Friday, April 28, 2017


I wish I could take full credit for this project idea, but it was inspired by an article I saw in my nephew's Highlights magazine! In Highlights, students created a robot racer. I took this idea and let children have complete creative freedom to design any racer they would like. All they needed was an empty square tissue box and a tennis ball! Then of course a ramp or some type of hill for their racers to travel down!

In this lesson, students use their design skills to create their very own one of a kind racer! They want it to look aesthetically pleasing, however, they must use their engineering skills to make it travel fast! Will 30 pom pom balls, 20 pipe cleaners, layers of construction paper and glue really help their racer? Students learn that minimal design is not only more pleasing to the eye, but can also help them construct a super fast racimal (racing creature). This lesson also ties in well with a forces and motion unit. Students experiment with push, the amount of effort applied (to push) and distance. Teachers can also tie math in by having students measure the distance their racer traveled.

Here is what you need:
A variety of art materials for students to go crazy /experiment with! (construction paper, pipe cleaners, markers, crayons, googley eyes, etc)
Empty square tissue boxes (with the top square cut off - where you pull the tissue out)
Tennis Balls

What you do:
1. First cut the top off of the tissue box (this is the bottom of the racer)
2. Next, decorate it! Students can create an animal, superhero, monster, alien, cryptid, anything they can imagine.
3. Then students put the tennis ball inside of the opening of the tissue box, flip it over (tennis ball on the bottom, inside of the box), set it on a ramp and watch it go!

Friday, March 24, 2017

fit4Schools: Nutrition, Fitness and Mood (+ chance to win awesome things for the classroom!)

fit4Schools is a health activation program from Sanford Health, developed in collaboration with WebMD, to empower children and families to do the simple things each day that make healthy lifestyle choices a habit. The program is targeted at K-6 students. The main goal of the program is to equip educators with daily activities to promote health and learning. 

fit4Schools resources and programs are easy, fun and free to use, aligned with national standards, provide activities to boost students’ energy and include weekly challenges. The fit4Schools system of resources and programs provide school programs, childcare training, mobile apps, websites and more!

What I love about the program is it provides kids with Daily Fit Tips that are motivational and positive to put kids in a happy mood! It's a great way to incorporate brain breaks in the classroom by providing teachers with fantastic ideas of ways to get the muscles moving in an indoor setting.

fit4Schools currently has a Commit Sweepstakes for teachers to share with their students. This sweeps is open to all who are currently employed full- or part-time as an educator by an accredited public or private K-12 school in the United States. All teachers have to do is enter and they will possibly win a Rainy Day Kit, a Get Moving for P.E. Kit, a Classroom Active Seating Kit. Teachers can select the prize kit of their choice if selected. 

There will be 16 winners. All prizes are valued at $650. 

The Rainy Day Kit Includes:
  • A giant tower game
  • A physical activity BINGO set
  • Clever Catch™ activity balls
  • A set of fitBoost cards
  • Plus loads of other indoor get-moving games and activities including hula hoops, a dance CD, beach balls and more
The Get Moving for PE Kit includes: 
  • 6 SST™ Scooters
  • 24 ACTION™ ToppleTubes™
  • A huge parachute
  • A set of fitBoost cards
  • Plus all of the balls, Frisbees, jump ropes and more to make your P.E. class awesome.
The Classroom Active Seating Kit includes: 
  • 3 ergoErgo chairs
  • 6 BALLance™ stability balls
  • A Yze standing desk
  • A set of fitBoost cards and Brain Breaks activities
Enter here:

All of the teaching materials and resources on the fit4Schools website are organized into 4 key factors of healthy living: Mood, Food, Move and Recharge. fit's programs and resources build the awareness that RECHARGE and MOOD influence FOOD and MOVE choices, then activate healthy lifestyle choices.

What I love about the lessons, is there not strictly about what you eat and getting your body moving. Many children have mood disorders and this program shows ways to cope and how lack of exercise and poor nutrition affect your mood.

  • MOOD: feelings and attitudes
  • RECHARGE: sleep and relaxation
  • FOOD: what and how much you eat
  • MOVE: exercise, play, and physical activity

DAILY fitBoost
One of the easiest and most fun elements to incorporate in the classroom may just be the daily fitBoost which provides an interactive way for a teacher to incorporate an activity break in the class. 

What is awesome about fitBoost is kids can create their own dance moves, go on scavenger hunts and do other cool stuff while being fit! Kids discover that exercise isn't a tedious act. Anything that gets your body moving is a form of exercise and taking care of your body!

So think about getting your students involved with fit4Schools! It is a great program that gets kids to develop a healthy lifestyle. The skills they learn will help them develop healthy habits that they will take with them into adulthood!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Pet Shop Aquarium Math / Art

In this pet store math activity, students learn about adding decimals as well as area and perimeter by designing an aquarium and collaborating with their peers to create an entire pet store wall of aquariums! - Check out my post at We Are Teachers!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Alien Genetics Lab: Baby Alien Creation

(Science / Art Integration) Kids create a baby alien by flipping 2 coins, while leaning about heredity, alleles, genotypes and phenotypes! Click here for instructions and a free printable!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Wild Thing Adaptations

Invite your students to investigate the structural adaptations and behavioral adaptations of the creatures from Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are! In this lesson, students examine each Wild Thing’s physical characteristics, using the free printable below to help them identify the various attributes that make each Wild Thing unique. Then in a group, they design a new environment and their very own original Wild Things! 

Click here for the full project description / criteria.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Crayfish Lab

Teachers purchase live crayfish (crawdads or crawfish) from the grocery store. 
(Pre-order and pickup - this was done in my classroom)

Kids investigate crayfish body parts, adaptations, behavior and habitats through 10 lab observations. Labs include: measuring (in lab 1), comparing (lab 2), observing behavior, recording feeding and learning about each body part through the 10 labs. 2 art projects are included (lab 7 and 8). Kids draw a habitat and create a crayfish chimney.

Note: There is NO dissection in this pack. Kids study live crayfish.

Includes (21 pages):
Crayfish habitat instructions
6 presentation slides: crayfish parts / adaptations / habitat / behavior
10 Lab sheets
2 mini posters (parts of the crayfish: top and bottom of the organism)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Earthworm Study

Students explore worm adaptations and perform 5 lab experiments. Plus they get to create a worm hotel for the classroom!

Included (18 pages):
11 pdf presentation slides
Lab 1 Structural Adaptations: label / estimate / measure / describe attributes / review worm parts
Lab 2 Behavioral Adaptations: light / moisture / sound experimentation
Lab 3 Worm Observation: build a worm hotel instructions / observation sheet
Lab 4 Predator and Prey: draw worms in natural habitat (tunnels) / draw 3 predators / draw 2 worm food items
Lab 5 Straw Paper Work Trick: instructions for kids / kids draw their paper worm