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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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#givethanks 3:7
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I'm grateful for refinement. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to be a little better everyday. Though my growth pattern is for every step forward there's a few steps back, somehow, over time, minuscule little by minute little, there's been progress. Though I don't see it in the day to day, I do see it in the years gone by and though it is slow, and the curve to my chart is gradual, it's there. I know this is due to Christ’s enabling Grace, available through His atonement. I don't think I'll ever quite have the words, the comprehension, or the understanding to adequately express my gratitude for this.

Art by one of my very favorites Emily Shay
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Had to share Emily’s words when she debuted this piece, ”The Refiner’s Fire.”
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”...And yet, considering a piece of rough ore- a rock encased with minerals naturally contains impurities. However with those impurities, it also carries within it precious metals such as silver and gold. For the refiner to create something out of that piece of ore, he needs to begin the refining process by breaking the ore with a heavy hammer. The ore then must be exposed to the refiner’s fire, with temperatures as high as 900-1000 degrees Celsius, in order to burn away the impurities and reveal the precious metal inside.
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Could there be a gold and silver lining to the trials we are experiencing? By clinging to hope, persevering in faith and trusting in the Master Refiner’s perfect plan, we are refined in the fire.

In this painting there are a few things I’d like to point out:
⁃ with the support of Jesus Christ and heaven raining down tender mercy to keep her from burning, she is safe, cool and unconsumed.
⁃ by accepting such love and support, this brings new growth – beautiful fiery growth.
⁃ Christ’s halo is made of all colors of the flame, as he takes on every and all the impurities.

“I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say ‘The Lord is our God.’” Zech. 13:9”
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(Continued in the comments)
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“Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us. It is confidence that if we live according to God’s laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future. It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf ...

#givethanks 1:7
I've contemplated today what I would share and though I have SO much to be grateful for... There was no, ”aha!” ”that’s it!” moment!
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As I opened my photos to find a pretty picture to share I found a stream of these images from this morning that made me smile. It's not the picture perfect post, but it's our reality.
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Our reality is made up of a messy house, (that was cleaned today by the best daddy despite working full time from home.
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Our reality is made up of a boy that drags Alexa around from room to room to listen to his music like Chris Stapleton, or Jon Pardi way too loud.
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Our reality is made up of kids having more screentime than they should /taking pictures on mom's phone, left to fend for themselves or run to nana’s house.
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Our reality is a big sister giving her 8week old baby sister her brother’s medicine/ call to poison control...
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Our reality is an exhausted momma, wearing spit up as perfume, in an inside out nightgown, with who knows how long it's been since a brush has been in her hair, hair.
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Our reality is messy, and in the moment I'm not often thinking of how grateful I am for the mess.
But looking at this picture while the kids are sleeping sound... it’s like looking at things through a different lens.
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I'm grateful for the mess.
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LOVING this FREE coloring page to use with this weeks #comefollowme lesson. Head to the website for the link to this instant download and others 💛 ...

“There is no medication or operation that can fix the many spiritual woes and maladies that we face,” President Nelson said. “There is, however, a remedy—one that may seem surprising—because it flies in the face of our natural intuitions. Nevertheless, its effects have been validated by scientists as well as men and women of faith. I am referring to the healing power of gratitude.” – President Nelson ...

FUN & Free Download to help you brainstorm and get into an attitude of gratitude as you participate in @russellmnelson #givethanks challenge! Head to the website for this week’s #comefollowme weekly FREE Resource Roundup ...

Repost• @comefollowmedaily
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Sometimes I wonder, how did the Jaredites do it?

How did they have the faith and courage to step in those barges with everyone they loved, leaving behind their home, stability, and any semblance of control.

No steering wheel to steer. No sail to direct. No windows to see. No air source in the depths. No idea where they were going. No idea how long it would take. No idea if they had enough food.

No game plan but prayer.

Can you imagine those moments where they were running out of oxygen in the depths of the sea, praying fervently that the Lord would lift them in time? Because I’m sure they were imagining it as they stepped into that barge.

How did they do it?
The answer, I believe, is that God had prepared them.

