March 28, 2017

Out of the Box: ANOTHER DK Beauty!

What do an adventure castle, a domed den, a balancing butterfly, and loads of creativity have in common? Out of the Box by Jemma Westing, of course!


Twenty-five interactive cardboard model projects that engage kids' creativity and "out of the box" thinking skills through hands-on learning and the application of science-based principles.
Kids can bring old cardboard to life and build recycled creations they can play with, sit in, and wear.
Supporting STEM education initiatives and the Maker Movement, Out of the Box includes 25 interactive cardboard model projects to inspire kids' creativity through engaged and hands-on learning, and, as the founder of Maker Faire Dale Dougherty says, "to realize with their hands what they can imagine in their minds." 
From small-scale gifts to large constructions, author and award-winning paper engineer Jemma Westing uses clear, step-by-step instructions to show kids how to make dinosaurs, masks, race cars, and so much more, and inspirational images encourage them to make their own unique models when they are feeling more confident. The projects utilize only recycled materials, including cardboard rolls and boxes, so all the supplies should be easy to find right at home.
Build something brilliant with Out of the Box. The possibilities are endless!... Amazon.com

I received this beautiful book a few days ago and couldn't wait to tear into it the minute I saw it! Each colorful page contains exciting photos of fun, kid friendly projects, step-by-step directions, and templates with just the right blend of directions and imagination.



Most projects require little planning and few materials: cardboard, paint, tape, scissors, glue... things that are laying around a typical household. However, some projects are a bit more ambitious and require specialized types of cardboard or just LOTS of it!


As a teacher I can see myself placing this book on a table in a corner of my room with all of the necessary supplies in a box under the table, and inviting students to visit the corner during their spare time. Out of the Box is sure to become a great work motivator. Students will want to quickly attend to their assignments so they will be free to engineer engaging cardboard projects.

Several of the projects would be terrific whole class STEM activities. One in particular that I plan on utilizing with my sixth graders is the "Balancing Butterflies" found on pp. 22-25. This simple, attractive project combines spring butterfly art with the concept of center of gravity and will make for a nice art craft activity and a quick informative science lesson.

Published by DK Books, Out of the Box by Jemma Westing is available for purchase beginning April 18, 2017.

March 21, 2017

March Show and Tell Tuesday

It seems like I just blink and BOOM... there goes another month, and it's once again time for my favorite linky.

First up for this month is another STEM activity. We try to include at least one STEM activity every other week. It's something that my kiddos and I look forward to. For this STEM activity we were investigating the elements of flight. Our challenge was to create an paper airplane that would carry the most cargo (plastic metric weights). I couldn't believe that one group designed a plane that was able to fly with 63g of weights on it!


It just wouldn't be Show and Tell without pictures of my kiddos playing ZAP! ZAP! is hands-down my classes' favorite game EVER! 

On St. Patrick's Day my fifth grade Language Arts students enjoyed a Go 'Round with four ZAP games. One helped them practice alphabetical order; one had them identifying nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs; a third  had them identifying declarative, interrogative, imperative, or exclamatory sentences; and the last game had them practicing independent and dependent clauses. Never played ZAP? Check out more than 100 ZAP games that I have featured in my TpT Store; a few are even free!

I NEVER make New Year's resolutions because I NEVER keep them! This year I broke my NEVER and made two. One, I was not going to let dishes pile up in my sink anymore. So far, so good. I've been washing the dishes after every meal. The second resolution was that I was going to do more home cooking. I HATE to cook for just myself, but eating out is just not the healthiest nor the most economical.  These are just a few of the dishes I've made this past month: chicken, green beans, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes with balsamic glaze is a Facebook recipe; the Zuppa Tuscana is an Olive Garden fakeout dish for which I didn't use a recipe; the baked penne was made with leftover sauce from my nephew; and the choo choo wheels and kielbasi with peppers is something my sis made when her kids were little. So far, so yummy for resolution two as well!

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Finally, a pic of the fur babies, or in this case, just sweet Miss Lulubelle. She was half asleep but kept reaching up and trying to pat my face with her paw... so, so precious!

Be sure to stop by Forever in 5th Grade to read more fun Show and Tell Tuesday posts. They are a great way to keep up with what is happening in the teacher blogging world!