited to figure out how to fit I the engineering themed Genius Hour projects using Dash &, TED Talks, and CrashCourse.  I'm ready to take another try at classroom management, high school edition.  I've got some (unfleshed) ideas about procedures to implement.  I'm going to enjoy these next two weeks off and then I'm going to jump right in.


What did you do over summer break?  Did you rest?  Did you pretend to rest while you really worked?  Are you feeling refreshed and ready to return?