Ether 2:6 says of their journey, “And it came to pass that they did travel in the wilderness, and did build barges, in which they did cross many waters, being directed continually by the hand of the Lord.”
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They had done this before. They had been in the barges. They had crossed over many waters, and had felt God direct them continually.

They knew God was with them. So, when their greatest challenge came, they were prepared.

How has God prepared you for your challenges today? What smaller waters have you already crossed to prepare you for the ocean you are now in?

Or, what smaller waters are you crossing right now to prepare you for the oceans ahead?

Remember, “God has already prepared the way. He is just preparing you.” (Tangie Ambrose).

Art by @yongsungkimart
Thanks to my friend, Becky Rowley, for the conversation that inspired this post ❤️
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Have you ever lost something, looked EVERYWHERE, all the while telling yourself “You don’t need to pray,” “YOU can find it,” ” We’re not to that point yet…” Only to get to the point of offering a desperate prayer, to find the thing you were searching for moments later, likely in a place you had already looked. This has happened to me more times than I care to admit. From my wedding ring to my only set of car keys. As I reflect on those little miracles or moments of God showing me His hand, I think those moments carry more weight because I left myself to my own devices for so long. I knew when I sheepishly found them after praying that the finding was outside of my own capabilities. Again I think this was an example of my own veil of disbelief.

According to President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973), the Lord’s question was similar to saying the following:

“‘Well, have you any good ideas? What would you suggest that we should do in order to have light?’ …

“Then the Lord went away and left him alone. It was as though the Lord were saying to him, ‘Look, I gave you a mind to think with, and I gave you agency to use it. Now you do all you can to help yourself with this problem; and then, after you’ve done all you can, I’ll step in to help you.’”
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“Sometimes the only thing separating us from the blessings we seek is our own “veil of unbelief,” and if we can “rend that veil” (Ether 4:15), we may be surprised by what the Lord is willing to do for us.”
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This excerpt from Come Follow Me this week really struck me. As I thought about what it meant, I realized that too often I had fallen victim to my own disbelief sometimes in the simplest ways and moments. I think in part it’s how my “natural” mind works. I’m quite an anxious person and my mind always puts things in worst-case scenario, that way when best-case or mildly-acceptable case come along I feel prepared and even happy with the outcome. I think it’s a survival mechanism. Whatever it is, it’s the default setting for my brain.
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An instance that sticks out to me happened about a year ago. A dear friend of our family was going through cancer treatments for a cancer that he had beat once already. Things looked pretty bleak. My family had helped to organize a fundraiser that I was quite involved with. I did everything within my power to make things ok. Notice I did everything within MY power.
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My husband and I were headed to the temple to do sealings with some of his old mission companions and mission president. As we drove to the temple I broke down filled with dread and hopelessness as our friend’s battle with cancer seemed to take another drive.
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This brought the question… What’s the point? What’s the point in praying, if God already knows the outcome. Because God knows the outcome and it’s ultimately His will why even pray….. (read the rest on this week’s Come Follow Me Blog Post)
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Comment below your thoughts, I’d love to hear what you think💛
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Fun Object Lesson for #comefollowme this week:
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Mormon and Moroni had faith that their actions, work, and sacrifice would bring about beauty for tomorrow.

What are you doing today? What seeds are you planting, or in my case SHOULD be planting? What is something you can do today that will bring about a more beautiful tomorrow?

If you are looking for a way to solidify this idea, it just so happens to be the perfect time to plant bulbs. Tulips and daffodils are one of my absolute FAVORITES.

If you’ve never planted bulbs before here are a few tips:

🌷Plant in a spot where it will receive full sun, or afternoon sun.
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🌷Tulips prefer well-drained soil.
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🌷Planting before a freeze is optimal, however, you will still have great chances with planting your bulbs in the winter. Tulips are surprisingly hardy.
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🌷The larger the bulb, the deeper it will need to be planted. Larger bulbs need to be planted around 6-8inches deep.
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🌷When you plant the bulbs the pointy side needs to be pointed up.
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🌷Leave them to their own devices and have faith that March will be made more beautiful because of your efforts!
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this! Make sure to comment below.

