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Showing posts with label cardboard arcade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cardboard arcade. Show all posts

STEM and Simple Machines

For several years, I have been using a Cardboard Arcade Pack that I simply love because it helps fill the weeks in with great activities that help students understand the FOSS Levers and Pulleys Unit better. This year, our fifth graders are a little more squirrely so I wanted to give them opportunities to build and create by adding some STEM lessons to the pack. The 5th graders have absolutely loved being able to build and create and then apply it to what we are learning in our FOSS pack about levers and pulley...but so much more we build on what we have already done. Our variables lessons at the end the year go perfectly with building a vehicle using wheels and axles and testing the variable of height to see how far the vehicle will travel!

Learning the six simple machines and combining it with STEM opportunities is also helpful. I presented the students with a challenge to help them better understand how a simple machine will help make their job easier.

Last week, I wrote about creating pulleys, now we are adding inclined planes and wheel and axle to our learning. Again, we use the scientific process to build.
Testing our wheel and axles on an inclined plane!

1. I first pose the question, "What simple machine can you build that will help a Beanie Baby get down an inclined hill?" "Will you push or pull it?" "How can we test how different heights of an inclined plane change how far the vehicle will go?"

2. I allow for them to predict and plan what they would build on their own. Then, I let each person share out.

3. Each team picks an idea to use and they create a materials list. Once that list is made, one person gets all of the supplies.

4. They get time to build their vehicle. If time remains, they can soup it up.

5. The next time we meet, (I only get an hour with them each week) I present the experiment using the variable of height. This is our first FOSS unit of the year, so we are revisiting what we already learned about controls and variables! I show them how to set up the experiment and then we go outside to set it up as a team.

Proud of their finished product and the fun they had!
6. They observe and record and then share out as a whole group. We finish up by making a graph to record the class results and understand that the higher the inclined plane the farther the vehicle will go. We also share other ways that this is true. Skiing, sledding, driving in a car...

Once again, finding ways to make your science classroom more hands on and exciting will help your students weather the storm of the end of the year wiggles. STEM is one way to do that!


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!

Hmong Heritage Night and Cardboard Arcade

Last night, we held our Hmong Heritage Night and Cardboard Arcade. We started our evening off with a short introduction to the Hmong culture. We have a large part of our school's population from Laos and Thailand. We shared how our student's families were refuges and in April of 1979 our first family came to Wausau. This year, we are celebrating our first Hmong heritage month to celebrate diversity in our city. We then read Dia's Story Cloth...sharing one girl's story about why her family is here. (You know I am all about tying literacy to what I am up to...)

Now, for me getting dressed up in a traditional Hmong New Year Outfit...

Entertainment was fabulous. My fourth and 5th grade girls along with sisters and cousins practiced for three weeks in my room at noon every day and at home a ton of time, it was beautiful. I even had two girls sing a beautiful Hmong song...I didn't know until today that it was about their mothers and how they are growing up and will leave soon, but they will always love them (weep, tears, sniffle...) Now, I know why my Hmong moms were crying.
My Fourth Graders...White Hmong


One of the most quiet girls...shining!
This beautiful song brought tears to mothers' eyes!

We wrapped up with the explanation of the Hmong Ball Toss. A boy and a girl would toss the ball back and forth. If you dropped it you would need to give the other something that belonged to you. (it kind of sounded like strip poker...) We finished our evening with the ball toss. Fun stuff.

Before we went into the gym I explained the background behind the arcade. We shared the competition and that each person would get two tickets two play any game. Until the tickets were used, everyone would have to wait until we counted tickets. The winners of the most tickets were announced (those games will be featured at our Saturday carnival. Our winners screamed with joy...too cute!)

Here is our cardboard arcade! It was a blast! The best part was that we engineered these amazing games with tape, paper, boxes...and a ton of imagination and cooperation!

Everyone played endless games until the time was out and the ball toss started. It was a great success! Caine's Arcade...our inspiration! I have included a rubric and reflection sheet that I am using:)
                             Cardboard Arcade Rubric and Reflection

Cardboard Arcade and Simple Machines

We are almost at our finish line with our cardboard arcade. Our students have been working hard to learn about simple machines and with that create an arcade game that incorporates two or more simple machines. Next week, on Thursday evening we are celebrating Hmong Heritage Night with song, dance, food, and games. The 5th grade cardboard arcade will be present with 12 cardboard arcade games to play. Each person attending that evening will get two tickets to play games. No prizes or candy are allowed. This is a competition! The top two winning arcade games with the most tickets will be games that will be in our school carnival next Saturday. The kids are so excited and are not holding back. Check out their games...they still need a few finishing touches.
Inclined plane and lever on the side...

Inclined plane again...and pulley

The Claw...gotta love it!

This is the group that struggled, but this is a car game, so wheel and axle, inclined plane for ramps and hill, and lever to start the race...cool beans!

four girls trying to work a pulley...quite funny, but they figured it out!

Only one simple machine so far, they got to add something or the game is out of order...

We will be sending our arcade pictures to http://cardboardchallenge.com/
I challenge you to join the imagination foundation and inspire kids to think outside the "box"!
Here is the link to my TPT product I am using for this unit...Simple Machines Cardboard Arcade.

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