FIVE for Friday!

Awesome week, but still glad it's Friday!
First some words of wisdom:

And I think it is perfectly okay to break them yourself....

 On to some random things...

Thanks Doodle Bugs for hosting this weekly end of the week party!

First up: Scroll to the bottom of this post and notice that I added a new feature:
"You Might Also Like"...with little related post boxes that pop up!

Well let me tell you...that was a bugger to figure out.Most posts I found about it told you to go through a site called Link Within, but I could not get it to work correctly the way the tutorials said. I did eventually figure it out by searching a lot.

I should do a tutorial about it.....

Is that totally awesome?
That friends is the new water feature/pond that is right outside the door of my STEM lab. Our two male teachers had a vision of this and have worked for the last two weeks to get it going.
Now, everyday there are kids that work at the picnic tables around the pond.
It is still a work in progress, but pretty amazing!

So, here's my new friend in the lab:

Not sure what her name will be, but I think something sciencey is in order. A local pet store gave us the bird and cage. Yes, one of our male teachers asked and the pet store said, "Sure, here's a cockatiel!"
She stayed in the hallway for a few days and then I rescued her and put her in the lab to keep an eye on her.
She's quite happy and makes noise all the time.

In the meantime here's my other lab pet.
She's very sweet, but pretty worthless as a pet. She does nothing all day. Just eats. In the photo she is hiding. If you have a choice for a pet for your classroom don't get a guinea pig. Seriously.

You may know that I taught third grade for 18 years. I switched to be a STEM lab teacher this year.
Anyway, my very precious daughter graduated from college in December and completed a maternity leave position in Kindergarten immediately. That was over in Mid March.
So, about two weeks ago she called me,
very excited....
a third grade teacher from the school she was subbing at had her baby six weeks early.....

and guess who is taking her place now!

That's right, my baby girl!
She calls me everyday with questions and worries and that is quite alright. I am a third grade expert after all.
(BTW she lives about 100 miles away from me!)

So, she has also recently started a teaching blog and you should stop by there and visit her!

Tipton's Tales
She would be tickled pink!

Time for Funny of the Week:
(I always save Pinterest things that make me laugh out loud!)

Ha! Hope they made you laugh, too!

Have a great weekend!


What's Going on in the Lab? It's Tower Week!

SPECTACULAR stuff going on in the lab!

This week we are building towers. I have seven groups so to keep from going stark raving mad from repeating the same activity over and over.....we are doing two different tower versions.

First up:
Build a tower with toothpicks and modeling-doh:

Aren't they great?! (You gotta love the dollar store for the Play-doh!)

Second Tower:

They could use tape with the index cards, but for some reason most of them did not!
So far the tallest tower was 77 cm!

We are finishing up our Sound Proof Box Company Challenge. Students are making a box to sound proof a ringing cell phone. Here's one that was pretty much a genius idea.

This group used an actual cell phone box and lined it with stuff to help muffle the sound.

They had me cut the hole in the lid so they could make a "window". Their idea was that the phone in the box could still be used- you can push your phone buttons through the window.

Okay, so they put my phone in and it was very hard to get out. (That's a calculator in the box in the photo, but I couldn't take a picture if my phone was in the box!)

Anyway, after we tested my ringing of the phone I mentioned that the box being a tight fit would be a problem for customers.

A few minutes later they called me back over to see how they solved the problem.

They used masking tape and took two strips and stuck them together to make a tape ribbon. That ribbon is under the phone and when you get ready to get the phone out you just pull on the ends and out it pops!

Genius, right?

Fifth grade is finishing up their marketing ideas for their Baked Potato Companies.
Here's some posters:

Yes, that first poster is from a company called" Speedy Spuds" and the second is "Hot potatoes to Go", and the last is "Bow Taters!"

Next week they will perform the commercials they have written for their companies!

Have a great rest of the week!


Are you looking for something crafty?

This blog post has been updated to help you if you are looking for this:
So, keep reading and I will tell you the story behind that "window frame"!

First, you need to know that this post in its original format was a link-up with other teachers. And that link up included images and random thought. That cute craft with the picture frame and the 'J' on it was one of the images I used from Pinterest and posted in this space.

I love Pinterest!

Now, here's the TRUE story behind that photo.

When I published this post I had no idea how Pinterest worked. I just would find pins I liked and then put them on this blog to share. I had NO IDEA that the photos would get repinned by other people and then repinned about 48,000 times!

So, that fabulous crafty frame has been around for almost three years and it gets repinned constantly and sends people to this blog post to find out about it. 

Only, now here's the stupid thing, I have no idea what it should link to in order to help you find the original source. 

I feel terrible about this- because you saw it on Pinterest and clicked on, expecting to find it to purchase or at least directions for how to make it and instead you find a teaching blog.

