A FAVORITE activity for my students, parent helps, and colleagues!!! The JITTERBUGS! I have to admit that I did not come up with this idea on my own. I colleague of mine was using a similar idea, so I googled it and came across them on the Exploratorium website. This website has a tutorial on how to build them and why they work. Exploratorium Jitterbug Instructions Jitterbug Tutorial
I have always used Jitterbugs as a culminating activity for our Electric Motors and Electricity Unit. 'm sure there are other uses for Forces and Motion as well. We always have contests on whose Jitterbugs will travel the fastest, farthest, which one will spin the fastest, and which one is the most jittery. These can all be accomplished by adjusting the size and position of the counterweight. Every year that we have done these, I have help on to them until the week of state-mandated standardized testing and we would take them out to relax on a non-testing day. Kids and parents love them. I always keep the mini-motors off of the bugs, but I have had many parents and students ask where they could buy their own--hobby shops and Ebay--1.5 Volt DC motor.
I earned my teaching degree in 2007 and was hired immediately. I help students become involved in their learning through many types of interactions. I began using foldables and lap booking 2 years ago and am transitioning to interactive notebooking this year.