Sunday, August 13, 2017

3rd grade Science - Scavenger Hunt


Subject Matter:   Science

Grade Level:  3rd

Lesson Objective:  Learners will demonstrate the ability to obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.

Common Core State Standard and/or Academic Content Standard: 

NGSS Standard: 3-ESS2-2. Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world

Climate and weather change based on your location. Many different things can impact weather.  Altitude, proximity to the Equator, ocean temperature, weather patterns, and time of year can all affect the type of weather we expect to occur.  This lesson will help us to understand the climates of different regions throughout the world.  Each group will be provided a region and, using the information below,  will create two Google Slides.  Slide #1 will discuss the climate of your region (Average temperatures and weather norms in 4 different months -- January, April, July, October).  In Slide #2, you will list factors you feel may affect the weather (distance from equator, mountains, ocean, etc).   Each group will present their findings and slides to the class.

Technology Standard: NETS for Students: Type out one specific student technology standard met with this lesson. 

Standard 3 – Knowledge Constructor

Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.

Website Addresses Used as Resources: 

1. -- This map will allow you to see the average temperatures around the globe during any given month.  The temperature scale along the side lets you know that the temperature is in Celsius.  Type the Celsius temperature into google to see how warm or cold the temperature is in Fahrenheit.

2. – This map will allow you to see the various landforms around the globe that could affect temperature and rain.  Double click on your region to zoom in and see more detail.

3. -- This map will allow you to see where your region is on the globe.  Is it close to the equator?  How about either of the poles (north or south).  Use this to help you formulate your hypothesis about temperatures in your region.

4.  **Bonus site** -- -- check this out if you are curious about seasonal temperatures. 

Student Research Questions:

Essential Question:  See discussion of essential questions in week seven documents and resources or learning activities folder.

1.  What is the climate of the area I am studying?

Subsidiary Questions:

2.  What is the difference between temperature and climate?
3.  How does my region's distance from the equator/poles affect the temperature of my region? 
4.  How might a mountain affect temperature?
5.  How might a mountain affect precipitation?
6.  How might being near a desert affect temperature?
7.  How might being near a desert affect precipitation?
8.  How might being near the ocean affect temperature?
9.  With what we know about the water cycle, how might being near the ocean affect precipitation/temperature?
10.  ** Bonus Question** -- How might the Earth's tilt determine our season?

Sunday, November 13, 2016

New Story!

My newly published story, "Hansel and Gretel : The Teenage Years" is available today at Bewildering Stories!  What if Hansel and Gretel weren't the innocent children the Brothers Grimm imagined?  Check out this fractured fairy tale as well as many other amazing stories at!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

New Novel Alert! Cindy James -- Their Highland Trust

Check out my cousin, Cindy James's, debut novel, "Their Highland Trust."  If you like time travel and steamy romance, this novel is for you! The story follows a strong-willed American research scientist, Eleanor Grant, and a hunky Scottish police officer, Conall Cameron, through the highlands and back in time on a journey they, and you, won't soon forget.

Beautifully written, witty and very hot, this book is an addictive read!  The novel is available in ebook and paperback at the following locations:

Paperback -

ebook --

Barnes and Noble
ebook --

Also, be sure to check out Cindy James's author page (BiokmstWrites) to get information on this and future installments of the Cameron Laird Series!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Starting from Scratch

Anyone who writes knows that the most common piece of writing advice echoes the sentiment of a popular shoe company.  To paraphrase -- You have to sit down and do it.  It doesn't matter what else is going on in your life, if you want to be a writer, you have to devote a whole lot of time, and a little (or lot) of blood, sweat and tears.  It's what you might call Writing 101.

Well, I've been failing Writing 101.

About a year and a half ago, I relocated from central Ohio (Go Bucks!) to sunny, northern California. It was a huge move!  As I packed boxes and then unpacked boxes, I had visions of new sights and sounds stimulating my creative juices.  I thought views of the Pacific, rugged mountains, dry heat and new cultures would cause my imagination to kick into overdrive.  Once the house was unpacked, the children enrolled in school, a new job procured and new routines developed, I did thoroughly enjoy exploring the new place I was learning to call home.  I found myself constantly amazed by the beauty before me -- the clouds hanging on the mountain tops, the rugged cliffs which jutted right into the sea, the sunsets over the bays.  I met and continue to meet wonderful people and absolutely love my job as a Paraeducator in a special needs classroom. I've been happy.  I've been intrigued.  But most of all, I've been tired!

It's only after a year and a half that I'm starting to feel like writing again.  Until very recently, the thought of sitting with my computer on my lap after a full day of living and working seemed like a pipe dream.  I've missed writing. I miss my characters.  I miss the stories.  But stepping so far out of my comfort zone and having to completely learn a new place has just sapped my creative energy.  I think about writing all the time.  I come up with new angles and ideas for the stories I was writing before I took a break.  And it isn't as if I've written nothing.  On the rare occasion I've attempted to write, however, I generally end up asleep with my laptop perched precariously on the edge of my lap.

So here I am, finally, ready to give it a go again.  The biggest problem I've noticed as I revisit my old work is that it truly is like starting over.  I feel like I'm at step one as I agonize over word choice and question whether the story I'm trying to tell even has any merit.  Rejections sting a little more as I wonder if I would have done something different with the story a few years ago when writing was apart of my routine.  

I'm enrolling on Writing 101 again.  This time, I hope with a whole lot of work and a little more of that blood, sweat and tears, I'll get my groove back!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A New Year

After a long hiatus, I am back at it -- finally! 

2015 was filled with lots of exciting events -- a move across the country, a new job and little travel. Something 2015 was not filled with?  Writing.  My new digs, new surroundings and new day to day routines left me feeling excited and sometimes overwhelmed.  There were so many new things to see and do that my brain was exhausted and utterly devoid of creativity.  So many nights I sat on my couch, laptop perched on my legs with a completely empty Word document on the screen, taunting me.  I wanted to write and felt untold amounts of guilt for not tending to my stories.  My characters invaded my thoughts, begging me to tell their tales.  I'd hand write a scene here and there, or try my hand at a prompt, but, when it came down to it, the creativity well was dry.  I thoroughly missed it, but had nothing interesting to say.

Enter NaNoWriMo.

Every November I get the NaNoWriMo bug.  I don't know what it is about staying up into the wee hours of the morning, plugging away at a seemingly insurmountable word count that is so appealing to me, but I love it.  I did not hit my 50K words, but I did clear the halfway point and I was thrilled with that.  To go from not writing at all to making a serious dent in a story I've been kicking around for a few years made me feel great and helped me to start chipping away at the writer's block.  A few months later I'm back to writing and submitting short stories while still plugging away at my NaNo novel.  The creativity well isn't pumping at full speed yet, but it is definitely more than a trickle.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Plan B Magazine Volume IV

Check out my new story, "Death By Fiction," in the e-book anthology, Plan B Magazine -- Volume IV!  The anthology, which features many great crime/mystery stories can be found at the following sites:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Con(viction) --- Anthology of the Con #2

Good news!  Gothic City Press, the publishers of the anthology, "Con(viction) -- Anthology of the Con #1" are at it again with a 2nd installment!  In case you are unfamiliar, the original anthology included fiction with a darker slant for people who attend cons by people who attend cons and included my story, "Decisions, Decisions."  The second installment, "Con(viction) -- Anthology of the Con #2" will include a follow up to "Decisions, Decisions" titled "Consequences."  Mark your calendars!  The the official release date of "Con(viction) -- Anthology of the Con #2" will be October 18th, 2013!