## Crayola Markers STEM Challenge

I made scribble bots with my students during the last days of school. It was a GREAT activity with high engagement and interest among students. Not only that, it is a great way to use your almost dried up markers–the ones that still make a mark, but may not be so good for coloring. All of the other materials are available at the Dollar Tree except for the small motors and items from around the house.

For each scribble bot you will need:

- a small motor (from Amazon)
- a clothespin
- tape (I used masking)
- a AA battery
- a cup (I used styrofoam)
- a popsicle stick
- Old Crayola markers (at least 4)
- old Christmas light wire (we used this instead of alligator clips)
- bulletin board paper large enough for the bot to travel a little way

First, I showed this video to my students.

Next, I reiterated a few parts of the video such as make sure your motor is perpendicular to the popsicle stick and make sure the motor is all the way on the end of the stick.

This will probably take your students the better part of an hour, but your really smart kids may finish earlier. These students can still be challenged by trying to find a way to make a different pattern with their bot, or using their materials and motor in a different way. Notice the scribble bot with lots of markers all around…my little over achiever made this one. His bot actually made a fabulous pattern! Notice some of the different patterns that are being made on the paper by different students’ bots.

I hope your students enjoy this as much as mine did!

## STOP! Don’t Throw Out the Markers!

Here’s what happens. I’m in the middle of a lesson or art project. You name it. Then my Crayola, Sharpie or, Expo marker etc. stops working. I declare, “This marker is going to marker heaven,” as I toss it into the metal trash can. *BONG! *

As you can see above, I have a whole collection of markers that aren’t in the best shape. I go through these every year to check for ones that don’t work so that they can be thrown away. Now there is a better way!

Did you know Crayola recycles markers? Not only do they recycle their own markers, but they will recycle other markers, too! They will also recycle other brands of washable markers, permanent markers, dry erase markers, and highlighters. They will do this for any K-12 school in the contiguous 48 states. The school has to have a contact person to register the school, though. You can get more information by clicking here. Now, no more marker heaver–just marker reincarnation.

## Try this Fun Activity for Your Promoted Fifth Graders!

We always have a big ceremony for our 5th graders who are being promoted to 6th grade every year. In fact it rivals many high school graduations in its attention to detail and classiness. This year, I wanted to add little something to it, so at the prompting of my students, we made these cute profile images of their faces. The students put quotes on them that meant something to them. In some cases students made up their own quotes, and I let them.

I had students make up the rubric for what a good profile image would look like. Most of them agreed that a quality profile had to have no white spaces, at least two colors, and at least one quote. They turned out SO well, and I’m so proud of them! 🙂 You will notice that some profiles look similar to others. That is because when one student had a good idea, other students tended to copy the good ideas.

First you must know that I work next door to the art teacher (HOW convenient!). The art teacher let me borrow these spotlights that make the perfect shadow on a large sheet of white construction paper. I outlined the students’s shadow and had them trace their shadow in black Sharpie. If you don’t do this first, it turns out disastrous because then students end up coloring over the pencil lines and then when they cut out their profile, their lips and nose look somewhat deformed. I had them make their colored design first, and then AT THE END they can cut out their profile. I allowed students to be able to use oil pastels, water color, black Sharpie, and crayons to make their images. I emphasized the fact that they must NOT use Sharpie over the top of oil pastels or crayons because the wax will ruin the Sharpie. I had them use the oil pastels, crayons, or Sharpie first and THEN they could paint over it with water color. The wax in the crayons and oil pastels will cause the water color to resist causing a nice effect.

Parents and students took much pride in these as they lined the hall after their “graduation ceremony”.

## Try this New Free Math Website!

Earlier, I showed you a video about how to set up an account with iKnowit.com. iKnowIt is a fabulous new math website that gives students a variety of practice problems to solve through a fun and interactive new platform. Now, I am going to show you what a student sees when they experience iKnowIt. Remember iKnowIt is absolutely FREE until August 2018. Give it a try! Happy Viewing!

Did I mention I love the chipmunks! (wink, wink)

## How to Set Up an IKnowIt Account (free)!

Guess what?! Have you heard about this great new math website?! There are math lessons set up for kindergarten through 5th grade. Students are given a score for problems they get right so that you could potentially use this for a quick grade. Winning! Right now you can set up an account for your class absolutely free–until August 2018 that is! In the following video, I show you how to set up your free account and how to assign lessons to your students.

