Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Silly S.T.E.M. Songs and a Turkey S.T.E.M.

What have I been up to lately?
Hard to tell,
you little Energizer bunny.

Give me an S!
Give me a T!
Give me an E!
Give me an M!
What does that spell?
  What are we doing?
S is for Science!
E... Engineering!
M is for Math!
In fact,
I love STEM
 so much
that I just had
to make some songs
and chants for
Of course you did!

let me warn you.
My singing voice is lacking.
Sad. But true.
Fortunately for me...
my audience isn't picky.
Gotta love that about short peeps.
They don't understand what "carry a tune" means.

I always tell my kids that I'm old and forgetful
so they have to help me out.
One of my little boys the other day shouted out:
"You're not're AWESOME!"
Teachers may not get paid much,
but at least our kids are easy to please!

This first set is for purchase on TPT...
S.T.E.M. Songs
Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
by Regina Davis

There are three songs and one chant.
The three songs are based on the tunes
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Head, Shoulders, Knees, And Toes.
The chant is just a chant that I made
up that is like a cheer.

This next set of songs is FREE!

Surely the owners of the song tunes 
won't mind since it's for educational purposes only!
Little kids need to get excited about learning!
Maybe they'll hear the lyric changes
and they'll decide to make it sound really,
TOTALLY awesome for kiddos.....
wishful thinking!
I think you're just stuck with me,
and my cheeseball-ee voice!

Ideas Will Pop! is based on a tune
taken from the LDS Children's Primary Songbook
Popcorn Popping On The Apricot Tree.
FYI: This one happens to be Ma Chérie's favorite.

This one is based on the tune
from Gilligan's Island.
Remember the Professor who
would always come up with
all of these really cool inventions?
(BTW: I had a secret crush on him
when I was little.)
He was the original MacGyver!
True that!
You have to promise not to laugh at my voice!
5,6, and 7 year olds can care less if you're off key!

A S.T.E.M. Good Time!

This next one is based from the
YMCA song that everyone skated
to back in the day when we had our
4 wheeled skates.  Of course,
I never skated well, and I was a hazard at the turns.
I would just keep going until I'd hit the
rug covered wall.
OMG!  The rug covered wall.  LOL!
I'm having flashbacks.

Shoot the duck!
All Skate.
Then I thought I was
pretty cool when I learned to bend
my knees just a bit and actually
make the turn...
looking like a complete dork,
but at least I wasn't falling on my face.
Of course, I never had anyone
to skate with during the couple skate.
Never. Not once.
That was always a dagger to my young heart.
Uh did you not notice how many girls
were in the bathroom feathering their
hair at that time?  You were not alone my friend!
In hindsight, this was probably a good thing.

Me + Roller Skates + Boy = Disaster Waiting To Happen

No amount of blue eyeshadow or colorful headbands
would have helped me live down that spectacle!
But at least the leg warmers 
would have cushioned the fall.

I love the IDEA of this song....
it's just really hard to sing to.
Like: Super.Ridiculously.Hard.
I just couldn't get it to sound quite like I wanted.
So then I ran into Runway's husband
on Parent/Teacher Night and got him
to sing with me to make
it sound better.  Yes. Believe it or not...
this version is MUCH, MUCH better than
me singing it alone.
I'm sure the man thought I was crazy!
Luckily, he's part of our PTA
and is willing to make his son smile.
So, thank you Mr. Mac!
Does he know that he's
online and could possibly go viral?
Viral? Angela, I think you should hear
this first before you start commenting.
Major street cred for his kid!
It's still totally cheeseball-ee and dorky,
but not nearly as bad as it was when
I was singing it by me! 
There is a blip, but after taking about
20 minutes of his time,
I couldn't ask him to sing it again....
so it is how it is.

A few days later, he sent me a S.T.E.M. Rap
in honor of my crazy antics!
Score one for Crazy Lady!
Being on the crazy spectrum does have its perks!

My most recent S.T.E.M. that I've made is my
I Can Make A Turkey STEM activity.

My kiddos all made team turkeys out of
2-dimensional shapes.
Warning:  If you are looking for a
super cute turkey craft,
that everyone gets to take home...
this is NOT for you!

This is pure, 100% kid work on how to create
their own turkey while using just plain shapes.
Of course, they had to measure the height and the width
of the turkeys...they also estimated how tall and how
wide they thought their turkeys would be.
They also counted the letters in the
word "Thanksgiving" and they had
to give their team turkey the equivalent number
of orange dots....without having orange paint.

They had to decide as a team HOW to make
the orange paint from the three primary colors.
There was a team of three that had one little boy who was
sure that they needed red and yellow to make orange.
The other two on his team were not so convinced.
They thought that blue was a good idea.
The one boy just shook his head and said,
"Oh boy...this is going to be a mess!
I can't watch!"
Then he turned is head and covered his eyes
as his teammates added blue to their mix.
The next time around those two were
shouting, "No blue! No blue, Mrs. Davis!
Keep it away from us!"

This year I did this activity
the day before Thanksgiving break.
Yes, as of today
I actually have 9 days off from school!!!
You have 9 days off?!
We're no longer friends!
Just kidding.  You're stuck with me.
Of course I count my weekends! 

Now that I've actually made the activity and can just
quickly download and print--I think that next year,
it would be fun to do this
earlier in the month of November.
I could use it leading up
to the last week of school before Thanksgiving.

Here's to hoping that everyone
has a great Thanksgiving!
If you don't celebrate Thanksgiving
you could still set aside some time this week
to think of all of your blessings...
we all have them...big and small...
even if we have to give it some thought!
Some days I'm so crazed I can't see straight,
so I'm just grateful to be breathing and above ground.
That's always a good thing.
Breathing & Above Ground = Good Times
Thank you, God!
Thanks for the reminder!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Once upon a S.T.E.M....

