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Fourth of July Freebie!

Today, is my first official day on vacation! I have already put new tires on my car today, unloaded my car of all of my supplies from the two weeks of summer engineering camp, changed the sheets, made muffins, and even some homemade strawberry jam! Now, we are headed up north to go fishing! Sitting on a boat, watching my two boys relaxing and hanging out is priceless! This weekend, however,  I got to go to a baseball tournament and enjoy some down time to create some fun units and relax in the sun at the same time!!!! Here are  my Monday Made Its..with.4th Grade Frolics!

Monday. made it #1...I made it to vacation!!!!!
WooHoo! Time to finally relax!
Monday Made it #2...I made my annual strawberry jam...a bit early because of all the rain...
Monday Made It! I made jam again this year for my college kiddos!  
Monday Made it #3...Guess what I made????

So is a summer fun freebie! Our favorite holiday is 4th of July! You can get together as a family in summer and just have fun...no need for gifts...major dinners....all that is for other holidays! This week, all of my kiddos are together and we are excited to make our annual 4th of July T-shirts! To celebrate my vacation...our favorite holiday...and just sharing some fun ideas that I have done with my kids when they were little...Here is the TPT link to the 4th of July FREEBIE!!
Enjoy your 4th of July weekend!


Summer Learning at the UWMC

I love when summer slows down a tad... I am still waiting for that to happen though.  I have had some fun watching my oldest daughters teach STEM classes. I think that they appreciate their "teacher" parents a bit more after dealing with supplies, lessons, fillers, conflict, and time management to list just a few...I was able to teach Cardboard Arcade last week and the kids seemed to really like it. These kiddos come from a completely different background then my students...let's just say mine are 83% free and reduced lunch...these kiddos get to go to the university for classes. Wouldn't change it for the world...money isn't everything...

It sure gave me a greater appreciation for my own school, my own 430 sweeties, my own room with my own supplies, my students that know my rules and expectations...I finished up now with summer just starting for me! I am very excited, but I wanted to reflect on what we did this last week...each day a different B for no Boring Summer kids!

Day 1: Bull's Eyes...STEM parachutes, STEM catapults, and STEM cars...X marks the spot

Day 2: Boating Fun and Building Sky Scrapers

Day 3: Buddies Building Coasters

Day 4: Boxes and Arcade Games

Day 5: Bring On Summer Fun! What we can engineer when we are BORED...

Here are some of the activities we did along the way...
Pipe insulation tubes are the best cheap investment for roller coaster fun! They bend, curve, and loop!

Boat building with aluminum foil and clips...parents and kids...all a board!

It's our cardboard arcade in action! The kids love to make games out of boxes! Another summer fun activity!

Catapult olympics outside...the cure for the summer time boredoms! We had marshmallow catapult catch, homerun derby, bull's eye, and golf! All with a few spoons, Popsicle sticks, rubber bands, binder clips, and creativity!

Boat building challenge takes us to the one blow competition!
Would love to hear how you find STEM ways to beat the boredom! I am finally on vacation!

Currently June

Well, I'll be...it is June and the end is in sight...almost! The last day with kiddos is June 9th, but I will be teaching two weeks of Collge for Kids...a summer school program at our local University. I get to teach engineering classes...STEM for 4-6th graders and my daughter this year along with our art teacher are doing a STEAM unit for two weeks for outgoing 1st-2nd graders. Everything from cities, circuses, safaris, and transportation...45 minutes to do the engineering and book connections...and 45 minutes for the art connection! Right after that....I am going to the energy fest...think hippie fest and energy all in one place! Woo Wee!!! I can't wait to post pictures!

Currently...though...I am thanking Farley...over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for hosting Currently!

Here in Wisconsin, we start school after Labor Day due to our tourism industry. Now, it's the 2nd and I still have ONE more week to go!

There are a lot of things to do before the end of this month and then I can breath. Easy Taco Bar...here we come for our graduation party! This should make it a bit easier as I am in class right up until the day of her grad party. Yikes. Pack it in!

I thought it would be easier with the second child going, but I am still sad that time just flew by. I get sad that this is my child that I tried hard to connect to, but it wasn't always easy. I will miss her as she goes off to college!

As for the stressers this year on teachers here in Wisconsin, Teacher Effectiveness has really been a challenge. The computer system it is set up on "Teach Scape" is unorganized and spending countless hours trying to prove that I am a Proficient teacher has taken me away from planning for kids and being with my family. My husband and I both were on "summative" year. Has anyone else felt the pain? Any other states having their teachers show artifacts and write learning objectives? Would love to hear from you...wanting to know if we are all alone... We also have to (in our district starting this year...) having to get credentialed with 8 extra hours of time outside of the school day on classes that they want us to take. One more thing on a teacher's platter.

Summer I see you...and I can't wait!

Wiggling Worms

Worms are slimy! Worms are creepy! Worms are scary! All comments coming from my kinders as they see our opened worm bin for the first time. I usually let them look at the bin, then I grab a huge handful of castings and worms and then watch the kids and worms squirm! I find an egg to show them where the worm comes from, I share facts as we go, and then I find a baby worm for them to see that worms aren't insects going through a metamorphosis... they look the same as an adult...just smaller.

We always find a baby or two...I love it when they say, "Oh, how cute!"
Now, it's time to give each little a plate with a wet paper towel...a worm...hand lens...and a toothpick. I make sure they know they don't have to touch the worm, but I want them to look for...
The worm bin in action...two worms mating...a bit of a lesson!
Do you see eyes? Nose? Mouth? Ears? Segments? Front end and back end? Clitellum? Bristles? Something in the intestines? We talk about discoveries. What discoveries can they make? My favorite discovery is when they figure out worms aren't so bad!

Getting a closer look at worms!

By the time we are ready to share our discoveries...

They are all smiles!
Give them a cut out worm...have them write one thing they learned or discovered...and have them glue it to a picture of the grass and dirt...and you have a great lesson for kindergarteners. Take a look at the book we read along with it...
Great read to help our little wiggling worms pay attention:)

Need some lessons to make science simple? Here is my worm pack... Worm You Way Over To TPT to find it!

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