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Showing posts with label Christmas stations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas stations. Show all posts

Christmas STEM Wish List Ideas

I am trying to be better prepared this holiday season because traveling between two schools my friends stinks...bad! I set out my supplies, teach a half a day, pack up and drive to my next school over 20 minutes away...to unload, and teach in the afternoon, packing it all back up and starting all over at the other school the next day. I do that two times a week. When it was just one school I could set out everything and it just stayed there ready for kids and lessons. Now, I share a room with another teacher and dragging everything with me is so not fun!

So, as I plan, I started to think about all my teacher friends out there that struggle with just one science or STEM lesson per week. They worry about finding supplies...worry about fitting in an activity that is meaningful. We worry that school isn't quite as fun as it use to be at times...

I compiled a list of packs that I am using this December to not only make our time together a bit more memorable and fun, but I just love when I can tie in what I am teaching in Science to a STEM activity.

Here is a list of activities that I am using this month to bring a little holiday fun into my Science and STEM classroom as well as my after school classes that you can put on your wish list!

Wish List Item #1: STEM Christmas Stations

Activities: 
*Packaging Presents
*Gumdrop Chimney
*Treat Table For Santa
*Mystery Bag Toy Making


These stations I use with my kindergarten and second graders. When we learn about solids in second grade, I love adding the mystery bag toy making activity where everyone makes a gift for someone and we do a secret snowman exchange! My kinders love gumdrop chimneys!

Wish List Idea #2: STEM Elf Adventures

Activities: 
*How to Catch an Elf...Elf trap
*Elf Adventures 

I love this activity and I will be doing this with my after school classes, but I have done this activity with 2nd through 5th graders for many years. I love seeing their elf traps!

Wish List Idea #3: STEM Christmas Tree Challenge

Activities: 
*Christmas Tree competition
*Building a Christmas tree
*creating a Christmas ornament

This pack I use after I teach about conifer and deciduous trees to make some fun connections with holiday trees! The kids love building the trees and making an ornament to hang on their tree at home. It's a great way to make something for families!

Wish List Idea #4: STEM Candy Cane Challenge

Activities:
*a "tacky" red and white chained garland
* candy cane sleighs
* a device that picks up candy canes!

I love this pack for my after school classes because I can then send a fun candy cane treat home with them! I can't always do that when working with over 60 students or more per grade level. We use the garland on our tree in our hallway and the sleighs are taken home as an ornament or present!



Activities:
*14 cards that students measure along with an answer key and record sheets
*12 slides that review metric units such as mass, volume, and length, record sheet and answer key
as well as STEM volume activity

Every year, I have to work with a grade level on their SLO, this year again I am helping our third graders with their measurement chapters in their math book. I tie in STEM along with measurement, but it isn't always easy to do. Around the holidays, I have a bit more flexibility to be able to tie in a different theme. My students all love the digital activity and when their done with the cards and digital activity they can focus on the STEM connector! 

Wish List #6: Holiday Block Building

Activities:
*16 cards for building with blocks
*3 STEM connections
*1 writing connection

This pack is used with my kindergarten and first grade students the last week right before break. We learn about shapes and seasons and even tie in some special traditions that our friends might participate in!



Want to find all of these wish list ideas and more? Head over to my TPT store right this way... and watch for more ideas in my next few posts that will show you how to set these Christmas ideas up and what they look like in action! Happy December!


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STEM Reindeer Activity and Science Connections

When students think about the holidays they often think of Christmas trees, candy canes, and reindeer. Celebrate the holidays through activities that will connect a story book to a science topic...then add a sprinkle of STEM for a great hands on project!

This will allow your learners the opportunity to investigate adaptations that help reindeer survive in their environment as well as add a bit of holiday fun in a hands-on academic way!

Objective: Investigate adaptations of a reindeer to find ways that reindeer are able to survive in the tundra and then apply it by making a reindeer that shows those adaptations.

Materials: 

  • QR codes that show reindeer facts (included in my Reindeer Pack)/ reading material that show reindeer facts/watch a video that shares reindeer facts
  • toilet paper rolls
  • brown pipe cleaners
  • brown pom poms
  • masking tape
  • brown construction paper
I use the Epic Book Reindeer by Dee Phillips. Epic books is free for educators!

Lesson: 

1. What do you know about reindeer? Where do they live and what do you think they do to survive where it is so cold? 
2. Today, we are going to learn about reindeer and their adaptations that they have that helps them survive. An adaptation is a change in the body to fit a location.
3. Read the story Reindeer
4. Now, have them create an anchor chart that has them share what they learned. This is a great spot to introduce the STEM activity. 

If you have the pack...share with them the QR Code Reindeer Game. They will get time to Scoot around the room to find ways that reindeer adapt. This will help them when they create their reindeer out of supplies you will provide.  Give them the record sheet and have them collect information by scanning the qr codes for facts!

5. We then gather to add to our anchor chart. This is where I introduce the STEM activity. They will be creating a reindeer out of the materials provided. They must show adaptations that they learned and be able to provide evidence as to what they learned by drawing and labeling their STEM reindeer. 

