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Dec 4, 2017

New Year's Resolutions 2018 for the Classroom!


The excitement, much like the snow in the winter wonderland areas of the world, is swirling in the air as the holiday season inches closer and closer! Students are surely itching for their break so they can celebrate with family and friends. Classrooms have such diversity when it comes to celebrating winter holidays—Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other cultural festivities are everywhere. But come December 31st, people all over the world will be ringing in the New Year. There are plenty of ways to ring in 2018 in the classroom, too!

New Year’s resolutions are one of the most common practices, and the students can get involved as well! Resolutions are a great lesson in self-determination, self-esteem, and responsibility. As teachers, we can instill the importance of setting goals that are challenging but attainable, and emphasize the difference motivation can make when working towards a personal objective. Resolutions allow students time to reflect on what they have done the past year and what they would like to achieve in 2018. Have students brainstorm different goals they would like to set, and work with each student individually to create a New Year’s resolution that is realistic, manageable, and even fun to try and achieve! Encourage students to write goals using the S.M.A.R.T acronym (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely). 
Once the students have written it down, they can even post them on a bulletin board or a wall so that they proudly reflect back on their goals when January comes, and so that they are held accountable!

Here is a resource that will allow students to create an interactive clock craft where they can write in their goals for the New Year! This resource also comes with a SMART goal setting poster and banners to make the perfect New Year's 2018 bulletin board!



Click here to find this New Year's resource!


As a whole class, students can work together to also list their accomplishments in 2017. It is important for students to be able to reflect back on what they have done and what they have achieved. Let students focus not on what they feel did not go well, but what made them feel accomplished! Focus on the academics—did the students feel they made big gains in long division? Did the students suddenly start spelling more complicated words correctly that used to trouble them? Did the students finally get the time they wanted on their mile-run in physical education? All accomplishments are good accomplishments!

Another fun activity that also celebrates diversity is to learn how different countries ring in the New Year! Research the traditions in other countries such as Great Britain, France, Japan, and Australia. Show the students how New Year’s Eve happens in each country—the parties, the celebrations, the fireworks! It may also be a good time to throw in a quick discussion on the Chinese New Year and how it is different from the New Year that most countries celebrate!

In true New Year’s Eve tradition, it is always fun to have a mock New Year’s Eve party! Send home notes about the party and have students come to school on that chosen day dressed nicely and ready to celebrate. Students can bring in snacks and games! Play games like Charades, pin the tail on the donkey, and other simple games in which students can engage. Set a countdown, and when there is one minute left, show a video of the ball dropping in Times Square and have students countdown from sixty! Once the “New Year” arrives, celebrate with hugs and the classic “Auld Lang Syne,” and perhaps some noisemakers and confetti if you don’t mind the noise and mess!


The New Year is an opportunity for students to reflect back on everything they have done in the past year. Learning how to form goals and take on personal responsibilities is an important practice as they grow into young adults, and encouraging reflection and growth in the classroom environment is even more important! Create an environment where students are hopeful for a safe and prosperous New Year!

Nov 30, 2017

Winter STEM Challenge Ideas for the Classroom!



December is upon us, which means the holidays are here! Winter has also arrived, and with it comes a world of opportunities to incorporate STEM activities into the classroom that can directly tie into the season. There are countless fun science, technology, engineering, and math activities to do with your upper elementary kids that will really get their brains going this winter season!

Here are three fun Winter themed STEM Challenges that your students will love! 


Geometric Gingerbread House Challenge! 

Using a list of supplies, STEM groups must create a geometric gingerbread house for their gingerbread family. Using guides, students must invent a gingerbread family to build their house for!

A floor plan must created with the following requirements:

-There must be 2 polygon shapes present and labeled in their floor plan (two different types, ex: hexagon, pentagon)

-One obtuse angle, and one acute angle, and one right angle must be present and labeled in their design

-Must have 1 bathroom for every two gingerbread people

-Must have 1 bedroom for every gingerbread person

-Must have kitchen, living room, and an entryway

Creativity is a must for this challenge!

**For more instructions and a list of supplies, scroll to the end of the post!


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-STEM-Challenges-December-STEM-3517139




DIY Winter Snow Globe Challenge!

Students create a snow globe using a list of ingredients and supplies. The STEM group must come up with the perfect combination of ingredients to make the glittery snow fall at a slow rate.
Bonus points for creativity and design inside the snow globe!
Students have 3 days to complete this challenge. The first two days should focus on design and gluing down the pieces. Allow for glue to dry for an entire day before adding water, glitter, and glycerin.

***For more directions and a list of supplies, scroll to the end of the post! 


 



Santa's Chimney Marble Run Challenge!

Construct a chimney marble run where Santa and his presents can slide down and into the house! The marble must rest at the top of the chimney and successfully slide down the chimney (not free fall – do not break the presents!) and into the home. The STEM group must time how long the marble travels. The longer the marble can travel down the chimney, the more points the STEM group can receive. The chimney height cannot exceed 2 feet. The width cannot exceed 7 inches. Students have 3 days to complete this challenge... (scroll down for more info!)
 





https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-STEM-Challenges-December-STEM-3517139

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-STEM-Challenges-December-STEM-3517139

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