Friday, August 31, 2018

The Science Behind Friendship Skills

Learning to be a friend is an important skill and sometimes it is hard for students to understand how their behavior can impact their friendships. This lesson makes learning how to be a friend fun, exciting, and memorable! I like to dress up in a white lab coat, rubber gloves, and safety goggles on my head to get the kids excited about the lesson. Imagine the students’ faces when they find out we can do science experiments to explain friendship behavior!

I wanted to create a hands-on lesson that students would remember so I started with the concept of attractive & repelling friendship behaviors. I told a story about a new student with repelling behaviors. To model the reactions of students, the Repelling Pepper Experiment is demonstrated. See an example of this science experiment here. Next, I retold the story with a better outcome. To model the students’ reactions, the Attracting Pepper Experiment is demonstrated, See an example of this science experiment here.

Next we practiced labeling attractive and repelling behaviors through playing an interactive sort on the SMARTboard. If the behavior was attractive, it would stick to the magnet. If the behaviors were repelling, they would be repelled back!

Then students got physically involved and became Human Magnets. I placed a hula hoop on the ground and had a student stand in the center. 4 other students stood on the outside of the hula hoop. The student in the center read a scenario from a Magnet Manners Card. The students on the outside of the hula hoop stepped closer if the behavior was friendly, or they moved further away if the behavior was negative. Here are some of the Magnet Manners Cards:

 Our final science experiment demonstrated how words are like toothpaste...once they're out, you can't put them back! We made Elephant’s Toothpaste.  See an example of this science experiment here. 

I am sure students are going to remember this lesson for years to come!

After completion of the lesson, students were able to:
• Understand the importance of using friendly behaviors.
• Identify behaviors that repel friends.
• Identify behaviors that attract friends.

I also sell this lesson on TPT. You can find it here.

What is included in this packet?
1. Science Behind Friendship Lesson Plan (4 pages)
2. Science Behind Friendship interactive SMARTBOARD NOTEBooK (9 slides)
3. Science Experiments Step by Step Directions (2 pages)
4. 24 Magnet Movement Cards (4 pages)

Not sure if you can do these science experiments? Sure you can! Watch these videos to see how easy it is!

Repelling Pepper Experiment, copy & paste into your browser: 

Attracting Pepper Experiment, copy & paste into your browser:

Elephant Toothpaste Experiment, copy & paste into your browser:

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Be A Hollywood STAR,,,Problem Solver

Welcome to the land of Hollywood where the stars are bright and the STAR Problem Solvers walk the red carpet in victory. I created this lesson to help my students learn how to become STAR Problem Solvers.

The STAR acronym stands for Stop, Think, Act, and Review – a method to solving any problem. 

The students start by solving Mystery Mix-Up Popsicle Stick Puzzles.  To make the Popsicle Stick Puzzles, I printed Mystery Mix-up pictures and glued the picture on top of 6 fat popsicle sticks laid out in a square. Once dried, I cut the popsicle sticks with pictures on them apart and placed them in separate ziplock bags.  After we use teamwork to problem-solve the Mystery Mix-ups, we discussed what teamwork skills they used to solve their puzzling problems. Here are two of our Mystery Mix-Up Puzzles:

Next I tell the students, “I am going to give you a 4-Step Method for solving any problem you will ever have! We can always remember these four steps because they spell the word STAR and I want you to be STAR problem solver.”

 Our final activity had the students break back into groups to write their own STAR problem solving scripts and then they presented their scenes to the class. Here are a few of those scenes:

Everyone was a star in this fun lesson learning the STAR problem solving method. After completing the lesson, students were be able to:
• Recognize the importance of making decisions.
• Make simple decisions using a problem solving approach

If you like this lesson, I sell it on TPT. You can find it here:

What is included in this packet?
1. Be a STAR Problem Solver Lesson Plan (3 pages)
2. Be a STAR Problem Solver Power Point (17 slides)
3. 6 Mystery Mix-Up Popsicle Stick Puzzles (6 pages)
4. 6 Scene Work Scenarios (3 pages)
5. 6 STAR Problem Solver Script Worksheets (6 pages)