Thursday, June 30, 2005

Pre-QUEST Day 4

Today we had a guest presenter who explained the importance of integrating science and language arts. His presentation/demonstration focused on the utlization of the interactive notebook.

I wrote about these notebooks in the Fall and was pretty skeptical about their application. However, now that I've had further instruction in them and have seen some student produced notebooks, I think I'll definitely try using them in my classroom. The examples we saw were very impressive, it was like they were absolute proof of student learning.

Tomorrow we have a special education expert coming to speak with us. I'm really looking forward to this presentation as I think science can be pretty unaccessible to learning disabled and physically disabled students.

Also, I recieved good news today from the NJSTA - I am the recipient of the Doris White Memorial Scholarship. Woohoo! Go me. Anyway, the coolest thing this gets me is a ticket to the annual NJSTA convention. AND I read that this year's keynote speaker is Dr. Sally Ride!! WAY COOL!!!

Oops, I'm almost late for a phone date with Charlie!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Pre-QUEST Day 3

Today we played with Monarch Butterflies.

We fed them, and drew them, and learned about their behavior. Very cool. Sorry, I don't have a lot to say about this. It was an excellent activity and a good demonstration for having living creatures in your classroom for the students to study and maybe even care for.

Tomorrow, we are covering language arts and how they can be integrated into science lessons.

ps- I got my brand new and shiny RAV4 tonight. I LOVE it!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Pre-QUEST Day 2

Today was math day.

A local math content specialist came to work with us for the day and reminded us what it was like to take third grade math. It was a fun day, as there were many hands on activities to keep us busy. There was one acitivity that really stood out as something that I would use with my future students.

The activity involved "mailing" a special delivery to your classroom that contains instructions for a class project. For example, maybe the letter is from aliens who need your students to design a school for them. Each student recieved their own letter from the aliens that contained the parameters for the project (perimeter of base, volume, surface area, etc.). At the end of the project the aliens send another package with a reward and another letter praising the students for their good work.

We watched a video of this in action and the students were really excited to play along with the alien scenario and became really involved in their project.

We weren't told what we are going to be doing tomorrow, but we do know that it involves "critters." Hmmmm....

Monday, June 27, 2005

Pre-QUEST Day 1

Q uery
U nderlies
E ssential
S cience
T eaching

Today was the first day of the pre-QUEST (henceforth pre-Q) program. Pre-Q is two weeks of instruction just for the fellows on all aspects of the inquiry-based classroom. Much of today was taken up with logistical issues and introductions. However, we were able to do a few neat activities where we explored the properties of foam. The first activity was an open ended exploration on the properties of foam. The second utilized a worksheet to examine how the amount of agitation changed the properties of the foam (strength, height). Lastly, we were "challenged" to build an unsupported 12" tower out of foam. Very cool. I'm going to try and update this blog every day or so while I am participating in QUEST, so stayed tuned for updates.

In other news, I went out to Havana's - a local bar - with a friend last Friday. I had a good time except it was a little strange running into people who I haven't seen since high school. Especially, since most of the people I ran into were extremely intoxicated at the time. Hahaha...that isn't too far off from how these people were in high school actually.

The real highlight of the weekend was going into NYC on Sunday and getting a chance to see Brooklyn before it closed. This is an amazing show! I have never heard anyone sing like that in a show before. Even RENT, which I adore and obsess over, doesn't quite have the "diva singing" this show did. Of course, the singing was just a part of why I love this show. The plot is really different as is the way it is executed. There are only 5 people in the cast, who pretty much spend the entire show on stage AND do all their own scene/set changes. Brooklyn is going on tour in 2006, so if you get the chance, I HIGHLY recommend going to see it.

Time to turn out the turtle light - good night!

