Friday, April 17, 2015

Five for Friday! Quotes are Words to Live By!

Happy Friday Friends!
I have no school today!
It's a Spring Holiday and I am so glad.
We finished three days of state testing this week.
I was looking for a funny quote about testing to use right here and stumbled upon my theme of this week.
QUOTES

First let's honor Kacey at Doodlebugs for hosting this linky every week. 
So, can I find a quote for five different topics?.....well, yes, with a little help from Pinterest!

Fairly profound, I would say.
 I watched a fourth grade group this week. It is really sad how stressed they are and how stressed we are and jeez, if they could jut remember that a rhombus is not a square....I had to test a fourth grade classroom because they have a sub right now and she cannot give the test. UGH! 
So, anyway, click on that quote above and it will take you to a fabulous  and very short article about opting out of tests.

Oh. My. Goodness.
When I saw this quote I nearly swooned. (great vocab word right there)
I recently finished a book that fits this quote so perfectly. Well, actually two books. 

One was this:
  Book Recommendation: This is set in the 1830's and is about Sarah and her sister. Sarah is given a personal slave when she turns 11 and her relationship with that slave, named Hetty, but called Handful, is the heart of the book. It is a grim look at slavery, but also quite fascinating. Great Book!
This is set in the 1830's and is about Sarah and her sister. Sarah is given a personal slave when she turns 11 and her relationship with that slave, named Hetty, but called Handful, is the heart of the book. It is a grim look at slavery, but also quite fascinating. I loved it and days later I still wanted to read about these families. I missed them.
That is a sign of a really great book.

Here's another I just finished:
  Book Recommendation: It has some jumps in time that you have to pay attention to. You will find yourself trying so hard not to turn to the end to find out what on earth happens! Read it!
This was a page-turner. It took me about 50 pages to get all the characters straight in my head. It also has some jumps in time that you have to pay attention to. You will find yourself trying so hard not to turn to the end to find out what on earth happens! Read it!



I have no words for this one. Just enjoy it.


Oh my- I am going to write an entire blog post one of these days all about how failure (mistakes) teaches us so much! 
EVERY SINGLE DAY
 in the STEM lab we fail and fail and fail and try again and try again.
In the end, we cheer!
Sometimes rather loudly. Because it finally worked!
Want proof?
Look at this photo:
STEM Challenge: Build a zip line carrier! Perfectly rectangular, paper cut well, taped fairly neatly. The straws are placed nicely and when it was placed on the zip line it rode very well. Except, it would sometimes go a little wonky and slip off its center point and get lopsided as it rode down the line. Read this blog post to find out what happened!
That's the passenger carrier for a zip line recently built by some fifth graders. It is so well constructed! Perfectly rectangular, paper cut well, taped fairly neatly. The straws are placed nicely and when it was placed on the zip line it rode very well. Except, it would sometimes go a little wonky and slip off its center point and get lopsided as it rode down the line.
The group tried several things to get it to ride exactly in the center and provide the best ride.
So, then we had demonstrations from every group and they could watch each other's carriers on the zip line. Aha!
A new idea was formed!
Here is how they finally fixed the problem:
STEM Challenge: This group made the tiniest of improvements! The addition of a little bit of tape on the washer lessened the friction enough to produce a beautiful slow zip line ride. Learning by trying over and over and over.
Perfection! The addition of a little bit of tape on the washer lessened the friction enough to produce a beautiful slow zip line ride.
Learning by trying over and over and over.
This is why I love STEM so much!

In case the example above did not convince you that failure is our best teacher, then here is another example. My fourth graders are learning about the bridges of Nepal. This week they are building models. After building, testing, and demonstrating they had a chance to redesign.
In the photo below the team just wrapped string around a support post with nothing to hold it up. It would slide around and even slipped off the top of the post at some point. Clearly a problem!
STEM Challenge: In the photo the team just wrapped string around a support post with nothing to hold it up. It would slide around and even slipped off the top of the post at some point. Clearly a problem! Read the blog post to see what they tried next!


After watching other groups they went back and added this:
STEM Challenge: Read this post to see what prompted this team to add the tiny little improvement to make their bridge work!

Truly amazing! It held the rope string in place and the bridge system worked really well!

OK friends! Hope you enjoyed all the quotes!
Have a great weekend!

6 comments :

  1. I always tell my kids that they learn more when something doesn't work than when it does. Looks like your STEM lab is full of learning opportunities! And full of fun!
    KinderIrick

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting Cheryl! We do have a lot of fun, but we learn so much!

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  2. I haven't read that Sue Monk Kidd book but enjoyed several of her other works. I'm putting it on my personal summer reading list.

    Learning at the Teacher Table

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    1. Do that! It is a very special book. It was recommended to me as being a lot like "The Help". I don't they are alike at all, but I loved both! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I recently found out that I will be teaching 5th & 6th grade STEM next year and I am VERY excited! I stumbled across some of your resources on tpt and have tried one of your challenges with my kiddos this year and it was a complete success! I was just wondering if you offer a curriculum map or outline of your year. I need to come up with a plan! Thanks :)

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    1. Hi Cara! Thanks so much! I sent you an email!

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Hey Friends! I love to read comments and I do try, try, try to reply to everyone! I reply by email- unless you are a "No-Reply" blogger!