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A Vintage Post – Changes in the Classroom

I had a Brain Pop the other day, which led to today’s post! I was looking at a really old post of mine and decided to update the photos. Because they weren’t photos, they were pins from Pinterest that I copied and how boring is that? I did that a lot in my early, early posts before I found out this was not a good idea! Yikes!
Anyway, I made the post about 900% better and also realized it is a topic worth revisiting! So here’s a shortened version of that blast from the past, a vintage post on this little blog of mine. This is all about the changes I have seen after switching jobs! (Regular classroom to a specialist)
FIVE New Things I Have Learned about Teching- Changing jobs meant finding out new things or maybe just reinforcing what I already knew!

Share Time

My original post included a mention of Share Time in the classroom. Has this learning changed?
STEM: Sharing projects at the end of class is one of the best parts of STEM! All kids like to talk about their work and let others see what they have built! It's fun to watch them!
Absolutely NOT! In my earlier post, the share time I was writing about was a time we used in our Morning Meeting. Now, I do not have a regular classroom so no morning meetings, but we do have a regular sharing time after every project. I gather the kids around each work table and let each group talk. They plan out what they are going to share. Everyone talks a little. We ask questions and we take a look at their finished structure. What about groups that have not been successful? THEY STILL SHARE! This is a time for empathy from others and even more collaborative talk. Every team deserves the right to shine- even if it is with a failure. They still show what they tried and talk about the experience. 
This is a valuable time in the lab. Perhaps where the best learning occurs.


My original post included a mention of pencils in the classroom. Everything I mentioned there still holds true!
Wher do the pencils go in your classroom? I think kids eat them! Actually, I think they get swept up and thrown away!
I have no idea where all my pencils go! I have a pencil tub on every lab table. It holds pencils and scissors and sometimes sharpies. I provide these because kids just come to me for an hour and having their own pencils just causes all kinds of drama. Still, my pencils disappear…..I still believe in the community pencil can that I used in my old classroom. You can find links about this at the end of this post!

Hands-On is the Way to Go!

Here’s a new topic I have learned about!
STEM: Hands-on learning at its best! Kids are actively engaged, building and talking, and trying again and again to make structures work!
The lab is a place where we create something almost everyday! And it’s all HANDS-ON! Kids build, manipulate, try things, improve on designs, and talk constantly. We stand on the table tops, use our stools creatively as props, and sit on the floor- a lot! We move, we stand to work, we talk and share, we cut and tape, and we build stuff! It’s noisy, a place of constant motion, and lots of cheers or groans.
Are they learning?

What do you think?

Kids have no fear.

Here’s another new thing I have learned:
STEM Class: Kids are fearless in their designs and how they build things. They think way differently than adults in solving a dilemma and it's fascinating to watch!
Kids have NO fear! They will try anything without fearing that it won’t work. In fact, they are usually quite sure it will work. They are often surprised when it doesn’t. But here are two things I know to be true: They instantly and quickly rethink the situation and they immediately begin to change their plans. They talk briefly and dive right back in. That’s the second thing I know to be totally true and amazing. They NEVER give up. They persist with a task until they have no time left. Adults can learn something from this.

Collaboration is key!

And finally, here’s the absolute number one thing I can tell you about STEM and everything I have learned. It’s all about teamwork.
STEM: Teamwork is the heart of STEM tasks and it truly amazing to watch kids solve problems and work together.
I take a lot of photos in my classes. But, my favorite ones are like the one above. I caught some kids in mid discussion of an idea and they’re sharing their view points and drawings and making decisions. I love the shots like this one that have many hands in them because I know what was behind the shot- many voices and many ideas and collaboration in such a valuable way. It’s a beautiful thing to watch and listen to!
So, there you go, five new things I have learned from teaching.
Below are links to other posts that mention some of these things!
Vintage Post called Pinterest Tips That Really Work (This is the post that talks about pencils!)
Another post about Collaboration called Summer Series-Collaboration


  1. Beth says

    lol, I mirror your sentiments on where do pencils go? For 8 years I was out of the classroom as a supervisor and collected every stray writing utensil I found while out at schools. I probably had 200+ in a tub. When I went back to the classroom, they were gone within about 3 months. Children are pencil vortexes 🙂 Enjoyed your post!

  2. afirstforeverything says

    I hear ya, girl! The whole pencil saga. Drives me bonkers. I swear…I think missing socks and pencils come back as Tupperware lids.

  3. Carol Davis says

    One year I even tried letting kids use a Bic disposable lead pencil. It doesn't have to be sharpened and when it is out of lead you throw it away. Epic fail! The lead breaks easy and they were constantly pulling out long pieces and then poking them back through the opening. I went back to the trusty Ticonderoga #2! Have a great weekend!