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the network for middle school math and science teachers

Vivian Barker
  • Female
  • Dunlap, TN
  • United States
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Vivian Barker's Discussions


Replied Nov. 21, 2010

5 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Tom Jenkins Nov. 28, 2010.


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So many great ideas....... The main ones that I try to focus on: Always have more stations than groups. Laminate and fasten the directions so that they don't get written on, ripped, carried off, etc. In larger groups it is sometimes helpful to a…
November 28, 2010
Hello, I have discovered that the students have done better when the centers came to them. Sometimes this wasn't possible, but when it was it worked great. I had 2 or 3 sets of the materials for the centers and gave the students a time frame that th…
November 22, 2010
WOW--so much to think about and great ideas!! I don't know how to reply to each of you to say thanks, so I am saying thanks this way. I really want to differentiate my instruction and be able to work with students in small groups, and I think this i…
November 21, 2010
Hello Vivian, Jessica has some great advice. Another idea is to have more stations than groups of students, so that students who finish first do not have to wait. AND/OR build in a page that is a reading/react activity they can work on while waiting…
November 19, 2010
Hi Vivian, I used to use stations with my upper elementary and middle school students - they would rotate through a number of them within a class period or two. It's been a while, but here's what I remember about the organization: -The simpler the…
November 16, 2010
Vivian Barker added a discussion
I am thinking of creating centers for my 7th grade science class and am wondering if anyone else has tried this? What are some things I need to consider prior to creating the centers? I have 40 min classes and see anywhere from 26 to 8 students in e…
November 16, 2010
The 3D graphic organizer was wonderful. Why hadn't I thought of making lamanted cards and have students sort (like a vein diagram) using the floor. It was interesting to see how discussions could occur with others to verify answers. Already used in…
November 16, 2010
Wonder how I am going to organize all the great material received at the convention!!!
November 9, 2010
Even though I am new to facebook and all this instant messages--I believe as a profession the last person I want to see my personal comments (when I do post) are my students. There are other avenues to facilitate communication with students in a pro…
November 5, 2010
Thanks for posting this!!! I attended the scienc vocabulary sesion at the same time--you just made my day!! Hope to attend the Grapic Organizers in 3D tomorrow morning.
November 5, 2010
Just realizing that I hadn't joined prior to NM.SA-thought I did. Oh well, still learning all this tec stuff.
November 5, 2010
Vivian Barker might attend Ryan J. Gauntz's event
November 5, 2009 to November 7, 2009
NMSA's Annual Conference and Exhibit (NMSA09) gives educators the information, tools, and encouragement necessary to provide a high-quality education for every young adolescent. NMSA09 features over 400 sessions across 40 topics, including math, sci…
June 20, 2009
Vivian Barker is now a member of Middle School Portal
June 20, 2009

Profile Information

Which best describes your position?
Classroom Teacher (preK-12)
What discipline(s) do you teach?

Comment Wall (9 comments)

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At 4:30pm on October 21, 2010, Kim Lightle said…
Hi Vivian - So glad you are taking advantage of the free registration to NMSA. We'll be sending out more information next week. Looking forward to meeting you - Kim
At 3:41pm on August 13, 2009, Kim Lightle said…
Hi Vivian - Hope your summer is going well! I wanted to update you on our free webinars and hope you can join us for one of them soon.

We've had three Tech Talks so far - one on Interactive Notebooks, Moodle, and Digital Storytelling. You can get to the recordings of those by clicking on the Web Archive link.

You can see all our upcoming events by clicking on the Events tab. The next TechTalk topic is Using Wikis. We've got lots more topics to cover in the next few months - technology, pedagogy, content knowledge, all sorts of fun stuff! Any ideas on additional topics or feedback you have would be greatly appreciated! Kim
At 2:04pm on June 29, 2009, Mary Henton said…
Well, Vivian, your reason for joining and one of our reasons for doing this project are in direct alignment. Yeah! One of the goals of MSP2 is to help teachers develop knowledge, skills, and comfort in using digital tools for teaching and learning. So I'm glad to know that you are interested to learn your way around a social networking site, such as MSP2.

If you haven't already, poke around, check out the various tools and pages. Read and comment on a blog. At the bottom of each blog and discussion, there is a "follow" button you can click that will send an email to you whenever there is a new posting or comment to that discussion. This is one way to keep up with a conversation.

