How to Keep the Peace at the End of the School Year

Towards the end of the year, the increase in "tattling" is inevitable. The students are growing restless as the end is near. They've spent the last nine months together and need a break. Kids are getting on each others' nerves now more than ever. The little stuff that didn't bother them at the beginning of the year is now constantly being brought up, and things that didn't seem like such a big deal at the beginning of the year have now become major issues.

FREE and Engaging End of the Year STEM Project!

Congratulations you have almost made it to the end of the school year! As you begin wrapping up standardized testing season I'm sure you have begun to experience the burn out that is common around this time in the school year. Your kids are experiencing it as well. Why not take some time to recharge? Why not spend some time reigniting your students' passion for learning? Why not try an engaging STEM project???!!

Jelly Bean Bottle Flipping STEM Activity

Have you seen the water bottle flipping sensation buzzing around the internet?

It has even made its way into our schools and students have picked up the habit. As a third grade teacher I have noticed my students flipping their milk cartons at lunch and breakfast, and it drives me CRAZY!

However, as the old saying goes, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!" That is why I have decided to turn this obsession into a learning opportunity by creating...Jelly Bean Bottle Flipping STEM!

Spring STEM: Egg Drop Challenge

Spring has finally arrived! One of my favorite things about spring is the return of warmer weather which as teachers we all know what that means...the return of outdoor recess! I am doing a little  happy dance in my head just thinking about it.

The warmer weather also provides opportunities to get outside with your students for some hands-on learning experiences.

 Why not take advantage of the warmer weather by having your class complete a spring themed STEM challenge?!

How NOT to Reward Your Students!

There are so many different philosophies surrounding student rewards. As a busy teacher, it can be so easy to gravitate towards what is most comfortable or the latest trends rather than best practice.

Last year I began teaching at a new school that frowned upon the use of a treasure chest. Despite knowing that fact I had a hard time letting go of my old friend. In fact, I actually continued to use it despite the school policy. (Shh! Don't tell my principal.) 

This year I finally got the courage to ditch my treasure chest. The following are FIVE ways to NOT reward your students that I learned in the process.

March Madness STEM Activities

March has finally arrived and in just one short week selection Sunday will be upon us and the madness will begin. Unfortunately, the madness that I am referring to does not just apply to basketball. 

After being cooped up inside during the winter months, the warmer weather seems to trigger some kind of alarm that tends to set students off.  Students in the upper grades are also on edge due to standardized testing.

Why not give your students a break and allow them to embrace the madness? Allow students to use their creativity and problem solving skills with these March Madness inspired STEM ideas!

March STEM: Three St. Patrick's Day Themed Challenges

March is just around the corner and for some teachers it may have you excited as you look forward to Spring Break! On the other hand, if you teach in the upper grades, as I do, March may bring on all kinds of nervous anticipation as you look forward to preparing for state testing.

No matter which boat you are in as an educator be sure to take some time to encourage your students to create and explore this month. As a teacher I have found that the best way to do this is through STEM! The following are some ideas to help get you started.