Christmas And Holiday STEM Challenges

Holiday lessons are always a hit in the classroom. Students are usually already excited about the upcoming holidays, so adding in classroom activities that relate just adds to the fun! This can be a great way to get kids engaged and involved even when they are itching for a break from school. 

However, as a teacher, you want to make sure that the lessons you use are actually valuable to your instructional time. If fun, holiday-themed lessons that address content and develop students’ thinking skills are what you are after, holiday STEM activities are the answer! 

STEM activities are popular in many classrooms because they have so much to offer students and teachers. They address important science, technology, engineering, and math content through hands-on learning. They help students learn to use critical thinking and problem solving skills. While higher order thinking is going on, students are also being creative and cooperative. 

All of these elements are important, but kids really love STEM because they are having fun while learning. Teachers can harness this positive engagement to facilitate effective lessons that will stick with their students. Adding holiday themes to STEM lessons just increases the fun! They are great to use during classroom celebrations or during those last few days before a holiday break. Students will enjoy a fun activity with their friends, and they might not even realize they are learning during a classroom party. 

Here are some of my favorite Christmas and holiday STEM ideas

One of my favorite STEM holiday activities is the Elf Zip Line Challenge. Students will plan, design, and engineer a zip line to carry a visitor from the North Pole. They’ll use their skills to make sure the zip line works, and to write about their findings. 

holiday stem

Another fun activity is the Christmas STEM Challenges resource. It includes five Christmas-themed activities that will have students using their problem solving skills. These are especially great for a classroom party as each challenge can be set up as a center that groups of students rotate through. 

The STEM Christmas Lights Circuits challenge is another favorite. Students not only exercise their thinking skills, but learn about energy and creating circuits. 

holiday stem


You can check out all these activities as well as many more on my STEM Holidays page!

For more Christmas STEM ideas, check out my post here.

holiday stem

Connecting STEM To Geography

You all know by now that STEM is one of my favorite subjects to teach. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math lend themselves to really fun activities in the classroom, which will get students excited to learn. They also get a chance to use their creativity and problem solving skills. STEM can help them build upon prior knowledge, come up with new strategies, and engage in deeper learning. 

There are tons of STEM lessons out there, but I really love to incorporate other subjects with STEM (you can check out my tips for connecting STEM with great books here!) While students get all the benefits above, you can address other learning objectives at the same time.

Reading and writing are often the easiest subjects to address with STEM lessons. Teachers often read books with the class as a springboard into a STEM activity, and students use their writing skills to record and respond. However, other subjects can be combined with STEM as well. Geography and history may not be the most common subjects to combine with STEM, but they lend to really fun activities too! 

The STEM World Landmarks and Celebrations Activities Bundle is the perfect way to incorporate multiple subjects into engaging activities. Students will learn about geography as they learn the locations of famous landmarks.

geography

They will read nonfiction texts to learn about the landmarks or celebrations, and then use multiple skills to design structures. While the students have fun engineering, planning, and constructing, you’ll know that they are learning important history and geography subjects.

geography

The STEM Geography bundle comes with 13 different activities- plenty to use throughout the year! Topics covered include:

  • The Statue Of Liberty
  • The Eiffel Tower
  • The Great Wall of China 
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • The Washington Monument

Those are just a few of the products you’ll get that cover 13 different famous landmarks or celebrations for your students to research and design structures resembling the landmark or the event. These activities cover Next Generation Science 3-5-ETS1-1 & 2!

geography

What are your favorite subjects to connect with your STEM lessons?

5 Holiday Gift Ideas for Elementary Students

Teacher and Classroom Tested!😀

Looking for some fun or practical Christmas gift ideas for your elementary students this year! These have been some of my favorites gifts! 😀 These have came in very handy with Distant Learning and Blended Learning this year!

Earbuds and Cases are a necessity this year with blended and remote learning. The cases clip on to students’ backpacks, this has been a game changer for students keeping up with their earbuds as they travel for home to school. The holders were a little expensive, but were worth it! One teacher at our school wrote their names on with Silver Sharpie in script and it looked really cool! Our students loved them! Earbuds 30 for $30 and Cases 6 for $12.

Small Flashlights: This is a fun Christmas gift! Students can use these for Fun Reading Flashlight Friday. We turn the lights off and read. There must be some magic in that little light, because even 5th graders enjoy this!🤣😂

Both of these gifts serve two purposes! To give my students something fun, but also to make learning the last couple days before break fun!

Yarn: Each student gets a roll. Our Art teacher teaches how to weave and games to play with yarn. So our students love getting their own roll! 60 rolls for $30.

Jumpeez: These are so fun, but also a great science lesson on potential and kinetic energy. You can also teach many math skills as students collect data. You get 24 Jumpeez for about $17.

I hope you enjoy these suggestions! I have order all five of these and used in my classroom! All these are Amazon Affiliate Links!

Looking for some fun STEM Christmas Activities!! Check out this post!

Fun November Activities For Elementary Classrooms

November is in full swing and that means the holidays are almost here! There is so much to do this time of year. What with the holiday parties to plan, school break coming up, and end of the semester to-do lists, it actually may be a little difficult to find time to plan lessons. 

