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Aug 10, 2017

Energy STEM Challenges!


Hey Teacher Friends,

Right now I'm in the process of creating a series of STEM projects for students who are studying Earth Science.. The current unit I'm focusing on is ENERGY! After doing a little research, I came up with two great STEM projects that are simple enough to create in the classroom. Initially I originally thought these projects might be too simple for 4th-6th grade, but they are much more difficult to pull off than they appear!




STEM Activity #1: Marble Run Challenge - Kinetic & Potential Energy! 

Kinetic energy is the energy of an object that is moving. A skier has kinetic energy while skiing down a snowy hill. The energy stored inside an object by changing its position or location is called potential energy.  When the skier walks up the hill, he is storing energy. There are several different types of potential energy such as gravitation, elastic, nuclear, and chemical


Students are challenged to design a  marble run or roller coaster that showcases both kinetic and potential energy.
What type of potential energy is used in a marble run? Can a marble run have multiple points of potential energy? Students must figure out how that is possible. 


Here's the Challenge: Using a list of supplies, students must design a marble run that showcases both kinetic and potential energy at use. Students must be able to label which parts of their marble run shows the energy transfer. Students are not required to use all of the items listed below but they are not allowed to add items to the list. If they test it and it does not work properly, they have two more attempts to fix their design. They have two days to finalize their roller coaster/marble run. ***Check out the link at the end of the post for more information about the challenge. 



STEM Activity #2: Solar Oven Challenge - Solar Energy!

Photovoltaic solar power converts sunlight into electricity using a silicon based technology. In this method, solar panels are typically used to convert the sun’s rays into energy. This has the ability to power businesses and homes. This type of solar power is one of the most reliable forms of renewable energy. 

Solar thermal energy does not convert sunlight into electricity like photovoltaic technology. It stores heat from the sun that is later transformed into electricity 


So here's the Challenge: Using a list of supplies, students must a solar oven that captures sunlight and retains heat. The solar oven should be able to melt crayons within an hour.  Students are not required to use all of the items listed below but they are not allowed to add items to the list. If they test it and it does not work properly, they have two more attempts to fix their design. Students have one hour to finalize the design of their solar oven. (The time it takes to test their design does not count towards the one hour) The group that is able to melt the crayons the fastest wins the challenge!



Aug 9, 2017

Weather & Atmosphere Earth Science STEM Challenges!


Hey Teacher Friends,

Right now I'm in the process of creating a series of STEM projects for students who are studying Earth Science.. The first unit I'm focusing on is Weather and the Atmosphere! After doing a little research, I came up with two great STEM projects that are simple enough to create in the classroom. Initially I originally thought these projects might be TOO simple for 4th-6th grade, but they are much more difficult to pull off than they appear!



STEM Activity #1: Anemometer Challenge! 


An anemometer is an instrument that is used to measure wind speed. Some anemometer devices can also measure the wind direction.
A cup anemometer has four cups connected to horizontal arms that spin on a vertical pole. The design was later mortified to three cups because it responded more quickly to gusts of wind and had less errors in the reading. 
A well designed anemometer should be able to respond quickly to changes in wind speed. It should also be able to detect a wide range of wind speeds. 

Here's the challenge: Using a list of supplies, students must design an anemometer that accurately measures wind speed. They must be able to measure how many spins the device makes per minute by marking one of the revolving cups.  They have one hour to complete this challenge. (time testing their anemometer does not count towards the hour).  In order to test, the anemometer should be placed outside on a windy day or can be tested with a fan.  ***Check out the link below for more information about the challenge. 



STEM Activity #2: Barometer Challenge! 


A barometer is an instrument that measures pressure in the atmosphere. They were once commonly used in ships, aircrafts, and even households around the world. There are several different types of barometers, such as the water-based barometer, the mercury barometer, and the aneroid barometer.  

Here's the challenge: Using a list of supplies, students must design a type of barometer that measures changes in the atmospheric pressure. Their design must have a needle that measures an increase or decrease in air pressure. Students must use the items listed below and they are not allowed to add items to the list. If they test it and it does not work properly, they have two more attempts to fix their design. They have one hour to design their barometer. (time testing their barometer does not count towards the hour).  In order to test, the barometer should be placed outside or by a window.


Jul 31, 2017

BTS Sale and Target Teacher Giveaway!


