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Showing posts with label New Year. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Year. Show all posts

New Year...New STEM Ideas

Happy New Year's Eve eve! I hope you are busy soaking in the last few days of 2019. I'll make this short and sweet so that you can back to enjoying your much deserved break. I have been taking some time to breath this break. I have watched a ton of Netflix and played many games of scrabble. I even took some tests to see how the new year will go for me! I am a rooster born in 1969 and they say 2020 is going to be my year! I also learned on another test that I am a type 2 on my enneagram test which means I am a supportive advisor...so I guess that means I am going to help my teacher friends a lot this new year! So let's get started!


I have a bit of time right now to plan for Thursday, back to school. I thought I would share some New Year STEM ideas to get you ready for the new year!

New Year STEM Idea 1: Confetti Thrower/Popper

Suggested Materials: 
  • balloons
  • toilet paper tubes/cups
  • rubber bands
  • little papers for their resolutions
  • things to decorate the tubes such as markers, stickers, pompoms...

Book Connection: Squirrel's New Year's Resolution



Big Idea:

Students can build shooters in order to fling their resolutions to a circle, where each resolution gets picked up by someone else and read out loud. This gives them an audience and gives others great ideas for the new year!


New Year STEM Idea 2: Ball Drop

Suggested Materials:

  • different types of paper
  • string/yarn/fish line
  • cardboard tubes
  • binder clips/paper clips
  • dowels/rulers
  • tape, scissors, glue
  • variety of small balls or have them create their own
Big Idea:

Teams create a new year's eve ball drop after learning about the history of the ball drop. This is also a perfect time to talk about traditions in your classroom after students come back from a break and often have just participated in a tradition. 

Video Connection:


New Year STEM Activity 3: Noise Makers

Suggested Materials:
  • rice/dried beans/popcorn
  • toilet paper rolls
  • popsicle sticks
  • egg cartons
  • plastic spoons
  • paper
  • glue/tape/markers/crayons
Big Idea:

Sound science lessons can fit nicely here. Each student creates a noise maker using the supplies set out after generating a list of instruments they use in music class or have seen being played. 

Book Connection:

A great book that shows all of the cultural celebrations that New Year's brings. I use black-eyed peas to signify good luck like the book!


New Year STEM Activity 4: New Year Hat

Materials:

I will only let them use paper and glue this year...last year we used way too many pipe cleaners! You have to say we all can learn! I think they are amazing out of pipe cleaners though...your call.

Big Idea:

I teach cycles and patterns in our universe for a science lesson. This is a great book to talk about new beginnings and about how cycles of events continue to come and go. This book can be read all year long!

Book Connection:
















All of these ideas can be found all in one place! Grab the New Year STEM pack this week for a great hands on way to add science and STEM to your first week back! 
My whole store will be on sale to ring in the new year from January 31st-January 1st! Perfect time to get it on sale and to also grab the Chinese New Year Pack for January 25th!




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Science School Yard Year In Review

I was reading over some fun year in review articles now that 2016 is nearly over and I thought that it would be fun to look back at the Science School Yard and review this year's checklist.




My goals this year were fairly simple...set up a new classroom instead of being in the teacher's lounge...continue to add STEM and a bit of Makerspace into my science lessons, figure out how to use the Ipads that each of the 400 students that I work with will bring to me each and every hour of my school day!

Not a small task by any means, but one that I was ready to tackle. I also threw in a graduate class on Inquiry Based Science, and Positive Growth Mindset...not to mention our district's new programs such as Itslearning and Explain Everything that they want us to use. I am always up for a challenge! I think I did pretty well!

I look back at how clean and empty the room looks, but I was so excited to get my own room after spending 4 years in a small lounge that we called the science room. I might have had only a week to get it ready, but waiting for "real" science tables and chairs was worth the wait!  Now, the room looks lived in and the counter is filled with activities ready to go!

This one was the hardest at first because it was such a huge learning curve~however we have an amazing library/media specialist that worked out a plan to help us implement apps that we could use in our Encore/Specialist classrooms. We started with Explain Everything. Check out the video to see how to use it! (I made a how to video to show others how to use this great resource!)

What I am most excited about are my Digital Activities that I have been making and using in my room! I am using FOSS and going 1:1 and using all those packets and sheets were killing me. So I created packs that would help my classroom teachers and myself to go digital! Teachers can use them on the Ipads or Chrome books that we have at our school! Want to go digital? Check these out!


I even started making packs that I could use along with my FOSS packs so that I could have my students use their Ipads instead of all of the paper worksheets! The students love them and it is a great way to assess what they know! I have even started using Itslearning to add quizzes, tests, and tickets out the door that are automatically graded and put in a gradebook for me. This is our district's new way of housing all of our plans, tests, sites that we use, but in the end if I have to use it next year I might as well start figuring it out now.

My students LOVE STEM. I use this opportunity in all of my FOSS kits to add some hands on learning opportunities as well as team building! We created pipelines during our first two weeks of our water unit to get the BIG picture as to why we need to study and learn about how important water is!

We even found a way to learn about water and buoyancy by building a boat for the gingerbread man!
 Wanting more STEM for the New Year... I have got you covered! There are so many great ways to add STEM into your school day by integrating them with a great picture book...nursery rhyme...or science fun! Find it here in the Science School Yard!
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