Thursday, October 19, 2017

STEM Rec Challenges / October 23 -27

STEM Rec Challenges
October 23 - 27

Science / Math
This week we are starting our month on magnets. Why can some metals form magnets while others can not? Students will learn about the metals that are magnetic and try magnetizing a piece of metal to form their own magnet.

Standard: Students will understand that magnetism can be observed when there is an interaction between the magnetic fields of magnets or between a magnet and materials made of iron.

Students will be using a budget to spend money. Each child will be given flashcards with money on them.. The challenge is to use the amount of money they have to spend on items they want and keep within their budget.

Fitness Relay!
This week we are going to play a game outside using straws! We are going to make as many letters or words as we can with our teams.

Social Studies
We're continuing our journey around the world.  We'll visit Mexico for the Day of the Dead and skip from Europe to the U.S. to learn about the origins of Halloween!  We're excited to show some of what we're learning during the costume parade on October 31.

Parents, please note that while some religions celebrate these holidays, we will be addressing them as cultural events and will not be discussing religious beliefs.  Just as learning about the history of various cultures is beneficial, it is also good to learn about more modern events as well.  If you have any ideas or concerns you'd like to talk about, please feel free to contact Anika Adams at

We will be working with oil pastels and tempera paint in an awesome project. We are making our own scratch art. If you've never done it before it'll be a lot of fun.


There it's a lot of talk about student engagement. Research shows that it gets students involved, helps them learn and remember, and keeps them focused. One of the new tools we have to help achieve this is stop animation which we will introduce to our students this week.  Staying with this month's  theme we will create stop animation around anti-bullying and pro kindness.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Holiday Angel Tree

FDA hosts an Angel Tree each year during November and December for those families that could use a little holiday magic. If you would like to be on the tree or know of someone that could use it, I am accepting applications now. The link to the application is here and can also be found on the counseling page of the school website. If you have any questions, please contact me at

Monday, October 16, 2017

STEM Rec Challenges / October 16 - 20

STEM Rec Challenges
October 16 - 20

Science / Math
October is National Bullying Prevention month.To promote kindness among students, science and math are joining together to offer a poster contest in which students can design posters to promote the message of bullying prevention.

Literacy / Wellness
This week in Literacy we are doing a wellness challenge. We are learning about building confidence in ourselves and others. We are going to play "rubber face" and "what makes me unique" and then write down things we like about ourselves and what we like about others!

Social Studies
Throughout time and across lands people have found reasons to celebrate.  Fall is an especially ripe time for celebrations.  This week we'll start our two week journey across the globe to learn about different cultures and their fall festivals.  This week we'll visit India and Israel for Diwali and Rosh Hashanah!

Our adventure of learning about art from around the world continues and Canada is our next stop. We will be learning about the artist Ted Harrison, how the Inuit people live and about their rock statues called inuksuit. Students can also choose to continue working on kindness rocks.

Students continue to work in teams as they build an elevator that will lift a pumpkin. On Friday the 20th we will see how all of the groups approached this challenge.


Snap Circuits will continue to be offered as a self-directed technology challenge throughout the school year.  We offer three levels of certification: Standard, Expert, and Master.  

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

National Bullying Prevention Month

Because October is National Bullying Prevention month, we are putting an extra emphasis on kindness this month. Students will be acting as secret agents to fulfill their secret kindness missions as many times in a week as they can. Most secret missions can be accomplished by the students themselves, however a few might require a little bit of help from an adult.

Next week, students will have the opportunity to create posters promoting kindness and anti-bullying messages. At the end of the week there will be a contest where students and staff will vote for their favorite posters. The winning posters will be displayed around the school.

Katie Barker

Friday, October 6, 2017

Stem Rec Challenges / Oct 9-11

STEM Rec Challenges
October 9 -11
Short week at school / Monday - Wednesday
Long relaxing weekend with your children! Enjoy!

We’ll have the classical cartesian diver experiment for students to explore. Can they determine which forces allow this experiment to work?

Standard: Students will understand the relationship between the force applied to an object and resulting motion of the object.

Trashketball. Students will be practicing basic math facts while trying to score points throwing a basketball in a trashcan.
This week in literacy students will be reading nursery rhymes to learn about different emotions. How are emotions described in stories? Students will act out emotions as they explore their feelings, responses and passions.  

