STEM

STEM in my classroom

This is my first semester student teaching through the University of Houston. I am student teaching at the elemtary school Franz elemtary in Katy ISD and the grade level I am with is kindergarten. In my classroom, teachers could implement STEM with  kindergarteners in so many ways. Some ways that I might enforce STEM in the classroom would be to incorporate activites in centers that allow students to role play as scientists and carry out a small investigation. They could have flexible options in their activities which could be to let them draw, write, and create something out of materials. Other than inside to classroom exploration, students can go on field trips to places around Houston. One excellent place to visit would be the Museum of Natural Science because it has so many different exhibits that teachers can choose from the get students involved with. THey could easily tie in activities and lesson with the exibits and motivate their students to participate. I personally loved going to the museum as a kid so I definelty will try to make use of these resources in the city for my future classroom.

Nicole Drake
Nicole Drake
660 Activity Points

This post highlights the importance of having students do activities to reinforce the learning that they have done in class. Just how Nicole Drane mention in her discussion we should take students out to explore more. Instead of just teaching in the classroom and creating experiments we should use other resources. We could look for a place that provides different forms of learning for students and we could even incorporate it into other subjects. Having students go in a field trip and make observations is very educational. They get to directedly learn new material and their learning is being reinforced with peers.

Maria Mendoza
maria Mendoza
925 Activity Points

Hello,

I really like the idea of students taking the role of a scientist because they will be able to see themselves as one. I would implement STEM in my future classroom by allowing students to explore topics through hands on activities so that they can investigate and collaborate with group members. These activities will be engaging and require problem solving. I could implement technology in the classroom by identifying  real world problems where students have to search online to find information to figure out solutions. I could implement engineering through engineering activities like the one we did in class. In class we had a competition to see which team could build the tallest building using 10 pipe cleaners.

Gabriela Dominguez
Gabriela Dominguez
1005 Activity Points

Yesterday, April 9th, I had a guest professor in my science methods course. She talked a lot about how play can affect a student's learning. The concept of "play" is something that is typically misunderstood for wasting time or being off task. In reality, students often learn the best through play. This could also be included in the idea of "inquiry based learning", which is where students are searching about their own interests in order to discover things about the world. Play and inquiry based learning, I learned, are two great ways to integrate STEM into the classroom. During our class, she took us to a room that is set up with different stations and tools that woud be able to assist students in their play. The station I got to work at was focused on air flow. It used clear plastic piping of different lengths, that student could connect together using white PVC pipes. Then, we had a tub of different items, each weighing a different amount, and we dropped them into an "entrance". A vaccum blowing out was attached to the entrance, and we were able to watch as the item maneuvered throughout the tubes, predicting what would happen. The professor pointed out that this would be a great way to introduce students to the concepts behind an HVAC system, and potentially lead them into that profession - through play! 

Danielle Norton
Danielle Norton
2745 Activity Points

Hey Nicole! This past Tuesday, we had a guest speaker in my Science Methods course addressing some of the things you just mentioned in your post. She talked about the importance of play and playing with ideas in the classroom. We got the chance to visit a special classroom in Schindler Education Center and we got the chance to be the learners we want our future students to be. The professor talking mentioned that there are various times in the day where students should be given the chance to experiment with STEM concepts. The concept we focused on was Ramps and Pathways. My group experimented ways that we could move a marble from point A to point B. It was a lot more difficult than we anticipated and we were shocked at what we came up with. Including these centers and experiments during Literacy circles and centers is an amazing way to keep students engaged and paying attention in times where they usually are engaging in "busy work." Hope this post was helpful! Good luck in Texas!

Hollie Mathews
Hollie Mathews
2075 Activity Points

Hi Nicole, 

I am an Early Childhood and Elementary Education major at the University of Northern Iowa. I love the idea of you wanting to implement STEM activities with kindergartners. I like the idea that of doing activity centers and wanting to visit the Museum of Natural Science. This would be a good start for the kindergartners being interested in the topic of science. In one of my field experiences here at UNI, my tranisitonal kindergartner teacher has the students do STEM activities in the morning. These activities included: stacking cups, creating cars and roller coasters, puzzles, and leggos. My cooperating teacher also did an activity with snow. She had the students put different colors of tissue paper on a white sheet of paper. She had them put just a little bit of water to help hold it onto the paper. Once the students had enough tissue paper on their papers, she had them go outside and have snow fall onto their paper. When they would come back inside, the students would take off the tissue paper, and the color of the tissue paper leaked through to create a pretty painting. My teacher also had them go outside with a black piece of construction paper. The students would go outside and watch the snow fall onto the paper. They would have magnifying glasses to observe and look at each snowflake closely. The TK students LOVED this activity! 

