Book Reviews - Just One More Chapter...

A page-turner! Is that too much to ask? I now have a list of 7 books I have tried to read in the last two months that I could not finish or even get past page 50.

On the other hand, in that search for a good one, I did find some this month that kept me reading....just one more chapter.....


Big Smelly Bear and First Grade STEM

Want to hear some first graders giggle?

Just say these words, "Smelly Bear..."

I promise they will roll on the floor. I have no clue why, but those words are giggle inducing. I discovered this one day when I read the cutest little book to them and we followed that with a STEM Challenge! Trust me on this- read a book to them and they will build anything.

STEM Challenges for first graders work perfectly after reading a book! This blog post is about building bear cages!

It's a perfect formula! We built Bear Cages, of course!


4 Amazingly Simple STEM Challenges to Tackle First

Are you tackling STEM this year? Will this be your first foray into a STEM challenge?

Take a look at the photo below! Y'all, that is one of the best STEM challenges we complete! It's an exploration of the ingredients of pancakes and we actually cook them and taste them and do it over and over until we make the perfect pancakes. I cannot tell you how much kids love this one!

As much as I love this challenge, I will tell you the truth. I would never recommend that you start with this one. It's messy, busy, chaotic, messy, super engaging, messy....get it?

But I can recommend some super simple and easy challenges for you to start your year with. These are perfect for training your kids with STEM procedures and getting them acclimated to STEM Class!

STEM challenge all about cooking in the STEM Lab! Kids experiment and then design the perfect pancake! This is one of our favorites, but we also have some great challenges with more simple materials and they are perfect for the start of school- using only a few easy materials. This blog post will tell you more! #STEM #backtoschool


3 Kid-Tested Ways to Conquer the STEM Planning Step

It's Back to School time and you know what that means.... brand new, never-used crayons, new clothes, and lots of new sneakers.

One year I watched all my new students filing in and noticed the array of new shoes. Later, in the day I had them all stand in a circle and I stood on a desk to take a photo of just their shoes (and legs). It was a great picture to add to my newsletter!

Now, I am just like you in knowing that the beginning of the year is a time for planning, planning, planning....... and my goal with a few blog posts this month is to help you get going with STEM.

Today's post is about planning- but not your planning. It's the planning procedure we use in STEM class.

BTS STEM Series #2- It's all about a planning procedure for your STEM Groups!


It's the Great Barbie Bungee Jump Challenge!

Once upon a time, I had two teenagers. And like all moms and dads of teenagers or young children, we would jump in the mini-van and zip off to vacation destinations. Now, I have a confession. We are not beach people, but we would still end up at a Florida beach. Which means bungee jumping and go-cart rides. Yeah, I know, but we are not beach, sand, sun, ocean people. So we went to drive go-carts. I have a photo of my daughter driving one at the age of four! 

Anyway, one year the two teenagers decided they were big enough to bungee jump. I have that video somewhere, too. They both clung to a giant red tube and stepped off the ledge to bounce up and down while screaming. Sounds like fun, right! 

Actually, it sounds like a STEM Challenge!

This post is jam-packed with deliciousness All About Bungee Jumping!
It's a Bungee Jumping STEM Challenge! This one is full of math and testing and using data and kids LOVE it!


There is No "I" in Team!

If you are a teacher I know how you are spending some days late in July and early August...

You are planning and decorating your classrooms! What is your favorite part of the new year?

Mine was always getting my class list and finishing all the labels and setting up desks and just getting ready for those kids to come on the first day. Part of my first few days of school had to be about community building- it's those relationships you nurture right from the beginning that make your year the best.

Now, as a specialist, I still do those same things!  I still focus the first few classes on team building. 

Team Building Games for the beginning of the school year! (Or all year long!)
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