Social Studies / Wellness
This week at the social studies table...there will be no social studies.  But it's okay!  Take a breath.  In fact, make that a slow, deep breath.  Because this week Miss Cindy is stepping in with a wellness challenge.  Join her this week and learn about the relaxing practice of yoga.

It’s autumn and time for some nature art.  This week we will be using twigs and leaves to create butterflies and dragonflies. Check the blog (previous post) for photos and information.

Students are learning to work in teams as they build an elevator that will lift a pumpkin. This challenge will continue for the next two weeks.  We started this design challenge with asking a question and imagining the solution. Now it's time to plan, create and improve. On Friday the 20th we will see how all of the groups approached this challenge.


Snap Circuits will continue to be offered as a self-directed technology challenge throughout the school year.  We offer three levels of certification: Standard, Expert, and Master.  

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Art Station

Art Station
Meet Miss Jenale and Miss McKenna

Miss McKenna is currently studying Anthropology and Art History at UVU. She loves painting, drawing, sculpting, and anything else having to do with art. She is also an avid reader and book collector. In her spare time she either draws, watches TV or practices her archery skills.

Miss Jenale's favorite movie is Madagascar 2.  Her favorite line is when King Julian says, "Maurice, it is more fun when you raise your arms like this" (as the plane they are in is crashing).  Her favorite holiday is Halloween. She loves to dress up and all the candy. She has a Siberian Husky. Jenale says the best way to describe her dog is the way Agnes says it in Despicable Me, "she's so fluffy I could die."  Jenale invites all parents to come and visit her at the art station in STEM.

Learning about weaving. A rug made by Franklin Discovery students.

Our Art Station masters have been doing a fantastic job of offering our students super awesome challenges.  This week students have been learning about Native American art and making dream catchers.

For the next couple of weeks students will be making nature art (see photos below).  We would like to encourage parents to take their children for a walk to collect twigs, leaves and fist sized rocks to bring  into school next week.  Thanks for your continued support.

Nature Owls and Dragon Flies / Oct 9-11

Kindness Rocks / Oct 16 - 20

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

If you have not listened to Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk, Do schools kill creativity?, it is well worth the 16 minutes it takes.

One of the main points of his talk is that it is hard to conceive of what the future will hold for our children. Can we even imagine what the year 2065 will look like? To prepare our students to meet this vast unknown, Robinson makes the case that educators must nurture (rather than undermine) creativity.  

At Franklin Discovery Academy, we continually strive to cultivate creativity. In STEM Rec, our guiding principles are as follows:

Why do we exist?
-To ignite a passion for learning

How do we behave?
-We love, support and challenge our students

What do we do?
-We create a rich, engaging and positive learning community

How will we succeed?
-We believe in our students

BUT…....we need your help.  

Our makerspace is a wonderful way to foster innovation, vision, enterprise and initiative.  However, it takes A LOT of materials.  We have 500 students passing through STEM Rec everyday!  Last week students made over 300 boats while exploring the principle of buoyancy. To make this a successful adventure, we all have to pull together.

Below is a list of items we need on a regular basis to keep the makerspace up and running. Any materials you can contribute would be greatly appreciated.  And remember, every $10 you contribute counts for 1 hour of volunteer time. Just mark your contribution “makerspace” and turn it into the front desk. They will make sure it gets to us.  A huge thank you in advance!

The STEM Rec Team


Plastic containers, fruit cups, jello cups, yogurt containers etc.
Plastic water bottles
Paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls
Spools, empty ribbon or tape rolls
Packaging materials, peanuts, bubble wrap
Cardboard especially the thin such as cereal boxes.
CD or DVD’s and their cases
Small metal tins
PVC pipe

Materials that are in constant demand:

Glue - all types (elmer's, tacky glue, gorilla glue, wood glue)
Tape - all types (duct tape, masking, packing, scotch)
String - all types (thread, fishing line, twine)
Paper cups
Dowels of all sizes
Sticks popsicle
Modeling clay
Small balloons
Wire for circuits
Binder clips
Hook & loop velcro
Bamboo skewers
Balsa wood
Model magic
Chip board
Electrical paint

Friday, September 22, 2017

STEM Rec Challenges
September 25 - 29

Students will learn about the force of buoyancy. We’ll experiment with techniques to maximize buoyancy by making clay boats.

