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Dec 4, 2017

New Year's Resolutions 2018 for the Classroom!


The excitement, much like the snow in the winter wonderland areas of the world, is swirling in the air as the holiday season inches closer and closer! Students are surely itching for their break so they can celebrate with family and friends. Classrooms have such diversity when it comes to celebrating winter holidays—Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other cultural festivities are everywhere. But come December 31st, people all over the world will be ringing in the New Year. There are plenty of ways to ring in 2018 in the classroom, too!

New Year’s resolutions are one of the most common practices, and the students can get involved as well! Resolutions are a great lesson in self-determination, self-esteem, and responsibility. As teachers, we can instill the importance of setting goals that are challenging but attainable, and emphasize the difference motivation can make when working towards a personal objective. Resolutions allow students time to reflect on what they have done the past year and what they would like to achieve in 2018. Have students brainstorm different goals they would like to set, and work with each student individually to create a New Year’s resolution that is realistic, manageable, and even fun to try and achieve! Encourage students to write goals using the S.M.A.R.T acronym (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely). 
Once the students have written it down, they can even post them on a bulletin board or a wall so that they proudly reflect back on their goals when January comes, and so that they are held accountable!

Here is a resource that will allow students to create an interactive clock craft where they can write in their goals for the New Year! This resource also comes with a SMART goal setting poster and banners to make the perfect New Year's 2018 bulletin board!



Click here to find this New Year's resource!


As a whole class, students can work together to also list their accomplishments in 2017. It is important for students to be able to reflect back on what they have done and what they have achieved. Let students focus not on what they feel did not go well, but what made them feel accomplished! Focus on the academics—did the students feel they made big gains in long division? Did the students suddenly start spelling more complicated words correctly that used to trouble them? Did the students finally get the time they wanted on their mile-run in physical education? All accomplishments are good accomplishments!

Another fun activity that also celebrates diversity is to learn how different countries ring in the New Year! Research the traditions in other countries such as Great Britain, France, Japan, and Australia. Show the students how New Year’s Eve happens in each country—the parties, the celebrations, the fireworks! It may also be a good time to throw in a quick discussion on the Chinese New Year and how it is different from the New Year that most countries celebrate!

In true New Year’s Eve tradition, it is always fun to have a mock New Year’s Eve party! Send home notes about the party and have students come to school on that chosen day dressed nicely and ready to celebrate. Students can bring in snacks and games! Play games like Charades, pin the tail on the donkey, and other simple games in which students can engage. Set a countdown, and when there is one minute left, show a video of the ball dropping in Times Square and have students countdown from sixty! Once the “New Year” arrives, celebrate with hugs and the classic “Auld Lang Syne,” and perhaps some noisemakers and confetti if you don’t mind the noise and mess!


The New Year is an opportunity for students to reflect back on everything they have done in the past year. Learning how to form goals and take on personal responsibilities is an important practice as they grow into young adults, and encouraging reflection and growth in the classroom environment is even more important! Create an environment where students are hopeful for a safe and prosperous New Year!

Nov 30, 2017

Winter STEM Challenge Ideas for the Classroom!



December is upon us, which means the holidays are here! Winter has also arrived, and with it comes a world of opportunities to incorporate STEM activities into the classroom that can directly tie into the season. There are countless fun science, technology, engineering, and math activities to do with your upper elementary kids that will really get their brains going this winter season!

Here are three fun Winter themed STEM Challenges that your students will love! 


Geometric Gingerbread House Challenge! 

Using a list of supplies, STEM groups must create a geometric gingerbread house for their gingerbread family. Using guides, students must invent a gingerbread family to build their house for!

A floor plan must created with the following requirements:

-There must be 2 polygon shapes present and labeled in their floor plan (two different types, ex: hexagon, pentagon)

-One obtuse angle, and one acute angle, and one right angle must be present and labeled in their design

-Must have 1 bathroom for every two gingerbread people

-Must have 1 bedroom for every gingerbread person

-Must have kitchen, living room, and an entryway

Creativity is a must for this challenge!

**For more instructions and a list of supplies, scroll to the end of the post!


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-STEM-Challenges-December-STEM-3517139




DIY Winter Snow Globe Challenge!

Students create a snow globe using a list of ingredients and supplies. The STEM group must come up with the perfect combination of ingredients to make the glittery snow fall at a slow rate.
Bonus points for creativity and design inside the snow globe!
Students have 3 days to complete this challenge. The first two days should focus on design and gluing down the pieces. Allow for glue to dry for an entire day before adding water, glitter, and glycerin.

***For more directions and a list of supplies, scroll to the end of the post! 


 



Santa's Chimney Marble Run Challenge!

Construct a chimney marble run where Santa and his presents can slide down and into the house! The marble must rest at the top of the chimney and successfully slide down the chimney (not free fall – do not break the presents!) and into the home. The STEM group must time how long the marble travels. The longer the marble can travel down the chimney, the more points the STEM group can receive. The chimney height cannot exceed 2 feet. The width cannot exceed 7 inches. Students have 3 days to complete this challenge... (scroll down for more info!)
 





https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-STEM-Challenges-December-STEM-3517139

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-STEM-Challenges-December-STEM-3517139

Nov 27, 2017

Winter Break Giveaway and More!

Hi Teacher Friends!
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family! I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by!

There are 2 awesome giveaways that I'm hosting right here on the blog!
This is your chance to win a $50 TpT Gift Card AND the chance to win the Winter Break Giveaway!


Ready for a Winter Break Care Package? 


The Winter Break Giveaway includes: 
-2018 Designer Planner/Calendar
-Pink and Grey Blanket Scarf
-9 Piece Stationary Kit
-Ceramic Coffee Tumbler
-Dew Drop Lily Scented Candle
-Aromatic Diffuser
-Size Medium Cozy Grey Slippers
-Amazing Ideas Journal
-Gold Glitter Glass Water Bottle
-120 Sheet Page Flags
-90 Sheet Paper Tablets / List Maker 



a Rafflecopter giveaway







a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by and happy cyber shopping! :)

Nov 2, 2017

November STEM Challenges!



November is upon us, which means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Fall has also arrived, and with it comes a world of opportunities to incorporate STEM activities into the classroom that can directly tie in to the season. There are countless fun science, technology, engineering, and math activities to do with your upper elementary kids that will really get their brains going this fall season!

Here are three fun Thanksgiving themed STEM Challenges that your students will love! 

The Cornucopia Catch Game!

Students must construct 5 paper cornucopias along with paper fruits and vegetables. The cornucopias must be strong enough to hold, catch, and toss paper vegetables. Students must come up with their own unique game with instructions, rules, and challenges using the cornucopias. When their STEM group has invented the game, they must teach it to the class. The group with the most creative game wins the challenge!  
**For more instructions and a list of supplies, scroll to the end of the post!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thanksgiving-STEM-Challenges-November-STEM-3471341



Crack the Turkey Code Challenge!

Using a list of supplies, students will first create a turkey craft. On the turkey feathers of the craft, students must decide on made-up symbols that represent letters of the alphabet. They must create an answer key of their symbols that correlate with the letters A-Z. Their turkey craft will have a coded message. The message must be a fact about turkeys and it must contain at least five words.  Different colors must be used as a clue for students to know how many letters each word contains in the sentence. (See sample code). When multiple groups are finished, they can give their turkey codes to each other and try to guess what the other group’s message is. The vowels are automatically given to the group who is trying to guess the code to make it easier to decipher.. **For more directions and a list of supplies, scroll to the end of the post! 


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thanksgiving-STEM-Challenges-November-STEM-3471341

 



Toothpick Thanksgiving Table Challenge

Students must construct a Thanksgiving table only using toothpicks and glue. The table must be at least 6 inches long and 4 inches wide, but no longer than 1 ft by 6 inches. The table cannot have more than 4 legs. The challenge is to make the table as strong as possible. At the end of the challenge, students will place weights on top the table. The STEM group with the table that holds the most weight wins the challenge! Students have three days to complete this challenge (to allow for drying time). 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thanksgiving-STEM-Challenges-November-STEM-3471341
 




https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thanksgiving-STEM-Challenges-November-STEM-3471341

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thanksgiving-STEM-Challenges-November-STEM-3471341


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thanksgiving-STEM-Challenges-November-STEM-3471341




Sep 3, 2017

Rock Cycle STEM Challenges!

Rock Cycle STEM weathering and erosion

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 the Rock Cycle! 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!

I first discuss with students the three different types of rock (igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic) and how they are formed. Igneous is formed by the heating and cooling of lava. Sedimentary is formed by the deposition of material at the earth's surface and within bodies of water. Metamorphic rocks were once igneous or sedimentary rocks and have changed from high temperatures or pressure. I then have students brainstorm if it is possible to demonstrate each of the rock cycle phases by using crayons!

Without giving them the answers, I question how could they change the state of the crayons to represent the different formations,... This is where the fun begins with STEM challenges!  



STEM Activity #1: Rock Cycle Challenge with Crayons! 

Rock Cycle STEM weathering and erosion

Here's the Challenge: Using a list of supplies, students must demonstrate the rock cycle and the different rock formations that occur during the process. All three types of rock must be present in the cycle. Students must collect a small sample of rock during each phase and it must be labeled which type it is. STEM groups have three trials to complete this challenge.. They must complete the challenge in 75 minutes. ***See end of post for more information on supplies!

STEM Activity #2: Erosion and Weathering with Rock Cliffs! 

Students must demonstrate how weathering and erosion affects our landscape. They must build four rock cliffs using sugar cubes and decide on different weathering and erosion strategies for each rock cliff (one strategy per rock cliff).  A strategy  can be a combination of wind and rain effects or another way to break down the rocks. They must describe and label each strategy they came up with. (Ex: 10 drops of water and 5 seconds of shaking in plastic container – rain and wind)  The goal is to find a wide variety of results from different weathering and erosion strategies.  They have one hour to complete this challenge. 

