How to Make Seed Dispersal Hands-On

Once upon a time, our third graders planted seeds every spring and we watched the Brassica plant change through its entire lifecycle- including pollinating them with dried bees. This was always my favorite day of the year!

I would hint to my third graders that the "bees were coming" and they just assumed the bees were alive. On Bee Day I would have my door closed and a note on it saying to be quiet because the bees had arrived.

They would come in whispering and looking around for the bees. Later I would bring out the dried bees. I loved it! Fooled them every time.

So, how can we add some of this excitement to the STEM Lab....hmmmm.....
STEM Challenge- students design a model of one of the ways seeds are dispersed. Each group is assigned one of the methods and then must determine which of the materials can be used to best build a model. They must choose their materials wisely to gather exactly what is needed to build the model. Finally, the teams will share their creation and demonstrate how it works. Students will be incredibly creative in finding a way to disperse the seeds and will love sharing their final product.

How to Make an Easy Bulletin Board

Many years ago when I was just beginning teacher training in college I remember being told to start a bulletin board portfolio. We were required to take photographs and create displays of ideas. During my observations and then internship I dutifully took pictures and kept my scrapbook of photos. I don't remember, but I probably got an A on that little assignment.

Truth: That scrapbook did not prepare me for making bulletin boards. Those photos did not teach me how to attach border quickly or how to add doo-dads to make the boards more interesting.

And now here I am in my teaching journey and I still have to make bulletin boards. And to this, I say, "Thank you Pinterest and cute fonts!"

And, thank you to the party section at Target... Keep reading!

Science and STEM Bulletin Boards! Templates for four boards with great ideas for elementary science or STEM displays and projects for classroom teachers. Images are included to customize your boards by printing letters and designing your own displays. Easy and fun ideas to add a science bulletin board to your classroom! Templates include letters and decorative images and ideas for using the set!

Are You a Little "Under the Weather"?

A few months back I experimented with a STEM Challenge we called a Quest.

Whoa! I could not have found a more perfect way to add a design challenge together with some intense problem-solving. It's a race against the clock and other teams to open locked boxes after completing a task.

My fourth and fifth graders cannot get enough of these! I wish I could invent them more quickly! The latest one is about the Weather.

STEM Quest for elementary students - a highly engaging activity that involves incredible problem-solving and collaboration. Kids complete tasks leading to displays where they use clues to discover the lock code to open a box. After opening that last box they earn materials for a STEM challenge. This one is all about the weather with matching weather instruments with descriptions, completing math problems, and using weather idioms. What a fabulous hands-on activity for your weather unit!
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