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STEM | STEAM Planning and Reflection Sheets for any Challenge

I remember in my university classes doing a STEM project for the first time…#Marblerollercoasters It was amazing! With a little 3/4 insulation tubing, (Check hardware store, should be able to find for less than 2$ a piece, **Remember each piece is split) masking tape, the classroom, and our imagination! It was my childhood Roller Coaster Tycoon dream come true. The class had great success. My group was interactive, and the experience was both educational and memorable. Rainbows, unicorns, powder sugar clouds.  I was sold on all things STEM |STEAM challenges in the classroom.

My first year in my own class I couldn’t wait to challenge my 5th graders. The first activity we tried was another I had experienced in my university class. #Balloonrocketracers  I divided the students into groups, handed out materials: Straws, masking tape, paper, balloon, yarn. Clear expectations were set, and the challenge of designing a balloon rocket that would cross the finish line first was issued. We used a phone to video whose ballon crossed the finish line.

Overall it was OK. Honest to goodness, my nerves were popping. Full disclosure, for a teacher that runs a pretty tight ship, and is wound a little tight, STEM made a few of my screws come loose. I loved the idea of it, my students LOVED it, but the practice challenged me. I especially struggled to make time for it after our class discussion. Based on my assessment, fun was had, but there was little to no substance gained.

I knew I needed to make changes to the process, I needed my students to SLOW down and actually think about what they were doing, back up what they were doing with their thinking, and process the challenge. After the challenge, I NEEDED them to reflect. In my mind the reflection is the meat of the lesson, that’s where learning and application can be solidified.

The more you get to know me, you will also learn that I am a very low-prep, maintenance teacher. The idea of printing, and laminating multiple sheets for one Stem Activity was too much for me. All of this thinking and unwillingness led me to create these STEM | STEAM Planning and Reflection Sheets.

I love these. These sheets were exactly what I needed in order to have success with STEM activities. There are two layout options you pick whether it’s Stem or Steam your implementing. The only difference between the two is the A, (Arts). The best part about these pages is that you can use them again, and again, and again. You can also use these with ANY STEAM/STEM challenge.

Students will begin with the planning page. Here before they dive into the materials, they are required to think about the problem. Students write out the problem, brainstorm and note possible solutions, and then take it a step further by describing what success will look like at the end of this challenge.

From that point, they move into design. While the students work on a blueprint they are encouraged to assign numbers to their design… (measurements of time, distance, size, quantity. Next, they list out the materials provided and determine if anything else is needed, *if allowed.

Finally, at this point, students can dive in and start test driving. There is a section on the planning sheet that allows them to record data for trial and error. This section may not always be applicable, however, it can be used as a section to take notes.

Next, onto the reflection page. I LOVE the reflection page. Students begin by explaining why they selected the solution they did, why they thought it would be the best choice. Next, they consider how it relates to the real world. Is/was there a problem this challenge relates to. What about the solution, could their thinking or solution provided be applied to another problem that exists?

The following section is my FAVORITE. Notice at the top of each page S.T.E.M.|S.T.E.A.M. is written out. Also what it means, what it stands for, and what it might look like in these experiments is also explained. Students then go through each letter and decide if that subject was required at any point throughout the challenge. They then describe and back up their claims using evidence from the activity.

The next part is so important for any lesson. Would they define their efforts as successful, were they able to meet the idea of success they listed at the first of the activity. If given the same challenge, what would they do anything differently? ***Tip: DO THE SAME CHALLENGE MORE THAN ONCE. Allow them to wrestle and adjust their designs, give them the time to test out their thoughts from the reflection. You will be thrilled with the growth and confidence you see from one try to the next. If students show enthusiasm try it a 3rd or 4th time…etc, Do it!

 

Lastly, they back up their ideas for making changes. Can they think of any scientific reasoning that supports their adjustments?

These are wonderful to get more out of your Stem and Steam Challenges. You’ll love that you can print these double-sided and hand students a single page to scaffold their efforts. The students will become more and more acquainted with the process as you use them again and again throughout the year. These work great in centers, STEM / STEAM Bins, small groups, or whole-class instruction. These are a wonderful way to hold students more accountable for their learning.

 

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I hope you enjoy the activities listed, I would LOVE to hear from you and how they go. Nothing brightens my day like being tagged in your classroom work on Instagram! Happy Teaching!

