I've been teaching in a middle school for over 13 years... I know.. I know... some of you think I'm crazy, and some of you are thinking 'right on sista!
I wasn't sure if middles were for me at first. I had taught many different grades in elementary buildings before venturing into AIS Reading and eventually a sixth grade classroom. Some days are LONG... but most days fly by.
One of things I love most about middle school doesn't even happen in MY classroom. It's the special area class they get to take and learn about. In our school my smarties take 10 weeks each of art, music, technology and FACS (family and consumer sciences). As seventh graders, two more classes, one in tech (computers) and FACS (careers) are added. I must tell you, ALL of our special area classes are amazing. My smarties leave FACS sewing buttons, pillows, and even create walker bags for a nursing home as a community project. But what I am really impressed with is technology. These teachers are so creative. One of them is really into hydroponics.
He chooses several students throughout the year to help with the plant care. The students grow lettuce which they sell for $1.00 a bundle. It is DELISH! The picture below shows the 'lettuce wheel." unfortunatley, the last crop was taken last week before I could get to the lab to take a picture.. <boo hoo>
This year the tech department at our school received a grant to add fish to the hydroponic system. Thus the Tilapia tank was born.
SO COOL! We are looking forward to having a little kale and peppers at our staff luncheon in a few weeks. Our building will be getting a major renovation over the summer too. So that means we get to eat 'da fishes too! Filets anyone?
Because it was new and didn't arrive until 3/4 of the year was gone, the science and math departments couldn't really get involved with 'da fishes.' But as a math teacher I have big plans for next year when we complete our statistics unit. We can't get much more real world hands on than integrating subject areas RIGHT IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD!
Do you have any cool activities or specials at your school? Leave me a comment below and share them! I'd love to hear what makes your school unique!