Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day Project

My kiddos like to act like they are very mature and sometimes too "cool" to do certain things, but this activity was truly a very special one.

We brainstormed together what they would like to do for their moms. They all wanted to do some kind of card, but they made it clear they didn't just want any ordinary card.

They wanted it to have writing, artwork, and presentation. They also said they wanted their handprint to "remind" their parents they have grown since they first started school--many years ago--and that way keep a memory of their current hand size. I though that was so cute. If I had suggested the handprint, they probably wouldn't have gone with the idea. Besides, they all know how much moms love that kind of thing.  They are right...we ooh and ahhh about it.

They then decided to do a poem instead of a letter. They said it took more thinking, because of the focus on the words and overall message when compared to a letter format. 

(The inside of the card)

The artwork idea came from Cheryl at Teach Kids Art. It is an unbelievably amazing site. It is my go to place for many of the art projects I have done with my kiddos this year.

Lastly, my students made their own tissue flower and we attached it to red pen-for love!

They felt so proud of their projects. Their are two students in my class that were going to give it to a grandma and one was going to place it at the cemetery. I was so touched. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Balloon Skewer

As mentioned before I love science. This is the reason I also love Steve Spangler's site. He has videos, lessons, explanations of all things science, and of course a store (be careful--highly addictive).

I have been focusing on our investigation and experimentation standards because these transcend the grade levels and also encompass many higher order thinking skills. I also thought it would be great review in preparation for our science fair. We are therefore spending our time having fun, fun, fun through rigorous science investigations.

While on Steve's site, I came across this Balloon Skewer experiment and thought it would be great for my kiddos. I was so right! The target vocabulary alone is impressive: stress/strain, elasticity, polymers, and reviewed molecules. Students had to determine if it is possible to poke a balloon without popping it. They all thought it was impossible. They made various observation, took notes, and made inferences based on those observations. In our first attempt, only one of my students succeeded. This caused an uproar of questions. Everyone wanted to know how he did it. This was an excellent opportunity to have that student explain their reasoning, steps, inferences and model what he had done. Of course, now students wanted to do it again to try out their "NEW" learning. The second attempt had 18/20 students successfully accomplish the task. On the third attempt 20/20 succeeded. They really did a lot of learning and had so much fun in the process. This is a win-win lesson for me.


You really need to try this...they will have so much fun!

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