New resources to prove I have not died!

Have I been busy - totally.  In the last few weeks my little man turned 7, I celebrated my 15 year wedding anniversary, cleaned a bunch of closets, moved my kids rooms and  - mommed.  Mommed should be a word, like "ran".  Ran tells me you were running.  Mommed implied cooking, cleaning, reading, washing, braiding, comforting, driving, shopping...you know, Mom stuff.

We had a very chill Christmas break - lots of just being lazy, read the Mortal Instrument series again, played a lot of hours of Minecraft and Advanced Warfare with my children, and enjoyed the down time.  I corrected NOTHING for the first holiday ever! We got Zoe One Direction tickets for July and me and Cheyenne are going to see Black Veil Brides for her 18th birthday. Online shopping for Christmas gifts FTW!! Freedom got a bunch of Walking Dead and cow goodies.  Abby got Frozen everything and Asher video games, Lego, and Minecraft.  I enjoyed the time with my family immensely and thank God that I have a job that allows me the time to be with them and make so many amazing memories.  If only it had been a little more snowy and a little bit warmer.....

I also took the time to work on completing two products I have been using in my class for some time now. The first is my Math Challenges: Problem of the Week, or POTW as I refer to them.  Problem of the Week is all about challenging our students to use their higher order thinking skills and make meaningful inferences and connections with strategies and calculation methods they already have. The emphasis is on HOW we get an answer not only on getting the right answer. It is all abut their critical thinking!

50 Problems of the Week are included; Logic problems, brain busters, Sudoku, word problems, number sense challenges and more! As well I have included all applicable answer keys, bulletin board lettering and teaching suggestions. This resource can be used as a weekly challenge, bell ringer activity, early finisher activity, or math center. 

This is something that I will forever use in my classroom because I know it works and I have first hand seen the payoff the investment into critical thinking makes on their ability to tackle word problems and other math challenges with confidence!

The second product is one I am actually using RIGHT NOW with both my grade 7 science classes.  It is the Minerals, Mining and The Environment resource.

This resource starts off by providing student handouts that provide basic information on minerals and mining. The handouts also discuss and compare surface and underground mining; who, what , where, when and why and their environmental implications. There is a set of review questions to complete with the handouts. There are links to a ton of great resources, videos, and diagrams included to supplement the lesson.

The second part of this resource is one of my favorite things to do with my class. It is a scenario role play.

 We understand that the project will provide jobs for residents so we welcome the development of the mine. However, there is some concern about the state of the land after the mine eventually closes. Many of the townspeople want the company to take accountability for the mines reclamation and land restoration.
The mineral deposit that is located near the town is not highly valuable right now. The mine will not be a profitable undertaking if the company has to pay for the reclamation, as such the company can’t agree to restore the land. However, like most resources, the world market may change and in the future the deposit could become much more profitable."

In our role play scenario each student gets a role; from the CEO or the Publics Relations officer of the Mining company, to a single stay at home mom, a local garage owner, geologist, politician running from re-election and so on. They each prepare a report using the brainstorming sheets and guidelines to present in character at the "Town Meeting". They must decide to support the opening and the subsidy, or to vote to wait and not support the opening at this time.

This is an opportunity to get your students thinking critically, applying knowledge and understanding in a real and relevant way, and to work on their persuasive writing and debating skills.

This is the one activity that all of my students look forward to and go all out preparing for. In total it takes about 10 days to prepare (1 45 minute class each day) and present. They come dressed in character and we invite other staff members to listen and even vote.

"We are residents of a small town of just over 500 people. The economy of our town is faltering and there is a high rate of unemployment. Our town – Pleasant, has recently been the site of geological exploration and a deposit of mineral was discovered. The deposit is near the surface so the company that owns the land where the deposit was found wants to build a strip mine. The strip mine would be located where a popular hiking and picnicking area is located.

If either of these resources appeals to you make sure to stop by my TPT store and check them out a little more.