Five For Friday – Penguins, Physics, 100th Day, Math In Motion, and Whole30

I’m linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her weekly Five for Friday Linky!


Tuesday was our 100th day of school and the first time I have ever “celebrated” this day – yet another adjustment to becoming a primary teacher. I used these adorable 100th day printables to give the students a few writing options with the theme of 100.  They loved the choices and we now have a compilation of sentimental/hilarious/reflective/optimistic pieces.

I also stumbled upon this art project on Pinterest and decided it would be the perfect compliment to their writing pieces. All I had to do was die-cut a few 1’s and 0’s and let their imaginations run wild.

100th Day of School Art and Writing Project


We are in the middle of our inquiry-driven unit about penguins and each of my students is officially in love with the species they have adopted for their research.

My second graders applied science, math and art skills as they created a life-size painting of their unique penguin species. They were required to apply measuring skills as they measured the full height of their penguin (in
inches) and calculated half that height so they were able to draw a midline. Once they had their measurements mapped out, they sketched their penguin and then proceeded to paint anatomical detail and accurate penguin coloring.

Now I have to find a place to hang 25 life-size penguins for the next couple of weeks… yes my classroom will look a bit chaotic but the kidsare so amped about the project, it’s a win.

Students drawing and painting life size pengins.


Our STEM teacher does a phenomenal job aligning her projects with our FOSS science units. We are currently studying balance and motion, so she had teams design cars that they are using to conduct a series of experiments associated with basic physics.
This week, my students got a little extra practice with their measurement skills as they measured the distance their car traveled on a flat surface. They were beaming with pride because they knew how to measure like pros and loved telling our STEM teacher they had practiced measuring like crazy during our class Measure-Thon.

Student measuring the distance their car rolled.


One of the greatest struggles as an elementary teacher is collecting a variety rigorous resources to supplement district-adopted curriculum. My passion as a Teacher Creator is to make this part of the job easier for other teachers by designing rigorous resources that are easy to prep and promote student independence.
With an increase in requests for new Write To Explain Math Task Card Collections, I think I’ve found my niche (Woot! Woot!) So I decided to expand the variety of my supplemental math resources to include hands-on games and projects/simulations. My first of many Math In Motion Hands-On Math Games packs is ready to boost student engagement and help your students practice challenging math concepts in creative (and competitive) ways.

Math In Motion Measurement Math Games pack


This week, I also finished my first round of Whole 30. I am so grateful for Rachelle from For Blogness Sake who inspired me to take part in this lifestyle change. I spent the entire month on December “brainwashing” myself by reading the book It Starts With Food and indulging in my favorite holiday foods thinking I would be deprived of all things good when I started the Whole 30 in January.

The first few days of Whole 30 were certainly a struggle as I battled headaches and intense sugar cravings. After a week, I started seeing dramatic changes (more energy, weigh loss, clear skin, waking up each morning feel well-rested, clear thinking and no sugar cravings!)

No Cheats. No Excuses chalkboard art.

If you haven’t read It Starts With Food or given Whole 30 a try, I strongly encourage you to do so. Whole 30 is a perfect way for us teachers to boost energy levels at our very exhausting jobs, give your students a living example of what healthy living looks like (practice what you preach people) and helps us prioritize a work-life balance (food prep is now one of my favorite hobbies).


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3 Responses

  1. The science lesson looks awesome. I love teaching the Balance and Motion Unit. You have a teacher in your building specifically to work with the kids on STEM challenges? (No one in my building has ever even mentioned the word STEM. I bet the kids love it!)
    I'm a new follower.
    Not very fancy in 1st

    1. Hi Deb! We do have a full time STEM teacher. The program is funded by our education foundation. Each class goes to STEM class once a week to work on their current project. Kids can also go in during lunch a few days a week to catch up on/make tweaks to their challenge or design something of their own.

I’m Laura Santos

I’ve been an elementary teacher for ten years, and love sharing tips and resources that make differentiated learning more manageable for you. Thank you for visiting.

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