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Showing posts with label energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label energy. Show all posts

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!

Shop Science School Yard TPT store!
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Sustainability and The Three R's

This isn't new to us at our school...teaching about sustainability, energy, or even reducing, reusing, and recycling. We are a Green and Healthy School and with that comes some responsibilities when it comes to these concepts, but how can a classroom teacher integrate these ideas in a quick and effective way?

Reduce:
Reduce time in teaching these concepts by integrating a fun picture book that gets at the heart of helping the earth, conserving energy, or living a healthy life style.

Reduce time by using an activity easily found on the internet or use this freebie from my Earth Day Pack to help start you out!
                                         Grab you freebie here!

Reuse:
Sometimes it is nice to reuse an old lesson, but you just need a little refreshing! If you have a lesson on helping the Earth...how about save milk cartons, cut up cardboard boxes, and toilet paper rolls and now you have reusable supplies that build great towers! This is great for so many grade levels!

Recycle:
Teaching kids how to recycle and what to recycle is a great way to encourage a life long way to help the Earth. A fun game you can play is Separate the Trash. Bring in recyclables. Make cards labeled: glass, plastics, paper, garbage. Have teams take turns separating the trash and learning what is recyclable! You can even have them share ways to reduce or reuse items that are brought in. A great art project can stem from this activity, too!

Teaching sustainability is a great way to help kids become green and healthy.

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When Outdoors Meets Indoors: Camping Fun and Prizes

It has been such funny weather here in Wisconsin! It has rained for two days so indoor recess is always fun and then yesterday it snowed. So, lucky me, I have some leeway as to what I can teach our kindergartners.

What do you do if you need a quick, easy, fun and interactive STEM project? Grab a few simple supplies, a fun picture book, and maybe even some toys and you are all set!

 I decided to bring the outdoors...indoors  with camping activities and of course a quick and easy STEM activity with 4 simple supplies:

1. playdough or non-hardening clay
2. straws
3. paper or paper towel from school
4. A camper

If you haven't tried EPIC books, it was free when I signed up for it...if you are a teacher. So, we popped up this fun story that is on EPIC books!
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Give this fun STEM activity a try with the camper freebie here!
 Get these cute campers HERE!
If you would like to add some fun Camping themed Science packs check these out...
Find the CAMPING THEMED PACKS HERE!
Now for the fun part...we are a Green and Healthy School and with that I became Energy certified which means sometimes I get some great opportunities that come my way to test out some toys that go along with our focus on saving energy. Not only does this amazing toy allow my students to learn about ways to create light through other means than electricity, but this toy is also a STEM activity!

So here is the fun part... because I am testing this toy out for this amazing company Tenergy...they are donating 6 of these lanterns on my blog! If you sign up and win, they will send you a free lantern for a quick review of the product! Pretty simple! Click on the link HERE to sign up!
                     https://goo.gl/forms/doHmjnE2lwWPavYN2





Whether your indoors or outdoors camping can be fun! Add a little STEM, a fun Tenergy Powered Toy and it's even better!
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Earth Day: Planting a Seed with Three Easy Steps

Wanting to teach about Earth Day, but don't know where to get started? First, don't just jump on the bandwagon without knowing a little bit about how Earth Day came to be...

Earth Day...How did this "holiday" even get started? The book that inspired Earth Day was the Silent Spring written by Rachel Carson which dealt with the state of the environment and what was happening to our air, water, forests, and animals.  Earth Day is the  largest secular holiday which beats Valentines Day and Halloween! 

1969...the year I was born...yes I am getting up there... people were getting really upset with what we were doing to our environment from the use of  DDT which significantly impacted the Eagle population to the pollution of our water ways caused by the dumping of chemicals into our rivers, lakes, streams  from factories around the country. 

The worst oil spill of the time occurred in 1969 as well. Senator Gaylord Nelson from my state of Wisconsin started taking a look at ways we could teach others about what we were doing to our environment. Our significant impact on the Earth from population growth to climate change continues to be a problem both politically and environmentally, but how can we continue to help our future generations learn about the importance of saving our Earth, going green, recycling, growing gardens, appreciating nature...without causing other issues? 