Hi teacher friends,
Have you heard the exciting news?! The big Back to School sale on Teachers pay Teachers begins TOMORROW! 
Let's just say my whole body hurts right now from sitting at my computer. Not only have I been creating resources like a crazy person, I've been filling up my cart with some fabulous TpT resources for the upcoming school year. 

If you head on over to TpT, all the resources in the StudentSavvy store will be 20% off, starting tomorrow! Don't forget to use promo code BTS2017 for that extra 5% savings! Yay!!

  
To celebrate the upcoming sale, I'm giving away a $50 Target gift card! This is the perfect time to do a little Back to School shopping at Target!

***Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter the giveaway! 



Here are some new/seasonal resources that you may want to check out during the Teachers pay Teachers BTS sale! 


Ultimate Savvy Savings = Entire StudentSavvy Store
50% off PLUS Additional 25% during the Sale!
All The Resources in the Store for Half the Price + 28% Savings during the Sale!! 
This resource contains a zip file of all the products you will find in the StudentSavvy store. (including future ones!) You will be the FIRST to receive new resources! Subject Areas / Resource Types include: Around the World Resources, Teacher Binders, Open House / Back to School Night, Interactive Notebooks, STEM Activities, Craftivities, Interactive PowerPoints, Sub Resources, Sub Tub, Sub Plans, Earth Science, Ancient Civilizations, US History, End of the Year Resources, Beginning of the Year Resources, and SO much more! Over 280 resources and counting!



Your 3rd-6th grade elementary students will love these clever and creative hashtag brag tags!    #TeacherForTheWin! Find them here! 25% off 







Do your students love STEM challenges and activities? Transform your room into a STEM-ready classroom! Inspire your students with Growth Mindset posters! 





The Ancient Civilizations Curriculum Resource contains the following 5 Bundles: 










Design your perfect teacher binder with 30 fabulous covers! 
100% editable! Just click and start typing! 




a Rafflecopter giveaway


Happy shopping! :)

Jul 22, 2017

How to Use Brag Tags with UPPER ELEMENTARY Students!




Teachers,
I’m certain you are familiar with this popular behavior management strategy – the use of brag tags in the classroom! They are not a new concept, I remember earning a few metal dog tags myself for AR reading in elementary school. Brag tags are typically used to reinforce positive behavior by rewarding students with meaningful tags. If you catch a student doing something exceptional, you can hand them a tag to add to their growing collection. Some examples can include conquering a STEM challenge, acing an exam, having a great day with the substitute teacher, etc.

Students can place their tags on a key chain or wear them on a ball chain necklace.

Brag tags are most frequently used in early primary grades. Many of the tags you find will have “cutesy” phrases that might not interest your upper elementary students.

Here are ways you can implement brag tags with older students! (Upper Elementary Students 3-6th grade) 


1. Encourage students to accomplish higher-level academic challenges with brag tags relating to STEM challenges, growth mindset, NGSS, and more!




2. Have HASHTAGS with clever and creative phrases that your 3rd-6th grade students will appreciate. #TeacherForTheWin


3. Have brag tags that encourage the use of technology. Many upper elementary classrooms use Google Classroom and Google Apps. It’s a great opportunity to reward them with a #TechGenius or #SpeedyFingers brag tag.

4. Instead of just saying “great teamwork”, you can hand them a #TeamworkMakesTheDreamWork

#NailedIt!


5. Older students may prefer to wear them on lanyard or keychain instead of a ball chain necklace. I guess it’s cooler? #Whoknows


6. There are many benefits to using brag tags with older students. They recognize that brag tags must be earned by accomplishing goals and challenges. It is their responsibility to not misplace their brag tags. This can help students develop organizational skills in the classroom!



If you think your students might enjoy this classroom reward system, be sure to check out this resource! These brag tags are 100% Editable! This resource contains a PDF file and a editable PowerPoint file. 175 total pages, 80 unique upper elementary brag tags! 



Jun 6, 2017

Summer STEM Challenges!


Teacher friends,
Summer is finally here! Woohoo! Many of you are counting down the last few days of school. This time of year can be quite challenging while trying to keep students engaged and learning. This is the PERFECT time to keep students busy with STEM activities and summer resources!

These summer challenges have science, technology, engineering, and measurement activities for your upper elementary kids that will really get their brains going until the end of the school year!


