Sunday, December 7, 2014

Polar Express S.T.E.M.

I made a special Cookie Train S.T.E.M.
activity for my class,
...of course you did...
and I have to say....
they had a BLAST while learning
about shapes, addition, measuring,
and graphing.
I'm sure they did!
...and I'm sure there was plenty
of lip-smacking, finger licking fun going on too!
We used smaller shapes
(squares,circles, and rectangles)
to make either 2-dimensional
or 3-dimensional shapes.
I made up a little song
to go with it...just as an
introduction to the activity.
It's really simple and it goes
to the tune of Jingle Bells.

Cookie Train S.T.E.M. Activity
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
by Regina Davis
This activity would be perfect
 if you're having a Polar Express day
in your class!
There are lots of Polar Express activities
out there, but nothing like this my friend.
Well done young lady!
You are too kind!
And just for calling me "young"
I'm going to share the song
with everyone! 

Make A Train! by Regina Davis
sing to the tune of Jingle Bells
BTW:This "movie" and the accompanying
pdf file are included in the
Cookie Train STEM on TPT
so that you can read and sing
the song to your kids without my
voice--which may be a good thing!

I began making ELABORATE  Christmas trains
with my kids 20 years ago.  They were
very intricate, detailed, and it was a fun-filled
day of following directions.
Each child went home with
a perfect replication of
an edible 3-dimensional train.
Where are those pictures? name IS
Queen Chaos....and that WAS
20 years ago. 
20 years ago? 
you're lucky to even remember
the activity.  No worries on having
the photographic evidence of it!
All good.
Who knows?
They could be anywhere at this point.
My filing system is not to be trusted.
Are you acknowledging that there is a system?, I just like to pretend that I have one.
Remember me?
I'm the one who didn't unpack
from the July Vegas trip
until it was time to pack up
and go to Orlando in November.
I did wash the clothes,
but somehow they just ended up
tossed back into the opened suitcase.
Huh. Maybe I was subconsciously
reliving my flight attendant days.

Back to trains:
With all of our new standards,
I decided to trade in the old way of
making the trains to having
it be a child driven project.
WARNING: These trains aren't nearly
as pretty as the way my class
used to make them,
and they aren't going home to be
"Ooooohed" and "Aaaaaahed" over.
They are messy.
They are sticky.
They are oooohy
and oh-so-gooey.
They are 100% child made.
Moments like that, I hope
your students' parents appreciate
the process more than the end product.
Just saying...

Sometimes I feel like Ms. Frizzle:
Are you ready to take chances?
Make mistakes?
Get messy?
You know, now that you mention it, 
you and Mrs. Frizzle have the same hair...
just different color.
Are you not telling me something?

That's us.
I even have the matching hair.
I guess I should read the entire
post before I start adding my 2 cents.
Great minds think alike!
Welcome to S.T.E.M. Day Friday!

My students planned, designed,
and worked in a team to
figure out the best way to 
take 2-dimensional shapes
and make them into either 
a 2-dimensional train or
a 3-dimensional train.

They counted and added up
how many shapes they used,
they measured how
tall and how wide their train was,
and they not only graphed the
shapes they used in creating their trains,
they also made up their own
graph related question for their
classmates to answer.

AND they did all of that while
working in a cooperative group
(which is HUGE when you're small).
Whew!  I'm all cookied out!
I'm sure you are!
Ho-Ho-Hold On A Minute....
Here are some of the pics of what my
kids made.

The bottom picture of this next page
was made by a team who tried and tried
and tried to get their train to be
3-dimensional.  It just wasn't working
out for them.  So they decided to change
their plans and make it 2-D shapes.
Good for them!
They didn't give up.  

They simply found a Plan B.
Real-world problem solving?

The top picture on this next set
is actually a combination of
the INSIDE of the train,
and a little bit of the OUTSIDE.
That's what that team wanted to do.
They felt that creating the inside
of the train was very important.
Future interior designers?

The bottom picture of this last set of pictures
was made by 2 little boys who don't
always concentrate very well during
a normal class period.
Every classroom has at least 1!
Well...for this S.T.E.M. they impressed
me with how they decided to make
their train 3-dimensional by taking
their stack of graham crackers
and actually keeping the stack
together with the frosting.
Everyone else's 3-d trains were
toppling over left and right.
Not their train.  Their train was SOLID.
They made their own "Lego stack" train.
AND...the best part....
Or is it:
You can download the S.T.E.M.
activity including writing paper,
a rubric (for first graders and Kindergarteners),
and a song at my
Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

I also decided to make a quickie
addition and subtraction practice sheet
with 3 different levels that can be used
for differentiation, or it could be used
by teachers who teach Kindergarten
and First Grade math.
Of course you did!
How often do you sleep?

We ALWAYS need more practice! 

Cookie Train Addition and Subtraction
3 Different Levels
 Chugga Chugga Choo-Choo!
I can add and subtract...can you?

Happy Creating!

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