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Showing posts with label Valentine's Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Valentine's Day. Show all posts

5 Valentine STEM Challenges You Will Love

I loved Valentine's Day as a kid. My favorite Valentine memory was when I won the Valentine Box Decorating competition in second grade. I was crowned the Queen of Hearts and my classmate, Danny, was crowned King of Hearts. I was so excited and felt so special. I see our students try to prepare for Valentine's Day this year and let's just say it isn't like it has been. We are bringing in Valentine's early in order to quarantine the cards, some are having kids bring in 50 cents in order to buy candy and treats that can be quarantined for the week in order for them to be safe. Wow! The times' we live in. 

In my Science classes, we are doing science and STEM connections to help our students have engaging and fun Valentine themed challenges that can teach a science concept as well! This year, more than ever, I want to stop and take a break to let students find the joy that often seems to be missing as we social distance and work independently. 

Here are my top 5 go to's this Valentine's Day that you are sure to love!!!


Kindergarten: Queen of Hearts Towers using pink paper tubes, cut out hearts, and Valentine Friends cut outs, as we learn how to be Valentine friends to each other and defining property words of science objects and how they connect  that words can also describe a good friend.  Traits vs. Property Words can help you make those valuable connections in language arts as well!



 1st Grade: Love Bugs and animal adaptations, we build insects after learning about how animals adapt and survive not only winter, but as they return to us in spring...where have them been? We concentrate on how animals adapt then build our own love bug with three parts, six legs, antennas, and eyes. The kids love this, but this year, I will place their supplies in a gallon baggie to create their bugs. They will each get the same supplies, but what they do with it will be up to them.  

Found in my Valentine STEM Pack! 

2nd Grade: Valentine Bouquet, planting micro-greens and learning about plant parts this week in second grade gets us learning about heart healthy living as well. I was able to get plastic containers with lids from a local gas station that always helps our community! 


3rd Grade : Valentine Measurements As we learn about our water unit, we are taking a break to discuss the three states of matter as I have to help the third grade teachers as we try to get our third graders up to grade level in math. I try to add what I can to help my kiddos along and to help my coworkers. 

4th Grade: Heart Healthy Science learning. We have already learned about the cardiovascular system so now we are reviewing heart healthy living along with breathing and our masks. I will read the Cardiovascular System by Kay Manolis from Epic Books, free for teachers! When finished we will be reviewing what we learned using a quick Boom Learning Deck! I love that it corrects it for me. I signed up for premium.


5th Grade: Physical or Chemical Change Valentine Candy, We are making candy heart dispensers as we learn about candy and how their properties can be described as they have a changing state of matter. We test our candy hearts in a controlled experiment as well. 


I love Valentine's Day and I love Science and STEM! What a great way to review and have hands-on engaging challenges! Each one of my activities are individually bagged with the supplies necessary for a challenge. It is a lot of prep for K-5th grade as a science teacher, but the reward is as sweet as candy. Next week, I start my third quarter after school STEAM classes and lets' just say I got this in the bag, too!

Because I love that you stopped by my blog...grab this Valentine Freebie that I am using to give to my students for Valentine's Day! Download here!



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Valentine STEM and Organization Made Easy

Remember when you might have been able to have a Valentine's Day Party...along with treats...time to make boxes to house all of the Valentine cards in them...organize snacks and treats...well now those days are over for many schools...including mine. I do not LOVE wasting valuable instructional time so in order to find some time for fun I LOVE to add STEM to my Valentine's Day!

The best thing that I could have figured out as I teach all of our Kindergarten through Fifth Graders is that at times if I differentiate my big STEM Engineering Ideas I can set up one bucket, create different sheets that work for different grade levels, and when a holiday like Valentine's Day comes around I can be set to go hour after hour...all I have to do is replenish the materials used...and here's a BIG one...have each group that finishes with the bucket to leave it as close to the way they found it as possible! (I find that before we share out...they need to clean up because the group that cleans up first gets to present first.

Here are some great ideas that can really be differentiated for multiple grade levels! Today was the best when a group of fifth graders were watching the presentations I recorded of the second graders and I heard them say how those second graders sure are smart because their ideas were amazing!  The other weird thing was that our littles were able to work faster and more efficiently than our fifth graders as well!



STEM STATIONS THAT CROSS GRADE LEVELS

STEM Station 1: Candy Heart Carrier
In this one has you creating a short love note using at least four candy hearts in the note. We used note cards for our notes. I love how creative the kids can get with the candy hearts. As for the carrier...give the kiddos some ideas on how to carry mail or objects and they are set to go! Give them paper, string, tape, glue...









STEM Station 2: Valentine Bouquet
This one was so cute...I had them making flowers for someone they loved. Using paper, tissue paper, straws, pipe cleaners, glue, tape...the cutest part was when we got done one of my kiddos came over and gave me their flowers! So super adorable!














STEM Station 3: Candy Heart Dispenser

So I did this one with second graders and fourth and fifth graders...the second graders were so very creative and were able to do it quicker than those older kids. Go figure! I gave them Styrofoam cups (other cups, too but they seemed to go to the Styrofoam), tongue depressors, candy hearts, tape, toilet paper tubes...I love how they could get the candy hearts to come out one at a time. This one really showed their creativity!












