Five for Friday! April 24

Happy Last Friday of April!
Welcome to my latest five for Friday countdown- no theme this week, just a peek at my week- but only four days of it!

Join Kacey at Doodlebugs Teaching - read more- link your own blog, enjoy!

MONDAY
Okay, y'all I had this vision of working with my third graders about Newton's Laws of Motion.
Just think about that for a minute......
Ha! Well, actually it was interesting because I found a super fantastic You Tube video that explained Law 1 so perfectly. We totally got it! Law 2 is a little more complicated so I came up with some experiments to get us all to understand it.
Oh. My. Gosh.
What was I thinking? 
I decided to have the kids push some little cars and see what kind of force was needed to go the farthest. Then I rather quickly re-thought that one as all I could envision is little boys throwing cars across the room!
We used car whackers instead.
You can tell I really thought about this- for about three seconds.
Yes, those are kids on the floor whacking little cars with meter sticks......
Here they are measuring distances:

So, that was my Monday!

TUESDAY
I am in the midst and almost finished with this book:
 
If you like John Grisham you will like it. It is a lighter read than most of his books, however. Sometimes his books make me think too hard and remembering all the characters drives me nuts. This one is not that tough. It's about a female lawyer that is temporarily released by her New York law firm. She is told to work for free at a law clinic for a year and then maybe her big city job will become available again. So, she goes to a little Appalachian town and gets involved with lawsuits about coal mining companies. It's a quick read!

WEDNESDAY
So, if you follow me on Instagram you have probably seen photos of the chalkboard that is outside my classroom. We have several of these in our school. One says, "What do you want to accomplish today" Another says, "What do you want to do before you turn 12?" The one outside my room does not have a permanent question. I change it occasionally.
This week it says this:
So, what is the HARDEST thing about being a kid?
Here's my favorite answers so far:



The last one made me laugh out loud!



FRIDAY
Okay, so last week my fourth graders learned about bridges of Nepal and then built models. This week I had a class that finally completed this task! They are about two weeks behind other classes.
Anyway, there are a couple of genius ideas for me to share!
One of the problems to solve was connecting string to an end support for the bridge system. The string has to stay in place and move! Look at the photo below!
Y'all, they cut a plastic cup and made a pulley.

Here's another that made me just marvel at the ingenuity of kids. The bridges in Nepal have a seat that resembles the glider on a swing set. Most of the groups made boxes or used cups for their bridges. Look what this team made:
It has benches facing one another and gates on each side!

Aren't kids amazing!
Have a great weekend!


1

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

Tried it Tuesday! Kaleidoscopes!

Oh. My. Goodness!
We tried a little art thing last week that I once used with my third grade classes. Since this was completed in the STEM lab we had to call it STEAM!
It's a super easy little project and I am so happy to share it with you!

This one is definitely a Tried it Tuesday idea!

So, here ya go. I call these Kaleidoscopes.

Materials Needed:
white construction paper cut in a square
markers
black sharpies
lots of windows

HINT:
For third graders I have used 12 inch squares and 11 inch squares. For this lab experience I used 8 inch squares. The bigger the square the longer it takes!


STEP 1
Give every student a square and a black sharpie.
Art or STEAM  project: Step by step directions for these kaleidoscopes are on my blog! You start by folding paper into triangles!
1- Fold the paper in half.
2- Fold it in half again.
3- Fold it corner to corner making a triangle.
4- You should be able to look at the edges in order to decide which point of the triangle is the center of the square.
5- Mark the center with a small pencil dot so the kids will not draw in the wrong corner. (Some of them will anyway!)

STEP 2
IMPORTANT:
Start drawing at the center.
ART or STEAM Project: This is step two of making Kaleidoscopes! Using only one of the triangles made by folding the paper, you draw designs all the way to the edges of the paper. More on my blog!
1- The corner where you see black marks is the center of the paper. Start there with any kind of line you want. The line should go from one side to the other.
2- Continue drawing lines and designs. Space the drawings apart. DON'T draw little bitty crowded things. Making this too busy is a mistake. It will be hard to trace and even harder to color. Simple is better.
3- Keep going all the way to the bottom. After about halfway you can try lines going in a different direction.
4- This is what it looks like when you open the paper. See the center.
Look at the photo below and you can see why it is important to start drawing in the center.
ART OR STEAM: If you are making these kaleidoscopes it's important to start drawing from the center of the square. Read more on my blog!
This student started drawing in the wrong corner of the first triangle and the center of the drawing is now at the corners.
JUST A NOTE: I always have kids just draw with a sharpie. You can have them draw the first triangle with pencil and then trace over the pencil, but that can get a little messy.

STEP 3
Unfold the paper until it is only folded in half one time.
Go to a window and lay the paper on the glass with the side you drew first on the glass. . You should be able to see clearly the lines you drew for that first triangle through the paper. Trace those lines.
Keep refolding the paper until you have traced the first triangle seven times. This will create the drawing for the whole page.

