5 Books You Will Not Want to Stop Reading

Do you ever start a book and know by the end of the first page that you are not going to like it? Do you stick with it anyway?

I give myself 50 pages and if I am not enjoying the book by then I give up. Too many books, not enough time.

My reading friends, I have some treats for you this month. This post has five fabulous books that I enjoyed from page 1 until the end. Mysterious events, suspenseful moments, and characters I loved. I did not want any of these to end!

Book Reviews of five fabulous books!


Terrific & Timely Tips for Back to School

Are you excited to think about school starting back? I always wish there were a few more days of summer until I actually go to school and start working in my classroom!

I love putting up fresh bulletin board paper and new borders and I love working on all the ideas I have thought about during the summer.

Let's face it- part of teaching is the anticipation of the new year and getting ready to greet those new students. For me, I will have brand new third graders in my lab that will need to work on team building and learning the steps of the Engineering Design Process. My older students will need some team activities and some easy STEM challenges to get back into the routine!

If you are looking for a few tips to get your STEM classroom ready I have some great ideas for you!

It's Back to School time and we all can use some fabulous tips to ease into the year! This post coves teamwork and includes some activities. Teaching your classroom rules can be so much fun using the Rules challenge.  And, suggestions for easy challenges and a Back to School Escape Room are included! #STEM #Escaperoom #backtoschool

The Must-Haves for Your STEM Decor

Don't we just love to decorate our classrooms! I have a Pinterest board (and you probably do, as well) that is devoted to cute decor.

Unfortunately, a few years ago when I needed to decorate my STEM classroom, I could not find models that resembled an elementary lab. I wanted it to be well-organized and also have some basic components about science and STEM. (think posters)

So, after all the organizing was finished it was time to tackle bulletin boards and posters.

Well, let me just tell you how difficult that was! I could not find resources for the posters I needed. I knew I wanted Scientific Method posters and the Engineering Design Process, but all I could find were one-page documents that listed a flow chart or a circular arrangement of the steps.

So, I started creating my own posters. These initial sets have turned out to be the ones we use all the time!

STEM and Science posters are essential to your classroom space. Here's a great way to make decorating easy! Tips in this post and samples of great posters will get you started. #STEM #ScientificMethod #posters


How-To Tips for Successful Teamwork

Teamwork - the most interesting dynamic of STEM challenges! And, the one that creates all kinds of interesting dilemmas!

When my students trooped into my lab for the first time (five years ago) I seated them at our lab tables and explained what we would be doing and also let them know the table groups would now be teams and they would work together. 

I naively believed we could just move forward with no further explanation. #oops

Well, that didn't work.

As a  classroom teacher for many years, I should have known that the group dynamics that ground each STEM challenge and make it successful would be something cultivated and learned. Taught and practiced. Developed over time. Maybe a few tips will help you! 

STEM Challenges and Teamwork! This is truly the most exciting part of STEM events! How will students work together? This post gives you tips and ideas for making these events come alive with the way your students encourage one another and collaborate to complete their STEM structures. From two-team challenges to ways of dividing students into groups to ideas for team building activities, this is a post that will get you started! #teamwork #STEM


The Heart of Stem - Problem Solving

This is truly the best part of STEM for me! It's watching kids "figure things out". Problem-solve, rethink, and do it again.

Let's face it! Solving problems is what STEM is all about. Everything the students do leads to solving a problem and then another and then another.

But, it's beautiful to watch.

And, always, always, their solutions are way different than my thinking. I say these words often, "Oh, my goodness, I would have never thought of that!"

STEM Challenges are the ultimate test for problem-solving with the students in your classroom. Your elementary students will astound you with the way they think through projects and redesign when needed. STEM projects definitely make them try again and again and work together to finish the building tasks. This blog post will give some great examples of things kids have done! #STEM #problemsolving

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