I want to bring STEM and Literacy together in your classroom ASAP! We both know that the pressure to push math/literacy and not science/social studies in your classroom is crazy. Let’s change that.
We are going to use my process of incorporating STEM into your literacy block to save you time! Today I’m going to walk you through the process but if you don’t have my FREE Planning Template yet, add your email here and it will be sent right over to you!
Great, now that you have the template let’s walk through what we need to do.
- Understand why STEM is important
- Look at materials needed
- Pick a book
- Some Tips & Tricks
Why is STEM Important?
STEM is extremely important for developing students who can problem solve, communicate effectively, and practice perseverance. All these skills are needed to solve real world problems; isn’t it amazing that we can practice these skills in our classrooms today to raise the next generation of thinkers and do-ers?
Science | Technology | Engineering | Math
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM occupations had beyond-average growth over the past couple of years. This means that we need to prepare our students for a workforce that is constantly changing with the growth of technology.
What Materials do I Need?
This comes down directly to you and what you have on hand. I recommend sending home a letter to parents at the beginning of the school year (or really whenever there’s need) to get supplies that most would either toss in the trash or recycle.
You can get my letter here inside of my Intro To STEM Resource
I ask for supplies like: newspaper, clean/dry food containers (yogurt tubs, breadcrumb containers, caps, buttons, the little picnic table thing from pizza, etc.), old greeting cards (fronts not the special note inside), paper towel rolls, and really anything else that you can think of.
What book should I pick?
This is totally up to you! But here’s a list of things you should look for in the read aloud, this list is more detailed in my template pages. But here’s a few to get you started.
- What theme am I currently teaching?
- Does my book fit my theme?
- Does it have a clear problem?
- Could students build/create something to solve a problem?
If you are currently teaching about WEATHER, maybe you pick “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” by Judi Barrett. This would meet the needs of the first 2 questions. The book doesn’t have to be nonfiction, in fact I believe it is more fun when the book is fictional!
Does the book have a clear problem? Yes- the townspeople of Chewandswallow are being overrun by large pieces of food that fall from the sky and they will be forced to flee if something isn’t done to stop it!
The last question is all about planning, you will ask the students to come up with their ideas in small groups. They will create the solution to the large food on their own.
Any Tips & Tricks?
If you’re just beginning to bring STEM and literacy together, make sure you tell your students the challenges they may face with their group. Remind students to remain respectful of each other’s ideas. If you want more information check out my last blog post of communication here.
Give your students the materials in the beginning instead of letting them choose what they want. It’ll make your life easier!
Make sure you have coffee for your first try! It can be exhausting but the rewards of STEM are amazing!
~ Happy STEMing! ~
Did you learn anything new? Have a problem that I can fix? Leave a comment below and I’d be happy to help.
-Meg of Mrs. Browne’s Bunch