Thursday, January 8, 2015

Personification and Glue Gun Safety

   As we ease back in to school this first week, I am working to finish up my figurative language requirements for ELA.  This week's mini lesson was personification.  We watched a youtube video, sang a song, and then wrote our own..... not very STEMsy.  We are also finishing up our science unit, and moving on to the next, which is force and motion.  Traditionally my students have made rollercoasters out of craft sticks and hot glue.  While, I'm not sure I'm going to repeat that this year (I tend to get bored and change things up), my students did need to show me they can handle a hot glue gun safely just in case. We also are asked to help with a couple Kindergarten projects in the spring with the 5th graders manning the hot glue guns.

I had the students go home last night and write 8-10 sentences personifying winter, and share them with me this morning. The goal is to simply hot glue craft sticks together in the shape of a symmetrical snowflake, and then write their personification sentences/stanzas on the snowflake.  I cleared off a counter, set up two hot glue guns so I can monitor them well, My rules for hot glue guns are simple: 1) Use a low temp one because they are less likely to burn the skin. 2.) Don't touch the "metal/pointy/hot" end 3.)  If Mrs. Dawson hears the word "OW" consider yourself warned.  4.) If I hear you/see you a second time you are sitting down because clearly your maturity level is not able to handle heat.   I rarely have any problems, and don't even begin to judge the students before they begin.  One thing I've learned is that often the wiggliest of kids likes to stand up and build something with a tool of some sort, and they tend to change the behaviors you may see at a desk and pull it together nicely. 

     As always, I giggle at the joy these simple little project bring the students.  Many were begging to use indoor recess time (hello 20 degree weather in SC) to take their turn, or offered to stay after school to get it completed.

     YES, this is more CRAFTsy than STEMsy, but I think the snowflakes fit the maker feel in my classroom.  They are learning to use a tool for the first time, and creating something different than the snowflake ornament. Safely using all tools is an important emphasis in my room.  If I can't trust you to do the right thing every single time, we can't possibly do the cool things you see kids doing in my room.