Escape into a Good Book

When all else fails, I need a book.

But I need a good book.  I have no patience with a contrived story. I do not like books with no real meaning. I do not like a book with too much conversation.

Just tell the story. Make me part of it. I need a book that I don't want to end.

This month I found five really good ones. One or two will likely be in my top books of this year.

Book reviews for five spectacular books. Try them all!


Let Me Help with Ideas about Getting Started

I get questions all the time. If you are part of my Terrific Team you will understand what I am talking about. I frequently feature a question in a team email and answer it based on my experience as a STEM Specialist. 

I thought it would be fun to feature some of those questions and tips for everyone. Today's question is all about those struggles we have as our school year begins- especially if a job is new for you.

There just might be a bonus link for you- so keep reading!

Are you ready to begin STEM in your elementary classroom? This post has some great ideas and tips for you! #teachersareterrific


Rushing for Gold

I have a funny story for you! First, what style was your first computer? What was the first game you played on the computer?

Here's the funny part- our first family computer was a Gateway. We went to the Gateway store and picked out the components we wanted. They also talked us into buying the newest model of an HP printer. We still laugh about that printer being the HP 1. And, of course, we brought that computer home and hooked it up to dial-up internet.

And, we played Oregon Trail.

Do you remember that game? Oh, we loved it. Even with its really poor graphics, we loved buying supplies and heading out west and hoping we would survive those river crossings.

Which brings me to our latest adventures in the STEM Lab- crossing the country to grab some gold!

Upper elementary ideas for the California Gold Rush. This includes an Escape Room., a STEM Challenge, and a reading resource. #teachersareterrific #goldrush


Adding Rigor to a STEM Challenge - with the Elevator Express

There is always a back story to the STEM Challenges I invent. This one is a novel-length story.

Just kidding. But, it is an on-going story. I tend to change the rules to tasks and even the materials sometimes.

And that changes everything. But, guess what! It makes me re-think the challenge, add rigor to it, create a new problem-solving opportunity for students, and it is never boring!

So, hold onto your hats, friends, and leap onto the Elevator Express with me!

STEM Challenge- build an elevator that will lift an object by using a cranking device. Perfect for upper elementary students. Students must build a platform and a crank that will work to lift a load. #teachersareterrific


Designing a Dream House - Elementary Style!

What a perfect idea this little project is! I can still remember designing my dream house when I was a little girl.

I filled notebooks with drawings of the rooms and where the furniture would be. I colored the walls all different colors (because this was way before the monochromatic neutral palettes that are popular today).

One of my favorite memories was painting and decorating the bathroom in the first apartment my husband and I lived in. It had a claw foot tub- I mean a real one, antique and everything. 

So, I knew I would love this STEM Challenge! What about the students?

STEM Challenge- Using graph paper students design their dream house, calculate the area of each room, and then determine the final cost of the home. Fabulous practice for area and perimeter. #teachersareterrific

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