STEM Station 4: Love Bugs
Time for some Love Bugs! I love the heart shaped wings!
Great review of the parts of an insect. Have them include a head, thorax, and abdomen, eyes, antennas, six legs...give them egg cartons, bottle tops, construction paper, pipe cleaners, straws, google eyes...Get them making a love bug for a love bug of theirs to give it to!

STEM Station 5: Cupid's Archery Game (Extra Game We Are Playing On Valentine's Day This Year! Stay Tuned For Pictures!)

Having them create a bow using plastic spoons and knives if you tape up the sharp parts, Craft sticks, Straws, Straws, Rubber bands, Paper clips, and good ole' masking tape!

But, Let's talk organization... I love having the supplies in the bucket, but remember to have them clean up and recycle or throw away before they even put anything back in the bucket. Only reusable supplies and unused supplies get put back in exactly like they first saw it. 

I have them clean up before we share and line up. We have a quality control person (bucket brigade) that inspects the bucket and then brings in back to our central location. They are in charge of making sure the team is cleaned up! It works pretty slick!

I will be sharing more tips for easy clean up in an upcoming post!




Want it all in one place? STEM Velope Valentine Pack can be found here! I love these interactive holiday themed activities...just in time for Valentine's Day!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/STEM-Velope-Valentine-Five-Pack-3642059

Don't forget to sign up for our Science School Yard Scoop~lots of great extra freebies in your inbox as well as in our free resource library!


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How To LOVE Science...Use A Holiday!

Valentine's Day is just two days from now. This post is either too late or just on time. It is harder and harder these days to fit some science into your busy schedules...oh I know. Even as I teach science everyday...getting our kiddos engaged and focused on tier three words is often very difficult.

One great way to add a little holiday science into your day is by attaching it to a holiday and bringing in all of your components...reading, writing, math, STEM, and science!
valentine's day, STEM, digital activities, science connections
I am all set up for next week's second graders as we get ready to see what happens to candy hearts...our solid...as they get added to a liquid...water, vinegar, and soda! What a great way to add some fun as we are in the middle of our FOSS Solids and Liquids unit! To add to the fun I created a math connection, STEM activity, and writing! I use the writing sheet on our iPads by taking a picture, next saving the image, then air dropping to my kiddos! These activities will be used with my Kindergarten, and First graders, too!
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STEMTASTIC New Year!

This last year was filled with a lot of great changes in my classroom. I took my FOSS lessons and made sure that I could add a STEM lesson for each kit that I use. I am happy to say that my students are interacting and engineering each month kindergarten through 5th grade. It isn't always easy when you have to stick to a road map, but here are some great ways to find a spot for STEM:

1. Using a great picture book, you can have students connect to the story by interacting in a building activity that coordinates with what they just heard. For example, we are learning about Solids and Liquids in our 2nd grade FOSS unit. I took the book Up Goes The Skyscrapers by Gail Gibbons. We used solids to create the tallest tower. We then wrote about it and reflecting on what worked and what could be modified. Then we tried again! 
2. Another great idea is using an anchor chart to help you set the stage for learning. Use what you have to teach science and then pose a problem to the students so that they have to create a solution. Here is an example... I have to teach the FOSS Water unit. We created an anchor chart that has us try to figure out why water is so important in our lives. I posed the problem..."What would happen if there was a major catastrophe that would cause the water to be unsafe...like an oil spill? How could it effect the environment? What could be environmental engineers and figure out what we could do to clean up a spill." That started a great engineering lesson and an oil spill clean up. It was a great way to also start our water unit.
Oil spill clean up supplies and environmental engineering challenge...Can you clean up an oil spill? How does this affect our water supply? 


Another great idea that was sparked by our Animal Adaptation unit was to create our own animal using the book What If You Had Animal Teeth? or What If You Had Animal Hair? by Sandra Markle. Both great introductions to how animal parts help them survive and defend themselves. It followed with an anchor chart of how animals have different hair and teeth and how it helps them. We then created an animal that protected their food... a piece of candy. A great internet game to connect is Build Your Wild Self ( I showed it on our smartboard and they drew what adaptation they wanted on their own drawing as I built my wild self. I discussed why picking that adaptation might help me. This helped them then create their 3-D model).
Great books to integrate reading, writing, and STEM!
Here is their wild selves after picking ideas off the smartboard interactive as a large group.

Here are the 3-D models. This is a great writing connection as well as an engineering project for any kindergarten and first grade classroom!


3. Another great way to integrate STEM into your classroom is incorporate it right around a holiday! I love integrating STEM during a change of seasons as well. STEM Winter Stations and STEM Valentine Stations are in the future and my students can't wait! Here are the STEM packs I made this last month to get ready for winter and Valentine's Day. I am already getting set for ST. Patrick's Day and Easter! Stay tuned!
STEM Penguin Winter Antics Stations great for theme days or reward days!

STEM Valentine's Day Stations to integrate four fun STEM stations into your school day!

STEM Winter Stations 2 is a great way to have some winter indoor fun! Find a great book, create an anchor chart, and then set up a supply station or have the supplies already set for the kiddos and you are set! Science made simple!
Have a STEMtastic New Year! And remember there are always ways to add science and engineering into your school day!
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