Challenge 1: Floating Noodle Castle Challenge!
Students must design a floating castle with noodles and toothpicks! Four to five students are assigned per group. Each group is given noodle rings that are cut ½ inch wide. Students should be easily able to cut the rings into smaller pieces if needed.The castle must stay connected at all times in the water. Students have one hour to complete this challenge. 
***Creativity points are awarded in this challenge. ***for more information on the challenge, scroll down to the end of the post!




Challenge 2: Water Balloon Catapult Challenge! 
Students must design a catapult or slingshot that propels a water balloon into the air. The group that can propel the water balloon the farthest wins the challenge. Students have three attempts to create their best catapult.  ***for more information on the challenge, scroll down to the end of the post!



Challenge 3: Slip-N-Slide Challenge! 
Students must construct a Slip-n-Slide that effectively accelerates an object through its course. The Slip-n-Slide can have turns, hills, and decorative features in its design. The object must be going fast enough to complete the slide but not too fast where it could cause injury to the rider. Three different objects must be tested – students can decide which objects they think will accelerate at the right speed.  



Integrating summer activities into the classroom can sometimes be tricky with upper elementary grade levels, but with STEM, celebrating summertime will be a blast!


Jun 1, 2017

Ancient Israel STEM Challenge!


Right now I'm in the process of creating a series of STEM projects for students who are studying Ancient Civilizations.. Next stop, Ancient Israel!  

I never heard of Masada until I began researching Ancient Israel for this project. Masada is described as King Herod’s desert fortress in the sky. It was built between 37 and 15 BCE. The fortress is most well known as the place where the Jewish people fought against the Roman invasion.
It is located on top of a giant rock cliff overlooking the Dead Sea. This fortress was built as a refuge and safe place for the King. It was a self-sufficient micro-world, having everything that a large group of people would need in order to survive. 

I found the information on Masada fascinating and I thought it would make an excellent STEM challenge for students! 


Ancient Israel STEM Challenge: Masada Fortress in the Sky!

Using a list of supplies, students are required to engineer a model of Masada! Their model must contain the Western and Eastern Palaces (a total of three platforms). They can be as creative as they would like in their design, but it must have three levels. After creating their model, they must use wood blocks (Jenga) to built the tallest rock cliff that can support their Masada model. The group with the tallest rock cliff wins! ***Check out the link below for more information about the challenge. 

Would you like the printable guides and listed materials for this Ancient Israel STEM Challenge? Click here!



May 22, 2017

Ancient India STEM Challenges

STEM Challenges
Right now I'm in the process of creating a series of STEM projects for students who are studying Ancient Civilizations.. Next stop, Ancient India! :)


During the summertime in Ancient India (and still to this day), a monsoon would come every year, raining buckets and buckets of water. In Eastern India, a second monsoon would come as well during the end of summer. The ancient people of India had to figure out a way to save the water for the remainder of the year! 

STEM activities

The type of irrigation system that is shown in this sample STEM project is the Rahat (Lever System). A wheel is used in this type of irrigation. The wheel is often turned by oxen, cows, or buffalo.

In this STEM Challenge, students must design a model of an ancient irrigation system by selecting one using a guide (more information below). They must use their knowledge of simple machines by incorporating either a lever or pulley system in their design. The water must successfully be moved from one bin to another, the second bin representing the plants that need to be watered. The group that can create a system that moves the most water (without large amounts of spilling or wasting water) in the shortest amount of time wins the challenge! ***For more information and printable guides about the challenge, scroll to the end of the post!  




Ancient Civilizations STEM
A stupa is a mound-like Buddhist structure that is typically used as a place for meditating. The earliest stupas were built around late 4th century BC! (400-300 BC) 

In this STEM Challenge, the students must protect their stupa from flooding due to a monsoon. Materials must be added around the fence to protect water from entering the stupa. Water must be poured around the fence of their design, the water height must be at least a third of the height of their stupa. (For example, if the stupa is 12 inches tall, the water height must be 4 inches in their container.  Students must brainstorm which materials would stop the water from getting past the fence for a full 2 minutes***Check out the link below for more information about the challenge. 


Would you like the printable guides and listed materials for these Ancient India STEM Challenges? Click here!








May 18, 2017

Ancient Egypt STEM Ideas!


Right now I'm in the process of creating a series of STEM projects for students who are studying Ancient Civilizations.. Next stop, Ancient Egypt!  

I had been really looking forward to designing projects for this unit! I had so many different ideas for Egypt STEM challenges, it was hard to narrow it down to just two activities. I decided to focus on the process of mummification and how they preserved organs inside the canopic jars. I also decided that a pyramid challenge is a MUST in the STEM unit. 


