Wednesday, February 26, 2014

STEM: A World in Motion

 More STEM Fun!

Our small school has been lucky to be awarded a Iowa Governor's STEM Step-Up grant during the last 2 school years.  We applied to be part of the "A World in Motion" program.  This program has provided wonderful STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) focused curriculum for grades K-5. Our students have enjoyed units such as "Rolling Things" (science of ramps), "Straw Rockets", and "Jet Toys."  This year the first/second graders are looking forward to designing pinball machines in "Pinball Designer" when Mrs. Hemann returns from her maternity leave.  Third graders have just finished their unit "Engineering Inspired By Nature". 

Today we wrapped up our unit that focused on creating a toy flier that could stay in the air for a long time.  This toy design was to be inspired by the way seeds move in nature.  We had a lot of great team designs, and we enjoyed a day of drop time racing to test the fliers.  Congratulations to our Sparkle Stars group on their winning design.  Student teams used the engineering process to guide their work.  Teams also did a fabulous job of explaining their design and its modifications to the class.    I've included several pictures from today's "Drop Time Racing" event below.  You can also check out student comments on how to build the best toy flier on our Kid Blog page.  Student replies are found under Mrs. Adams' blog entry:  Engineering Inspired By Nature.  A quick link to our Kid Blog page can be found at the top of our blog in red under Team Adams Classroom Links. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Another Busy Week!

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

It has been another busy week!  In the last 24 hours we have dealt with a lot of slippery roads, so we ended up with another late start today.  Even with the late start we journeyed to Cresco for our STEM Challenge Day!  Third graders were challenged with a "Bubble Bonanza."  We spent the day exploring properties of bubbles and how to create unique bubble wands using the engineering process.  We will finish our district-wide third grade bubble challenge on another day.  A big thank you to the Iowa STEM initiative for providing the curriculum for these challenges!  Enjoy some pictures from the day!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What have we been up to???

January flew by.... maybe because we had so many interrupted days due to weather!  We have our fingers crossed that the groundhog was wrong and maybe spring will come sooner than later!  Below are a few pictures from our classroom during the month of January.  Thanks so much for sharing your children with me!  Enjoy!!!

We kicked off our "A World in Motion" STEM challenge this week by examining seeds and how they move.  We are now enjoying creating paper helicopters and making observations on how they move!  We will be working on this challenge "Engineering Designed by Nature" for the next two weeks.

We have wrapped up Unit 5- Place Value in Whole Numbers and Decimals.  We spent time reviewing our first half of the multiplication facts.  We will start the second half soon.  Reviewing your basic facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication) through games and flashcards is a great way to practice math skills at home!

We are using the app Book Creator to publish a fictional story we wrote.

The district has added an additional elementary exploratory class for third and fifth grade.  Mrs. Klenke will come out once a week (Thursday afternoons) to teach us more about technology projects.  The fifth graders are also joining us for these lessons.  Mrs. Klenke has begun by challenging the students to create movie trailers on a "good fit" book of their choice.

Students have been presenting their Keynote research projects about famous United States landforms as part of our Unit 3 literacy inquiry project.

We wrote about our behavior and academic goals for the second half of the 2014 school year and published them on our Kidblog accounts.

We painted our elevation maps as part of our literacy/social studies unit on landforms.

We learned how to use "Text Speak" and Siri on the iPads to help us with our writing.  It is great to be able to listen to what we have typed to hear our mistakes to correct.