Hosting our Parent Night: Shark Tank Style!

Every semester each grade level in our Title 1 school is required to host a Parent Involvement Night.
This semester our End of Unit Task involved Inventions and Innovations.  We found an amazing product on TpT to help us out, (you can go {HERE} to view it) and our idea of a Shark Tank Parent Night was born!

To begin we had our students learn the difference between an invention and an innovation.  We had been studying people who had made a difference in the state of Florida, and found that using inventors and innovators kept our students attention.  After learning the difference between the two we introduced the writing/research unit by showing our kids a few videos of Shark Tank that involved kid inventors and innovators.  They were hooked!  They couldn't believe there were kids on the show asking ... and GETTING thousands of dollars for their great ideas!
Each student created either an invention or an innovation.  We went through the development process using the product from TpT, students created a 3 minute persuasive speech, a 3D model of their product, and either a display board or a created a technology presentation on SWAY (which is like PowerPoint).  We invited parents to be the SHARKS.  We asked students to dress up and present their inventions or innovation to the parents who asked a ton of questions and really got involved.  Since we are a PBIS school, we gave the parents our praise tickets as investment money.  When parents saw a product they thought was good, they "invested" in it by giving the student tickets.  Our students were so excited to earn tickets, and really upped their presentation skills to try and get as many tickets as possible.  We have great prizes in our Pelican Post store, and only a few days of school left.  It was a wonderful way for our school community to come together.  Our students really had some great opportunities to practice speaking in front of small crowds, and they were all so proud of their inventions and innovations. 

The kids were so excited about this project, and I think it was an amazing way to end the school year.

Are you required to do Parent Involvement Nights?  I'm looking for a few good ideas for next year, and I would love your thoughts!  Do you do anything similar to Shark Tank?


Mother's Day Books and Projects

Mother's Day is fast approaching!  I love to find fun ways for my students to celebrate the special women in their lives that love and support them.  Today I'm going to share a list of books I'm going to display in my classroom about mother's and families.  We are going to use the books to complete our Mother's Day Craftivity.  I can't wait for the week to begin!

I'll be honest, because as much as I would like to pretend I'm Belle with a vast library at my disposal, my own children would also like to eat more than cereal for dinner, and I don't own every single one of these books.  Some of them came from my school library, others are from my local library. I did link them to Amazon through my affiliate link, so that you can read more about the books. But really friends, check out your local library!

Here are a few from some of my favorite authors:

My students are also working on this fun Mother's Day Craftivity for their moms, grandma's or any woman that has been special in their lives.  I love the thoughts they are putting into each petal of the flower.  We have come up with some amazing character trait words through reading some of the Mother's Day books mentioned above, and I love to hear the stories they tell about their mothers and grandmothers.  Some are so funny, and I'm sure their parent would die if they ever knew I knew. Here are a few pictures of my completed model.  You can go {HERE} if you are interested in the project.


Happy Star Wars Day: Yoda Descriptive Writing and Yoda Swamp Slime!

May the Fourth Be With You my Friends!  I love the first week of May.  There are so many fun and interesting little bits and bobs about this week.
May Day, Cinco de Mayo, and of course Star Wars Day!

I'm going to have a ton of fun with my students on May the Fourth, and I wanted to share with you a few fun things I found to make it a Galactic Day! Of course.. one cannot begin teaching on May Fourth without:
a) playing Star Wars music... all... day...long
b) speaking like Yoda...<LoL>  Let's all admit THAT gets annoying after 20 minutes.

At any rate, I do have standards to focus on, so for reading we are going to finish up our Space Unit, so we are going to read about jobs that are part of the space program.  I assign my students articles from NEWSELA to read and annotate. Have you used NEWSELA before?  This sight is amazing!  I love that my students get the practice of reading and annotating on the computer.  Plus we can adjust the lexile level of the material, so it is a perfect way to differentiate within the classroom while still discussing a similar piece of informational text.  I'm still waiting for NEWSELA to come out with some specific Star Wars articles, so we'll have to read about space and pretend we are heading to a galaxy far...far...away.

To incorporate a little more language work with similes and metaphors, I am going to show my students the scenes where Luke first meets Yoda in the Empire Strikes Back.  I'm using these because it will relate to our STEM activity (Keep reading below).  We are going to brainstorm some adjectives, verbs and adverbs to describe the swamp, and I'm going to throw in some preposition work too.  We are going to incorporate these into a similes activity to describe Yoda and his home. I found this picture of Yoda on a free printables page.  I trimmed off the head and shoulders for a page topper, and then we cut the rest of the body up the middle so we could write on the inside and show Yoda's body.

I'm asking my students to write 3 similes and 3 metaphors that would incorporate a character trait of Yoda.  I'm  pushing them to enhance their work by trying to show the type of character Yoda was through his thoughts, words and actions.

Next Up:  STEM TIME!

I feel like the best part of the day will be our STEM time, because we will be making Yoda Swamp Slime!  I mean, the day can't get any better than that when we make Yoda Swamp Slime!  This is your basic slime craze slime with green food coloring.  For slime you need 1oz of glue, (which is perfect since we are talking about measurement conversions right now in math)which is about a quarter of a glue bottle by the way, 1/4 cup of water, food coloring (optional) and 1/4 cup of borax. You mix the glue and water together, add the food coloring, and then slowly add the borax until you get a good consistency.  The kids will need to use their hands, which of course is always a squishy gross feeling, but they will love making and taking HOME the Yoda Swamp Slime!

You can check out my Instagram and Facebook pages where I'll be posting some pictures of our Intergalactic day!

Do you have any fun celebration days coming up?  I would love to hear any other ideas or activities that you plan around Star Wars Day.. or any upcoming fun days for May!
Until then, May the Fourth... I mean Force Be With You!

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