Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Looking for some science fun? Here are some great resources to activate science in your classroom!

Grades 5-8 (can be easily modified to upgrade difficulty).  The information included in the Activity Guide supports the framework of the National Science Education Standards (created by the National Science Academies) and is intended to make teaching science, specifically chemistry, more engaging for educators and students. Chemistry is the central science, and its concepts often extend into many other subjects as well—and not just within the traditional sciences!

This site was created in 2005 with the goal of creating a central point where all Science Teachers, whether from New York State or anywhere else could access materials. The majority of the material found within this site was graciously uploaded and shared by hard working teachers who wanted to show the world some of their best work. There are many resources here, for multiple topics in many different formats. There are science labs, demonstrations, lesson plans, activities, worksheets, notes, regents review material, educational related information and much more.

This is a teacher created resource with activities with a focus on middle school.

This website is a great guide to science projects, fun experiments and science research. She has published over 50 books of hands-on science experiments (short, one page experiments utilizing common household items.

Hungry for fresh, exciting science activities based in amazing phenomena? Science Snacks are hands on, teacher tested, and use cheap, available materials. Satisfy your curiosity without ever getting full.

This site offers a broad range of free classroom resources that complement and extend learning beyond the bell.

Watch the short video clip (<2 minutes), print the graph and have the students graph what they saw.

This site provides hands-on science experiments for students of all ages. Detailed procedures and material lists are provided.

The PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations (Grades 7-12). PhET sims are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery.

This is a 3D interactive tool which provides a realistic environment and a realistic way to examine the human body. Students (grades 7-12) can explore and manipulate the 3D images through anatomical animations. Descriptions of health conditions related to each system of the body are included.

Thank you Christopher Scott for the helpful additions to this list!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Welcome Back! Here are some great resources to get you started!

We hope everyone has had a wonderfully refreshing summer and is ready for a great school year. Here are a couple of websites that we hope might make your planning and organization easier.

The first is R9 ED Stop. We have been compiling wonderful educational websites that we have sorted for you by subject and grade level. This might help you find just what you are looking for without having to spend a lot of time doing the research yourself.

The second is The Top 200 Education Blogs. Sue Kluthe from Hondo Middle School shared this site with us. The site is set up for educators and students. has assembled a collection of useful resources for both students and teachers to assist in their scholastic goals. They provide articles on hundreds of student related topics to help them improve their study habits, writing skills, organizational skills, and analytical skills. You will find a link to this site on the R9 Ed Stop website as well under the "Cool Stuff" link.

If you know of a great website that our teachers need to know about, please email Ellen Virden and she will add it to R9 Ed Stop!

Other Region IX Resources to access are:
Region IX Website
R9 Technology Blog
R9 Facebook Page
R9 Pinterest Page
R9 Twitter

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Move Your Bus

Ron Clark, New York Times bestselling author and founder of the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, has written Move Your Bus as a model to move organizations forward.  Mr. Clark's parable of the bus and its' riders has "grown into a massive concept that has led to improved results, morale, and production wherever it is implemented."  The bus is filled with people who are either moving the team forward or dragging the organization down.  He has identified riders as either:

Runners: Go above and beyond for the betterment of the organization.  They carry the load of the bus and are the strongest members of the team. At times, Runners sacrifice their own personal lives for the organization.
Joggers:  Pour energy into tasks where they are most skilled but will coast through others.  Joggers often focus on one "big" project for the year and want recognition for their effort.  Joggers have a stronger balance of work and personal life.
Walkers:  Do not contribute to the forward momentum of the organization.  Walkers have a negative impact on the team and are continually seeking and recruiting members to become one of them as they believe in strength in numbers.  They are focused primarily on themselves and their situation.
Riders:  Considered the dead weight in the organization.  As Mr. Clark states, "they contribute next to nothing to the organization... and what's worse they feel they are 100% entitled to their seat."  Unfortunately, riders do just enough to not be terminated.
Driver: Head of the organization; responsible for steering the bus and its' riders forward.

First and foremost, Mr. Clark brings the different personalities to life using a mixture of humor and at times brutal honesty. The first part of the book focuses on identifying the members on the bus and then provides specific strategies the driver can use to reach their potential. The second part of the book outlines how to accelerate the organization with habits and behaviors many Runners have in common.  Punctuality, dress for success, positive interactions, ability to accept criticism are several of the keys to success he describes. The final part of the book outlines strategies for the driver to become a more effective leader. The driver is provided once again with specifics to move members forward as well as setting expectations, dealing with conflict, and the importance of showing appreciation.

Move Your Bus provides the reader as either the driver or rider on the bus opportunity for self-reflection as well as strategies to grow.

For more information about the Ron Clark Academy, please visit his website:
Ron Clark Academy

Monday, April 11, 2016

Child Find, Kindergarten and Head Start Registration is here!

Please help spread the word! Screenings and registrations will be happening in all of our member districts:

  • Child Find is for children birth to five years olds.

  • Kindergarten Registration is for children who turn 5 before September 1, 2016. 

  • Head Start Registration is for children 3-5 years old. 

  • Early Head Start Registration is for children birth to three year olds. 

