Introduction to Science

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 2 comments
I have been teaching Science for 6 years, and every year I start with an Introduction to Science Unit. In middle school, it was a great way to introduce 6th graders in their first year of dedicated science or to remind 7th and 8th grade students of scientific methods and measurements, as well as the tools that we will be using.
The topics I always try to cover include:
What is science? where I talk about the branches of science and scientific thinking
Scientific Theories and Laws- definitions and the differences of each
Scientific method- including the steps of scientific method
Scientific tools- I try to cover all the materials that a student would see in a middle school science lab
Lab safety- I cover basic safety in the science classroom

This year, I am using them to ensure that my students have a strong foundation for an accelerated high school chemistry course. Because these students are often coming into the classroom with little or no background, it will be necessary to ensure their success.

Because of this less than steller science background, I am changing my Intro to Science Unit up a bit to better suit my high school chemistry classroom. Some of the additions I have planned are:
-adding a section on What is Chemistry? to give students a better understanding of why we have chemistry class
-dropping the sceintific theories and laws
-adding a mini-unit on lab reports and how to write them
-adding more chemistry specific safety information in the safety lesson
DON'T SNIFF. WAFT!!!

Are you are looking to start the year with a solid Introduction to Science Unit? Check out my Introduction to Science mini-lessons!


All my mini-lessons include a photograph-rich presentation, fill-in-the-blank guided notes, a worksheet and a quiz. And don't forget to follow my store on Teachers Pay Teachers to be updated when new mini-lessons are released!




Simple Frozen Fruit Juice Pops

Friday, August 26, 2016 1 comment

*Contains Amazon Affiliate links!*
Here in Philadelphia it can get pretty warm(not Texas hot, but still toasty!) so my girls love a cool frozen treat after daycare. Which means they devour about 2 a day. That is 20 popsicles a week! And the weekend-forget it! The grocery bill alone....yikes! I also started to feel a bit bad about the sugar water cheap-o pops and wanted something a little healthier for my girls. 


This was the beginning of freezie pops. This is the name my older daughter came up with for frozen popsicles. So cute and so grammatically incorrect!

For several years, every summer I would buy the super cheap popsicle molds and they had never worked out.
However, this summer at my local kitchen shop, I can across a display of individual molds made by Zoku. 
ABORABLE! There were a bunch of different ones, but I went with the frog. A complete impulse buy! BUT LOOK AT HIS LITTLE LEGS/POP STICK!


And in case you are curious- the popsicle comes out looking EXACTLY like the picture! All the details showed up and it came out of the mold cleanly!

My older daughter loved them so much, that to be able to keep up with demand, I checked online and found that they have a number of super cute sets! (You can get them from Zoku, Amazon or Williams Sonoma. I have also seen the singles pop up at Home Goods. FYI) We bought the Fish Pop mold as she loves Octonauts.

I have a feeling that any of them would have been just as loved...


So far, I have used fruit juice and pudding to make pops. I love the Honest company juice, as it is less sugary and not as overwhelming as other juices, but any kind will work. The pudding pops were awesome.

You can totally dress these up with add-ins, like fruit or chocolate chips (chocolate-chocolate chip pudding pops, anyone?)

These are a great summer treat that I can feel good about letting my girls have!

What are your favorite ways to beat the heat? Do you have any go-to summer treats? Comment below or on my Facebook page!

#BestYearEver at Teachers Pay Teachers One Day Sale!

Sunday, August 21, 2016 10 comments
Surprise! Teachers Pay Teachers is having a one day sale on Monday, August 22 to make sure your year is #BestYearEver! Everything in my store is 20% off Monday AND Tuesday! On Monday, enter the code OneDay and save 28% on everything in my store.

And don't forget to enter my Raffle to win a $10 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers! Raffle ends at midnight tonight!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Back to School Giveaway-$10 to Teachers Pay Teachers!

Saturday, August 20, 2016 13 comments
Happy Sunday everyone! I am starting orientation at my new school this week (eeek!!!) so I am having a special 24 hour giveaway! Enter below to win a $10 gift card to Teachers pay Teachers-you can use it in any store and stock up on all your back to school needs!


There are 4 ways to enter the giveaway-but hurry- it only lasts 24 hours!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Back to School-Vacation Post!

Friday, August 19, 2016 1 comment
That's right people, Summer is not quite over yet! At least for me, anyway. (sorry teachers who are already back!)

This year, my in-laws were kind enough to rent a beach house for a week for the whole family! It is one of the two mini-vacations we took this Summer, which is a HUGE change for us. We have not taken a real vacation since before the first daughter was born (so about 4 years ago). We went on a babymoon vacay to New Orleans, and Rob ate so much at K-Paul's restaurant that he cried and was (almost) sick. And I was about 7 months preggo in NOLA in the summer. Ah, good times.
So, anyway, while I am lazing it up on the beach, I thought I would pull together some awesome posts about back-to-school stuff. There have been lots of posts popping up about "things I wish I had known my first year" and all I can say is OH MY GOD, YES, TRUTH PEOPLE. I really wish I had known some of this stuff......
Things I wish I had known as a new teacher
Enjoy and here's hoping your yearly goes smoothly(ish?)