On April 22nd, 1970 the first Earth Day was celebrated.  Teach in's were used to help educate others on what impact we have on the Earth is and what the devastating impact Earth faces if we continue down this path. Grass roots levels organized to help the cause in 1970 with  over 20 million Americans celebrated Earth Day that first year!   The Environmental Protection Agency was created which  laid  the groundwork for the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act to name a few. 

How can we take what they did back in 1970 and teach our students that they can make a difference just by the choices they make? We want to help our students learn about the environment and we care about our world so that we all  can make good choices for our future! 

Here are three simple ideas:

1. Show a song or video. Then have them write about what they heard. This simple song is about 8 principles for a better world! Respecting and caring for ALL living things from trees to seeds, animals big and small...a great message!




2. Have students go outside and just take in their environment! Draw what they see. Write down what living things they can observe. Give them time to really look at their surroundings for plants and animals,  and nature!  Let them breath in the clean air. Then have them share ways to go green with each other! 

This one one of my favorite Earth Day memories! Sitting and taking it all in until you just need to share with the teacher what you saw!!!! I love her excitement as she is ready to tell me her observations!

3. Have them connect with an activity about sustainability or going green!
From STEM lessons, to sustainability concepts, or even an energy activity a hands-on science connection is a great way to get your students connecting with their environment and also become problem solvers as they tackle some of our environments biggest issues.

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Building a wind turbine can be complex or simple. Differentiating to meet your level of comfort is key. As an energy certified teacher, I made a wind turbine that can be tested after the students create their fans. You can produce wind powered cars...solar ovens, sun dials...All it takes though is planting that seed!

Taking the time to teach about Earth Day can come from a book, a video, a quick writing prompt or even a STEM project, but the important thing is that we are teaching our students to be stewards of the Earth and that EACH day can be EARTH day!  

Interested in any of the Earth Day challenges? Check out my Earth Day Resources HERE!

Let's celebrate the Earth! Stop by the Science School Yard TPT store for  an EARTH DAY FREEIBE, TOO!

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Doesn't Have To Be Seuss Week To Make Connections in Science!

Every year, when I work with my 3rd graders on their FOSS Water Unit I can't wait until I get to water wheels. It is the only STEM related activity in many of the kits. Don't get me wrong, I do love having FOSS to guide me, but let's just say at times it needs some more meat.

This particular lesson though...is a great way to add in  a ton of ideas that are all water related and I have just the book that makes this lesson even better.

Dr. Seuss's book A Fish Out of Water is perfect. It has double meaning, too! What is it like to be a fish out of water? Have we all been there? (I also love the addition of Mr. Carp telling everyone that this always happens because the boys don't listen)

Here is how it goes...

1. I start off asking what does it mean a fish out of water? We make a list and then I explain that it kind of means the person is completely clueless or directionless when put into an unfamiliar surroundings or an unfamiliar situation.

2. Perfect time for you to ask if they have ever now felt like a fish out of water. Cue the stories!

3. I now add my what is sustainable energy lesson discussing non renewable and renewable resources. Here is how...What would it be like if you had to all of a sudden live somewhere where there was no electricity or running water. Could you let's say...live off the grid? We discuss tiny homes and the movement and what that would look like.

4. Now that they have thought a little about what they could use that is a natural resource or a sustainable resource...we generate a list. Sun...Water...Wind...we even add trees and corn. If we continue to plant them...

5. I let them know that today after our story they are going to be a fish out of water. I am going to give them only...cue FOSS lesson: 5 red wheels, 1 yellow dowel, three binder clips, a string, and Otto! Yes, Otto. A fish out of water. It is their job to get him in the bucket by only using hydro power!
If you do not have STEM, I have a supply list and alternative in My Water Pack on TPT found HERE.

6. I read the book and then share with them how they will, just like Otto be a fish out of water! They must work together to create a water wheel. I then pop up the google search results for images on Water Wheels. We talk about the shape of the wheel that looks like a bike tire. They are to work together as a team to see who can save Otto first.  Competition is what makes this extra fun!