 

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PSA:
April Fools’ Day is TOMORROW
I know many of you are coming off Spring Break, to lighten the load and add a little laughter to the classroom I quickly put together a fun and FREE activity/ joke to play on your class 💛 This impossible word search is in disguise as a #nationalpoetrymonth activity. Students will try and find words like stanza, verse, and rhyme... but won’t come up with a dime! 😉 They may however come up with words like tomfoolery, bogus, shenanigan, joke, buffoonery...etc 😂😂😂 Hope you and your class enjoy it, and this brightens your day! Tag me if you decide to use it, tags completely make my day! Comment below and I’ll DM you the link💛
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Are you using my FREE Pi Day Activity like• @sunnyinclass

This fun FREEBIE works with ANY circular treat and is such a fun activity for students to explore and calculate Pi on Pi Day!

Comment below if you want me to DM you the opt in link 💛
Thank so much for the tag @sunnyinclass 💛 I can’t wait to hear what your 5th graders think! #l

#piday #pidayactivities #pidayatschool #pidayintheclassroom #mathteacher #math #mathactivities #mathactivity #mathactivitiesforkids #5thgrademath #5thgrade #5thgradecollaborate #ediblemath #edibleactivities #foodintheclassroom #havefunteaching #havefunlearning
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Guys.... I’m not usually one to toot my own horn.... but 🎺 🎺. You HAVE to try this in your classroom. I racked my brain to come up with a pie recipe that didn’t require melting butter, a hand mixer, oven, or mess, that still incorporated math and fun. When plastic bags came to mind I couldn’t find anything that supported the idea of whipped cream in a bag but, in theory it should work.... IT. DOES. Every “piece” of that pie #punintended is made in a ziplock bag with ingredients that simply require measuring. Best part, it’s delicious. This is SURE to be a favorite and memorable activity with your class! 💛 be sure to tag me, I can’t wait to hear all about it!.

Link can be found in my story, or comment below for the link! Link includes the email opt-in for my March Freebie Bundle, that includes TWO no-prep Pi Day activities.
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Comment below if you plan to try this activity with your class tomorrow or comment if you’d like me to DM you the link to the Pi Day FREEBIE opt in 👊
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When an idea for an activity turns out EVEN better than you imagined?!
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Add a little spice to your Stuck in a Snow Glove activity! Your Upper-Grade students will LOVE this activity!
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If you already own this product head to your TPT account and re-download to access ALL the updates I made to this pretty little thing. Just when I thought I couldn’t love this one any more…
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❄️In short it’s MAGICAL❄️
Head to my story or link in bio for more info…
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How many days do you have left until winter break? Comment ⬇️
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I love the idea that the best way we can remember September 11 and #neverforget is to remember the love, and unity that was felt September 12th, and to strive to live that way each day.
On September 12th we were one nation under God.
Indivisible.
Seeking justice for all.
Love this beautiful depiction by @paigepayne_creations see her thoughts on September 12th below.
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“ And on September 12th, we all came together. We were one. My family was living in Scotland when 9/11 happened. It was everywhere, all over the news. In school the day after, we had a long moment of silence in remembrance of those who were lost. We continued to have an annual moment of silence every year after that. It was incredible that even thousands and thousands of miles apart, we were mourning with those that mourned. We were one. At that time, we all displayed what we are capable of. Even in the face of incomprehensible tragedy, humans are capable of immense love. Capable of setting aside differences and coming together as one. As we remember and pay tribute to the thousands of lives the were lost that day, let us also strive to be more like how we were on September 12, 2001. Full of love, understanding, and compassion for each other. “

