Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Day My Way!


What an interesting Linky! Amelia at Where the Wild Things Learn is inviting us to share a day's events. She is so correct when she says we all have different demands, testing preparation, and standards--- so how do we get through the day?? It has been really fun to read the daily schedules of several teachers.



Before I share my schedule I have to tell you that my classroom is NOT normal. I am a STEM Lab teacher. I see every class in my school (17 of them) for a 45 minute block once each week. I only work with science and math related topics so I won't be sharing how I fit reading in or read aloud times, center times, or all the ten trillion other things you guys have to fit in.



This sums it up nicely, don't you think??

 But anyway---- I have ten tons of preparation and must flip between grade levels and get new supplies, folders, graded papers, and things ready quickly.
 So......here's a sample day:



7:15- 8:00 Okay let's start with room prep! Here's a panoramic of my lab:



It's huge! Clean up is constant. Prepping for three grade levels and three different studies is a major job. So I get to school early and WORK!
But the hard work is okay, really. I know you agree and I'm sure you have seen this pin:



(Sorry, I digressed again.....I love quotes and I love pins....probably need therapy)

8:00-8:30 Intervention group: I have two little third graders that come to me for reading intervention. This is due to the fact that I do not have a regular classroom and do have chunks of time where I can do extra. During other open times you may find me helping the lowest math class in fourth grade (where they have leveled math groups) or helping out in any area needed. Next week I am scheduled to help third grade classes plant seeds for a study on plant growth.

8:30-10:00 This is my fifth grade block. We are currently learning about egg drops.....yep......eggs. Here's their first design challenge:


They are designing a model of an amusement park ride. The passenger cars of the rides are represented with Styrofoam cups. The passengers are ping pong balls and the PVC pipe is the ride itself. When the cups are dropped from the top, of course the passengers bounce out. So, here's the design part for the kids: Use a folder, two sheets of copy paper, straws, and tape and make a braking system so that the passenger cars stop one inch from the floor AND the passengers stay inside! When I introduced this premise to this class, one little voice said, "Mrs. Davis! No Way! That's all we have is paper and straws!"



(Well, you have to admit that quote is appropriate....)

Well, back to the STEM lab, guess what, most of them successfully designed a way to make it work!  

NOW SWITCH GEARS--- two third grade classes follow that!

10:00-11:30 Third graders! Now, I taught third grade for 18 years so I completely get this age. They never cease to amaze me though with how little they are and how you canNOT assume they know things. It's especially hard to go from fifth grade talk to third grade talk!

So, what are the third graders doing right now !!!!
CHEMICALS

Have I totally lost it!?

No, third grade just completed a regular classroom study of chemicals and we are simply extending that learning in the lab.

Besides, in the lab......are you ready for this???

We wear lab coats and safety goggles:


Anyway, we are learning about chemical changes, which just happens to be something I have worked on many times!

And it is a super duper really fun study with elephant toothpaste, Instasnow, and sodium polyacralate.......I know, that sounds very impressive, but I cannot tell you what all that stuff does because then you would not have the fun of discovering those chemical reactions on your own!

11:30-1:00  LUNCHTIME! And planning block and this is when I clean up and get ready for 4th grade, grade notebooks, make copies, laminate, and all that other stuff we do that most people have no idea about!

1:00-2:30 FOURTH GRADE!!!!!! And here is what they are doing:

They have been working on Energy Task Cards. We spent some time reading about kinetic and potential energy and they are rotating through task card stations doing a variety of tasks that are one of the forms of energy. The premise of this study is HOW DO YOU BUILD A ROLLER COASTER!!!!! Well, we did build a two hill roller coaster out of foam tubes first.


The idea was to make the second hill larger than the first and see if it would work. Some of them felt sure it would work! Surprise! 

After doing some labs on bouncing and friction we will finally build a roller coaster  model from foam tubes!





2:30-3:00 BUS DUTY! I have to call roll for one of the largest buses (probably 50-60 kids), but it's fun! I check off their names and escort them to the bus and then go back to CLEAN up the lab again! I usually spend a little time getting ready for the next day--- cause you never know what is going to happen the next morning!

There you have it---- a typical day! In a STEM lab anyway!

2 comments :

  1. I absolutely LOVED reading about your day! It is so unique and so amazing! I did some field experience in college at our local STEM school and was so impressed by the out of the box thinking and exploration they did! You certainly do it, too! I am in awe of the creativity you inspire in your students and the amazing projects you do. Keep it up! :)
    (P.S. Totally texting my teaching partner right now who teachers Science and making her read your blog! :) )


    Thanks for linking up :)

    Amelia
    wherethewildthingslearn

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for visiting! I do have a wacky schedule, but it works for me! Actually, I would like to have classes stay with me for an entire hour and hopefully we can do that next year!

    ReplyDelete

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