4th Grade STEAM Project #2

Fourth graders have embraced the STEAM concept fully and look to turn any project into a STEAM project.  Recently they worked on making three and four sided figures using pattern blocks.  They had to use at least two shapes for each of their polygons.  Several students were working on their three sided figures and realized that they could keep adding shapes to make the figure bigger.  The kids got so excited when one student made a nineteen piece triangle, and the competition was on!

Next thing we knew, we had 26, 30, 32, 46….up to a 71-piece triangle! Two students started making the longest quadrilaterals out of triangles and rhombuses, then others moved on to making a quadrilateral out of rhombus shapes and had to stop at 107 pieces!




STEAM Project in 4th Grade

[STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.  It’s an approach to learning we take seriously here at TLC!  Use the category selector drop down menu over in the right hand sidebar to select “STEAM” to learn more.  The pictures and words to today’s post come directly from Assistant Teacher Ms. Chris in Fourth Grade.]

These are pictures from a 4th grade STEAM project that developed quite by accident.  We have moved into a unit covering measurement.  Within this unit we are learning the proper way to measure items, which tools to use and how to make predictions/estimates.  We are also covering perimeter.

One student has been making a long finger knitting chain and asked me if we could measure it in class.  We started laying it out on the floor and several questions popped up from the students themselves, such as “How do we measure it if it’s curved?”  “How do we keep it from stretching?”

The students came up with the idea to lay the finger knitting chain around the center portion of desks.  They taped the corners down so they could be measured at an angle.

In our next class, we discussed what a STEAM project was and what each letter stood for and how we could incorporate each part in our own project.

The students were then divided into groups of 7 or 8 and were assigned jobs.  They were told they could use rulers, yardsticks, pencil and paper.  They first needed to make a prediction on how long they thought the chain would be.  One student was the recorder and had to write down the prediction, measurements, strategies used and obstacles encountered.

They had to measure each side, decide which measurement tool(s) to use, how to get an accurate measurement and decide what to do when the measurement wasn’t exact.  After they measured each side, they had to work together as a group and add up their measurements and convert their final measurement into yards, feet and inches.  The recorders then presented their teams’ predictions and actual measurements to the class.   We discussed the predictions, actual measurements and the variations in measurement for each group.

We also read the book, Millions to Measure, by David M. Schwartz.  This book explains how the US Standard Measurement system and the Metric system came about.

We were very impressed with how the students worked together in their groups and how they came up with various ways of problem solving.

Cross-Curricular Mystery in Middle School

Middle school teachers at TLC! have begun to implement some exciting cross-curricular units of study to students in grades 5th-8th.  Currently they are working on mysteries in everything from language arts, science, social studies and even math.

In order to incorporate art with the  cross-curricular mystery unit,  students in Ms. Jamie’s class were introduced to the painting by Balthus  titled “Living Room.”

"Living Room" by Balthus

Students then used finger paints to create mysterious scenes in the kitchen and titled their works “What Happened in the Kitchen”.  The students identified what made their painting mysterious, along with the questions they wanted to be taken away from their painting.


Solar System STEAM Project in 3rd Grade

[STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.  It’s an approach to learning we take seriously here at TLC!  Use the category selector drop down menu over in the right hand sidebar to select “STEAM” to learn more.  The pictures and words to today’s post come directly from third grade teacher Ms. Stephanie.]


The third grade class recently completed a two week STEAM project all about solar systems.  They had so much FUN!  It began in writing where for two weeks each student spent time researching a particular planet and making a large brochure on their planet.


In Guided Reading, the class read the chapter book   Magic School Bus, Space Explorers.  Each day, the children had a comprehension activity to do with each chapter.


They did an interactive study through the SMART board on each individual planet, asteroids, meteors, comets, etc.  The class also participated in a scavenger hunt where the children had to locate solar system cards and match up the correct answer from the cards on their scavenger hunt recording sheets.

To incorporate math, the class used solar system facts to learn about distance, diameter, length- miles, hours, months, years.

Individually, the children created their own posters/diagrams of the solar system.   In small groups, they had to sketch out and plan a detailed diagram of the solar system, including the asteroid belt, planets’ moons, exact colors, etc. Then, with clay, they had to create 3-D diagrams of what they sketched and planned out.  The 3-D diagrams had to be realistic in color, completely labeled, and detailed.




Kindergarten Studies Eggs to Honor Martin Luther King Jr.?

Recently, kindergartners read the book The Color of Us by Karen Katz that tells the story of how we as people may look different on the outside but are the same on the inside.  To drive home that point, students examined brown eggs and white eggs and observed that they were different colors but inside they looked the same, smelled the same and tasted the same.

Kindergarten Celebrates 100 Days of School

Ten girls have ten fingers = 100 fingers!

One the 100th day of school, teachers in Kindergarten took the opportunity to do lots of fun activities with the number 100!

They made a 100 day necklace out of cereal,  stamped 10 stamps on 10 strips of paper and made a 100th day hat, counted out 10 different food items and made a 100 day snack, each child brought in 100 items to share with the class like 100 items of pirate treasure, 100 noodles, 100 brown beads, 100 paper clips, or even 100 pennies.




Always loads of things going on around TLC!

Peter Jenkins, famous author of Walk Across America, visited campus.


Students in the cooking elective show off some of their yummy handiwork.


First grade students completed "100 Days of School" projects by observing nature and sharing what they saw.



Kindergarteners wear their "100 Days of School" hats!


Building Quadrilaterals


Recently sixth graders explored how to create quadrilaterals with polystrips.  They played around with these strips of paper in attempts to learn what side lengths would create a quadrilateral.  Throughout the process, they learned that the sum of three sides needs to be larger than the fourth side that was not added in order to yield a quadrilateral.

Raise your hand if you love to see kids learning real life math by hands on discovery?!?



First Grade STEM Project #8

[Each week Ms. Darea’s first grade class has a STEM lesson that crosses the curriculum and lasts all week.  Here is what Ms. Darea had to say about Project #8.]


Whoa!  My kids are awesome!  This week was Christmas STEM!  We started off with the decorating the Christmas tree on the Mimio board according to the word problems.  They were all SO into this!  It was great to see them doing this mental math with multiple steps including addition and subtraction all mixed together.  We even did some counting in Spanish!



Then, we read the book What Makes A Magnet?  I asked them to find the connection between magnets and Christmas while I read this book and they were quick to learn that earth is a giant magnet with the North Pole at one end!  I then introduced the STEM project.  The kids had to make a Christmas tree and 15 ornaments.  The tree and ornaments were to be made into magnets and then the kids had to find something that their magnets would stick to.  Then they would make up word problems for each other to solve using their trees.  They were given a stencil of a Christmas tree to trace on cardstock and were asked to find an item that they could trace onto colored cardstock to make 15 ornaments.  The ornaments had to fit so they had to test them to make sure they would all fit on the tree but also be big enough to fit on the small magnets that I cut.  Many kids used buttons to trace, some used erasers, one thought of using dice.  Once the magnets were made, they had to find something magnetic.  Some kids noticed that the doors to the outside were magnetic, many used filing cabinets, one pair used the top to the button tin!  We broke for snack, watched some videos of magnetic people, then got back to our trees. Now, the students had to make up math problems with their partner and solve them using their Christmas trees and ornaments!