Sunday, April 29, 2018

A STEAM Powered Week!

I haven't created a post on this blog all year, and this week in the EduMatch Voxer group, I pledged that I would create a post this weekend.  So keeping true to my pledge, I had to spend a bit of time to think about what I was going to blog about.  I have several things that have been on my mind to blog about...computational thinking, MakerEd and Passion Time, the Positivity Project, my first full year using See Saw, etc.  However, then I really started to reflect on the entire week, and I realized it was very STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) infused!  So, for my first post of the school year...I am going to highlight the fun we had with STEAM this week at Glengary Elementary!

Next Generation Science Standards FOSS Kit: Motion and Matter
      This is the first year our district adopted the new NGSS Science Kits from FOSS.  I have to say, I have been really impressed with the upgrade and the quality of each of the kits we have had this year.  Our final kit has not disappointed!  Last week we engineered spinning tops and collected data on different variables tested. In addition, we created collaborative table art with the Doodle Tops.  This week we continued with the engineering practices with cart designs.  The students learned about criterion and constraints as they created a cart that could move from here to there. It was super awesome to see the unique ways students used the materials given and experience their problem solving and teamwork.

The Glengary Marimba, Drum, and Dance Group
      We are so incredibly blessed to have Mrs. Colwell lead our music programs at Glengary. She has created one of the only elementary based marimba groups in our state, and she is really giving our 4th and 5th graders such great exposure to percussion skills and diverse music experiences.  She was even able to get her husband to make several of the marimbas they use, which is amazing! During our Family STEAM Night they both opened up the music room and allowed families to play the marimbas and learn how they are engineered to make the sound they do! 

These girls love playing the giant marimba...I am not going to did I!

The Upcycled Challenge

This student used the packaging from a toy to create a puppet stage and made sock puppets to be the actors. So fun!!
       Typically on Fridays my class has the opportunity to explore their interests during Passion Time.  The theme of the past 2 Fridays has centralized around Earth Day, and I have encouraged the kids to create something upcycled. We had a 1/2 day on Friday, so I chose to dedicate the entire morning to upcycled fun!  Students created pillows after reusing stuffed animal materials and old clothes, while others created games. Interestingly, there were a lot of pretend play creations involving puppets!  Our central administration staff came through my room on a visit, and our superintendent gave the best complement of all..."This is what good instruction looks like!"  Yes, it is great when you give the control over to the students to be able to create, learn, and grow!

Glengary Family STEAM Night
Grid Art Collaboration!
       The week ended with a family evening event at our school.  I was part of the committee to put it on, and it was an awesome, awesome night!  We had stations all over our school involving robotics, art, medical science, engineering, chemistry, and more!  One of the more popular rooms was the BreakOut EDU room, which was a first at Glengary!  Families had so much fun completing the challenges, learning the science behind things, and experiencing learning together.  That is probably what stood out to me most was the joy families had with each other while going from station to station.  Check out the some of the photos below!
Engineering with Zoobs!
Marshmallow Pulse Activity
Fun with Snap Circuits!

The Walled Lake Robotics Team Shared Their Creations!

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