[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!