Aug 31, 2017

Ecosystems STEM Challenge!

Ecosystems food web 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 all about ecosystems and food webs! 
This project is SO much fun! A STEM group (4-5 students) must first decide on which type of ecosystem they are going to research for their challenge. 
    
Before I begin the challenge with students, I make sure they know all about how energy travels up the web. A food web is a system of interlocking food chains within an ecosystem or community. Energy first comes from the sun. Plants use that energy from the sun and produce energy for primary consumers. The primary consumers provide energy for the secondary consumers and so forth. After students have basic knowledge of how food webs work, they are ready to choose an ecosystem and get to work! 

STEM Activity: Food Web Marble Maze

Here's the Challenge: 
The group must first choose a biome or type of ecosystem. (ex: Tundra, Grassland, Forest) Using a list of materials, students must create a marble run that features different levels of the food web. They must include a producer, a primary consumer, secondary consumer, and a tertiary consumer. There can be more than one of each type of consumer, but there must be at least one of every level. The marble maze must direct the ball going up the various interlocking paths along the food web. Animals and consumer types must be labeled in their design. Drawings, computer clipart, or figurines can be used. Students have three days to complete this project!


Would you like the printable guides and listed materials for these Ecosystems - Food Web Marble Maze STEM Challenges? Click here!  

Biome STEM Challenge!

biomes 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 all about biomes! 
This project is SO much fun! In a STEM group of four to five students, they must research a specific biome that they have chosen for the challenge. They should focus on the plants and animals that live there who have special adaptations to help them survive in that specific climate.  After they have decided on a biome, they find a plastic or stuffed animal that is not associated with their chosen location... Here's where the fun begins! 



STEM Activity #1: Survival of the Biomes! 

Here's the Challenge: The STEM group of students must first decide on a plush or plastic animal to bring to school. They must also decide on a specific biome that the animal is going to survive in. The animal they choose for this challenge may not already have adaptations suited for the chosen biome. The students must come up with at least 4 different adaptations for their animal. Using the materials listed below, their group must transform their animal so it is better suited for the new environment it will survive in. The group must also create a poster that describes each adaptation and why they chose it for their animal. The materials listed below are just suggestions, students may add to the list. They have 3 days to complete this challenge

biomes STEM challenges

Aug 28, 2017

Teacher Binders - Tips & Free Resources!


   If you're an organization freak like myself, you may LOVE the topic of teacher planners and binders like I do! Even though all teachers should be enjoying their summer right now, it may give you piece of mind to have everything ready for Back to School. In fact, you can just spend a few hours planning and then enjoy the rest of your summer worry-free!!
     What I've found to be incredibly helpful for staying organized throughout the school year are teacher binders... They are simply LIFE SAVERS. Don't kill your precious time by rifling through endless stacks of papers in a big drawer.. No teacher has time for that!

Let this be the year that you start utilizing teacher binders in your classroom! If you're not sure how to go about it, here are my tips and a few free resources!

Tip #1 - Have separate binders for separate topics or resources.
This will prevent your binders from paper overload. I like to have a separate binder for when a substitute comes in.. I'll just leave out that binder for them! Also having a student binder with student-related printables (homework folder, while you were out sick/here's what you missed folder, student information, reading logs, IEP forms, etc.)  is nice to have separate from my own teacher binder.



Tip #2 - Use plastic sheet protectors and have master copies. That makes everything WAY MORE organized and paper friendly!



Tip #3 -  This is my biggest tip - Go digital. Have everything saved and backed up on the computer in case of an emergency. I cannot tell you how many times I've dumped coffee inside my teacher bag... so fun. You can thank me later. ;)





Tip #4 - Make it EDITABLE for every year! (another reason to go the digital route!)



Tip #5 - Use tabs to find things FAST.
























Tip #6 - Have an entire calendar in your teacher binder, not just Monday through Friday. If you're like most teachers, (unfortunately) your planning isn't just limited to weekdays. Have multiple formats available in your binder for planning!



Tip #7 - Have a MISC section. I love having this section in my binder for extra planning templates.

Tip #8 - The use of binder spines. SO much easier to find on the bookshelf!



Tip #9 - Be even MORE ORGANIZED with topic covers and a Table of Contents!



Tip #10 - Edit so it fits the needs of your students! This is a great reason to have digital and editable copies of your binder. Your students needs will change every year. You will need to alter your binders to accommodate your new students!





 Here are some FREEBIES that you may use as templates in your teacher binder!







Download all the free pages in one PDF file here! 

So those are my tips and freebies for creating teacher binders in the classroom! If you loved the binders you saw in the photos, I designed them and you can find them here! :)

Triple Binder Bundle! - Teacher - Student - Substitute Editable Binders


Editable Teacher Binder

Editable Student Binder

Editable Substitute Binder




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! :)

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