7. Supply lots of towels. Stand back. Watch the magic happen. (I sometimes have to give clues as to what to do, if time is running out, but I wait a while and keep referring back to the water wheel pictures!)

Here are some freebies that you can use...writing connections, pattern, and reflections! You can download them as worksheets or download them for your iPads! I save them to my camera roll...air drop them to my students...then they place it in Explain Everything (you can use PicCollage) in order to be able to insert videos, pictures and text boxes!

3 Page Freebie Found HERE
Don't feel like a fish out of water every time you plan for a science lesson...grab a freebie...follow the plan...check back often!
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Circuits are a SNAP!

I bought this great toy for my son a few years ago and it is so much fun, but doing the electricity unit and teaching vocabulary is not always easy with my fourth graders. So after I was Energy certified this summer...yes, I took three graduate credit energy classes through UWSP and now I have a cool certificate that I got to show my kiddos and share for my teacher effectiveness! I got some free money when I did that sooooo....

I bought some SNAP circuit kits! You can find them at Snap kit circuit kit site. We covered energy...
We covered what type of energy they were creating...mechanical? chemical? wind? Open and closed circuits! Amazing!

Teamwork!

Schematic Drawings!

Wind and Chemical Energy!
Mechanical energy!
Going Green! The resource book in this kit is great!

What a way to tie in FOSS and Energy and give them a break from state testing!

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Wind and Solar Fun and Energy Island

Thanks to Mrs. Jump's Class and Book Talk Tuesday we can share some great books. Wind turbines, my friends. UV meters. "Egg"cellent STEM lessons. This week, I am starting a summer class with some of my colleagues that is based on energy. We got to make wind turbines and used UV meters to create a solar experiment. We even created a STEM activity to see if we could protect an egg on a zip line. We were given a copy of this book, Energy Island to figure out how we could use it in our classroom.



                                                 
This week, we are learning to find ways to use what we have, for example we use FOSS, to create inquiry based questions. Here is what question I will use to start my energy lesson off with. We are also trying to integrate more NGSS concepts even though Wisconsin hasn't adopted it yet.


                                      Wind Turbine Freebie





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I Got ENERGY!

Well...it has taken me a few weeks to fine tune this new lesson pack. I went to three days of energy classes, reviewed the new NGSS science standards and pulled out my FOSS electricity kit to figure out what will work for a 4/5 multi-age class that has seen all of the 4th and 5th grade FOSS kits. Check out my new pack...Energy Lessons: NGSS and FOSS Connections

Science, Engineering, Core Concepts Through Energy Activities


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Book Talk Tuesday, on Friday

Yikes....time flies when your having fun! Went to the pool yesterday with my son, and today I went to school where it was nice and quiet...no summer school classes on Friday! I just came back from the energy fair and so my mind is on how to add an energy component to my science classrooms in some way. I figure that we could probably add a bit of energy science into our fourth grade curriculum as we continue to add more emphasis on the NGSS science standards. That...my friends...is now on my summer bucket list. Energy. Take a look a the great book I found to guide me and the resources I bought at the event. So, thanks Deanna for this fun linky!


The Shocking Truth About Energy by Loreen Leedy


Solar bugs, solar cell with motors, and even UV sun detectors! Stations, here we come!

Simple reading and fun pictures!


Easy to copy and place at a station for kids to read and take notes!

I hope I have the ENERGY to do this next week!
It is always fun to find a good book that excites you about Science! This one did.
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Solar Energy Activities

We have T-Minus 9 1/2 days and counting. I have been trying to figure out what to do with my 3rd graders for the next week and a half. So, let's move from Sound Energy to wind and solar power. So, let's harness the sun! We are cooking some marshmallows up using the sun's energy. Here are the sheets I am using along with an amazing video...
                 Solar Energy Lesson and Worksheet



Wish they didn't use the word freakin', but it is an amazing use of solar power...We are also making a list of how we harness energy using some great sheets I got from the Science Penguin.

The sun will come out tomorrow...bet your bottom dollar... the weekend is almost here!

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