Ellie Meade
Ellie Meade
2045 Activity Points

Hi Nicole! I am currently in a science methods class at the University of Northern Iowa. A couple days ago we had a speaker come talk to us about the importance of play in the classroom. Often times the word play has a negative view because people think that students are not learning from playing but in reality it has a lot of benefits. Play allows students to explore ideas and sparks curiosity. This allows them to explore ideas and discover how things work without realizing they are learning. We also had the opportunity to visit the Regent's Center Early Childhood Classroom. In this room there were a lot of ways that STEM was incorporated. My group focused on light and shadow, in this center we explored the shadows that items created also created different stories with pictures, we talked about how the brightness of the pictures would decrease when more pictures were staked on it.  I really like your idea of visiting a museum because it allows students to explore ideas and be involved!

Nancy Cuellar
Nancy Cuellar
3195 Activity Points

Hi Nicole,

I am an early childhood education major at the University of Northern Iowa, and I recently had a guest speaker attend my science methods course to talk with us about the importance of play in the classroom. During her presentation we discussed play in the classroom and how it is often looked upon as frivolous and not meaningful as a means of learning; however, play is an extremely vital part of a child's learning and can often lead to many self-discoveries. I think that it is great that your cooperating teachers incorporate STEM through play in their classrooms and I can only imagine all of the great things they are learning from it. Several ideas that I took from the presentation that may be beneficial to you in your classroom during student teaching would be to incorporate things like ramps and pathways, air dynamics, water play, blocks, and even lights and shadows if possible! By allowing the students to explore these various centers you would not only be providing them with fun experiences, but you would be opening up a door to many new and exciting discoveries for the kiddos! Best of luck student teaching!

-Rachel

Rachel Bronson
Rachel Bronson
2890 Activity Points

I agree with your post-Nicole, that using STEM in the classroom is a great way to allow students to role-play as a scientist. This will allow them to use their minds in different ways, opening them up to asking questions and finding ways to explore the answers.

Jacquelyn White
Jacquelyn White
988 Activity Points

I am currently doing my student teacher through HISD. I am currently with 2nd grade. When the students are not engaged in the lesson they get distracted. Luckily my teacher has awsome ways to engage the students in each lesson. These students get so excited to see what we have prepared fo them for the day. Intergrating STEM in the classoom is important for the students, becuase education hould be fun not just lectures. In the classroom that I am we have different stations of math and science. Which allows the students to learn new things and work with their peers. As they work in their science stations sometimes the students will have to discover an object and conduct an investigation. The students  are always so anxious to explore new ideas and curious about learning when it's engaging.

Verenice Lara
Verenice Lara
195 Activity Points

As a 2nd year transitional kindergarten teacher I agree with the importance of allowing students to learn through STEM activites. I find that students benefit from not only group STEM activities, but also individual center STEM activities just like you mentioned it allows students to discover an object and conduct their own investigations. I like reading that you have found the importance with allowing students to learn through their own observations and continue to build on and continue to explore. 

Lizzet Alvarez
Lizzet Alvarez
185 Activity Points

I enjoyed reading your post and believe you have some really great points! I'm a big fan of STEM and would love to learn more about it as I progress through the Education Program. There has been a lot of current research about STEM and the benefits it provides to students. STEM will also be included in my future classroom because I want my students to develop skills across many different content areas. For example, including technology into Language Arts through online books, blogs, etc. Also, Science and Mathematics include a lot of vocabulary that students need to know, which ties Math, Science and English together. I have been hearing about STEAM as well, where the 'A' stands for Arts. When STEM is being implemented in my future classroom, I want students to have hands-on and fun experiences. This will require organization and planning from me in order to make the experience run as smoothly as possible. I want to use the natural curiosity and problem solving that children have and build upon that to create activities that students will actually remember and learn from. I believe that students learn better when they are involved through creativity and fun. STEM can lead to more hands-on activities which makes learning more engaging and enjoyable for students. I think that can be said about anything in life. When we are doing things, time flies, and when we are sitting around time drags.

Greer Freeman
Greer Freeman
560 Activity Points

Hello Nicole! There are so many ways to implement STEM inside and outside the classroom. Though I have not started student teaching yet, I cannot wait to implement STEM in my class next semester. One way I plan to do so is by allowing students to have a chance to explore. Instead of teaching them right away what they need to know, I want to put my students in groups and give them the opportunity to develop their own ideas through hands on activities and technology so that they can form their own understandings and questions. If students are active in their learning and are given the freedom to explore different concepts, they are more likely to become interested in the material and develop a curiosity for learning.

