Thursday, July 14, 2016

STEM Day - Water Rockets

It has been way too long since I have wrote a post on here. I am finally getting around to blogging about our last STEM Day of the year. We did this over two full days at the end of the year. It was the best time to do it. The kids had a blast and was an overall great experience. It really helped hammer in what we had been working on with force, motion, and speed.    

On my TpT page, I have included the lesson plan I followed (with Marzano elements embedded) and a PowerPoint. The lesson plan is detailed and includes student handouts as well.  The PowerPoint will guide you through the lesson (so you aren't reading from a lesson plan the whole time) but also let's the students have access to what they need to see during the lesson. 


The students had to design a water rocket from materials given. They had to build a prototype of a rocket ship which will travel the greatest distance in the least amount of time to deliver more fuel and necessary supplies. They had many different materials to choose from and worked together in their groups to come up with their designs. Overall, the kids had a great time and it was a great way to end the year. You can get the whole lesson plan and digital resources on my Teachers Pay Teachers. 


*I did this with my fourth graders. However, it can be done with 2-5 if students have the basic background knowledge. I have included many slides and resources for background knowledge in the lesson plan.

Here are some pictures and videos of my class working on the STEM activity!














Below are the pictures and videos of the water rockets being launched. Since I have a co-teacher, she launched the rockets while I timed them and took the video/pictures. The re-design was crucial for my class. The first day, only 1 rocket launched. However, after the re-design, all groups launched their rockets. Enjoy!






video

video

video


video


CLICK HERE!!



-Kate!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

One-Pager (Native Americans)

We have started doing One-Pagers in my class and it has been a huge hit!

After a week long study of Native Americans, my students got to pick between different tribes and complete a One-Pager. The students used their notes to help them. Their notes came from different texts, videos, and online research.

Since our unit was completed, I thought a One-Pager was the perfect fit. It is a great strategy to see what they learned and if they can identify the critical content about their tribe.

For this One-Pager the students had to include:
1. a title
2. a picture of something important to the tribe or a tribe member
3. 2 questions and 2 answers about their tribe
4. 1-2 facts

This is a great strategy for ELL's and ESE students as well. More than half my class is ELL and I have 5 ESE students. It was great to see these students come to life while creating their One-Pager!

I was so impressed by what they had come up with. The students loved doing the activity and I think it was a great way to end a unit.

It also hit on some great Marzano elements (#6 and #12).

Here are some great examples of their One-Pagers!









-Kate!





Sunday, January 31, 2016

Main Idea and Key Details

Main idea has always been a struggling for my students....actually, a struggle for our whole school. We have taken it down a notch to see if we can break it apart for better understanding.

In our class, main idea = topic + point & details.

We color code it to help. The topic is blue, point is red, and details are green.
Topic= who or what the text is about
Point= what the author is saying about the topic
Details= key details that support the topic and point

My students don't have trouble finding the topic. The issue is when it comes to the point. So, we were working on a passage and split into 5 groups. Each group was assigned a paragraph. It was their job to read the paragraph and first find the topic. Once they established the topic, they went to find the point. While looking for the point they were also looking at the key details. For the first day, they picked one detail and made a three column chart. They wrote the topic, point, and detail. Then explained it in their own words and drew a visual. It is very important for my ELL's to have visuals.

Look at their thinking in action!










As we moved forward with the next few days they continued finding the topic, point, and key details.
They learned that sometimes, the details need to come first if they point is explicitly stated. Afterwards, we then all got together and shared. Then we figured out the main idea of the whole text. It was awesome to see how much they understood. They saw the connections between the paragraphs and the main idea of the whole text was very easy to find. We did this multiple times throughout the week until it was 100% on their own and not group work.

Here are some more pictures of their work and thinking!








- Kate

Saturday, January 9, 2016

STEM Day- Weathering and Erosion

At the end of every 9 weeks, my class participates in a STEM activity that includes things we have been working on during that quarter. For the first 9 weeks, we did a Weathering and Erosion STEM activity.  The whole day was dedicated to this STEM activity. The kids had a blast and was overall a great experience. It really helped hammer in what we had been working on. 

On my TpT page, I have included the lesson plan I followed (with Marzano elements embedded) and a PowerPoint & Smart Notebook. The PowerPoint and Smart Notebook guide you through the lesson (so you aren't reading from a lesson plan the whole time) but also let's the students have access to what they need to see during the lesson. I created a Smart Notebook and a PowerPoint so everyone could use it (depending on what your school offers).  There is also an additional PowerPoint that includes information on weathering, erosion, and deposition. 

We started the experiment by brainstorming what weathering and erosion is. We watch a video on weathering and erosion and cleared up any misconceptions. As we moved forward, students had to design a way to stop erosion on a beach. They had many different materials to choose from and worked together in their groups to come up with their designs. Overall, the kids had a great time and it was a great way to end the 9 weeks. You can get the whole lesson plan and digital resources on my TpT.

*I did this with my fourth graders. However, it can be done with 2-5 if students have the basic background knowledge. I have included some slides and resources for background knowledge in the lesson plan.

Here are some pictures of my class working on the STEM activity!

First they worked on designing their ideas and then building them. After they completed the test, they were able to re-design and change up their original ideas to be more successful. 













- Kate