Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Recap, Padlet and Stemscopes! Oh my!

Today I got to venture into an exotic land. A land where I had never traveled before.  I had come close but had never been brave enough to enter.....

5th grade.....

I always had so many reasons to avoid it.  The content was hard!  All those hormones!  They were, almost definitely, TALLER than me!  Lame reasons, I know, but they always seemed valid to me.  

In this new position, I get the fabulous opportunity to experience different grades and work with some excellent teachers.  Today I tackled 5th grade science.  My district is piloting a science program called STEMscopes.  Our grade-level team leaders are leading the charge with the pilot program and 5th grade is working on a gravity scope.  

The first class that I went into this morning was completing the last activity in their inquiry.
The egg drop.
They had already learned about gravity, all of the ways to counterbalance gravity and had to design a structure/vehicle to protect their egg from cracking when dropped from the tallest point on their playground. They had tested with plastic eggs and today was the real deal.  This project needed cooperation, creativity and communication in order to work.

Making changes to protect that egg!

Teamwork was essential.

Before their test, Mrs. Young had them introduce their teams and explain their design in the web-based application, Recap.

She gave them 60 seconds to introduce and explain.
Recording and previewing their Recap entries

Then it was time for the test, so off to the playground we went!  The groups each went to the top of the slide deck and dropped their eggs!

Ready to drop!
Upon their return to the classroom, they had to unwrap their eggs and determine whether or not they were cracked.The results were good and all passengers survived the fall.  

My second 5th grade adventure involved the very first lesson of this same scope. I decided to teach the students a new tech tool since the content and lesson itself was not too complicated.  The tool that I chose was Padlet.  

The students had never used this tool before and caught on VERY quickly.  I had them record any thoughts, questions or wonderings about gravity.  We did this activity at the beginning of the lesson and at the end of the lesson.
Working on our Gravity Padlet
Padlet also gives you the option to print out all of the great thinking done by the students.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math all culminated into a fantastic, meaningful activity for these 5th graders.

Well what are my thoughts on my 5th grade experience?

Although I had never been there before, I would totally go back (and I promised them all I would do another Padlet lesson so I have to, right?).....even though some of them were DEFINITELY taller than me!

Words to live by