Saturday, March 15, 2014

St. Patrick's Day STEM Lesson

St. Patrick's Day is almost here, so we thought why not turn one of our FUN activities into a STEM lesson! Our county  has put a HUGE emphasis on creating lessons that meet the STEM requirements.  (Lessons that integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).  We have even seen STEAM lessons that add the ARTS to that list of requirements.

SOOO...we have been looking at some of our science lessons that we have been tweaking over the years, and many of them fit 3 of the STEM requirements.  All we needed to do was add a component here or there and we had a TON of STEM lessons on our hands.

So here's our St. Patrick's Day plan.  We always have the kiddos work with a partner to create a Leprechaun Trap.  We either set the traps the night before St. Patrick's Day or we set them after the little guy has come and done some mischief in our room.  Since St. Patrick's Day is on a Monday this year, we plan on setting them once we see he has crashed our room.

So...the plan!

Step 1:  The kiddos will work with a partner to plan, design, and build their Leprechaun Trap using classroom materials.  (This covers the ENGINEERING portion.)  They will record their plan on the sheet below.

Step 2:  We will evaluate each other's traps and talk about what we think may or may not work.  We will use terms such as longer, shorter, heavier, lighter, materials used, 5 senses (will he smell the gold candy coins you left for him...).  This will support the ENGINEERING portion and add in the MATH and SCIENCE portions as well.

Step 3:  We will take pictures of our traps.  (This is the 1st part of the TECHNOLOGY portion.)

Step 4:  We will wait!  Will we catch a Leprechaun?

Step 5:  We will check the traps the following day.  Were some of them sprung?  Did we catch a Leprechaun?  We will discuss our traps and talk about why we think they DID or DID not work.

Step 6:  We will choose 1 or 2 trap photographs to put into an Activboard flipchart.  We will then make notes on the photo of design changes we could make that may have made the trap more effective.  (This will really hit the TECHNOLOGY part right on the money and we will revisit ALL the other components too.)

Here's the Trap Design sheet we will be using!

You can find the trap design sheet and other St. Patrick's Day goodies in our 

And if you need a FUN game for St. Patrick's Day, 
you might want to grab our FREE CCVC Leprechaun Leap Game!

We hope you have a great weekend and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Compose/Decompose Numbers and Place Value

Hi!! We are back!!Wow! We have been missing for a while!!! Crazy times are just beginning!! We can't believe how fast the year is flying!!

Assessment time again for us!! How do you assess Composing/Decomposing Numbers and Understanding Place Value??? Our Kiddos have been playing an awesome game from Envision Math Centers! They are having a blast. You could play it even if you don't have Envision Math.

What do you need??
Each group needs
A 100 chart
2 sets of Number tiles/cards 1-9 in a baggy
Base 10 blocks

How do you play??
Students take turns pulling out 2 number tiles (students can put either tile first unless it is a 0) For example, if a child pulls a "4" and a "1" out of the bag then he/she can work on the number 41 or 14.
Student places the numbers above the 100 chart
Student points to the number on the number chart
Student builds (compose/decompose) that number with the base 10 blocks (using units of 10s and 1s)
Students play until all tiles are gone from the bag.

While we are continuously observing students playing this game and working on place value in other ways, we still love having some documentation as proof that the kiddos really did or did not meet this standard.

So we made these. What do you think?? Grab them if you want.