- STEM Class: I have been participating in a once a month STEM class hosted by a local education organization. There are around 40 teacher total who are completing the series of classes. The last one is coming up in May and I am going to be sad to be done. We have built helicopters, learned how to run 3-D printers, make stop motion animation movies and much more! A few of these ideas I have already tried out in my classroom and will follow with longer posts about them soon.
- Elementary STEM "special": By a freak scheduling arrangement I ended up with my first block free this semester. I filled it with a once per week class with grades K-6. With K-3 I have focused on activities that we could complete in one class and were fun while focusing on a science skill or topic. With 4-6 I have done a few projects that spanned a couple of weeks and focused more on engineering design. These have included straw rockets and recycled racers. Based on these I have begun to add elementary products to my TpT store.
|Paper helicopters - this was an engineering design project with my 9th graders and then I modified it to make models of plant seed movement (some seeds are "helicopters" and travel in the wind).|
|Density column activity with 2nd and 3rd grade.|
- UbD lessons: I did a ton of work on my physical science Understanding by Design lessons over the summer and have been teaching from them this year. This has meant a lot of editing and rearranging things as I have figured out what worked and what didn't.
- Aquaculture: This has been a big research project as I am hoping to one day convert the old family farm into either a hydroponics or aquaponics facility. I have experience raising trout and salmon in my classroom which led me to thinking along those lines. There is so much information online so I am in the process of shuffling through resources and trying to determine what would work best for our area. In the meantime I am making due with my minigreen house set up in the living room. I have microgreens ready to be eaten, about a million tomato plants started, and the pepper plants just went in today. They are a bit late but I am hoping they will catch up.
- Health: Back in October I started busting my behind with a Beachbody program and coach. It has been an up and down road but I am eating a lot better and being much more active. I've lost around 20 pounds and am planning to do a couple of 5K's in May. I am also looking into doing a charity 10K walk in July.