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STEM and Fairy Tales | Posted in STEM
I think that is a great way to integrate reading into STEM. Last year, my 2nd graders were learning about the five regions of Georgia. So I used a lesson plan from the Busy Librarian regarding the Fourth Little Pig. The problem was the students had to determine the best region for the 4th little pig (cousin to the Three Little Pigs). Students had to explain why they chose the region for their pig and build a house of various classroom materials (tissue paper, construction paper, clay, tape, foil, popsicle sticks, straws, etc.). The materials were priced and they could not go over their budget. One part of the room was set up with the materials called STEM Depot. The only constraint on the STEM activity was that they had to stay within their $20 budget. Afterwards, students built their houses as a group. The writing piece came in when they advertised their house via Power Point or some other multimedia. Then the Big Bad Wolf attempted to blow their house down (blow dryer). The kids loved this activity!
Teaching Science to Kindergarten in a Short Time Frame | Posted in Early Childhood
I think that the best way to teach your students science with only fifteen minutes is using problem based learning approaches. You could do that through quick STEM challenges. From my experience, STEM challenges are a quick and fun way to briefly introduce science topics while engaging students at the same time! Also, you could always incorporate science into other subjects, as well. For example, if you are teaching literacy, have the students read a science article, etc. I hope this helps!
Teaching for Conceptual Understanding in Science | Posted in Professional Development
Currently, I am entering my 4th year of teaching 7th and 8th grade science. I’ve always felt that the traditional lecture format my department employs is not the most effective way to reach my students. I’ve added numerous lab activities in an attempt to promote deeper understanding. However, it wasn’t until I stumbled across this thread and read about conceptual understanding that I felt like this is the method that I should have been using all along. The shift to NGSS blends perfectly with this style of instruction and learning. I agree with Joyce in regards to covering the curriculum. We tend to sacrifice depth of learning in favor of squeezing everything in before the next round of state testing begins.
I have read and reviewed many of the resources provided in your book “Teaching for Conceptual Understanding in Science.” I felt the different instructional strategies listed in chapter 8 were extremely beneficial. I’m left with a few lingering questions though. Based on what I’ve read, teachers need to administer some sort of probe or pre-assessment to gauge students’ misconceptions or prior knowledge before planning instruction. Are these probes supposed to take the entire class period? If not, then how do you plan the day based on information you are gathering in a 15-20 minute time span? Using the conceptual thinking model how are teachers providing instruction for concepts that are completely unfamiliar to students?
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