The great thing is, there is an abundance of amazing resources out there at your disposal, resources that can add that extra touch of holiday fun to your lessons. November is full of possibilities in that regard. There are so many things you can do to add the holidays in your lessons.

Here are some November activities to get you started!  

  1. Shake things up! You know about the traditional holidays, but did you know that every day in November is actually a holiday? It’s true! November 1st is Vinegar Day, the 2nd is Look For Circle Day. How fun would it be to add these silly holidays into your classroom activities? 
I created a resource that takes care of all of your STEM prep for the month of November using these holidays. 
November Activities
  1. Learn about Thanksgiving. This topic is a great social studies unit but did you know you can easily use it for STEM lessons? There are tons of creative ways to incorporate it and get your students engaged. 
Do some Thanksgiving themed STEM challenges with this Thanksgiving STEM activities resource.  Students plan, design, and engineer drums, corn mazes, rain sticks, canoes, and totem poles. 
  1. Get parents and family members involved. Studies show the more engaged family members are in the students learning, the more likely the student is to succeed. 
These take home Thanksgiving STEM activities are the perfect way to get the whole family involved. Students will create a Native American or a Pilgrim using a clothespin or a totem pole using a paper towel roll. This challenge will get your students thinking critically and creatively!  
November Activities

4. Connect your November activities with good books. If you know me, you know I love connecting my lessons with books (more info on that here). It is so beneficial for students in so many ways.

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet is one of my favorite books to tie in with my Thanksgiving activities. This Balloons Over Broadway STEM activities resource is the perfect addition to your classroom. Students plan, design, and engineer a Thanksgiving Day Float or a puppet. Then students will have a school parade. 
November Activities

I know this time of year can get a little crazy. But don’t let that steal the fun out of the holidays for you! With these resources, you can take back a lot of the time you spend prepping and lesson planning while still getting your students engaged in your fun, festive lessons. 

What are your favorite activities to do in the classroom in the month of Novmeber? Let me know in the comments! 

November activities

Why Project Based Learning?

Are your students excited about learning every day? I’d like to say mine are always engaged and ready to jump into whatever subject we are working on- but let’s be real. Some days are better than others, and some activities are more engaging.

Teaching topics such as economics, non-fiction reading, writing, and math can be challenging for teachers who want to make their classrooms an exciting place for learning. That’s where project based learning comes in! 😀

Project based learning makes even the most “dry” subjects come to life for your students. First, they will be experiencing the topics in real life. Authentic Learning!!! Project based learning assignments involve real problems with real solutions- not just words on a page. Students will develop critical thinking skills that they can use throughout their lives by participating in projects. (21st Century skills) The real world context means that they will immediately see how their results play out. 

Additionally, project based learning is fun! Even your most reluctant learners will be excited to participate and motivative to learn. The activities are engaging and help all kids get excited about the topic. 

If you can’t tell, I am a huge fan of project based learning so I put together a resource that I use in my classroom to incorporate it easily into my lessons.

My Project Based Learning Bundle includes some of my favorite units- ready for you to use! 

project based learning
project based learning

Eight different units are included that incorporate creative thinking and problem solving skills. The lessons will help your students learn about economics, entrepreneurship, math, writing, and many other subjects. They will also engage in activities that end in real life results. Students will start a business, plan a garden, get career-ready, and complete lots of other fun tasks within the activities. How cool is that?

For some more fun classroom lesson ideas, check out my post here on connecting STEM with great books!

What’s your favorite way to incorporate project based learning? Let me know in the comments!

project based learning

Connecting STEM With Great Books

As a teacher, you probably have a schedule somewhere in your room that divides your day into certain subjects and activities. Reading, math, science, and others are probably assigned to various times. Schedules are helpful so students know what to expect, but what if you could combine some of those topics? You could get extra mileage out of your time, and your students would become even more engaged with the content.

Here are some benefits of using books in your lessons.

  • It encourages a love of reading. This is important no matter what subject you are teaching! Introducing your students to good books shows them a whole new world they can explore when they read.
  • It can give a new perspective. We all have our teaching styles. Likewise, our students all have their learning styles. Using a book in your lessons could introduce or explain the topic in a different way that may help a student get a better grasp on the subject or just give them a new level of understanding.
  • It’s fun. Plain and simple, it is fun to read a story that goes along with what you are learning in class. It can feel like a much needed brain break for your students during the school day even though they are still learning. That is a win-win!

One way to do this in your classroom is by connecting STEM with great books!

Assigning books, or reading together, is an awesome way to get students involved with good books. The teacher is also able to explain concepts or themes as they read.

Connecting STEM activities with great books is the perfect way to get your students excited about both! You can use a book to introduce the activity, wrap up a completed activity, or even as a break during a multi-step activity.

No matter when you choose to read the book, students will gain a deeper understanding of the STEM content by making connections. Choose a read-aloud to complement your next STEM activity and watch your students get excited about learning!

Here are some of my favorite books to read in class during STEM lessons

You can check out my STEM challenges that were made specifically to connect to literature here!

This bundle includes STEM challenges that connects to 19 fantastic books, included the books listed above!

STEM books
STEM books

Do you have any books you like to connect to your STEM lessons? Let me know in the comments!

STEM books

For more STEM ideas, check out my post on STEM lessons while distance learning!

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