Five for Friday - April 10

Hey Friends!
Sadly, I skipped my favorite linky last week. Sorry Kacey!
It was Currently week and my brain was just not working. Call it hangover from spring Break.....

But it's better now!
So let's do this:

This week's Five for Friday Theme is: Cool Things 
Cool Thing #1
We have been trying out STEAM in the STEM lab. Last week we tried sculptures and this week we tackled "Kaleidoscopes". Take a look a this:

I will devote a blog post to this activity with all the directions soon!

Cool Thing #2:
So, I decided to try some different types of questions or strategies on the lab sheets my students complete as we are designing. One of the sections I came up with first has the students draw a personal idea for the project and then write reasons their idea is the best. This has been priceless:
Here's a couple of the papers:
The first one says:
"I think mine is the best because it is safe, cost saving, and well thought up."
The second one says:
"Mine is the best because it has walls so the passengers can't fall out, it also has washers for more speed and balance, plus the straws for a slick grip with little friction."

Pretty cool, right?
Well, after they each write this, then each has to present their drawing and reasons to the rest of the group. Then the whole groups decides which ideas to try. But they must also write about this.
This one says:
"We will use the cup and paper clip from my sketch, the door from Samantha's sketch, and the double string from Olivia's sketch. Because all of these ideas combined make a better zip line than the ideas apart."

I know. This is why I love STEM class.

Cool Thing #3:
Do you watch this show?
It's an HGTV show and this couple creates the most amazing homes out of dilapidated, falling apart houses. It's a really neat show.
I stumbled across a video of Joanna talking about the paths her life has taken. It is truly an inspirational story. You can find the video {HERE}. It's about 4 minutes long, but worth the time!

Okay, back to school for cool thing #4.
Fifth graders are creating zip line models. After completing the lab sheets in the photos you already saw in this post they had to build the passenger car.
Then they tested it with different kinds of strings and angles. Then they demonstrated their very best ride. Using what was learned in all the demonstrations each group could then modify their passenger car one last time.
This is the absolute best activity we have ever done. We loved it.
Here's a peek:
This first photo is showing the first passenger car.
In the next photo you can see how the team above altered the car. They took the washer off and made two hooks to go on the line. It turned the car 90 degrees and made a much smoother flight.

In the photo below the team took off their original handle and changed it to a straw threaded through the passenger car. What made it work extremely well was threading the zip line through the straw. It was the best and most smooth ride of all!
I will devote a blog post to this activity one of these days!

Cool Thing #5:

Here's a blog post about state testing that you should read. Just click on the button to get to Chrissie Rissmiller's blog.
That is the coolest of all my cool things this week!
ONE more cool thing:
That's the topic of my blog post for Monday! Come back and read it!
Have a great weekend!


  1. Looks like you guys have been having a blast in class, as usual. Love those Kaleidoscopes. It is fantastic how they work together to come up with the best model. Really great critical thinking. Looking forward to your post on Monday. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    Luv My Kinders

  2. Hi Carol! I just stumbled upon your blog post today! ;-) Thanks so much for the shout out! I love your blog! I also love the Fixer Upper show! I started following her home design blog before she had the show and I remember reading all her posts as she went through the process of going on TV. Pretty cool! I dream of having a house like they design someday! See you around!

    Undercover Classroom


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