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A Go Figure Debut for A Texan Who Is New!

Laura's TPT Store
Laura is a physics teacher that started teaching in 1998. Her undergrad and masters are from Texas A&M University. She is a certified 6-12 Science Composite and 4-8 Math/Science. She originally wanted to be a large animal veterinarian but got the teaching bug after she taught horsemanship clinics for Texas A&M one summer. Laura feels she clearly was born to be a teacher!

She loves students of all ages. One of her biggest thrills is when she hears them use academic language when discussing a problem with each other. Academic language! Willingly! Correctly! She is addicted to hearing students having scientific conversations.

Even as a first year teacher, Laura wrote her own curriculum. The internet was in its early years, and there wasn't a huge amount of resources out there. Even now, she says it is very hard to find physics resources that are ready to use for the classroom. Because she has always written her class notes to clearly defined objectives that are based on the state standards of Texas, everything is in tight alignment with those stated objectives.

Back in the day before standardized testing was such a push, Laura had a tremendous amount of latitude to get her students researching and learning. They took a field trip to AstroWorld (now defunct) to do physics experiments. She took her Chemistry class to a SCUBA center and learned about SCUBA diving in correlation with her Gas Law unit. The students even got to dive in the center pool, so they were able to make those real life connections to science.

As you can tell, her teaching style is quirky, fly by the seat of her pants. Laura is willing to try most ideas at least once! She even made it into the newspaper twice with her zany exploits. In addition, she successfully won two equipment grants.

Fast forward to the increasingly focused high stakes era, and Laura has had to look for other ways to express creativity. To that end, she writes silly problems. Sure, her students learn about what the specific objective is, but she frames it in the zombie apocalypse. She has long thought she could write an entire year's curriculum in the zombie apocalypse as one long PBL. Maybe one day!

Laura’s store, Delzer's Dynamite Designs, contains 150 resources related to science; six of those
Free Resource
products are free. Her featured free resource, It’s a Gas, is the first item she created. It looks basic, but it is honestly a fun, hands-on way to learn about gas molecule movement as you manipulate temperature, volume, moles and measure pressure. The students act like molecules, and music is used to model temperature.

Claim-Evidence-Reasoning Activity and Lab is a paid resource. Enclosed in this resource is a set of
Only $3.50
Doodle Notes over CER (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning). Laura has included a selection of five commercials to practice CER skills as well as one of her super reliable labs to elaborate and practice CER. Doodle Notes act as a CER graphic organizer to help provide visual cues of how each component reinforce each other. This helps students to activate both hemispheres of the brain and make visual connections to the material, while helping to defuse anxiety.

If you are a science teacher, Laura’s Teachers Pay Teachers store is worth checking out. You will find many fun, engaging and creative resources that you can easily adapt to your classroom. AND your students will have a fun and exciting time learning science.

Glyphs Are Really A Form of Graphing - Completing a Turkey Glyph

Only $3.00
Sometimes I think that teachers believe a glyph is just a fun activity, but in reality glyphs are a non-standard way of graphing a variety of information to tell a story. It is a flexible data representation tool that uses symbols to represent different data. Glyphs are an innovative instrument that shows several pieces of data at once and requires a legend/key to understand the glyph. The creation of glyphs requires problem solving, communication as well as data organization.

Remember Paint by Number where you had to paint in each of the numbers or letters using a key to paint with the right color? How about coloring books that were filled with color-by-number pages? Believe it or not, both of these activities were a type of glyph.

For the Thanksgiving, I have created a Turkey Glyph. Not only is it a type of graph, but it is also an excellent activity for reading and following directions.

Students are to finish the turkey glyph using the seven categories listed below.
  1. Draw a hat on the turkey (girl or a boy?)
  2. Creating a color pattern for pets or no pets. 
  3. Coloring the wings based on whether or not they wear glasses. 
  4. Writing a Thanksgiving greeting based on how many live in their house. 
  5. Do you like reading or watching TV the best? 
  6. How they get to school. (ride or walk)
  7. Pumpkins (number of letters in first name)
At the end of the activity is a completed Turkey Glyph which the students are to "read" and answer the questions. Reading the completed glyph and interpreting the information represented is a skill that requires deeper thinking by the student. Students must be able to analyze the information presented in visual form. A glyph such as this one is very appropriate to use in the data management strand of mathematics.  If you are interested, just click under the resource cover page above.