Standard: Students will understand the relationship between the force applied to an object and resulting motion of the object.

Students will practice their basic math skills with a math game. Each students will receive a certain number of cards and from their cards will pick one number as the “goal number”. They must then use addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to the reach the goal number they have chosen.
This week in literacy we are looking to recruit any kids who are brave and willing to go on a magical quest. We have three different tasks students will need to complete before receiving their wands and becoming powerful Spell Masters.

Objective: To help students see the different ways they can practice spelling

Social Studies
The road home from the Trojan War was long and hard.  Odysseus and his men met up with numerous challenges-one of which was the cyclops Polyphemus.  Captured by the giant, they sat alongside his sheep, stuck inside Polyphemus's cave.  Are they clever enough to get out before they become dinner?  Are you?  See how you would rank among these Spartan warriors, this week in Social Studies!

Students will be introduced to weaving as an art form. They will have the opportunity to look at Navajo blankets and how they were woven. Students will then weave friendship bracelets. This week art will also be starting a collaborative project, it will be weaving a large rug that will be donated when we are done making it. Come by art and explore weaving.

Tech / Engineering

Snap Circuit certification continues until October 13. We are offering three levels of certification in Snap Circuits this block. Students begin with the Standard Certification, where they will be guided through lessons 1 - 100 with the Station Master. This is a week long challenge which students sign up for and attend daily. Once a student has completed the standard certification and are competent in using Snap Circuits, they are qualified to work independently to continue learning. There are two additional levels of certification available - Expert Certification (completing lessons 101 - 200) and Master Certification (completing lessons 201 - 300)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Makerspace Now Open

We are excited to announce that the Makerspace is now open in STEM Rec. The introduction of the Makerspace included a discussion of the Engineering Design Process.

Ask - What is the problem? 
Imagine - What are the possibilities? What is the best solution?
Plan - Is the plan possible? Where should I start? What materials are needed?
Create - Can a model be made? Does it meet the goal?
Improve - Does it work? What will make it better?
Communicate - Are changes needed? What do others think? Is the problem solved?

Students were then challenged to design and build a boat that could float for one minute using the materials available. Students had a great time and learned a lot!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Welcome to Music at Franklin Discovery!

My name is Micki Allred. I am the new elementary music teacher this year at Franklin Discovery! I graduated from the University of Utah in 2001 with a Masters Degree in Music.  I then went on teach Music in the Duchesne County School District for 12 years. I am excited to be at Franklin Discovery and have the opportunity to share my love for music.

The Music courses I offer this year at Franklin Discovery will be sequential, comprehensive, and sustained as defined in the State and National Core Arts Standards for Music Education.

Here are a list of the classes I will be teaching during the first block.
Music at the Core (1st and 2nd grade)  - Students will experience music through movement, singing, listening, creating, and playing instruments.  This class will also follow the State and National Core guidelines for Elementary Music.

Group Piano - Students will learn how to read and play music on the piano. This class will incorporate the middle C position method along with intervallic reading. Individual practice time is a part of group piano that will require headphones.  I have headphones available that will be sanitized after each use, but if you’d like to have your own headsets please label them and they will be placed in the student practice folders.  The Dollar Tree has headsets available for $1.00.

Note Star - Students will learn to read basic notation and also gain an appreciation of music by learning about it through different cultures, genres, and instruments.

Music Prodigy - Students will learn how to play the Xylophone, Ukulele, Piano, and various Percussion instruments. Students will also gain an appreciation for music through movement, singing, listening, and an in depth look at worldwide musical cultures.

The study of music has been shown to have lasting benefits on students’ cognitive, psychomotor, and affective development. The following link shows the benefits of a musical education.

So far, I have enjoyed playing instruments, singing, and making music with our Franklin Discovery students.
I look forward to a great school year!

Rollercoasters, Robots, and Space!

The first full block of the school year is turning out to be very busy!  Thank you to everyone who has donated supplies and recyclables.

