October 25, 2016

November STEAM Activities

Hello!  I cannot believe that October is almost over! The days can be long, but the months go by fast!

This is the first year that I am incorporating STEAM into my Science curriculum.  Many of my students told me at the beginning of the year that Science was their favorite class.  Then, as the year went on I heard "Science wasn't what I expected" from one of my students.  That was because our Science curriculum provided by the school is SmartBoard lessons followed up by activity pages.  BORING!  That comment gave me a swift kick in the you-know-what to create STEAM activities for our class.

I am SUPER excited about starting them next week.  Each activity comes with a set of directions, materials needed, how to activate prior knowledge and tips for the teacher.  My goal is to incorporate every letter in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) acronym into each month's activities. 

 Click here to find the link to the product. 

The first activity in my November STEAM pack is "Unbe-leaf-able turkeys."

With the Unbe-leaf-able Turkey students will go outside to find 10 leaves.  They will want to try to find as much of a variety of colors as they can.  When every student has 10 leaves and the class goes inside, each individual student will sort and graph his/her leaves.  They will then use the leaves to create the turkey feathers of the turkey template.

To activate prior knowledge before completing the Unbe-leaf-able Turkey activity, teachers can discuss the parts of a turkey and provided turkey facts.  The students will be even more excited about making them!

The next activity in my November STEAM pack is "Hayride Wagon Building"
During this activity, students will use parts of an empty cereal box (or any cardboard), a water bottle, four water bottle caps (or Ritz crackers), four toothpicks (or skewers) and tape to create a Hayride wagon.  Teachers will instruct the students that they will want to make a wagon that has the ability to roll.  Before having the students complete the activity, the teacher will want to describe the graphic organizer provided and activate prior knowledge by showing pictures of the hayride wagon.

 The third activity in my November STEAM pack is "Pumpkin Sun Catchers" or "Stained Glass Pumpkins"

During this activity, students will make "stained glass pumpkins" out of coffee filters, markers, green construction paper and a spray bottle.  They will color the pumpkin mostly orange, with a bit of yellow, and then spray the coffee filter with the water spray bottle.  It will create a tie-dye look and make it the perfect sun catcher for the window.  Included is a graphic organizer to discuss various aspects of the project.

Next in the November STEAM Activities is the Tee-pee Construction.
 Students will use a small amount of play-doh, a coffee filter, markers, two rubber bands and six Popsicle sticks to make a tee-pee.  They will first decorate the coffee filter and then build the tee-pee.   To activate prior knowledge, teachers can read the "What is a tee-pee?"page.  Students can complete the graphic organizer as they complete the activity.

 The final activity in the November STEAM Activities is the Google Classroom and Lego lesson.
 Students will start on Google classroom.  They will move the colored Lego pieces from the left side of the screen to the puzzle on the right side of the screen.  This will help them build Thanksgiving dinner dishes: a turkey (although it is a live turkey), a pumpkin, a carrot and a corn. 

While the students are completing the Google Classroom lesson, they can color the graphic organizer to then visualize what each Thanksgiving dish should look like.

Finally, they can use the graphic organizer to build with real Legos!  The Google and graphic organizer are a great way for students to plan what to build!

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope these November STEAM Activities make Science class extra fun for you and your students! Enjoy!

October 11, 2016

Beginning Sound Cards

Hello!!  My apologies that I have been MIA on my blog, but sometimes I don't even know where my life goes?!

I have come to write about the beginning sound cards I use in my classroom.  I absolutely LOVE these cards because I use them for so many things!  In my Alphabet Beginning Sounds Sorting Centers product, there are 24 sound cards for every single letter and a sorting mats for each letter in the alphabet.  It has amazed me over the years how beneficial it is for my class when learning letters and sounds.

You can find my Alphabet Beginning Sound Cards: here

Here are the variety of ways that I use my beginning sound cards.

The first way I use the beginning sound cards is whole group.  Every Tuesday (after we introduce our new "spotlight letter"of the week on Monday), we use the beginning sound cards to identify words that begin with our spotlight letter. Students are called up one at a time to identify a picture card that begins with the letter of the week.  This reinforces our reading strategies for figuring out unknown words:  they use Lips the Fish to get ready for their beginning sound and Eagle Eye to match the picture to the words.  After the individual student says the word on the picture card, we all together clap out the syllables of the word. The cards are hung in the pocket chart at the front of the room, along with the previous weeks letter to refer back to when needed.

The current week's "Spotlight Letter" and the previous week's letter become a Pocket Chart center during Guided Reading centers.  Students remove all of the given cards and sort them together.  It is fun to see them play and clap out the syllables of the cards as they sort them.

Another way I like to use the Beginning Sound Cards is for tutoring.  At the beginning of the year I assessed the student in my class that I tutor on letters and sounds.  Each week, we use different beginning sound cards to practice the letters that he needs extra work on.

I am so pleased, year-after-year, at how well these beginning sound cards have worked in my classroom.  I hope it helps you, also!

The beginning sound cards are a part of an Alphabet Bundle.  If you want even more alphabet resources click here.

**For advanced learners you may also find the Digraph Sorting Centers beneficial.  Find them here.**