The longest month of the year is March.
I know many of you think it is January or May. But I think it’s March.
For my school system, March is the month of Spring Break, which is typically the third week of March. Those first two weeks last forever. Then you have a week-long break.
Then you come back to school and it’s still March. If this is true for you, too, let me see if I can help you with a few engaging activities to weather this windy month!
I have some STEM Challenges, a math resource, and two Escape Rooms to share!
The STEM Challenges all have a “wind” theme – for the month of March. But, one of the challenges has a sports theme because of March Madness (for basketball). One Escape Room is sports-related and the other will take care of St. Patrick’s Day for you. The Math resource is about Pi Day. Take a look!
March is just jam-packed with events!
This STEM Challenge is one of our favorites and I know I say that all the time. I guess we just love anything STEM. Wind Cars has an unusual premise.
Using the very basic of materials (cardboard tubes) students make a rolling car that must be powered by the wind. They must make their wheels round and they must factor in the sailing ability of the car!
TIP: The wheels do matter! They have to be the right size and fairly round. For my younger students, I cut the wheels out for them. For 4th and 5th grade- they cut their own. Another thing that matters with this challenge is the sail on the car. Kids will try all sorts of creative and sporty looking sails, but it must catch air and in the right place when the fan is turned on.
My favorite part of this challenge is the extras that kids add to the cars. Most of them will add a driver, steering wheels, and even pedals. I also see license plates a lot!
With older kids, you will really enjoy the Windmill challenge!
I would advise this for 5th grade or above because it is challenging. Getting those windmill blades to turn is quite tricky.
The turning mechanism involves an axle type contraption and then the blades have to be attached. We have tried a little bit of everything for this.
Above, you can see a wooden disc that worked well. We have also used a sewing bobbin. I really thought those bobbins would work great, but they are very small and it’s hard to get blades attached.
TIP: You do not need a fancy blade holder- a circular piece of cardboard would be fine.
My third graders go crazy whenever we build any type of boat and this one is perfect for them. It’s a simple design with some experimenting before they make the final boats.
We test many shapes of sails and then the students choose a final sail based on the data from experiments. The best part of this challenge is the boat itself. It’s a pool noodle so it will definitely float. The challenge is more about the sail and not about making a boat at all.
TIP: Don’t buy pool noodles from a pool supply company! They cost way too much. Try the dollar store or Wal Mart!
Oh, basketball, how we love you! My students are probably just like yours when they get excited about any major tournament time. The college basketball series in March is one we hear about a lot.
That makes this challenge perfect for March. It’s all about basketball!
Students have to design the backboard, hoop, and net for the challenge and they must also build a device to throw the ball. They absolutely love this challenge- especially competing after every team has a finished model.
TIP: I buy netting by the yard from the fabric department of Wal Mart and it lasts for a long time.
Sports Escape Room
This Escape Room has a unique twist to it! Students complete three tasks. After they finish all the tasks each team can earn extra points by taking part in three sports activities- like a football toss, a target throw, and a basketball toss.
Each team receives points for the order in which they finished unlocking all the boxes. Those points added to the extra points from the sports events determines the winner. My students loved, loved this one- it was a little noisy, I must say!
TIP: If you have not tried an Escape Room yet, you need to do this. It will be chaotic for the first time, but your students will love the event so much. Mine beg to do these every week.
Escape the Rainbow
This No Locks Escape Room has the easiest prep ever! Just make some copies and set your students to work.
Students will be completing math problems and tiny mazes, determining the type of figurative language used in sentences, determining if sentences are grammatically correct, and reading a passage to answer questions. This highly engaging set will be perfect for that week leading up to Spring Break!
Pi Day (March 14th)
Calculating the circumference and the area of a circle is quite challenging, so I decided to try something a little different in this math resource. Rather than using pi for calculating, the problems use the number 3.14. So, a problem might be 3.14 x 78. It’s just a fun way to use the number representation for pi and the kids enjoyed the fun facts on each page. There is also one page that actually calculates the area of a circle.
My math resources are perfect for early finishers, sub days, and centers.
Grab one of these fun activities and keep those students engaged during this busy month!