June 23, 2015

A Great Teacher Resource~STEM Lesson Essentials

Summer is always the time I use to catch up on reading my teacher resource books.  STEM Lesson Essentials has been on the top of my stack of must-reads.  While traveling to Kentucky for the Ag in the Classroom Conference I had two layovers, this finally gave me the opportunity to read it!  I couldn't put it down.  It has practical and engaging ways to implement STEM into your classroom.  I couldn't stop writing in my book.  
Yes~ I WRITE IN MY BOOKS! I take notes, make wish list, write in activities that will connect to their ideals, etc.  (Teachers use comprehension strategies too!) 

This book reenergized my love for integrating my curriculum, making connections to real event learning, and project based learning! The key I gained from this book was the importance of making learning RELEVANT~ Giving students a purpose to learn! 

If you know me, you would know that I wasn’t the smartest cookie in class.  As a student I struggled with reading (Black Bird Reading Group), which led me to struggle with every other content area.  Learning didn’t engage me, I would rather count the ceiling tiles, draw the patterns of the floor tiles, count how many times my teacher said a certain word, or watch out the window as bus drivers walked to the convenient store.  I’m not saying my teachers didn’t do cool projects, I was just getting tutored in reading while students were learning about pioneers, creating plays about the Silk Road, or anything else concerning Science or Social Studies.  (Note: my reading group did get to come back to be the AUDIENCE for their performances) I don’t hold a hint of bitterness!  Just kidding! Teachers do the best they can with the knowledge they have at the time! Reading is important, but sometimes the key to get struggling students excited about reading is to integrate it into Science and Social Studies.
Book Highlights: 
·    Teachers must be intentional in integrating.
·    STEM units need to have a variety of outcomes.
·    Problem- based/ Project Based Approaches
·    Can students see connections in the skills they are learning to other subject areas? (Are skills transferring?)
·    Ways to Challenge students
·    “Technology is any modification of the natural world to meet a human need or achieve a goal.”  
·    Activities: Gear Activity (can’t wait to do this with my class), Roller coasters, Geodesic Cities, and several others. 

I love summer! Rest, Relax, and READ!  My goal is to always be learning how to be a better teacher!

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