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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