Challenge #1 Mummified Apples in Canopic Jars

During the mummification process, the human organs were removed and preserved inside canopic jars.  The jars had hieroglyphic writing and the heads of different gods on top of the lids. The four sons of Horus (the god of the sky) were featured on the canopic jars.  Each jar contains a different organ.
 Natron was the preservative solution that the Egyptians used during the embalming process. It preserved the bodies and organs by drying out the moisture and it also served as a disinfectant. 

      In this STEM Challenge, using 4 slices of apple, students must test different mixtures using salt, baking soda, vinegar, and sugar. Out of the 4 slices, they must have a control group (no ingredients used on the apple) to measure the mummification process. They are trying to find the best version of the Egyptian's natron (preservative solution). They need to write down the exact measurements for each mixture using the next page. Each canopic jar needs to be labeled with the mixture. After applying the mixtures to the apples, they are placed inside the sealed jars.  For the next four days, students must record their observations during the mummification process. ***For more information about the challenge, scroll to the end of the post!  


The Ancient Egyptian pyramids are one of the most magnificent man-made structures created throughout history. The Egyptians began building pyramids during the beginning of the Old Kingdom, around 4,500 years ago. No building plans were discovered, so it is still a mystery on how the pyramids were built. 

In this STEM challenge, students must design either a freestanding square or rectangular pyramid. The goal of the challenge is to design the tallest pyramid in the shortest amount of time. If glue is used instead of non-drying clay or marshmallows, allow for drying time. Students only need to use the timer during building time. They can stop the clock while their pyramid dries. The group who can build the tallest pyramid in the shortest amount of time wins the challenge.***Check out the link below for more information about the challenge. 

Would you like the printable guides and listed materials for these Ancient Egypt STEM Challenges? Click here!

May 13, 2017

Ancient Mesopotamia STEM Ideas!



Right now I'm in the process of creating a series of STEM projects for students who are studying Ancient Civilizations.. First stop, Ancient Mesopotamia!  

    Ancient Civilizations has to be my favorite curriculum to teach. I find the ancient world fascinating, with all the different traditions, inventions, rituals, building structures, gods and goddesses. I could probably spend the whole year just focusing on Egypt alone, with its pyramids, their social hierarchy with pharaohs, and interesting process of mummification. I get excited knowing that the information about these civilizations that existed in 3000-1000 BC are still being uncovered by archaeologists today. I love sharing my excitement and enthusiasm about Ancient Civs! 




STEM, ancient civilizations, ancient mesopotamia
Cuneiform was developed around approximately 3000 B.C. The Sumerians wrote on clay tablets and used a sharpened reed as a stylus. They baked the clay tablets in the sun, ensuring that their written records would last a very long time. Cuneiform is the first known recorded language. It led to other forms of writing.

Here's the STEM challenge: students must first make the play-dough to create their cuneiform tablet. After painting their tablet, students must decide on symbols that represent each letter of the alphabet. They must create an answer key of their symbols that correlate with the letters A-Z. Using a sharp pencil as a stylus, students will carve their symbols into their tablet, creating a coded message. The message must be a fact about Ancient Mesopotamia and it must contain at least 5 words. When multiple groups are finished, they will give the Cuneiform tablets to each other and try to guess what the other group’s message is. 
***For more information about the challenge, scroll to the end of the post!  


STEM, ancient civilizations, ancient mesopotamia

Ziggurats were the most prominent buildings in the Sumerian cities. The Sumerians believed that the gods and goddesses were in charge of their cities. They built the Ziggurat structures because they wanted to place their temples on a high platform, closer to the heavens where the gods lived. 

Here's the STEM challenge: Students must design a Ziggurat structure that contains a marble run track. The goal of the stem challenge is to create a design that has the longest properly-functioning marble run track. The marble run can travel up, down, around, or inside the Ziggurat structure. The structure and marble run cannot be taller than 2 ft. It also cannot be more than 20 inches wide. The marble must be dropped at the top of the Ziggurat and after completing it’s course it must end at the bottom of the structure. The Ziggurat design must also have at least two temples (levels). ***Check out the link below for more information about the challenge. 







May 8, 2017

5K Followers Giveaway + Teacher Appreciation Sale!



