Sunday, December 31, 2017

Baby It's Cold Outside

We have been battling some very cold weather this week in New England.  We spent the week at out camp in New Hampshire and the heat was broken and we had a frozen water pipe.  Luckily we got both fixed and didn't have any damage.

I have always wanted to do the boiling water experiment and got my daughter's boyfriend to go outside for me.  AMAZING!!!!
I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year!!!!  I have been going back to Weight Watchers and I love their new program.  I need to get back to the gym and get back into my routines.  I want make changes that will last.
 I love the "One Little Word" instead of a resolution.  Here is a great list if you need an idea.

My One Little Word for this year is INSPIRE.  I want to inspire my students, family and friends.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday: December

Sorry I am a day late to the party...better late than never.

I am linking up with Forever in 5th Grades Monthly Linky Party called Show and Tell Tuesday.  
Here are a few things that I'd like Show and Tell!
My engineering classes have been building structures.  My kids love my new Kinex set from Donor's Choose.  I highly recommend this building set.

 My students are creating bridges using popsicle sticks that can allow a car to pass and hold weight.  This group had one of the best designs.

My family getting ready for our 27th annual tree tour progressive dinner.  My favorite tradition.  We even added shirts this year!!!

I got a new iphone 8 from xmas and I am obsessed with the camera.  I took this quickly today and I love the lighting.

I am teaching until Friday...and yes, I will be teaching!!!! We don't do holidays or celebrations in my district.  My students will be testing their bridges.

Please visit Forever in Fifth Grade!

Monday, December 18, 2017

I'm Done!!!!

This year is totally new for me.  Teaching engineering everyday with five classes has been awesome but there are some challenges.  One of the struggles is having meaningful activities for groups that finish their work early.
We are currently working on bridges and are building in stages.  I have set up several different activities that they can choose to work on if they are finished.
  • Lego Bridges/Lego wall
  • Kinex Bridges
  • Research a famous bridge or structure:  I purchased on TPT
  • Golden Gate Bridge Brochure:  I purchased on TPT
  • Keva Plank Bridges
  • Read about Bridges
  • Create a Toothpick bridge

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Shapes and Structures (Freebie)

We are getting ready to start our unit on bridges.  I wanted to review 3D shapes and parts.

I started with a lesson on the strongest shape, a square or a triangle.  I used the AngLegs and gave each group a triangle and a square made with them.  We held them and pushed down on the top of the shape.  The square collapsed.  The kids quickly saw that the triangle was stronger.  I gave them one more angle piece and I asked them if they could make the square stronger.  Students added the piece diagonally and identified that the square was made of two triangles.

We discussed new vocabulary and what happened to our square.

We watched the Design Squad video showing a few demonstrations of strong triangles.

I then challenged groups to build with straws and connectors.  Each group had to make different 3D shapes and test to find the strongest shape.  My students love this kit!  I highly recommend them.  They are very sturdy and would be great for math or  recess.  
Straws and Connectors

 Our strongest shape!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Building Circuits is a Snap!

My fifth graders take the MCAS state science assessment in the spring.  We incorporate third and fourth grade standards into our curriculum.  Engineering is the perfect place to do circuits!!!!
I had my classes make simple, parallel and series circuits with basic materials; batteries, wires, light bulb, and holder.  
After reviewing the basics we added a challenge.  They had to build a fan using a small motor.  Groups experimented with ways to make the blades and bases.  They got creative turning the fans into spin art.

As part of my module, I introduced them to the snap circuits kits.  We read about setting up circuits using the  Science A-Z book, Setting Up Circuits.  The kit projects are endless.  They made buzzers, voice recorders, sirens, My kids demonstrated the transfer of energy with sound, light, motion using batteries.  I just bought the solar panel kit.
Link to Amazon

If you use snap circuits in your classes, there are some delicate pieces.  Please discuss with your students.  I learned the hard way.  We ended up with a few broken pieces but found a replacement store online.

Snap circuits is also a popular choice with my Maker Space Club.