As you plant, consider making a commitment to the figurative seeds you can plant and care for each day. Come March, when your tulips bloom, reflect on your actions and document the beauty that came because of your actions.
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“To gain unshakable faith in Jesus Christ is to flood your life with brilliant light. You are no longer alone to struggle with challenges you know you cannot resolve or control yourself, for He said, ‘If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me’ (Moroni 7:33; italics added). – Richard G. Scott ...

You may not know this about me, but I love gardening, especially flower gardens. I’m no good at it, and again my good intentions outdo any action on my part, leaving an often neglected and overgrown sight, however, I still love it and love learning, reading, and experimenting with different blooms.

One of my favorite ideas/thought process about gardening is the idea of planting seeds is a demonstration of faith. The ACTION of planting the seeds and caring for them demonstrates your belief or hope in the beauty that may come tomorrow.

As I read the heading form Come Follow Me this week, I was immediately reminded of this idea.

“Mormon and Moroni had faith that their record would inspire those living in the latter days. As you read Mormon 7–9, write the impressions that come to you about how you can apply what you are learning. “

Mormon and Moroni had faith that their actions, work, and sacrifice would bring about beauty for tomorrow.

What are you doing today? What seeds are you planting, or in my case SHOULD be planting? What is something you can do today that will bring about a more beautiful tomorrow?
📷: @spellandtell
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Have I Seen the Hand of God? FREE printable, November Gratitude Challenge.
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This fun download can be completed digitally by typing into one of the 30 squares each day for the month of November, or print out the page and write in one of the spaces each day.
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“I heard in my mind—not in my own voice—these words: “I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down.” […] I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?”

-Henry B. Eyring
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New post with FREE Printable for #comefollowme this week! It’s all about making the effort o see the Lord’s hand in our lives every day. Download the November Gratitude Challenge and be ready to start come November 1st💛
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Art by Sammie Rose
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Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
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“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
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“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
-
“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
-
“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
-
“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
-
“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Had to share Emily’s post and this piece titled “The Refiner’s Fire”

@emilyshayart 2020 has been a YEAR.
Personally, it tops the charts.
My family has been drastically and painfully altered, bringing overwhelming heartache.

And yet, considering a piece of rough ore- a rock encased with minerals which naturally contains impurities. With those impurities, it also carries within it precious metals such as silver and gold. For the refiner to create something out of that piece of ore, he needs to begin the refining process by breaking the ore with a heavy hammer. The ore then must be exposed to the refiner’s fire, with temperatures as high as 900-1000 degrees Celsius, in order to burn away the impurities and reveal the precious metal inside.
God refines us by allowing us to go through painful trials and difficulties. One might think, “What is the purpose of letting Their children suffer if They truly love us?” Is it possible- one way to look at this allegory is to help us understand the purpose beyond our pain- to expose and purify the greatness within?
Could there be a gold and silver lining to the trials we are experiencing? By clinging to hope, persevering in faith and trusting in the Master Refiner’s perfect plan, we are refined in the fire.

In this painting there are a few things I’d like to point out:
⁃ with the support of Jesus Christ and heaven raining down tender mercy to keep her from burning, she is safe, cool and unconsumed.
⁃ by accepting such love and support, this brings new growth – beautiful fiery growth.
⁃ Christ’s halo is made of all colors of the flame, as he takes on every and all impurities.

“I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say ‘The Lord is our God.’” Zech. 13:9

“Adversity should not be viewed as either disfavor from the Lord or a withdrawal of his blessings. Opposition in all things is part of the Refiner’s Fire to prepare us for an eternal celestial destiny.” -Quintin L. Cook

“God would not put you through a refiner’s fire if you were not worth refining.” -Brad Wilcox
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We’re BACK! Thank you so much for your kindness and patience as we took a brief pause to prepare for and welcome our sweetest new addition. THANK you to so many of you who reached out and checked in on us, to know that you have looked forward to and used these posts and even missed them...made me eager to return. ...

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