This painting is inspired by a beautiful photo taken by @masseya ❤️

#911 #911memorial #9eleven #911remembrance #thetwintowers #neverforget #neverforgotten #unity #love
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💡🚨PSA:🚨💡
ATTENTION ALL TEACHER FRIENDS
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Tag your #teachertribe and every #firstyearteacher below for this important reminder:
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As you set up your classroom for the new school year, and start divvying out materials… Do no forget to set aside 2-4 new student kits.
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Just like @adifferentiatedclass (shown in picture) I made sets using Gallon ziplocks.
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If you are in a developing community with new housing I recommend a minimum of 4 bags 🙀
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What to include:
🍋Name-tag/Desk-plate
🍋If you adhere the plates to the desk, have a segment of what you use in the pack.
🍋Welcome Treat (same one you’ve given to each student at the open house/back to school...etc.
🍋Whatever else you’ve set aside for students that begin on the first day of school.
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📣📣📣There will likely come a day when without warning you will be notified you have a new student, and the student will start THAT DAY. Save yourself and your poor new student the stress of frantically trying to get everything set up, by preparing NOW.
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Veteran teachers what else do you include in your new student kits?? Share in the comments below⬇️⬇️⬇️
📸: @adifferentiatedclass
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How satisfying/ beautiful 😻 is this #classroomorganization tip by @the_organized_classroom
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Use paint swatches as a visual to help students sort supplies! Keep this is mind as you set up your classroom for the school year!
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HELP ME BRAINSTORM:
What’s a brilliant #teacherhack you’ve tried or seen done with paint swatches??? Comment below 👇
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I’ll leave mine in the comments!
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Guys… I had a baby 🥰 Almost 10 months ago 😳 I STRUGGLE to consistently show up on this platform, but know how happy I am that you are here!
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There are a lot of new faces around here so I thought we should take the time to get to know each other!
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PLEASE comment below with what we have in common, or something we will never see eye to eye with 😜
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A few things to know about me😬
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🍋 My name is Tara, I’m the creator behind @teachingonlemonlane
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🍋 Lemon was my maiden name and my love for all things lemon runs deep.
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🍋 I’m a fresh lemonade connoisseur, and will not touch store bought/ from the tap.
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🍋 My patronus is a wolf 🐺 #potterhead
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🍋 A piece of my heart will always be in #5thgrade and New Orleans
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🍋 I’m a novice flower gardener and LOVE to experiment with different blooms.
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🍋 Ben and I will celebrate our 10 year this year and have 3 kiddos under 5 💀
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🍋 Go Red Sox ⚾️
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🍋#bucketlist item: New Zealand, Hobbiton, ride the #nevisswing 😳
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🍋 Teaching item(s) I can’t live without…Binder clips😎 You should see what I can #macgyver with a couple clips… also, flair pens. #cliché 🤓
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YOUR TURN: Tell me something about you in the comments!
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To my dear teacher friends still in school, I've got a FREE Father’s Day project I think you will love! Those of you are home with kiddos of your own, consider this fun activity for your Father’s Day Celebration! This is a great #endofyearproject that doubles as a #fathersdaygift 💛🍋💛
This product is available in both a printable and digital version that’s completely editable through Google. If you have a student or child interested in Digital Design, this is a fun way to introduce and experiment with different design tools. Because there are so many different types of situations and circumstances when it comes to a father the words father or dad are never actually used. Which makes this the perfect card to give to any figure that has taken on that important role. Whomever that is, they should be celebrated!
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Need #bulletinboardideas for March.... I’ve got you👊 like almost all of my Bulletin Board Kits, they center around student work and are made up of EASY TO CUT, Editable 🙊, ready to print and assemble slides!
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Make sure to check out the Lucky Because Bulletin Board BUNDLE get ALL this for only $3.99☘️☘️☘️☘️ The Clover craft is the PERFECT craft for tomorrow!
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If you’ve followed me for long you know I love all things March and Irish ☘️ it’s in my blood 🙃
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My love of March shows in my resources, of all the months to have the most projects... March (of all the months???) is at the top of the list!
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I just added this CELTIC KNOT inspired Lucky Clover Craft and it turned out so fun! Use either the DIGITAL version and insert pictures into the leaves that represent why you’re lucky, or pick from one of the 18 different top layer options to create a beautiful clover like the one shown above! If you do go this route make sure to check out the EDITABLE bulletin board kit to really put these beauties on display!
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Do you love March? Why or why not? Drop a comment below 💛💛
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Selection Sunday and PI Day falling on the same day... Somebody pinch me. Two of my very favorites because of the projects you can start in your classroom 😍 Take for instance my March Math Madness PBL
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Think March Madness + Fantasy Basketball + Lots of Math + A sprinkle of ELA = Engagement & Excitement & Learning 💛🏀💛
Students are separated into the 4 divisions then work together to put together a new starting 5 from players in their division. #dreamteam Each round their individual players are awards point values for how they played. At the end of each round students will calculate their team’s total points and decide which dream team comes out victorious! There are some really great opportunities to see Math in action. There’s opportunity for measurement conversion, converting fractions to decimals, ordering decimals, ratios, mean-median-mode, adding and subtracting decimals, multiplying decimals...etc. This is quickly becoming another tried and true favorite in the classroom!
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Also if you think your too late to the table, the only thing you are late for is brackets! The dream team activity can be started before any round! Second round would actually be ideal 👊🏻👊🏻 LOTS of FREEBIE extensions for this product that can stand on their own! Head to the website for more details!
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