Mad Tea Party Mother's Day Tea

Mad Tea Party Mother's Day Tea

I was wondering what do do for my moms to thank them for all the help the've given throughout the year.  I just wasn't up to organizing a school-wide event.  So I came up with a Mad Tea Party!

The kids sent the invitations a week and a half before the event to give people time to get the time off.

We prepared the gifts together.  I bought flowers from the Dollar Tree and saved jelly jars to create centerpieces.  The kids had created self portraits with the art teacher so I had them bring in frames and we framed them for the parents.  Kids who didn't have a frame for it, rolled it up and it was pretty with a ribbon. 

Then we did a STEM activity and made hats for the tea for their moms.  We used sentence strips and cardboard for the base.  The we decorated them with Alice clip art, feather, beads, butterflies, and anything I could get my hands on at the Dollar Tree.

Finally it came time for the tea.  We invited the moms to come at the end of the day.  I put up bunting to welcome them.  They were invited to have iced tea and cookies.  They found their child's seat with the name tents to enjoy their treats and peruse the gifts.

I also took their pictures in front of the green screen.  Then I could put them in front of a beautiful background and send them home a week later!

If you would like the planning kit to do this easily, here is the link to my Mad Tea Party Planning Kit.  Otherwise you have my ideas here and I hope you have a great tea for your mother's too!!  I know your moms will be soooo happy to be acknowledged.



Check out these blog posts and get some more great ideas!




    I went to a training this week.  It was presented by Dr. Harry Cheng - professor at UC Davis and founder of the C-Stem center (Center for Integrated Computing and STEM education).  I learned so much!
     First, we started with Linkbots.  That's the image at the top.  T use this, you need to download C-Stem studio.  It's free of charge to use.  Besides the Linkbots, the platform can be used with Lego Mindstorms, Raspberry Pi and Arduino.   They also include RoboSim.   You don't have any robots?  You can still code and use RoboSim to run the code.   The Linkbots are fully functional robots that can even be linked together.  
     I've done coding and html before but I'd never done Arduino.  With this, you are coding with electronics.  For me, this was much harder.  Partly because it was hard for me to see the tiny, tiny ports and making sure they matched up.  I finally got it to work-light up the LED- but it took some doing.  Then we created a stoplight with three LED lights and a push button start.  I should have taken a picture of that!
     So let's say you have no robots but you want to try this out...RoboBlockly is the answer.  It's a web-based robot simulation where kids can learn coding and math.
     IMHO, if you're just beginning coding, go to Hour of Code or Made with Code.  But if you're looking for something deeper, go to C-Stem with Dr. Cheng.
     Check out these blogs for more ideas!


Integrating STEAM into Literacy Night

Integrating STEAM into 

Literacy Night

Our school has a variety of family events.  We have Art, STEAM, Literacy night etc.  However, I particularly enjoy integrating STEAM into what I do so at our last Literacy night, I read a great book and then did a STEAM activity.

We read Iggy Peck, Architect.  If you're not familiar with the series by Andrea Beaty, you need to get familiar with it.  I teach fourth grade but the kids love picture books.  In this tale, Iggy Peck is a builder from a very young age.  However, when he gets to school, his teacher, Miss Lila Greer, puts a stop yo all that.  She has a fear of heights from a traumatic event as a kid so she does not like tall things. He, of course, is miserable.  The story ends with Miss Greer seeing the error of her ways and having building becoming a central part of her instruction.

After the read aloud, we do the activity.  We built bridges!  Using marshmallows and toothpicks, students built the longest, strongest bridge they could. We tested it by putting it between two chairs and pulling them apart slowly.  When it fell through, we measured how long it lasted.  Kids had a lot of fun and learned terms such as: forces, tension, design, and why triangles work well in bridge design.  

So next time you're planning your literacy night activity, think about how to integrate some STEAM.  It's a lot of fun!



Dalmatian Celebration- 101 Days in School

Dalmatian Celebration
101 Days in the Classroom

Everyone does 100 days in the classroom but I'm a Disney girl.  Plus I like doing the unexpected!  So in my classroom, we have a Dalmatian Celebration on the one hundred and first day of school.  Here are some ideas for you.

The Basics

Wear polka dots.   Black and white are preferable but anything will do.  Take a class picture!  Take pictures throughout the day.

Language Arts

·      Write 101 words we’ve learned this year
·      101 days smarter in Language Arts (10 each): Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Adverbs, Pronouns, Homophones, Synonym pairs, Antonym pairs, figurative language
·      Writing prompt: What would the world look like in 101 years?

·      Read One Hundred One Dalmatians


·      Stacks of 101 pennies
·      Estimation: How many pennies can I hold?
·      Race to 101 with a die
·      Different ways to show 101
·      101 is a prime number.  What are some other prime numbers and composite numbers?

·      Counting collections: I used Kix,  Cocoa puffs and Chocolate Chex.  I gave them fractions with unlike denominators (1/2 Kix, 1/4 Cocoa Puffs and 1/8 each of chocolate and regular chex) and had them make groups of 96.  Then they had to separate the leftovers evenly.

Social Studies

·      List things that didn’t exist 101 years ago.
·      What happened in history 101 years ago?


·      Make a foil boat that can carry 101 pennies
·      Use 101 items (gummies, toothpicks) to create a geodesic dome
·      Make 101 stars to hand around the room

·      Use 101 strips to make a paper link web
Physical Exercise
·      Do 101 stairs

·      Draw a Dalmatian
·      Create Dalmatian ears
·      Cupcake decorations

It's fun.  Check it out. 


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