Monday, June 20, 2005

100 Things About Me!

1. I am a copy cat and got the idea for this entry from A Series of Inconsequential Events.
2. I keep a separate blog just for my friends to read and comment on.
3. I have a pet turtle named Mr. Turtle.
4. I do not know if Mr. Turtle is male or female.
5. When I entered college I was a molecular biology major…
6. Then I was a psychology major…
7. Now I am becoming a teacher.
8. I pierced my belly button when I was 19 and I still like it!
9. I am dating a race car driver.
10. I have never liked to talk on the phone.
11. I watch a soap opera, but will deny it fiercely if asked about it.
12. I still sleep with stuffed animals – my childhood bear and the teddy bear my boyfriend gave me.
13. I had braces from 3rd grade to 11th grade.
14. I really enjoy reading science fiction.
15. I’m a nerd and I love it!
16. My favorite TV show is M*A*S*H.
17. I still believe that I can save the world.
18. I play four musical instruments well.
19. I am a news fiend. I read CNN religiously several times a day.
20. My grandparents live in Hershey, PA. You can guess what many of my Christmas presents were!
21. My two favorite soft drinks are Mr. Pibb and Moxie. Neither of which are available where I live.
22. I will try anything once.
23. In high school I was a state champion Envirothoner. My specialties were forestry, wetlands and bird calls.
24. I am 22 years old.
25. Everyone always thinks I look about 16 years old.
26. For some reason, this really bothers me.
27. I hate it when people don’t move over on the sidewalk, so that you have to chose between walking in the mud or getting knocked over.
28. I ::heart:: Broadway Musicals.
29. If I could have any job, I would take over for Alan Alda on Scientific American Frontiers.
30. I am shy when I’m in a group of people, but quite personably when I’m one-on-one with someone.
31. I am terrified of elevators.
32. For my thesis, I fed Crisco to rats so they would become obese.
33. I feel incredibly awkward if I am made to dance. Therefore, I avoid it like the plague.
34. I want a fairy tale romance.
35. I LOVE cartoons – especially anime.
36. I went to the same school district for all 13 years of my public education.
37. I will always be a kid at heart.
38. I enjoy playing board games.
39. I can’t go to the SPCA (animal shelter) because I will take something home and my mother will kill me.
40. For the time being, I’m living at home with my mother.
41. I feel like I’m a huge loser, because all my friends have moved out and are fully employed.
42. I consider myself a world citizen.
43.I sleep under a comforter even if it is the middle of summer and the air conditioning isn’t on.
44. I can keep a secret.
45. However, I love listening to gossip – as long as it isn’t mean.
46. I could be a full time people watcher.
47. I would like to spend a year as a hermit.
48. I have had several carnivorous plants. My mom killed them.
49. I have fractured my hip twice – they were both stress fractures from running cross country.
50. When I was 3, I told my grandparents I wanted to be a mud wrestler.
51. I haven’t mud wrestled but I have J-ELLO wrestled.
52. I plan on being a dedicated (crazy) Princeton alumni.
53. Even though I bitched about having to go to Charter club graduate board meetings as a club officer, I VOLUNTEERED to be on the graduate board this year.
54. I can talk about anything.
55. I’m an only child.
56. I worry when I see middle school girls wearing clothing that is even too risqué for me!
57. I am very, very, very ticklish.
58. I faint whenever I get blood drawn, but not because I’m bothered by the site of blood.
59. I can’t touch my toes.
60. I like listening to the oldies station.
61. I am just learning how to cook.
62. My soul is more important then my wallet.
63. I try to avoid making left turns when I’m driving.
64. One of the musical instruments I play is the carillon.
65. My closest friends have always been boys.
66. BUT, I am still a bit of a gurlie girl.
67. When I retire, I hope to open either a china shop or a book store.
68. My middle name is Claire, after my grandmother.
69. My favorite classes in college were a rock ‘n’ roll history class and a human genetics and public policy class.
70. I wish I had time to learn about EVERYTHING.
71. The only thing that doesn’t really interest me is economics.
72. I have an active imagination.
73. Even though I tend to be sarcastic, I am really a sweetheart deep down inside.
74. I am lucky.
75. I’ve always wanted to travel to Egypt and see the Pyramids.
76. I never understood why anyone would EVER want to pierce their nipples.
77. I wish I had more female friends.
78. This is silly, but I am worried that I won’t be able to have bridesmaids at my wedding.
79. I am not very good at telling jokes.
80. I have a chandelier in my bathtub.
81. As pretty as I think “fancy” shoes are, I wish I could wear sneakers everyday and not be considered a slob.
82. My favorite sweatshirt is bright orange.
83. I can’t say “I love you” unless I really mean it.
84. A high school bf broke up with me because I wouldn’t say it back to him, because it wasn’t true.
85. Sometimes I feel bad about 84.
86. I’m not a fan of the overhead projector.
87. My favorite childhood books include: The Little House on the Prairie Series, The Phantom Tollbooth & The Secret Garden.
88. Now I have too many favorite books to list. The first two that come to mind are Dune and The Sparrow.
89. I want to learn to speak Japanese.
90. I recently purchased a pedometer and have yet to walk to recommended 10,000 steps a day.
91. I have never watched an episode of Seinfeld.
92. I really enjoy playing along with Jeopardy.
93. I always turn the radio off when someone else is in the car with me – makes it easier to talk.
94. I have finally realized that teaching is the correct profession for me.
95. I don’t like the new Hershey bar wrappers. I think the company should keep the original foil and paper packaging.
96. I like going to flea markets.
97. I have a bad habit of judging people based on their cellular phone ringtone.
98. I’m a neat freak.
99. It is currently 2:13 am.
100. I am going to sleep now!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A Super Secret Confession

