Friday, June 9, 2017

Teacher Planner

I know, I know, it's June and officially summer time for most of us teachers! No one is trying to think about school for the next 2 months. BUT, if you're like me, then you want to spend a little time planning and organizing for next year while you don't have to worry about meetings, parents and assessing. That's why I was so excited when I got my reminder email yesterday from Malia at Playdough to Plato. She JUST uploaded the new 20117 - 2018 teacher planner! And if that wasn't exciting enough ... it's free! 

I used her lesson plan book template last year and loved it! It's brightly colored (which anyone who knows me will know suits me to a t!), editable and has just about every checklist you could think of. Did I also mention that it's free??

Now I will admit, it took some getting used to to be able to break away from the computer for everything. On days when I just didn't have time to turn the computer on or didn't have an iPad charged to use while walking around, this planner was a life saver! With 11 classes of 32-42 and sometimes 50, I need to be able to jot down which groups students were in, who was working on what and keep track of a lot of different activities and areas. Perfect. Tool.

Click the picture below to head on over to Playdough to Plato and get your free teacher planner for 2017 - 2018! 

Happy Planning!

Free STEM Lesson Plans!

AFTERNOON UPDATE:  I did find, after all, that as an educator, you are able to set up a free Microsoft Educators account with your school email. This would have been good to know a year and a half ago so I could've saved some money each month! Lesson learned ... research more than you think you are.
Image result for microsoft educators
Microsoft Office for Educators
This morning, as I was exploring options to update my Microsoft Office subscription, I came across their education page. I've visited it a couple times in the past, but since our district did have the option of downloading Office to personal computers, I didn't really frequent it too much.

Now, I know that I'm probably telling some people things they already know, but I was excited to come across Microsoft's STEM library! They have activities with varying time frames that can be used in the classroom to promote STEM activities. These lessons can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 weeks! There are some costs involved, so if you or your district is unable to get things going for an entire classroom, maybe it would be possible to have smaller groups work together. Cost wise, their activities range from $2.00 - $5.00 per student for each activity. I've had a classroom of 14 and a classroom of 42, so I know that collaborative groups can vary. Having 3-7 groups puts material pricing anywhere from $6.00 - $35.00 for a lesson, which is much more feasible than $28.00 - $70.00 or more for individual projects.

Microsoft maps our everything that you need on their website and in One Drive. They have downloadable PDFs with instructions, the customized excel workbooks (also downloadable) for coding purposes, spreadsheets with materials needed as well as links to order materials if you are unable to get them close by and free downloads for Excel add-ins so students are able to complete STEM assignments.

With more and more schools pushing for STEM integration and getting students involved in STEM career paths, I think this would be a great way to incorporate it into classrooms, after school programs or GT and enrichment programs. Click the pictures below to explore Microsoft's STEM lesson plans more in depth.

Happy lesson planning!