End of the Year Science Freebie

I think we can all agree that this school year didn't end quite like we had imagined or hoped. I always look forward to those final days with students.

This year, since I am teaching 8th grade, it makes me extremely sad because they will be moving on to high school next year and I won't see them again.

I wanted to put together a little something for my students to keep the science going this summer, if only for a moment. I also wanted to find something that wouldn't break the bank!

So, I assembled little bags with the materials to make a balloon rocket at home.

This project cost me less than $20! I might have spent a few hours putting them together, but I think it's worth the time and effort to give students a little science in their summer.

The Materials to Purchase:

  • balloons
  • string
  • straws (I used paper straws from Dollar Tree)
  • snack bags
  • colored paper to print your freebie on
Download the freebie by clicking the image below.

I only provided students with enough to make one balloon rocket. You could provide them double the materials and allow them to have balloon races. Students will also need tape, but I did not include the tape for them. That would have cost a little more than I wanted to spend and I figured most kids probably had tape at home. 

Here is a little video for assembling your bags!

I am hoping they enjoy this fun little STEM activity! I hope you can use it for your students too!

5 Fun Games for Digital Learning (Free Downloads)

This time has been incredibly difficult for teachers. Being away from our classrooms, our students, our colleagues, and our school communities has taken it's toll on us all. But, as teachers, we do what we do best. We do anything we can to serve our students and make learning online as much like our own classrooms as we can. I have been trying to find that perfect balance between the right amount of work on virtual meeting time to make sure my students are successful.

However, it is SO important to keep those connections with students going and let them know that we miss them and love them. One great way to do that is to play games with them when you meet on Zoom, Google Meet, or WebEx in my case.

I am going to talk about some really fun games that my students and I have played that I also tried to make relevant to my content area. These games could be made relevant for any content area as well.

Some of these games are a culmination of ideas I've seen on Instagram or versions of things I've seen. I will credit teachers where I can.

Scavenger Hunt with a Twist
We have all seen the typical scavenger hunt where you have students race to find items in there house and bring them back. Students LOVE this! But I was watching my IG stories one day and Kimberly from The Science Stalker suggested having students find items that started with specific letters. She had a word in mind that the first letter of each item would spell. For example, if you wanted them to unscramble the word science, you would have students hunt for things that started with each of the letters in that word (sock, clock, etc...) You would have them search for the items out of order and then have them try to unscramble the word.

I did this on Earth Day for each of my science classes. Each class had a different word related to Earth Day because you know middle schoolers like to talk to each other! Anyway, it was a big hit and they loved it! This would be a great way to introduce a lesson topic.

The Points Game

My girl Rachel at the Tattooed Teacher shared this one. This game is just a great way to connect with your students, build relationships, and just have a little fun. You will explain to students that they can earn and lose points for doing the activities that will be presented to students. If they have not done the activity, they do not gain or lose any points. You will want to give them an example like I have not yelled at anyone today so I do not lose 10 points, but I do not earn points either because this is a negative activity.

Then you present slides of different scenarios. (ie. If you have argued with someone -10, If you are wearing shoes or socks +1 per size on one slide) You can come up with as many different scenarios as you like. You can give the winner with the most points at the end a virtual prize!

Simon Says Science 

You can really do this with any subject area, but everyone knows how to play Simon Says. Just call out a statement like Simon Says touch your nose if Alfred Wegener propose the theory of continental drift. Offer some false statements like the following --> Simon Says hop on one foot if the crest is the lowest part of the wave. If students perform the action, they are out of the game.

Guess the Science Gibberish

This is another fun one that I got from Kimberly at the Science Stalker. However, I added the science twist to mine! You can download her free game HERE. For this game, it is a like the game Mad Gab. There are seemingly nonsense phrases, but when said together quickly sound like a word or phrase. I created some of my own based on our science vocabulary. You can download my editable science version by clicking HERE. We played this as a class last week and it was hilarious!

Five Second Rule

This last game is one that I plan on playing with my class this week and I think it will be a blast. You show a student a topic and they will have five seconds to name 3 things that fit the topic. For example, name three brands of shoes. My students and I will be playing this with a science twist. It will be a great way to review what we have learned and have a little bit of fun! Click the image below to download your free copy!

I hope this helps make your virtual teaching a little bit easier and little more fun! I would love to know what fun games you are playing with your students!