Even though I've been doing a lot of reading this summer, I have one guilty television pleasure.

I am addicted to Hell's Kitchen.

I would say that it is almost like Jerry Springer lite. The behavior in this show is absurd! Constant arguing, backtalking and my personal favorite an angry customer dumping her glass of red wine on the table.

Oh my, I can feel my brain turning to mush.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Your #1 Match: INFJ

The Protector
You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision - no matter what it is.You are an excellent listener, with almost infinite patience.You have complex, deep feelings, and you take great care to express them.
You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.

Your #2 Match: INTJ

The Scientist
You have a head for ideas - and you are good at improving systems.Logical and strategic, you prefer for everything in your life to be organized.You tend to be a bit skeptical. You're both critical of yourself and of others.Independent and stubborn, you tend to only befriend those who are a lot like you.
You would make an excellent scientist, engineer, or programmer.

Your #3 Match: ISFJ

The Nurturer
You have a strong need to belong, and you very loyal.A good listener, you excell at helping others in practical ways.In your spare time, you enjoy engaging your senses through art, cooking, and music.You find it easy to be devoted to one person, who you do special things for.
You would make a good interior designer, chef, or child psychologist.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

For Puzzle Lovers!


I will probably not make many friends by writing this, but I have to say that lounging around without any responsibility is fantastic!

Of course, I think it is fair to say that I have earned this month of no real responsibilities. I’ve been spending most of my time reading books for pleasure of my personal summer reading list. After I finish my current book (The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon) I need to re-read my Harry Potter books, so I can prepared for the release of the NEW book in July.

I’ve also been learning to cook. This is a somewhat tricky endeavour, as I’m known by my family as the “one who can’t even make cookies that you slice of a roll.” I’ve been using recipes mainly from, and they are actually pretty tasty. My favorite so far has been the almond chicken. The only strange thing, is that her cooking times for meat are really screwy – they are all way too short. Hmm….I guess I wouldn’t be surprised if Martha had some type of super stove!

As my room is the hottest room in the house, it’s time to end this entry and go find something cool to drink (read: gin and tonic).

Saturday, June 04, 2005

I'm an Alumni!!

From now on my posting will be more regular. All the festivities are over now. I could write a really long post about every detail of graduation and reunions, but my words could not do justice to the emotions I felt this past week. I'll keep this post to some of the highlights for the curious.

1. Princeton reunions are AMAZING! The highlight of the weekend was the P-Rade. The classes march from across camp with the oldest alumni marching first and ending with the graduating class (that's me!). Interestingly, for the "sweet" class of 2005 our first march in the P-Rade became a right of passage as the weather unleashed a torrential downpour right as it was our time to march. We were certainly a spectacle! It really is something to have all the alumni cheering you on as you march past.

2. Graduation activities, which last for a few days, were done in a way that only Princeton could accomplish. Everything was incredibly beautiful - from hearing Toni Morrison speak, seeing Yo-Yo Ma, listening to my classmates speak, hearing Graham give his salutatorian speech (in Latin) and finally walking out Fitz-Randolf gate. Just beautiful....

3. Lastly, it was hard to say goodbye to my friends. Even writing about it now I still get a little misty. I know I'll see many of my friends frequently, but it was really difficult for me to say a more permanent farewell to friends like Graham who has enlisted in the U.S. Army and will be starting boot camp next month or Jason who is moving back to Texas or a miriad of other friends who are going across the ocean, far, far away. Hopefully, we'll see each other soon.

Best of luck to those readers who are finishing up the school year. I plan to post details about my summer fellowship for inquiry based science tomorrow or Monday, but for now, Good Night!