We have started a group called, "How's that working for ya?" as a place for people to post questions about the site, give feedback, ask questions about how to use the site.

We have three Teacher Leaders on the site who are middle school teachers with deep experience in math and/or science and enjoy using and trying out new technologies. Feel free to contact either of them (Karolee Smiley, Tom Jenkins, and Todd Williamson) at any time with specific questions. Also, let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

At 12:02am on June 28, 2009, Karolee Smiley said…
Well, you are on the right start. Everyone can see you post, but since it was a reply to me, it ended up on my page. That is one of the quirky things about social networks... its a network. Every page is interconnected and things link from this page and the other page.
For us Digital Immigrants, all of this is a pretty steep learning curve. The most important thing for us to be aware of is that this is all second nature for some of our students. So many have MySpace and FaceBook accounts, interact in virtual worlds, create and share media... We need to learn all this stuff so we can keep up with them. :)
If you want to share things on your page, you can create your own blog, which you can add to whenever you want. Or you can add comments, like all of us have. But, over time, a comment gets pushed down and off the page.
Hope that gives you some ideas. Keep playing around. As we all know as educators, we learn more by doing. Have fun. If you have trouble, give a little shout out. Don't ever let yourself get to the point of frustration, because we are here for you.
At 1:32pm on June 23, 2009, Karolee Smiley said…
Hi Vivian
Welcome to MSP2
NMSA sounds like a great conference that every middle school teacher should attend.
So, besides working with middle school students, what do you do? Do you teach science or math? Or do you have a different connection?
I encourage you to explore the site, join groups and add to discussions. The more we all share, the more we all can learn.
If you need any help or would like to see something added, just let us know.
At 12:43pm on June 22, 2009, Mary Henton said…
P.S. There are 2 other folks from TN in MSP2: Sue Grunwald (from Brentwood) and Casey Nicole Garrison (from Baxter). I have no idea if either of these communities is near you, but thought I'd let you know!
At 12:38pm on June 22, 2009, Mary Henton said…
Welcome, Vivian! So glad you've joined MSP2. Also glad to know that you're considering attending NMSA09.

Would you be willing to share a little bit more about yourself? What science topics fascinate you? What you love to teach? What you'd like to gain from MSP2? How MSP2 might best support and assist you?

I hope you'll be willing to jumjp in, explore, participate in discussions, or comment on some of the blogs.

At 9:32am on June 22, 2009, Jessica Fries-Gaither said…
Hi Vivian - So glad you joined the MSP2 network. We're just getting started so any ideas or feedback you have would be greatly appreciated! We've got lots of resources for middle school science teachers - look at the left side of the Main page - Science Publications, Diigo lists, and two project blogs - Connecting News to the National Science Education Standards and Exemplary Resources for Middle School Math and Science.

We also have groups - Science, Math, Integrating Technology (and others) - I would encourage you to join one or more and start a discussion. Are there any specific issues or topics you would like to see addressed?

Again, welcome!
At 8:54am on June 22, 2009, Ryan J. Gauntz said…
Hi Vivian,

Top two reason's for attending the National Middle School Association Annual Conference—I think it would really depend on the person and what they're hoping to get out of it. The conference has a very large scope, offering something for every attendee. It's probably best if you hear what past attendees have said in the Attendee Reviews section of our Web site. You can also check out our Conference Ning. On NMSA09 Conference Connections you can connect with other grades educators that are also planning on attending the conference.

What I think the top two reasons to attend would be 1) the hundreds of targeted sessions presented by experts in middle grades education. These sessions provide everyone with the opportunity to explore and learn about topics critical to today's educators. They also provide many techniques and best practices that can be implemented your first day back to school. 2) The netorking possibilities with other middle level educators. This event is targeted for middle grades educators, every attendee has something in common with everyone there. It's a time to celebrate middle level education and leave refreshed, renewed, and inspired.

I hope that helps with your decision. Please feel free to explore the conference Web site www.nmsa.org/annual. We have some great videos up on the home page. You can also leave comments and/or questions on our NMSA09 Conference Blog. The blog is ran by our Director of Conferences and Events, Al Summers. I'm sure he can answer any questions you may have.

Hope to see you in Indianapolis, Ryan



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