“Giftedness is not what you do or how hard you work. It is who you are. You think differently. You experience life intensely. You care about injustice. You seek meaning. You appreciate and strive for the exquisite. You are painfully sensitive. You are extremely complex. You cherish integrity. Your truth-telling has gotten you in trouble. Should 98% of the population find you odd, seek the company of those who love you just the way you are. You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed. You are utterly fascinating. Trust yourself!”

Linda Silverman~Gifted Development Center Denver

Friday, 12 April 2013

Five for FRIDAY...is it really Friday?

I have to admit that I don't know where the week went!  I can't believe it's Friday.  I think I am coming down with a cold or something of the sort.  All the kids in my class are sniffling and going through boxes upon boxes of Kleenex!  

Have any of you ever been hacked?  I didn't pay much heed to getting an email from Scribd telling me that my account had been compromised and that my information had been copied.  I wasn't even sure that the email I received from Scribd was real.  I thought it might be a phishing scam.  Well, you know what they say about learning the hard way?  I had my teachingisagift Outlook account hijacked this week.  It would appear that someone who had the email address and the password used my account to send JUNK/SPAM mail to almost everyone on my contacts list!  I was mortified.  I also could NOT use my account.  It took me until this morning to regain the right to use my account.  Guess what else I had to do?  Change ALL my passwords...ON EVERYTHING!  Yes, I am one of those people who thought it would never happen to me, so I had duplicate passwords.  Well NOT ANY LONGER.  There is a serious downside to changing all your passwords, and making them all secure and unique...you don't remember what you made them.  I got to work this morning and could not even open my email account, let alone Twitter or Pinterest!  Had to wait until I got home.  I am now looking into a password manager account.  What do you do to remember your passwords?  

This week I tried one of Jenn from 4mula4fun's "Solve and Snip" activities with my class.  I used the probability package.  My class loved the novelty of the questions and that they had the "right" answer on the snip page, and they had to match up their work with the answer.  My students are normally very hesitant to "show what they know" but they loved the challenge of proving to me how they knew the answer they had snipped and glued was correct.  The students were totally engaged, and everyone met with success!  I don't think I've ever had a lesson/activity where every single student got the questions right and felt so good about it!  To get your own copy of this FANTASTIC FREEBIE just click on the image above and try it with your class too!

This week I also tried Addie's Using Cookies to Learn Phases of the Moon activity.  If you read my post about making a Phases of the Moon board , you know that students struggle with this concept.  I have tried a variety of different activities over the years to try to teach this topic.  This year the students have used Celestia software to simulate a virtual tour of the solar system and view the phases of the moon.  We are also doing a "moon watch" and recording what we see each night.  The students are recording what they observe in a flip book template.  Once they are finished their observations in early May we will cut out the template pages and put them together to make an animated flip book.  
This activity from Addie Education was the best yet!  The students were very motivated to create the phases of the moon using the Oreo cookies, and they did a great job don't you think?  I also like that they have a variety of questions to answer AFTER they have made their cookie models of the phases.  This really made them connect what they had made with what they were learning.  Just click on the image above to download this FABULOUS FREEBIE from Addie's TpT store.

Still on the topic of teaching Space science.  I have been really lucky this year in that I had my friend Steve Lang from the Canadian Space Resource Center come in and work with my class.  We set up stations and had the students work their way through 3 activities; Astronaut Avatar (exploring what it takes to be an astronaut by doing research on Canadian astronauts and then creating an avatar of themselves as future space explorers), Power Generation on Mars (conducting hands on experiments measuring energy production using wind and solar power) and Packing for Space (looking at what inhabitants of space colonies would HAVE to take into space and what it would cost to get it there).  The days we spent doing these activities were exhausting for the adults involved, but great for the students!

This week the students have been using Celestia software to conduct a virtual tour of the solar system.  This is amazing software that you can download for free, just click on the image above.  Let your imagination take flight, as you explore the solar system and navigate your way among the cosmos.  My students are so engaged when we use this software on the laptops in my classroom, it is hard to get them to shut down when the class is over.

Well, that's my five for five!  Perhaps not so random, but still a busy week for me...both the good and the bad!  Hope you had a great week!  Don't forget the TEST PREP LINKY PARTY is still going strong...there are over 200 TEST PREP materials ready to be downloaded.  Save yourself some anxiety and CLICK HERE  or on the image below to check it out!  

Freebie Fridays

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  1. First off...I'm am not a spam bot. :)

    I really like all the science you've got going on in your room. All of our kids are excited because next week our famed Science guru comes in for amazing in class experiments.

    Digital: Divide & Conquer

  2. Glad to here you are not a spam bot! OMG the ones I get on here...make me cringe! I would so love to get rid of the word verification, I HATE IT! Thanks for persevering. Thanks too for your comments about the science in my classroom. I love seeing the kids engaged both hands and minds. Talk about integrated learning. You, like me, are lucky to have "gurus" visit too.
    Have a great weekend!

  3. Getting hacked is awful! You could write all your passwords onto an excel sheet and then password protect it? I use a few different ones and often get locked out of my things. I got locked out of CIBC last month and it was a LONG phone call to to prove I am me! Will spring ever come? I think not ....
    2 Peas and a Dog Teaching Blog

  4. I think maybe the spreadsheet will have to be the way to go Kristy. Even today I could not log into Chrome! I don't remember even changing my Chrome password! Sigh....I don't even want to go through anymore banking nightmares. I have had my account compromised 3 times with TD! I swear I am too old for all this hassle.
    Hope you are having a good weekend! I have a TON of marking to do!