Sunday, May 7, 2017

Marble Run Fun in the Classroom

Marble Run Fun

Looking for a fun way to get kids excited about science, math, STEM, and more?  Let me tell you about the fun marble runs from Marble Genius!

When I received my first set, I wanted my students to be able to freely explore the contents...without me telling them exactly what to do or how to do it.  So to accomplish this, I simply opened the box and dumped the contents out on the table.

 I didn't tell my students what the pieces were for.  I didn't tell them how the pieces connected.  I didn't even tell them what they were supposed to do.  I literally dumped everything out and let them explore.

And explore they did!  A couple of my students had played with marble runs before, so they knew immediately what to do.  A few of my students had no clue what to do with the pieces.  The majority of my students, however, got right to work and began trying to figure out how the pieces went together.

It was pretty interesting to see how my students worked together and talked together as they tried to figure out how to build their marble run.  It definitely created a sense of team work, as they quickly realized that in order to be successful, they would all have to work together on this project!

 Several students asked for their marbles right away.  They wanted to try their marble run pretty quickly after starting.  Other students protested, and encouraged them to wait a little longer, to see how big and tall they could make their marble run.  I loved hearing my students have conversations about how to build and how not to build their creations!

My students had a ball exploring the marble run set!  They were all in agreement that today was one of the best science days ever!!! Today's fun was all about exploring the marble run set, finding out how parts fit together, learning how the process worked, and just having fun!  Our next project will be exploring how we can make the marbles travel faster (or slower) through the run and examining how different pieces can make this happen. 

I received four marble run kits for my classroom because I am a Marble Genius Ambassador!  Unfortunately the ambassador program is closed, but you can still get your marble run kits on the Marble Genius page.  I also highly suggest utilizing Donors Choose as a way to obtain marble run kits for your classroom!  If you need any help writing a project or getting ideas of ways to incorporate this project in your classroom, just let me know!  I'm always happy to help my fellow teachers!!

Your kids will thank you -- this I can definitely guarantee you!!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Alphabet Brag Tags

Brag Tags in the Classroom

Have you heard of brag tags?  Are you using them in your classroom?  If not, read on....You may want to give them a try after you see all the fun you can have with them....even at the END OF THE YEAR!!

If you're not familiar with brag tags, check out my blog post here.  I explain what they are, how they work, and how I use them in my classroom!

Alphabet Brag Tags:  End of the Year Review

So since it's almost May and many of us are beginning to wrap up the year, I wanted to show you how I use Alphabet Brag Tags as a way to keep my students engaged and enthusiastic about our end of the year review!

Each year in Kindergarten our classes all do an ABC Countdown.  The last 26 days of school are filled with fun activities, letter/sound review, and a countdown from A to Z!  (ending, of course, with "Zee" Last Day of School...LOL)

There are several ways you can use Alphabet Brag Tags in your classroom....especially at the end of the year.  

1)  Use a brad and create a fan of letters that students can use as little flashcards to review, quiz their friends, or just practice by themselves.  You could give students all the letters at once, or if you do an ABC countdown, you could give them one each day!

2) Have students color their own brag tags to show which letters/sounds they have learned throughout the year!  

3) Hole punch the Alphabet Brag Tags and put them on a binder ring.  Again, you could give students all the letters at once or simply pass them out as you review each letter.

4) Hole punch the Alphabet Brag Tags and string them on some yarn or a chain.  Kids love necklaces and whether it's a bunch of Fruit Loops or a bunch of ABC Brag Tags.....they're going to want to wear the necklace everywhere!!

Students love brag tags and Alphabet Brag Tags can be a fun way to end your year AND help your students review their letters and sounds!  

My ABC Brag Tags include tags with letters/pictures, tags with capital letters, and tags with lowercase letters.  In case you'd like to save ink, I've also included ALL tags in black and white!  Simply print the B&W tags on color paper or have students color their own for added fun!