## Pi Day Lesson Freebies!

Recently I told you my plans for teaching a Pi Day lesson. I am pleased to tell you it went very well! I am going to share a few things with you that may help your future Pi Day go well.

First of all, I explained to students how Pi was determined. In case you don’t know, pi is the number that you get when you take the circumference of a circle and divide it by the diameter. Then I showed students this fun video. You really need to explain pi first before the video since the information may get lost in the cutesy-ness of the video.

Next, I talked to the students about how some people try to break records with how many digits of pi they have memorized. I showed them this website with a million digits of pi and scrolled down a bit so they could see all of the digits of pi. Students were amazed when I showed them this website and highlighted the names of people who have broken records with memorizing digits of pi. I gave students a paper with as many digits of pi as would fit on it front and back and had them highlight any numbers that meant something to them. These numbers could be ages, birthdays, lunch numbers, addresses, zip codes, etc. By the end of the week, I had one student coming up to me and spouting off the first 40 digits of pi she had memorized. Students seemed slightly obsessed with memorizing digits of pi.

Then I gave students a box of several objects that were circle shaped to choose from. I just had these items around my classroom. Now, you must understand that I tend to collect recyclable items and always have a few on hand. This helped quite a bit with this project. At this time, no lie, I have about thirty toilet paper rolls in my backseat. They have been there for several weeks just waiting to go into the school and be a part of some project. 🙂

I also borrowed some hula hoops from the PE teacher for an extra fun challenge!

I told students that they had to measure a smaller item before they measured the large hula hoops. This seemed to work best for students to manage their time more wisely.

I showed students how to measure around an object with some thin wire that I had. I chose wire instead of string because string seems to stretch too much, thereby giving inaccurate measurements. With the wire, students were able to bend it to mark off a point to show where to stop measuring on a ruler.

I had students to measure with the metric side of the ruler and I showed them how to convert the marks between the centimeters into fractional tenths of a centimeter. For example, a length that measures 5 cm and 2 mm could be written as the decimal 5.2.

I did allow students to use calculators for this activity because I really wanted them to be able to have several decimal places after the decimal. Not all of my students had been taught division with decimals yet.

At the end we discussed how the measurements didn’t come out to be 3.14 exactly and why that happened. We discussed the possible use of wire, human error, and so forth. Students used words like precision to describe their measurements if they weren’t 3.14. Another topic of closing discussion was looking at papers that had decimals that weren’t preceded by a 3. We talked about why that may have happened as well.

I would teach this lesson again. The students were engaged the entire time and really seemed to enjoy this change of pace.

Download the Activity Sheets here if you would like them.

## Do You Have a Pi Day Plan? {Giveaway Time}

**Discover pi.**I am going to have a variety of circular objects such as Pringles containers, nut canisters, and other recyclable items for students to have access to. Students will choose at least three objects. Then they will measure the circumference with string and divide by the diameter of each circle. I will provide string to measure the circumference and rulers to measure the string and diameter of each circle. Then students will divide the circumference by the diameter. I will do this to help them discover pi by themselves. Students should roughly get three on each circular item.

**pi scavenger hunt**to find as many meaningful numbers as the students can find that have to do with their life. For example, they can possibly find their age, birthday, house number, zip code, phone number, etc.

**Prize:**$100 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

**Co-hosts:**

**An Apple for the Teacher, That Library Girl, A Plus Kids, Digging Deep to Soar Beyond the Text, MM Bilingual, KB3Teach, Mickey’s Place, Ms. K, Leah Popinski, Kathryn Watts, The Literacy Garden, It’s Kinder Time, Simone, Peas In A Pod, Life Between Summers, Walk with Me a Second, Taryn’s Unique Learning, Mrs. Hansen’s Helpfuls, TheBeezyTeacher, The Froggy Factory, and Peggy Means – Primary Flourish.**

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*Click here*

*to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers!*## Fill In Fraction Freebie: Counting by 1/2

Just finished up this free fraction sampler for you all! This includes some pages of fill in number charts counting by ½. There is also a completely filled out chart of counting by ½ that could really be useful for those students who are struggling with the concept of halves or even counting by halves.

This sampler is a few pages of the 60 newly posted fill in fraction number charts that has charts counting by ½, ⅓, ¼, 1/5, 1/6, ⅛, 1/10, and 1/100.

I hope you enjoy the freebie! Click here to download.