Saturday, March 19, 2016

Spring STEM Fun with Peeps

Hiya!!! I don't know about you but there are ALWAYS leftover packages of those awful sugar coated marshmallow animals after Easter! And now they have started making them for other Holidays! Does anyone actually eat them besides my mother? Or like me do you just buy them because they are cute and it's tradition? If you have leftover peeps and are tying to find a way to use them in your classroom that's fun and engaging then this post is for you! If you want an excuse to buy them and try one well then this post is for you! If you just need a easy science activity for the crazy week leading up to Easter then look no further! I've got ya covered!
When I taught 4th grade science all day I always tried to incorporate food or candy into lessons if possible. Why? Who isn't interested in food and or candy? Instant attention getter and behavior management tool! The kids always wanted to find out what new way I had found to make food and candy scientific and they ALWAYS hoped I had gotten them some for the end of the lesson!
So to introduce mixtures and solutions and dissolving in the Spring it only seemed fitting to try to dissolve a PEEP! After I left 4th grade Science I added to this set to make it less specific and adaptable for other grade levels.
It now includes a page for floating and sinking.
The 5 senses

Magic Water

A younger grades friendly experiment page

And also the upper grades experiment

I hope you can use this product and have some before Easter fun with your kiddos!

Monday, March 7, 2016

10 Anchor Charts for Metacognition

Hiya! Happy Monday! Metacognition is a hot topic in Education right now! But what is it and how can you implement it easily? Well I am here to help you today!

For the easiest way to incorporate something into my classroom quickly, easily and cheaply is using an anchor chart! {I might LOVE making anchor charts too!} Anchor charts make thinking visible and aid in instruction, classroom management and more!

First off what is metacognition? Metacognition is awareness and understanding of one's own thinking. Well if anchor charts make thinking visible what better way to teach metacognition?!?!?!?

First up anchor charts that introduce metacognition to students. As a teacher I would create one of these at the beginning of the year, or after the PD in which you are told to start increasing Metacognition {wink}.

Signs of Confusion from A Literate Life

Then I would take metacognition into my subject areas. Reading seems to be a natural place to start!

However Math is also a great place to use metacognition. I find the more students use metacognition in math the better they are at explaining their thinking and solving tougher problems.

Mistakes a Free Poster Download from Newell's Nook
Newell's Nook features this colorful poster with the acronym MATH: Mistakes Allow Thinking to Happen. It is a tool for teachers who teach growth mindset in their classrooms and support students in seeing the power of mistakes in the learning process.  It's a reminder that all mathematical thinking is valuable and can help us learn!:

Students analyze the mistakes they make in math... Great thinking! from Math is Elementary (blog):

And finally evaluation their learning, wether before they turn in a paper or how well they understand a new topic.


I always used a 1-5 scale that the students can show on their fingers.

I hope this has helped you to add some metacognition awareness into your classroom! Have a great day!