STEM Week

STEM WEEK (2-25-18)

We spent an entire week testing out our engineering skills during what I like to call “STEM Week”. I challenged the students to build bridges out of popsicle sticks, create an army man launcher, and a contraption that would protect and raw egg when dropped off of the atrium balcony and the gym roof. I must saw I am always pleasantly surprised by their creativity, teamwork, and engineering skills!

For the bridge project they were given 25 large popsicle sticks and 3 feet of tape. They were required to build a bridge that would span 1 foot and hold the most weight. To make it a little more interesting they also needed to be aesthetically pleasing. We took a class vote to choose the best looking bridge; it turns out, the winning bridge was also the bridge that held the most weight!

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For the army man launcher they were given 3 feet of tape, 3 feet of yarn, a plastic spoon, 2 rubber bands, 6 popsicle sticks, a dixie cup, and of course an army man. They could use these materials to try to be the team to launch their army man the farthest. We had 4 trials so each team member could launch once. The team who launched the farthest the most times won. They really enjoyed this project! They were very clever with their use of the materials!

Our final project was the egg drop. This is always my favorite STEM project. The students were instructed to gather recyclable materials from home that could be used to protect their eggs during the drop. First we dropped the eggs from the balcony in the atrium. 5 of the 8 egg contraptions were successful in the first drop. The teams were then allowed to make modifications for the second drop off of the gym roof. Amazingly only 1 team had their egg break! Much to our surprise it was the contraption with the most padding, we think that they egg fell out of the container inside before being dropped.

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We always have fun with STEM week! I am planning another one closer to the end of the year! :)

We recently celebrated the 100th day of school.  The students went to both kindergarten and first grade classrooms to participate in different activities. IMG_4265 IMG_4264 IMG_4259 IMG_4262 IMG_4260

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In January, we learned about weather. We learned about different types of clouds and what each one brings. We also learned about the water cycle and did some experiments.

I am not sure where the month has gone or how I missed it, but boy has this month flown by! The children have been busy working on many different things. In Science, they have been working on their Trashformations.

 

In Social Studies, they have begun their journey to Oregon via the Oregon Trail.

As a class, we started reading A Wrinkle In Time and I hope to be able to meet the you and the students at the theater when the movie comes in March!

Math has brought us to the fraction/decimal chapters.

Yesterday was our Valentine’s Day Party and the students loved every bit of it. Thank you to all who helped to make the day special.

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Grandparents/Grandfriends Day is just around the corner! I always feel like this event triggers the end of the year craziness. I can’t believe we are nearly into the 4th quarter!

 

Meet the McRae Twins (2-15-18)

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I had the privilege of welcoming two sweet, perfectly healthy, twin boys into this crazy world! God certainly did bless us! We are so in love. Meet Rory (on the left) and Grady (on the right). I have been back from my maternity leave for about a month now and I am so glad to be back! I miss my boys like crazy but I LOVE teaching, it’s what I was called to do!

We have done TONS of fun things since I came back. We read the novel Because of Winn-Dixie, had a whole week dedicated to STEM, we’re learning about fractions and decimals, we took our first states and capitals test over the North East, we are currently studying the Southern states, we are working on a research project to celebrate Robert Wadlow’s 100th birthday, and I launched my Google Classroom this week (Ms. Smith and I are super excited)! It’s been a busy four weeks!

Keep a look out for my posts about Because of Winn-Dixie, STEM, and our Robert Wadlow projects! :)

World Read Aloud Day    

     Today, February 1st, is known as World Read Aloud Day.  It is a special day set aside to recognize the importance of reading aloud to children and youth.  The benefits of reading aloud to your youngster are many.  Foremost, is the quality time spent with your child.  A strong bond is established between the two of you.  Your child will realize the importance of reading in his life by your example.  Reading aloud increases literacy achievement for your child.  As a parent, you will be exposing your child to texts he can’t yet decode for himself.  Reading aloud sensitizes children to the language and structure of texts.  During read aloud time you can introduce your child to the variety of genres available. 

     It is a sad misconception to think that once your child can read by himself, he doesn’t need to have you read aloud anymore.  Children need to hear the emotions and feelings that can come about when reading aloud.  Think of all the possibilities  for the two of you.  You can take turns reading to each other, of course.  Discussions will continue to develop. Comparisons can be made to other books.  Text- to- self, text- to- text, and text- to -world  connections will become apparent and make for good discussions.

     It is a great gift to give to your child the love of reading.  Show him the joy and excitement that  a book can bring to him.  “A reader is made on the lap of his mother.” -Emilie Buchwald  (or father, or grandparent, or relative) – Ann Hamilton