Save Time & Money with These Teacher Hacks

Do you love reading about teacher hacks like I do? I mean I love those posts- whether it is shopping hacks, organizational hacks, or management hacks. I love them all!

Now, to be honest, when I moved to the STEM Specialist position I continued with a few organizational methods and management methods that I had used in the regular classroom. I also learned the hard way that I was going to need some STEM Teacher hacks right away!

After six years, boy do I have some things to share with you! Some are major, some are tiny, some are silly. Some will save you money and others will save you time.

We can all get on board with that!

10 Teacher Hacks for the STEM Lab- This post has ideas and tips for making your lab life easier and maybe saving some money.


Ways I Can Help You with the Messes in STEM

Do you follow me on Instagram? If you do, you may note that almost all my photos are project-oriented or contain tips. The photos are typical of that platform. But, are they the truth?

Well, content-wise, the answer is yes. The words are the truth, but like most posts on Instagram, you are seeing the 'pretty' version. Mind you, I don't mean staged photos, just the photos that look the best out of the ten million I snapped.

So, if the photos are only the best ones, what do the rest look like?

Ha, I have a post for you about the messes we make and I am including tips for you about organization and clean up.

Ways to plan for those messy days and tips for things you can do in the STEM Lab!


Here is Why You Need to Build Towers

We build towers quite often! But, why? I have a few reasons.

First, let's see just how many different kinds of towers we have tried: are you ready for the number?

16. Sixteen. And that is not counting the ones we tried that were failures that I have never told you about. Yes, that has happened a few times.

Keep reading and I will explain why we build towers and share some of our unique types of towers.

STEM Challenges- 6 Reasons towers are important building structures in the STEM Lab. Resources and tower samples are included.


Books Let You Travel

"Books let you travel without moving your feet."

So, where I have traveled with the books in this month's selections?

With This Tender Land I traveled from Minnesota to St. Louis, with trains and on foot, camping and living in tents. With When We Believed in Mermaids I went to New Zealand and explored the ocean's beauty while surfing. With A Perfect Match I was in a courtroom. With Ask Again, Yes I was in a small community outside New York City exploring the small neighborhood. With The Giver of Stars I was in Kentucky riding a horse through mountains so steep and cold it makes your eyes water.

What a fabulous journey these books have brought!

Book reviews of five amazing books. All are recommended and descriptions are included.


Volcano Week is a Sure-Fire Winner

Have you ever seen a live volcano? I was fortunate to visit the Big Island in Hawai'i about three years ago. We were not able to visit Mauna Loa due to snow blocking the roadway! We did visit Mt. Kilauea and the Volcanoes National Park and it was spectacular!

Right after we returned from that trip I started creating Escape Room resources and a teacher requested one about volcanoes! How fabulous was that!

You might also know that Mt. Kilauea had quite a destructive flow that covered roads and burned houses in 2018. I updated the Volcano Escape Room at that time to account for changes due to that eruption. 

Volcanoes are fascinating and students love reading about them and creating scenes of eruptions! I have so many resources about volcanoes and landforms to share with you!

A Resource Round-up for Volcanoes! This post includes an Escape Room, STEM Challenges, Task Cards, Flipper Books, and Reading Passages! All about Volcanoes and Landforms!


Let's Design Pancakes!

I know. If you are a regular reader on this website you know that I create some wonky things for kids to experiment with or build.

But, pancakes?

Yes! Let me just tell you one thing about this challenge. It is highly engaging. The first time students saw this one on our agenda board they all raised an eyebrow at me- they never believed I meant real pancakes.

Oh, but I did!

STEM Challenge: Experiment with ingredients with small batches of pancakes. Then design the ultimate pancake using the experiment results! Upper elementary STEM!


Rescue Me! - A Real-Life Challenge

Are you ready for a rescue challenge? It turns out that my students love these rescue scenarios. This one was created after I read a book. This was an adult book and I will link it for you at the end. It did start my thinking about making a rescue challenge for students.

I wanted the rescue to happen with mountainsides or a cliffside- inspired by the book I read. I also knew we had tried rescues where students must make a cranking system to raise someone from the bottom of a canyon. I wanted something different.

What would happen if a team was stranded across a canyon and needed supplies sent to them? Aha! The challenge was born. We call it Crossing a Chasm!

Crossing a Chasm STEM Challenge- students must rescue a team that is stranded. The team must send supplies across a chasm using the wind as a way to propel the container.


3 Ways to Add More Writing to STEM

Can a mathematician, scientist, or engineer solve complex problems successfully without being able to interpret the solution in words? It seems essential to me!

This is why writing in a STEM class is so important. Writing should accompany every assignment.

But how? I have some information for you and some ideas. Some really good ideas- that I have tried! And a special offer!

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