Maria Reveles
Maria Reveles
795 Activity Points

Hi Nicole, 

I believe your ideas about implementing STEM in your classrooms are great.  The way I can implent STEM in my future classroom is to allow my students to actively explore topics. I believe the students learn best when they are exploring. With a student driven lesson, the students will be able to learn from errors and accomplishes. This gives teachers a lot of leeway in lesson planning because there are plenty of activities designed for student driven lessons. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a nice place to take the students on a field trip in order to interactively learn about a few science topics. 

Felicia Valle
Felicia Valle
395 Activity Points

Felicia, I agree that exploring is the best way to learn when it comes to stem. I liked your idea about taking your students to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. I think another good way to implement stem is to relate these topics to the real world.

Madeline Sisson
Madeline Sisson
40 Activity Points

I know everyone else has commented on the need for hands on exploration, and I do recognize its value and intend to use it, but I have some other ideas for implementing STEM. I feel that an important step to integrating STEM into the curriculum as a whole is to begin using the vocabulary in other content areas, like "experiment" or "hypothesis" and to somewhat pose things in a similar way to the scientific method. This is so they will be acclimated to scientific vocabulary and already have the mindset necessary to explore science topics. Integrating technology into the classroom gets easier and more necessary every year, however, I feel like this integration is incomplete without investing heavily into teaching students digital literacy. Students need to be able to verify the science they find on the internet, know how to fact check, and know which resources will give them the most truthful answers to their inquiries, and I feel that schools don't do enough of this. It needs to be a constant theme in our technology teachings. 

Emma Johnson
Emma Johnson
145 Activity Points

Hi! I think it's an amazing idea to go to the Museum of Natural Science. The museum is full of many different activities for the students to pique all levels of interest! I would do the same thing. Having a variety of stations is beneficial for all students, because they can explore. Plus not every student learns the same way.

Tooba Malik
Tooba Malik
520 Activity Points

I absolutely remeber going to the museum when I was in Elementary and I remember it made science the coolest subject since it was the reason we were going on a field trip. Looking back now having the Museum is such as good resources as a teacher because its a place where students learn so much with all its exhibits. It can also be referenced back on in many science lesson as we progress throughout the year and in so many grade levels. This is an easy way to introduce a love for science and STEM and plant a seed of curiosity in students. 

Ana Angeles
Ana Angeles
105 Activity Points

I plan on implementing STEM by providing my students with hands on activities that are developmentally appropriate. I believe it’s important for students to be exposed at an early age to STEM because it could potentially help them out in the long run. As an educator I would hope that my some of my students be prepared to any career field that involves STEM. I believe technology is a big part of our generation and students should be exposed to that for their future. STEM will engage students and have them exicted for science time.

Kate Segovia
Kate Segovia
170 Activity Points

STEM is such an important aspect of today's modern world and our classrooms should reflect that. I would do so by having more hands on assignments so that students are more engaged. By having visual aids allows them to be able to connect what they learn. Experiments that are conducted by the students causes them to have the information to be more engrained in their minds. When students get the chance to be able to read about what they are learning, making a hypothesis, and then being able to test that out in reality gets them to really use inquiry to think above and beyond. Students are sometimes concrete learners, this can help them branch out with STEM.

Shannon Tran
Shannon Tran
895 Activity Points

I do believe that STEM is a really important aspect of today's society. Our world is changing by the second, and our classrooms need to be a part of that modern world. I am also studying to be an Elementary School teacher! I believe that with Kindergarten the two major aspects of STEM that can be easily implemented would be both technology and engineering. Technology surrounds us in our everyday life. Most of the students in our classrooms would have grown up using technology in their everyday life. Engineering can be used to show the students' creativity. Kids love to create things, and having them to do specific tasks can definitely be used to pay attention in the classroom. 

Cindy Vazquez
Cindy Vazquez
850 Activity Points

It is crucial for teachers to integrate STEM into our classroom in this generation. Technology is advancing rapidly and it is so important that we give the students the skills and tools to not only keep up with everything, but to run ahead and become the leaders of the future generations. Integrating STEM in the classroom helps students make connections from the real world to science, math, technology, and engineering. I also want to be a elementary school teacher and I believe that it is so important to challenge our students, especially the lower grades to create that foundation of learning for them. Stem helps making learning engaging and interactive and it definitely something I plan on using in my instruction.