ART OR STEAM: This is step 3 of making Kaleidoscopes! Take your square paper to a window, fold in in half and trace the one triangle that has already been designed. More directions on my blog!

Here's one in process:

ART OR STEAM: Here's a kaleidoscope in the midst of being drawn! More on my blog!

Here's some finished ones:
ART OR STEAM: Here's a kaleidoscope in the midst of being drawn! More on my blog!

ART OR STEAM: Here's a kaleidoscope in the midst of being drawn! More on my blog!

ART OR STEAM: Here's a kaleidoscope in the midst of being drawn! More on my blog!
STEP 4
Look at the photo above. Can you see that some of the lines do not connect? That is because the lines meet at a fold in the paper. Take your sharpie and connect all lines on the whole paper. I usually help kids do this.

So, what does one look like that started in the wrong spot and has a wonky center. Here's one below:
ART OR STEAM: Here's a kaleidoscope in the midst of being drawn! THis one is actually drawn incorrectly, but it will still work!  More on my blog!

What happens if you have someone that just does not trace well. Take a look below:


To help those kids that just can't get it completed I will photocopy one I have drawn so they at least have something to color.

STEP 5
Time to add color!
Choose 4-5 colors that go together well. Start in the center and begin carefully placing colors. This is a huge SYMMETRY task. The way things are colored must be mirrored all over the paper.  I use one of my own with my projector and demonstrate this for kids.

Okay, here's some finished ones:
ART OR STEAM: Finished Kaleidoscopes! Directions for how to make these are on my blog!
You can see that every spot was colored. No white space.Below is one that was not colored thoughtfully:
 This one just has bands of color, but all those little squares and circles should have been colored. It would have been a much different effect if this student had taken more time.

This is a super activity. When I had a regular third grade class we did these at the beginning of the year. When finished I laminated all the pages and then hung them along the top of my window blinds. It made a very personal and quite pretty valance for the windows.

One helpful hint: Try one yourself before you try it with kids!
Have a great week!
4

5 Ways to Know You Are a Teacher

C'mon you know you clicked on that title because it was worded so well.
Right?
Just in case you missed a previous post of mine all about how to write a Perfect Blog Post, you should go read it: {HERE}

So, do you ever read anything from Buzzfeed?
I see pins or FB posts daily that come from buzzfeed and I decided to check it out.
Well, let me tell you...
you can spend hours clicking around there and in the end wonder where the time went.
Some sample titles for you:
21 Desserts You Can Make in a Muffin Tin
23 Unexpected Ways to Recycle Your Junk
17 Instagram Feeds to Follow if You Like Breakfast

Seriously, some of those seem handy.

Well, I saw one about signs you are a teacher and decided to try my own little list.
So here ya go:

Read on....

A Teacher has a catch phrase for everything.
You know you do. We all have those things we say all the time!
Like:
Make a better choice.
Walk, don't run!
Let your pencil do your talking.
Turn your volume down.
Do you need to look up "Straight Line" in the dictionary?

Think about the teacher across the hall. What does she say all the time (that secretly drives you crazy).......

A Teacher gets excited over the school supply aisle....
I spent some time at the school supply store (also known as Teacher Heaven) and came away with that pile of wonderfulness. We are tackling STEAM projects in the lab and I needed some stuff.
I could easily spend a day in the school supply store. I want to work there when I retire.


A Teacher has a bulletin board Pinterest board and it is filled with ten tons of boards to try.

You know you have one and sometimes you just search bulletin boards and pin them all. Do you also have a classroom decor board?   I do, and one for Classroom Organization. I love my bulletin board one the most.
I pin boards I like and then try to recreate them. Here's some I tried this year:
I tried to find the original source for the one above, but I can't track it down.
Here's my version:

Here's another one I tried:
Click on the photo above to see more from the blog where I found this one.
Here's my version:
I drew mine with sharpie and then colored it with colored chalk. The words are a KG font and I free-handed those!

Here's one more:
This one looked really easy and I love that the divers are holding books. 
Here's my version:
The board was small so I made one diver!


A teacher pins cute outfits to a Pinterest board called Teacher Clothes.
Do you do this? I sure do. Look at this:
That is very teacher-ish, I think.
But I teach Science all day.
I wear jeans and a t-shirt everyday.
And an apron.....
even when I had a regular classroom I would not have worn a white shirt to school!



A teacher has a cute teacher sign with her name on it!
I have bunches of these pinned and I bet you do too!

I made one for myself about two years ago. I painted circles on canvas and wrote my name in a fancy font and then added a bow to it. It hangs outside my classroom. One day this year I had a male student say, "This lab is really girly."
Yep.
I'm a girl and I live here more hours than the students so it is girly.

So what do you think?
What are some other ways you know that you are a teacher?
0
Back to Top