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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Lego Love: Storage Tips

My OCD kicked in and I decided to get my Lego tubs organized!!!! 

Last summer, I asked my Facebook friends for any Lego donations and had great success.  I ended up with a couple of large bins.  My intention was to get organized before the school year and then the year began.  We are now in November and I finally can breathe and want to get my room running more efficiently.  
I purchased this sturdy cart from Amazon.  The drawers can be pulled out and carried to work spaces. The cart is also portable and can be moved wherever the kids are working.   I am making labels for the drawers.  The drawers come in clear, black or multi-color.  I bought the clear.  I really wanted to see inside the drawers and it would also bug me if the color drawer did not match the Legos inside.
My students started sorting for me and I brought home the rest to finish.   A little Netflix, the couch and some tea made it go by quickly!  I can't wait to dump these large bags of sorted legos into my drawers on Monday.

I sorted the legos mostly by color:
  • red, pink and purple
  • orange and yellow
  • blues
  • green
  • white and clear
  • browns and tans
  • gray and black
  • people and accessories
  • wheels and axles
  • doors, windows and fences
  • extras 
Link for Printable
I made the Lego head container out of a giant cheese ball container.  I used spray paint and sticky black vinyl.  I use it for decoration but I also store extra bricks inside.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday November 2017

I am linking up with Forever in 5th Grades Monthly Linky Party called Show and Tell Tuesday.  
I have been so busy and miss blogging.  I am getting back my gr0ove.
Here are a few things that I'd like Show and Tell!
I have taken on a new role as the fifth grade engineering teacher.  This was my first thing I made for my classroom.  I bought all materials at Michaels.  I drilled holes and wired the metal pieces to the sign.  The wooden letters are glued on with craft glue.

I am so lucky to have a handy husband.  We made a lego wall.  It is plywood screwed on to the wall.  We bought epoxy and glued the panels on to the plywood.  Use Legos to hold pieces together while it dries or they will slide.
I love my new shoes.  My students think I custom made them.  Check out Groove bags.  They took awhile to ship, they came from China.

Another project my handy husband made, a wind tunnel.  I volunteered to work the science night at one of our elementary schools.  It was a huge success!!!!  I then used it to help with our parachute designs.
I love this adorable girl's flying contraption!!!
Please visit Forever in Fifth Grade!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Building Bridges: Part 2

Please see my first post,  Bridges Part 1, to see how we got started.
As I was leaving and packing up my bags the week I was introducing types of bridges,  I looked out at the construction going on and I spotted trusses.  We were so fortunate to go on a mini field trip the next day.  I was even given the blueprints of the trusses used to build our new snack shack and restrooms.
There are many great books, images and videos on the Internet.  We learned about the main types of bridges and parts.

Now to the design challenge.  My engineers had to build a bridge using exactly 50 Popsicle sticks(all cut pieces) that allows a car to pass and holds weight.  It had to have a minimum six inch.  Here are a few sketches:
This tool is amazing.  It cuts through Popsicle sticks and allows you to make angles.  I had my students wear eye goggles and supervised them while using.  They are sharp and pieces fly.
When gluing, use wax paper on top of cardboard or foam board.  Use a craft glue, I bought the new Elmer's Glue All and small refillable bottles.  I did not use the hot glue gun until the last day for any emergency repairs.  We worked in stages and spent three days building.

 A little overkill with the glue!!!!
I planned extra activities for students who were done gluing and waiting for things to dry.  There was a bridge sort, research bridge projects and making Lego bridges. 
Testing day was so much fun.  My students gathered around my big table and we tested each bridge for a car to travel on and that the bridge could hold weight.  There were a few groups whose bridge did not meet the size criteria.

Our bridge display

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Building Bridges: Part I

There are so many materials that your students can use to construct bridges.  I started my classes off with  a video from Mystery Science about the Golden Gate Bridge.  Mystery Science is  a new website that is amazing!!!!  You can sign up for a free trial for one year and then they require a paid subscription.  Our school has purchased it for our teachers.  The videos are engaging, interactive and give science lessons a real purpose/connection.  The lessons are aligned to the NGSS standards and come with lessons and resources.  The website is for K-5.  I teach fifth grade and used the lesson for third and found it was appropriate and aligned to my engineering standards.

My students used paper to construct bridges and tested them for strength using pennies.  It was a great starting point to observe failure points and introduce vocabulary.  The recording sheet is available on their website.

Here is another video you can use with your students.
Here is a great literature connection available on Amazon.