6. After giving learners time to create their reindeer, we then share adaptations. We create a herd of reindeer for display in our classroom. If children get done early we have them create a habitat using a box display, cotton balls, green and brown paper, blue paper for water...

7. They each add a fact tent to the display sharing one thing from their facts they collected or what is on our anchor chart! 

I know tis' the season to add some fun STEM, but if you are like me...I am on evaluation and I want to make sure that if we are doing a hands-on STEM project that we are tying it into Science so that the academics goes hand in hand with the S in STEM! 

I have included the lesson and the STEM activity sheet! Sign up for my newsletter for more free ideas! Find it by following this link: STEM Reindeer Freebie...want more? QR codes, adaptation ideas, more STEM connections...find the complete pack here: http://bit.ly/SSYReindeerpack

This was a perfect time to integrate reindeer facts, an adaptation lesson, and STEM connection...on a side note...when I asked my second graders to share facts about real reindeer that live in the tundra before we read our story...each "fact" revolved around Santa and his reindeer. After reading our book and going through our QR code game...they really had a framework about other reindeer, not just Santa's! 
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Energy Goodies On My Christmas List

Now that my electricity unit is almost over, I wanted to find some new resources to add to what I am already doing. I remembered that this spring I got some really fun STEM lanterns from Tenergy, which was a new toy company building STEM products. I used them with my students and it  allowed me to teach how to read directions, as well as how we use energy in different ways. We focused on mechanical energy as well as the idea of potential and kinetic energy . It was amazing to see which one of my student teams could really understand how to follow each step to create a workable lantern!


On Thanksgiving...these lanterns will be on sale and I am picking up a few more to make sure that each group has one to work with!  You can find them on Amazon right here!

Some other fun items I have on my radar for my Christmas list are the GeoRobots which will allow me to add a solar activity to my energy unit this next spring. My eye is on this product because it is on sale on Black Friday! Here is the link for the GeoRobots! Whenever I can add a STEM kit at a reasonable price I am all for it! I have some STEM money left and this does hit two BIG ideas for me! Doesn't this look fun?
So now that I have some Tenergy items ready for my Christmas list...I have my eye on a great TomoRobot for our after school STEM class! I would love to build a robot and this Tenergy item is on sale Sunday! 
I love following companies that have great resources for my STEM and Science classes! Just thought I would share a few things on my STEM Chirstmas list....

What's on your list?
Here are some December ideas for Science and STEM from the Science School Yard~
something for everyone! Don't forget to check out my Gingerbread Activities, too!

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STEM Holiday Connections

Find the ELF Pack HERE!
One of my favorite things to do around the holidays is to find a way for all of the 400+ students K-5th grade be able to connect a fun seasonal book to a STEM activity.

Up until this point, we have been able to do some quick Halloween STEM activities, and a few NGSS STEM connections in a few of the classes, however using the FOSS road map that our district has developed is what often drives my theme or lessons. Lucky enough, I have been able to find ways to join some of those lessons together as well as integrate activities using our Ipads...so it allows me some flexibility to add NGSS...STEM...and extra activities that I create that go with our theme.



Find the GINGERBREAD STEM pack HERE!
Here are some tips to integrate any of the fun STEM packs that I have in my TPT store!

Tip 1: Pick a theme

This week's lessons  look like this...

K-weather connections using Three Cheers for Tacky, building a structure for the Penguin to keep him warm using toothpicks and marshmallows and a fun penguin pattern...they sure are Tacky!
1st Grade- How to Catch an Elf...we are learning about size and property words.
2nd Grade-FOSS Solids and Liquids and the Gingerbread Man
3rd Grade-FOSS Water...make a boat to float on water to keep the Gingerbread Man from having to rely on the fox to get across the river
4th Grade-FOSS Human Body and Elf on a Shelf... Mr. Bones style and Elf Traps
5th Grade-FOSS Mixtures and Solutions and Mr. and Mrs. Clause and separating mixtures

 Tip 2: Pick a Picture Book

With the opportunities to integrate some STEM lessons, I always try to find a fun picture book that will help set the tone. Here are some of the books I am using this week.

Tip 3: Find ways to integrate what you are already doing in your classroom...Look at the standards and find a way to incorporate them into a hands-on STEM project! I also challenged my older kiddos to finish something that was in our road map before they could work on a STEM project, and you should see how fast they start to work to get to be able to build!

Looking for some winter or New Year STEM or some Christmas alternatives? Check it out at my TPT STORE. Follow the link HERE.

Hang in there...just a few more days for those of us that have to teach right up until break! Happy Holidays!

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How To Catch An Elf and Elf-tacular Giveaway!

It's that time of year...time for laughter time for cheer! Just this Saturday, I had to read at Barnes and Noble for a fund raiser for our school. As I picked several books to read to the little kiddos that were hanging out in the children's section of the book store, I grabbed one that I thought could inspire me to add it to my right before break STEM activity.

You can see where this is going...Time to trap an elf! As I read the story to the kids surrounding me...I was already formulating my own plan to trap some elf trap makers right before the holidays!
Using everyday items such as cardboard boxes, cups, foil...your learners can try to catch an elf, too!
Here are some of my littles and their creations! This activity is good for all ages! Right before the holidays...it is always great to find a way to channel their excitement!
Catch Your Own Elf Pack HERE!

