Fall Break!


Fall break started Monday but I have been teaching intersession, (w/an “s” not “c”and I don’t know why) the last three days and it’s been good. The concept of intersession is that students who need remediation and more one on one teacher time get it and for the most part I think that is what happens. It surprises me how many kids want to come to school when we’re on break but for some of them it’s guaranteed food for a few more days, probably should save that for another post… anyway I teach science and I actually started Monday thinking I was doing a Biology EOI boot camp and ended up w/my 8th graders doing science which is my teaching assignment 4 of 5 classes 🙂 I love my middle school students!  They want to learn if you excite them… it amazes me how some things you say or how you say them catch their attention and they bite!  We did the “chemistry in the bag” experiment where Call (damp rid) is mixed in water containing phenol red indicator and then you add baking soda which is super exciting because it cools off,  bubbles and turns yellow! I go on to explain that the yellow signifies an acid is formed. So once I say “acid” a student in  class/session ask, will it burn me now or why isn’t the baggie melting… awesome questions right? It leads into explaining that acids can be strong or weak like lemon juice and coke… anyways it’s a nice segway into the pH scale etc and a hands on demo for kids to better understand chemical and physical changes. I think what excites me most some days is that the questions are in our kids/students and it truly needs to be our goal to push them to inquire!  I light up when i have question after question and the students are beginning to understand something and as they get it they help to answer other students’ questions, love it! 🙂
**** A separate topic but one worth mentioning was one if my 8th graders who passer the state exam in Science was in class today and I asked him what he thought helped him to be successful and he proceeded to explain  he thought he did horrible on the 8th Science test last year because it involved too much thinking.  So of course I prodded and wanted to know what that meant because duh it’s a test, you need to think! Anyway he explained that you are asked to look at one graph here, then read something,  then go back and connect how they come together and it was more work than a single question should be… wow! So it is critical thinking, but how do I get them to want to solve the question, really dig in and show the “state” what they know. Something to consider for a future post… *****
Overall intersession was great, I’m looking forward to a few days off and maybe a few more blog posts,  this is my 1st!! I did it!


About April Gutafson

April Gustafson wants to live in a world where every person, young and old has one piece of technology to enhance their learning, collaborating, and understanding. As an Educational Technology Integration Specialist (ETIS) for Oklahoma City Public Schools, she has the awesome job of coaching the eight teachers who received a cart of 30 Chromebooks for their classes as a part of the John Marshall 1:1 Initiative. She has been a middle and high school science teacher at John Marshall the last five years, where she received the honor of the 2015 teacher of the year for her building and was a top nine finalist in the district. She is a Google user and believer, taking every opportunity to show and share her Google love! When she’s not scouring the Earth for new Ed Tech tools or coaching awe-inspiring teachers, you can find her listening to an array of paranormal audiobooks or binge watching television shows with family. Discover her favorite tech tools, videos and links go to http://tinyurl.com/AGustafson or follow her on Twitter @April2383. Mother, a devoted girlfriend, teacher, learner, ed tech nerd and the rest just follows... Living, Laughing, Loving!

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