03 October 2022

Different Types of Fossils - National Fossil Day - October 12th

My kids absolutely LOVE learning about fossils!  We celebrate National Fossil Day on October 12th and this is a great time to teach your students about fossils!

Fossils are the preserved remains of plants and animals that lived a long time ago.  There are actually different types of fossils.

Using one small pack of model magic, a plastic dinosaur, and a plastic dinosaur skeleton we can make examples of four different types of fossils in a much shorter period of time!  The kids can learn a lot about fossils with just a few materials!  Click this link to buy your pack today!  Students get directions and information sheets about the four types of fossils.

The trace fossils are one of my students favorites!  These show evidence of activity, like footprints, eggs, or even coprolite (a fancy word for dinosaur poop)!

This holiday is a great day to learn a little about fossils!

31 August 2022

Adopt a Pet Rock (and do some STEM Challenges)!

Have you ever had a pet?  A rock makes a pretty great pet!  You don't have to feed it, walk it, or take it to the doctor.  They are quiet and they don't cause any trouble!

September 4th is National Pet Rock Day!  Why not celebrate this amazing holiday by adopting your own pet rock?
Grab a bags of river stones from the craft store or the dollar store.  Amazon also has river stones you can order.  Add some google eyes, yarn for hair, and other craft items to design your own unique pet rock.  I also grab cheap cardboard boxes from Amazon to store our rocks in!

Once you have your pet rocks, why not do some Pet Rock STEM Challenges?  These are fun and they get kids to work together to build a pet rock playground!  Most of these challenges use found materials like cardboard tubes, paper, and leftover craft items.

There are five STEM challenges included in this pack!  Click here to buy this pack of STEM challenges!

There are some engaging and interesting challenges in this set!  These challenges start by creating your own perfect pet rock!  We do these challenges over the course of the first few weeks of September!  It is also a great way to talk about playground rules.

Celebrate Pet Rocks this year!

22 August 2022

International BAT Night - August 27th

What kid doesn't love bats?  This holiday is a celebration of bats and why we need them in the world!  I know a study of bats is usually done during the month of October, but why not try a quick lesson to get kids interested in them now.

These Bat Flyers are a quick one day project that can be done at anytime of the year.  While I have used these in October in the past, I think I am going to do them as one of our first science lessons this year.  They encourage students to work together and they help students deal with failure after the first few attempts.  These take a few tries to really figure out!  Click here to buy this pack for under $3!

Students can design their own bat flyers OR they can use the template provided.  All you need is some paper (we use cardstock) and paper clips.  The lab sheets are included in the pack!

The kids really learn a lot about sticking with something until they figure it out.  I think it is going to become one of my favorite first of the year STEM challenges!

Why not try the Bat Flyers in your own classroom at the start of the school year?  It is a great way to get kids interested in these amazing creatures!

14 August 2022

Celebrating the Potato!

DId you know that August 19th is National Potato Day?  There are a lot of fun things you can do to celebrate this important food source.
One of my favorite picture books is Potato Pants! by Laurie Keller.  In this book a potato is on his way to buy a pair of potato pants when things go crazy!  Why not have your students design a pair of pants for a potato or a random assortment of fruits and vegetables?

Click here to buy my Potato Pants STEM pack!  You can do this STEM challenge without the pack.  Just read the book and make some pants!  My pack has 2 STEM challenges!  Kids have to make a potato person, then make some pants for their potato person!  We do this lab as a way to celebrate the potato!  You need craft sticks, potatoes, and construction paper for these challenges.

If potatoes are not your thing, how about those yummy potato chips?  Everyone loves potato chips!   I have a STEM pack of 5 challenges using potato chips in new and unusual ways!  Check it out here.

This pack contains these challenges:

Protect a Chip Challenge
Build a Chip Tower Challenge
Potato Chip Circle Challenge
Mail a Chip Challenge
Potato Chip Bridge Challenge

My kids really love the Mail a Chip Challenge!  This is a great one to send home!  Students can then mail the chip to the school.  They get really excited about this one!
Grab some potato chips and try some of these fun challenges that will get your students thinking in new ways!  

11 August 2022

Build Roller Coasters on National Roller Coaster Day - August 16th

Roller coasters are one of those science lessons that my own students absolutely love!  We start with the foam pipe strips you can find at your local hardware store.  They make the BEST roller coaster tracks.  I cut them in half lengthwise and store them in a tall laundry basket.  You will also need masking tape (get these rolls at the local dollar store) and assorted marbles (you can also find these at the dollar store).  The pipes are reusuable every year!

This can be a one day activity OR it is something you can build on ove a few weeks.  I have students choose a different job each day.  There is a roller coaster pack in my tpt store with multiple labs and vocabulary cards.  Click here to purchase the pack!

After spending some time with the foam pipe insulation, we move on to paper roller coasters!  These you can buy here.  You get 6 sets in one pack or you can order them individually.

These are our paper roller coaster designs!  We also named our coasters and made posters to describe and advertise them!  The posters with the sticky notes have the kids notes about each of the roller coaster skills we experimented with.  These include: loops, hills, corkscrews, tunnels, etc.

The paper roller coasters take us about 2 weeks to create!  The kids learn so much about force and motion in these labs!

Build some roller coasters in your classroom today!

07 August 2022

Cookie Mining on National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

Celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day on August 4th by doing some cookie mining!  This is one activity that kids really love doing!
Grab a pack of soft chocolate chip cookies and a pack of hard chocolate chip cookies.  The kids will need one of each type of cookie.  You will also need paper plates or paper towels and toothpicks.

The kids need to see how many chocolate chips they can excavate out of each type of cookie.  They will also have to reclaim the cookie when they are done excavating and return it to what it looked like before it was mined.

You can grab these Cookie Mining sheets in my TPT store for just $1.25!  Click here for the link!

Celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

01 November 2021

Celebrate National STEM Day - November 8, 2021

National STEM Day is a great day to do a STEM Challenge in your classroom!  This year it is celebrated on November 8th!

For this challenge, you just need 20 assorted straws and a 21 cm. strip of tape.  We do this challenge in pairs!  I use assorted straws for this challenge, some wide, some thin, and some bendy.  It is a great way to use up those extra straws!

I take a picture of each finished tower and we post the pictures and lab sheets on a bulletin board.  Our school encourages every classroom to do a STEM Challenge on the National Day of STEM!

About The Blog Author!

Hi there!  I am a 4th and 5th grade teacher with 25 years of experience in urban public schools.  I have taught in five different buildings ...

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