Another way to add a little excitement into your life, join our ELF-TACULAR GIVEAWAY!


 My friend, Nikki, over at Teaching Autism has organized a fun little hop for you to participate in!

Hop on over to each and every blog post within the loop. Gather a new letter at each site. Follow the rafflecopter to enter to win a great TPT Gift Certificate just in time for the holidays! Here is my letter to add to the others...

Now, it's time to click on the picture below to head to the next blog, Scissors and Crayons for another
letter! Thanks for joining me...and good luck!
  

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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TPT Wish List Linky and $100 Give Away!

Since Teachers Pay Teachers LOVES the teaching community so much, they are throwing a Cyber Monday, November 28th through Tuesday, Tuesday, December 29th. This starts tomorrow so get your shopping lists ready! I am linking up with Daisy Designs to help you with your list and share some items that buyers have loved in my own TPT Store: The Science School Yard!
 With over 155 Science Products to choose from...here are three of my favorites that I want to share with you...
 This pack includes four stations with very simple supply lists. Packaging Presents requires some typing paper, tape, scissors and packaging peanuts for filling...

Gumdrop Chimneys need toothpicks, gumdrops, measuring tape, and a Santa to see if he will fit...

Santa' Treat Table needs newspaper, tape, scissors, a plate picture that is provided and a school carton of milk for weight (you can always use a glass of water...)

The Mystery Bag Toy (so love this one especially when we do the gift exchange) needs items you collect such as toilet paper rolls, yarn, buttons, colored paper, or cheap items you can  get from the Dollar Store such as pom poms and pipe cleaners.

This pack is great for all ages and after using these ideas for two years, I love the excitement my students have when they are creating!


 For those of us that are implementing NGSS into our classrooms, but don't have any curriculum that was given to us...this pack has been a great way to teach animal adaptations. My store has a variety of NGSS inspired products that help make this a bit easier for you!
As a Science Teacher that has to teach K5 and over 400 kiddos...I was always trying to find one way to build STEM activities into our existing FOSS curriculum. I also wanted to try to figure out a way to reward hard work and I know that STEM is always a success! Not only can I teach positive growth mindset, but we can teach the engineering process, team building, and presentation skills! These 32 activities allow me the flexibility to use one or more ideas for one or more grade levels! With the 28% discount this $21 product is now quite a reduced cost compared to other STEM packs with fewer activities!

These items not what you are looking for right now? Take a look at the STEM video and some other great STEM packs to get you through the winter!

I have also partnered up with TPT and several other amazing Teacher Authors to help you win something really amazing... Jump on over to my Instagram Page for your chance to  win a $100.00 TPT Gift Card for the BIG SALE!

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Unwrapping Holiday Ideas Linky: STEM STYLE


The kids are all nestled all soundly in bed...while visions of really excited students go around in YOUR head. Kids love to be actively engaged! I know that can be hard when it gets cold outside or you are needing to test your students, or that our kiddos know there is a break in sight...

Focus On Fifth...a team of teachers devoted to 5th grade...(a grade I taught for over 15 years, until I switched to K-5 science) are hosting a great link up to celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas! Here is how we can celebrate along with them...whether you teach 5th or like me anything in between, here are great ideas for the holidays!

A great way to support academics, yet unwrap some holiday fun,  is to read a great book that can tie in Science Stations...STEM engineering fun...or even team building reading...writing...science activities! Let's get started!!!


Here are some easy STEM steps to unwrap some holiday fun:
1. Pick a great picture book to start discussion. For my Penguin stations I like to use...

I use this book because it has great facts about Penguins and I can then go into an anchor chart that allows me to discuss what they would need if they lived where penguins did...and then what we would need if we were penguins. It leads into many STEM station ideas. I also to unwrap some fun with the book...
2. Find a transition with your book as to why students are engineering. This is a fun way to add some science adventure into your day! It is great for students to be themselves...and work as a team! Great transition into engineering when Tacky and his penguin pals can work together, too!

3. Using the scientific process is key to making another key transition...making connections through writing. For each station that  my students participate in...we follow up by drawing... reflecting... modifying...and sharing our ideas with the class(which are included for each station in the packs!

If you want to unwrap some Gingerbread fun...cookie decorating...gingerbread house making...reading and writing...and STEM science fun...Here are some more great ideas for before and after Christmas break!

Again...First, unwrap a great book!
Second...make connections....and predictions...plan...then create...


Finally...reflect...modify...and then share! And repeat with another great STEM station!


Here are some great STEM products or what I like to call Teacher's Little Helpers to get you through the holiday season and beyond...


STEM Penguin Stations on TPT

STEM Christmas Stations on TPT

Gingerbread STEM Station Pack on TPT

Christmas Science Stations on TPT



 STEM Winter/Christmas Stations
STEM Winter/Christmas Stations for Littles on TPT
Add some holiday cheer into your classroom day by unwrapping more great ideas over at...

Happy Holidays from the Science School Yard!




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