My students need the littleBits STEAM student kits to discover and investigate open circuits and transfer of electrical and magnetic energy through wires and solid objects. Other items are to keep ourselves organized.
My classroom is a place of discovery where I challenge my students' limitless sense of scientific curiosity. They are always excited to explore, to learn about physical and applied science, as well as expanding their capacity for critical thinking. Unfortunately, more times than I'd like, I have to be strategic to when I can let my students explore scientific discovery or simply demonstrate an experiment, not because they aren't capable of conducting the experiment but because we're lacking the needed amount of basic classroom materials to so.
"Yo, that's too cool" is the choral response I get when I demonstrate an experiment with my students.
From Motion and Matter, Soil and Land Formation, Water and Climate, to Energy, on a daily basis my 3rd and 4th graders have a chance to learn through hands-on experiences to get ready for the NYS Science performance test at the end of 4th grade. They take pride in their efforts and are willing to challenge their minds for the sake of learning.
Studying energy is fun no matter what grade you're in, if it's hands-on. Both my 3rd and 4th graders study energy, and it's a unit they have lots of fun investigating with hands-on activities. I want to use the littleBits STEAM kits to add rigor and further challenge my students' understanding of energy (3rd grade) and electric circuits (4th grade). These kits provide my students a variety of methods to connect open circuits and observe how magnets can attract and conduct energy to close a current.
I was introduced to the littleBits Gizmos and Gadgets pack by my brother, who is also an elementary teacher.
Through his exploration of these materials I've discovered ways to include them into our Foss energy curriculum. While my curriculum comes with some materials to investigate the basic methods of creating, connecting and closing electrical circuits, we would like to have the littleBits kits so that my students can expand that basic knowledge or circuitry and be more creative with the additional material. They will be doing things like making light bulbs turn on, buzzers, and music play. Each littleBits piece is attached to each other via magnets and/or wires, which serves to make more concrete the concepts of magnetic attraction and transfer of energy through magnets in my students' minds. The baskets and magazine holders in the cart are organizational supplies to keep our handouts, activity sheets and littleBits pieces organized and protected, and the mechanical pencils are needed to do away with the time spent sharpening broken wooden pencils we have now.
All these items will get my 4th graders ready for the magnetism and energy experiment of the NYS Science performance task and my 3rd graders investigating all the ways energy travels.
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