My name is Nancy Alvarez. I have taught in both private and public schools. I also have experience with homeschooling, curriculum design, professional development, instructional coaching, bilingual education, and technology integration.
STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math), remains a hot topic in education. We know these are the careers of today, and the future. STEM has generally been introduced and offered to students as an elective beginning in middle school. As an early childhood administrator, I realized if we wait to introduce STEM until middle school, our students will miss out on opportunities to develop important skills needed to spark their creativity, interest in STEM, and develop confidence in their STEM abilities. Research shows girls and minorities suffer most when STEM is not introduced until middle school. STEM fields continue to be dominated by white males, this fact has not changed much over the last 30 years!
When implementing STEM on your campus or classroom it is important to consider the space, materials, and lesson design. Yes, you can design STEM lessons on a budget! It is incredible how creative we can get when we do not have money to purchase stuff.
Currently, on my campus, we have a large room dedicated to STEM. The room is divided into four areas (blue, red, green and yellow) that correlate to four STEM challenge rotations. Each week students spend about 1 hour working through two of the challenges. We use a pocket system to keep track of student groups and rotations. The color of each pocket matches the color of the tables at each station.
When designing STEM challenges, we begin by looking at the state standards. From there we brainstorm, research, and come up with our lesson ideas. We use a simple template to make it easy for teachers and students to follow the lesson. When possible, we structure the lesson using the Engineering Design Process, but not all challenges will fit into this format. Here are some examples.
Sight Word Coding Challenge
Scan the QR Code with the iPad
Listen to the sight word recorded on the audio QR Code
Find the sight word on the mat
Code the Beebot to the sight word
Magnetic Race Track Challenge
Create a race track
Race a friend using your magnetic car on the track you designed
When presenting on this topic, I am often asked about what materials to buy to get started. Although there are no must-haves, there are some materials I would highly recommend. I will share my top 10 STEM resources in a future post.
Here is a fun way for students to practice lowercase to lowercase letter matching and/or uppercase to lowercase matching.
With a few dollar store finds, you can make this cute spring station for your classroom. I bought little bunny erasers for students to cover their answers, but you can use any small manipulative. I also added the egg scooping scissors to add some fine motor practice. If you don’t have letters small enough to fit into the eggs, you can print the paper letters included in the download. You will need 26 plastic eggs or 29 if you will be using the Spanish letters too.
I hope your students enjoy learning their letters with this station!
If you teach social studies in Spanish, then you know how difficult it can be to find resources related to Black History in Spanish. I love the story of Ruby Bridges! It is a true story about a little girl whose courage changed history. Students of all ages can learn valuable lessons from Ruby. I hope you and your students enjoy learning about Ruby using these free resources.
I am very excited to introduce Teaching with Nancy Rewards! Beginning January 2018, earn Teaching with Nancy reward points for every resource you purchase. Points are added to your account automatically, there is not need to sign up for anything. The more you shop, the more you will save.
Here is how it works:
You will earn 10 point for every $1 you spend and we will round up.
Every 50 points = $1.
Use points earned towards future Teaching with Nancy purchases.
Redeem your Teaching with Nancy points during checkout.
Other ways to earn Teaching with Nancy reward points:
Earn 25 reward points by creating a Teaching with Nancy account.
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Happy New Year everyone! The new year is an exciting time. It is the end of one chapter and the beginning of new opportunities. As you plan ahead for 2018, why not take advantage of this great sale! Now thru January 3rd all Teaching with Nancy resources are 30% off. Use code “happy2018” to save 30% off everything in your cart at checkout. Check out these winter resources or search by grade level, subject or theme to view more resources for your classroom.
I recently attended an event to honor our Veterans. I learned something during the ceremony about the meaning behind folding the U.S. flag into a triangle. Folding the American flag into a triangle gives unique honor and respect to the flag.
Here is the meaning behind each of the 13 folds:
The first fold is a symbol of life.
The second fold is for our belief in eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing rank, who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.
The fourth fold stands for our weaker nature; as American citizens trusting in God, it’s to Him we turn to in times of peace as well as war for his divine guidance.
The fifth fold is a tribute to America. In the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right, but it is still our country, right or wrong.”
The sixth fold is where our heart lies. It’s with our flag that we pledge allegiance to the flag and the republic it stands for.
The seventh fold is a tribute to our armed forces. For it is the armed forces that protect our country and flag against enemies, whether they be domestic or foreign.
The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood, for it is through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first born.
The eleventh fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.
When the flag is completely folded, which some consider the 13th fold; the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it has the appearance of a cocked hat, reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the sailors, the Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, and followed by their comrades and shipmates in the U.S. Armed Forces. Together preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we all enjoy today.
The date and source of origin of this flag folding procedure is unknown. According to some sources, it was the Gold Star Mothers of America while others believe it originated from an Air Force chaplain stationed at the United States Air Force Academy. Regardless of its source of origin, it is provided as a patriotic service to all.
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