Class ABC Big Books ~ A Great Way to Practice Typing and Research Skills



About once every 4-6 weeks, we complete a class book on a topic we are studying. The students have to choose a letter and then choose a topic that begins with the letter. We started with zoo animals because we adopt an animal from our local zoo each year and students were familiar with the topic.

Students research their choice using books and/or the Internet and then they write their rough draft. Once they have edited their rough draft with a peer, they type it. Students can choose the font and size they use as long as it can fit onto one sheet of paper. The students also have to illustrate the topic. We glue both pages onto a sheet of 12 x 18 construction paper and then I laminate them.

We display them like this at first, then I bind them into a class book. I am always amazed at how many times my kids read these class books! They love them!

I have a pre-made packet you can use, or you can just have the kids write the rough draft onto notebook paper! Click here for the link to the packet!



Why not try this idea during your next science or social studies topic?


Counting Pumpkins ~ Monthly School-wide Challenge




Each month we participate in a monthly school-wide challenge. For October, the challenge was:

How many seeds does your pumpkin have inside? Is the number of seeds inside a pumpkin related to its size?

We cut our pumpkins into six slices, which was a really cool way to look at it!

We had over 800 seeds in our pumpkin and it had 27 ribs. Did you know that seeds grow along the ribs of the pumpkin?

Why not check it out the next time you carve a pumpkin?

This week we are working on becoming “Pumpkinologists”! Each table will get a pumpkin and they will be completing this packet. Click here for the link.

Happy Fall!

Team Building Activity ~ Silent Puzzle Building


As one of our team building activities, I had the students work in groups to put together a 100 piece puzzle (from the Dollar Tree) without seeing the box or talking at all.  They had to remain silent the entire time they worked, but they could use non-verbal forms of communication.  All six teams were successful, the fastest in just over 15 minutes and the slowest in just over 25 minutes.  Not bad, huh?


I created a STEM Challenge packet to go with the activity.  It has a lab sheet and a group sheet as well as directions and rules.  You could easily do this activity without the packet, but I used it as a way to get my kids to reflect on the activity.  Here is the link to the $2 packet.


Looking for a way to get your kids to work in teams?  You may want to give this idea a shot!

STEM Engineering Challenges ~ Tiny Glasses Structure

We are in year #2 as a STEM school and it has been a great way to infuse a lot of problem solving, cooperation, and excitement into the classroom!  I believe that STEM is a philosophy of teaching!  Here is one of the STEM challenges we have completed this year!  It is so much fun to facilitate these activities and see and hear their thinking as they progress through each challenge!  I have also created a new blog all about the STEM process!  Check it out and see if you can use any of these ideas in your classroom!

This type of idea has been around awhile, and I can see why!  The kids had a great time trying to be successful at this STEM challenge!

You will need (per group):

– 48 Tiny Glasses (got them at the Dollar Tree)

Super easy set-up and supplies!  All of my STEM challenges use really cheap and easy to find materials!

Check it out!

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You can check out the STEM pack to go with this idea here!