Friday, December 16, 2016

4th Annual "State" Fair!

The fourth year already!? This year, like the ones past, went so well!! Because it has been a few years now, I can say there are some patterns/successes that will ultimately come with this project:

1. Students become Experts:  Since their work is meaningful to them, the students become knowledgeable about their state of study and are the experts of that state

2. Students find their work to be Relevant: Since students are immersed in the work in Reading, Writing, Math and even in Art, they make a connection with their state and the information becomes relevant to them

3. Students become Public Speakers: Because the students are experts in their state and put forth meaningful, independent effort in the part of their science experiment (completed at home with a syllabus), they are able to speak eloquently and specifically to the information they are presenting 

4. Student work is Original: Because one of their tasks was to create an experiment that relates to their state of study, their experiments are original 

5. Students feel Independently Successful: Because students are tasked with completing a science experiment at home, starting a month before the due date, they come in with their project feeling proud of themselves! They know they did this all on their own with support in keeping up with deadlines and work, but ultimately, it was all on their shoulders

Overall, it is a success each year! I am so very proud of every single one of my students!

Utah: Does salt affect the bouncy of an object? 

Arizona: Do certain liquids work better to clean a penny?

Maryland: Does the smell of Old Bay spice affect taste?

Maine: Do shrimp, squid or mullet catch more fish?

Nevada: Does the amount of water affect how a cactus will grow?

New York: Does the structure of a bridge affect the amount of weight it can hold?

Vermont: Which rocks are the easiest to break?

New Mexico: Does the climate and soil affect the growth of tulips?

Hawaii: Which is harder, a rock or a coconut?

Idaho: Which is the best conductor of electricity; potato, apple or orange?

South Carolina: Does the flow of water affect power?

Washington: Does different kind of water affect how onions will grow?

Florida: Does saran wrap preserve an unpeeled orange?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Holiday Activity to Celebrate Diversity

Today I worked with my students to put together a Holiday Star! This activity is great because it teaches the VALUE of DIVERSITY. Something we need to bring to our students' attention all year long, in my opinion.

This activity gives opportunity to not only discuss the different holidays that are celebrated within your classroom during this time of year, but also gives everyone a chance to see the value in learning about each other. The goal of this activity is to teach kids that by learning about each other, we are far less likely to judge each other. I like to tell my students that when people judge, make fun of or act negatively towards someone, it is a clear sign that the person acting unkindly does not understand the person.

We made the star today and taped it to the whiteboard (very limited wall space in here) and when the students returned from Specials, they saw the star and gave it an applause! They are the cutest!

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