Wednesday, March 25, 2015

of an elementary education major!

Hey future Panthers! STAR Hannah here!

As some of you may know, I am an elementary education major! The returning students are starting to register for classes, so I thought I would give you guys some insight on what typical classes are in the schedule of an elementary education major!

I started out the fall semester of my freshman year taking mostly Liberal Arts Core classes. The good thing about being an elementary education major is that a lot of the LAC courses are also major courses, like Math Reasoning for Teachers I and any of the Inquiry into Life, Physical, or Earth Science classes!

I registered to take my Level 1's during this Spring semester. If you are not familiar with this terminology, it is short for saying "field experience." There are 3 levels of field experience, and then the fourth "level" is student teaching! Level 1's is usually two classes. One of them is called Dynamics of Human Development. I am currently in this course, and it is very interesting! It goes through the development of humans, beginning with the fetus--a course perfect for elementary education or early childhood majors! The second course is Level 1 Field Experience: Exploring Teaching. This is the class where you talk about what goes on while you're in the classroom in a surrounding school district. My field experience placement is in a first grade classroom at Orange Elementary in Waterloo! I am loving it so far! I have to be in the classroom for a minimum of 30 hours. At the end of the semester, I will have gone for at least 3 hours per week for 10 weeks. On Monday, I had the pleasure of teaching a short math lesson, and I had a lot of fun interacting with the students! It was like being the teacher for five minutes! I am currently working on a lesson plan to teach a mini-lesson about the story Chrysanthemum!

 Some of you may remember this from your childhood!

The best part about our College of Education here at UNI is that they make sure you get out into the classrooms before Spring semester of your second year! This creates a very hands-on experience since the classroom is where we are able to learn best from other experienced teachers. The video on the College of Education homepage ( is a great summary of just how awesome our program is! You can also find many helpful tips and resources on that website as well. Feel free to explore it a little bit!

Have a great week, future Panthers! :)

~STAR Hannah

Monday, March 23, 2015

...of UNI Now!

If you are a student planning on attending University of Northern Iowa, have been accepted, paid your acceptance fee, completed your housing contract, will submit your final transcripts when you graduate and have a summer orientation date scheduled, congratulations on your becoming an official member of the Panther family!

When you attend your orientation session, you get to stay on campus overnight, meet your new classmates, learn more about your major, register for classes, and attend the Pantherpalooza to play games, relax, and just have a great time. If you think that sounds pretty fun, just wait to see what else we have in store.

UNI has something brand new and exciting coming up this summer! Incoming students, after they attend their orientation, can come to campus for the new UNI Now program on August 19th and move in early! This will give new students the chance to get acclimated to the university, get to know their peers, and participate in fun activities put on by our admissions Cat Crew!

“How do I register?” you may ask. Well, you can do it easily online at! If you think orientation and its accompanying activities are fun and you can’t wait for your college experience, you haven’t seen anything yet!

...of Going Home for Spring Break!

Hey Future Panthers!

Spring break just ended and it's back to work and classes! Before, during and after spring break I heard a lot of people complaining about having nothing to do. So, I decided to put together some tips of fun things you can do over spring break even if you aren't going anywhere!


Have a great rest of your week F.P.'s!
~STAR Eliza

... Of Preparing for Midterms

Hey Future Panthers!

At UNI, midterms are approaching, which means a ton of homework, projects, and tests.  This is also the time where most students are either relieved or overwhelmed… 
Here are some tips to avoid feeling so overwhelmed about midterms during your time on campus!

·       Make to do lists or keep a planner
Lists are a great way to manage your activities, homework, and deadlines.  It is also a great feeling when you are able to cross items off your list!
·       Turn off Netflix
Many of us are guilty of binge watching Netflix, but when midterms are coming up, it is a good idea to either turn it off or minimize how much you spend your time watching it.  Instead, use this time to be productive by studying, completing projects, or doing homework
·       Find a study spot
Personally, I find it difficult to do intense studying in my room or house’s lounge.  Find a study spot that is quiet, not too busy, and without lots of distractions.
·       Study a little bit every day
Pretty self-explanatory; studying a little bit every day helps make the workload seem a lot less intimidating!
·       Don’t procrastinate
In the moment, procrastination might seem like a great idea, but do not do it.  The all-nighters, last minute study sessions, and panic about if you will finish a paper on time is not worth the stress.  Like I said before, get a little bit done every day.  Set little daily goals and this will help reduce the amount of stress that comes with procrastination.
·       Get plenty of rest
It might feel like you are constantly on the move, so be sure to get lots of rest to keep your energy up for the next day!
·       Exercise
Exercising is a great way to keep endorphins going!  It is also a great way to relieve stress while staying healthy!
·       Do something fun
This can be anything!  For my roommate, she has decided that a nap is what sounds the best right now.  I volunteered at Special Olympics with my friends.  Do something that will just make you relax, laugh, or be happy.
Sydney and me with our buddy Mark at Special Olympics
 -STAR Courtney

Monday, March 9, 2015

...Of a Winner!

Hello friends,
I have created a video for you guys about my experience volunteering for the Special Olympics last Sunday. I hope you like it and that you get involved with things like this in your community! :)


Peace.Love.Special Olympics
-Star Olivia

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

...of one of the STAR sisters!

Hello future Panthers!
Some of you may have figured out that two of the STARs members look very similar! That is because we are sisters! :) If you hadn't figured it out yet, no worries! Some people see it right away, and others do not see it at all!

Working at the UNI booth at the State Fair!
When deciding which college to attend, I was very unsure about attending the same college that my sister, Diann, was at. Turns out, it was the best decision I have made. After a lot of thinking and reconsidering, I decided it wasn't as big of a deal as I was making it seem. I love having my sister right there when I need her the most!
It comes in very handy when I am alone and just want to be with somebody. Diann will come eat with me at the Piazza, invite me over to her house to watch Netflix and do crafts, and attend football games with me!
Amazing Race Traditions Challenge
Eating in the Piazza with friends!

After the Pentatonix Concert
Being at the same college as my sister has helped make the transition run a lot more smoothly than it would have otherwise! She invites me to events held by the university that I would have never known about, attends shows with me by using our free tickets, and is a great mentor to me! She has shown me most of the ropes that are necessary for a sister to do, and I could not be more proud of how much she has helped me not only to make Cedar Falls a comforting place, but, more importantly, UNI a place I can call a home away from home! Love you, sister!
~STAR Hannah

Monday, March 2, 2015

...Of places to eat around campus!

Hey, future panthers! If you are anything like me, one of your favorite things is food! I heard good things about the food here at UNI, and I was not disappointed. There are two dining centers on campus. The Rialto is in the Towers Center, and the Piazza is on the other side of campus in the Redeker Center.

What new students might not know is that there are a variety of places on campus to use your dining dollars. At all these places, so many different foods are served, and you can check what foods are served on the UNI app, MyUNI, which can be found in the app store. This way, you will never miss your favorite food! With this many options offered, there is something for everyone on campus, even the pickiest eater!

All these places are perfect for those on the go, and there are so many places to get food other than the dining centers!

Enjoy the video, where you are able to see all the different places you can get food on campus with your dining dollars!

Until next time,

STAR Emily