March 2015 - momgineer

LEGO Workshop with Play-Well!

This morning we had the opportunity to host a LEGO® workshop with Play-Well TEKnologies in our very own homeschool! Several local homeschooling families joined us and the kids got to build lego cars with gears and motors.

First, our instructor Krista, gathered everyone together and they all listened to the rules about respecting each other, helping each other, and how everyone would pitch in to clean up at the end. They also talked about engineers and what they do. If only I could captivate my kids' attention this well:

The kids needed to find similar wheels, mount their motors and gears, and learn how to control the motors to drive their cars. One of the rules was that no parents could help, which was a nice break for the parents and also encouraged peer collaboration and teamwork! Oooooooh...look at all those gears!

 Everyone got to personalize their vehicle with various decoration pieces and there was a lot of variation in both size and style of the cars.
A goal was set, design was carried out, and testing was performed. We had a vehicle ramp from a previous lego birthday party (for non-motorized cars), so instead of driving the cars down the ramp, the kids tested out their creations by driving their cars up the ramp. What a fun time!
Do you want to host LEGO-inspired engineering classes, camp, or even a birthday party? Visit Play-Well's website for details. They are in 25 states, and my oldest son had great fun at LEGO camp a couple of summers ago:

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

1000 Followers FREEBIES!

To celebrate my first 1000 followers on TpT, I created two new forever freebies: Fractions Task Cards & Doodle Arrows Clip Art:


If you haven't used task cards in your classroom before and you are in a 3-5 classroom, you can try them for free with these fraction task cards:

There are QR codes for self checking (you can just ignore them if you don't have a way to use them in your classroom). How can you use task cards in your classroom? Visit Minds in Bloom for 31 Ways to Use Task Cards in Your Classroom!

My other freebie is a clip art freebie. I am not a graphic artist by any stretch, but just LOVE to create simple clip art for my own use. I decided to share these with you as well, because arrows are just so much fun! Most of the arrows included are shown below:

If you are a follower, thank you so much! If you are not, I hope you enjoy the freebies and consider following me. You can gain access to more free downloads by joining my list and making use of my FREE resource library:

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Five for Friday: March 13, 2015

Tomorrow is PI DAY! Woohoo! Here is my five for Friday on this Pi Day eve!

Spring is in the air! We have had 50F degree weather several days this week and even went for a walk without winter coats! That being said, we still have snow, but only a couple feet left. =) Since it's been so warm, we took the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the springlike weather!

Music has always been an important force in my life, and I am thrilled my boys have been enjoying listening to some of our old CDs. This is what is currently playing, pretty much all day long these days (from top left and clockwise: They Might Be Giants, Stray Cats, Louis Prima, Johnny Cash):

In addition to listening, the kids have been practicing the piano a lot, and I have been playing the ukulele. We also learned about the harp this week and used this great St. Patrick's Day music resource from Tweet Resources:

Pi Day will be here tomorrow, so I have decided to join several other TpT sellers and put all of my math resources on sale for 20% off! I am sure I will be baking at least one pie for fun, and we have lots of circle activities to do today, too! If I were an extrovert or even a better party host, I'm sure I would have planned an ePIc Pi Day party, but it just didn't happen. We will be at our last week of floor hockey at 9:26 am, which will be 3/14/15 9:26! I'd love to hear if you have any fun Pi Day plans!

This was the last week of our winter swim session, and the boys have made big strides in their swimming abilities! I am hoping we can continue through spring, but with our packed schedule and the swim teacher availability, it might not happen. Fingers crossed, because they are really enjoying it this time! It looks like we will be able to join homeschool swim in the fall, which we can't do right now because it conflicts with their music class. It's hard to think about summer swimming with all of the snow outside, but our small pool will probably not be big enough for the kids this year. I'm not sure I want to go with a larger pool so I have been looking into other local options, though we always have Walden pond, which you can't beat for price. A season state park pass is only $35!

Last but not least, somehow between our classes outside the home, hours upon hours of Boggle playing, and multiple get-togethers this week, we managed to squeeze in a little bit of school work! One of my favorites from this week was doing self portraits! We followed a YouTube video and the kids were able to follow along. I think they did a pretty good job considering we have never done any art classes outside the home. I need to find one that works with our schedule at some point, but in the meantime we just wing it at home.

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Pi Day Sale on 3/14/15!

I will be joining some other Pi Day enthusiasts over at Teachers pay Teachers and discounting all of my math resources this Saturday!

You can see which stores are participating below:

Special thanks to Krista Wallden and Kimberly Geswein for the design elements in the banner, and to Mrs. Lau for organizing this fun sale (and putting together the clickable graphic above)!
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

What's going on in our science class: Sorting! March 11, 2015

I'm loving linking up with Carol at Teachers are Terrific for her What's going on in your science class? linky!
So, what's going on in our science class?

Science Sorts!
The most recent addition to my TpT shop is something that's been brewing in my head for awhile now, as I've been adding clip art to my collection that will work for various science sorts. I finally got the first six sets completed and posted!

Learn about the topic first!
We have started using them in our homeschool science studies. I usually look for a short science lesson first, either in one of the science texts we have, or even for a clip on YouTube. I found one that talks about producers and consumers that had my 8 and 6 year-olds giggling up a storm:

There are plenty more there, so be sure to browse through for something that makes sense for you. This video didn't go into decomposers, so we discussed them afterwards.

Create it easily at home or in the classroom!
You can create a similar activity with old issues of nature magazines, such as National Geographic Kids, Ranger Rick, My Big Backyard, Mother Earth News, etc. (these are all magazines we have lying around and I often use them for collages)!

Don't have time for magazine cut and paste?
You can make your science lesson into an art lesson as well by having your kids draw various consumers, producers, and decomposers.

Take it outside!
We are still buried in snow at the moment, but once it has melted, this is a wonderful lesson to take out on a nature hike! I let my kids use my first ever digital camera to take photos because it lasts forever on a battery, and I wouldn't be upset if it got ruined damaged accidentally. It takes adequate photos, and it's a great way to really solidify this topic. We have often noted fungus breaking down old logs, and always see animals scurrying about on our walks. Of course walking through the woods also provides ample opportunity for viewing dozens of kinds of producers.

Don't have time for magazines or a nature walk?
If you are interested in the Science Sorts resource for your classroom or homeschool, I've got you covered. I urge you to visit the bundle page, where you will save over 50%.

Head on over to Teachers are Terrific for more great science ideas!
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Wordless Wednesday: LEGO Building!

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!