LEAP Frog: Integrated STEM Lesson

I know, I know.
Leap Day is today.
Kind of late for me to be sharing this.
But you have to understand...
My very BEST ideas come to me about 20 minutes before class starts. 
Leap Day only comes around once every four years. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have students investigate forces, motion, and distance by making their own origami leaping frogs. It ended up being an amazing and engaging integrated STEM lesson for my fifth grade students!
So what happened was...
All the lower grades were planning fun Leap Day activities. 
I was jealous.
But I teach fifth grade STEM - a tested subject in a tested grade.
So I had to stick to my standards.

Leap Day only comes around ONCE every FOUR YEARS!
If I didn't do something today, I would have to wait another four years.
Well, that wasn't gonna happen.


#IG2016GOALS - February

Since I blogged about accomplishing each of my January #ig2016goals HERE, I was really hoping to report that I was JUST as successful at reaching my goals in February. Um, not so much. But not a COMPLETE failure!
If you're like me, you struggle to meet your goals. Do you feel like you bite off more than you can chew? I do! Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail.
So for February I had big plans.

How to make a silhouette in 5 easy steps

How to make a silhouette in 5 easy steps: Elementary teachers need to learn this DIY hack for creating simple, meaningful keepsakes for mothers, fathers, grandparents, and more. Includes extra ideas for teacher gifts, student activities, and holiday projects.
I can remember having my silhouette made when I was a kid. You know, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth? (as my son would say) My teacher would turn the lights out and shine a bright light at the wall. We would have to stand really still while she traced our shadow onto construction paper with a piece of chalk. After she cut out each profile, we got to glue our head to a piece of colored paper. I think I gave mine to my mom. She probably still has it.


Sunday Scoop {02.21.16}

It's been a bit, but I'm linking up with Teaching Trio for Sunday Scoop tonight.
Yeah, it might be an effort to avoid lesson planning, but who's worried about that, right?!?
Sometimes I feel like I can never get caught up. Here’s my to-do list along with a recipe for the only potato salad I am willing to eat! Update: I’ve added a link to a great beginning of the year activity for elementary, middle or high school students that integrates technology.
So, let's review...


Songs in the STEM Class {Layers of the Earth Rap}

I'm super excited to start sharing one of my absolute FAVORITE teaching strategies with you: using songs (specifically cheesy YouTube music videos) to teach and reinforce concepts in science.
If you aren’t using music in the classroom yet, you should be! Songs are a great strategy for teaching science concepts and vocabulary. A catchy tune will help those concepts stick.

Think back to the last unit you taught. Let me guess...
You learned the content so you could teach it effectively. You spent a lot of time planning engaging activities for your students. You made copies, arranged demonstrations, set up inquiry investigations, invited guest speakers, and basically taught your little heart out.


Journey to the Center of the Earth {teaching strategies}

My most recent unit involved teaching about the different layers of the earth. Students are required to know that the earth consists of these layers: a rocky outer crust, the mantle in which hot materials move, an outer core made of liquid metals, and a dense, metallic core. 
Teaching about the layers of the earth doesn’t have to be boring. Here are three great teaching strategies for use in the STEM class. Using YouTube video clips, interactive notebook activities, and visual vocabulary posters will help students with this earth science topic.
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