I am so sorry that people have wasted time clicking on it only to discover a teaching blog. (Although it is pretty fabulous teaching blog ;)

So, I recently poured through Google and Pinterest and Etsy and found some similar items for you! All of these are linked to their sources and not back to my blog so you can go and check them out!!holiday-craft-ideas/c1t6i
Click {HERE} or on the photo to get to this one!
Click {HERE} or on the photo to go to the source.
Click {HERE} or on the photo to go to the source.
Click {HERE} for this one and I feel like this is the source for the original photo because they are so similar!
This last one is found in a terrific little Etsy shop that has tons more windows- check it out!
(And I am not affiliated in any way with any of the shops you may find linked to those fabulous frames!)

If you are here at this post because you are looking for my teaching blog keep reading!

STEM Challenge: All about building a car that rolls using some basic and simple materials.
Yes, my friends, that is a car built from a bunch of junk. My third graders were challenged with this and after two class sessions, they built some really creative cars.

The only rule of the task was that the car had to roll. This was quite hard, but we had an amazing number of cars that worked. The one in the photo, sadly, did not roll. When I pointed out to the group that it resembled an airplane, I was told, 

"Yes ma'am, it transforms into an airplane!"
Take a look at my Favorites section for more posts about STEM! 


What's Going on in the Lab?

So, this is going to be about two weeks worth of stuff...

Here's why:
I am sure you can relate to that!

OKAY, back to the lab...
 first up: THIRD GRADE

Oh my. 
This challenge is really a CHALLENGE!
For the first time all year I am seeing some frustration from my little friends. Their ideas are just not working
and it is making them think, THINK, THINK!
Here's the challenge:
Build a car out of a bunch of junk and the car must roll.

I love the drawings they made to help in planning. The problem is that they just cannot figure out the rolling part. We put everything away until next week and they are supposed to do some research before I see them again. Next week we will finish and test the cars.

They are designing sound proof boxes for cell phones:

We are in the beginning stages of this. They are grouped in large groups this time and they have a Building Team and a Marketing Team. Updates next week!


They are building Baked Potato boxes and somehow I have no pictures yet!? Each group has a Building Team and a Marketing Team and they are creating a Baked Potato Delivery Company. Stay tuned!

But I did visit our middle school this week and talked at length with the Enrichment teacher. I am so excited that she will get a large group of my fifth graders who will have had a year of STEM class. Here's a project she completed with her classes this year.

They had to design a futuristic city out of junk! Awesome!

Okay, I did take some pictures of my littles at work today. I have a Math Enrichment class with first and second graders each Wednesday and here they are playing a game I purchased right at my favorite place: TpT!

They loved it!
Click on one of the pictures to get to that product at TpT--- It's not mine!

That's my week!

Check back to see how the baked potatoes go next week- we plan to cook some each day and start testing our boxes for the ability to keep the potatoes hot. Fourth grade will be testing their boxes to see if they are indeed sound proof. Third grade will finish their cars and, hopefully, a few of them will roll!

Have a great rest of the week!


Five for Friday! Randomness.....

I don't know why I always say Five for Friday is total randomness. I actually put some thought into this weekly message. I even jot things down or snap a quick picture cause I know it will be perfect for:

Thanks Doodle Bugs!

This was our first week back after spring break and it seemed a little long to me.....

It was fun, though!

I am not sure why but a white board was installed in our main hallway/lobby recently. Someone (a teacher) posted a question on it and kids started answering the question. So this week I took over- it's close to my lab/room. Everyday I posted a question and kids left a short answer with their name. It has been so much fun! They love doing it! I will try to remember to take some pictures to post soon!
Anyway, one of my questions this week was to vote on which pet you preferred. Well, DOGS won!
I was sorely disappointed.

This sweet little buddy exploring the inside of the dishwasher is mine. His name is Wookee....

I should have erased some of the names that voted for dogs on the graffiti board.....

That's not my cat, but he does do the "I'm going to sit on your stuff" thing all the time! Here he is:

That's Luigi!

Okay, I am very excited about this total randomness because I found it accidentally. 
You know how when you go to the home page of TpT and there is are several rows of sellers......

Look at this:
THAT'S ME!!!!!!!!!


I had planned to continue to have a weekly Wednesday post called "What's Going on in the Lab" and I will....

but this week just did not work out.

I did snap a couple of pictures of fun things!

The girls are building a boat and, well, 
you know it makes the work easier if you sit on top of the lab tables.

Here's a boat we tested:
We actually finished this STEM boat challenge before Spring Break,  but I did have two classes that missed it, so we completed it this week. We loved it!!
If you want to read more about boats, click {HERE}
Well, I also noticed this about the lab....

I looked around and saw some accidental decor.
No, I mean that. I know it's just a science lab, but I put together some cute stuff....

Very nice right?

Well, just in case you think the whole lab looks that decorative:
That's my supply table and two extra lab tables we also use for supplies and there's stuff everywhere.....
We work hard in the lab!

Funny of the Week:

This actually made me laugh out loud....
and then I remembered that we ACTUALLY did this one time.
My daughter was moving home from college and had this enormous, very heavy couch on the second floor. The balcony railing was a better choice than maneuvering down the twisty stairs....
and, yes, we did toss that sofa right over the rail...

Have a great weekend!

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