Monday, August 1, 2016

That Earth, Sun, and Moon STEM Unit You Just Can't Pass Up!

Seriously! Its getting late and I'm supposed to be going to bed! ......But its summer! All I have to do tomorrow is laundry and hit the grocery store! So for the last 12 hours I've been on the computer! I really really need to get off! What have I been doing?! Working on Lesson Plans, BUYING Lesson plans, and creating a whole new brand of ME!

I'm now SUPER CHEEZY! Ha playing off my last name of course. I changed my store name to: Cheezy Solutions to Lesson Planning! Dun Duh! 

So in all serious now! I gotta give mad props to myself! You see, I never ever used to write lesson plans! Let alone look at standards. I kind of just threw things together! BUT you know what? When you write lesson plans, things come together in a more coherent way. If you are that lazy teacher who I used to be like... LUCKY YOU! You got teachers all over the internet who will do it for you! You just got to pay for it. I love it and I do pay for some stuff. But seriously, you can be so rockin' awesome by piecing together some of the best of the best from around the web. Me: I like to do a bit of both! You see, I buy a little and create a little making the best classroom ever! 

So I've told you that I'm switching it up to 3rd Grade! Wahoo! Holla! I'm stoked for my team. I get to teach with 5 (wow 5! huge team I know!) veteran teachers! I'm the new girl! I don't know what these teachers do in their rooms and I am not one to go reinvent the wheel. However I am one to go and make the wheel better for me! 

So where did I start? SCIENCE! I've taken a look at all my science standards and decided I need to integrate them with Language Arts! So I'm about to tell you why my unit is better than all the units out there!  First I'm gonna post a snapshot! 

So here is what teachers need to do. First, buy this awesome unit for only $5.99! That's a great deal with 77 pages total! I've been online and found units ranging from $8 to $15 for the entire unit! I'm seriously not trying to rip any other teacher off. 

Next, there is a list of things you are going to need to gather up. Its STEM! STEM isn't full of worksheets! You're gonna need some supplies likes Oreos, glue, craft sticks, paper plates, and that sort of thing. 

Now just follow the unit in order! Give students a pretest, teach the vocabulary lesson, review vocabulary words in a worksheet, give students an anticipatory set and dive into the language arts portion of the unit. The language arts portion has 8 mini lessons to teach. In every lesson, there is a video off Youtube that you can show your students. Next you'll read a passage that talks about an important concept. Along with the passage is a set of text dependent questions. In order to answer the questions, students will need to use crayons to highlight the answers. Lastly, in each lesson there is a short activity. (Well some take longer than others). 

Next up, students have several worksheets they can do and glue into a science notebook if you have those going in your classroom. Vocabulary worksheets can be done on their own or go into that notebook as well. One of my favorite activities is a Scavenger Hunt for students to do on computers. If you can't get a computer for each individual student, put them in pairs, or even do it as a whole class. I think my grade has a set of iPads. I'm not sure yet but that may provide a way for students to do this activity. Lastly, the Language Arts portion would be incomplete with out writing involved! Three writing prompts are included: one descriptive, one informative, and one narrative. 

Now for the STEM Part! There are three different tasks that involve STEM. You could split your class into groups and have them each take one. Or you could do all 3! Its up to the materials you have and the time constraints each classroom has. But one thing I love about each of these STEM lessons is that there is a worksheet to guide students through their project without telling them what to do. It allows students who have a hard time getting started to think about what they know and how they can apply it to make their project. 

One thing I'm really looking forward to is our summative project assessment. I only included pictures in the unit, but I want to have a classroom Outer Space Party. I want students to invite their parents and their younger siblings in to the party. For the party, students to help make the decorations, send home invitations, and have their projects and things that they've learned from the unit on display. I also want centers and things students can do at the party with their parents. All of the centers are something that I want students to have contributed in helping to put together.

Center 1: A snack table
Center 2: A photo booth
Center 3: A Spaceship walk
Center 4: Craft activity
Center 5: Play with Moon Sand
Center 6: Pin the ship on the Moon
Center 7: Planet Bean Bag Toss Game 
Center 8: Space Mazes

After the party, a review game is needed before the test! What better way than with a game called 'Blow the Roof Off'. Its my spin on the game "I Have, Who Has". Instead of kids asking questions, they say their number listed on the card, do an action that is associated with a concept, and the class tries to complete all of the cards as fast as they can going in order. There are 30 cards so if I have less than that, then some kids get more than one. If I have more, I'll give one the assignment of timer and one the judge. Then I play a couple rounds and switch cards every round to get everyone in the game! After the game, give students the posttest and compare results to the pretest. 

Seriously! This is that unit you just can't pass up! Complete with standards and all!

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