Coaching Corner

Volume 1 / Issue 7: Tips, Tools and Resources

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STEM Challenge: The Cup Holder Challenge

Click here for directions.


If you were given a piece of paper, tinfoil, six straws, two paperclips, two pieces of string, two pipe cleaners, three mailing labels, and an envelope – and then had five minutes – would you be able to build a structure that could support two cups while getting both cups off the ground and as far apart from each other as possible?

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STEM Challenge: How Do Penguins Stay Dry? (primary)

Click here for directions.


After the experiment, discuss with your children or students how the wax from the crayon prevents the water from absorbing into the paper. It’s just like how the wax on the penguins’ feathers repel the water and help keep the penguins dry.

Building a Mathematical Mindset Community in Your Classroom

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Google Apps for Education for Little Learners: The A in STEAM

Check out this awesome post by Christine Pinto about using Google Classroom to create video assignments around art by using Art for Kids Hub (see video below).


Guided art activities are AWESOME for kids, or anyone who enjoys being in touch with their artistic side for that matter! Rob Hubs, founder of Art for Kids Hub, guides his own children with drawing, painting, sculpting, origami, and cutouts and video records the experience to share with others! Steps are appropriate for various age ranges. So far, I have used Rob’s drawing videos with my kindergarten students. Drawing categories range from various characters that the kids know, plants, cartoons, people, even holidays! My students access the drawing videos independently through Google Classroom.

Read the full post here.

How To Draw A Cartoon Harry Potter And Hedwig

Teacher Spotlight: Julie Martin - Transitional Kindergarten - Benson Elementary

Students in Julie Martin's TK class used materials from our MakerSpace to make a character. The idea comes out of Angela Stockman's book Make Writing. To see more ideas on this concept, follow #makewriting on Twitter. To try out this lesson on your own, see below.
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MakerSpace and Writing Lesson: Create Your Own Character

Lesson Prep: Gather materials from your MakerSpace or plan a visit to your school's MakerSpace. If this is your first time doing this, you might want to pick a few materials that the students will use for this.


Introduction: Talk to students about how writers make in order to gain ideas for their writing. Inform that that today they will be making a character for a story that they will be writing. Remind students about who characters are by bringing up titles that you or your students have read in your classroom. Talk to them about how a character does not have to be a person. Read them a story like, What Do You Do With An Idea, or Beautiful Oops to get their minds ready to make.


Lesson: Get out of the way and let them make.


Share: Have students share their character on Seesaw. This is a great place for students to create a portfolio or notebook of their writing.


Next Steps: Have students use the character as a starting point for a narrative writing piece. Incorporate this in Writers Workshop by scheduling make days. Read this article, Three Ways to Ensure Making Inspires Writing Time (Rather Than Replacing It).

Keepin' It Real

Micah picked up our selfie stick and took this picture of himself and our cat. He kept telling the cat to look at the camera. It's crazy how easy technology is for him. He's two!