Earth Day STEM Challenge

We may have been finishing up April Vacation on the actual Earth Day, but when we returned to school I took the opportunity to celebrate this important day with my students. Students watched a few short video clips about Earth Day, did quick writes and completed a mystery picture math page, but the big Earth Day project was a STEM lesson in the STEM Lab. With Antoni Gaudi as my inspiration, I tied in recycling old things to make something new in a way that connected to students. After learning a bit about Gaudi and his artwork, which recycled many […]

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100s Chart Addition with Badminton

Birdies went flying yesterday as students practiced addition facts. After an inspiring visit to the Target Dollar Spot this weekend I had an idea to merge badminton with our 100s chart painted on our school’s playground to practice math. Students found out it wasn’t as easy as it looked to land a birdie on the 100s chart. Cheers rang out when students landed one in a square. Since it was an introductory lesson to teach students how to play an outdoor math game, we played as a whole class. Normally students would play as a team, working together to land […]

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End of the Year STEM

I have been working like crazy putting together new STEM lessons to do with my students as we wind down the school year. With a few holidays coming up I knew there would be opportunities to tie in STEM activities to reinforce student learning. First up, it’s finally Spring! (sort of) While the weather may beg to differ, it is indeed officially spring. With the start of a new season I thought, what better way to celebrate than with a Spring themed STEM lesson making windmills. Students had a blast constructing and testing out their windmill designs! It was a […]

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Travel Gallery Wall

My travel gallery wall has been 13 years in the making. Starting way back to my first overseas trip to London, I have been collecting art and taking pictures of places around the world every time I travel. Fast forward to today, I finally have not only thousands of photos to choose from, but more importantly wall space to create a gallery wall! I absolutely love how it came out! Each time I walk through my door when I come home, I am greeted with fond memories of countless trips. Hours on Pinterest gave me ideas and lots of great […]

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Read Around the World

A few weeks ago to cap off our reading week celebrating Dr. Suess’ birthday, our school had a reading marathon. It was an entire day dedicated to reading and doing reading activities. Honestly, it was my favorite day of the school year so far. I mean come on, reading, ALL DAY! How does it get any better than that?! I knew that reading all day, even with breaks in between for activities, might be a bit of a stretch for some of my second graders who don’t have enough stamina built up yet to do that. So I brainstormed some […]

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Think Global! Retelling Stories and Folktales From Around the World

There are so many simple ways to get students to think globally. Last week I had my students practice retelling a folktale when it came to me. Duh, if I am going to have students practice sequencing a folktale through retelling, why not add a simple question asking students to tell me where in the world the folktale originated? It was a simple one question addition to a graphic organizer that I could easily make myself. That thought was all I needed, I was off and running with more ideas. Instead of just including the question of where the folktale […]

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Practice What You Read: Teach Like Finland

My obsession with Finland and everything Finnish is no secret. When I heard about Tim Walker’s book, Teach Like Finland , I knew I had to have it. I devoured the pages in a single sitting over the summer and couldn’t stop thinking about all the ways I could implement what I read into my classroom. You can read my thoughts of Teach Like Finland  here. Now that the school year is more than halfway through, I can honestly say that the tips I read in Walker’s book were spot on. It didn’t take a major overhaul to incorporate much of what I […]

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Travel Spring STEM Challenges

With a week off, I had a lot of time to think about ways to incorporate more travel into my teaching in the coming term. Recently I have created several STEM lessons that connect animals and their habitats and the seven continents, but I was thinking, there has to be more! It was as I was pouring over old photos from previous trips, to create a gallery wall over my couch, that I was struck with inspiration. Earth Day STEM challenges! Spring is right around the corner, and with it comes Earth Day. Many of the places I have seen […]

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Animals of the Galapagos Islands

Bright blue feet perched on top of jagged black rocks. Hundreds of little faces turned toward the sun soaking up rays with eyes closed. Lounging sea lions barely opening an eye as you walk by them on a lounge chair on the beach. It feels like it was yesterday, instead of four years ago, that I traveled to the Galapagos Islands. Teaming with unique and endangered wildlife the islands were unlike any place I have ever been. It was truly a trip of a lifetime and I have loved sharing what I learned there with students over the last few […]

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STEM Fun: Building A Home For Pecky the Puffin

I was thrilled when our science curriculum changed to include information about animals around the world and their habitats. Not only does this dovetail with our social studies curriculum perfectly (the seven continents), but it inspired me to write new STEM lessons to do with my students. As an avid traveler, as many of you know, I have had the pleasure to see animals around the world in their natural habitats. I have amassed a rather large photo collection of these animals that I am anxious to share with students in a meaningful way. After much thought of how to […]

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