Once upon a time,
there lived a very gifted S.T.E.M. teacher
by the name of Mrs. Regina Davis.
She knew how to make
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
activities both engaging AND developmentally appropriate
for Kindergarten kids.
Feel free to read that again...
for Kindergarten kids!
Aw shucks!

Regina put them on TPT and they
quickly became her highest selling items.
Don't believe me?

Not only does Regina know how to teach S.T.E.M., 
she knows how to teach other teachers how to teach S.T.E.M.
She's clever like that.
O.K....Now you're embarrassing me!

I saw it firsthand last week!

While my family was dealing with
Illinois weather like this.....
Do you know that Golden Boy and The Darling Diva
have NEVER seen snow.  Well, Golden Boy has...
but he was so young that he says it doesn't count.
The other day, I was telling him
how pretty the palm trees
were against the sunset,
and he just looked at me like I was nuts.
Palm trees are a way of life for him.
That's all he's ever known.
I hesitate to feel sorry for him as I
shiver in the 29 degree weather and
as I drove on the slippery, snowy roads tonight.
Boo hiss!

Regina and I were poolside
in Florida with weather like this...
Yes, this picture was taken right before
I insisted on going to a shady area to prevent
any more sun spots!
Jealous much?!
You're lying if you say no!
I lived this a week ago
and even I'm jealous that the
pool in the background and the sun above
is still there and I'm not!!!
But enough about me...

Seriously people!  Regina has it going on!
She gave an excellent 75 minute presentation on
Why S.T.E.M.?
What is S.T.E.M.?
How do you do S.T.E.M.?
She's super clever and bases her S.T.E.M. activities
around well-loved nursery rhymes.
(Don't forget Fairy Tales and Folk them!)

It wasn't a lot of blah, blah, blah either!
Her Powerpoint had just enough
explanation, inspiration, and giggles
along the way that she had her
audience understanding how they
could do the same next week in their own classrooms.
Well done my friend!
Thank you, Angela!
That means a lot from a fellow
teacher who has taught Kindergarten for the past 20 years!

She's such a generous soul that she even
gave her participants some of her S.T.E.M. activities
to try for themselves....a gesture that
was met with a round of applause!
Ummmm....they had to prep their classes for subs.
For anyone who is NOT a teacher...
that takes around 2-3 hours of your own time.
They rolled out of bed, showered,
dressed, drove,
showed up and paid
(many out of their own pocket)
to hear my presentation.
Of course I had to hand out freebies!

I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to S.D.E.
(Staff Development for Educators)
 for having me present,
and to my fellow presenters for being
so kind and welcoming!

AND....I just have to say one more thank you...
my blogging buddy is the BEST.
She flew all the way to Orlando from Illinois
to help me out.
Who does that?
Just AttaGirl.
She's amazing!

Our blog earned 16 more followers this week.
Hmm.....I'm wondering if any of those
16 were in that room in Orlando last week.
If you're one of them reading this now, 
please leave a comment on this post!
I'm sure Regina would love to hear from you.
Of course I would!
I had a lot of fun presenting!
I'm also very interested to hear from
all of our blog visitors and where you teach.
I may not make a big enough paycheck to travel
to all of the places I want to go,
but at least some of my teaching materials
are going around the U.S.
and looking at our blogging stats....the world.
Now THAT makes me smile!

Here's a little something to make YOU smile!
The Grinch S.T.E.M. Homework Enrichment
Read the lines from the story,
 The Grinch by Dr. Seuss.
Circle or highlight the following words
from the passage:
I, a, the, are, there, was, to, be,
that, said, one, so, he, his, and, of

 Draw the Grinch’s reindeer antler design
on the provided Design Plan paper.

Use a string to measure the circumference of your head.
Once  you measure your head with a string,
 place the string on a flat surface and measure
the string with a ruler….record the measurement.  

Measure your construction paper
or whatever other material
that you are using that will be
going around your head.
Decide whether the length of the
construction paper (or other chosen material)
should be longer, shorter, or the same length
as the string that is equal to the
circumference of your head?

Have an adult help you use a

calculator to practice adding or subtracting
 from the number of inches equal
 to the measurement of the string.
For example, add 2 to the number
of inches equal to your measurement.
Subtract 2 from the number of inches
equal to your measurement.
Decide on and record the length
of the structure’s section that will go around your head.
Create your reindeer antlers and

attach them to the section of the structure
that will be going around your head. 

Measure the height of your antlers
by using a ruler and record the measurement in inches.
Cut out and decorate the tag that says “Max”. 
Place a string around your neck

with enough room to be able to take it on and off.
Measure the length of the string in inches and record it.
Attach the tag to a string and place it around your neck.

Max had to travel far in the story.

 Place the structure on your head and
walk around your house 120 steps. 
 Bring the 120 chart on your journey and
count the steps out loud as you walk.
Draw and write about how
you were able to change the materials you had
and make them into something else.

Did you cut, crumple, tear, staple, glue, tape, etc.?

(Here's an additional sheet that can be used
to add on to the other for those who just love to write!)

Handwriting lines not your thing?
Try this simple lined paper instead!

I included an option for students to use paperclips
instead of a ruler for measuring.

Also there is a 100 chart for students to take 100 steps
rather than 120 steps around their homes.
May you have a S.T.E.M. good time!

See what I'm talking about?!
She just "whipped" this homework

activity up to share with all of you.

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