Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Week After Testing is Finished

The year is coming to a close...and this 8th grade group is finished with testing! So, as a teacher of Math and Science I think to myself, "What would I be interested in as an 8th grader whose done testing?" I had to do a little research of activities and work for us to try since in North Carolina testing is so late, I never really found myself with a week free to do "fun" things that my kids would be interested in, enjoy working on, and still be educational related to what we covered throughout the year.

My third period, or PreAlgebra group, were actually still covering exponent rules. So, needless to say they weren't to happy with me. We actually tested the final chapter on Thursday. (Yes, I know, mean ol' teacher made the kids take a chapter test on the second-to-last-whole school day of the year. Whoops!) I did have some pretty cool things to use after seeing this website on Pinterest. My kids actually liked making the little books, and they used them faithfully!

My fourth period, or Algebra group, just took their EOC (End of Course) test the Wednesday before we went to Charleston and this was their first week "off" of new material. They got the "easy" Math activity for the week. I also found this one on Pinterest, but the link got removed since pinning it and then bringing it back up for printing and coping. Soooo...I had to research and find another website that had what I was looking for. Found it here! My kiddos were divided into five groups of four. Each group got their own "version" of the project and everyone got their own bird within the project. The overall activity reviewed pieces and characteristics of quadratic functions. Earlier in the year we discussed vertex, axis of symmetry, zeros, and more all surrounding quadratic functions and this was a fun way for students to review these pieces and have a little relaxing project making. Here's some of the posters my kiddos made:

The kids really seemed to enjoy this! They really liked seeing the different ways that all the birds traveled and figuring out which bird hit which pigs. I also got to see their artistic talents when they drew their birds!

My sixth and seventh periods, being Science, really needed something fun for the kids to work on. We covered force and motion right before the PASS tests and I felt like we needed to go back and hit it again since it was kind of covered with review material at the same time. We started the week off by watching this video on force and motion and how it impacts car crashes:

After the video we discussed what was important in thinking about the information we know about force and motion, and now about the impacts of crashes. Then students were told that we were going to use that information to create something that would hold an egg and then be dropped down the stairs of our hallway. Students could use anything to hold their egg except a parachute. Students were given this background information and this instructional page in order to make their container to drop their egg in. Students brought in materials for the next couple of days and put together their idea of what would protect the egg. On Thursday we dropped the eggs in their "safe-places" to see if students' ideas worked. The containers ranged from bubble wrap, stuffed animals, peanut butter jars, marshmallow fluff, and more. Here's some of the groups with their containers:


We're Ready to Drop!
The kids really enjoyed this! Actually all ten groups, five within each of my two classes, had successful launches. All the eggs survived with not a single crack! I was pretty impressed with the creativity and unique-ness of their ideas of what to drop the eggs in. I'm super glad I tried this with them and they really enjoyed getting this engineering time in before heading home for the summer!

We are down to three half-days this week. I'm looking forward to my first "Moving-On" Ceremony with the 8th graders on Wednesday. It's our mini-graduation for them before they leave us to move on to the high school. I'm keeping my fingers crossed I don't get emotional. I'll definitely post pictures next week!
Until then...... :)

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