Escaping into a Book (I Love Books)

I love writing book reviews and sometimes I even plan a theme before the month starts. (see my Books About Wives post!)

On the other hand, some months I read a variety of books and then look for a theme. Isn't it funny how the books will fall into a common thread? What was it this month?

This one is all about real-life.
  • An incarcerated man that is innocent and must fight for his life for 30 years.
  • A young woman that travels to Cuba to learn about her home country and discover family secrets.
  • A plane crash and survival story on a small Pacific island.
  • A family growing up in a polygamous community and encountering poverty and abuse and somehow surviving.
  • A dystopian story of a world without books.
The selection this month is a superb one! You should definitely read all of them!

Book Reviews! This post is all about books reflecting real life- including a death-row inmate, a plane crash, a visit to Cuba, a polygamous compound, and a world without books. Must-reads!


The Drawbridge Project That Made Us Cheer

This amazing challenge was inspired by a real-life event! My husband and I were vacationing in South Carolina and drove out to visit an island. As we started across a bridge we were suddenly stopped and then watched as the bridge swung open. 

It was a drawbridge! Instead of opening in the center it had a span than hinged open like a doorway. So fascinating to watch...

And it made me start thinking of what I could do in the STEM Lab, of course! We have completed so many challenges and it is quite common to hear us cheer when something works. This challenge produced the most excited cheers ever!

Let's try a drawbridge! Here’s a terrific STEM challenge! It’s all about using school supplies for building and that supply is brand new pencils!  In this challenge, students will design and build a drawbridge that follows specific constraints. The final structure must open and close in some way. Included are two versions that use different materials instead of pencils. Lots of choices in the use of this challenge. Editable lab sheets and constraints posters are provided. #STEM #engineering


How to Have a Blast with Balloon Cars!

Are you ready for a very exciting STEM Challenge?

Actually, that's a statement that can be true of all STEM Challenges! This one has a unique quality and a competitive component. Hold onto your hats!

In this STEM activity, your students will create a car that rolls using simple supplies. The added bonus is to make the car propel forward with the power of a blown up balloon. Will it roll? Will it travel on a straight path? How will the balloons be attached? Great questions for your problem-solving group! And there will be problem-solving. Your students will amaze you with their designs and ways to make this car work. They will love competing after completing the design of their Balloon car.

Ways to Tackle Halloween in Your Classroom

The month of October can just fly by! And then it can be the longest month of the year (well, except for May!)

For most of my classroom teaching years, I had third graders and they loved Halloween. I did, too, but I always stressed over the chaos of the few days before that last day of the month. 

That crazy Halloween 'party' and the excitement of trick or treating just about did me in every year. I tried everything to maintain some procedures and decorum and still have fun! Our favorite activity was a pumpkin BINGO game using Halloween words. (with candy prizes, of course)

So, how can I help you tackle this day with STEM? Keep reading!

STEM and Halloween! This post has tips for using Halloween resources to create excitement and maintain engagement during the busy weeks leading up to Halloween. #teachersareterrific

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