1)Amy Brown Science- Tips for New (and Experienced) Science Teachers
Yes, it is geared toward science classrooms, but most of her 20(!) tips are universal. This was really helpful to me as a returning science teacher to remind me of areas that might lag, or things I forget over the summer. I keep a running order list all year, so I know what to purchase the next. And I ALWAYS try out the experiment before the lesson (that was a hard one to learn!!!)

2) Kacie from Managing and Motivating Math Minds has some wonderful advice on starting the year right. There are a few in there that I am working on now, after 6 years in the classroom!

3) MaryPat from Just Add Students has some great tips. My favorite is to keep notes as each lesson or day is over. I either review them the next day or at the end of the unit to improve my lessons.

4) Sherry at World Language Cafe shares what she has found to work in her classroom. I greet kids at the door and I am always honest with them about when I am not feeling well, and it really does help!

5) Melissa at Little Owl Academy shares a sweet, touching story about why we should remember that our students also have lives outside of the classroom that affects what goes on inside the classroom.




BTS Blog Hop! Classroom Organization Tips and Tricks

Monday, August 15, 2016 8 comments
Hi everybody!

It's my first Blog Hop and I am teaming up with 50 great teacherprenuers to bring you tried and true classroom management and organizational strategies that work in our classrooms. Please make sure that you hop to each participating blog! We are also hosting a giveaway. Enter to win one of two great prizes. We are giving away the chance to win a $50 TpT Gift Card and classroom resources from over 30 teacher authors. Good luck! 

Check out each blog for great tips on classroom management and organization and enter to win all the great prizes!

Blueberry Morning Bread Pudding

Tuesday, August 9, 2016 1 comment
One of my favorite things to do is to cook breakfast on the weekends. During the week, it is all cereal and toast-and-eggs, but the weekend is a time to branch out!
 Something new to try for breakfast-easy and delicious!


Featured Friday!- High School Science Classroom Decoration

Friday, August 5, 2016 3 comments
**Featured Friday is a monthly blog post featuring a great product from my store on sale! In August, I am thinking of classroom decoration and organization so my Science Themed Table Labels and Science Material labels are on sale for 20% for the next four days!**

I am getting ready to move to a new school, which means I get to reorganize and decorate my room! I haven't even seen my new room yet, but I am already decorating it in my head! I have (of, course) been perusing Pinterest for inspiration. There are gorgeous pictures of amazing classrooms, like:




Back to School Lunch Ideas

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 2 comments
Now that September is nearing, it is time to start thinking about back-to-school- lunches? Yep, you heard right! I dread packing my girl's lunches. It is so boring and I never have any great ideas. Well, I do, but Big Miss won't eat them! (Luckily, the Little Miss is still in the see-food stage!)

Follow me on BlogLovin'!

Saturday, July 30, 2016 No comments
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Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale!

Hey everyone, it's that time again! Back to School is upon us, which means that Teachers Pay Teachers is offering a discount of 10%  (using promo code BESTYEAR) ON TOP OF the 20% discount I am offering on ALL OF MY PRODUCTS!


Make sure to check out all of the great sales happening now and stock up!

Education Motivation

Friday, July 29, 2016 No comments
Just came across this cute graphic on Just a Thought or Two's blog and it seemed so perfect for me as a teacher and a mom and a woman! I sometimes get so caught up in the "success" of other people that I forget that they worked hard to get there. I forget sometimes that people look at me as well and see "success" and may not know of all the hard work I put in to get to this place!

If you find yourself feeling that way- Success is an Iceberg!




Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 No comments


This awesome-ness is based on a recipe given to me by my Jewish mother in law. My husband likes to give (my) baked goods as gifts (housewarming, good-bye gifts, office parties) and he asked me to make it for a friend of ours who was moving away. Please understand that the original was typed into an email and had ZERO instructions. We have made it before, but it always came out (to me at least) dense, super crunchy, and a little bland. Although, maybe that is how it should be?

#2fortuesday for July 12

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 No comments
So this is my first time linking my products to a promotion, so here goes! I am offering 2 products on sale for 50% off for the next 24 hours to participate in a 2 for Tuesday Promotion!

To find other great products being offered during 2 for Tuesday, go to Teachers Pay Teachers and search #2fortuesday!

Happy Tuesday!


Doodle Notes Pages-no more boring meetings!

So I don't know about you, but I am a notes doodler. 

It helps me focus during meetings-I doodle and listen. Everyone assumes I am busily jotting down all the information. Reality?
Friday, July 8, 2016 3 comments
Welcome from Teacher Erica

Hi everybody! Welcome to my first blog post! I am excited to be starting this journey and I am glad that you found me. I’m also a little nervous-I am a pretty introverted person- so I am hoping to find a voice and a presence that resonates with you-let’s be friends!