Teacher Friends,
I'm so excited to announce that the StudentSavvy store on TpT is SO CLOSE to reaching 5,000 followers! Last week, we also reached 1 MILLION visitors on the blog! These are huge milestones and I am just blown away by the growth of the blog and store! THANK YOU to everyone who has supported my store along the way, I greatly appreciate it and feel overjoyed to celebrate the success with you!!

To celebrate these milestones, we're giving away a $50 TpT Cash (gift card.) This is the perfect time to win a gift card because during May 9-10th, is the big Teaching Appreciation Sale on Teachers pay Teachers!! Reaching these milestones could not have come at a better time!

This giftcard giveaway will end on the 9th during the TpT sale. This will ensure you can have one full day to shop during the last day of the sale! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Don't forget the Teacher Appreciation sale on Teachers pay Teachers is tomorrow!  Enter code THANKYOU17 at checkout. Begin filling your cart here! 


Here are some new/seasonal resources that you may want to check out during the sale! 

Ultimate Savvy Savings = Entire StudentSavvy Store 
50% off PLUS Additional 28% during the Sale!

All The Resources in the Store for Half the Price + 28% Savings during the Sale!! 
This resource contains a zip file of all the products you will find in the StudentSavvy store. (including future ones!) You will be the FIRST to receive new resources! Subject Areas / Resource Types include: Around the World Resources, Teacher Binders, Open House / Back to School Night, Interactive Notebooks, STEM Activities, Craftivities, Interactive PowerPoints, Sub Resources, Sub Tub, Sub Plans, Earth Science, Ancient Civilizations, US History, End of the Year Resources, Beginning of the Year Resources, and SO much more! Over 200 resources and counting!


STEM Challenges include:
1. Mini Golf Course (Hole in One) Challenge! Students must design a Mini Golf (one hole) that can be successfully completed in one stroke (a hole in one!). They must also craft a putter. Certain types of angles and obstacles in the course are required in their design. 

2. Balloon Rocket Car Challenge! Students must design a bottle rocket or car that is propelled only by the air escaping from a balloon. 

3. Trampoline Challenge! Students must construct a trampoline that can bounce an object (such as a marble) after being dropped from 12 inches (1 ft) high. They must measure the height of the bounce and build the contraption that creates the highest bounce. 


Novel Studies Bundle for 5th-6th Grade in an Interactive Notebook format! 

This product contains interactive cut and paste learning material for students to create an organized Novel Studies in an Interactive Notebook format. Chapter Quizzes, Final Exams, and Fun Board Games are also included! Find it here!

May 7, 2017

Gamer STEM Challenges!



Teacher friends,
It's typical for students to begin losing focus in the classroom as the end of the school year is approaching. Real learning does not have to go out the window just yet, you just have to mask it such a way where it doesn't quite seem like learning to students... but in fact, still is! 
Do your students enjoy playing games? They are a great way to keep students engaged and still learning! Games + STEM activities are the perfect way you and your students can survive until the end of the school year!

These game-themed challenges have science, technology, engineering, and measurement activities for your upper elementary kids that will really get their brains going until the end of the school year!



Challenge 1: Code a Video Game Challenge!
Students will work together to plan and design a game with characters, obstacles, and commands. The game must have an objective with a staring point and a finishing point. It is up to the group how detailed they would like their game to be. Once the board is put together, students will split into their two groups – the players and the programmers. The programmers will be in charge of developing the game – placing the obstacles, characters, and writing down the commands in the exact order that will allow the players to win the game. It is up to the programmers how difficult they want their game to be. ***for more information on the challenge, scroll down to the end of the post!




Challenge 2: Pinball Machine Challenge!
Students must design a Pinball machine that contains the following properly-functioning parts: flippers, drain, holes, bumpers, and plunger. For extending learning, students can decide to incorporate a spring in the design of their plunger. Students must be able to successfully launch the ball using the plunger. They must have a certain number of obstacles such as bumpers an holes that award points to the player. The flippers must be able to function in preventing the ball from reaching the drain. ***for more information on the challenge, scroll down to the end of the post!





















Challenge 3: Foosball Table Challenge!
Students must construct a functioning foosball table that has at least 12 players (6 per player) and 6 rods. (3 per player) Students must be able to push, pull, and turn the rods properly to move the players. The players must be secure enough to not fall off and hit the ball properly. There must be two opposing goals that the ball can be knocked into by the players. ***for more information on the challenge, scroll down to the end of the post!




Integrating end of the year activities into the classroom can sometimes be tricky with upper elementary grade levels, but with STEM, celebrating the end of the year will be a blast!




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