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

Amusement Parks and Engineering Fun

Finding ways to add STEM into your classroom lessons can be as simple as an end of the year field trip or a smartboard webcam experience. Here is a video link for some Amusement Park Web Cams and ariel views video...


Last week, our fifth graders went to Bay Beach Amusement Park. What a great way to learn about science and have fun in the process. When they are at the amusement park we give them a mini scavenger hunt to look for rides that use simple machines. The Zippin Pippen uses wheels and axles, pulley systems and an inclined plane...
As they continue on their rides they look at the slide...as a simple ride it is an inclined plane: both in the stairs up and the ride down.
When our students get back...we have them review the simple machines used to power the rides. We list the rides that were their favorites: Ferris Wheel, Bumper Cars, Scrambler, Tilt-O Whirl, Sea Dragon, Scat...and we discuss the scientific process it takes for an engineer to build a safe ride. Finally...they get to sign up to design and build their favorite ride as a team.

Stipulations:
1. You must use the scientific process
  • Question: How will you create a Amusement Park Prototype
  • Research: Which supplies will work out best to create your ride?
  • Predict: Predict what will make your ride work safely.
  • Experiment: Experiment and build your prototype.
  • Conclude: Did it work? What modifications did you have to make? What problems did you face? Did you problem solve and work as a team? Use reflection sheet to help the process.
  • Report: Share and report out how your ride works. 
We set out at our STEM store simple materials:
  • toilet and paper towel tubes
  • pipe cleaners
  • cardboard pieces
  • tape
  • string
  • trays 
  • egg cartons
  • scissors
  • materials that students ask for as they build
Here are some of their rides...

As you can see...making connections to background knowledge let's kids really shine. Going to an amusement park or any other field trip and then making connections lets our students use STEM in a way that makes it real.

Stay tuned for a new STEM pack coming this summer to a TPT store near you...
This activity was a great way to end the year with our simple machines in mind. If you are interested in my amusement park scavenger hunt freebie add a comment to the bottom and your email and I will send you a freebie!
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Dandy...Lions and Fun in the Sun!

It is hot here in Wisconsin...our students have shut down....what do we do? We find a great way to take them outside and use the environment around them to get them excited to learn! The dandelions are out and the kids are checked out...until we found the dandelions that weren't cut in the field!  Here is a simple science lesson for you...

Plan:
1. What can dandelions have? What are dandelions? What do dandelions have?
2. I share my dandelion poster showing them along with a picked dandelion (root and all) the stem, root, leaves, bud, flower, clock, and seeds.
3. We then read our dandelion story
Cover art
4. Go outside with your station cards and sheets (found in my Dandelion Stations Pack at TPT)
5. Let them work on the activities...I do Adaptations, How Tall, Can, Have, Are...and Tap Roots.
6. I give them a set time to explore and do one sheet...then we meet up and share.

7. I send them back out with rulers...partners...sheets, clipboard...and a tray for a chair. They come back with the joy of learning! From one seed they grow!

Check out this fun end of the year...summer fun pack!

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Cricket Capers: Simple Science Lesson

It is insect time in first grade! Sorry...we can't find any outside right now, we still have snow, but that doesn't mean we can't invite some to join us. Introducing...crickets! This is a great way to compare non-fiction and fiction books about a topic. Here is a simple science activity for you...


What you will need:
1. Crickets (about 16 cents per cricket)
2. Containers from the Dollar Store with little holes poked on top for air
3. Sponges for water
4. Egg Cartons to climb on and hide under (they are nocturnal)
5. a potato or carrot for liquid and food

There are some great non-fiction stories out there...I use Myon or EPIC Books. The one we used is from MYON that our district purchases.

What to do:
1. Introduce insects...
2. Sing a fun song like "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes..."
Head, Thorax, Abdomen
Head, Thorax, Abdomen
2 Eyes, 2 antennas, and and exoskeleton
Head, Thorax, Abdomen

3. Discuss rules for working with live animals (no shaking, share the container, be respectful...)
4. Let them observe and write them down, draw what they see (I set up my sheet using Insects: In and Out of the Classroom to help. I also use a word bank on the board for their observation words)



5. I also play cricket sounds as they work...


6. We make a circle and share what we learned and observed. The students love being able to tell the difference between make and female. It is also fun to hear what they were able to see as they watched the containers.

