This is a great lesson to use to review how to identify an even and odd number and how to identify place value. My students loved getting to know their classroom number today!
Begin by thoroughly going over the details of the project. Teach the students how to curl cardboard (cereal boxes) by wrapping a strip around their finger tightly. This technique will help students with "curvy" numbers. Teach the students how to create multiple L-Braces with cardboard strips and tape by lining up a 4 cardboard strips vertically, connecting them each with a strip of tape, and wrapping them to create a rectangular prism. This technique will help students with "straight" numbers.
Students glued their design brief into their STEM journals and made 4 corners on the page next door. In boxes 1 and 2 students created two plans. They had to think about how they would build their number, their base, and how they would incorporate their tasty treat. Once they had two plans they were allowed to begin building. When students were finished building they reflected on their design. In box 3 students wrote one problem that they encountered and in box 4 they wrote how they solved their problem.
I was so impressed by the problem-solving and thinking that my students put into this project; never underestimate the creativity of a 7 year old!
The other day I was planning on doing some painting with my students but when I got to school and realized I'd forgotten my paint brushes at home! I quickly went into our school's STEM closet and found some toilet paper rolls and bubble wrap (rather than going to the Art room --- which would've made so much sense! haha!). I wasn't sure how or IF this idea would work exactly, but I decided to test it out anyway...
(Here is our finished banner for our Laps for Liberty fundraiser! Students painted olympic rings, added motivational words, and determined their racing place using pop-up ordinal numbers!)
This is a great lesson to do with your class as you review the concept of even and odd numbers. Students loved getting to make spooky houses and were excited to add as many even or odd characteristics as they could think of!
Begin by reading the book Even Steven and Odd Todd to your class. Review what makes a number even and what makes a number odd.
Use a flipchart filled with a variety of haunted house images from Google. Have students sort houses into categories based on even and odd characteristics. If a student wants to sort a house into a specific category they could add (or subtract) characteristics to the house.
(Example for the orange house on the bottom left of the flipchart: A student wanted to sort that house into "Even Steven" so they added another pumpkin, another fence, and made the door into two doors.)
*This sort was mainly to get students noticing characteristics of a haunted house, while checking to see if students understood how to incorporate even and odd quantities of the characteristics.
Next pass out a house template for the students to build off of. I told my students that they needed to decorate their regular, boring house for Halloween. I also encouraged them to use our flipchart examples as inspiration. I pointed out the spooky eyes, the colors, and the many other spooky characteristics present in the images. (Click the template for a printable version on Pinterest!)
Students were given half a sheet of construction paper and scrap paper to create this project. I told students that they needed to have one moving part and they needed to use their classroom number as the house number. House Numbers dictated whether the house would have even or odd characteristics!
Creating this spooky neighborhood was a fun way to prepare for fall AND it will be up for decoration until Halloween! Win-Win :)
In our classroom we have an early finisher system is called "Go For It!" When students finish an assignment early, they have the option to work on critical thinking activities from our "Go For It" bulletin board. Students collect a total of 6 activities in their "Go For It" folder before earning the opportunity to create something of their own design at our classroom MakerSpace! "Go For It" is a fun way to keep students thinking, creating, and engaged during classroom down time. Here's how it works in our class! (Click any of the activity pictures for a free download!)
Students will read our Spotlight book and complete a comprehension activity. The Spotlight book is a featured book that goes along with a current unit, an upcoming holiday, or a theme in our classroom. I start the year with the "Characters, Setting, Problem, Solution" sheet and switch to the "Retell" sheet around the mid-year point (to help students prepare for the DRA).
*Retell sheet is available at Talkin Pinata Teaching.
Think About It.
With these activities, students are challenged to think creatively. I begin the year with "Finish the Picture", around November I switch to "Shapes", and in the spring I switch to "Tangrams". With all of these activities, I challenge the students to add as much detail to their pictures and writing as they can to really make their thinking POP!
This is one of my favorite "Go For It" activities! The students can choose an informational book from our classroom library to research a topic of their choice. It is always so interesting to see what topic they choose and what information they are able to pull out of their book. This activity helps students practice using text features, locating information, and identifying the main idea. After researching their topic, students have the opportunity to share their findings with the class during our daily morning meeting (see a "Share It" option below!).
Story Board That is an online storyboard creator that you can use in your classroom in many different ways! It is free, easy to use, and allows students to publish their ideas in many different ways. Students can choose from a variety of templates, backgrounds, stickers, and speech bubbles to present their ideas. I have my students log in to my account to create their StoryBoard and save it as their name. During our morning meeting students they are able to share their findings with the class from the promethean board and I print them out a copy to take home. Check out this awesome student example!
*Click the picture to download an editable copy of the "Share It!" task card - Make sure you edit the "Where is it?" section as it applies to your desktop organization.
(Get it?!) Students are able plan their own STEM project, and it can be anything they want. I've had students design desk organizers, doll houses, pencil holders, gifts, and so many other awesome things! What I love about "Plan It" is that they are able to design a project that solves a problem that is relevant to them. Their designs may have absolutely no connection to classroom content or curriculum, but it has a personal connection to them and it's truly amazing to see the things they come up with!
Boggle is a great way for students to practice creating words using word families. Once they discover this trick they are amazed by how many words can be created with so few letters! I select a Boggle Board for the students to use and place it in a plastic sheet protector. I change the Boggle Board every so often (every other week or so) so that the students are able to start a fresh game if necessary.
About halfway through the year I switch from Boggle to Noggle. I place the Noggle board sheet in a plastic page protector with sticky notes covering all but one. Every so often (every other week or so) I shift the sticky notes so that a new board is showing. To create my Noggle board I "updated" a Boggle sheet...add an "N" over the "B" and change "words" to "number sentences" - voila!!!
Once students have collected one of each of the "Go For It" challenges they are allowed to go to the "Make It" station to build their design from "Plan It". This year I am including "Go For It" as one of my reading centers. That way every student has equal opportunity to make it to the "Make It" station. Students collect "Go For It" papers in the back pocket of their binders and bring their six challenges to me when they are complete.
I'd love to hear your early finisher ideas!
Thanks for stopping by!