What's the Matter with Your Science Lessons?

03 November 2018

Stop wasting precious time on boring science lessons. Teach science with quick hands-on lessons. Science is fun. Shouldn't we teach it that way?

Thanks to hurricane Florence, it’s been weeks since I’ve been able to do a STEM challenge with my class. We finally completed a challenge on Friday. They had to create a substance that has both properties of solids and liquids. It’s like a dough. They used cornstarch, flour, salt, glue, and water to create their own dough recipes. We called it Oobleck.
The smiles went for miles! I couldn’t get my kids to stop because they were so engaged. It’s lessons like this that make my kids fall in love with science. It felt good going home on a Friday knowing I made a difference. 

This is only one lesson from my States of Matter STEM Challenges. There are three 5E lesson plans for teachers. Each lesson takes about one week. They also include experiments and STEM challenges. Everything you need to know to teach matter with confidence is included in this resource. It even has explanations, shopping list, and teacher tips. 

Click this link to learn more about these quick and cheap States of Matter STEM Challenges.

Here's a Treat for You!

27 October 2018
 What's scarrier than teaching on Halloween in the middle of the week?

Paying full price - that's what!

Everything in store is on sale from NOW until Monday, October 29! I mean errrrrything!

Want to grab your students' attention on Wednesday? Try these Halloween themed activities...

STEM to Win

Practice capitalization, punctuation, and multiple meaning words with this engaging game! Students love earning toothpicks based on their answers. They have a surprise challenge after they complete their task cards.
Halloween Task Cards

Need a simple addition to your STEM Boxes? These Halloween themed get kids excited about the big night while keep their focus.
Odd & Even Math Game

Your second graders will love this fun partner game. Students love to talk to one another about their answers and prove themselves to others. This game is great for collaboration and practice. 

If you're unable to celebrate Halloween, this pumpkin life cycle craft is perfect. Teach sequencing in informational texts without all the Halloween hype. Students create their own pumpkin life cycle flip book. They practice comprehension skills on an activity page.

Autumn STEM Task Cards

This is another great option for classrooms who remain holiday neutral. These are perfect for STEM Boxes or any materials.

My Hurricane Florence Evacuation

13 September 2018
     I have been dubbed a "Hurricane Refugee." What is that? A person who has evacuated their home in order to seek safety. That is me. That is my family. In case you are living under a rock as of September 12, 2018, Hurricane Florence is well underway to striking eastern North Carolina. My home. The precious Tar Heel State.

     We made the decision to leave three days ago. It really wasn't that hard for me. My husband is a manager at a major retail store, and he told me he would have to stay. The company was going to provide him a hotel nearby the store so that he would have the opportunity to walk, and "serve the community." I knew I had a responsibility. Regardless of whether or not he was going to evacuate, I knew that no matter what, I was going to go through this without him. I had a responsibility to take care of my children. I had to leave.

     I frantically packed. I packed medicine. I packed documents. I packed valuables (I'm telling you, it is an eerie feeling sorting through things trying to figure out what is valuable). I let my kids pick their most valuables, and of course I went behind them and packed what I considered their most valuable "left behind" items. I threw all of my clean clothes inside of my suitcase. I didn't even look behind.

The only pair of shoes I brought.
      I didn't realize until about three hours into our trip that I had forgotten every single one of my shoes. I left all of them. Obviously, I am not a shoe person. But really, I was most disappointed in myself that the ONLY pairs of shoes I brought are about six years old and UGLY. They are SUPER comfortable (which is why I wore them), but they really do not belong with anything.

     I have spent the past 36 hours anticipating this storm. I have been waiting. Waiting to find out if my friends who stayed behind are okay. Waiting to see if my home will survive. Waiting to see if my husband will leave (thankfully he did - thank you Jesus). Waiting to see if the storm hits us directly as predicted. It is moving as slow as a snail. This has probably been the longest days of my life.

     There is a feeling of uncertainty. I have no clue if I will be coming home to a home. I have no clue if my school, the place I love, will even be there. I have no clue if I will have a job. My parents came home from work today, exhausted, tired, stressed, overworked, and I knew the feeling. I couldn't help but think of how lucky they are to even have a job they get to go to tomorrow.

     This storm hasn't even hit, but I have learned so much already. I have learned a lot about my shallowness. Let's be real for a moment. I have worked very hard to have what I have today. I have also blown a lot of my money on stupid random stuff. That's all it is... stuff. To even think that it may be worth staying to fight water and wind over is ridiculous. What in the world?! I have wasted my young life on "stuff." You know what, I bet most Americans these days are doing the same thing.

     It's easy to start getting negative. I have caught myself (more than twice) being negative with people about how this storm will possibly destroy my home, my kids' furniture, and everything in its path. Yes, being negative is easy to focus on because the dangers are sensationalized by the news. What I've learned is to keep positive. Y'all, I can protect my feet on dry land. I can protect my family from dangerous flood waters. I have family taking us in. God is so good. He's got this.

     This storm will blow over, and I will be grateful when it does. I hope my friends and family staying in the area stay safe and I will continue praying for you. We got this!


Happy Labor Day!

01 September 2018
It's back to school time! Get a great start on the new school year with these amazing resources PLUS enjoy 15% off the entire Simply STEAM store from now until Monday!

Celebrate Patriot Day 

Patriot Day STEM Challenge

Design a memorial for 9/11

Students will understand the meaning of Patriot Day, patriotism, symbols, and citizenship. They will show empathy by designing and creating a memorial. Students will then explain the details of their memorial through writing.

The example pictured shows the Twin Towers with water at the bottom and an eagle soaring above.

Build Classroom Community 

 Getting to Know You STEM

STEM to Win
Students will compare and contrast themselves with a partner. They will earn toothpicks based on specific answers. Students will then use problem solving skills to think creatively to engineer the tallest tower. This is a great lesson for modeling that we all have gifts and talents. This integrates math as students add multiple numbers and count all of their toothpicks.

 Build Number Sense and Increase Test Scores

Simply STEAM Math Games

Whether you are teaching first, second, or third grade, I've got you covered on math games. You can use these games as a fun Friday game, in centers, for homework, morning work, early finishers and more. These games have questions on the front and answers on the back. This way, students can self check their answers and build confidence.

Third Grade Math Bundle is Coming Soon!!!

Happy teaching from Simply STEAM!