Belen Rivas
Belen Rivas
595 Activity Points

Hey Nicole! I too am a student at the University of Northern Iowa, and am in a science methods course. We just had a guest speaker come and talk to us all about STEM. She talked to us alot about letting our students play, even in the higher grades. This allows them to experiment and learn things on their own. We also got to explore and play in a classroom full of centers, like you stated in your post. These centers allowed students to be experiment. Their were centers dealing with light and shadows, ramps and pathways, cooking, and more. For example, in the lights and shadows center we invesigated light and shadow. We experimented with how light shines through objects, and explored shadows and how to make shadows shaper, and fuzzier, we even made stories with our shadows. STEM is an amazing way to let students explore and have fun all while learning! I also think that is a great idea to take your students to a museum. I think this will allow your students to explore and they will have a fun time! Thanks, good luck! (:

Paige Kayvan
Paige Kayvan
2740 Activity Points

Hi Nicole, 

I am currently a student at the University of Northern Iowa enrolled in a science methods course. We had a guest speaker come into our classroom who taught us how important it is to incorporate play into the classroom. Play can spark creativity and engagment while learning, and the students might not even think they are learning! Play also makes students more curious and wanting to explore the topics even more. It is also important to incorpate play with STEM. We learned a couple different activities you could have your students do while integrating play with STEM which includes building ramps and pathways, lights and shadows, and even making play dough.

Courtney Foertsch
Courtney Foertsch
2540 Activity Points

Hi Nicole! I am an elementary and special education student at the University of Northern Iowa. Last week we had a guest speaker come and talk to us about STEM and play in the classroom. Before this speaker came, I did not know a lot about STEM and hadn't seen a lot of it integrated into the classroom. Having centers, specifically STEM related, helps students to be creative and opens their minds to learning new things on their own. I remember when I worked in a kindergarten classroom they did a unit on energy. Instead of just talking to the students, they got to do centers.  Each center had a way to discover how energy is created/used. The students loved that thay got to do hands on learning and I truy believe it was the best way for them to learn. So often, play is seen as not important or not meaningful to the learning experience for kids. We have to push past this belief as teachers. You can use play in the classroom, such as interactive centers, that actually benefits the student's learning. Best of luck to you in your student teaching! I do mine next year and I can't wait! 

Hannah Clark
Hannah Clark
1805 Activity Points

Hi Nicole,

We just had a guest speaker talking about STEM in my science methods course. It was great to learn how "play time" for students is often them working with STEM. It's great to incorporate play with STEM because the students don't know how much they are actually learning and the amount of problem solving skills they are creating. Interactive centers are a great way to incorporate this in classrooms!

Melissa Brodahl
Melissa Brodahl
2065 Activity Points

I believe STEM should be incorporated in classrooms as well. Children have the ability the learn and catch so many things if they are exposed to the right things through play. Children tend to learn throughout play because of those experiences and they get to make more conncetions. I believe it is important for them to be exposed to STEM hands on activities because there are so many things that are evolving and changing. We are here to get children ready for the future and I think that the more they are exposed to STEM the more interesting and engaging could be for them. -Jainny 

Belen Rivas
Belen Rivas
595 Activity Points

Hi Nicole,

Like many others that have replied to this post, I am a student at University of Northern Iowa. In my science methods course, we had a guest speaker come in and talked to us about the importance of STEM in the younger grades. Students at that age, especially, are so curious about the world around them. Being able to carry out “investigations” will teach them in a way that's so much more fun. What you said about having activity centers around your room for students to interact with, was right on point with what our speaker talked about. We are fortunate enough at UNI to have a room dedicated to STEM, as college students we were able to go and interact with some of the different stations in that room, and we all had so much fun with it. I think you’re on a great track to integrating STEM within your classroom!

 

 

Morgan Picolotti
Morgan Picolotti
3290 Activity Points

Hi Nicole, I am currently a student at University of Northern Iowa studying elementary education. I am currently taking a science methods course and have learned a lot of great tips for teaching it. Something that has been good to do with this kind of lesson planning is making it hands on. Students learn better when they are hands on so having activities that are hands on. Another great way is making it inquiry based. Students will need to be hands on and use critical thinking skills, traits an innovator or scientist has. I had a guest speaker come into my class and teach about the topic of STEM and play. She brought in a lot of resources to use to set up stations for us to try. Using play in the classroom keeps students engaged and interested in what is going on.

Natalie Skalla
Natalie Skalla
2040 Activity Points

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