This block several third through sixth grade students are participating in a unit called Roller Coaster Science.  The classes are divided into small groups and every week or so each group receives a new challenge.  The students are finishing up their first challenges this week, so check back to see pictures and data the students have collected.

In addition to Roller Coaster Science, students are also working through the NASA BEST program in a class called Star Wars Space Science.  This class is available for all first through sixth graders.  We are exploring the world of Star Wars while also exploring NASA's current space program.  There are 10 challenges the classes can work through.  This week students are creating on and testing a satellite. First and second grade students are working on their math, problem-solving, and teamwork skills by deciding how many solar cells they would need to power their satellites.  Third through sixth grade students are exploring mass, math, and problem-solving skills.  Once construction is complete, students will test (drop) their satellites to test the durability.

This block also starts our FIRST Lego League team practices.  I am still looking for another coach for the teams, so if you or anyone you know may be interested, we meet every Monday and Wednesday and every other Friday 2:30-3:15 PM.  The teams have been examining the FIRST Core Values.  They have also begun planning their research projects.  This week we will start exploring the programming our robots.  Also, first through third grade students will have the opportunity to begin exploring the WeDo 2.0 robots provided through a Donors Choose project funded last month.  We begin exploration today and I am very excited to see the students grow through this program.

Thank you all for your support!  Check back often for pictures and updates!

Friday, September 15, 2017

STEM Rec Challenges
September 18 - 22


Continuing with our water theme, students will learn why water and oil don’t mix. We’ll talk about what hydrophobicity means and demonstrate that water won't cross a hydrophobic barrier.

Standard:  Matter is made up of atoms and molecules.


Math will offer a  challenge called “Zombie Escape”.  Students must answer math questions correctly within a limited amount of time and complete a fitness challenge before the ‘zombie’ gets them.  If students answer incorrectly, a new question will be given and must be solved or the ‘zombie’ wins.  The goal is to complete enough challenges to escape the room.

Calories Count!  Students will be outside performing activities that teach students about calories by getting them moving.

Social Studies

The Minotaur was said to be housed in the ultimate maze-The Labyrinth.  Can Theseus defeat the minotaur and navigate the Labyrinth (aka the play structure), or will he fall short, like so many before him?  Find out this week in Social Studies!


We had a blast this last week learning about Pop Art!  This week is even more fun as students will be designing their own stamps as they learn more about print making.

Tech / Engineering

We are excited to introduce the makerspace to our students!  Students will be introduced to the design cycle as we pose the question, which materials in the makerspace could be used to make a boat that will float for one minute?  Are there materials that wouldn't normally float that could be altered to help it float?  Students will use the design process to create a boat and test it outside in a pool.

Standard:  Observe using senses, create a hypothesis, and focus a question that can lead to an investigation.

Monday, September 11, 2017



Welcome to the new school year!! Below is a short outline of what's going on the first term in Wellness (aka Physical Education or Physical Wellness).  There is a reason I chose PE and wellness over english and social studies… Forgive the straightforward and ‘small word’ format of these class descriptions.  I know that it doesn't sound all that intelligent, but after 7 years in the military, over 7 years of competitive collegiate athletics, and being the father of 5 children, ​I ​learned this one very powerful and important concept… KEEP IT SIMPLE!!

All classes will begin with a small workout (workout will include but not limited to different variations of exercises = crunches, arm circles, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, etc.).All classes will include topic discussion on a personal self-care topics (ex. Honesty, Respect, Integrity, Responsibility, etc.)

Please ensure ​students come to their Wellness Class appropriately outfitted withtennis shoes, socks​ ​and shirts ready for running, stretching, and other various activities.​ Dresses should have shorts or leggings worn underneath as well.

“LOCO” Motion
1-2 grades
Class Focus: Locomotion occurs when a body changes its position from one place to another.
Class Activities: Races, Jumping, Running, Hopping, Yoga, fun games, etc. 

Field Games
3-6 grades
Class Focus: Educational course related to maintaining the human body through physical exercises
Class Activities: Races, frisbee, sports, parachute, team building activities, etc.

BIG 5 (Seasonal Athletics)
3-6 grades
Class Focus: Educational course related to the five most successful and supported seasonal sports.
Class Activities: Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, etc.