Saturday, October 15, 2016

Interactive Notebooks Ideas for Math

Next week I am presenting my research on Interactive Notebooks with Preservice Teaching at the School Science and Mathematics Association annual convention.  I have posted many ideas for interactive notebook use with science.  I wanted to write a post showing some ways interactive notebooks could be used in a math classroom.  

The ideas are basically the same.  Students explore math ideas and interact with real problems and concrete materials in a well planned, inquiry based lesson that the teacher facilitates and then the student displays their ideas, conclusions and understandings in an interactive notebook.  Just like with the science notebook, the act of recording their ideas both visually and linguistically will help them remember the concepts.  

Here are some examples:


The following ideas come from

Above from

Above is from Blair Turner on TPT

Above is from Not Your Mother's Math Class TPT

For open ended interactive notebook foldable templates that can be used in any subject, please see my Foldable Template Super Pack Click Here to See the Super Pack of Templates for Foldables

Lynda R Williams Super Pack of Foldable Templates for Interactive Notebooks

Would you like some little book templates to print?  Your students can create cute little books with my new product Little Book Printable Super Pack

If you like this blog post please share on Pinterest of other social media.  

Be sure to grab this freebie for a SMOOSH BOOK Template Freebie Smoosh Book

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The STEM+ Expo

We have some AMAZING exhibits coming to the STEM+ Expo. Come interact with robots, rockets, coding software, a wind turbine, and stop motion photography! See how a 3D printer works! And be sure to stop by our Make and Take booths to learn to weave, make an LED light, a pop fly or a sound sandwich. Experiment with ozobots, squishy circuits and makey makeys. All of this is FREE at our family friendly event on September 24th from 10:00a.m.-1:00p.m. Mark your calendar and invite a friend!

The STEM+ Expo is located in The Grande Ballroom in the Sorensen Center at Utah Valley University. Parking will also be free at this event in the regular parking lots.   Paid lots are a dollar an hour.  

For more information or to download a digital flyer go to

Be sure to like us on Facebook at

Enter the contest on this page to win a Makey Makey!   

The STEM+ Expo is a FREE family friendly event where participants of all ages will get hands-on experience building and making while learning important science, technology, engineering and math skills in a fun setting.

The STEM+ Expo integrates Maker philosophy with 21st Century skills to encourage interest and participation in STEM experiences. Maker philosophy emphasizes learning through doing and sharing, and encourages critical thinking, creativity, and innovation. A “make” also includes traditional arts as well as crafts.  An artist, composer, tinkerer, performer and poet can all be Makers.

September 24th, 10:00a.m.-1:00p.m.

The Grande Ballroom
Utah Valley University

Monday, July 11, 2016

PBL with Makey Makey

Project Based Learning begins with a Driving Question and evolves into a thematic exploration. I wanted to explore PBL with my summer interns and model for them how to plan and implement a PBL.  Here is what we did.  

First I Identified the standards I wanted to hit.

5th grade Science
Students will understand features of current electricity
  • Draw a label components of an electrical circuit
  • Investigate materials that prevent the flow of electricity
  • Make a working model of a closed circuit with a switch and conductors.

5ht grade ELA

Reading Informational Text, Standards 9 and 10

  • Integrate information from several texts, on the same topic to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably
  • Read and understand technical text

Writing Explanatory Text, Standards 2,7, and  8

  • Write text that explains information and conveys ideas clearly
  • Conduct short research projects
  • Recall relevant information from experience and gather information from print and digital sources to summarize or paraphrase.

  • Apply strategies for identifying and solving hardware and software problems

    • Use the content specific tools for research
    • Design, develop, publish and present products
    • Exhibit legal and ethical behaviors while using information and technology

Then I identified the Intended Learning Outcomes for the Unit

  • Communicates understanding of a circuit
  • Draws and labels components of a circuit
  • Creates a switch, can explain open and closed circuit
  • Defines insulators and conductors
  • Works collaboratively with group to creatively apply ideas about circuitry to a new situation that involves critical thinking
  • Explains Teacher Thinking, connections to Science and Engineering Practices, 21st century skills, and standards.

Driving Question: How does current electricity work and how can it be used through a circuit board to control a computer?

Entry Event: LED Throwies

The students are given the materials and are allowed to explore until they are able to light the bulb.  Discussion about the science involved.  Why is it only light when you connect it in a certain way?

 For the whole LED Throwie Lesson see LED Throwies

Next Stage Squishy Circuits: Students are given materials and asked to light a light bulb, then try the other make the motor work and the buzzer buzz.  Students are challenged to make a switch.  Students discover closed circuit, open circuit, conductors and insulators. 

For the complete lesson on Squishy Circuits see Fun with Squishy Circuits

(On another day) Next Stage: Makey Makey

I showed students this video 

I present the Driving Question:
How does current electricity work and how can it be used through a circuit board to control a computer?

Students are asked to generate questions that they will Need to Know the answers to in order to create their Makey Makey Project.

Students are divided into groups, each group has a laptop and a Makey Makey. Through Trial and error they figure out how to make it work. Through purposeful research they troubleshoot and think critically to figure out what they can create. Each group contributes at least one answer to the Need to Know questions. They are placed on the Project Board.


Once the students have had ample time to research and prepare their project and display board (several days) We had a Presentation Day in which we invited family and friends to come see our finished project. 

Here are some of their finished projects:

Here is the sequence of the Unit

Sequence of Unit

  • Entry Event: LED Throwies
  • Concept Development: Squishy Circuit
  • Challenge and Driving Question Presented
  • Generating of Need to Know Questions
  • Research: Hands-on and Looking things up
  • Planning, Designing, Implementing, Recording Ideas and Redesigning
  • Presenting
Our PBL was a huge success.  The students said it was very engaging and they learned a lot  

If you would like to see more of these projects in person, please visit the STEM+ Expo.  STEM+Expo  The STEM+ Expo is free to attend and we will be giving away a free Makey Makey!  

If you like this post, please share on social media like facebook or Pinterest.

And a few more:

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Call For Makers and Exhibitors UVUSTEM+Expo

You are cordially invited to attend UVU's STEM+ Expo on Saturday, September 24th, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00p.m.

The STEM+ Expo provides a place for people of all ages to participate in the Maker Movement for FREE!
The Maker Movement has its emphasis, simply put: on having children and adults make something.  The Maker Movement encourages creativity, new ideas, innovation, repurposing, design principles and thinking outside the box.  
The Maker Movement is one manifestation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.)  Through the Maker Movement we can encourage people to try something new, learn while using tools, explore new ideas, and engage in critical thinking.

There is a saying in the Maker Culture:  It is not a make if you don’t share it.  

Sharing and showcasing what one has made and the process of the making is an important aspect of the Maker Movement.

Our STEM+ Expo will be an opportunity for all types of Makers to showcase their Makes and explain/demonstrate their process.

At the STEM+ Expo you will have a chance to meet Makers of all kinds and speak with them about their process while you see what they make.

You will also be able to participate in Make and Take Booths where we will have items to Make and Take such as LED Lights, a Sound Sandwich, weaving and marshmallow launchers, absolutely FREE!

You will also have the opportunity to visit Make and Take a Photo Booths that allow you to explore and play with some interesting materials such as Squishy Circuits, Keva Planks and Makey Makeys.

It is FREE to attend the STEM+ Expo

We are currently looking for Makers who wish to Exhibit at the STEM+ Expo.  If you are interested, please visit our website and apply to be a Maker under the Maker tab.  It is Free to exhibit, but you must apply.

And Follow us on Twitter

Please share this post on social media using #UVUSTEM