Midnight Star

United States - Colorado - Colorado Springs
Midnight Star
10 votes
Teaching "HOW to think" not "WHAT to think"
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Concept maps are an excellent way to organize complex information in a simple and visual manner. This concept map covers information about intrusive and extrusive igneous features. This worksheet can be used as: A formative check A quiz
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I have been teaching Geology and Astronomy since 1995. Teaching these subjects is my passion and I have spent over two decades creating and improving activities and assessments in these fields. In addition, I have served on multiple committees in my district that have been designed to help other teachers in my district become better educators.


I believe in getting students to think things through. I am known for saying "I am not going to give you the answer, but I will give you a hint." My motto: be passionate, strict, fair and goofy! Many might find this to be contradictory, but if you set your behavioral expectations high, and are consistent, you can be the goofiest and most passionate teacher you can be. This is how you "win over" students!


I have had the honor of being selected "Teacher of the Year" by the graduating class twice in my career. There are many amazing teachers in my building and I consider these two honors the highest I have had as an educator. In addition, I recently traveled abroad with students to study geology in the field. Many came with me and were thrilled to learn more about the amazing field I love so much. This may not be considered to be an honor, but it was an honor for me to be able to share such an amazing experience with such spectacular students! I hope to share more travels with students in the future.


I have a bachelor's degree in Earth Science, Secondary Education, and a master's degree in Geology.


Welcome to the world of MidnightStar; where passion meets creativity and rigor. The new school year has begun and it is time to push students to think in ways they have not thought before. I start off the year with a very challenging topic—Topographic Maps! This topic has many real-world applications and is used in many fields of study. Few of my juniors over the years have worked much with topographic maps and find it to be a challenge. Starting the year with such a topic tends to focus their attention in class and has the added side effect of eliminating negative or distracting behavior. They simply do not have time to get in trouble! This unit starts off with very basic information and builds quickly to complex critical thinking activities and application of the skills they have learned. I end the unit with the “Design and Island” project that gives students a hands-on approach to demonstrating their understanding. This activity is differentiated so that students can choose their difficulty level. Follow me as I progress through this challenging unit on topography and I will share insights, suggestions and misconceptions about reading, drawing and interpreting topographic maps. Students: Get Ready to Learn!

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