This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives raising and educating our children for His glory. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 15th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Hands-on STEM with Tied 2 Teaching ~ a TOS review

Happy Friday friends! I am so excited to share an awesome hands-on STEM curriculum with you today. Since January I have been using the STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading curriculum from Tied 2 Teaching weekly with my co-op kids. Let me tell you why it has changed the way I teach this particular class.

Providing STEM activities is all the rage now, and rightly so. Giving kids the tools to focus on science, technology, engineering, and math will give them a leg up as they approach college and beyond. And who doesn’t like to use their imagination and figure out how to make things “work”!?

Tied 2 Teaching is the brainchild of homeschool dad and full-time teacher, Matthew Kelly who has been teaching full time for 7 years. Mr. Kelly believes learning should be fun and filled with joy and laughter. He and his wife also homeschool their own children where in and out of the traditional classroom he tries to create ways to incorporate math, science, and literacy instruction into daily learning. If you haven’t checked out his TPT (Teachers Pay Teachers) account you are missing out!

Back in December before we went to Christmas break the Academic Coordinator approached me and asked if I would consider combining my Kindergarten Science class with the 1st-2nd grade STEM class. At first I was a bit hesitant because of the wide age span in the group but dove head first after the New Year. We were offered the STEM Activities curriculum at the end of January and it was perfect timing because what I was piecing together just was not what I envisioned for the class when I took over. I have one main aide in the class and I sought her opinion about the program and she was on board and we have been going full steam ahead since.

The STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading are a bundle of seasonal STEM Activities the reflect Mr. Kelly’s vision and passion for learning. Each the monthly hands-on challenges includes a “close reading” which ties literacy into the math, science, and engineering lesson.  And sometimes you might even find a history lesson or two in the close readings.

So you might be wondering just what kind of actives will we be doing? Below is a list of all the activities included in the bundle. You will have so much to choose from and best of all it is fun and the kids will be learning at the same time.

BONUS Building Block Challenge MEGA PACK

Pilgrim Shelter Challenge 


As you can see from the listed challenges that your kids will be busy learning for a whole year.

Many of the items you will need to create your creations can be found around the house. Things like, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, newspapers, straws, tape, and glue. Because I used this product mainly with my co-op class I had to purchase items in bulk because we range from 12-16 students on a given week. But with this kind of learning the more the merrier in my opinion!

Each assignment includes:
~ STEM design challenge with a list of suggested supplies to have on hand.
~ example photos of completed projects.
~ a link to a close reading document relevant to the topic.
~ worksheets to test comprehension and to help stimulate brainstorming.

My co-op kids, including my own son, LOVE this class time and so do I! With the K-2 age range we have, my aide and I decided we did not necessarily have the time to include the worksheet parts of the curriculum but I am glad to have it as an option for the future. We have completed six challenges from the bundle and the kids had a blast each time! Yes, we get messy and sometimes have to call in reinforcements when there are only three adults and 14 kids needing our help. The best part is that each child leaves with a huge smile on their face at the end of the class hour.

I love how this is really just an open and go curriculum with minimum preparation needed on my part. I just need to make sure I have the supplies each week and then I turn the kids loose to their creativity.

I love that each week the students are excited about class and often want to know “what are we making this week?” As soon as they walk in the classroom. Having them excited for STEM makes me excited to teach them. For the remainder of the year, my plan is to skip around a bit and hit on some of the challenges we missed earlier in the year.

STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading {Tied 2 Teaching Reviews}
But don’t just take my word for it! 69 of my CrewMates also took part of this review so be sure to read their thoughts by clicking the banner below. And head over to Tied 2 Teaching on TPT and check out all the wonderful STEM activities available.

STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading {Tied 2 Teaching Reviews}

Format ~ bundled PDF download  
Price ~ list price $60.00, right now on sale for $30.00  
Ages ~ upper elementary, younger elementary with help 

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