Making Parent Teacher Conferences Meaningful

Are You….....
  • Tired of always talking about grades at parent/teacher conferences? 
  • Tired of feeling like nothing is ever accomplished during the allotted time? 
  • Are you having problems with a student, but don’t know how to tell the parents? 
  • Do you want to be specific and to-the-point? 
When I taught middle school and/or high school, these were the items that really discouraged me. I knew I had to come up with a better plan if I wanted parent/teacher conferences to be worthwhile and effective for both the student and the parents. I created a a checklist that I could follow, use during conferences, and then give a copy to the parents at the end of the conference.  It contained nine, brief, succinct checklists which were written as a guide so that during conferences I could have specific items to talk about besides grades. I found it easy to complete and straight forward plus it provided me with a simple outline to use as I talked and shared with parents.

Since other teachers were able to use it successfully, I took that checklist and turned it into a resource called Parent/Teacher Conference Checklist, Based on Student Characteristics and Not Grades. Nine different categories are listed for discussion.  They include:
  1. Study Skills and Organization 
  2. Response to Assignments 
  3. In Class Discussion 
  4. Class Attitude 
  5. Reaction to Setbacks 
  6. Accountability 
  7. Written Work 
  8. Inquiry Skills 
  9. Evidence of Intellectual Ability 
To get ready for conferences, all you have to do is place a check mark by each item within the category that applies to the student. Then circle the word that best describes the student in that category such as "always, usually, seldom". (See example above.)

Finally, make a copy of the checklist so that the parent(s) or the guardian(s) will have something to review with their student when they return home.

Now you are ready for a meaningful and significant conference.

A Go Figure Debut from a New Yorker Who Is New!

Jillian has been an educator for over 11 years. She has her bachelor’s
degree in Childhood Education and her Master's in Mathematics. Before starting her career as an educator, she worked for a nutraceutical marketing and sales company which was geared towards selling all-natural vitamins and supplements. Shortly after being hired in sales, she became the training manager for the company which gave her invaluable experience in the business world! She has taught grades 1-3 as well as 6-8 grade math. In addition, she has had the privilege of being a technology consultant where she gained extensive knowledge on how to train teachers and administrators on how to use various types of technology. She is currently on maternity leave, taking care of her amazing daughter. She also has two fur babies, Rambo and Debo who are the best big brothers ever!

Jillian’s Teachers Pay Teachers store called Count on Me contains 361 resources, with 15 of the
items being free. She offers a free template for a square cover to TPT sellers. If you are just starting out on TPT or if you want to give your products an awesome update, use this template. The template has a clean and chic look that will make your resources stand out to your buyers. It's like going to a store and seeing a familiar brand - you are going to be more likely to buy the brand you've seen before than one you haven't. Branding yourself is the best way to get repeat buyers who know the quality of your resources. The template is easy to edit right in PowerPoint. You can change the fonts, colors and formatting to meet your needs. The best part is you can use this template over and over for all your resources, so you don't have to start from scratch every time!

Jillian’s featured paid resource is a math bundle entitled 7th Grade Math Puzzle Piece Matching Games Bundle. These super engaging low prep matching games will help your students practice 7th
grade math concepts in a fun way! This bundle has a review of all 7th grade math concepts! Jillian’s students really enjoyed these puzzle pieces and making all the matches. The answer keys and recording sheets are included to keep students on track.

While she is out of the classroom, she is fortunate to be able to work from home creating engaging and fun resources for Teachers Pay Teachers, as well as designing digital resources on Etsy! When creating resources, you will find her either creating engaging math games or products geared towards TPT sellers to help grow their businesses and brands. Her husband is a small business owner with five well established and extremely successful businesses. He has been the inspiration behind her taking the proper steps to grow her business and taking charge of her own destiny. She feels fortunate to have his guidance.

This is why Jillian has ventured into coaching and consulting some AMAZING people looking to grow their brands and businesses. Teachers Pay Teachers is a wonderful way to make money, but it can be super overwhelming to get started. Plus, it can be difficult to understand ways to market yourself if you have already opened your store! Jillian has a passion for helping people and seeing others become successful. She is incredibly proud to see the people she has coached thriving and making huge growth in their stores and online presence. She would love to be that person to help guide you, help you stay accountable, and help you understand how to take that next step on the path of growing your brand and your business. For more information, you also might check out her Instagram account and her website