7. We also watch the Very Quiet Cricket...

8. Finally, we wrap up with a symmetry activity where they draw the other half of the cricket and write at least three things they learned.  I use this as an assessment on what they know.
Going Buggy can be fun! With some help from our Cricket friends!

Symmetry and Sentences! Math and writing in one activity! 
If you need anything...you know you can bug me...email me or write a comment! I would love to hear from you!
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Time For Oobleck!

It is almost time for Read Across America! Time for reading...and science! Time for Oobleck! This simple science activity is sure to get them excited about both! I am so thrilled to share one of my favorite lessons that works perfectly with my FOSS Solids and Liquids Unit. We spend a lot of time trying to add engaging activities to our school day and  this one seems to really surprise and amaze my students. The book Oobleck is a fun Dr. Suess book that links science into your classroom!

Fun with Non-Newtonian Fluids!


Here is my hour long lesson plan...
1. We start with the characteristics of a solid and a liquid
2. I then share with them that today we are going to learn about something that acts like a liquid and a solid. I then share with them it is all because of King Derwin of Didd. I then share with them the book. It is a long book...but reading it and changing your voice keeps them engaged!
3. We then use the the Oobleck sheet that has them see how Oobleck acts...Is it a solid or liquid?
4. We continue our experiments with five objects that either sink or stay on the top. The students are amazed as to how it acts.
5. We wrap up by writing the recipe for Oobleck and understand a non-Newtonian fluid by filling in the blanks.
6. I they get done early I have them add to our classroom graph...Do You Like Oobleck?

 I have each table set up before they come in and they meet me at the carpet for the intro and book. This helps when my time is limited...
You can find my OOBLECK TPT Pack Here!
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Tacky Penguin Palaces

This week, we celebrated with a penguin antics winter fun reward party in 4th and 2nd grades. Second graders learned about working as a team after reading Tacky...then with tape and paper they started their penguin palaces to see who could build one as tall as possible that fits Tacky on top. They could earn bonus items after waddling over to get a vocabulary question...can they remember what opaque means....we shall see!
The planning stage...working together...listening to everyone's ideas before starting is key to successful teamwork! Modifying and adjusting is also important as you take a look at the raft below!

Fourth graders, for a motivational goal, they needed to pass their bones identification test to have an engineering reward. They could pick what materials they wanted to use in order to build their palaces. The other students worked with me on studying the bones...a retest...then an oral Simon says...game to help them remember.

I love the final results...the smiles....the team work!

With melty marshmallows...they decided Tacky could use a raft instead!

This tall marshmallow tower was a hit! Tacky loved his palace!

Love the smiles on their faces when they are successful team members and have fun to boot!

Noodles were a great addition to this tower!
 This activity can be found in my Penguin Winter Antics STEM Station Pack. Check it out...

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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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Christmas and Winter STEM Wishlist

What an exciting time of year. It is time to add some items to your Christmas Wish list! For two days TPT is holding a sale for you to save big this holiday season! This means a SITEWIDE SALE on Monday and Tuesday! These amazing sales don't happen very often, so it's no surprise that we all ge a little excited when it does happen! For a great reason...EVERYTHING in my store is 28% off! Don't forget to use the code SMILE at checkout!


The kids are ready for ways to add joy and holiday cheer to your classroom...but keep the academics alive! Why not try some great STEM activities to do just that!

 Why not add some simple science activities that get your students actively engaged. Here is how to  make STEM simple by easy activities with simple materials...

Kids love penguins! How about creating a penguin ice skating rink...a penguin playground...or marshmallow tower for penguin????

STEM Penguin Winter Antics Pack on TPT
Quick and easy STEM stations such as gumdrop chimney...treats for Santa table...and packaging presents...

STEM Christmas Stations on TPT

Another pack I use each year with my 5th graders is the Holiday Science pack filled with activities that include mixtures and solutions because that is the FOSS unit I am working on. I try to keep up with my road map by adding some activities that can really fit both needs!

If your looking for other ways to continue the winter...Christmas...holiday science scene...I also gave my teachers the Gingerbread STEM Pack which I love to do with my students after Christmas because it breaks up the winter blahs!  Try this quick and easy STEM pack...

My new pack I made last year for my classroom teachers that incorporates reading, writing, math, and science really incorporates each letter in S...T...E...M! Winter/Christmas STEM Stations that include candy...cookies...mittens and more!

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