STEM Week: DIY Kite

This week, students got to get creative by designing their very own kites!  They were allowed to use whatever tools they wanted to build their design.  After drawing the blueprints and writing the steps, students began the construction process.  Some used paper; some used plastic; and one student even brought in fabric from home!  We taped down some straws, drew the shape, and cut it out.  We made tails and added some string.

Then, we went out to test our kites!  The wind speed was about 8 mph that day.  Through trial and error, we got some to fly.  Some stayed in the air for a long time;  some flew for only seconds at a time; one did not fly at all (☹ this student used sticks as his framework, which was too heavy on this not-so-windy day).  After enjoying our short time outside (it was really hot!), we came back inside and reflected on our designs.  Students discussed how weight and wind speed affected their kites’ success.

Overall, it was a fun STEM project to end our year.  And since each student designed his own kite, they get to keep their kites to enjoy over summer break!

Plants Update

Our mini garden is doing well!  Today, we harvested the bell peppers and a few cherry tomatoes that were ready.  We can’t wait for more tomatoes!

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Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

This week’s STEM challenge included art and literacy, while using technology to create videos.

For the past two weeks, students have been working on persuasive writing.  To make our opinion pieces more interesting, students were challenged to write persuasive advertisements based on cures from our novel study, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.  In this book, an old woman who lives in an upside down house uses comical, positive cures to correct kids of bad habits.  Of the cures found in the book, students had to choose one of these three: “The Answer-Backer Cure,” “The Radish Cure,” or “The Selfishness Cure.”

Instructions

  1. You MUST choose either Penelope the Parrot, the Selfish Kit, or Radish Seeds to advertise.
  2. You MUST mention what they can cure children of and how to use them properly.
  3. You MUST remember that you are advertising to parents, so you want to make the advertisement appealing to them.
  4. You MUST include a neat, colored picture showing your product.
  5. You MUST include the name of your item in BIG, BOLD letters.
  6. You MUST also include the price of your item.

Below are a few ads:

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Students, then, worked in groups to create commercials using a simple video app on the Kindle.  From writing their scripts to producing and editing their commercials, I am beyond amazed of the creativity, teamwork, and professionalism in the creation of these videos:

Rudeness Cure: Penelope the Parrot

Dirtiness Cure: Radish Seeds

Selfishness Cure: Selfish Kit

STEM Friday: The Human Body

This week, we have been learning about the human body.  We distinguished the major body parts and discussed their basic functions.  During our respiratory system study, we even made a lung model to demonstrate how we use our diaphragm and lungs to breathe.

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For our STEM Friday activity, all students were assigned a body part.  They, then, had to create it using the materials provided and place it in the correct place on the body model.

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The final product!
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I especially loved this heart that Patrick, Kennedy, and David worked so hard on! Great teamwork!

Before creating our human body model, we enjoyed playing a few center activities: playing charades to review vocabulary and building models of the heart and skeleton.

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Playing charades
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Building the skeleton
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Building the heart model

Cheetahs!

Today, we got to meet the cubs that were born last November at White Oak!  Their names are Cheeto, Frito, and Ruffles.  The mama’s name is Karamel.

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We also met Hasari, the world famous cheetah, along with her companion (a dog!).

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