  • NM Pre-K Registration is for children who turn four years old before September 1, 2016.
Here are the dates and locations of the events:
  • Corona, Tuesday, April 12th from 9:00-11:00 at the Corona School 
  • Carrizozo, Wednesday, April 13th from 1:00-3:00 at the Carrizozo School Gym 
  • Tularosa, Friday, April 25th from 9:30-1:00 at the Tularosa Elementary School πŸ˜Š πŸ’—
  • Ruidoso, Monday, April 18th from 10:30-2:00, Ruidoso Convention Center  πŸ˜Š πŸ’—
    • Current Head Start students will be screened from 8:00-10:30
  • Capitan, Thursday, April 21st from 9:00-12:00 at the Capitan Cummins Gym πŸ˜Š
  • Cloudcroft, Thursday, May 5th from 4:00-7:00 at the Cloudcroft Middle School Gym 
  • Hondo, Friday May 6th from 8:30-11:00 at the Hondo School πŸ˜Š
All schools will provide free screenings and Kindergarten Registration. For more information please call Region IX at 575-257-2368 or your local Elementary School.

  • ✩ NM Pre-K
  • 😊Head Start
  • πŸ’—Early Head Start

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

4 Steps to Boost Students Close Reading Skills

Close reading is a crucial skill for students to have in their toolbox in order to 
succeed. At every grade level-whether students are hearing a text read aloud in
the early grades or reading it themselves- text-dependent questions serve as a 
scaffold for students, helping them break down complex texts and start talking
about their meanings and this will help them in their writing as well. 

Here are four consecutive phases that teachers should follow when developing
text-dependent questions, coming up with several questions for each phase. As
soon as students demonstrate mastery within a given phase, the teacher should
move onto the next one.

1. Ask Literal questions. To start, literal questions help gauge whether or not students understand the text's basic subject matter, At this point, you're simply trying to make sure that students understand what the text says, literally; this is the entry-level phase of close reading. What's the overarching subject matter of the text? What are some of the key facts and details that indicate what the author is saying? Teachers tend to linger in this phase, but as soon as it's clear that students understand on a basic level what's going on in the text, it's time to move on the next step. So, if you have four or five text-dependent questions for this literal stage, you may mot need to ask all of them, if the students demonstrate a clear understanding early on. 

2. Encourage them to consider text structure. Once students understand the text on a literal level, you want to ask questions that will encourage them to think about structure. What techniques is the author using to communicate his or her point? These may include: vocabulary,literary devices, narration, genre and the like. Questions in this phase should help students understand the internal structure of the text. 

3. Lead them to make deeper meaning of the text. At this phase, questions should help students make deeper inferences about the meaning of the text based on what they have learned in the first two phases. Can they make an argument or a claim about the text? How would they compare it to other texts they've read? At this point, students are moving away from the text to do their own thinking, but they are still using the text as a resource to support their thinking. 
4. Challenge them to take action with the text. In this phase, once students have a grasp of the text's meaning, we invite them to take action based on the text. What is it that the text inspires them to do? They could research write, debate, present or discuss, as examples. Collaborative conversations are important when it comes to understanding compels texts, so at this level your questions should encourage students to discuss the text with each other and work together to take action based on the text. 
"The goal is for students to practice and
internalize this process and start developing text dependent
questions themselves and take
ownership of this questioning process"

Monday, March 21, 2016


Welcome SPRING!  As we move into a new season, many of us are excited and looking for a little rest and relaxation over Spring Break.  Whatever your spring break plans may be, a little organization and spring cleaning might be on your list of to do's. My favorite type of cleaning needs no mop, broom, or paintbrush. So, grab your laptop and a cup of coffee and let's look at two tools that are great for organizing your desktop. 
Click here to watch an introduction video
Symbaloo is a cloud-based application that allows users to organize and categorize web links in the form of "tiles" on a customizable start page.  It works from the web and allows users to create a personalized virtual desktop accessible from any device with an Internet connection.  It is easy to create a free account and begin to organize your webpages. Users simply drag and drop items to create webmix collections.  It was easy for me to take my most visited webpages and drop them into the webmix.  All are just one click away! 
Click here to install OneTab in less than 5 seconds!
Have you ever had so many tabs open at once that you can no longer tell which tab was which?  When working on various projects, it is easy to do.  OneTab is a free extension which opens in Google Chrome and converts all of your tabs into a list.  It also frees up memory as you do not have all of those tabs open.  Tabs can be saved and exported to other people, computers, or your smartphone.  A definite advantage is that if your computer crashes, you can easily restore by simply clicking on your OneTab extension. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Cult of Pedagogy

If you are looking for a way to keep up with what is new in education, this online magazine and series of podcasts might be just what you were looking for!
The author Jennifer Gonzales sums it up best, "Cult of Pedagogy is an online magazine for anyone who teaches anything — that means high school geometry teachers, elementary school special ed teachers, golf instructors, homeschoolers, corporate trainers, English tutors, preschool teachers, medical school instructors. Teaching is an art, a craft, and a science, and perfecting it is an ongoing, endless process. There are hundreds of ways to study and practice it, and this is what I obsess about here."
Ms. Gonzales sifts through many of the new technology tools that are out there, books on methodology, and current research to bring the most relevant resources to teachers. Her magazine has links and articles about some of the most important changes and current trends within the field. 

The podcast topics are relevant to every teacher regardless of the subject area or grade level  taught. Lengths of the podcasts very from as few as five minutes to hour long in-depth discussions. The strategies and ideas that she shares can easily be adapted to the classroom. Her interviews are entertaining, interesting and insightful. She is a wealth of information and always practical.  Click here to give it a try!