I believe that every child can have a successful learning experience (whether at home or in school) when given the right tools and resources!
I will describe some of my most useful and engaging tools for the upper elementary classroom and/or at-home/homeschooling .
Interactive Notebooks + Aligned Interactive PowerPoints = Magic.
Do you use interactive notebooks? I love them! Some of the most valuable tools whether at home or in the classroom are interactive lessons, especially utilizing BOTH interactive PowerPoint presentations and interactive notebooks.
You may be thinking, What?!? PowerPoint presentations are SO old news! But just stick with me for a moment.
Imagine an engaging, virtual experience that captivates students (or children at home) with different visuals, animations, transitions, and critical thinking questions. While using the interactive PowerPoints as a guide, students can simultaneously work on their interactive notebooks throughout the year, while also becoming fully engaged in their fun, virtual experience.
The interactive powerpoints are perfectly aligned with interactive notebooks so students can be fully immersed in their learning. The PowerPoints can be used as powerful classroom presentations or children at home can click their way through them on individual computers.
Interactive notebooks are a great way to keep students organized and engaged throughout the ENTIRE year! Each series has a combination of written activities, coloring, drawing, and creating.
Beth M: I am really enjoying making Social Studies more hands-on and interactive–and I’m finding student engagement is growing as well as class conversation. It’s also really fun!
Christin M: Ahhh! I wish I would have found this earlier! THIS is exactly what I was looking for and honestly hoping that I didn’t have to take the time to create myself (whilst in the middle of my master’s program)! THANKS SO MUCH!
Camila P: This resource is much more interesting than reading a text book. Students enjoy creating their notebooks and collaborating to read and complete the assignments
Here are the Interactive Notebook and Interactive PowerPoint resources you might enjoy:
Challenge Accepted: STEM & STEAM Activities!
How to Prep for a STEM or STEAM Activity
I’ll fill you in on my favorite supplies to collect for the BEST price!
Do you have a local dollar store? I use the Dollar Tree to find most of my supplies. I like to have a basic collection of on-hand supplies for any STEM challenge!
My Must-Have STEM & STEAM finds include:
- Washi Tape (Duct tape)
- Ping Pong Balls
- Popsicle Sticks
- Clay or Play-dough
- Rubber bands
Here’s an example of an United States History STEM challenge I use in the classroom:
American Revolution STEM Challenge: Create a spinning wheel!
The Daughters of Liberty played an important roll in helping to organize and participate in boycotts. They worked hard to avoid using British goods. For example, they used spinning wheels to make homespun cloth instead of purchasing British clothing.
Using a list of supplies, STEM groups must engineer a model of a spinning wheel! The model must contain the following elements: a drive wheel, a bobbin, and legs. The drive wheel must be able to spin… learn more about this challenge here!
Ancient China STEM Challenge: Using a list of supplies, students must design either an erhu or ruan instrument of Ancient China. Inside the STEM resource, there is a detailed description page of these two ancient instruments. The instrument must be able to produce sound and the strings must produce a variety of pitches. Using an information guide, students must create a model that is inspired by the information they have learned. Students have two days to complete this challenge.
I love STEM because it allows for creativity, cross-curricular learning, student/peer collaboration, student-centered learning, and SO much more.
Here are STEM resources you might enjoy:
Looking for Complete Curriculum resources? Each one of my curriculum resources also includes bonus material – free curriculum binders and a sample pacing guide for the entire year.
You can also download them separately here:
Complete Curriculum Resources: