Saturday, October 29, 2016

Happy Fall

We have had an amazing start to the school year!  Everyone has adjusted to the routines and demands of a new school and fifth grade.  I just love my new bunch of students!!!

Here is a collection of pictures of math and science activities.  

Picture the Scientist
Gearing up Our Multiplication Facts
Human Place Value
 Going Bananas Lab
 Dr.K.M.Istry visit
 Gummy Bear Lab
Reading Day
Ways to Multiply
 Properties of Matter
 Melting ce Cubes
 Chemical Changes

Mystery Powders 

 Growing Crystals
Working on division using the standard algorithm

The force of Gravity 

 Wonder what November will bring....

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Catapults for Kids

I just love using STEM in my science and math classes.  We had just finished learning about simple machines and went into building a catapult.  The students had their supply list and were given a limited amount of time to research on the computer.  They had to sketch out their designs and were not allowed to look back at the computer the next day.

Here is the list of materials that they were allowed to use:
  • Large and small craft sticks 10 altogether
  • Rubber bands 6 or less
  • Plastic spoon 1
  • Binder clip 1
  • Plastic cup 1
  • Clothespin 1
  • glue gun and masking tape
Day One:  Imagine and Design
Here are my students researching designs.  I love listening to their ideas.

 Day 2: Building
The next day we started building.  My students really had to work together and collaborate to make their designs come to life!  I had one group that wanted to give up but they persevered and got the catapult to work.  Problem solving in action.
 I found this design on the internet with zip ties!
 Day 3: Test and Rebuild
The students have a chance to test their catapult and make adjustments as necessary.  
 Day 4-5: Test for Distance and for Accuracy (Target)
Each group had three trials for distance.  We recorded on a table.  Then ranked in order.  Great place to reinforce some math.  Record in ft/in or m/cm.  Put on a graph.

Each group also had three trials for accuracy.  I made a target with points.  We added the totals of the three.

 Here is how you can bring the A into STEM.
Have the students decorate their catapults.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sailboat STEAM Challenge

We ended the school year with STEAM Lessons!

Science Technology Engineering Art Math  

One of our STEAM challenges was designing and building a boat that will sail and also hold weight. 

We talked about designs of boats and how they move.  We brainstormed a class chart.  We also listed materials that boats are made out of and to think how our materials could be used.  

We used a lab sheet that went through each step of the engineering and design process.  I always have my students design on their own and then makes groups.  I do no more than three in a group to manage problems and allowing everyone to participate.  You need more materials but it works so much better.

I have my students build and test.  They need to write down problems/improvements/solutions as they are working.  I sometimes limit how many tests they are allowed.  They will help manage issues. I did give new paper if it got wet but did not replace anything else.

Each group used the following items:
1 piece of aluminum foil
1 piece of tape
1 straw
1 craft stick
1 piece of paper

Building and Sailing our boats using an under the bed storage container and fan.
Testing with marbles to see if the boats can hold weight.
I love how my students collaborate and persevere during the lessons.  It is the best way to get students to work as a team!